updated 12/14/2011 12:17:43 PM ET 2011-12-14T17:17:43

Guests: Ezra Klein, Michael Eric Dyson, Joan Walsh, Leo Gerard, Jon Soltz

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

Breaking news from the campaign trail: Newt Gingrich has lost his Iowa
director on the campaign trail and he apparently called Mormonism a cult.
That`s not good.

Breaking news in Washington: the House just passed a bill to cut 40
weeks off unemployment insurance.

And Newt Gingrich has a plan to destroy the middle class. And I`ll
tell you where the Reagan Democrats are tonight.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUDY GUILIANI (R), FORMER NYC MAYOR: Gingrich might be the better
candidate. He might be able to make a connection with what we call the
Reagan Democrats.

SCHULTZ: Newt Gingrich thinks he`s a man of the people, but his
policy just like Ronald Reagan`s, means further destruction of the middle
class. Ezra Klein of the "Washington Post" is here.

And Mitt Romney`s team is dealing with the conservative version of the
Jeremiah Wright tape.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m someone who is moderate
and my views are progressive.

SCHULTZ: Salon`s Joan Walsh has the latest.

DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: I don`t want to waste a lot of Newt`s time
or Rick Santorum`s time or Donald Trump`s time.

SCHULTZ: The trump circus is over. Professor Michael Eric Dyson will
tell us what the Trump debacle says about the Republican Party.

And for some reason, Dick Cheney thinks the world needs to hear his
views on foreign policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How close do you think Iran is to a nuclear
weapon?

DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Very close. I don`t see
anything that`s been done by this administration that`s going to stop that
program.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, my commentary on why the former vice president
needs to leave the stage.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Republicans want to return to the destructive economic policies of the
past. But their own personal histories may knock them out first. Today, a
video from 2002 is being circulated by both Republicans and Democrats. It
shows a side of Mitt Romney he doesn`t want Republicans primary voters to
see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I think people recognize that I`m not a partisan Republican,
that I`m someone who is moderate and my views are progressive, and that I`m
going to go to work for our senior citizens, for people who have been left
behind by urban schools that are not doing the right job. And so, they`re
going to vote for me regardless of the party label.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Did he say his views are progressive? Well, the Romney
revelations are taking a toll in Iowa. In a new poll by Insider Advantage,
he falls to number four in the field behind Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and
Rick Perry. How do you fall behind Rick Perry?

But Gingrich shouldn`t celebrate. Another new poll today shows that
Ron Paul trailing Gingrich in Iowa by only 1 percent within the poll`s
margin of error. Now, Ron Paul, we`re told, has an aggressive ground
organization in Iowa and his campaign has been so cocky to say they`ve got
a strategy that could force a brokered convention. They`re that confident.

He poses a new threat to Newt Gingrich, especially when you look at
the new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll showing Gingrich has a severe
electability problem. He loses to President Obama by 11 points in a head
to head matchup.

Gingrich`s presenting himself as a man of the people, the paycheck
president. But like Mitt Romney, his past is catching up with him again.
A true man of the people doesn`t forget the $1.6 million he made as a
lobbyist for Freddie Mac.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We offer strategic advice.

REPORTER: You didn`t obtain --

GINGRICH: Sure, but I don`t know the amounts.

REPORTER: Is it $1.6 million figure correct?

GINGRICH: I don`t know. We`re going back to check.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A real middle class warrior doesn`t brag about the $60,000
he makes giving speeches.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I was charging $60,000 a speech, and the number of speeches
was going up, not down. Normally celebrities leave and they gradually sell
fewer speeches every year. We were selling more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And, of course, a person who feels the pain of the working
class Americans doesn`t try to dismiss a $500,000 personal account at
Tiffany`s.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: We had a revolving fund.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean?

GINGRICH: It means that we had a revolving fund. It was an --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who buys a half million dollars worth of jewelry
on credit?

GINGRICH: No, it`s a -- go talk to Tiffany`s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But for me, here`s the clincher. I was stunned today when I
heard Rudy Giuliani say this about Newt Gingrich. Here`s what Giuliani
thinks Gingrich`s appeal is all about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: Gingrich might be the better candidate. He might be able
to make a connection with what we call the Reagan Democrats -- you know,
the Democrats who moved over in `80 and `84 away from Carter, away from
Mondale, because they found them to be too liberal and voted for a
Republican even though they`re Democrats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Reagan Democrats. I`m tired of hearing about Reagan
Democrats in 2011, rolling into 2012. May I state that I would think most
of the people that voted for Ronald Reagan, I don`t know this for sure
because nobody`s done the story, but I`ll just throw it out there, that --
well, not most, but a good number of people that voted for Ronald Reagan
are freaking dead.

Now, let`s talk about the people who are still alive because maybe
they`ll really help out the Newtster, right? The 20-somethings are now 50-
somethings. Where are they? How has the Reagan Democratic era worked out
for them? Where were the Reagan Democrats?

