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The Ed Show for Monday, January 9, 2012

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Guests: E.J. Dionne, Donnie Box, Julie Kushner, Bill Burton, Jennifer Donahue, John Nichols, Jonathan Alter, Joan Walsh, Dr. James Peterson

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

In less than 24 hours, New Hampshire voters will get a crack at
picking a 2012 Republican nominee. I`ll show you why voters in the Granite
State are starting to walk away from Mitt Romney and I don`t think Santorum
is going to pull a Tebow.

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like being able to fire
people who provide services to me.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Middle class Mitt let the truth slipped, and
he`s sticking by some bad advice from his father.

ROMNEY: He said, Mitt, never get involved in politics, if you have to
win election to pay a mortgage.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, my commentary on how out of touch Mitt Romney
really is.

Plus, we`re going to the Granite State for the latest on tomorrow`s
primary. With Bill Burton of Priorities USA and the "Washington Post`s"
E.J. Dionne.

On Saturday, I watched the debate with some locals in New Hampshire,
to get their take on the GOP field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the Republicans are a bunch of phonies
with a possible exception of Huntsman.

SCHULTZ: John Nichols of "The Nation" magazine and "Huffington
Post`s" Jennifer Donahue are here with full analysis.

And a hard-working American is calling out Newt Gingrich on his race

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you stop using blacks in general as a
stepping stone or a punching bag?

SCHULTZ: You don`t want to miss Newt`s response.


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

Mitt Romney is doing anything he can to run away from his history as a
job killer. It could be the last chance for Romney`s opponents to stop him
from winning the nomination. Tomorrow night is a big one.

During Romney`s final swing through New Hampshire, he played the role
of middle class Mitt once again.


ROMNEY: These are experiences that many of -- many of you that many
of you know. I know what it`s like to worry whether you`re going to get
fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get
a pink slip.


SCHULTZ: Really? Tell us about that, Mitt? When was that, what
year, what day, what happened? We want some more detail. And we want more
detail on these 100,000 jobs that you say you created.

The idea of Mitt Romney worrying about a pink slip was so outrageous,
even Rick Perry mocked it.


stood up and said, you know, he`s worried about pink slips -- I mean, come
on, this is probably one of the richest people to ever run for the
presidency of the United States, son of a multi-millionaire, an individual
that -- I mean, Mitt Romney has never worried about a pink slip. Well, he
might have worried not having enough of them to hand out in places like
Gaffney, South Carolina. But he`s not worried about losing his job.


SCHULTZ: Now, he`s way down in the polls, but is Perry kind of
getting on a roll a little bit? Is he figuring this thing out?

Republican opponents are taking any opportunity to portray Romney as a
ruthless corporate raider. Check out what happened when Romney made this
gaffe about choosing health insurance plans.


ROMNEY: I want individuals to have their own insurance, that means
the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also
means if you don`t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able
to fire people that provide services to me. If, you know, someone doesn`t
give me the good service I need, I want to -- I want to say, you know, I`m
going to get somebody else to provide that service to me.


SCHULTZ: The question is, does that apply to employees? Apparently
it does.

Hours later, Jon Huntsman was taking his comment about firing people
at face value.


firing people. I enjoy creating jobs.


SCHULTZ: Newt Gingrich has taken the biggest shots at Romney`s past
as CEO of Bain Capital.


Romney is going to have to hold a press conference and walk through with
considerable detail some of the companies that Bain took over where they
apparently looted the companies, left people totally unemployed and walked
off with millions of dollars.


SCHULTZ: And, of course, the super PAC supporting Gingrich made a
movie detailing Romney`s time at Bain Capital. It`s damaging. The movie
is being rolled out in advance of the South Carolina primary.


NARRATOR: Mitt Romney became CEO of Bain Capital the day the company
was formed. His mission? To reap massive rewards for himself and

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney and them guys, they don`t care who I

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s for small business? No, he isn`t. He`s

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You will be on the hit list, you know that.

NARRATOR: Romney took foreign seed money from Latin America, and
began a pattern exploiting dozens of American businesses.


SCHULTZ: And in the interests of full disclosure, Bain Capital is
part owner of the Weather Channel, along with our parent company, NBC
Universal. But that doesn`t change the facts about this guy who wants to
be president of the United States.

Romney`s time at Bain is perfect ammunition for his opponents and
they`re using every bit of it. Middle class Mitt`s private sector record
has got to be fair game.

The real story about Mitt Romney is, well, it`s starting to get told.
According to the "Wall Street Journal," here we go, out of 77 businesses,
77 businesses that Bain invested in, between the years 1984 and 1999, 22
percent of them, they either filed for bankruptcy or they just flat out
went out of business.

Bain investors received $2.5 billion from those 77 companies. They
had annual gains between 50 and 80 percent. Not bad but where did the
money go? To the top it looks like.

