updated 12/7/2011 9:55:49 AM ET 2011-12-07T14:55:49

Guests: Sheila Jackson Lee, Betty Sutton, Thomas Frank, Dave Weigel, Bobby
Hull

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

This afternoon, President Obama came out swinging at Republicans and
stood up for the 99 percent.

Newt is under fire from fellow Republicans. And Mitt Romney ducks
Trump.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The basic bargaining
that made this country great has eroded. This is a make-or-break moment
for the middle class and for all those who are fighting to get into the
middle class.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): One hundred years after Teddy Roosevelt called
for new nationalism, President Obama is calling for renewed nationalism.

OBAMA: Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in
over half a century.

SCHULTZ: Reaction of the president`s speech with Congresswoman Sheila
Jackson Lee and Betty Sutton.

Will Republicans go for a 21st century square deal? I`ll ask MSNBC`s
Jonathan Alter, and "What`s the Matter with Kansas" author, Thomas Frank.

Mitt Romney is dissing Donald Trump.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I spoke with Donald Trump
earlier today, indicated that we just can`t make this debate.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Trump is responding. "Slate`s" Dave Weigel is here
with the latest.

And the Occupy movement has moved out of the tents and into foreclosed
homes. This Marine from Minneapolis is taking his house back. And we`ll
be there live.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching.

President Obama, if you missed it earlier today, he cleared the beach.
He really went after it. You missed a dandy. His speech in Kansas was a
wholesale rejection, and I mean a wholesale rejection of failed GOP
policies leading to the great recession and creating the greatest income
inequality America has seen in decades.

President Obama drew a straight line between Republican policy and the
inequality fueling the 99 percent movement in this country. You know, I
sometimes like to talk about a defining moment, some have made fun of that.
Bottom line here is the president was onboard.

Today, the president did it himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-
break moment for the middle class and for all those who are fighting to get
into the middle class, because what`s at stake is whether this will be a
country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a
modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Earn enough to raise a family. Isn`t that pretty basic? I
mean, what do you think he`s talking about here? Fair wages, pensions,
benefits, and, of course, the big three, where the public is telling
Congress, keep your hands off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

You know, I wonder, where is the march? I haven`t seen the march.
Have you seen the march in Washington lately for the big three to be taken
off the table? Have you seen the march, hey, we got to cut all these
programs Republicans are talking about?

This is what gives working people a living wage and a secure
retirement and ensures that they won`t go to the poor house with some
medical bills.

Now, if you have any doubt that he`s referencing all of those things,
he got into specifics and he targeted Republican policies threatening what
we talk about this show, the middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive
tax cuts for the wealthy in history. And what did it get us? The slowest
job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much
harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the
basic security that helps millions of Americans reach and stay in the
middle class, things like education and infrastructure, science and
technology, Medicare and Social Security.

We simply cannot return to this brand of "you`re on your own"
economics if we`re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this
country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I mean, this sounds like a president who`s finally ready to
draw a line on the Bush tax cuts. Today, the president called for the
payroll tax cut to be extended, but he attacked the Republican brand of
taxation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in
over half a century. Today, thanks to loopholes and shelters, a quarter of
all millionaires now pay lower tax rates than millions of you. Millions of
middle class families. Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1
percent -- 1 percent. That is the height of unfairness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Again, that doesn`t sound like a president who is willing to
cut another deal on extending the Bush tax cuts. And this is where I have
to jump off the train with any Democrat who goes along with what they did a
year ago in the lame duck session of the Congress.

I don`t care what happens. I believe in my instinct, my gut, that
middle class Americans out there would forego this payroll tax cut if they
would see us restore the old tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. I
think middle class Americans and poor Americans are ready to bite that
bullet. I really do, because the income inequality in this country is so
great, if it doesn`t stop, we will never turn this around.

I think the Democrats clearly have to make a statement that as Jon Kyl
says that he wants major concessions in this deal, that he wants to make
the Bush tax cuts permanent, that`s a nonstarter. Tell the country that`s
a nonstarter.

It`s time the top 1 percent, 2 percent in this country go back and
restore the old rates during the Clinton years.

Today, the president took on the ugly truth of income inequality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In the last few decades, the average income of the top 1
percent has gone up by more than 250 percent, to $1.2 million per year.
And yet, over the last decade, the incomes of most Americans have actually
fallen by about 6 percent.