Let`s take a look at my favorite chart again. Let`s see, when was
Reagan elected? I think it was back in 19 -- 1981. That`s when it was.

Well, son of a gun, look at this. Our chart started in 1979. Here`s
1981. This is when we were told that the Reagan Democrats, the working
folk of America, were going to turn against the Democrats and go vote for
Ronald Reagan because he had the American flag behind him and he talked
about how great America could be. But there wasn`t a lot of substance.
And then they started drinking the Kool-Aid, you know?

Well, let`s see. How did this whole thing work out for these Reagan
Democrats, these hard working class Americans who decided to turn against
the Democrats and go with Reagan? Looks to me like the working folks
stayed right down there on the blue line. In the meantime, the top 1
percent and 2 percent, their income has gone up over 300 percent over the
last 30 years.

Well, let`s fast forward to 2011 now, going to 2012. Ask yourself the
question, you Reagan Democrats, if you`re still alive, how`s that whole
thing worked out for you when it comes to your kitchen table income? Go
ask the teachers in Wisconsin or the firefighters in Ohio if being a Reagan
Democrat worked out for them.

The only Reagan Democrats today, you know where they are, they`re in a
museum somewhere. I mean, it`s a charade for the Republicans to go around
and say that Reagan Democrats, they still exist. I don`t think they do.

And if they do, they need their head examined because this is where
their income has been under Republican policies and this is where the top 1
percent and 2 percent have gone over the last 30 years in income in this
country.

They say it so they can bring out the same old tired arguments that
they used against former President Jimmy Carter. Well, he`s too liberal.
Well, he`s weak on the military, has no good foreign policy, and, of
course, he hasn`t created jobs.

Now, where have we heard that before? We`re hearing it today. This
is what they`re trying to do to President Obama while painting Newt
Gingrich as the second coming of Ronald Reagan.

Here`s what the Tax Policy Center says about Newt Gingrich`s economic
policy and what it`s going to do for your taxes. This is the tax cut that
he`ll give every income bracket. Take a look at how the top 1 percent
makes out compared to everybody else. They`ll save an average of nearly $2
million a year compared to an average of about $600 for everyone in the 99
percent.

Hold it right there. Wasn`t that kind of a Bush thing that $600
thing? Gosh, they just never change, do they? It`s trickle-down economics
all over again.

Reagan Democrats, how`s it working out for you?

President Obama said it best about trickle-down economics just the
other day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But here`s the problem:
it doesn`t work. It has never worked.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: If you were a younger voter, if you`re in your 20s or your
30s or your 40s, you didn`t vote for Ronald Reagan, OK? And all this talk
about Reagan Democrats, I think, is going to be an old, tired effort to
gather the working folk of America. As if that they`re just ready to turn
on the Democrats and the progressive movement and run to the Republicans.

And now that Newt, of course, is a new guy, now that Newt, of course,
is a new man, we can trust what he says about economics? His policies
stink for the blue liners that I show you on this program quite often.

The red liners -- hey, you know where they`re going to go. They`re
not Reagan Democrats. They`re country clubbers. They`re going to get
exactly what they want, if they can get Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney in the
White House.

What`s that saying? You can`t get fooled again.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Who is more out of touch with the middle class, Mitt Romney or
Newt Gingrich? Text "A" for Mitt, text "B" for Newt, and we got have a "C"
option tonight, text "C" for all of the above, to 622639. Our blog is
there for you at Ed.MSNBC.com. You can get the results later on in the
program tonight.

Let`s turn now to Ezra Klein, MSNBC policy analyst and "Washington
Post" columnist. And also, Joan Walsh, editor at large of Salon.com.

Joan, great to have you. We`ll start with you first tonight.

You know, maybe I`m wrong. Do Reagan Democrats still exist? We`re
hearing Rudy Giuliani say that that`s who Newt can appeal to. What do you
make of that?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: It`s so preposterous. First of all, no, they
don`t exist anymore.

You know, it`s a tough thing to talk about, Ed, but you and I both
know a segment of the white working class did go over to Ronald Reagan, did
abandon the Democratic Party. Some of it was race and some of it was just
believing that government was out of control and some people were getting
something for nothing. And it was kind of a tragic thing that happened to
the Democrats.

But what we`ve been seeing in the last couple of years is that some of
that coalition, the younger people -- I mean, you`re right, the older
people are maybe not with us anymore. Some of that coalition has come to
understand that they are the new Republican welfare queens and welfare
cheats because it`s the public workers now. It`s the cops and the
firefighters. It`s the nurses and the teachers who are becoming the
Republican scapegoats now.

It`s really all of us. It`s really anybody who makes a decent living
and has any kind of reliance on government, public education. We are all
welfare cheats as far as they`re concerned.

So, that`s one thing.