Republican candidates aren`t the only ones who were talking about
this. The workers who were fired, they are speaking out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I worked in the steel mill of Kansas City for 32
years. Mitt Romney and Bain Capital came in and took the place over and
eventually shut it down. We lost our jobs, they made millions.
Businesses, they are all gone. Jobs we`ll never see again.


SCHULTZ: Is that guy lying? No, those are the facts. Mitt Romney is
the front-runner for the Republican nomination. He`s also an outsourcer, a
job cutter. He allegedly took millions from workers dinged with their

And he was confronted today by a representative from the United Auto
Workers union who wanted to know why in the world, Mitt, wanted to let the
auto workers go and not support them when President Obama did?


JULIE KUSHNER: How can you say that those people -- people from your
own state of Michigan -- would have been better off either bankruptcy where
they would have really very likely lost their jobs, instead of where they
are today, once again, the number one auto company in the United States? I
don`t understand that.

UNIDENTIFIEKD MALE: Ma`am, we have been very patient. You need to
get to the answer now, thank you.

ROMNEY: Let`s get to the answer. The answer is this: bankruptcy is
not going under and losing jobs. The president ultimately did what I
suggested. Going through a managed bankruptcy process. I wrote an op-ed

I said, excuse me, it`s my turn to talk. If you want to talk
afterwards, we can chat afterwards. General Motors and Chrysler went
through a managed bankruptcy exactly as I said back in November. It took
the president five or six months to come around to that. That`s what they
had to do.


SCHULTZ: Mr. Romney, you were not for the loan, you know you weren`t.

Mitt Romney can`t hide from his past. He killed jobs as a corporate
CEO, he wanted President Obama to kill jobs in the automobile industry, and
his policies will kill jobs if he`s the president of the United States.
His opponents are figuring this out, and that`s why they`re going after
him. Not because they think he might get the nomination. This guy has a
chance to destroy the Republican Party based on his business model.

We`re in a country right now that`s trying to create jobs. He has a
record of butchering labor. But I must say, all of the Republican
candidates don`t have a good word to say about labor at all.

The other day, Santorum when I was in Iowa, said that President Obama
didn`t save the automobile industry. He saved the unions.

Really? Tell the other side of the story, Mr. Santorum. Talk to the
unions about how they took a haircut and came back with a reduced package
to keep that industry alive and saved millions of jobs.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will more Americans receive pink slips if Mitt Romney becomes
president? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can always go to
our blog at We`ll have results later on in the show.

One of the things that really gets me about Romney, and no one has
ever challenged him in these debates, he acts as if he`s the only one that
has ever done anything in life. Well, I come from the private sector.
You`re a lesser human being because you`ve never been in the private
sector. Hell, they`ve all been in the private sector at one time or
another. And none of them cut as many jobs as Mitt Romney to my knowledge.

Joining me tonight is Julie Kushner. She is the United Auto Workers
representative who confronted Mitt Romney today.

And we`re also joined tonight by Donnie Box, a former steelworker who
was laid off under Bain Capital when Romney was in charge.

Donnie, good to have you with us tonight. We`ll start with you first.

What do you want people to know about what you went through and what
it was like going through this experience and what do you want them to know
about Mitt Romney?

I mean, I kind of moved on, beyond all this stuff, after 11 years, you
start moving on, you can`t dwell on what`s happened. But I started hearing
all this stuff about the job creator and, you know, I got nothing against
Staples or some shoe company, all these other places he supposedly brought
to life and all the wonderful things he did with it.

But I kept thinking, what happened? What happened down where I
worked? What the heck -- where was all this go get them attitude then,
this is not what we saw down here at the plant?

SCHULTZ: What effects did these layoffs have on Kansas City once the
steel mill was gone?

BOX: Well, you know, you start out and you think that was just 800
jobs that are in the mill, you know, we were the biggest consumer of
electrical natural gas and water, you know, in about a six-state area. And
once they shut the mill down, you know, it just didn`t affect just the
steelworkers, it hammered the guys at power and light because, all of a
sudden, now, they`ve got a big bunch of staff they don`t need to maintain
that facility anymore. So, those guys got the ax, and you have the same
thing with the gas company. When you`re not using it, millions of cubic
feet of gas a year, you don`t need the crews to maintain it.

SCHULTZ: Yes. And in the documentary or the tape that`s been
produced that we played, it says Romney took millions from employees.
Explain that. What do you know?

BOX: Well, all I know is, you know, when Armco (ph) they decided that
were going to spin off the organization and management came to us as union
members and said look, we`re putting the package together, we`re getting
the financing to come in here and kick this business up and we`re going do
make it go because this place can do it, it`s -- you know, we sell a great
product, we got great people. Everybody bought into it. But you know --

SCHULTZ: Does a Mitt Romney presidency worry you, scare you?