Now, this kind of inequality, a level that we haven`t seen since the
Great Depression, hurts us all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Bottom line: Democrats, you have a chance to do something
about this. At this very time, in American history, you can turn to the
wealthiest Americans and say for the last decade, you have had enough. It
is now time to make sure that we restore the old tax rates.

It`s not a tax increase. It`s what we had before. The Democrats have
to make that case.

Now, we`ve been talking about this on this show for months. There it
is. I think the White House is getting the message. No doubt

The top line, the 1 percenters, look at their income. It has sky
rocketed over the last 30 years, where wages for everybody else stayed
pretty much flat. This is very clear to me that if the Democrats want the
House and the Senate and for President Obama to go back for a second term -
- put that graph up again, guys.

This is it. This is undoubtedly it. Whose side are you on?

Those folks on the red line, where are the jobs? They got all the
breaks in the last 10 years and all they`ve done is fuel the righties in
the Congress who have obstructed those who want a better life down on the
blue line. You can`t deny that survey. You cannot. Whose side are you
on?

The president spelled out what could be the mantra of the 99 percent
movement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It also distorts our democracy. It gives an outsized voice to
the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign
contributions. And it runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the
highest bidder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, isn`t that the truth? With his speech today, the
president identified himself with the 99 percent movement and he elevated
it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair
shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same
rules. These aren`t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. This isn`t
about class warfare. This is about the nation`s welfare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s be clear: the president did not go easy on
Republicans. He blasted trickle-down economics, a policy Republicans have
glorified that for years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt`s time, there is a
certain crowd in Washington who for the last few decades have said, let`s
respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. Sure they say
there will be winners and losers, but if the winners do really well, then
jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else.

But here`s the problem: It doesn`t work. It has never worked.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Have you noticed that the Republicans are selling the same
package, the same load of garbage that they put on the American people
during the Bush years? It`s the same stuff.

And it`s all a theory that if we do everything we can when it comes to
deregulation and everything we can, all the tax breaks and even make them
permanent, even lower them even further is what they want to do -- if we do
that for the wealthiest Americans, middle classers, you got nothing to
worry about. Don`t worry, the economy will turn around.

And he made clear today`s Republicans -- all they want is more of the
same.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: After all that`s happened, after the worst economic crisis,
the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return
to the same practices that got us into this mess. And their philosophy is
simple. We are better off when everybody`s left to fend for themselves and
play by their own rules.

I am here to say they are wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama didn`t say so directly, but I would
challenge him to draw the line on extending the Bush tax cuts tomorrow,
even if it means letting the payroll tax cut expire. That`s where I think
Americans are.

The president made clear this country needs resources. We need our
treasury in order if we are going to invest in jobs and build this whole
thing up again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Do we want to make the investments we need in things like
education, in research, in high-tech manufacturing -- all those things that
helped make us an economic superpower? Or do we want to keep in place the
tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans in our country? Because we can`t
afford to do both.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So, in the middle of the country, the president goes where
Teddy Roosevelt was and says some real startling things about the economy.
Basically, the president today was brilliant on the basics.

You have a choice. And I think he was asking Americans, are you
better off today than you were going through all this mess for 10 years?
Whose side are you on?

It`s about absolutes. Either the wealthy pays more, or the middle
class pays more. Whose side are you on?

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

Tonight`s question, should the Democrats take any deal to extend the
Bush tax cuts? Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. Our blog at
Ed.MSNBC.com is there for you. And also, we`re going to bring you the
results later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Congresswoman Betty Sutton of Ohio and
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee, I want to ask you, is this game on for the
Democrats? Did the president lay out a very progressive vision that you
can stand behind and this is where the Democrats have to go?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Ed, game on. This is truly a
home run, renewed nationalism. I`m almost standing on my tippy toes
because of the excitement of the president taking charge on behalf of the
American people.

Teddy Roosevelt talked about busting monopolies. He was called, as
the president said in his speech, a socialist, a communist, and then turned
out to be a hero, because in busting those monopolies, he created jobs for
the American people.

