The Ed Show for Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Read the transcript to the Wednesday 11p show
Guests: Eugene Robinson, Alison Kartevold, Jason Whitlock, Stephen A. Smith, B.J. Schecter, Mike Papantonio,
Jen Psaki, Steve Kornacki
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to a special
edition of THE ED SHOW tonight here on MSNBC.
Not on your life would you ever think it would end this way for this
man. Penn State University caught somewhere between the unthinkable and
the unreal. A zone the university could not afford to be in.
Tonight, the board of trustees voted unanimously to fire long-time
football coach, Joe Paterno. You didn`t have to be a college football fan
to know this man. His respect was legendary, no coach had won more games.
Fewer coaches will ever garnish his reputation. And in a few moments, by a
unanimous vote tonight, all of that changed.
Legendary head football coach Joe Paterno has been fired by Penn
State University. As a broadcaster, it`s almost hard to say.
Joe Paterno will not coach another football game at Penn State amid
allegations he did not do enough to stop the alleged sexual abuse of boys
by a former assistant football coach. Here is part of the news conference
held by the Penn State board of trustees just an hour ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN P. SURMA, VICE CHAIR, PENN STATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Our view
was -- a larger view of what was necessary to move the university in the
right direction. The specific aspects of these terrible activities that
occurred and the terrible damage that was done really remains to be
established by whatever law enforcement investigations are yet underway, as
well as the investigation by our own board of trustees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Top Penn State university officials are accused of failing
to properly address decades of child sexual abuse allegations. The
emergency meeting tonight by the Penn State board of trustees tried to get
a handle on a scandal growing by the day.
Legendary football coach Joe Paterno tried to avoid being fired by
announcing his retirement earlier today, effective at the end of the
season. The board of trustees decided Paterno had to go now. The
"Associated Press" reports, after the decision for Paterno addressed
students at his house and said, "Right now, I`m not the football coach, and
that`s something I have to get used to."
Former assistant football coach and defensive coordinator, Jerry
Sandusky, was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight young
boys. A ninth accuser has also come forward.
Penn State President Graham Spanier has also been fired.
Let`s bring in MSNBC analyst Eugene Robinson, associate editor and
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of "The Washington Post." And also, Jason
Whitlock, national columnist for foxsports.com.
Gentlemen, thanks for your time tonight.
JASON WHITLOCK, FOXSPORTS.COM: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I`m absolutely shocked, Eugene Robinson, that it`s all
unfolded so fast and devastating to the university. We should point out on
campus right now, there are students who are gathering at the university.
And many chants in support of Joe Paterno are being yelled out by the
students as they continue to gather.
But it just seems to me, as it was stated in this press conference
tonight, that the university really had no choice.
EUGENE ROBINSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I don`t think the university
had a choice either. The allegations are so -- more than disturbing,
they`re just so shocking.
You have -- this is a great state university that draws students from
all around the world. It has not just a reputation to protect, but a
standing to protect. An obligation, I think, to do something. To show
that it`s serious about addressing what seems to have happened there.
And so, they made the decision. One got the sense listening to the
press conference that Joe Paterno`s sort of preemptive move to say, "Well,
I`ll resign at the end of the season," didn`t sit well with the board. You
just got that sense -- the question was not asked or answered, but you got
the sense that didn`t sit well with the board.
SCHULTZ: Jason Whitlock, your reaction tonight as to the reaction
and the decision of the board of trustees at Penn State?
WHITLOCK: I think they made the absolute right decision, the only
decision they had to make. What I`m really concerned about is what`s
transpiring on that campus right now with these kids. Joe Paterno whipped
these kids into a frenzy, his statement today about staying until the end
of the season, what he did last night.
If he were really concerned about this university, he would have
taken the decision out of the board of trustees` hands and resigned
effective immediately and told those kids on that campus, that`s the right
thing for me to do, given this situation. He, instead, chose a very
selfish exit. And now, we don`t know what these kids are going to do on
If anybody gets hurt tonight, that`s on Joe Paterno as well.
SCHULTZ: You agree with that, Gene?
ROBINSON: You know? I do. And Joe Paterno, legendary figure,
highly regarded in the sports world and in the nation. But he`s 84 years
old. He has held on to that job with the tenacity and bullheadedness that
-- you know, the university has tried to edge him out in the past, and he
has held on.
So, it`s not -- it shouldn`t surprise us, I think, that he finds it
so difficult to let go. That he couldn`t resign immediately, wanted to
stay until the end of the season, which was unreal. That wasn`t going to
SCHULTZ: As the story unfolds, I almost get a feeling like Joe
Paterno didn`t understand the severity of all of this. And slowly he came
to grips -- so, you know, I`m going do have to step down as the head
football coach. It wasn`t me that did it, it was somebody that I know.