BOX: Well, I quote a good friend of mine that said, you know, he`ll
probably try to part this country out like he did their plant. You know,
that`s what he`s concerned about and I am, too.

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Julie Kushner. She today, of course,
confronted Mitt Romney in his campaign event.

Julie, good to have you with us.

What happened? What did you ask and what did he say to you?

JULIE KUSHNER, UAW REGION 9A: Well, I was at a breakfast meeting
where he was talking about the UAW and about G.M. and Chrysler, and
criticizing President Obama for helping out the auto industry.

And, you know, I`ve heard it before, but hearing it up close like
that, I couldn`t believe it. I got up and I challenged him on it. I said,
you know, how can you really criticize President Obama for saving the auto
industry in this country? And he was saving a million jobs. People that
work in G.M. and Chrysler and auto-related jobs, how can you criticize the
president for that?

SCHULTZ: Romney says that the president did what he told him to do.

KUSHNER: I thought that was interesting, because I`ve heard him speak
before and I never heard him say that the president did something right.
So, I was kind of surprised he said that.

But, you know, the fact is we all know what the president did, what
Obama did was very helpful to our country and we`ve seen the auto industry
and these companies in particular rebound and now G.M. was announced last
week that now they are the largest automaker again selling more cars than
any other company in the world.

SCHULTZ: Did he say at that meeting that he was in favor of tax
dollars helping out the automobile industry? I mean, that is the question,
because it was all the Republicans were against it. And now, Mitt Romney
is out there trying to say that he was in favor of a government loan saving
the automobile industry? Did he say that?

KUSHNER: He did not say that he was in favor of that, he did not say
they did the right thing. And I think what he tried to say, that President
Obama did what he told him to do.

But what was clear was that he`s been opposed this and he`s been
blaming -- he said that gm is now owned by the UAW. And, you know, that`s
just such -- that`s such a bad message for people. He`s not telling the
truth when he says that, because what happened was the union and the
companies got together through the negotiations and figured out how to save
this company and make it stronger.

SCHULTZ: They reorganized -- people took less benefit, less pension
and less pay. That is the way it came down. The workers served it up
again, was part of the solution.

I got to ask you before we go, Julie, Mitt Romney on the stump,
numerous times referred to union stooges when it comes to the National
Labor Relations Board. What`s your reaction to that?

KUSHNER: Well, he talked about union stooges. I actually said I`m
not a union stooge. I`m a person 59 years old with a family that works
hard, and expects everybody to treat each other respectfully. I don`t
think that kind of name-calling has any place in politics.

And I think that, you know, we have different values. That`s clear.
I believe people should, who work hard, play by the rules should get -- be
able to have a union and democracy where they work.

SCHULTZ: Well, my interpretation is that he thinks that anybody that
works for a wage must be a stooge.

Julie, good to have you with us. Donnie Box, thank you for being

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

I watched the debate with ED SHOW viewers in Manchester, New
Hampshire, on Saturday night. I`ll show you how the GOP field is
energizing the Democrats not only for tomorrow night but for November.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney does look strong heading in tomorrow`s New
Hampshire primary. But is he a lock for the nomination? And what does
second place really mean tomorrow night? Bill Burton and E.J. Dionne will
join me next.

"Psycho Talk" coming up. Rick Perry latest debate gem, it`s a dandy.
Did you know he wants to send troops back to Iraq?

And Newt Gingrich gets questioned on his link between African
Americans and food stamps. I`ll ask Dr. James Peterson if this rhetoric
works for the GOP.

Share your thoughts on Twitter on ED SHOW using the #EdShow.

We`ll be right back. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

With the New Hampshire primary tomorrow, the clear cut political story
of the day is whether the Republicans will stop themselves from making Mitt
Romney their guy before it`s too late. Romney is still leading in the
polls in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. But his nomination is
not inevitable for three simple reasons, in my opinion.

First of all, number one, Romney is busy shooting himself in the foot
day after day. It`s been a rough 48 hours for him.

Number two, his Republican rivals are piling on him like never before,
I don`t know why they took so long to do this.

And the third reason is there are two full weeks between New Hampshire
and South Carolina primaries which could be an eternity the way things are
going. That`s a lot of time for politics, but no doubt it`s an uphill
battle for Romney`s GOP competitors.

Romney has a strong lead in the latest New Hampshire poll at 41
percent. His closest rivals are far behind. But in another poll, Romney`s
lead is not as wide, and he has dropped five days in a row.

In South Carolina, Romney holds the lead, but Santorum and Gingrich
are not so far behind. Bottom line is it`s his to lose.

I`m joined tonight by Bill Burton, cofounder of Priorities USA, and
former deputy press secretary for President Obama. And E.J. Dionne with us
tonight, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and columnist for "The
Washington Post."