The other thing, of course, is the ridiculousness of Rudy Giuliani
saying that you can`t use the charge of elitism against Newt Gingrich, that
it`s just not going to stick. I`m sorry. It`s going to be really fun to
have the argument with Mr. Tiffany and with Mr. No child Labor Laws and
with Mr. $37 million from the health care industry.

Rudy really needs to go away. It`s preposterous. It`s just the
dumbest thing I`ve heard.

SCHULTZ: Ezra, you have written about Newt Gingrich`s tax policies
and what he is promoting for middle class voters and also where the money
is going to go to the top 1 percent. He likes to align himself with Ronald
Reagan. He`s talking about it a lot.

First of all, who is that going to appeal to when you break out
exactly where the advantage financially is going to go if we were to
implement Newt Gingrich`s idea of tax policy. It would go all the way to
the top 1 percent, would it not?

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Yes. The numbers look sort of bad
for Newt Gingrich. So, of Cain, Perry and Gingrich, Gingrich has the plan
that gives the most to the top 1 percent, if we take what we call current
policy. So, you assume we extend the Bush tax cuts which are regressive
tax cuts forever.

Newt Gingrich would give the top 1 percent a $340,000 tax cut per
year. None of that is paid for. The middle income, folks between 40
percent and 60 percent on the income distribution, they would get $1,000
per year.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: There`s nothing there for the middle class. Yes.

KLEIN: And also, it`s not paid for. I do want to say one thing:
Perry, Cain, Gingrich, all tax plans like that. Mitt Romney doesn`t. Mitt
Romney`s tax plan extends the Bush tax cuts. But looking to the general
election, he actually had something that was a tax cut for the middle
class. He didn`t give anything more to the rich and instead, he just said,
middle class, you get a capital gains tax cut.

It`s not a great tax cut or great way to do that. Also not paid for.
But he was looking for the general.

The thing for Gingrich, Perry and Cain, they were all looking for the
primary. If they get through the primary somewhat unexpectedly, they`re
going to have to unexpectedly defend the numbers for the country as a
whole.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

Joan, the story tonight is that Newt Gingrich`s political director has
quit in Iowa after calling Mormonism a cult. How much trouble is this?

WALSH: Well, you know, he`s saying what a lot of people believe about
Mormonism, sadly. And, you know, if they can tie it to Gingrich, it sounds
like they can`t. But this is worse I think is news for Mitt Romney. I
don`t think it hurts Gingrich because that is really what a large part of
what Mitt Romney is dealing with.

I mean, it`s not good for Gingrich because he doesn`t have much of an
organization there. He really has been running, as our friend Rachel has
said over and over, kind of a book tour, not so much a campaign. So, he`s
trying tries to put it in place in Iowa. So, you know, it`s not good for
him to lose anybody. I don`t think that the religious part of this scandal
is going to stick.

SCHULTZ: Yes, this was a quote about Gingrich from Obama`s strategist
David Axelrod this week. "Just remember the higher a monkey climbs on a
pole, the more you can see his butt."

Ezra, how much more are we going to see or how much more do we need to
know about Newt Gingrich?

KLEIN: We`re going to see a lot. One thing that`s I think is very
important about this here and very important when you handicap Gingrich`s
chances: between the New Hampshire primary and Super Tuesday, you have
eight weeks. That`s a long time. 2008 there were only three weeks.

So, a momentum candidate like Gingrich has eight weeks in which every
other campaign is going to pick him apart. I mean, pick apart the fact he
wanted to take lasers and use them against North Korea. Pick apart the
mirrors he wanted to hang in space in order to light our highways.

There`s just an enormous amount in Gingrich`s background that`s going
to be difficult for him. That`s the time when Romney can mount a comeback
or someone like Huntsman or Perry could mount the new challenge.

SCHULTZ: Well, what about Ron Paul? He doesn`t seem to be the media
darling but he`s closing the gap in Iowa.

Joan, what do you think?

WALSH: I think he could win Iowa, actually. I think that`s really
possible. Iowa often surprises us. And it`s a really good place for a
candidate with a really devout and passionate following.

And he`s been there before. So, that`s a possibility. He`s, you
know, he`s talking about a brokered convention. We know how hard that is
to do. I don`t see him ultimately as the front-runner. He believes too
many un-orthodox things for better or worse.

I like some of his foreign policy, but it`s not popular with
Republicans. So I don`t, you know, I don`t want to not take him seriously
at all. I think the media is guilty of that, and we should let the voters
decide. But he could do well in Iowa, not so well ultimately.

SCHULTZ: Ezra Klein, great to have you with us tonight. Joan Walsh,
same for you. Thank you so much for joining us here on THE ED SHOW.