It`s almost as if he doesn`t understand the gravity of it.
ROBINSON: Right. And as you said, Ed, the story was moving really
fast. I mean, the board started meeting immediately. How could they not?
As soon as this story just came out on Saturday. But it took Paterno a
while, and maybe he gets it now.
SCHULTZ: I think it`s clear that the board tonight acted to save the
integrity and the honor and the credibility of the university. This is
much bigger than any one coach, any one game, any one team. This is a very
serious matter. And it`s not going to go away any time soon.
I agree with you, I`m shocked that Joe Paterno didn`t understand the
severity of it, and realized that he had to step away from this.
But looking at it right now --
WHITLOCK: Well, I think --
SCHULTZ: Go ahead.
WHITLOCK: As a sportswriter, we are very quick to criticize athletes
when they get caught up in their fame and get delusional about how
important they are. And sometimes we forget, these coaches now are just as
big a celebrity as the athlete, they make just as much money as the
athletes, they have just as many groupies as the athletes and they get
delusional as well.
SCHULTZ: We saw that at the press conference tonight. We saw that
at the press conference tonight, Jason, those people that were answering
the questions, they were in total disbelief that the university would
actually fire Joe Paterno. I think you`re spot on on that.
I mean, he had some friendly media there tonight just going after the
board of trustees, the gentleman who was holding the press conference,
explaining the untenable position the university`s in.
WHITLOCK: If he had an ounce of self-awareness, and I`m just -- he`s
no different than the athletes, the young immature athletes, this guy is
84. If he had an ounce of self-awareness, he would have stepped aside
Obviously, if he had any self-awareness, in 2002 he would have done
the right thing. But now that it`s out -- and keep in mind, this has been
out -- this grand jury investigation has been written about in Pennsylvania
for months. They knew this was coming.
I believe everyone in Pennsylvania should be questioned about, what
took so long for the grand jury report? It took three years, and it just
happened to come out a week after Joe Paterno passes Eddie Robinson for the
all time wins record.
Were they also protecting Joe Pa and waiting to release the
indictment until after he got to victory 409?
SCHULTZ: That`s a great point.
Well, you know, and here you have now, the question was Joe Paterno
protecting one of his old coaches, defensive coordinator who helped him win
a couple national championships, and the loyalty was just too thick and he
couldn`t bring himself to go on any further with this situation than what
he had done, and that was passing it up the chain.
But a lot of people Gene Robinson, say, that it was Joe Paterno who
was at the top of the chain at Penn State.
ROBINSON: Look, he was the most important figure at Penn State.
He`s the most powerful man at Penn State, and there`s no question of that.
I did want to say a word about the other official who lost his job tonight
-- Graham Spanier, president of Penn State, one of the longest serving and
one of the highest paid college presidents in the country.
His first reaction on Saturday after the charges came out was to
vigorously defend the two officials who were charged with not reporting the
crime. But he switched -- he saw how fast this was moving. And, in fact,
he issued a very intelligent and I think gracious exit statement, saying
this is definitely in the best interest of the university. They need new
leadership to move on.
SCHULTZ: Joining me now via phone from the campus of Penn State
University is NBC reporter Alison Kartevold.
Alison, describe the scene there. What are you seeing and what are
ALISON KARTEVOLD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): There are
over 1,000 students that have poured into the street off the campus and are
protesting Joe Paterno`s firing by the board tonight. It was a unanimous
decision by the board tonight.
And they are chanting. Right now, they`re doing the college chant.
But earlier, they were chanting "one more game, one more game." They`re
obviously not ready to lose who they affectionately called Joe Pa, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I just don`t think, Gene Robinson, that this is going to
have any effect whatsoever, this is clearly an emotional reaction by
students who may not have all the facts or may not have been following the
ROBINSON: Well, it`s certainly not going to have an effect, it`s
clear. This is done.
ROBINSON: It`s a done deal.
Now, as to what happens, if something happens in the street, this
will probably just peter out. If it looks like it`s going to last, the
thing for Paterno to do would be to go out and calm them down.
SCHULTZ: Well, Alison, what is the demeanor of the crowd right now?
I mean, are they agitated or is this some kind of a benign college rally?
KARTEVOLD: At this points, it`s more of a benign college rally.
Somebody`s shooting off bottle rockets right now, I have to tell you, the
chant (INAUDIBLE) I`m standing next to police cars in the middle of the
street, and next to me are officers in riot gears. They`re preparing for
the worse, even though they hope students will keep it where they are right
Right now, it`s all chants, it`s all cheers. They have their phones
up in the air, taking pictures of everything.