Fellas, here`s the bottom line: Romney is anywhere from 41 percent to
35 percent in the polls. And his lead is anywhere from 15 percent to 24
percent in the polls.

My question to both of you tonight is: what does second place mean?
Because if Romney wins, everybody else is 0-2 and it`s tough to go raise
money when you`re 0-2, isn`t it, Bill, say, hey, look, I`m 0-2, I`m really
going to win this, can you give me a few million? I mean, this really is
pivotal tomorrow, isn`t it?

BILL BURTON, PRIORITIES USA: It is an expectations game, though, Ed.
And even though somebody is going to come in this being 0-2, there`s still
room for someone to surge at the end and make a strong showing.

Now, Mitt Romney, for all the things he`s doing to stay in the lead,
he`s not doing anything to increase his strength or his support or even
look better like he`s ready for prime time. So, there is a big opening for
Jon Huntsman or Rick Santorum or somebody like that to show a lot of
support and go storming in South Carolina with a little bit of strength.

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne, they are coming at Mitt Romney in the last 48
hours unlike, we haven`t seen anything like it, the last couple months.
Why did it take so long?

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, I have been asking
myself the same question and, Ed, by the way, if you don`t like what I say,
you can fire me. I mean, Mitt Romney went after himself today with that
sound bite, even when you put it in context it`s not a great sound bite
about liking to fire people who give you service.

SCHULTZ: Exactly.

DIONNE: And I think that the problem with this race is I do think
Mitt Romney can be beaten but I`m not sure any of these alternatives can
actually beat him. I think that the situation for Romney is that if he
gets 40 percent or more it is a huge win and he`s really hard to stop. If
he gets 35 percent it`s OK.

If he starts falling below that and especially if he gets below 30
percent, even if he wins, that almost becomes a defeat in the way these
expectations games go because he will have dropped so many points in the
week since the Iowa caucuses.


DIONNE: I think Rick Santorum missed an opportunity coming in to this
state. He kind of got waylaid in these Socratic dialogues for a couple
days. I have been saying he was running to be a teacher in a Jesuit high


DIONNE: I like teachers in a Jesuit high school, but that`s not
running for president.

I think Huntsman does seem to be on the move. If there is
deterioration from Romney, he may be the lucky guy who`s rising to the end
to pick up some of those votes.

SCHULTZ: Well, here`s some of that deterioration. Let`s play the
Romney line about pink slips.


ROMNEY: I know what it`s like to worry whether you`re going to get
fired. There were a couple times I wondered whether I was going to get a
pink slip, and I care very deeply about the American people.


SCHULTZ: Bill Burton, you believe the first part of that, that he was
really worried about getting a pick slip? Rick Perry even hammered him on

BURTON: No, it is lunacy. And I notice that when reporters asked his
campaign if they could actually cite an instance where he was concern about
getting a pink slip, they, of course, couldn`t name any because he wasn`t.
And the deal he constructed at Bain actually allowed for him no matter what
happened, no matter if he was separated from the company, he would still be
getting paid millions of dollars over the course of the years that would

So he doesn`t know anything about anxiety of that small business
people, or even the average American worker feels about losing their job or
getting their business shut down.

SCHULTZ: Well, he does look like the guy who fired you. I mean, that
is a label on this guy.

Let`s look at South Carolina numbers again. In an average of recent
polls in the state, Romney is leading, but he would be swamped if just the
support of Gingrich and Santorum were combined against him.

E.J. Dionne, social conservatives, the way it stands right now,
they`re going to have to get it together if they want to be involved in
who`s going to be this nominee. What do you think?

DIONNE: Well, and I think that`s where Romney may be lucky again
coming out of New Hampshire because Newt has got some real energy, after he
went after Romney in that debate this Sunday for pious baloney, that is one
of the keepers from this primary, he really has his legs underneath him. I
saw him today and he said have you ever seen anything like this? He was
flying high.

In the meantime, Santorum already knows that he`s got a potentially
good base of social conservatives down there and Rick Perry won`t go away.


DIONNE: As long as these guys keep cutting up that vote, Mitt Romney
will be able to slide in with a very small percentage and still win the
thing. There`s got to be some consolidation over the next two weeks.

SCHULTZ: Well, Huntsman appears to be a really nice guy. But when
you have him piling on saying what`s wrong with the country, David Gregory,
is this guy`s attitude over here -- I mean, that`s really something. I
mean, he`s getting it from all sides. He`s going to have to earn the
nomination, no question about that.

Bill Burton, E.J. Dionne, thanks for your time, appreciate it.

DIONNE: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Next up, Rick Perry wants to reinvade Iraq because
apparently he thinks Iran has super powers. "Psycho Talk" is coming up.