The president today laid out a roadmap and asked us, are we prepared
and willing to sacrifice to get a better education, better opportunities
for jobs and infrastructure, for the American people? By saying to those
top 1 percent, many of whom are in agreement, but they have been taken
hostage, themselves, by the Republicans who use them as pawns to keep Bush
tax cuts that have done nothing to create jobs but only diminish the
American people`s opportunity for their genius and their job opportunities
to grow.

So, the game is on. I will not in any way accept an extension of the
Bush tax cuts or a permanency of the Bush tax cuts. We`ve got the payroll
tax ready to go to save 160 million people over $300,000 and we got the
unemployment insurance ready to go to invest in the American economy.

SCHULTZ: And, Congresswoman Sutton, do you stand with your colleague
there, that under no terms would you ever go along with extending the Bush
tax cuts? Because, you know, I`ve said for weeks, this is where the
Republicans are going. And now, Jon Kyl has said it.

REP. BETTY SUTTON (D), OHIO: Yes. I think that the idea of extending
the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is, as you put it, a nonstarter. It`s
time that those who have done well in America do well by America. And they
just frankly haven`t been paying a fair share, as has been pointed out not
only by you for months on this show, years, perhaps, but also by the
president so brilliantly today.

And he showed the vision -- a vision, by the way, that I think won`t
just be embraced by Democrats, but will be embraced by Americans across the
board.

SCHULTZ: Well, I was going to ask you about that. There`s a lot of
independent voters in Ohio. Ohio clearly is a big state in 2012. What the
president said today, does that play well in the Buckeye State?

SUTTON: He spoke right to the hearts and the needs of the state of
Ohio and the people that I`m so honored to serve there. He`s asking for a
fair shake.

He`s talking about what kind of a country we`re going to be. Are we
going to return, are we going to strengthen that middle class? Because it
was the middle class that makes our country so great.

And all of the things that the president was talking about, today, and
putting into prospective how we got to be where we are. Through the tax
cuts that were given so generously to those at the very top at the expense
of the middle class. Getting rid of that and aiming policies that will
benefit working families, and people who are doing everything right and
just want a fair shot.

SCHULTZ: The president went after taxation and inequality again and
again. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It`s wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or
a nurse or a construction worker maybe earns $50,000 a year should pay a
higher tax rate than somebody raking in $50 million.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, does this play well for
Democrats as a theme until November of 2012?

LEE: Ed, as you have championed over these weeks and months and for a
long time, we`ve got a clarion call. I hear a bugle playing the music and
calling us to stand up for the American people. I hear the resounding
applause.

I was so excited to hear in Kansas, the heartland, Republican
territory, give such a resounding applause when the president spoke about
the fact that those who made this country great have benefited less than
those who are now wealthy.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

LEE: They who are wealthy did not make this country great. So
frankly, I think we do have a roadmap to victory. Not for ourselves, Ed,
but really for the American people. We can take back the House and the
Senate and keep the Senate. It is to go this pathway of opportunity for
all.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think the president, today, talked about everybody`s
kitchen table and asked pretty basic questions and basically laid out what
we have seen as a radical agenda by the Republicans. And put the choice
out in front of the people.

Congresswoman Betty Sutton of Ohio and Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas --
great to have you with us tonight on the program. Thank you so much.

SUTTON: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of
the screen. Share thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. I want to know what
you think.

President Obama`s speech today invoked Teddy Roosevelt just over a
century ago. More with Jonathan Alter and author Thomas Frank. That`s
next.

Donald Trump turned the Republican Party on its head. Pulling strings
like Karl Rove, choking his chain and trying to stop him. But Trump is
ready to steam roll all of them. Will he ruin the Republicans` shot to win
the presidency?

That`s next. Stay with us. You`re watching THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, more analysis of President Obama`s speech with
Jonathan Alter and Thomas Frank. The president`s health care law already
saving Medicare patients -- listen up -- over $1 billion. Yet Michele
Bachmann and other righties, they`re willing to cut and run on what they
call Obamacare. We have the numbers.

Some 99 percenters are taking a different approach to protesting the
big banks and foreclosures. We`ll talk to a man who has invited others to
occupy his home. You`re looking live. They are outside in 12-degree
weather in Minnesota. And they will -- you will hear their voices on this
program tonight.

And don`t forget to let us know what you think on Twitter using the
#EdShow. We want to hear what you have to say.

Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The significance of the location the president chose to deliver those
remarks was no accident. One hundred one years ago, Republican President
Theodore Roosevelt gave his New Nationalism speech in the same spot
President Obama spoke today. In that era, just as it is now, big money,
corporate interests controlled the country and Roosevelt used his bully
pulpit to go after them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: "Our country," he said, "means nothing unless it means the
triumph of a real democracy, of an economic system under which each man
shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him."

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Now, for this, Roosevelt was called a radical. He was called
a socialist -- even a communist. But today, we are a richer nation and a
stronger democracy because of what he fought for in his last campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in MSNBC political analyst and "Bloomberg View"
columnist Jonathan alter with us tonight. Also joining me is Thomas Frank,
author of "What`s the Matter with Kansas," and the upcoming book, "Pity the
Billionaire."

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

Mr. Frank, what was President Obama doing today? What was the overall
message in your opinion and what you heard?

THOMAS FRANK, AUTHOR, "PITY THE BILLIONAIRE": It sounds to me like he
was trying to make the populist turn the same way Teddy Roosevelt did in
1910. And, you know, it`s about time. I am really, really, really happy
to see him going down this road finally.

But that`s why people go to Osawatomie, you know?

SCHULTZ: What do you think, Jonathan? How successful did he tie
progressivism with the frustration and motivation of the 99 percent
movement with this populist tone today?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He went a long way in doing
it. He put his presidency in the context of American history. And that`s
very important not just for, you know, history folks like you and me, but
for the American public to see that this is part of a continuum of a
philosophy of government that says, we owe each other something. We don`t
rise and fall alone in this country. We do it together.

And the Republicans have had a very different view. Not always, not
in Teddy Roosevelt`s day. He was, after all, a Republican.

But in the 1920s, they had a different view. In the 1950s, Eisenhower
and the Republicans came back to the square New Deal approach. But then in
the last 10, 20, 30 years since Reagan, the Republicans have moved back
into this laissez faire approach where they want every man and woman to be
for himself or herself.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ALTER: And that philosophical difference is something that can
penetrate our politics if we get speeches like this.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Frank, did he succeed in connecting the economic crisis
of the past few years with Republican policies? And how is that going to
play in Kansas, the middle of the country?

FRANK: Look, that would be fantastic if, you know, to play in the
middle of the country if you could make the connection like that. I, you
know, I don`t think he nailed that message as well as he might have done.
I mean, you got -- you got to talk about what happened.

You know, how did the regulators miss this thing? How did the -- how
did S&P miss this thing? How did everybody -- how come everybody was
asleep at the wheel? You`ve got to go into it with a lot more detail than
what he gave us.

You know, but it was a great start. And this is, I think, exactly the
way to approach voters in a place like Kansas. I`m not saying this is
going to, you know, overnight make Obama a popular man in Kansas --

SCHULTZ: But he`s making -- he`s making the case that the Bush tax
cuts didn`t work. The wealthy are still running strong with the money.
They`re getting richer.

The gap is getting wider. It`s the worst it`s been since the Great
Depression. And the job creation is nowhere near what it should be.

FRANK: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: So, Jonathan, I mean, is this the foundation of what
President Obama is going to run on?

ALTER: It is. I think he still needs a frame. He actually rejected
the 99 percent versus 1 percent frame because, you know, he doesn`t want to
rule out the 1 percent. He wants it to be everybody.

So he needed something today that was a little bit more like what
Teddy Roosevelt did with the New Nationalism or the Square Deal or Franklin
Roosevelt did with the New Deal. This was a speech about fairness, and he
needs to call it the new fairness or something -- I don`t mean to be
sloganeering here, Ed, but there is a missing element here in giving people
something very simple and short to hang on to. That was the only thing I
thought was really missing from this speech.

SCHULTZ: Look, he clearly is using our charts, he`s using the charts
we put on this program. I mean, it just illustrates basically where this
country has been and where we`re headed.

Here`s the sound of the president touting one of his administration`s
successes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I think about the big three auto companies who during recent
negotiations agreed to create more jobs and cars here in America, and then
decided to give bonuses not just to their executives but to all their
employees so that everyone was invested in the company`s success.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mr. Frank, how well does that play? What do you think? Is
that something he can ride all the way to the White House again?