And at the time, there`s no violence whatsoever. This is similar to
what they did last night, but on a much larger scale. I cannot see down to
the end of the street. I don`t have any idea how far down the avenue it
This are is called the Canyon. This is the place where students come
wherever they have an impromptu rally like this, be it over something good
And so, the police here are ready to try to make sure that things
don`t get out of hand. But the truth of the matter is, if it weren`t for
(INAUDIBLE) very quickly, I have few officers in view, I have a thousand
students in my view.
SCHULTZ: Well, I wonder if the students are going to be calling for
Joe Paterno to come out and address the crowd tonight. He`s already made a
statement saying he`s no longer the head football coach of Penn State, and
he`s got to deal with that.
But often times these kind of crowds can go bigger before they get
smaller. And they see they get some attention, and they could end up going
through the night.
KARTEVOLD: Ed, it`s not done growing, as I`m standing looking down
through the street, there`s still a steady line of students who are pouring
in from the campus. They`re pouring in from the other end of Beaver
So the chant they`ve now taken up is "we want Joe." They`ll carry on
with this, and move on to another one and can`t go back through. Now,
there`s movement actually down the street a little bit, but still very
peaceful at this point.
They`re not causing any trouble as far as -- they`re being civil at
this point to each other. Except for the trustees, they`ve had some nasty
chants, things I can`t repeat.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right, Alison Kartevold, NBC News reporter on
scene there at Penn State University where students are gathering in
protest and rallying in support of the just recently fired football coach
Joe Paterno. The board of trustees making a decision tonight to move in a
new direction, seeking new leadership at the university -- that was the
term that was used by one of the board of trustees tonight.
Joe Paterno out after 46 years as head coach at Penn State.
Alison, Gene Robinson and Jason Whitlock, thanks for joining us
tonight. I appreciate it.
Coming up, more on the incredible fall of Joe Paterno and the sexual
abuse scandal that has rocked Penn State University. Stephen A. Smith is
coming up. So is B.J. Schechter of SportsIllustrated.com, and Mike
Papantonio on the ongoing legal issues surrounding all of this.
And later, Rick Perry makes an unbelievable gaffe at tonight`s
Republican debate. Will it end his campaign? What do his donors think at
Stay tuned. We`re back.
SCHULTZ: More on the late breaking news: Penn State has fired head
football coach, Joe Paterno, and President Graham Spanier effective
immediately. More reaction and the legal take from Mike Papantonio,
Stephen A. Smith and B.J. Schecter right after this.
And later, we`ll break down the winners and the losers of tonight`s
CNBC debate. Stay tuned.
You`re watching THE ED SHOW, live on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Breaking news out of Penn State University tonight at this hour.
Legendary sports icon, Penn State head football coach, Joe Paterno, has
been fired, along with Penn State President Graham Spanier, due to a sexual
abuse scandal that is surrounding the university. These two men are out
amid allegations that they did not do enough to stop the sexual abuse by a
former assistant football coach, once they learned about the unthinkable
incident back in 2002. The sexual abuse scandal includes nine allegations
over 15 years.
Joe Paterno is at the center of it. In 2002 when he was informed of
Jerry Sandusky`s alleged sexual abuse of a 10-year-old child, Paterno
turned it over to two other school officials, athletic director, Tim
Curley, and, vice president, Gary Schultz.
But those two men didn`t report the incident. And Joe Paterno
apparently took no further action. In at least three incidents, various
Penn State officials were informed of possible child abuse.
Let`s bring in "Ring of Fire" radio hosts and attorney, Mike
Papantonio. Also joining me by phone are: nationally syndicated radio host
and journalist, Stephen A. Smith, and B.J. Schecter executive sports editor
Gentlemen, thanks for your time tonight.
Mike Papantonio, was this an easier call for the board of trustees
than what fans might expect?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, "RING OF FIRE": This is the only call they
could make. And if fans understood what this board of trustees is up
against, they would understand what`s at stake here. The board did exactly
what they had to do, it`s damage control, I`m talking about money damages.
I`m talking about reputation damages. The number that could attach to this
as far as loss to this university just in dollars is staggering.
Already, you have them being investigated for the Clery Act. The
Clery Act is a federal act that requires schools -- demands and mandates
schools who get federal funding to report incidents like this within 60
days after they happen. And if they don`t, they can lose big, big money.
The other part of this is, these people who are out on the streets,
if they knew the story, about victim one, 2007 through 2008, an 11-year-
old, sodomized, took to preseason game practices so Sandusky could get to
Victim two, 2002, a 10-year-old, sodomized. This is one that was
clearly, absolutely reported to Paterno, the man who reported it went to
Paterno`s house. He knew exactly what was at stake here.