And Hillary Clinton for vice president? A "New York Times" op-ed
makes the case. Could it really happen? I`ll ask Jonathan Alter and Joan
Walsh. I mean, when you think about it.

We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: And in "Psycho Talk" tonight, we have more evidence Rick
Perry is just another younger, crazier version of George W. Bush.

Seventy-five percent of Americans agreed president Obama`s decision to
follow Bush`s timeline and withdraw all of the troops from Iraq last
December, last month. Well, of course, almost all of the Republican
presidential candidates were among the 25 percent who opposed the

But during Saturday night`s debate, Rick Perry, he took it a step


PERRY: I would send troops back into Iraq. The idea that we allow
the Iranians to come back in Iraq and take over that country with all the
treasure both in blood and money that we have spent in Iraq, because this
president wants to kowtow to his liberal leftist base and move out those
men and women. We`re going to see Iran, in my opinion, move back in at
literally the speed of light.


SCHULTZ: If Iranian troops can literally move at the speed of light,
I would think the world has a held of a lot more problems than worrying
about the future of Iraq. But that aside, the bottom line here is that
Rick Perry wants to start a new war in a country we just spent the last
eight years building back up after shock and awe reduced it to rubble.

Of course, it would be great for the military contractors who have
already raked in billions of taxpayer dollars. That is kind of a Texas

Rick Perry saying he would go back into Iraq is war mongering Psycho

Next up, now I caught Saturday night`s debate in -- in Manchester, New
Hampshire, with a bunch of friends, good lefties. They had a chance to
speak in front of the camera and tell us what they`re really afraid of.
You`ll want to hear what they have to say.

Newt Gingrich is confronted by a town hall attendee about his comments
linking African Americans and Food Stamps. He responds by denying, then
repeating the same comments. Dr. James Peterson will weigh in. Stay with


SCHULTZ: How crazy is it in New Hampshire? I mean, come on. It`s
January. I go up there this weekend. There is absolutely no snow
whatsoever. But if you have any doubts about the Democrats being energized
and motivated to vote in the next presidential election, oh, they`re paying
attention. By the way, they can vote tomorrow, because President Obama is
on the ballot.

Now we went to Manchester, New Hampshire, place called Millie`s
Tavern, had a lot of fun. We were there to ask progressives what they
thought about these Republicans candidates as they faced off in Saturday
night`s debate.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What happens in America that
creates job is not government. It has its role. But by and large, it gets
in the way of creating jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys are all talking about how government
doesn`t create jobs when they are running for the number one government job
in the country.

ROMNEY: I believe in an America that is based upon opportunity and
freedom, not President Obama`s social welfare states.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The general message is one of contempt and
condescension for the American public.

SCHULTZ: What did you think tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think that they are all mostly out of
their minds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the Republicans are a bunch of
phonies, with a possible exemption of Huntsman.

SCHULTZ: How would you feel if any one of them were president?


no classes in America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m thinking what country do you live in,
because there is definitely classes in this country.

SCHULTZ: That bothered you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He`s so out of touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just kills me to hear the Republican party
supporting these people that are going to bring this country back 50 years,
to strip away Roe versus Wade, to strip away an equality rights. It drives
me insane.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney tonight said that he would want to see the
Supreme Court strike down Roe v Wade.

ROMNEY: Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m of the generation that worked for Roe v
Wade. We can never, ever go back there again.

being understanding and consider and concerned, which we should be, to
saying we`re therefor going to institute the sacrament of marriage as
though it has no basis.

Sacrament of marriage was based on a man and woman, has been for 3,000

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Newt Gingrich talking about marriage equality is a
little like getting lesson on drug addiction from a heroin addict.

SCHULTZ: What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a torture session.

PERRY: I would send troops back into Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The decision to elect a president has got to be
much more thoughtful than what we saw tonight. Really, I think President
Obama is the winner tonight.

SCHULTZ: Do you think any of them could be president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any of them? I don`t think so.


SCHULTZ: Tomorrow night, President Obama will be on the ballot. He
will obviously be the Democratic nominee, but New Hampshire is a very
important swing state. So how the president performs in the state in
November, obviously, is very crucial. But Democrats are paying attention.
And they are, I would say, very nervous about the Republican field.

Let`s turn to John Nichols, Washington correspondent of "The Nation
Magazine," who is on the ground in New Hampshire, and also Jennifer Donahue
-- that is her territory -- fellow at Eisenhower Institute and Gettysburg
College and a "Huffington Post" contributor. Great to have both of you
with us tonight.

John, the people I met are a serious bunch of folks, who are being
energized by this Republican primary. What do you make of it? What are
you hearing on the ground?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": I`m hearing a lot of the same stuff, Ed.
It`s fascinating. I followed Jon Huntsman today. I asked people from New
Hampshire who showed up at his events what they thought about the rest of
the field. And I got to tell you, these were largely independents and
moderate to liberal Republicans. And they were frankly saying that there
were plenty of Republicans at that debate on Saturday and again on Sunday
morning that they couldn`t vote for.