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

A programming note: This Thursday, we`re going to have an exclusive
interview with Democratic leader with Nancy Pelosi. We`ll talk about the
Republican obstruction on jobs obviously. And of course the Democrats`
chances of turning, taking back the House next year. And, of course, a
whole lot more. We`re thrilled to have the Democratic leader with us
Thursday night here on THE ED SHOW, Nancy Pelosi.

Coming up, Donald Trump pulls the plug on his own debate. What
happened? I was so looking forward to it. Michael Eric Dyson will join me
on that.

And whenever President Obama dares to take credit for something
especially when it comes to foreign policy, the Cheneys always go on the
attack. Iraq war veteran Jon Soltz joins me on that subject tonight.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW, Donald Trump pulls out of the GOP
debate with Newsmax but refuses to step out of the spotlight. Michael Eric
Dyson joining me on the conversation and commentary.

In "Psychotalk," Sean Hannity criticizes people who are locked into an
ideology and ignore the truth? No! Republicans pass their payroll tax cut
bill, but it won`t do too much for the middle class. Leo Gerard, United
Steelworkers International president, weighs in later in the show.

Let us know what you think on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: You know, it would have been so much fun to watch, but
today, Donald Trump -- well, he killed yet another reality television
project. A Republican debate sponsored by Newsmax.

Now, for days the spectacle was on life support. After all but two
GOP candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, declined to debate.
Yesterday, Trump, himself, downgraded like a storm. He downgraded the
debate to a chat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Are you going to show up to this debate? Is
it going to happen?

TRUMP: Well, I am going to show up. And maybe we`ll just have a
chat. We might just discuss the world and discuss it with ourselves.
Maybe we`ll just do a chat. Newt and I will talk about what has to be
done.

O`REILLY: And you`re going to ignore Santorum? You`re just going to
say, hey, you get out of here?

TRUMP: No, no. He`ll be there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So, today, Trump told America all the bad news. First, he
released a written statement squeezing the plug for, of course, "the final
episode of `The Apprentice` on May 20th" in the first sentence, and then
came the face saving self-promotional video message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now, I have a debate coming up, but only two people are
showing up, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. And I give them both a lot of
credit because they have the guts to come. But a lot of them aren`t coming
because they think I`m going to run for political office, something I can`t
do now because of equal time. I have a big show. You`re not allowed to
run.

I won`t agree not to run. If the wrong person`s in there, somebody
that`s not going to beat Obama, or if the economy continues to be bad, and
we have the wrong person, I would seriously think about running.

(END VIDEO CILP)

SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political
analyst, professor at Georgetown University, and author of the book "Can
You Hear Me Now?"

Well, the Trump debate is not going to take place. How disappointed I
am. This garbage about equal time -- give me a break. And now, he`s
trying to say, well, the other candidates were so concerned about equal
time. What`s your take on that, Michael?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: This man is an
unmitigated narcissist. I mean, how long can it go on? He wants to give
Santorum and Newt Gingrich credit. Maybe it`s not a debate, it`s a rebate.

The reality is, is that this man has seized the spotlight. He`s
addicted to the limelight. He wants his name out in the bold print of the
American media.

And it seems, Ed, he`ll do anything to keep perpetuating this lie that
he`s a serious candidate to be taken seriously because he has serious
ideals -- Trump, Trump, Trump today -- if we can put it that way. And as a
result of that, he shows why he is incapable of being ready for primetime
and that it`s a scary thought to believe that this man could actually fit
into the Oval Office by aspiring to be president of the United States of
America. It`s a joke.

SCHULTZ: Do you think that the candidates might have been afraid to
be in the same arena with Trump because he`s kind of an unguided missile.
He has nothing to lose because he`s not a journalist. He doesn`t work for
anybody other than himself. He doesn`t have to answer to any standards and
practices type volume that many of us in the industry have to answer to and
follow for integrity and credibility purposes.

What about that? Do you think maybe they just didn`t want to get into
an arena that might have been too much of an ad lib?

DYSON: And, you know what, I absolutely agree with you, Ed. And
that`s saying a lot when you`re talking about Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.
You know, who fly off at the lip at a moment`s notice. So if you`re saying
those people are afraid -- and throw in Michele Bachmann for good measure -
- if those folk are afraid to step into an arena because they think they
can never anticipate what Trump will say, that says a lot about Donald
Trump.

SCHULTZ: Well, one thing about Rick Perry, OK. So, let`s just say
that Rick Perry misspeaks again. You run the risk of Donald Trump ripping
you right there, don`t you? I mean --

DYSON: Right on the spot.

SCHULTZ: He doesn`t have any standards. He`s just going to have at
it.

At no time at all did he ever say that he was going to follow any kind
of journalistic guidelines and be fair. In fact, he got mad at Michele
Bachmann because she wouldn`t do it. Then he played the loyalty card on
her.

I mean, this really was all a Donald show. Was it not?

DYSON: Oh, it was. It was a Donald Duck show. And he was twisting
their arms. He was trying to browbeat them. He was trying to coerce them
by any means necessary into this fabricated debate that pretended to be
something serious when all along we knew it was only to promote his show.

