updated 12/6/2011 11:27:48 AM ET 2011-12-06T16:27:48

Guests: E.J. Dionne, Ari Melber, James Peterson, Goldie Taylor, Eric Boehlert

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

Donald Trump is splitting the Republican Party in two, pitting himself
get the establishment, and taking shots at anybody who disagrees with him.

Newt Gingrich jumps into the lead in the national polls. But is he
hurting his chances by cozying up to the Donald?

This is THE ED SHOW, and as the president would say --

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let`s get to work.

DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: Ron Paul`s not going to win. He`s got no
chance.

Huntsman is doing extremely poorly in the polls.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not going to kiss his
ring and I`m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn`t help the country.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Republican Party is imploding and Donald
Trump is at the center of it all.

TRUMP: The Republicans have to get rid of the Karl Roves and they
need fresh blood.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, E.J. Dionne on the Republican circular firing
squad.

Plus, Newt Gingrich thinks poor kids have no work ethic. So, he`s
teaming up with the Donald to put them to work.

TRUMP: We`re going to pick 10, young, wonderful children and we`re
going to make them apprenti.

SCHULTZ: Ari Melber of "The Nation" magazine and Dr. James Peterson
are here.

The pizza man is officially cooked.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am suspending my
presidential campaign.

SCHULTZ: We`ll show you the Cain campaign in 99 seconds.

And the Republican vision of America is on full display in Moorhead,
Minnesota.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just to bust the union and the working
class. There`s no excuse with the record profits.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, the workers of the American Crystal Sugar plant are
on THE ED SHOW fighting corporate greed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Donald Trump wants to be the king maker if he can`t be the king.
There`s infighting in the Republican Party like we`ve never seen before,
and it`s all being provoked by a reality television host.

Newt Gingrich is silently on top of the national polls for the
Republican presidential nomination. He leads Mitt Romney by more than six
points on average. In a new NBC/Marist poll from Iowa shows Gingrich
surging in the caucus state, with less than a month to go before voting.

Gingrich celebrated his good numbers today by meeting with Donald
Trump and accepting the invitation to the Trump debate which is coming up
at the end of the month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Donald has had the
number one show in the country. OK? He is a genuine American icon in his
own right. Why wouldn`t you want to come and hang out?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Great criteria there, huh?

Rick Santorum has also announced that he`ll appear at the Donald
debate on December 27th as he makes one last push in Iowa.

Other candidates are ashamed of the event. Ron Paul`s campaign said
the debate is, quote, "beneath the office of the presidency." And Jon
Huntsman also rejected the debate.

Thin-skinned Donald Trump, what did he do? Well, he decided to blast
them both.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Ron Paul as an example says, you know, Iran should have
nuclear weapons or can have nuclear weapons and doesn`t even think in terms
of Israel. So I think that they are joke candidates. I think they`re
doing very poorly.

And, certainly, Mr. Huntsman is doing extremely poorly in the polls at
1 percent and frankly gives more airtime to people that have a chance of
getting elected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Just a real inclusive guy, isn`t he? The Republican Party
is getting distracted by a television host who is attacking the character
of presidential candidates because they don`t want to go on his debate?

Huntsman went on FOX News today and was not going to change his
position.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTSMAN: I`m not going to kiss his ring and not going to kiss any
other part of his anatomy. This is exactly what is wrong with politics.
It`s show business over substance.

If he had any courage at all, he would be running for president of the
United States of America, as opposed to manipulating the process from the
outside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, actually, Mr. Huntsman, what`s wrong is that it`s your
party, not the Democrats.

Karl Rove is another Republican who is fed up with Trump`s
distractions. He called the debate weird and was quickly blasted by
Donald, himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Karl Rove gave us George Bush, and George Bush crashed and
burned and because of that, we have Obama. And, you know, Karl Rove -- the
problem that this, frankly, that the Republicans, they have to get rid of
the Karl Roves and they need fresh blood, because Karl Rove is going to
lead them into doom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And Newt Gingrich is fresh blood? Karl Rove sees his empire
crumbling, no doubt. The millions of dollars he`s raised through his
Crossroads GPS PAC and countless hours he`s spent trying to influence the
nominating process is going up in flames, thanks to the Republican
infighting. Rove thinks it`s time for someone to step in and set the party
straight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, FORMER SR. ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT G.W. BUSH: What the heck
are the Republican candidates doing showing up at a debate with a guy who
says, I may run for president next year as an independent? I mean, I think
the Republican national chairman ought to step in and say we strongly
discourage every candidate from appearing in the debate moderated by
somebody who was going to run for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Rove wants the Republican national chairman to stop the
madness, but the chairman skirted the issue when he was asked about the
Donald debate on "Meet the Press."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: We`ve had a lot of debates, and as you
know, some of them have been sanctioned by the Republican National
Committee and some of them haven`t. I mean, we`ve had debates with MSNBC
as well.