So it isn`t just Democrats. It`s actually the swing voters that
Barack Obama is going to need. These Republicans are scaring even some of
their fellow Republicans.

SCHULTZ: Jennifer, what do you make of the folks in New Hampshire?
Would you say the people that are not in the Republican camp are afraid of
this field? Many people say this is the most radical bunch they`ve ever

a bunch of undeclared voters today who are undecided, who really don`t like
this field, people who are deciding last minute. And this is about half of
the electorate up here, doesn`t know who they want to vote for.

I think it`s interesting that John just mentioned Huntsman. I think
Jon Huntsman has a movement going. The question is whether he has time for
a surge. He`s the only serious major candidate who hasn`t had a surge yet.
I was at a town hall meeting, and I think that Jon Huntsman basically has
the ingredients of a John McCain, of a Bill Bradley.

He`s getting independent voters who are undeclared but are Democrats
in their hearts, who are coming out to send a protest vote about this
Republican field, much like the people you talked about. And they don`t
like what their choices are. But they do like Jon Huntsman.

SCHULTZ: One thing that I noticed is a lot of talk about gay rights
over the weekend with these Republican candidates, also abortion. This is
just a total turnoff to independent voters. What do you think, John?

NICHOLS: Well, I think it`s a real turnoff. And in a state like New
Hampshire saying you want to reinvade Iraq? That does not go over well.
Also, this state just went through a really bitter battle and is, in fact,
still going through a bitter battle over right to work law, an anti-labor

And these candidates were stumbling over themselves trying to be the
most anti-labor candidate, seeming to forget that in the New Hampshire
legislature, many of the pro-labor votes came from moderate Republicans.


NICHOLS: This field is just way out of touch with the state.

SCHULTZ: Jennifer, what has happened to Rick Santorum? A good
showing in Iowa, nothing in New Hampshire it seems like.

DONAHUE: Nothing. He`s got nothing. And I think he might come in
third. He might come in fourth. Really right now, it`s a race for second
between Huntsman and Ron Paul. I think that Santorum probably made a bad
strategic decision competing in New Hampshire. He had a pretty good come
close to winning in Iowa. He probably should have gotten on a plane to
South Carolina, like Perry did, and try to capitalize on those gains, so he
could knock off Romney down there.

I don`t think the time in this state has paid off for him. We had a
fatal flaw this morning on Romney with the discussion of the pink slips.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, that -- a story like that just goes through the
countryside like wildfire. It`s something that is water cooler talk.
People talk about that. John, has that hurt him?

NICHOLS: It has hurt a lot. In fact, that is the funny thing. I,
being a bad pundit, thought initially that it was something people would --
they see the context. Wrong. I had it brought up to me at gas stations,
in stores. People were watching it again and again. It`s on a repeat
loop, much like Howard Dean`s Scream Speech in Iowa in 2004. It is going
to hurt Romney.

SCHULTZ: I got to tell both of you and the audience tonight how I
feel. There is nothing wrong with being two and zero. I don`t care if you
win by five points or 10 points. If Romney comes out two and zero, it is
going to be a real tough road for everybody else, unless the social
conservatives gather behind one candidate.

We`ll see if it happens. John Nichols, Jennifer Donahue, thanks so
much for joining us tonight.

An Obama-Clinton ticket in 2012? The speculation continues. Look,
it`s great for talk radio and it`s great for cable news. That is why I`m
going to talk to Jonathan Alter and Joan Walsh. You got to be thinking
about it.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any chance you would be vice president
in the second term?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it in the realm of possibility?

CLINTON: I do not think it`s even in the realm of possibility.


SCHULTZ: That was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton back in October
addressing rumors of a possible swap, job swap with Vice President Joe
Biden. It has been media speculation for over a year. The scenario runs
something like this. Joe Biden goes to the State Department, while Hillary
Clinton joins Barack Obama on the campaign trail, fires up the base and
serves as vice president, as President Obama is reelected to a second term.

It all sounds good in Disneyland, doesn`t it? Today, "New York Times"
columnist Bill Keller took it a step further. He joined the fray, arguing
that an Obama-Clinton ticket in 2012 is just what the Democrats need.
Keller believes Clinton as VP "does more to guarantee Obama`s reelection
than anything else the Democrats can do."

Kelly also writes a Vice President Clinton makes her "the Democratic
party`s heir apparent in 2016."

Now this is all great fodder for cable news. I don`t think that the
Biden/Clinton switch is going to take place. But I like talking about it.
I do think it`s a discussion the Democrats need to have, because there is
nothing wrong with it. Just hear me out on this one.

