updated 11/23/2011 12:51:17 PM ET 2011-11-23T17:51:17

Guests: Jim Moore, Lawrence Korb, Krystal Ball, Joe Madison

(MUSIC)

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

We have live coverage of tonight`s Republican debate. Did any of the
candidates move the ball?

Also, President Obama is stumping Republicans on taxes in New
Hampshire, and I love it. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joins me to
talk about the president`s tough talk.

But, first, just a little over an hour ago, eight presidential
candidates wrapped up their 11th debate in the nation`s capital. Tonight`s
topic was national security.

One of the most heated moments was about immigration, during an
exchange between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich is the front
runner in several new polls. Tonight, he was forced to act like one.

And there is an interesting response from the Obama administration on
Gingrich`s take on illegal immigration. We will bring that to you as well.

Joining to me tonight are: Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the
Center for American Progress and former assistant secretary of defense
under Ronald Reagan. MSNBC analyst Jim Moore is with us tonight, also the
author of the book, "Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make American Miss
George W. Bush."

Along with us tonight, Democratic strategist Krystal Ball and Sirius
XM radio talk show host Joe Madison.

Great to have all of you with us tonight.

Quite the show put on, boring at times but some interesting twists.

Lawrence, let`s start with you. Was anyone on the stage that prepared
to handle national security? What do you think?

LAWRENCE KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I think Jon Huntsman was
about the closest because he talked about you need a strategy to deal with
the, you know, coming threats. He talked about the fact that all of our
efforts in Afghanistan, the Chinese are benefiting from it. He talked
about the fact that the United States needs to fix things at home and deal
with this deficit, which is also important about Social Security.

Some dumb moments about Hamas and the Hezbollah being in Mexico,
according to Rick Perry.

But I thought overall that, you know, if you had to say one of them, a
pure presidential in terms of what he was saying, I`d say Huntsman came the
closest.

SCHULTZ: Here is Newt Gingrich defending his position on immigration
tonight. He says that the United States should not deport all illegal
immigrants.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t see how look --
the party that says that it is the party of the family is going to adopt an
immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter
century, and I`m prepared to take the heat for saying: let`s be humane in
enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to
create legality so that they are not separated from their families.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, this is something we have not heard from Newt
Gingrich. What does this do for his campaign? And an interesting response
tonight, which we`ll get to from the Obama administration. What do you
make of that? Is that amnesty?

JIM MOORE, AUTHOR, "ADIOS, MOFO": Well, it`s something akin to what
Rick Perry was talking about in terms of tuition for immigration, tuition
for immigrants and children of immigrants. I think it puts Newt in an
interesting position within his own very conservative party. It is a form
of amnesty for immigrants and it`s going to cause him some problems and
it`s going to continue the picking on Newt that has started as he has
emerged as a front runner.

But, right now, I think he`s going to have a terrific amount of
explaining to do, Ed, because this is essentially saying you are here, you
are a good citizen that place taxes, we are not going to mess with you. If
you just got here, you snuck in and we catch you, you`re going back. But
let`s make good citizens out of you.

That makes it sound like a fairly smart progressive Democrat.

O`DONNELL: Marc Ambinder of "The Atlantic" said that the Obama
campaign loves Gingrich`s answer because they think it will force Romney to
make a big issue, and it`s not a good general election issue to run on.

Krystal Ball, what do you make of that?

KRYSTAL BALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, I think that`s absolutely
right. And not only that, but now, President Obama can say even right wing
Newt Gingrich says we need to have a humane immigration policy. And, by
the way, you know your party has moved away too far off to the right when
just mentioning humane and immigration in the same sentence is cause for
people to start attacking you and writing your political obituary.

One thing that`s interesting from the perspective of Newt Gingrich`s
opponents is that most of the nitpicking about Newt Gingrich and Freddie
Mac and all of these things, Gingrich has tried to portray as coming from
the mainstream media, which has made it very difficult for his opponents to
take him on on those charges.

So, this is something they will certainly be hitting him for.

SCHULTZ: I think that Newt Gingrich created a soft underbelly for
himself. That is something he is really going to have to deal with. I
also think it plays right to the Latino vote, which we`ll get to.

Michele Bachmann sent out an e-mail saying that Gingrich is opening
the door to amnesty.