But, you know, listen, I think these are programs that each of these
candidates have to decide for themselves whether they`re going to compete
in. Their strategy involved, whether competing and not competing. Those
are things that those candidates need to decide.

DAVID GREGORY, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Not quite sure about
MSNBC. You had it on NBC News where it aired on MSNBC. Are you equating
that to a debate with Donald Trump?

PRIEBUS: I mean -- and having Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz, you know,
discussing the debate afterwards for two hours isn`t exactly ideal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Republican Party has a lot more to worry about than me
and Rachel doing debate analysis in postgame. They`re getting walked all
over by a modern day snake oil salesman.

Trump used the party to promote his reality show last spring. Now
he`s using them again, but this time for another reason.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump, CEO of the Trump Organization, and
author of the new book, "Time to Get Tough."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s out with a new book called "Time to Get
Tough: Making American Number One Again."

TRUMP: I write about it in my book, I`ve even disclosed my financial
numbers in the book for the first time.

In fact, in my book, which comes out today, I actually disclose the
financial disclosure.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: A-ha! Donald Trump figured out the secret to the GOP. Like
Sarah Palin did before him, he learned the party has no serious ideas about
government or helping anyone get a job in America, or health care, or
public education. It`s just a platform for hucksters to sell their goods.

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

Tonight`s question: Is Donald Trump making a mockery of what used to
be a national party? Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. Our
blog is there for you at Ed.MSNBC.com. We got the results coming up later
on in the program.

Joining me tonight is E.J. Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings
Institution and columnist for "The Washington Post."

Have you ever seen anything like this -- Republican Party, now reality
TV? Who`s to blame for this entertainment?

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, I think they`re
actually turning themselves into a book club, because Herman Cain used a
campaign to get his book up on the bestseller list and now he is gracefully
withdrawing. Now, we have Trump doing it.

I was struck by a line that George Will borrowed from Churchill to
describe Newt Gingrich. He`s a bull who carries around his own china shop.

And I think that`s exactly what Donald Trump did. So, you have a
collision of china shops this week.

I find a lot of Republicans very blue about all this. They know that
this does not convey seriousness to people. And will anybody to bucking
about any of this, say, in November? No.

But I think this is creating an image of the Republican Party in the
minds of independents as an unserious party. "The National Review," a
conservative magazine, started by Bill Buckley, they refer to Trump as a
consummately unserious man. That`s a great -- Bill Buckley will be proud
of that line.

SCHULTZ: Well, what about Newt Gingrich? Former speaker of the
House, a man who`s been around Washington a long time, is now kissing the
ring of Donald Trump, accepting the promotional value of doing a debate
with him.

Doesn`t this lower the standards of the Republican Party? This man
has no journalistic credentials. He`s a show boat. And how can this not
help them -- how can it not hurt them in the general election as really
when you peel it back, this is who the Republican Party really is.

DIONNE: You realize, Ed, this may be the first time you ever agreed
with Karl Rove because that`s what Karl Rove --

SCHULTZ: I mentioned that today on the radio and I got tweeted galore
on this one. You know what, I know there may be a power struggle going in,
but common sense has got to get in the building at some day. This has now
turned into a reality TV show and here you have a guy who was surging in
the polls like -- Newt Gingrich is up 18 percent since last October --
since late October in Iowa. I mean, he really has a serious run.

And now, is this going to hurt him, this association with Trump? Is
there no seriousness at all in this party? What do you think?

DIONNE: Well, I don`t think this hurts him in the party as it exists.
I was talking to a smart conservative today who made this point that
Gingrich has persuaded Republicans that what you need is a candidate who`s
good in debates.

And as this conservative said, wait a minute, what you really need is
someone who`s a plausible president, and I think a lot of Republicans who
are fascinated by Gingrich and who want a movement guy and can`t sort of
come to Romney are at some point going to think about, yes, but will
Americans vote for this guy to be president of the United States? And
that`s where the whole temperament issue is going to come into play.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

Here`s conservative columnist George Wills` reaction to the Trump
debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WILL, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: Now we have a December 27th
debate proposed that would be moderated by Donald Trump. Surely it time
for these candidates to do something presidential, stand up and say, we`re
not going to be hijacked and participate in this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And here is Donald Trump taking the bat out on George Will.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I`ve read George Will over the years. He`s third grade. He
makes so many wrong predictions. If you just follow his predictions,
you`ll find out he shouldn`t be doing what he does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Donald just rips everybody who doesn`t want to go to the
show. Have you ever seen someone tear down the Republican establishment
like this?