From a moral standpoint, Ed, this is inexcusable. From a legal stand
point, he`s probably going to get away with not being brought into the web
of criminal acts. Although, he will, by the time this is over, this is
going to cost Joe Paterno a lot of money.
The people off in the streets, they`re not thinking about victim
three in the year 2000, a 13-year-old who was sodomized in the shower.
Victim four, 1996, a 12-year-old raped and sodomized. The way they got to
him is they took him to bowl games.
The people on the streets that are supporting Paterno right now, they
ought to talk to the parents of victim five, 1996, eight-year-old fondling
in the shower, in the locker room. They knew or should have known by that
time what was going on.
PAPANTONIO: And then there`s victim six, 1998, eight-year-old shower
sex, locker room regular, mother talked directly to the police, Ed. The
police knew about it, the campus police knew about it, they did nothing.
And you know why? They did nothing because of the legend of Joe
Paterno and the damn football team, rather than carrying about a human
Victim eight, eight-year-old --
SCHULTZ: Yes. Stephen A. Smith, we have never seen a story like
this in college football. Your reaction to what is unfolding at this hour?
STEPHEN A. SMITH, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO HOST (via telephone):
Well, I agree with what your guest just said, every single word of it. The
fact of the matter is, I went on ESPN earlier this morning, and I called
for Joe Paterno to be removed immediately.
I think that, you know, there was a bit of audacity to his statement.
He talked about dignity and integrity. He talked about love for the
university. He talked about love for kids that their parents had entrusted
But at the same time, that`s part of the problem, Ed, because what
happened is, is that if you listen to his statement, and you read his
statement, what you will see is a tremendous concern for the university.
And the name, the university`s name, and that is what is at the heart of
this problem. They were more concerned about the name Penn State
University, about the football program, and the good name in all fairness
that Joe Paterno had worked decades to establish in the process of
generating nearly a billion dollars for the school over that time period.
So they thought about all of those things. If Jerry Sandusky, the
alleged villain in all of this, molested nine children -- I`m sorry -- if
this guy was just a regular old guy at the university and he was not
somebody that was employed by Joe Paterno, once considered the heir
apparent to Joe Paterno, et cetera, there`s no way on earth he would have
been able to retire. There`s no way he would have had access to the
facilities, there`s no way they would have agreed to him, before, you
promised not to take showers with little boys in the future. It`s just
SCHULTZ: B.J. Schecter., I got to ask you, will the fans come around
on all of this? Will they support the board of trustees? This is a
shocker for `em.
B.J. SCHECTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SI.COM (via telephone): Well, I
think what you saw from the press conference from the board of trustees
today, was really embarrassing, you see some of the line of questions where
people were really up in arms as to why the board had the audacity to
remove Joe Paterno as head coach. And I think in the short run, you know,
people in that area that have been so enamored with Penn State over the
years have rose-colored glasses and they don`t see the real picture.
You know, this stopped being about Joe Paterno a long time ago, when
he didn`t do what was right, go to these police and stick up for these
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, Mike Papantonio, one legal angle that I want to
play here is that Sandusky is probably going to talk to prosecutors.
That`s where we`re going to find out what Joe Paterno knew, and what kind
of conversations he had with Joe Paterno. I`m speculating. Your thoughts?
PAPANTONIO: Well, that`s it exactly. Look, right now, they have to
worry about some clear issues, conspiracy to cover up an investigation,
accomplice after the fact. But then you get to exactly what you`re talking
about, Ed. You get to a witness, who`s on the stand and he`s asked
questions. Then he has the possibility of perjury.
And as this thing develops, Sandusky does not have the character to
protect his pal Joe Paterno like Joe tried to protect him.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Mike Papantonio
PAPANTONIO: -- it`s going to get worse.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, Stephen A. Smith, and B.J. Schechter --
stay with us. We`ll have more on this when we come back. Special edition
of THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC.
And later, Rick Perry`s incredible meltdown at the debate tonight.
You got to see it to believe it. And it`s the end -- is it the end of the
road for the Texas governor? It might be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Those who argue this is a rush to judgment. There has not
been a full investigation, how can you reach this conclusion at is this
SURMA: As I said, these are judgments and decisions and balances
that boards have to make with thoughtful deliberation and arguably things
had reached a point we needed to make a decision in the long-term interest
of the university.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was John Surma, was the vice chair, Penn State board
of trustees, making the statement that Joe Paterno is no longer the head
football coach at Penn State.