Mitt Romney took a no amnesty position. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not going to start
drawing lines about who gets to stay and who gets to go. The principle is
that we`re not going to have an amnesty system that says the people who
come here illegally get to stay for the rest of their life in this country
legally. The answer is, we`re going to have a system that gives people who
come legally a card that identifies them as coming here legally. Employers
are going to be expected to inspect that card, see if they are here
legally.

On that basis, we`re going to be able to bring you to this country.
The number of people that we need to power our industries, whether that`s
agriculture or high tech, we welcome people in with visa programs. We have
a whole series of legal programs.

But the idea of focusing a Republican debate on amnesty and who we
will give it to, it`s a big mistake. Secure our borders and protect legal
immigration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, we are seeing a divide between the position of
Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. What do you make of this?

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Well, they absolutely are. And I
think that Newt Gingrich is going to take a hit tomorrow, real serious hit,
especially with Iowa coming up.

But I do want to say one thing about this debate that really bothered
me, and that is not one of them will be able to stand toe-to-toe with
President Obama. This is the man who caught Bin Laden. We have not had
incidences on our shores. Those that have been attempted, we have caught
them. This is the man who made the right decision when it came to Libya.

And throughout this whole debate not one Republican gave the president
credit for all of the successes that he has had as it relates to national
security.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

MADISON: But Newt Gingrich, I guarantee you, is taking a hit tomorrow
morning when the polls come out.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think Newt Gingrich played its smart as far as
immigration is concerned because -- and I say this --

MADISON: But not for the right.

SCHULTZ: Well, hang on here. I mean, he`s going to have to get the
Latino vote. There will have to be some kind of a play from the
Republicans for the Latino vote. And tonight, when he talked about family
and said that people that have been here for 15, 20, 25 years, you just
can`t uproot them when they have roots in the community and they are
contributing to society. All of a sudden, we`re going to deport them.

And, Jim Moore, I find this to be very interesting because Mitt Romney
did say that opening and he came back and said, wait a minute, we are
talking about amnesty. He says, I`m not going down that road.

Would there be a political upside for Newt Gingrich on this, Jim?

MOORE: There is a political upside in the general election because it
will help him tremendously with Hispanic voters around this country. Here
in Texas, people have been beating each other up in the Republican Party
and on the right about immigration for years and years, and Perry continues
to try to position himself as a guy who knows how to shut down the border,
but to treat people humanely.

I think it is presumptuous on the part of Newt to toss this out this
early because it presumes that he is going to do well and is likely a
nominee and it helps him in the general election.

SCHULTZ: Newt -- he was kind of acting like he had this thing wrapped
up tonight. He was very confident. For him to go down that road on this
position is not only knew what a play to, I think, independence, but also
the Latino vote in a big, big way.

Now, Mitt Romney, as we focus now on funding and defense, Mitt Romney
also got some static from Ron Paul about defense spending. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Congressman Paul, what they are doing is cutting a trillion
dollars out of the defense budget. They`re cutting a trillion dollars out
of the defense budget which just happens to equal the trillion dollars
we`re putting into Obamacare. And so, what you have is a president that
has a priority of spending us into bankruptcy. But he`s not just spending
us into bankruptcy, he`s spending the money foolishly.

We need to protect America and our troops and military, and stop the
idea of Obamacare. That`s the best way to save money, not the military.

(APPLAUSE)

WOLF BLITZER, MODERATOR: Hold on one second because Ron Paul wants to
respond to that.

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, they are not
cutting anything out of anything. All this talk is just talk.

Believe me.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: They are cutting -- they are nibbling away at baseline
budgeting, it`s automatic increases. There`s nothing cut against the
military.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney there taking a very condescending look towards
Congressman Ron Paul.

Lawrence Korb, Republicans don`t like to cut the Pentagon budget. And
it sounded like tonight that Mitt Romney was rather hawkish on the budget,
he wasn`t ready to do that.

What do you make of it?

KORB: Well, Ron Paul was more or less correct because what they are
doing is slowing the growth. What Romney didn`t acknowledge is we doubled
the defense budget, you know, in this century. It`s gone up for 13
straight years in real terms.

And what we`re doing is slowing the growth. It`s still going to grow.
It`s almost like if I said you are making $50,000, in 10 years, I`m going
to give you $100,000. Then I come back and say, no, no, I can only give
you $80,000. Well, that`s not a 20 percent cut, it`s still going up. And
this is what he was talking about.