And what happens today? He announces the end of "The Apprentice" or
the next showing. I mean, this is crass commercialism at its worst.

SCHULTZ: Well, let`s see -- you had Ron Paul said it was beneath the
office of the presidency.

DYSON: Amen.

SCHULTZ: Jon Huntsman called it a joke.

DYSON: Amen.

SCHULTZ: And now, you got Trump coming back saying, well, they were
really concerned about equal time because, you know, I might come back and
run if this happens, A, B, C, or D.

You know what? I am so glad the man has never been on THE ED SHOW. I
don`t care what the results are. The guy is a total loser, all-American
zero. And nobody should pay attention to him.

And you know what? He doesn`t have the guts to run. He won`t run
because he doesn`t have the guts to run. And I don`t think anybody of any
kind of credible source would endorse him whatsoever.

DYSON: Not at all, Ed. And he`s afraid to come on here and go toe to
toe with you because you`d deconstruct him in a moment`s notice and he
would be sent on his way as an apprentice to folly.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, good to have you with us. Thanks again.

DYSON: Always good to be here.

SCHULTZ: Sean Hannity is accusing Democrats of lying on television.
This is an easy one. Slant head`s going to the "zone."

FOX News is at it again -- this time misleading viewers about the
unemployment rate. See what they`re up to later.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in "Psycho Talk" tonight, Sean Hannity takes
intellectual dishonesty to a new level.

The unemployment rate has been going down. And private sector job
growth has been in positive territory for 21 months. But Hannity willfully
ignores all of it. On his radio show, he ripped into Democrats who have
been accurately talking about the declining unemployment rate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: This is what happens when people who
worship at the altar of any political ideology have to face reality. They
don`t adjust to the reality. They simply deny it. I mean, I`ve talked
about Obama-mania. This is it.

The facts -- every fact shows you something contrary to what you`re
saying, but you`re so locked into your ideology, you`ll ignore the truth
and go on television and repeat it as though somehow it`s true, hoping that
some percentage of the American people will buy into your lie and
fairytale.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sounds like Hannity is a little mixed up. I think he`s
confusing Democrats with someone else who worships at the altar of
political ideology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: They don`t adjust to the reality. They simply deny it.

Give credit to Bush. If Obama had his way, we wouldn`t have gotten
bin Laden. You know that.

The killing of bin Laden -- in fairness, that would have never
happened but for President Bush.

You`ll ignore the truth and go on television and repeat it as though
somehow it`s true.

He`s been president nearly two years. He got everything he wanted
passed and it`s failed. A trillion dollars in a stimulus that failed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The stimulus did not fail. We would be in
double-digit --

HANNITY: The disastrous failure of his own administration`s stimulus.

Hoping that some percentage of the American people will buy into your
lie and fairytale.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: People who watch Fox News on a daily basis are 31 percent
more likely than non-Fox viewers to think President Obama was not born in
America. Sean Hannity is the king of pushing his ideology, no matter how
wrong he is. So for him to say Democrats are the ones telling lies on
television is unbalanced Psycho Talk.

Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, well, they just can`t help
themselves. They roll out a new attack whenever President Obama is looking
strong on foreign policy.

And House Republicans pass a bill extending the payroll tax cut, but
they`re slashing unemployment at the same time. Leo Gerard, president of
the United Steelworkers International, will join me to talk about the
battle between the GOP and the 99 percent. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask Osama bin Laden and
the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who`ve been taken off the field
whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever`s left out there. Ask them
about that.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And in the White House press
conference, he said ask Osama bin Laden if I`m an appeaser.

LIZ CHENEY, DAUGHTER OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Right. He
wants to talk about bin Laden. It`s terrific that he got bin Laden. We
all give him credit for that.

But Iraq and Afghanistan are two places where this president is
absolutely failing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Any time President Obama dares
to take some credit, particularly on foreign policy, here come the Cheneys.
It`s a family thing. They just can`t help themselves.

Liz Cheney on Fox News on Sunday attacking the president. The next
day, her father, former vice president, he`s out on CNN. But it still
wasn`t enough. So the former vice president went on to the early show on
another network.

Three days and three appearances by a Cheney in the attack mode. It
would be hilarious if it weren`t so infuriating. The man who played a huge
role in getting us into the most ill conceived war since Vietnam, the man
who insisted Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the man whose
cronies profited from the Iraq mess altogether, the man who will lie every
single day about Iraq, dares to go on TV and second guess President Obama.

Here`s Cheney criticizing the troop withdrawal from Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re now in
a situation where we`re pulling all of our troops out of Iraq, period. No
stay-behind force.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: No stay-behind force. Well, Cheney fails to mention the
private contractors that you and I are paying for who provide security to
the Americans still in Iraq, doing diplomatic work after the troop
withdrawal. So how serious is this? Do you really think that President
Obama and the people on his cabinet would say, ah, let`s just get out of
Iraq because we made an agreement to, and don`t worry about those 17,000
Americans that are still there. They can fend for themselves in something
happens.