DIONNE: I wish you had a clip from Shakespeare saying they shouldn`t
go to the Trump debate. I`d love to see what he`d say about Shakespeare.
I mean -- but again, you had it at the beginning. He`s selling a book.
He`s a smart salesman. He`s always been a salesman. And what`s amazing is
that the Republicans are willing to play with him. At one point, he was
up, what, in the 20s in the polls?

There are still a lot of Republicans who seem to like him. So,
they`re willing to take this risk in December hoping we`ll all forget about
it later on.

SCHULTZ: In the meantime, he`s turning out to be Mr. Vanilla. Mitt
Romney, where is he? I mean, this guy has gone down to 16 percent. He has
dropped six points in the Iowa poll. I mean, it all starts in Iowa. It`s,
you got to have the mojo to get going early on. Is Mitt Romney now in a
position where he has to go to this Trump debate? What do you think?

DIONNE: I don`t know. My guess is he doesn`t, but I`m, you know,
they could just prove me wrong tomorrow morning. I think Romney has been
playing with competing in Iowa, but he hasn`t really gone all the way in.
And with these new numbers on Gingrich, I think he`s going to try to play
under the radar and still hope he can win that or do well there with
organization.

But I think it comes down to him for New Hampshire. He now has to win
New Hampshire and his numbers been coming down some. He`s still ahead in
New Hampshire, but I think that`s going to be make-or-break. If he loses
New Hampshire, then this is wide open.

But I also think there`s another possibility which I don`t usually see
as plausible. You actually could get to the convention without a majority
if Ron Paul stays alive and keeps getting some share of the vote from his
libertarians. If conservatives can`t get to Romney but enough Republicans
say he`s the serious guy. And we keep waiting for Huntsman to have an
opening. Maybe all this craziness gives him his one chance to get in the
race.

SCHULTZ: Well, one thing about Ron Paul`s supporters, they are loyal,
they are dedicated, and I`m not so sure they would be supporting any other
candidate. I mean, they want this guy, and it`s interesting how Newt
Gingrich has spent very little time in Iowa. In fact, today, he was in New
York.

So why isn`t he campaigning in Iowa? Does he even have to at this
point with the polls the way they are? I mean, he still has a month to go
before the caucus, but it just doesn`t look like Newt has taken Iowa too
seriously.

DIONNE: Well, this is going to be a real test. Over the years people
said, Iowa is really about organization. And I think this election may
prove them wrong because Newt doesn`t have any real organization on the
ground in Iowa. It turns out that in the age of FOX News, media may be
everything in a Republican primary and especially in a caucus.

SCHULTZ: Well, you have to admit the chairman of the RNC is worried
about me and Rachel. So, maybe, that`s probably right there.

DIONNE: I think you should invite them to debate on this show. That
would be great, if they`ll debate with Trump. I`d love it see that.

SCHULTZ: I`d love to have them here.

E.J. Dionne, always a pleasure. Great to with you again tonight.
Thanks.

DIONNE: Thanks.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question at the bottom of the
screen. You can share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow. We want
to know what you think, always.

Coming up: Newt Gingrich thinks poor kids -- poor kids have no work
ethic. Where`s that come from? So, we should make them mop the floors and
clean bathrooms? Or a very lucky few could be apprentice for Donald Trump.
That`s their plan. No joke.

And the Republican presidential race lost its pizza man over the
weekend. Herman Cain tries to rewrite history on his way out.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW, the Donald manages to sneak in a
show plug as Newt Gingrich pushes for low income child labor.

Herman Cain suspends his presidential campaign. We`ll have his
greatest hits in 99.9 seconds. And we`ll talk to Goldie Taylor about
what`s next for the pizza man.

Mitt Romney made a living putting wealth for the 1 percent ahead of
the workers. This weekend, I visited employees of Crystal Sugar in
Moorhead, Minnesota, who were losing out in a culture that puts profits
first.

And we want to hear from you. Tweet us with the #EdShow.

Stay tuned. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Newt Gingrich has taken a truly, I think, offensive idea about poor
children and made it even more offensive by adding Donald Trump`s stamp of
approval. It`s what you might call putting lipstick on a pig.

Here`s the lipstick part, which Gingrich and Trump talked about today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: We need to work very hard to help poor children in poor
neighborhoods acquire opportunities to work and I`ve asked them to take one
of the poorer schools in New York and basically offer at least 10
apprenticeships to kids from that school to get them into the world of work
and get them into an opportunity to earn money.