Let`s bring back Mike Papantonio. Also, joining me by phone are:
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN and also, B.J. Schechter.
Great to have you, gentlemen, with us.
This alleged abuse went over 15 years.
Stephen A. Smith, does Joe Paterno have to clear his name tonight?
SMITH: Well, you know what, he -- he could try, but I don`t think
you can. The fact of the matter is, I read the court documents from the
affidavit, the testimony of the grand jury, and he was made aware of at
least one incident. One too many, to be quite honest with you.
What he decided to do was to go to his immediate supervisor, the
athletic director. The athletic director took it to the V.P. of finance
and business and took it to the president. Ultimately, nobody took it to
law enforcement officials. Not one single person.
The most egregious person in that equation in terms of those who are
aware of Sandusky`s actions is obviously a guy by the name of Tony
McQueary, I believe. He was the graduate assistant. He was aged 28 and
literally witnessed a 10-year-old boy being sodomized, turned his back and
walked away, according to the testimony --
SCHULTZ: But that`s --
SMITH: -- and then went and told his father who joined him to go and
tell coach Paterno, but nobody addressed law enforcement officials. It`s
SCHULTZ: So, B.J. Schecter, the report is, Joe Paterno spoke to a
witness and let it sit right thereafter moving it up the chain of command,
but then never followed up on it after that. I mean, how are -- how`s Penn
State alumni going to or anybody for that matter going to be able to
reconcile with that?
SCHECTER: I think it`s very clear that Joe Paterno did the very bear
minimum and he didn`t do enough. He`s the most powerful person at Penn
State, he has an ethical and moral obligation to do more, and he didn`t.
Now, how does he fix this or attempt to right this? He`s got to come
out. He`s got to be contrite. He`s got to apologize. He`s got to reach
out to the victims.
We need to hear from him. He needs to apologize. He needs to come
out now and tell these students look, don`t do anything stupid, I`m no
longer the coach here, go home.
Mike Papantonio, what about Joe Paterno. What is his best move right
now legally? Based on what we know, based on what`s being reported, what
is his best move to come out, make a statement, full disclosure what he
knew, when he knew it, how he handled it?
I mean, I get a sense -- the man, I believe is 84 years old, he
probably doesn`t have the energy to fight all of this, so he says I`ll get
out at the end of the year, board of trustees say, hey, wait a minute, it`s
way too serious for that. You need to go now.
What`s his best move right now?
PAPANTONIO: To do and say as little as possible from a legal
standpoint. That`s the best thing Joe Paterno can do. He might have just
escaped a bullet.
And here`s the bullet: under the statutory law, he might have done
the very, very minimal from a legal standpoint that he had to do. From a
moral standpoint, it`s atrocious. But from a legal standpoint he may have
escaped a bullet.
The real question is coming to this, this didn`t happen in a vacuum,
you can go all the way back to 1994, he`s called victim number seven, he
was aged 10. Now, this was something in 1994, the janitor saw what
happened, it was reported to officials and officials ignored it.
Now, Ed, what do you think the possibilities really are of Joe
Paterno never hearing about that? 1994?
PAPANTONIO: What do you think -- it`s almost nonexistent. So, the
more he talks, the more he subjects himself to real important cross-
examination kind of questions. He needs to shut up and go away.
The best thing he can do is get out of there with some class. He`s
not shown any class for 15 years.
SCHULTZ: And, Mike, can we only assume tonight that the board of
trustees have got a heck of a lot information than is being reported?
SCHULTZ: And they were put in an untenable situation, they needed to
move to save the integrity of the university?
SMITH: Ed, I`d like to address that.
SMITH: Obviously so. But here`s the most egregious part of it all,
the fact of the matter is -- not of it all, we know Sandusky is the biggest
culprit of them all. But I will say to you is this, they can have the
information or what have you, but Joe Paterno along with the A.D., along
with the business of finance guy, along with that graduate assistant, I
mean, all of these guys knew. The graduate assistant was still coaching in
your office as a wide receivers coach as well.
SCHULTZ: A level of acceptance within the program that someone knew
and nothing was being done about it.
SMITH: It`s clearly about the name.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we have to run. Stay with us, Mike Papantonio,
Stephen A. Smith, B.J. Schecter. And Gene Robinson will join us next.
Also coming up, Rick Perry`s unbelievable debate meltdown. Talking
about a gaffe moment. Is he a goner? Is it over?
Eugene Robinson, Jen Psaki, Steve Kornacki, they`ve all got analysis,
and my commentary coming up.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
We`re following the breaking news out of the state of Pennsylvania.
Legendary football coach Joe Paterno has been fired tonight.