Romney`s examples were also way off the mark. He talked about the F-
22. No, we build 187 of them. That`s all that was in to defense plan.
So, to say you cut them is absolutely incorrect.

And he also talked about the fact that the services want to cut down,
particularly the ground forces, by 50,000. You are out of Iraq and almost
out of Afghanistan. You add 100,000 people to those wars. So, it only
makes sense when those wars end, you know, to cut them back.

He also ignored the fact that we have been funding the war is
separately. And money we will save is not going to go to Obamacare because
that doesn`t -- I mean, that was nonsense.

SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, your thoughts on that answer tonight.

MADISON: My thoughts on that answer is that we know the military and
we have all said that there are -- the best systems that they don`t even
need, that Congress is insisting because everybody gets a piece of this
pie.

So, he is absolutely right. And remember, even under a Republican
president, when Colin Powell, we just turned two generals talk about that
earlier, when he was chairman -- they cut the military budget
significantly.

So, it`s just a false argument they brought up today.

SCHULTZ: One of the problems

KORB: And you know what? If they do this, they`ll go back to where
they were in real terms to 2007.

(CROSSTALK)

KORB: I don`t know of anybody complaining then.

SCHULTZ: Well, they`re going to have to deal with rising health care
costs with veterans and also rising health care cost with personnel in the
Pentagon and in the military. This is one of the things that the last
secretary of defense, Mr. Gates, was talking about before he left.

This is what -- and I found this part of the debate astounding
tonight. This is Rick Perry and what he thinks about the Obama
administration`s intelligence gathering. Remember, this is the
administration that killed Osama bin Laden. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Here`s the other issue that I think we`d failed at, and that
is in our ability to collect intelligence around the world. And this
administration in particular has been an absolute failure when it comes to
extending the dollar and supporting the CIA and military intelligence
around the world to be able to draw in that intelligence that is going to
truly be able to allow us to keep the next terrorist attack from happening
on American soil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: How in the world does he come to that conclusion? I want to
hear quickly from all four of you.

Mr. Korb, you first.

KORB: Well, I mean, it`s nonsense. The intelligence budget has gone
up significantly. Not only we get Bin Laden, we got al-Awlaki.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

KORB: We have killed all but -- all the top leaders of al Qaeda
already. We caught several, you know?

SCHULTZ: The record is very strong.

KORB: -- here in the United States.

SCHULTZ: But how does -- Krystal Ball, how does he know that we have
not collected good intelligence? As Mr. Korb, there are scores that the
other administration was not able to accomplish.

BALL: I mean, I noticed that he offers absolutely no proof of his
completely baseless assertion.

And to broaden it out a little bit, there were lots of attacks on
Obama, but they were all sort of vague, he`s not a leader, he doesn`t
believe in America exceptionalism -- all of these conservative means which
are completely false. Very, very hard for him to be attacked on foreign-
policy because he has been so effective.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore?

MOORE: Rick has run out of ways to shoot himself in the foot. So,
he`s looking for ways to shot himself in the toe, Ed. He has nothing to
base this on. It`s just another way of complaining about the Obama
administration without any factual support whatsoever. That is obviously
very clear.

SCHULTZ: A good example of that -- let me play this. I thought Perry
stumbled on his answer about a no-fly zone with Syria tonight. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: One of the options is to have a no-fly zone over Syria at the
same time you are putting those types of sanctions against Iran. At that
moment, they will understand that America is serious. This president
refuses to do that, and it`s another show of lack of leadership from the
president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I mean, he is comedy at this point. Joe Madison, your
thoughts?

MADISON: Ed, I`ll just make it very short. No one has effectively
used drones like President Obama. Not even boots on the ground, drones,
CIA drones. The president has done a masterful job like everybody has said
--

SCHULTZ: Yes.

MADISON: -- at minimum cost to life and limb to our service men.

SCHULTZ: And here is Herman Cain. He is stuck on the idea that Iran
has too many mountains for us to do anything. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: If Israel attacked Iran, to prevent Iran from getting
nuclear weapons, would you help Israel launched the attack or support it
otherwise?

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would first make sure that
they had a credible plan for success, clarity of mission, clarity of
success. Remember, when you talk about attacking Iran, it is a very
mountainous region. If Israel had a credible plan that it appeared as if
they could succeed, I would support Israel, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mr. Korb, score that answer for us.