TRUMP: I thought it was a great idea. We call it apprenticeship. We
all know about "The Apprentice." So, we`re going to be doing -- we`re
going to be picking 10 young, wonderful children and we`re going to make
them apprenti. We`re going to have a little fun with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Ten kids. We`re going to turn it around with 10 kids. We
got one in three people living in poverty in this country, we have
unemployment through the roof in the African-American community, and, of
course, he wants them to go to the poorest school in New York City and get
10 kids. That`s a great Republican Party promo right there.

And let`s throw in "The Apprentice" because we know that`s just so
important to society. First of all, there`s obviously nothing new about
internships. I even had one in college. Or work study programs, for that
matter.

That`s not what Gingrich is really talking about. He`s got a few
other targets. One of them is poor people. The other is poor kids.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: Starting with following two facts. Really poor children in
really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around
them who works. They have no habit of "I do this and you give me cash,"
unless it`s illegal. What if you paid them to work as the assistant
librarian? What if they became assistant janitors and their job was to mop
the floor and clean the bathroom?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yes. What a great idea. Newt, is that your jobs program?
Just get them going early doing the cheap labor stuff and keep them there
throughout their entire career?

Poor. Really poor. Did you know that there`s a difference between
poor and really poor? You show me somebody who`s poor and I`ll show you
somebody who`s poor. You show me a loser, I`ll show you a loser -- like
the guy you just saw on TV.

Gingrich presents it as if it`s fact. Poor kids, absolutely they have
no work ethic whatsoever, no habit of working. We`ll talk about that in
just a moment.

But Gingrich has some other targets like child labor laws and unions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, in
trapping children -- first of all in child laws which are truly stupid.
Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one
master janitor, and pay local students to take care of the school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Gosh, Newt, why didn`t you say that today when talking about
the apprenti?

Let`s turn to Dr. James Peterson, director of African Studies and
associate professor of English at Lehigh University. Also tonight with us
is Ari Melber, correspondent for "The Nation" magazine.

I had a discussion with my listeners on the radio about this. I think
most Americans, at least in the progressive community, are appalled by
this.

Let`s start with Gingrich`s core idea here -- poor kids have no work
ethic.

Dr. Peterson, I need your response to that.

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Oh, boy. I mean, there`s so
much here to be discussed to that. I mean, the irony is this is an
inversion of reality. He`s passing it off as fact. He`s like, these are
the facts. This is actually an inversion of the facts.

Actually poorer kids oftentimes have a lot more work experience, a lot
more domestic kind of work experience than middle class and wealthier and
rich kids. And so, to sort of paint with this broad stroke here is I think
really, really sinister. It certainly plays to his base and helps with the
sort of smoke and mirror kind of effect of his entire campaign at this
point.

But the bottom line is he`s inverted reality. There are plenty of
poor folk who work multiple jobs, who actually work before they`re eligible
to work. And to sort of say that poor people do not have a work ethic is
anti-American.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think there`s a level of racism in this. Your
thoughts on that, Dr. Peterson.

PETERSON: Well, look, I mean, there`s a lot of dog whistle racial
politics we see coming from the right. Newt Gingrich has certainly
participated in those kinds of things before. I think whether we think
about race or not, this is still really disgusting because one, it`s
inaccurate, and two, it`s anti-American.

Poor folk have always worked hard and the fact that we try to demonize
them is just another sort of culture wars and class wars that are actually
coming from the 1 percent.

SCHULTZ: And this just rips off the scab that the Republicans have
been accusing the Democrats of -- playing class warfare, accusing the
president of playing class warfare. Maybe, you know, conversely maybe the
Democrats, Ari, should be going into wealthy neighborhoods and see if these
fat kids are sitting on the couch playing with their electronic games
instead of going out working for a living. What do you think?

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: I think you put your finger right on it,
which is this was not just an isolated statement. This is a statement that
now has been presented when Trump was appearing with the birther in chief,
Donald Trump, who demanded the birth certificate of the first African-
American president but never made those kinds of complaints about white
presidents. I think Donald Trump`s very sorry record on race is well
known.

I think the narrow appeal that he has in the Republican Party is based
on being willing to go that far. This is a guy who said famously that the
president should, quote, "get off the basketball court and focus on the
economy." So these aren`t even very coded attacks. Trump doing it in that
way at this appearance says a lot.

The other thing I`ll say briefly is, I`m really glad you`re
spotlighting the way Newt Gingrich thinks about policy, because even take
race out of it and we`re seeing a window into his idea of making education
policy which is off the top of the head.

SCHULTZ: He`s talking about a new government program that if it`s
done properly would probably cost a hell of a lot more money, but of
course, we know how they feel about public education. And instead of
devoting educational resources to the poorest schools in this country, you
just have to put underage kids to work.