You really think that`s the way they think in the White House, Mr.
Cheney? What a cheap publicity stunt you are.

Joining me now is Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets.org. Jon is also an
Iraq War veteran and served as major in the Army on the field, and recently
returned from Iraq in his final deployment to that country.

Jon, good to have you with us again tonight. I appreciate it. What
do you make of the rhetoric? How, should I say, unsafe are the Americans
left behind?

JON SOLTZ, VOTEVETS.ORG CHAIRMAN: I think the big point is there
really aren`t that many Americans left in Iraq. You have the embassy
staff. And then you have the contractors contract that specifically
support the foreign military sales.

But a huge chunk of this contractor force that everyone talks about,
these actually aren`t Americans. They`re people who work in the chow halls
from Southern Asia and these types of countries. So there really aren`t a
lot of Americans left. I think that`s one of the best things this
administration did.

There was a tremendous amount of pressure in the summer time to
actually extend U.S. forces. And they did a really good job of lowering
our number to 157. That`s all that`s going to be left on the ground of
U.S. military. Then there`s going do be some other Americans on the
ground.

But a chunk of the contractors are, you know, simply just force
protection assets, to protect what`s left.

SCHULTZ: Liz Cheney says that the president is failing in both
Afghanistan and Iraq. The former vice president says that we are leaving
people behind there who are going to be at risk. And it`s dangerous. Is
he telling the truth? Is she telling the truth?

SOLTZ: It`s completely false the idea we`re leaving, you know, the
Iraqis in some type of chaos in a sense that we`re completely withdrawing.
Yes, there are no -- there`s 157 U.S. military in Iraq. But we`re leaving
components of our U.S. Army in Kuwait. So we have a regional quick
reaction force we call it.

I think, also, you know, you`re attacking the president who killed
Osama bin Laden and ended the Iraq War. The Iraq War was obviously a huge
distraction. Now they`re sort of opposing the plan that they supported
when he was the vice president.

So now he`s sort of against himself. And essentially if we don`t
leave Iraq when the Iraqi government asks us, the entire point of the
mission was useless, because it`s Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Iraqi
democracy doesn`t want us there anymore.

SCHULTZ: When the former vice president comes out and says this
garbage, why do you think the White House never seems to push back?

SOLTZ: Well, I think they do push back. I happened to just be over
there, you know, hearing some people talk about certain things that the
White House is messaging this week. I do think that you`re going to see
this week them push back.

Look, it`s important for this president to talk about the fact that he
killed bin Laden, that he`s focused on a global strategy to kill al Qaeda,
and that he ended the Iraq War. I think with Dick Cheney, it just might be
a case of the facts that he really doesn`t matter anymore.

SCHULTZ: He has nothing to politically lose. He can come out and run
his mouth and create the doubt.

SOLTZ: He`s grabbing straws. I mean, he`s looking to get his name in
the press. He says that completely outlandish things that are irrelevant.
This isn`t a winning message for Republicans in 2012. Do they really want
to talk about how they started an unnecessary war that 55 percent of the
country thinks we should never have fought in the first place, and much
larger numbers think we should be out of?

It`s a terrible place for them to be when they`re trying to beat an
incumbent president.

SCHULTZ: Here`s Cheney talking about the downed drone in Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

D. CHENEY: For us to go in and take out the drone that crashed would
have been I think a fairly simple operation. And it would have denied them
the value, the intelligence they can collect by having that aircraft. But
the administration basically limited itself to saying, please give it back.

And yesterday the Iranians said no.

I was told that the president had three options on his desk. He
rejected all of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Jon, what`s your response to that, based on what you know?

SOLTZ: I`m still laughing. This guy -- this is the guy who wants to
start a war for a robot. They don`t have a downed U.S. pilot. They don`t
have a member of the American military hostage. They don`t have people in
their embassy that are American civilians.

This is a robot that fell out of the sky and he wants to start a war
over it. The Iranians have a tremendous amount of reach within Iraq and
within Lebanon and the Palestinian Authorities. They could cause some
problems. It`s just not worth starting a war over a robot when there`s a
pending nuclear issue that we`re facing with them.

SCHULTZ: He keeps throwing out the idea that the Iranians are so
close to a nuclear weapon. The experts I`ve talked to are saying at least
a decade away. Why does he keep doing that?

SOLTZ: I think he`s just saber rattling. He`s trying to draw an
argument that this administration is weak, when in reality the increase of
strength that you`ve seen from the Iranians happened under the Bush
administration. Democratically, their allies in Iraq have won. They`re
very close to the regime in Syria.