FRANK: Well, look, what`s going to work for him and especially in a
place like Kansas is when you talk about just the built in unfairness of
the system we`re in now. It wasn`t all that long ago, Ed, that the
Republicans, themselves, were marching on to their victory in 2010 talking
about -- constantly, talking about the ruling class in this country.

This is a message that works in this kind of environment. You know,
this is totally the direction he needs to go in, but it`s a start. OK?

You go back and look at Teddy Roosevelt`s speech that he gave in
Osawatomie in 1910 and I recommend that every single one of your viewers do
that. In that speech, Teddy Roosevelt basically gave the justification for
big government, right? For why you have a regulatory state. And, you
know, how these people, how the -- you know, the moneyed interests have
been subverting government all along.

Obama didn`t go there. He`s got to keep going. He has to hammer
these issues and hell, yes, this stuff will work.

SCHULTZ: I don`t know why the Democrats really don`t push harder. I
know they`ve got to make it an American agenda. They really have to get
out on the trail and talk about that. I mean, I think that is just going
to be a winner.

There`s consumers in this country who are consciously aware of how
many manufacturing facilities we`ve lost over the last 10 years and made in
America is something that I think really would resonate with a lot of
people.

Jonathan Alter, Thomas Frank -- great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

Mitt Romney is picking up a few tips from his kids on "FOX and
Friends." He`s attacking President Obama and taking a trip to Hawaii.
I`ll remind mitt about the king of presidential vacations in "Psycho Talk."

And new data shows that President Obama`s health care law is saving
senior citizens a bunch of money.

Plus, tens of millions of them are getting preventative care. What
happened to those death panels? Aren`t they around?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Mitt Romney is starting to echo
Fox News talking points. Fox`s latest complaint about President Obama is
his 17-day Christmas trip to Hawaii.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some people are thinking that 17 is maybe just a
little too long.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was a joke. I thought it was maybe
like even a typo. 17 Days. This is a photograph from last year`s trip
when they were getting off Air Force One. I was like, woo-hoo, surf`s up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s be fair, Dana, because your boss was
hammered for his long Summer vacation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He never had a surfboard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Did that sound bite start out "some people think"? They
won`t get off it. Will they? Dana Perino`s boss, George W. Bush, didn`t
have a surfboard. But no one was better at taking vacation than W. Bush
spent 490 days at his Texas ranch and at 487 at Camp David. His vacation
time included a 25-day trip in 2002 and a 27-day Bush clearing -- should I
say, brush clearing, extravaganza in August 2001.

But Bush`s vacations didn`t stop Steve Doocy and his buddies from
slamming President Obama`s 17-day trip. Then Mitt Romney jumped on the
bandwagon during the Iowa tele-town hall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This president has been a failure, and in some respects, he
has -- his idea of a hands on approach to the economy is getting a grip on
his golf club. He -- He`s going off for 17 days in Hawaii. He`ll be
playing a lot of golf.

I just think it`s time to have a president whose idea of being hands
on does not mean getting a better grip on the golf club.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Really? Interesting stuff coming from the Mittser, who was
such a big fan of George W. Bush, he read his book twice this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I just finished President Bush`s book, "Decision," and
enjoyed that very much.

I just read "Decision Points" by President Bush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: If anyone knew how to get a grip on his golf club, it was W.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call upon
all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers.
Thank you.

Now watch this drive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course, Mitt Romney is no stranger to tropical vacations
either. He took his own family to Hawaii for Christmas last year.
Although when you`re an unemployed one percenter, I guess you can take as
many trips as you want, right?

But for Mitt Romney to criticize President Obama`s trip home for the
holidays really is Bush league Psycho Talk.

Newt Gingrich already said he`s showing up to Donald Trump`s debate.
Now it`s Mitt Romney`s turn. We`ll tell you whether he`s in or out.