MELBER: One thing on that, Ed, you spotlighted on this show over and
over -- the fight over public workers and the role in our economy. And
here we have Newt saying this. But if you think about his plan, what he`s
really saying is, these would be more government jobs, right? Public
schools, 91 percent of students are in public schools. If they`d be paid,
that would be additional public budgets.

Of course, I don`t think it`s real. I don`t think a President
Gingrich would actually find the funding for that.

PETERSON: Of course not.

MELBER: I think, this is, of course, a way to demagogue.

PETERSON: It`s a gimmick. And that`s why the whole "Apprentice"
piece is a part of it.

Listen, public schools right now are the largest employer in most of
the municipalities they`re in. And what young students need, they don`t
need mops and buckets, although there`s nothing wrong with that kind of
work. What they need is books and they need well-paid teachers.

SCHULTZ: Yes. And, you know, that`s what got me today when I saw the
two hucksters together is that Newt Gingrich didn`t have the character to
turn to Donald Trump and say, hold on, folks, this isn`t about a TV show,
we got a serious problem when it comes to education in this country and
I`ve got something I think we should do about it. That`s not it.

Instead, it`s genuflecting to another huckster. I mean, it`s pretty
Trump worked himself back into this mess but being accepted by the leading
candidate of the Republican Party.

The other angle here is the GOP favorite: breaking unions. I mean,
this is really what it`s all about.

I want to play another line Gingrich is saying on a regular basis.
Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I think that if the issue is food stamps versus paychecks,
that every state in the country will be in play and I intend to run as the
paycheck candidate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Paycheck candidate. We`re going to get them on the payroll
maybe at 9 years old and get rid of the child labor laws in this country.

Dr. Peterson, what do you think?

PETERSON: It`s unconscionable. I mean, it doesn`t make sense as
policy. I mean, the thing is, what he`s talking about, the things he`s
saying right now is essentially he`s got to do two things. He`s got to
continue to play to the base so he can continue to maintain his sort of
temporary poll position and he`s got to also sort of start to think about
what he`s going to do if he does win this thing out.

And the bottom line is, Gingrich is unprepared and ill-prepared. And
who is his base? He follows Gingrich? He comes from a district in Georgia
that was a very conservative district, a small district.

And so, this kind of smoke and mirrors where he plays to the right and
tries to sound intelligent and pass himself off as an intellectual
political figure, all these things to me now seem really insane and
retrograde. We`re moving backwards. This is like circa 1994 to me.

I don`t understand why people are stomaching this kind of stuff in our
political discourse.

SCHULTZ: Ari, I want to ask you, does Mitt Romney go to the debate?

MELBER: I hope he doesn`t, but the problem for him, of course,
politically is the timing, December 27th, it`s the last joint appearance a
week out. So there`s going to be a lot of pressure on him to either go for
all the terrible reasons you`ve discussed tonight, or find some other --
politically, find some other big event so he can big foot it and have
everyone talking about him.

No candidate, even though the Republicans are guilty here with Trump
playing such a central role. No candidate can afford to sort of drop out
of joint appearances at the end in the traditional playbook, as you know.

SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, great to have you with us -- Ari Melber, Dr.
James Peterson.

PETERSON: Thanks for having me.

MELBER: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.

Coming up, a special "Psycho Talk." We`ll sum up Herman Cain`s in
99.9 seconds.

The employees of American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead, Minnesota, have
been locked out for 4 1/2 months. We`ll hear what they`re fighting for
later on in the program. You`d be amazed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, the Herman Cain train, well, it
has come to a complete stop. We`d like to say good-bye to the pizza man
and his bogus 9-9-9 plan by giving you, the viewer tonight of the THE ED
SHOW, 99.9 seconds of Herman Cain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 9-9-9, doing fine.
We need a leader, not a reader.

If you are not rich, blame yourself. I am the Koch Brothers` brother
from another mother.

I call it my 9-9-9 economic growth plan.

9-9-9.

9-9-9.

We`ll have a real fence, 20 feet high, with barbed wire, electrified.

It was a joke and some people don`t think that it was a good joke. I
apologize if it offended anyone.

I don`t apologize for using a combination of a fence, and it might be
electrified. I`m not walking away from that.

When they ask me who`s the president of Ubeki, Beki, Beki, Stan, stan
(ph), I`m going to say, you know, I don`t know.

OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct?

Haagen-Dazs Black Walnut Ice Cream that tastes good every day.

Amazing grace will always be my song of praise.

I have never sexually harassed anyone.

I have never acted inappropriately with anyone.

There are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever
came from Herman Cain.