KORB: Well, I mean, the problem in Iran is not that mountains. The
fact of the matter is, that all the nuclear sites are underground and
dispersed because when they learned when the Israelis attack the Iraqi
reactor back in Osirak in 1981. That`s the problem. The mountains are not
the problem.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Lawrence Korb, Jim Moore, Krystal Ball and Joe
Madison, great to have you with us tonight for analysis post-debate.

MADISON: Thank you.

BALL: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Republican debate number 11.

Coming up THE ED SHOW: don`t be Grinch. That`s the message President
Obama is sending to Republicans who want to raise taxes on the middle
class. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee will join me.

And later, Mitt Romney releases his first TV ad, and let me tell you,
it`s a doozy. His campaign is now defending its deceptive tactics. Steve
Benen of "The Washington Monthly" will be here to weigh in.

You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us. A lot more to
come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If your members of Congress aren`t delivering, you`ve got to
send them a message. Make sure they`re listening. Tell them, don`t be a
Grinch. Don`t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the
holidays.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama in New Hampshire earlier today. He was
urging Republican members of Congress to support an extension of the
payroll tax cut. Now, if Republicans allow it to expire next month, middle
classers all across the country will see their taxes go up.

It`s a tough pill to swallow during the holidays, but since
Republicans hate taxes, they should have no problem supporting this tax
cut. Correct?

Well, the problem is the tax cut is part of the president`s job plan,
which, of course, Republicans oppose. They oppose everything.

President Obama used the GOP`s own rhetoric against them and needled
them on their tax pledge to the almighty Grover Norquist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Now, I know Republicans like to talk about, you know, we`re
the party of tax cuts. A lot of them have sworn an oath, we`re never going
to raise taxes on anybody for as long as we live. Are they really willing
to break their oath to never raise taxes and raise taxes on the middle
class just to play politics? I sure -- I sure hope not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of
Texas. Congresswoman, good to have you with us again.

Are Republicans --

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Are Republicans willing to break their tax pledge
to Grover Norquist just to score political points? What do you think?

LEE: You know, we`re not near water right now, Ed, but I frankly
believe there`s a whole group of them trying to walk the plank. I really
can`t understand it. It is baffling to, as the president said, to the
president, to members of Congress, Democratic members of Congress. And I
would venture to say Republican members of Congress who are too frightened
to say anything.

You`ve heard me say this. I am a citizen of the United States of
America. Not the United States of Norquist. I cannot fathom the signing
of a pledge that would in essence jeopardize the quality of life for
working Americans, middle class Americans.

The payroll tax, which will expire in a couple of weeks, will in
essence take $1,000 to $1,500 out of the pockets of working Americans. It
will impact businesses. It will impact small businesses.

And the president is right, we had an opportunity to pass the jobs
bill, to be prepared for the returning veterans, to help with
infrastructure and, yes, to eliminate taxes on the middle class. By the
way, the president has not raised any taxes on working Americans --

SCHULTZ: No, he hasn`t. Not at all.

LEE: -- since coming into office. Do the Republicans know that?

SCHULTZ: Well, here`s -- it`s their mantra. This is what they are
staking their future on that they will never raise taxes on the 1 percent.
They are protecting the wealthy.

Here`s what Mitt Romney had to say about the payroll tax cut last
month.

(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?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What it takes to create jobs
is more than just a temporary shift in a tax stimulus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`d be OK with seeing the payroll tax cut?

ROMNEY: Look, I don`t like temporary little Band-Aids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The average American family would save $1,500 with this tax
cut. Is it a Band-Aid or is it absolutely vital for Americans to be in
this situation?

LEE: You know, for those of us who put on our pants every day and
count our pennies, I`m insulted by that comment -- pants or our skirts.
And get up and get on buses and trains and try to go to work and provide
for our families. I`m insulted by that charge -- $1,500, $100, going in
the pockets of Americans, just go out in the public.

I`ve been out today visiting with constituents. Every penny for them
is one that is valuable. I`ve had some people say that some of the charity
they`ve gotten over this recent holiday has helped them make ends meet.
Some people are still struggling to refinance their homes.

SCHULTZ: Well --

LEE: Don`t give me that, Mr. Romney, it is not a Band-Aid and we need
to build on the cure, not the Band-Aid. The payroll is part of the cure,
but we`ve got to build on it to provide an absolute cure for America. That
is passing the jobs act -- building more jobs, putting dollars out into the
economy, such as what I`ve asked her over and over for my banks.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

LEE: When I say that American banks for the flush of money in large
corporations, they can do things to help build jobs.