The Democratic party needs to be thinking about the next generation.
With Clinton on the ticket, it would be really looking good for 16 years
for a Democrat in the White House, don`t you think? It`s a way to ensure
progressive policies are enacted and preserved in this country. It`s a way
to ensure that Roe v Wade is protected and the Supreme Court isn`t taken
over by right wing activists.

Whether you think the idea is nuts or not, well, I still think it`s
worth thinking about and talking about. If the president did it, I don`t
think there would be any criticism whatsoever. Joe Biden is a good man.
He`s done a great job. But it`s all about winning.

I`m joined tonight by Joan Walsh, editor at large,, and
Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and columnist for "Bloomberg View,"
who wrote back in October about this? Jonathan, it is still out there.
What -- is there a freak of possibility of this happening?

JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": There is just a little tiny
mathematical possibility. It`s really -- it would be a Hail Mary Pass,
essentially, if President Obama was behind in the polls, at the time of the
Democratic convention, and they only had a little more than eight weeks to
go before the election, and he had a lot of ground to pick up.

The reason they don`t even consider it really in the White House is
they believe it would look weak, that to throw Joe Biden under the bus
would seem desperate, and that it would hurt on what they call the
leadership score. It would make President Obama craven and political,
aside from the fact that he has an outstanding relationship with Joe Biden
and simply doesn`t want to do it, if he had his druthers.

SCHULTZ: Joan, what do you think of all of this conversation? Good,
bad, ugly, whatever? What do you think?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Gee, Bill Keller, come on. It`s not like
there is no political news. It`s not like it`s a slow news day. There is
so much for us to talk about, Ed. There`s so much more that is

I understand your enthusiasm for it. Look, I love Hillary Clinton.
But I agree with Jonathan, first of all. It would look weak. It would
almost certainly look weak. It would almost certainly look like
desperation. And it would be criticized.

Bill Keller would be the first one out of the gate saying, wow, what
is going on in the White House to reward Joe Biden this way. And it`s also
kind of crazy because actually the White House is on an upswing in
virtually every way. Messaging -- the poll numbers are up. So it`s kind
of speculating about something that is a theoretical, that doesn`t even
feel politically like it is going to happen.

SCHULTZ: Let`s just say it happens, OK? I`m having fun with this.
Let`s just say it happens. And let`s say that President Obama gets
reelected. In 2016, Hillary Clinton would be one of the most qualified
people to run for president in the history of the country, having been the
First Lady, having been a United States senator, having been the secretary
of state, having been the vice president of the United States.

It would be credentials and executive experience unparalleled
anywhere. The Democrats need to think in terms of generational victories
because of the Supreme Court. Jonathan, your thoughts?

ALTER: Ed, if credentials and qualifications were the standards, then
Dick Cheney would have been president instead of George W. Bush. He would
have been everything before he was vice president. Certainly Barack Obama
didn`t have much in the way of those kind of qualifications and experience.

SCHULTZ: You`d have to admit that Hillary Clinton would be one of the
most experienced people ever to run for the office.

ALTER: She would. But the way politics work, she would probably get
knocked off by Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary.

WALSH: It would be a long time to sit in one of those seats. It
really -- it wouldn`t necessarily help her, Ed, I don`t think. I think if
she wants to do it in 2016, she can come and do it in 2016. I`m not
worried about that.

SCHULTZ: Joan, there is -- probably the down side of it all for the
Democrats would be that Hillary Clinton does have a way of invigorating the
right wing in this country. They used to raise money off her name pretty
good any time that she was in the news.

WALSH: We forget about that. She became such a big hero. Look, she
has got a high approval rating largely because she is not running for
anything. She is not entirely in the public spotlight. People always like
her better when she goes a way a little bit. I love her. That is not a
diss. But let`s just be real about the way politics work in this country.

ALTER: Never say never, thought, Ed. Where you`re right is never say
never, because politicians do what it takes. So even though there is a
minuscule chance of this happening, you cannot rule it out entirely. A lot
can change in the next nine months.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, Jonathan Alter, always a pleasure. Good to have
you with us. Thank you.

Newt Gingrich thinks because he worked with Colin Powell and
Condoleezza Rice that he could teach the NAACP about Food Stamps. Dr.
James Peterson sounds off on that. I`ll have commentary as well. Stay
with us.


SCHULTZ: Tonight our survey -- ED SHOW survey, I asked you will more
Americans receive pink slips if Mitt Romney becomes the president? Ninety
seven percent of you said yes; three percent of you said no.

Next up, Newt Gingrich doubles down on his comments about Food Stamps
and the African American community. Dr. James Peterson is next. Stay with


SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, Newt Gingrich is doubling down on his offer
to help the NAACP cut back on food Stamps. Over the weekend, a town hall
attendee confronted Gingrich about his recent suggestion that most Food
Stamp recipients are African American.