Let`s bring back Eugene Robinson, Mike Papantonio. Also joining us
on the phone tonight, Stephen A. Smith and B.J. Schecter.
Gentlemen, I`ll ask all of you the same question.
Eugene, you first, how in the world does Penn State recover from
this? This story isn`t going to go away any time soon. A lot of legal
ramifications will be drawn out. Plus, the P.R. of it all.
How do they rebuild?
ROBINSON: Well, it`s going to take time. First thing the board is
going to do and has to do is its own investigation. What went so horribly
wrong in that athletic department, in that institution?
And then they`re going to have to slowly, I think, come back
appropriately. And if that means, for example, drastic change in the
athletic department, totally cleaning house, calling off a sport for a year
or something -- I mean, you call off the football program for a year or
something. That could be a radical thing to do. But it could come to that
depending on what they find.
SCHULTZ: Mike, what do you think? Mike Papantonio?
PAPANTONIO: Honesty right now more than anything. They`ve got to be
honest that they had a county district attorney who chose not to prosecute,
that`s got to be answered why. A campus investigator who didn`t have
enough backbone to say, hell no, I`m not going to drop this investigation.
County police who valued football --
SCHULTZ: This is Dave --
PAPANTONIO: It goes from the top to the bottom.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Steven A. Smith, your thoughts, how do they recover?
SMITH: I think they`re taking a step in the right direction, they`re
cleaning house, the president is gone, the football coach is gone.
Obviously, the graduate assistant who is a football coach, he`ll be gone.
You know, two other individuals have been arrested on perjury charges.
So, that`s a great start. But it all depends, guys, because the one
thing we didn`t bring up, is that when this was initially broached around
the year 2000, the district attorney who was supposed to be in charge never
had pursued the case per se, and then in 2005, he disappeared off the face
of the earth. They still haven`t found him at all.
All they found was a computer with a hard drive that was severely
damaged. They said - even the FBI said they haven`t seen anything like it.
The guy disappeared off the face of the earth, if we find out that had
something to do with this too.
SCHULTZ: And there will be a federal investigation.
B.J. Schecter, how does the university come back from something like
SCHECTER: Well, for 15 years, Penn State did everything wrong.
Tonight, they started to do something right. And what they need to do is
follow the lead of this board of trustees which did absolutely what they
needed to do, and move forward. You know, start being honest, start taking
responsibility for what happened, start reaching out to these families,
start taking a look at the football program and make it just a part of the
university like everything else.
Follow the lead for what they did tonight. If they can move in that
direction, it will take time, but they`ll get there.
SCHULTZ: The winningest football coach in college football, 409
wins. The only number anyone`s paying attention to tonight is the number
of accusers coming forward. And that number is nine.
Mike, Eugene, Stephen and B.J., thanks for your time tonight.
Coming up, Rick Perry`s epic meltdown at the Republican debate. Stay
SCHULTZ: Herman Cain calls House minority leader "Princess Nancy" at
tonight`s Republican debate. That was Herman Cain that did that. That`s
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Well, another Republican debate tonight. The candidates
took to the stage in another knockdown drag-out of bullet points.
The CNBC debate in Rochester, Michigan, was supposed to be focused on
the economy. But the one moment getting the most attention, came from
Texas Governor Rick Perry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact of the
matter is, we better have a plan in place that Americans can get their
hands around, and that`s the reason my flat tax is the only one of all the
folks -- these good folks on the stage. It balances the budget in 2020.
It does the things to the regulatory climate that has to happen.
And I will tell you, it`s three agencies of government, when I get
there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the -- what`s the third one
there -- let`s see.
REP. RAND PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You need five.
PERRY: Oh, five. OK.
PAUL: Make it five.
PERRY: OK. So Commerce, Education and -- the --
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: EPA?
PERRY: EPA. There you go.
MARIA BARTIROMO, MODERATOR: Let`s go --
JOHN HARWOOD, MODERATOR: Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking
PERRY: No, sir. No, sir. We were talking about the agencies of
government -- EPA needs to be rebuilt. There`s no doubt about that.
HARWOOD: But you can`t -- but you can`t name the third one?
PERRY: The third agency of government.
PERRY: I would do away with the Education, the Commerce and -- let`s
see -- I can`t. The third one, I can`t. Sorry. Oops.
BARTIROMO: What about the EPA and the new rules coming out of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Anyone who has ever done any public speaking at all, let me
give testimony tonight, folks. That is painful to watch. Although 13
minutes later, Perry remembered what he wanted to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Name the top programs that you would cut in terms of
long-term deficit reduction, include Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security
and defense spending in the order you see fit.