He served his country. He now faces possible eviction from his family
home. One of the newest faces of the 99 Percent Movement, Vietnam veteran
Bobby Hull will join me. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: The wheels are flying off the Republican bus as candidates
decide whether or not to participate in the Donald Debate. Today, Mitt
Romney gave his answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: No, I`m not participating in that. We have two debates in
December that I`ve agreed to participate in. The rest of the month is
going to be spent campaigning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So what do you think happened after that? True to form,
Trump took a shot at Mitt Romney for turning him down. In a statement to
"the Huffington Post`s" Sam Stein, Trump said, "it would seem logical to me
that if I was behind in the polls, especially in Iowa, South Carolina and
Florida, I would be participating in the debate. But I can understand why
Governor Romney decided not to do it."

Karl Rove continues to panic over the damage Trump is doing to the
Republican party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Is Mr. Trump going to ask the
candidates whether they agree with him that Barack Obama was not born in
the United States. He`s going to ask them if they agree with him that what
we ought to do is tax Chinese imports 25 percent, setting off a trade war?

Today, he said trade war would be a good thing. Let`s ask and see if
all the candidates agree with him on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All right. Of course, Trump won`t stand for any criticism
of his behavior without taking some pot shots of his own.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": You read about a Huntsman who`s upset
or Ron Paul who`s never going to win anything, but you don`t read about the
thousands of people that want it. I mean, most people want -- I heard
Stephen King was on today.

(CROSS TALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- George Will and Karl Rove --

TRUMP: By the way, these are three people -- I have to tell you,
they`re hacks. They don`t speak for anybody. They have no power. A guy
like Karl Rove, he is the one that gave us Bush, which ultimately gave us
Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Trump is putting Fox News in kind of a tight spot. They
want him on all their shows, but they don`t want him knee-capping paid
contributors like Karl Rove. He still is pretty influential in the
Republican party. But Trump isn`t interested in Fox News damage control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We like Karl Rove. We also like you. So I just
don`t want to --

TRUMP: I like people that are straight. He`s got his own agenda, 100
percent. But I`ve always viewed him as a hack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in MSNBC contributor, political reporter for
Slate.com, David Weigel. Dave, what do you make of all this back and
forth? Is this just a game show for Trump?

DAVE WEIGEL, SLATE.COM: I defer to conservatives who have really had
enough of Trump, and had enough of Trump for a very long time. I mean,
"National Review," when this debate broke as news, editorialized that he
was a pro-choice, Rangel donating fraud who should stay out of the
presidential election.

And I -- I align myself with the conservative elite on that one.
Rarely has somebody taken such a large and loud megaphone and said so
little with it. Everyone`s a hack. Everyone`s stupid.

SCHULTZ: Is this maybe one of the best political moves Mitt Romney`s
made in some time?

WEIGEL: Well, Romney`s been playing an opposite game compared to Newt
Gingrich. And this is actually not the best encapsulation of it, but it`s
one version of it. He has been winning the conservative elite. He`s been
winning opinion makers.

He`s been impressing members of Congress, certainly. Gingrich has
been -- we kind of misuse this word. I hate to misuse this word after Tom
Frank was just on, but more populist, more just really connected with what
Tea Partiers think, what very angry conservative voters think.

He`s not -- he`s already -- I`m sorry, go ahead?

SCHULTZ: Well, the surge is on for Gingrich. The Iowa polls are out
there. And he`s moving way ahead at 31 percent to Mitt Romney`s 17
percent. Is Mitt worried about this? I mean, shouldn`t he go in there and
just bust some chops with Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich?

WEIGEL: There`s an eerie calm about the way the Romney campaign is
responding to this. You know, they have two debates left. But they also -
- since they`re in conversations with Republicans who make endorsements,
who spend money, they know these people are not comfortable with Gingrich.
I was asking a couple of elected Republicans in Congress today just basic
question about how -- if they were comfortable with Gingrich as the
nominee, if they agreed with a couple of statements.

They don`t want to confront this reality. And the Romney campaign are
pretty confident that they can -- they have enough time to win those people
back.

SCHULTZ: You know, one of three people, it looks like, is going to be
president of the United States. It`s either going to be President Obama,
his re-election, or it`s going to be Newt Gingrich or it`s going to be Mitt
Romney. So why wouldn`t Romney view this as an opportunity to go in there
and just bust both of them and break out?

Here`s Michele Bachmann taking shots at Gingrich and Romney this
morning on this network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you want to
talk about a poster child for crony capitalism, it would be Newt Gingrich,
as the ultimate consummate influence peddler. But also Mitt Romney is also
cut out of the same cloth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So David, what do you think? Iowa is still wide open. Does
Michele Bachmann have a shot?