9-9-9.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: There you have it, 99.9 seconds of pure Herman Cain Psycho
Talk.

Next, Herman Cain isn`t leaving the race without firing some parting
shots. He`s not taking the blame for his campaign train wreck.

And Mitt Romney is cutting and running straight from the media. Stop
your whining, Mitt. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the
continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family. The
pundits would like for me to shut up, drop out and go away. I am not going
to be silenced. And I`m not going away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You like the shades? Herman Cain is finally calling it
quits, we think. The pizza man seems to be looking back at his doomed
campaign through rose-colored glasses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: I`ve been the very first to hone up to any mistakes that I have
made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Herman Cain must have been owning up to those mistakes in
private. All I remember him is complaining about gotcha questions and
vilifying the women who accused him of sexual harassment. Sure enough,
seconds later, Herman Cain blamed the media for his campaign`s demise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in
the media and in the court of public opinion, so as to create a cloud of
doubt over me and this campaign and my family. That spin hurts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What spin is he talking about? I don`t think the spin hurt
Herman Cain`s campaign. I think his psycho talking, his ridiculous 9-9-9
plan and all the women that came out and had the courage to go in front of
the media. That`s what hurt his campaign. Herman is still trying to stay
relevant.

Get this, he didn`t end his campaign. He just suspended it, which
means he can still raise money. In fact, he is reportedly appearing in a
private fund-raiser tonight in Oklahoma City. And he swears he`s still
going to pound the pavement promoting 9-9-9.

And look out, folks, he might even be endorsing somebody soon. Let`s
bring in Goldie Taylor, columnist for the Grio.com and managing editor of
"The Goldie Taylor Project."

Goldie, good to have you with us tonight. I know how you feel about
Herman Cain. Now that we`ve seen all this circus ruckus going on with the
Republican party, would an endorsement from Cain actually hurt a candidate?
What do you think?

GOLDIE TAYLOR, "THE GRIO": Let me make this clear. An endorsement
from Cain helps nobody. He doesn`t tell his volunteers where to go. He
doesn`t tell his donors where to go. Other candidates can get those
volunteers, get those donors, get what little organization he had without
him saying nary a word.

You have got to be sick and tired of someone like Herman Cain or even
Newt Gingrich. They reminds me of the tit preacher who used came to our
town in East St. Louis when I was a kid and rub oil on people`s head and
say that they were healed.

You got to be sick and damn tired of people who want to cut Pell
Grants, people who want to cut childhood basic education, who want to cut
head start, who want to cut programs that really break the cycle of
poverty, and then turn around and say they want to put kids to work on the
factory floor.

SCHULTZ: What have we witnessed here? Has this been one of the most
incredible campaign we`ve ever seen in American history? A guy basically
going out there with not a whole lot of organizational skill in the
political arena and just, quote, winging it? What do you think?

TAYLOR: You know, you got to hand it to him. They did give him some
gotcha questions, but only if those gotcha questions weren`t found in a
sixth grade geography book. At the end of the day, Herman Cain ran a
campaign so he could sell more books, get more speaking fees and maybe get
a show on another network.

At the end of the day, he wasn`t running for president. You have to
be really angry at a guy who`s running for president and bastardizes our
political process for his own gain. That`s really what`s at the bottom of
this thing.

SCHULTZ: If someone were to embrace his endorsement, whoever it might
be, would that put them in a bad light with female voters in this country?

TAYLOR: Honestly, with the Republican base, I don`t think it means
neither here nor there. The guy who has taken the front-runner in the
race, Newt Gingrich, you know, he`s got his own checkered past when it
comes to women and marriages. So I`m not sure if this Republican base
really cares about how people handle themselves morally in their personal
lives.

And so that runs contrary to a party that talks a lot about personal
accountability and personal responsibility. I think they`ve got a little
lesson to learn at home if they`re going to trumpet that on the campaign.

SCHULTZ: So what happens in Iowa? Here are the numbers. You`ve got
Gingrich picking up plus three in the latest polls. You have Perry,
Romney, Paul, Bachmann each getting one percent. The remaining one percent
is undecided.

So a guy who has dropped dramatically, the guy that picks it up, is
going to be Newt Gingrich. I don`t know what we can make of that at that
point. What does it tell us about the Republican field at this point, that
they really don`t have many standards when it comes to any of their
candidates or holding any of their standards?

I mean, have we seen the free market of politics really win out here?

TAYLOR: You know, Ed, I think it`s all really very fluid. I`ve been
saying for weeks that the poll numbers in Iowa and in the other early
states are pretty soft. When you ask people, are they willing to change
their vote, you know, they say, yes, and they`ll name the other candidate,
because people really still aren`t sure.