Their allies in Lebanon have gained strength politically. Their
allies in the Palestinian Authority have gained strength politically. So
it was under the Bush administration where the Iranians gained a tremendous
amount of political strength throughout the Middle East. This is simply
him trying to deflect the fact that he`s the biggest reason why we have an
Iranian problem.

SCHULTZ: Conservatives are out there now pushing the idea now that
now that our military forces are out and there`s contractors back there --
of course, that`s going to cost the taxpayers still billions of dollars --
that we really have to worry about an Iranian invasion of Iraq. What about
that?

SOLTZ: Well, that`s the stupidest thing I`ve ever heard. The fact is
that the Iranians are -- have a very close relationship with Nouri al
Maliki. Yes, he`s a nationalist. Yes, he has a relationship with the
United States. But it was -- you know, Nouri al Maliki and Muqtada al Sadr
have a very close relationship with Tehran also.

So an Iranian invasion of Iraq can`t happen. First, because we`re
leaving U.S. forces in Kuwait to prevent that. Second, it can`t happen
because essentially that would undermine the Iranian`s influence. They
would have less influence by invading because it would fracture the current
Iraqi government and could possibly pull the Kurds out.

So the best things the Iranians can do in Iraq is support Prime
Minister Maliki. That`s certainly been their strategy. That is
essentially the prime minister of Iraq who came to power under the Bush
administration.

SCHULTZ: Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org, thanks for what you did for the
country. Thanks for serving, major. I understand you`re no longer a
major, just back from Iraq. All the best to you.

SOLTZ: I`m just a vet. Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: There you go. Well, a very important vet, no doubt.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, more dishonesty from the folks at Fox News. Wait
until you see their latest chart. They have charts? Yes, they do and they
don`t tell the truth.

Stay tuned for "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" tonight with her interview
with Vice President Joe Biden. That`s coming up right after THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEVE KROFT, "60 MINUTES": Do you think you might have the
unemployment rate down to eight percent by the time the election rolls
around?

OBAMA: I think it`s possible, but, you know, I`m not in the job of
prognosticating on the economy. I`m in the job of putting in place the
tools that allow the economy to thrive and Americans to succeed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was President Obama on "60 Minutes," giving a response
that didn`t go over too well with the folks at Fox News. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. The eight percent prediction is so
bold because the unemployment rate has been above eight percent every month
of the Obama White House except for the first 12 days the president took
office. Now, here`s where we are right now, as mentioned earlier this
year.

The number took a slight dip in November, after staying at or above
nine percent for six straight months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What do you say we take a closer look at that chart Fox News
just used? Here it is with November unemployment at 8.6 percent, right in
line with nine percent unemployment in October. Doesn`t really make a lot
of sense, does it?

Now take a look at November unemployment numbers rate compared to
March. See it? March 8.8 percent is shown lower than November`s 8.6
percent. How in heck could they screw that up?

Now here`s how all the changes in the unemployment rate should look.
There`s just one problem with an accurate chart like this. It doesn`t help
the Fox News narrative.

As Media Matters points out, time and time again, Fox has had on-
screen errors with charts misleading viewers. Here`s one from last year.
Fox claimed in this chart that 15 million jobs were lost in a three-month
period. In three months? 15 Million jobs?

There seems to be a pattern here, doesn`t there? When Fox had a
series of similar mistakes a few years back, Fox News management sent out a
memo citing a zero tolerance for on-screen errors. How`s that working out?

John Boehner and his buddies in the House just voted to extend the
payroll tax cut, but they did it at the expense of the folks struggling the
most. The Republican party just can`t stop going after working class
Americans. United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard is here
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked who is more out of touch
with the middle class in America? Three percent of you said Mitt Romney;
five percent of you said Newt Gingrich; 92 percent of you said all of the
above.

Coming up, Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers International on the
GOP versus the 99 percent. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, this evening House Republicans passed a
bill extending the payroll tax cuts for another year. But don`t get
fooled. They`re not doing it to help the middle class. They`re still
protecting millionaires and billionaires. So they`re paying for the tax
cut by doing this: eliminating some of the funding for health care reform,
extending a pay freeze on federal workers and cutting federal jobs.

They`re also slashing the number of weeks people can receive
unemployment benefits from 99 weeks down to 59 weeks. Earlier today,
President Obama announced that he would veto the Republican bill, saying
"it seeks to put the burden of paying for the bill on working families
while giving a free pass to the wealthiest and big corporations by
protecting their loopholes and subsidies."

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia had the
audacity to pretend Republicans are looking out for the middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), MAJORITY LEADER: You can`t be for the middle
class, you can`t be for keeping taxes low and be against our Middle Class
Tax Relief and Job Creations Act. The president also says that we can`t
wait. Well, exactly, Mr. President. We can`t wait. That`s why we`re
putting forth this bill to make sure that we are there for the middle class
of this country.