WEIGEL: Well, you know, Nate Silver at "the New York Times" had a
good post today, pointing out that maybe 2004, Howard Dean was an
exception, but most often, the people succeeding right now in the polls win
Iowa. And she has been in the dumps for a few months now.

If you look at "the New York Times" poll that just came out, the only
area where voters agree with her, Republican voters, is on values. They
share her values. They don`t -- I don`t think she gets much from
attacking. She gets to be in this kind of scrappy, always punching above
her weight category, where she does a little bit of damage.

But maybe Gingrich can be punctured. I don`t think it`s with attacks
like that. I think it`s going to be with on-air attacks and with mail and
with the traditional sub Rosa ways that these people get attacked.
Gingrich has risen at the right time where he`s hasn`t been very
accountable for the things she`s talking about.

SCHULTZ: He`s risen at the right time. He`s doing well in the polls.
Can he survive the scrutiny over the next month?

SCHULTZ: Republicans are pretty convinced -- maybe they wouldn`t say
he can`t survive. But they`re expecting him to get more scrutiny. Senator
Mark Kirk of Illinois, who is a moderate -- he`s not up next year, but he`d
probably like it if the strongest possible Republican nominee was at the
top of the ticket in Illinois, was kind of nudging a couple of reporters he
was talking to. You guys are going to give him more scrutiny. You let him
go for a while, and you`re going to pay more attention to him for now.

They all expect -- this kind of narrative you`ve seen about Gingrich,
that no one`s really looked at the way he used his power, the way he used
his influence in the years since the speakership, that`s going to come out.
This interview he did with Glenn Beck today, I think you`re going to see
more interviews like that where people ask him, look, philosophically
you`ve come out for mandates. You`ve come out for government subsidies.
Can you really be our nominee?

SCHULTZ: He`s the best conservative of the two, though. That`s what
Richard Viguerie told me today. We`ll see where it goes. Dave Weigel,
great to have you with us.

Republicans like Michele Bachmann are still fighting President Obama`s
health care law, even though it`s already still saving people money. These
guys can`t afford to have President Obama succeed. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Now they call it Obama-care, but this is something that they
don`t want to tell you, is that people are saving money. I`m not talking
about fat cat insurance executives. More than 2.5 million Medicare
patients have saved over 1.5 billion dollars on prescription drugs this
year, alone, which means seniors are saving on average a 569 dollars per
person.

Nothing to sneeze at for someone who is on a fixed income. Also, 24
million Medicare recipients have taken advantage of the new rule allowing
for a free annual physical. And insurance premiums for Medicare Part D
have not gone up as, of course, many Republicans predicted they would.

But the jokers running for president on the Republican side, they
can`t give up their push to repeal the law. Michele Bachmann doubled down
on it this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN: I wrote the legislation to repeal Obama-care, so if -- I
mean, honestly, who is going to go in and repeal Obama-care as president of
the United States? Mitt Romney, who put it into place in Massachusetts?
Newt Gingrich, who had the idea for it in the first place and wants to
mandate that everyone buy the insurance? Or me, the person who brought
40,000 people to fight it?

We need job creation. That`s one reason also why I am so adamant
against Obama-care. It`s the number one job killer in the country right
now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, why dent won`t you put out a press release tomorrow,
Michele Bachmann, and tell us that these numbers are wrong. Republicans
have to keep bashing Obama-care because the law is working. They want to
win the White House next year. And if it turns out that the Kenyan
Socialist Muslim sympathizer knows what the hell he`s doing, the Tea Party
crowd, they won`t stand a chance, will they?

So Republicans have chosen to keep attacking the health care law,
which means that they are attacking the people benefiting from it, like
senior citizens and kids under the age of 26, who can stay on their
parents` health care plans, instead of admitting that President Obama and
the Democrats, well, they won on this one and the American people are
winning.

Republicans are going after old people and young people. We`ll see
how that strategy works out for them.

He fought for this country in Vietnam. He is now fighting
foreclosure. Bobby Hull will join me next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Survey tonight on THE ED SHOW, I asked should the Democrats
take any deal to extend the Bush tax cuts? Three percent of you said yes;
97 percent of you said no.