SCHULTZ: Let`s talk about the supercommittee. Clearly the
Republicans are protecting the wealthiest Americans. They won`t serve up
any revenue whatsoever. So where does that leave us? What happens next?

LEE: Well, I will say, I will track the words of President Obama that
says, I don`t want to live in a country when only the sliver of the
population has opportunity. And frankly, the debate fell just on those two
issues or that issue, is that whether you wanted just a sliver of those
living in America to be successful versus the majority.

What we can do now, Ed, is to go to regular order. We have passed a
continuing resolution until December 16th. That means it keeps the
government open.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

LEE: As you well know, we defeated the balanced budget amendment,
that was one of the hostages, elements that was holding us hostage as it
relates to debt ceiling increase. We have to go to the drawing word.

You know what is the best way of doing this? Let the ways & means
committee come together and present its package for tax reform, present
that to the Congress.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

LEE: Let the appropriations committee begin to look closely at what
are the sensible cuts, Ed, that would make sense to impact the quality, not
to impact the quality of life. I just want to hold up a graph. This is a
graph of Republicans, it`s maybe hard to see, Republicans and Democrat who
are saying no cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

LEE: It means that the Democrats are not, if you will, speaking in
the dark. We can two through the process of appropriations. We can avoid
sequestration. I`d like to talk to the president by allowing that to go
forward. I don`t think that`s the most constructive way to go forward,
because those across-the-board cuts --

SCHULTZ: But, Congresswoman, the bottom line in all of this, whether
the Democrats are going to serve up the big three any kind of cuts
whatsoever or any kinds of adjustments or reductions, you can`t get -- the
Democrats can`t get a dime worth of revenue out of the Republicans. And
that`s where we are right now. And it is their party and the actions of
their party that has put us to where we are right now when it comes to
fiscal irresponsibility in this country.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, thanks for joining us tonight.

LEE: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: I just want Americans to grab a simple concept here. You
may ask, how in the hell did we get here? I`ll tell you how we got here.
We got here with two wars, big pharma and the Bush tax cuts.

Nobody had any idea how the heck we were going to pay for this when it
all started back in March of 2003. Nobody ever thought that the Bush tax
cuts were going to have the kind of doom and gloom it has given our
economy.

And big pharma -- the corporations are controlling the Congress. And
now, you`ve got the Republicans saying, well, you`re not going to get none
out of us, but oh, by the way, we want Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security, we want to privatize it all.

They act as if they are the only ones with the answers. Well, when
they had the power, these are the answers they gave us. This is what the
Republican Party did to America and this is why we are in this financial
stalemate right now.

Scott Walker is in big trouble. The recall effort against him is
heating up. He`s battling back by going on FOX and lying through his
teeth. That puts him in the zone.

And later, new evidence that FOX News viewers -- I`m not making stuff
up now -- FOX News viewers are dumber than everybody else.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Scott Walker media campaign
continues across the street. The Wisconsin governor went on "Fox and
Friends" today and was welcomed with open arms by a brown nosing Brian
Kilmeade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: He took on the unions, as we
mentioned, overturned collective bargaining and is helping to fix the
state`s budget. And because of all that, the opponents of Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker, hence the unions, are trying to force a recall
election.

How disappointing is it that you have to worry about a recall and not
just worry about the state`s business?

Governor Walker, we always enjoy talking to you. It`s not an easy
thing you did, but you did -- no one can question your leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: With those softball questions, Walker felt more than
comfortable lying through his teeth about why he`s being recalled.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: You`ve got a core group who are
pushing a recall largely -- let`s be clear about it, largely it is these
national unions are funding it because they don`t like the fact that I gave
public employees the right to choose whether or not they want to be part of
a union. That`s really what this all boils down to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That talking head right there, that governor from Wisconsin
is flat-out factually wrong. The reason he`s been recalled is not because
he gave employees the right to choose whether to join a union or not.
Walker is being recalled because he`s more interested in his friendship
with the Koch Brothers than helping the people of the state.

Walker destroyed collective bargaining rights for public employees,
ignoring the massive public outcry against the bill. Walker continued his
attack on the middle class by cutting 1.6 B -- billion dollars from public
education in the state.