We asked the president to join us in finally putting himself behind
this bill that helps the middle class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Republicans never talk about the middle class. Joining
me tonight, Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers. Of course,
until tonight, when they are trying to hoodwink the American people as if
they have actually done something for the middle class.

Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us tonight. Are Republicans really
looking out for the middle class, as Cantor claims there?

LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS INTERNATIONAL: Absolutely
not. It`s another one of their shell games. You know, hide the pea and
pulling the stick. What the real reality is that they`re against slashing
benefits. They`re again against cutting the amount of time that people can
collect unemployment comp.

They`re looking at how they can squeeze more, destroy more jobs. Let
me tell you something, when you destroy a public sector job, that`s a real
job. When you give people a pay freeze, that takes money out of the
economy. I`ve said on your show and a number of other shows, Ed, that one
of the things we have in America that`s a problem is we have a demand
problem, that we`ve got too many people that are unemployed.

We`ve got too many people that aren`t making enough money. We saw
recently an article that said there`s 100 million Americans that are either
living in poverty or near poverty. And what we need to do is put demand in
the economy, get people back to work. Quit playing these silly games.
Quit trying to pretend that when you cut people`s salary, when you cut
their unemployment comp, when you lay them off, that you`re, in fact,
creating jobs.

SCHULTZ: The bill only got ten Democratic votes. And of course,
Republican leaders used that claim to say that t was a bipartisan
compromise. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We`ve passed a large bill that
contains many of the priorities of our caucus and the White House. We`ve
worked to find common ground.

CANTOR: We just had a strong bipartisan vote on the House floor.
It`s time for the other side, the Harry Reid, as well as the president, to
compromise as well and let`s get on about the business of the people.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), MAJORITY WHIP: When the founding fathers sat
down to craft a type of government that they wanted to see, that was by the
people and for the people, they looked at it that they`re going to have to
have compromise. You just found a bill on the floor that had compromise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Do these jokers know what compromise is? And beyond that,
what the hell are ten Democrats doing voting with Republicans at this
point?

GERARD: Those ten Democrats need to be taken to the woodshed. The
reality is, look, let`s just quit playing games and recognize that the top
one percent have done extremely well, that they`ve had huge bonuses.
They`ve lined their pockets. They`ve taken a majority of the wealth that`s
been created in the last 20 years.

And the people in the middle and the people at the bottom continue to
be stepped on by these Republicans. And we ought to quit playing games,
make sure that we`re going to have the kind of things to put people back to
work. We`re, give a middle class tax cut that the president`s been talking
about. We`re going to give people unemployment comp that they need to get
through this.

For every dollar that`s spent on unemployment comp, you get about 1.60
to 1.65 back in benefit because the economy multiplies that money. These
guys -- the bill was found on the floor. It ought to go back on the floor
where they found it.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gerard, we`re going to end up seeing a big discussion in
Washington about the extension of the Bush tax cuts, if the Democrats are
going to be able to get this payroll tax cut through. They did it that
way, but of course, the president is going to certainly veto it. Then
they`re going to have to go back and work on it again.

We all know where they`re going. Let`s talk about a line in the sand
by the Democrats. What should they, if anything, give up in negotiations
to extend the payroll tax cut and also unemployment benefits?

GERARD: Not a darn thing, Ed. They ought to draw a line in the sand,
make it clear who they stand for. They stand for ordinary folks. Make it
clear that the Republicans stand for the already rich, already ultra rich.
They ought to draw that line in the sand.

This is not just an economic argument, although the economics are
proper and accurate. It`s a moral argument. It`s time that we took the
moral position of helping -- as the Bible says, helping those that are
least fortunate. These guys want to keep helping those that are the most
fortunate.

I think Democrats have to draw a line in the sand and say, America,
this is who we`re for.

SCHULTZ: Why wouldn`t the Democrats just say, OK, you don`t want to
extend the unemployment benefits? We`ll see you in November, 2012, let`s
all go home. What`s wrong with that strategy right there?

GERARD: I personally don`t think there`s anything wrong with that.
One of our problems is that we`ve kept caving into these guys. As I said
to some friends, when the wolf is at the door, you keep feeding the wolf,
don`t expect the wolf not to come back. We`re going to be at a point now
where this wolf is going to eat all the chickens. They have to stand up.

SCHULTZ: They always act as if they`re going it be a nicer bunch the
next nice time around. Then they throw more filibuster and more
obstruction up there. You can`t trust the Republicans. I hope the
Democrats have finally figured that out.

If the Democrats stand with workers, they will roll in 2012. Mr.
Gerard, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time. You
bet.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. And a reminder, Democratic
Leader Nancy Pelosi will be my exclusive guest this Thursday from
Washington on THE ED SHOW. We`ll discuss the obstruction that is taking
place in Washington, the plans for 2012 and a whole lot more. That`s
coming up on Thursday night.

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

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