As Occupy protesters march in the Capital and across the country, the
middle classers are occupying their homes in the wake of foreclosure.
We`ll talk to someone who`s doing just that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, sir, how are you?

REP. ELTON GALLEGLY (R), CALIFORNIA: How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike check.

GALLEGLY: Merry Christmas, everybody. Have a great day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- meet with you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, that was a familiar scene on Capitol Hill today as
members of Congress ran away from their own constituents. Thousands of 99
Percenters traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with lawmakers about
jobs, unemployment benefits and tax relief for the middle class.

Most were denied face to face meetings and were told to take a seat by
Congressional staffers. Folks visiting Congressman Paul Ryan were greeted
with a closed door and a sign stating "only scheduled appointments will be
admitted."

99ers -- 99 Percenters from Arizona tried to make an appointment with
their senator, Jon Kyl, but to -- certainly were unable to. One woman in
the group has been out of work for over a year and her family situation is
getting dire. "Our world has fallen apart," she says. "We lost everything
we saved. All of our dreams, the American dreams are gone."

But even if members of Congress won`t listen, the movement is still
growing. Today 99 Percenters in over a dozen cities also took on the
housing crisis. Protesters disrupted bank auctions, blocked evictions and
occupied foreclosed homes.

One of them -- one of the homes being occupied belongs to Bobby Hull
of Minneapolis. His home has been in his family for more than 40 years.
Mr. Hull fought for this country in Vietnam, served his country, and he is
now fighting eviction.

Joining us tonight is Bobby Hull here on THE ED SHOW. Mr. Hull,
thanks for your time tonight. When do they -- when are they going to
foreclose on your home? How much time do you have, and what`s your plan?

BOBBY HULL, FIGHTING HOME FORECLOSURE: Well, I have until February
17th. And my plan is to stay here. We plan to fight.

SCHULTZ: What does that mean?

HULL: Well, it means that I can gather all my neighbors, friends and
community that are willing to stand up with me, and we`re going to fight.

SCHULTZ: I see you got --

HULL: We need to change what`s been wronged.

SCHULTZ: Yeah, change what`s been wrong is for sure. I see you`ve
got a lot of friends with you there tonight. Do they feel the same way? I
mean, are they going to be there with you when the cops come to foreclose
on your house?

HULL: Absolutely. That`s the plan.

SCHULTZ: How emotional is this?

HULL: We don`t plan on doing it just for myself. We plan on doing it
for anybody else who`s in foreclosure who wants the help.

SCHULTZ: Sure. How emotional is this for you? You`ve lived in that
house, I understand, since you were a child.

HULL: Since 1968, yes. It`s been very emotional.

SCHULTZ: How did it get to this point?

HULL: Well, I lost my health. I went through the stimulus programs.
I tried negotiating with the banks. And nothing seemed to work.

SCHULTZ: Tell us about the response you got from the bank. How were
you treated?

HULL: Well, like the banks always do. You know? If you don`t have
the right figures in dollars, they really don`t want to talk and negotiate
with you.

SCHULTZ: What do you want Washington to do about this? You are one
of millions of Americans who are facing this predicament.

HULL: They need to make it right. They need to make housing
affordable for everybody in America. We need to support the American
dream.

SCHULTZ: Would you -- would you do anything to stay in your home?

HULL: Yes. I`m a Marine. I`m ready to fight.

SCHULTZ: Now, I have to ask you, what does that mean? Does that mean
when they physically come in to foreclose on your home, you`re actually
going to do something about it?

HULL: No, we`re going to stand there arm to arm and activate our
rights.

SCHULTZ: And how disappointed are you that the country is going
through something like this? How motivated are you to make a stand, to be
an example?

HULL: My whole family has always been patriots. My great grand
father was a vet and everyone else since has been a vet. We`ve always
fought for this country. And we want our Constitution rights back.

SCHULTZ: I`d like to know from the crowd behind you tonight, by just
a little bit of noise, how committed are you? Ask them, how committed are
you?

HULL: They`d like to know how committed you guys are to this.

(CHEERING)

SCHULTZ: Mr. Hull, good luck to you. We will follow the story. I
appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for joining us on THE ED SHOW.

And that is THE ED SHOW. You can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM
Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00. "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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