The governor promised his union busting actions would create jobs.
You hear that? He promised that these actions would create jobs. But last
month, Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in union. We got
that? They lost more jobs than any other state in the union.

Of course, I`m sure Kilmeade asked Walker about that during the
interview. Gretchen Carlson wanted him to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KILMEADE: The recall effort doesn`t surprise Governor Walker. He
feels as though people`s lives are getting better in Wisconsin and the
economy is looking solvent.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: One thing I hope you ask him is
how many jobs have been created in that state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yeah. How many jobs have been created in that state?
Especially last month. See that? Kilmeade did not bring up the 9,700 jobs
Wisconsin lost in October. So who is Fox News shilling for?

With his record, Governor Walker`s only shot at surviving a recall is
to keep coming up with this sleazy, desperate Psycho Talk.

Mitt Romney is so boring, his campaign releases a deceptive and
misleading ad. I think it was just to get attention. Will it backfire?
Steve Benen of "the Washington Monthly" will join me to talk about that.

Republican voters think Newt Gingrich lacks strong moral character.
Now, why in the hell did they ever think that? But they`re giving him a
pass. He`s at the top of six national polls. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
All right, let`s face it. Mitt Romney is boring. I mean, the guy is wall
paper. I mean, his campaign is like watching paint dry. He`s behind in
the polls, losing to a series of fringe candidates.

He needs to develop some, I guess you could say, reckless street cred
to earn the respect of far right wing. They don`t like him. Low and
behold, here`s his first campaign ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, New
Hampshire. I am confident we can stir ourselves out of this crisis. Who`s
been charge of the economy? We need a rescue plan for the middle class.
We need to provide relief for homeowners. It`s going to take a new
direction. If we keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, here`s the problem with the last sound bite you just
heard right there. It was deliberately taken out of context by the Romney
campaign. Barack Obama was, in fact, quoting a strategist from Senator
John McCain`s campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Senator McCain`s campaign actually said, and I quote, "if we
keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, that ad earned a Pants-On-Fire rating from Politifact.
Romney`s campaign is now scrambling to defend it. A senior adviser says
the ad is fair to President Obama. "He did say the words. That`s his
voice."

Applying that same standard of accuracy, Think Progress put together a
tape of the Mittster`s greatest hits. A reminder to viewers here, Mitt
Romney did say the following words and that is his voice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We should just raise everybody`s taxes. There`s nothing
unique about the United States. Government knows better than a free people
how to guide an economy. Fiscal responsibility is heartless and immoral.
Let us just raise your taxes some more. We just need a little bit more.
America is just another nation with a flag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Steve Benen. He is the writer for "the
Washington Monthly." Steve, good to have you with us tonight. This is
really low rent, is it not? That`s my term. What would you call it?

STEVE BENEN, "THE WASHINGTON MONTHLY": Well, I think it`s important
for Romney -- it was important for Romney to try to get his campaign off on
a good start. This is his first campaign ad of the entire year. And he
wanted to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

If he was hoping to go for an honest campaign or a decent campaign or
even an honorable campaign, then this is a huge mistake. Because obviously
it was a blatant lie. He got caught in his blatant lie. He had this
defense which was really just blisteringly stupid. As a result, we have
something of a scandal on our hands.

SCHULTZ: Is there a chance that the candidate didn`t know this ad was
going to be produced like this? Oh, and if not, what does it say about
Mitt Romney`s character?

BENEN: Well, you know, there`s that line in the ad, you know, "I`m
Mitt Romney, I approve this message." The importance of that line tells us
that Romney has certain ownership over this. He can`t just wash his hands
of it or distance himself. He owns the campaign. It`s his message. It`s
his ad.

And so the fact that he got caught blatantly lying in his first
campaign commercial, it reflects poorly on him, his integrity and his
character.

SCHULTZ: I would imagine that this might be an admirable thing by
some of the fringe voters out there who just cannot stand President Obama
and want to defeat him at all costs, politically. Would he get some kind
of strange support from running an ad like this?

BENEN: Well, I find it hard to believe that anybody, any kind of
decent voter would want to say, I`ll support the candidate who`s lying to
the public. I don`t imagine that will happen, at least not much. At least
let`s hope not.

SCHULTZ: We`re talking about Mitt Romney. Not many people are
talking about Mitt Romney. Not many people have talked about Mitt Romney.
This is what Mitt Romney`s campaign wants, isn`t it? You and I talking
about him. Just talk about him, you know? What do you think?