PERRY: Well, every one of those -- and by the way, that was the
Department of Energy, I was reaching for a while ago. So --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Perry had to address his stumble in the spin room following
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: I`m glad I had my boots on tonight, because I sure stepped in
it out there. The bottom line is, I may have forgotten energy, but I
haven`t forgotten my conservative principles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Eugene Robinson, MSNBC analyst and Pulitzer
Prize-winning for "The Washington Post."
Also with us tonight, Jen Psaki, democratic strategist and former
White House deputy communications adviser for President Obama.
And Steve Kornacki, political columnist for Salon.com.
Jen, let`s start with you first. Is that big-sized Texas toast that
we just saw? Is it over?
JEN PSAKI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I would say Rick Perry
probably has a C-minus grade so far, his presidential performance. And
tonight, he failed the test.
So, does that mean he`s out? I don`t know, it`s a hard call to make.
But does it mean he`s increased his chances of passing the class moving
forward? Probably not.
SCHULTZ: He went right to his conservative principles, saying, I`m
the guy you can count on. Is that a good play?
PSAKI: You know, it`s tough, because that moment sticks out to
everybody, about Rick Perry who watched the debate. Every debate has been
terrible for him. They have not been his strong point. I mean, he comes
across as unprepared which makes him also come across as unqualified. And
SCHULTZ: Big word, isn`t it, Gene?
ROBINSON: Well, it`s a big word. But, you know, this is the wrap on
Rick Perry. The wrap on Rick Perry is that he doesn`t have the
intellectual heft to be president, and that he`s not prepared and look at
the way he performs in debates. Well, tonight, he confirms all of that.
And his donors are -- must be just tearing up the phone lines in the
campaign, chewing out and saying that their checkbooks are closing.
SCHULTZ: Steve, what about that? What about the fund-raisers out
there? What about the people that are supporting him?
I mean, this is beyond not being prepared. Does the man know what
the hell he`s talking about?
STEVE KORNACKI, SALON.COM: Yes. Look, I`ll put the question out
there. I think if there`s any candidate in the Republican presidential
race right now, will this guy be around by the Iowa caucuses? I think it`s
Rick Perry. I think there`s a chance this guy could drop out even before
Iowa. And I say that because, you know, he`s the one that has something to
When you look at all the other candidates up there -- Romney has got
the legitimate chance of winning. Everybody thinks Gingrich is just trying
to sell books. Who knows what Herman Cain is doing? But whatever it is,
it`s working for him at least for now.
The others are happy with the exposure they get.
You know, Rick Perry was a big substantial figure in this race. He`s
fallen down in the, you know, 5 percent, 6 percent in the polls. That was
before this. This is on top of the New Hampshire mess, on top of all the
debate messes and debacles.
And he`s got, what, five, six more debates between now and Iowa if he
wants to tough this thing out.
And you`re talking about, yes, donors are going to be upset, everyone
bets something on this guy is going to be upset. And I really wonder, you
know, I could see it`s near, you know, he drops out of this race before
Jen, why do I get the feeling we`re going to be seeing some pre-
debate rehearsal tapes that might be better than this?
PSAKI: Well, we can only hope. All I know is "Saturday Night Live"
is working on their exit for Saturday right now. We`ll look forward to
SCHULTZ: Does it eliminate him, Gene?
ROBINSON: I think it comes close, Ed, to tell you the truth. I
mean, it`s not like he was shooting out the lights, right? He was -- his
numbers started here and they went here. And that`s not the right that`s
not the right -- not the right direction.
Now, he`s got all this money in the bank that he raised earlier. So
he seems to be the logical person to go up if Herman Cain started to go
down because of the sexual harassment allegations.
ROBINSON: But if there was going to be a Perry takeoff, this will
tend to, you know, tend to send it back down again and he may not get
SCHULTZ: Well, I thought tonight Ron Paul didn`t do a very good job
with student loans.
PSAKI: Oh, none of them did. You know, I think one of the news
pieces that came out of tonight that the Republican platform is for doing
away with student loans, doing away assistance for students. And that`s
something that I look forward to running against them next year.
SCHULTZ: Steve Kornacki, who was ready for prime time tonight? Who
were you impressed with?
KORNACKI: Well, you know, I say impress. I mean, I continue to be
impressed with the performance, you know, of Mitt Romney. He was asked a
pointed question early in the debate about basically, you know, is there
anything you actually believe in and anything you`re consistent on?
With a straight face he called himself a model of constancy. He
segued away from all these specific issues where he`s really vulnerable
there and talked about how he`s loyal to his faith and he`s loyal to his
wife and he`s loyal to -- I guess the Republican Party or something.