Sixty percent of Iowans believe that they may vote for someone else
come caucus time. I`ve said for weeks that even Ron Paul had a really good
shot, you know, at Iowa. I said that probably three or four weeks ago,
because he has both the money and the organization.

Newt Gingrich has the name recognition. He`s got the momentum right
now. But he has zero organization. And Herman Cain has zero organization
to give him. And so this is all really up in the air. It takes four to
six hours of trudging yourself in the snow to do the Iowa caucuses.

So the really committed voter will show up. I`m not sure that Newt is
going to have that, contrary to popular opinion.

SCHULTZ: Goldie Taylor, always a pleasure to have you on the program.
Thanks so much.

The CEO of American Crystal Sugar compared his employees to a disease.
I met with those people over the weekend. And you`ll hear from them next,
and other stories. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think to create jobs, it
helps to have had a job. And I have.

I spent my career in the private sector. I think that`s what the
country needs right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, yeah. Mitt Romney often cites his experience as the
head of the private equity firm Bain Capital as the reason to put him in
the White House. But under his leadership, Bain Capital broke up companies
and fired workers all in the name of profit.

One of Romney`s former colleagues agrees. He told the "L.A. Times,"
quote, "I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation. The
primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors."

Yet Mitt is still out there campaigning on his supposed job creation
record. As a candidate for president in the Republican party, it appears
in everything he says and has written, what he will -- that he will
continue the economic philosophy of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation.

Now, over the weekend, I spoke with workers at Crystal Sugar Plant in
Moorehead, Minnesota. Here`s what you get when corporations take the Mitt
Romney approach of putting profits over people.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Workers gathered Saturday at Minnesota State
University after being locked out for over four months by American Crystal
Sugar. The workers claim the company has had record profits for five years
and made 1.5 billion net revenue last year. Hurting workers spoke out,
asking congressional offices to act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have worked for American Crystal for 32 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never known any life outside of Crystal
Sugar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m actually the third generation of my family
to work there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People around here work hard and we`re proud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may not be the cleanest or the most glamorous
job, but I love my job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I was told we were going to be locked out,
I felt so betrayed. It`s painful for all of us to watch people go in and
out, knowing that they are doing our jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I hear someone say those unskilled workers
don`t deserve health insurance, it hurts. When I hear someone say, don`t
take this personal, it hurts.

SCHULTZ: Twenty three hundred shareholders, who some benefit from
federal farm payments and sugar protections, have decided 40 grand a year
for these workers with health care is too much.

(on camera): So where does that leave you?

KEVIN SOLUM, LOCKED OUT WORKER: I guess I don`t have an answer for
that, Ed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve worked there for 24 years. It`s a slap in
the face.

SCHULTZ: You`re lost for words on what you`re going through?

TERRY HOLM, LOCKED OUT WORKER: I do OK.

SCHULTZ: Governor, you heard the anguish of these people. How long
to you think these workers can hold out?

GOV. MARK DAYTON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, it`s been four long months
already. I can`t answer that. You heard the pain the people are going
through. It`s a holiday season. Children that won`t have Christmas
presents and people that are afraid of losing their homes or their farms.

I don`t know how much longer people can hold on. That`s why we need
to bring it to a resolution.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Well, they always say follow the money. I don`t want
anybody to ever say that we don`t take the Democrats to the woodshed when
they`re wrong on this program. According to OpenSecrets.org, the company
that has looked out the workers of American Crystal Sugar is the top
contributor/donor to Congressman Collin Peterson.

Peterson is the ranking member on the House Ag Committee for the
Democrats. This lockout is in his district. I was there Saturday. He
wasn`t. He sent somebody there to read a letter to them and tell them to
get together. Is that what you workers get for your money?

I want to say something to the 2,300 growers there in the Upper
Midwest. You may be slitting your own throat. It`s hard to get urban
lawmakers to understand the Farm Bill. It`s hard to get a lot of lawmakers
with dollars being tight that we need to subsidize the sugar program in
this country.

And when the Democrats find out -- and I`m just telling you, when the
Democrats find out this is the way you`re treating workers when you get
those farm subsidies, they`re going to say, why are you doing that? Maybe
we shouldn`t go down the road of helping out the sugar industry.

I think you 2,300 fat cats out there driving your nice combines and
your brand new pickup trucks, you better figure out what the hell you`re
doing to these people or there won`t be a Farm Bill to your liking the next
time around. That`s just a hunch on my part.

Mitt Romney`s aides draw a protective barrier around the candidate.
The reporter from "the New York Times" is prohibited from physically
approaching the candidate? Yes. It`s the Mittster`s media strategy.
That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Tonight in our survey on THE ED SHOW, I asked you is Donald
Trump making a mockery of what used to be a national party? Ninety eight
percent of you said yes; two percent of you said no.