BENEN: I think there might be something to that in terms of the
strategy. Now everyone has seen the ad that they`ve released. It`s been
played over and over again, not only in terms of paid broadcast, in terms
of ad time, but now the news stations broadcasting it.

But it`s important to realize that the public is being told throughout
the day that Mitt Romney has been caught blatantly lying. That`s not
necessarily something that a campaign wants to be associated with,
especially when we realize that looking back over the last several weeks,
Romney has been caught in a series of lies.

Once a campaign develops a reputation for dishonesty, that`s something
that sticks with a campaign for months if not indefinitely. And it`s hard
to shake that once your integrity is undermined.

SCHULTZ: Speaking of integrity, all of them have denounced the
stimulus package. The CBO says the economy would be in worse shape without
the stimulus package that was passed early in the Obama administration. It
has added as many as three million jobs in the third quarter of this year.
Will that make a difference to republicans? Will they pay attention to
that kind of number at all?

BENEN: We would like to think so. We would like to think that
evidence has some kind of bearing on the Republican debate. But at this
point, I think Republicans are so invested in the notion that the economy
is now worse than it was in 2008, even though we know it`s obviously not
the case. Given the fact that they`re so invested in this, I find it hard
to imagine that evidence and reason and facts will have any bearing on
debate whatsoever unfortunately.

SCHULTZ: Steve Benen, this is your graph that we use quite often on
THE ED SHOW. It shows exactly where President Obama -- what he inherited,
what he has turned around and the number of consecutive months of private
sector job growth. And now the Congressional Budget Office comes out and
says the economy would be in worse shape without the stimulus, and they`ve
added three million jobs. It pretty much says it all.

Steve Benen, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your
time. Thank you.

Bill O`Reilly thinks Fox hosts are always factually accurate. Hmm.
Well, he`s wrong. Fox News viewers are more misinformed than people who
don`t watch news at all. I`m not kidding you. There is a survey that
backs this up. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s hear it for Fairleigh Dickinson
University, the Knights. With great alumni like Peggy Noonen and Christine
O`Donnell, they`ve done it. They have proven what Americans know all
along, watching Fox News makes you dumber. No kidding.

Surveys shows people who have no exposure to news media are better
informed than people who actually watch Fox News. A new study from the
university say the folks in Chris Christie`s state of New Jersey found
"some media outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be less informed
than those who say they don`t watch any news at all."

For example, the study found Fox viewers were 18 points less likely to
know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news
at all, after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education
and other demographic factors.

The study is just the latest in a series of surveys all showing Fox
News viewers are significantly less informed than others on just about
every topic, including global warming, health care, the Islamic cultural
center near Ground Zero -- now, how could that be -- the Iraq War, and, of
course, the 2010 election.

And it`s no secret why Fox News hosts spew misinformation on a daily
basis. Here`s just a sample.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like a derivative of actual pepper. It`s a
food product essentially.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Muffin-gate, 16 bucks per muffin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Obama administration adding a Christmas tree
tax.

O`REILLY: The 16 dollar muffin. The 16 dollar muffin.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHORS: Guess what, the death panels are
back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics now claim the administration is actually
pressuring certain disabled veterans to, quote, hurry up and die.

O`REILLY: More muffin scandal? For 16 dollar muffins.

Global warming, where are you? We want you back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t reduce our carbon emissions, aliens
might come and kill us.

O`REILLY: Sixteen dollar muffin. I want to taste that muffin.

I want to remind you not to make statements you can`t back up on this
network. We don`t do that on this network.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And you might be wondering, Fairleigh Dickinson University,
where do they get all that money to commission that study? Not state
money. It`s a private school. And they love privatization. Don`t they?
Let`s hear it for the Knights.

Coming up, everything old is new again. Newt Gingrich tops the polls
even though Republicans think he lacks strong moral character. It shows
you what Republicans really care about. Bill Press and Joe Madison join me
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, the latest poll says it all.
Republicans think Newt Gingrich lacks moral character. Wait a minute,
strong moral character. They don`t care. He`s the new favorite, the new
flavor of the month. Gingrich leads the pack ahead of Romney.

This is the sixth national poll over the last two weeks to put
Gingrich in the lead. But on the issue of having strong moral character,
well, Newt Gingrich musters only nine percent, well behind Mitt Romney.