Well, Newt`s lengthy response began with his favorite strategy,


GINGRICH: The Democratic National Committee took totally out of
context half of a sentence. OK? I think clearly, as somebody who has
served with Colin Powell, somebody who has served with Condi Rice, I have a
fairly good sense that, in fact, African Americans have made many
contributions to America.


SCHULTZ: After playing I`m the not racist, I worked with Condi card,
Gingrich doubled down on the comment that got him in trouble in the first


GINGRICH: I said I would like to debate the issue of Food Stamps
versus paychecks. Now there`s currently 43 percent African American
teenage unemployment in the United States. That number should be
unacceptable to any American.

I said I would be willing to go to the NAACP annual conventions, which
most Republicans are not willing to do. And I would be willing to talk
about the importance of Food Stamps versus paychecks. I would have thought
there would have been a positive response that says, gosh, here is a
Republican who cares enough that he`s willing to go and talk to one of the
most left wing organizations in America about how to help the people they


SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Dr. James Peterson the director of
Africana Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University.

Professor, I want your response to what you just heard on that

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Flabbergasted, number one.
Number one, the NAACP is not one of the most liberal organizations.
They`re progressive, but I wouldn`t count them as amongst the most liberal

Number two, here is a memo to everyone who makes these racial faux
pas, the my best friend is black response is probably the worst response
you can make. It`s panned because basically it reduces the discussion to
your individual relationships, when in reality you`re making commentaries
about millions of people.

That is the problem here. When we look at the numbers, we know that
are more white folk on welfare than there are black folk. But more to the
point, why would this conversation only need to be had at the NAACP? Why
wouldn`t we be having this conversation everywhere?

SCHULTZ: That`s the amazing thing, because there has been a few days
from when he originally said this and when he was confronted on the
campaign trial. Yet he made no mention of just how many white people in
this country are on Food Stamps. But he is still willing to go to the left
wing organization the NAACP and tell them a few things.

What does this kind of rhetoric do? What would be his motivation for
talking like this?

PETERSON: I think when we put it in the context of like Michele
Bachmann`s comments about slavery or Herman Cain`s comments about this
place not being racial, or Rick Santorum black-to-blah comments -- within
that framework, it seems clear to me that there is a problem with race on
the Republican side of politics.

So I feel as if this is about the ways in which some of these
candidates try to pander to a right that is a little more racially focused
than the rest of the country. And so they try to score point there. And
then they have to backtrack when they get caught.

I`m writing about this week. My co-author and I, David Leonard, are
co-publishing a piece about race in Republican politics. What we do is we
try to catalog all these pieces to get people to think about this in a much
more comprehensive way, so that we can address it more directly.

SCHULTZ: Is this the dirty little secret of the Republican party,
that they just really do fundamentally struggle with race? Santorum also
recently came under fire for similar rhetoric. Is this how they win over
conservatives? You have to ask the question.

PETERSON: I think we see more of it in the Republican primary piece,
or you see more of it in like Tea Party organization, because those public
events or public sort of speaking opportunities are geared towards and
pander to a very small minority within the Republican party itself, which
is actually a minority in American politics.

So yes, there is pandering to folk who think about race as if it`s in
the 1950`s.

SCHULTZ: There`s one other thing I want to bring up. It`s very
profound that none of these Republican candidates talk about the poor.
Income disparity -- I`m not talking about income disparity. I`m talking
about the poor people in this country, the number of people who are living
underneath the poverty level. They never talk about that. Why is that?

PETERSON: Because the poor folk don`t represent a voting block that
they are willing to cater to. They don`t have a lot of money. They can`t
afford a -- what do you call it? A super PAC. So they`re not going to be
talking about poor folk. We haven`t seen anyone even mention or talk much
about poor folk.

If you really want to have the conversation about Food Stamps and
about pay checks, that is a conversation we need to have about poor folk in

SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson, great to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time. We`ll look forward to your work.

That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on Sirius
XM Radio, 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 pm. That would be
tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter @EdShow. And you can also like me and all
that kind of good stuff on Facebook.

"RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starting right now. I do want to announce that
North Dakota State defeated Sam Houston State, 17 to six. Sam Houston went
into the game averaging 39 points a game. And the Bison held them to two
field goals. That`s how you win a national championship.

Rachel, good evening. Looking forward to tomorrow night.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: You did not have like a feeling about
that game or anything, did you, Ed?

SCHULTZ: I had a good feeling about it. That is why I ran all the
tape, because it`s always good to be with the winners. Seventeen to six
was the final. Way to go Bison.

MADDOW: Thank you, Ed. I`ll see you tomorrow night, man. I`m so
looking forward to it.

SCHULTZ: You bet. It`s going to be a good one.


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