Coming up, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters joins me to discuss the GOP
media strategy, hide and whine and attack.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The GOP media strategy
continues. It is hide, whine or attack. Let`s get to the hiding part of
it first. It`s the Mittster who was part of Huckabee`s Candidate Forum on
Fox this weekend. Pretty friendly territory there, wouldn`t you say? But
behind the scenes Romney`s aides were shooing away a reporter for "the New
York Times,"

They insisted the reporter not physically approach Romney before or
after his TV appearance, according to the "Washington Monthly." Well, you
can hardly blame Romney for being scared of a real reporter. He couldn`t
even keep his cool around Bret Baier last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How can voters trust what they hear from
you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?

ROMNEY: Well, Bret, your house is just not accurate. So, one, we are
going to have to be better informed about my views on issues.

BAIER: Do you think a mandate, mandating people to buy insurance is
the right tool?

ROMNEY: Bret, I don`t know how many hundred times I`ve said this,
too. This is an unusual interview. All right. Let`s do it again.

BAIER: At times you thought it would be a model for the nation?

ROMNEY: You`re wrong, Bret.

BAIER: No, no.

ROMNEY: Bret, no, the tape out there -- continue to read the tape and
the tape goes on to say, for each state to be able to look at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: At least Newt Gingrich has some fire in his belly, but he
uses it to fire cheap shots directly at the media, particularly during
debates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And it`s sad that the news
media doesn`t report accurately how the economy works. I wish you would
put aside the gotcha questions.

I`m frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting
each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That means we won`t get any gotcha questions out of Donald
Trump. Let`s hook up now with Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media
Matters. Let`s start with Romney, first. To keep a reporter away from him
in a television facility. What`s he uptight about?

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTER: This was a "New York Times" reporter I
guess they didn`t think was going to be there. Just the fact that you`re
in a campaign and see a reporter and, therefore, people scurry to the
greenrooms and shut the door. This is the Republican party that has
demonized the press, demonized the press for decades.

They don`t trust it. But now they realize you can`t run for the White
House without talking to the press. And so that`s their problem. The
conservatives also don`t see the press as being sort of the people`s
representative in a democratic society. So they don`t mind just locking
them out.

SCHULTZ: I think it goes a little bit further than that, in that the
Republican party doesn`t let you get too close --

BOEHLERT: Right. Right.

SCHULTZ: -- to their candidates.

BOEHLERT: Yes.

SCHULTZ: Aren`t they confident in themselves that they can go over
and strike up a 90 second or two-minute conversation with someone, and be
confident they could have some kind of personal connection to them and be
solid? They`re so protected at this point. Does it help them or hurt
them?

BOEHLERT: It hurts them. I mean, Romney was accessible in 2008. Now
he`s not. Can you imagine four years ago, in the winter of 2007, if
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama refused to basically talk to the press,
lived in this bubble and went around from city to city, the press would
have gone crazy.

They always give Republicans a little more slack in terms of ignoring
them. But it`s gotten to be a big problem for Romney at this point.

SCHULTZ: Nobody attacks the media better than Newt.

BOEHLERT: That`s his job. Again, this is part of the whole Fox News
approach to campaigning. You just demonize, demonize the press. If you
want to win the South Carolina primary, that`s great. No one`s ever won
the White House doing that, you know, a 12-month campaign.

SCHULTZ: So would Newt Gingrich be probably their best candidate in
dealing with the media? Because, I mean, he fits right into that Fox
wheelhouse of everybody else is wrong except us.

BOEHLERT: He loves to talk. He was, you know -- he was an analyst on
Fox News for a long time. He`s much more comfortable with the press. Even
during the `90s when he was getting run out of town, he loved talking to
the press. And he does it better than Romney.

The problem is, if you take a couple steps back, what we`re really
seeing is this is a Fox News primary and this is a Fox News campaign. And
Fox News is slowly destroying the Republican party as we see with Newt
Gingrich and Donald Trump today. One of the problems is they want to
create that bubble. That`s the right wing approach. Stay inside that
bubble.

It doesn`t work. You have to deal with the press.

SCHULTZ: Quickly, does Mitt Romney have a confidence problem right
now?

BOEHLERT: Oh, absolutely does. That`s reflected in the press
problem.

SCHULTZ: No question about it. Eric, always a pleasure. Good to
have you with us.

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

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.

Rachel, did you know that the Republican party -- I was stunned
yesterday watching "Meet the Press." It`s you and me. They`re concerned
about us.

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

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