Five months ago, we were all writing off Newt. I mean, he went to
Greece. His campaign staff, they were so upset, they quit, went over to
some guy from Texas named Rick Perry.

But he`s back on top. You want to talk about a political reclamation
project, there it is. Republicans are starved for someone other than Mitt
Romney. They can`t stand the guy. First it was Donald Trump. Then it was
Michele Bachmann. Then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain. Now it`s Newt`s
turn.

Republicans don`t care about his three marriages, do they? They
probably love it when he says they wants to get rid of child labor laws so
he can put poor kids to work. Newt Gingrich says the 99 percenters should
also get a job right after they take a bath. Classy guy.

This is apparently the strong moral character Republicans are looking
for. Let`s bring in nationally syndicated radio talkers Bill Press, on
Sirius XM, and also a radio talk show host with Sirius XM, Joe Madison.
Gentlemen, good to have you with us.

Oh my gosh. It`s like a kid in the candy store for us. Where do we
start? Bill, is it possible that Newt Gingrich could really win this
marathon?

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, first off, Ed, I have to say
there`s a connection between this conversation and the last story you did,
right? Because I think it`s pretty clear that one of the reasons Fox
viewers were so badly misinformed is for the last five years, Newt Gingrich
has been a commentator on Fox, right?

So they`ve been listening to this. But, Ed, I thing you`re absolutely
right. This is the most morally challenged candidate out there, the most
ethically challenged candidate out there, the biggest flip-flopper of them
all. And these Republicans, they put all of that aside because, number
one, they can`t stand Mitt Romney. And number two, they`ll take anybody,
the biggest sinner in the world, rather than Barack Obama.

It`s pretty sick.

SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, what`s it say? Where`s the Christian right
going to stand on all this? Aren`t they concerned about personal moral
character?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: As a matter of fact, they are.
I`ve been interviewing them and watching interviews of him. And he is not
one of their favorites. And he certainly will not be getting their
endorsement. You can count on that.

I guess I`m kind of ahead of a lot of people, because can you imagine
the comparison between Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich when it comes to the
same kind of poll? It just -- I mean, I`m absolutely flabbergasted. I
mean, the new "Muppets" movie is coming out, but, you know, quite honestly,
it`s been out ever since these debates have taken place.

SCHULTZ: Joe, look, not to pass judgment on anybody else`s personal
life --

MADISON: Oh, no.

SCHULTZ: But in the political arena, is being married three times
going to be relevant or irrelevant to voters in your opinion?

MADISON: I think it`s going to be relevant, particularly since the
right has used it as an issue. Should it be irrelevant? I think it should
be. But remember, they made their own bed hard with the Moral Majority.
They made their own bed hard with these social issues involving gay
marriages. So the reality is, it`s their problem, not ours.

SCHULTZ: Bill Press, how`s the child labor law comment going to go
over? I think it was a brilliant -- I thought it was a brilliant move by
Newt Gingrich to pretty much switch the subject off Freddie Mac and get the
kids involved in labor. There you go.

PRESS: Yeah, look, you know, I think the moral thing with the three
marriages may come into play. I think, more importantly, you`re right on
it, Ed. The idea that we`re going to get rid of child labor laws? I mean,
what`s next?

MADISON: That`s the bigger issue.

PRESS: They clean the schools, so next they`re going to go back to
the shoe factories and the assembly lines and you don`t have to pay them a
minimum wage. This is a guy, remember, who said he wanted to bring back
orphanages. That was the answer.

This is a guy who said this year that we should have a citizenship
test before people are allowed to vote. Hey, Joe, that`s a dog whistle
issue. Right? These are the things -- the more that you look at Newt
Gingrich -- and then all the flip-flops on the issue, where he used to be
for global warming, now he`s against it, all that stuff.

SCHULTZ: Joe, does he beat Mitt Romney?

MADISON: Oh, no, he`s not going to beat Mitt Romney in this. He`s
the latest flavor of the month. And I look for Ron Paul probably after
Iowa to be up there. I mean, Santorum is probably slapping himself right
now, wondering when it`s his turn.

SCHULTZ: Gentlemen. We have to run. You know how it goes. Bill
Press, Joe Madison, great to have you with us tonight.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on Sirius
XM radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon at 3:00 p.m. Follow me
on Twitter @EdShow and @WeGotEd.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

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

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