You know, it was a very glib answer. There`s nobody on the stage to
challenge him. You know, I think he`s really got his shtick down. And I
think, you know, once again, almost by default, but also by putting on a
good performance, Mitt Romney is a winner.
SCHULTZ: Well, I have to say to all of you here tonight, I think
that Newt Gingrich has been the comeback kid in the last severale1 debates
-- very much in command of what he wants to say and how he wants to say it.
Eugene, Jen, Steve, stay with us. We got a lot more coming up.
Herman Cain`s big debate highlight -- that is next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Up next on THE ED SHOW, our panel wraps up tonight`s CNBC
debate, just how did Herman Cain do?
We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, more on tonight CNBC Republican
presidential debate from Michigan. Herman Cain was certainly going to be
asked about the sexual harassment allegations against him. But when the
moderators tried to get some answers from the candidate, they were bullied
by the audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Here we`re focusing on character and on judgment.
BARTIROMO: You`ve been a CEO.
You know that shareholders are reluctant to hire a CEO where there
are character issues. Why should the American people hire a president if
they feel there are character issues?
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people deserve
better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
CAIN: And I value my character and my integrity more than anything
else. And for every one person that comes forward with a false accusation,
there are probably -- there are thousands who would say none of that sort
of activity ever came from Herman Cain.
HARWOOD: Would you keep a CEO -- are you persuaded by what Mr. Cain
has said? Would you keep him on if you had bought his company?
ROMNEY: I`m -- look. Look, Herman Cain is the person to respond to
these questions. He just did. The people in this room and across the
country can make their own assessment. I`m not going to --
HARWOOD: Governor Huntsman, let me switch back to the economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Back to Eugene Robinson, Jen Psaki, and also, Steve
Jen, why didn`t they go after Cain on this issue?
PSAKI: Well, I just don`t know that the other candidates take Cain`s
candidacy seriously. What I can`t figure out is why even before the
allegations of the last week and a half, they have allowed him to lead them
on their economic plan? Why is the 9-9-9 tax plan become the Republican
platform for the economy? And we all know, not just the talking points,
but the facts about it. This is taxing the poor and the middle class to
keep the money in the pockets of the wealthy.
And it`s interesting that the other candidates have not
differentiated themselves from that. They have allowed that to be their
SCHULTZ: Gene, what do you want?
ROBINSON: You know, they want his votes. They want his people.
They don`t think he`s going anywhere.
SCHULTZ: He`s got a following --
ROBINSON: But he`s got a following. They don`t want to alienate
that following. They want to attract that following. So they`re not going
to be too rough on him.
SCHULTZ: How tough is it going to be, Steve Kornacki, when these
press conference takes place when two accusers come out?
KORNACKI: Well, I mean, we`ll see and we`ll see what they have to
say, because I think, you know, the theme of the commentary for more than a
week now is, boy, here`s the moment when Herman Cain is going to start to
plummet. And I think I`ve heard that four or five different times and I
still haven`t seen.
And I know the audience`s reaction at these debates. You know, that
can be a very misleading barometer how that audience sounds, a live
audience. But I think in this case, that`s dead on, because when you look
at the polling results over the last couple of days, you see the broad
cross section of Americans.
There`s a lot of concerns that have been raised about Herman Cain.
You look within the Republican Party and they`re standing with them and
they are saying this stuff still doesn`t bother them. This stuff still
doesn`t resonate with them. They don`t think it`s real.
And I think you saw that in that room tonight. And, frankly, I think
that intimidated Mitt Romney. I think that`s why he didn`t go after Herman
Cain because Mitt Romney started to go after him yesterday. He called the
allegations disturbing with ABC news. He heard that audience. He didn`t
want to get booed, so he backed off.
SCHULTZ: Well, this is a big debate for him to get past, I think.
But, of course, the press conference is expected to come out.
Jen Psaki, who do you think President Obama wants to run against in
PSAKI: Ron Paul. You know --
SCHULTZ: I mean, are they having some comedy over there watching all
of this at the White House?
PSAKI: I think they know, all kidding aside, that next year is going
to be very difficult. And we know -- I have every confidence the
president`s going to go back, is going to win a second term. But, you
know, it`s a challenging time.
SCHULTZ: Gene, they got to be loving this.
ROBINSON: I that must be loving it. You know, you can play a
drinking game first of all, you know, every time it`s 9-9-9. But no, this
is not an impressive field. And it`s got to be fairly heartening for the
SCHULTZ: Eugene Robinson, Jen Psaki and Steve Kornacki, thanks for
your time tonight. I appreciate you working late with us.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. We`ll see you tomorrow
night right here on MSNBC.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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