updated 1/23/2012 10:17:45 AM ET 2012-01-23T15:17:45

Guests: Jimmy Williams, Goldie Taylor; Steve Benen, Bob Shrum, Mike Papantonio

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

It`s a slug-fest in South Carolina. And the entire presidential race
could blow wide open.

Mitt Romney -- I mean, this guy can`t get this tax thing squared away.
Newt Gingrich is on a roll coming on strong.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m appalled that you
would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Newt is slamming the media. Now, he`s the
South Carolina favorite.

And Mitt Romney still is dodging questions about his tax returns.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t know how many years
I`ll release. I`ll take a look what our documents are.

SCHULTZ: We`ll have full analysis of last night`s debate with MSNBC
political analyst Richard Wolffe and Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.

It`s show time at the Apollo for the president.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (singing): I`m so in
love with you --

(CHEERS)

SCHULTZ: Plus, Stephen Colbert is on the campaign trail.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I want to thank Senator DeMint, who was a
maybe. Is he here? No? OK.

SCHULTZ: "The Grio`s" Goldie Taylor, Steve Benen of "The Washington
Monthly," and MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams here to break it all down.

Middle class millionaire Mitt Romney actually said this.

ROMNEY: Someone who has lived in the real streets of America.

SCHULTZ: That dandy is landing Willard in the zone.

And yesterday, Romney lost his cool on a 99 percenter who was taking
him to task.

ROMNEY: America is right and you`re wrong.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, protester Tim Devincenzo (ph) speaks out
exclusively on the ED SHOW.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

I have a feeling Mitt Romney just can`t wait to get out of South
Carolina. I mean, did this guy like lose his tax returns in a house fire
or something? I mean, where are they? I mean, it`s been a bad week for
Romney and now, he`s trying to manage expectations of the South Carolina
primary.

Romney told reporters today that he`s focusing on delegates, not wins.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: If those polls were right, regardless of who gets the final
number, we`re both going to get a lot of delegates. So, I want as many
delegates as I can I get, I want the most delegates coming out of South
Carolina. But I don`t know what the numbers will be. I`m pretty
confident.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, Romney isn`t getting much confidence from the latest
national Gallup poll. He had a 23 point lead over Newt Gingrich in the
beginning of the week. Now, Romney`s lead is only 10 points.

The poll has Romney at 30 percent. Gingrich at 20 percent. Romney
dropped seven points in four days. How`s that?

Well, Gingrich, he is going in the opposite direction.

Romney seems to be in a free fall, and he probably is connected to
this question about his tax returns. He got no help from another
Massachusetts moderate, Republican Senator Scott Brown told right wing
radio today, Romney, quote, "certainly has to release his returns."

Things are getting so bad for Romney, they are starting to affect his
old bosses. Romney worked at Bain and company before starting Bain
Capital. Talking Points Memo obtained an e-mail from Bain and company. It
shows the company struggling to distance itself from the negative image of
Bain Capital.

The e-mail told new hires to the company, "We have to explain more
frequently the distinction between the firms."

Romney is trying to change the subject. Today, he said Newt Gingrich
should release the documents related to his ethics investigation in
Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Of course he should. One of the issues that was raised last
night by Rick Santorum was the fact that he was pushed out of the House by
his fellow members. I think over 80 percent of Republican congressmen
voted to reprimand the speaker of the House, first time in history. And
there are -- Nancy Pelosi has the full record of that ethics investigation.
You know it`s going to get out before the general election. He should get
it out now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney is taking the "I`ll show you mine, if you show me
yours" approach. Here`s how Gingrich responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I refuse to take seriously any request form the Romney
campaign to disclose anything because they clearly not -- they don`t want
to disclose anything at any level that involves them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That`s how you talk when you are living high on the hog.
His performance in the debate could be pivotal in winning South Carolina.
Gingrich turned CNN`s John King into the bad guy and made himself the hero
when King asked about Gingrich`s ex-wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KING, CNN: She says that you came to her in 1999, at a time when
you were having an affair, she said you asked her, sir, to enter into an
open marriage. Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No. But I will.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential
debate on a topic like that.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KING: The story did not come from our network. As you also know, it
is a subject of conversation on the campaign. I`m not -- I get your point
-- I take your point.

GINGRICH: John, it was repeated by your network, you chose to start
the debate with it, don`t try to blame somebody else. You and your staff
chose to start this debate with it.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, compare Gingrich`s answer to Romney`s answer when King
brought up the way Mitt Romney`s father released his own tax returns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He released his tax returns. He released them for not one
year, but for 12 years. And when he did that, he said this, "One year
could be a fluke, perhaps done for show." When you release yours, will you
follow your father`s example?

ROMNEY: Maybe. You know, I don`t know how many years I`ll release.
I`ll look at what the -- what our documents are. And I`ll release multiple
years, I don`t know how many years and -- but I will be happy to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, the word "maybe" may haunt the rest of his campaign.
Romney I think looked defensive, evasive and not very convincing. He
answered the question just as poorly as he did four days early.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I hadn`t planned on releasing tax returns, the law requires
us to release all of our assets, all the things we own. That I`ve already
released. It`s pretty full disclosure. But, you know, if that has been
tradition and I`m not opposed to doing that, time will tell. But I
anticipate that most likely, I`m going to get asked to do that around April
time period and I`ll keep that open.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Time-out here. I can`t believe the guy who is in the
opinion of many, the guy who is going to win the Republican nomination,
doesn`t have a better answer, that he doesn`t have an advisor on his staff
that turns to him and says "OK, enough of these answers about the tax
returns, let`s give them a date. Boss, you got to give them a date, March
15th, do it on a Friday night at midnight, let`s have fun with it. We`re
clean as a whistle right here, let`s just have fun, keep giving them a
date."

If you give the media and a world a date, the story goes away, we look
at that date. Every answer is about that date.

Why doesn`t Romney do that? Why isn`t there somebody in his camp that
is politically savvy enough to know that you can make this story go away
instead of having problem after problem after problem in each debate on how
to answer this thing? He`s now wordsmithing his financial history.

And you want to know why he`s going down in the polls? This is about
trust, especially with conservatives in South Carolina. The constant
stumbling makes people really want to know, what is in his returns?

He turned an easy win into a possible loss. Tomorrow night, I mean,
we could have 1-1-1, Santorum has one, you`ve got Romney winning on home
turf in New Hampshire, and you`ve got probably Gingrich winning in South
Carolina. I mean, the longer this thing goes, the more Romney will regret
saying the word "maybe."

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: do you think there are skeletons in Mitt Romney`s tax closet? A
for damn right, text b for no, to 622639. And you can always go to our
blog there at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll have the results for you later on in the
program.

I`m joined tonight by Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist and NYU
professor, and also MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe. We got them
mixed up there, both they`re both really smart and good-looking guys. And
that`s why they`re on THE ED SHOW tonight.

Gentlemen, good to have you with us.

Richard, let`s start with you, is this now the drag on the Romney
campaign? What do you think?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it`s a drag in a
number of ways. First of all, obviously, he looks evasive now. What he`s
signaling to voters who are only just tuning in and, yes, there are plenty
of them, is that he`s got something to hide. He`s extremely uncomfortable.
And that`s the last thing damage, tactically -- I don`t me strategically.

But tactically, for the Obama folks watching this, they know the tax
returns are going to be out there, maybe old news by the time they get
really stuck in with him. But they are watching these debate performances
and seeing someone very easily thrown off his game. Have you seen how his
eyes blink through these responses. It`s like a semaphore signal.

He`s signaling. He`s deeply uncomfortable with the references to his
father, with the references to his own wealth. He`s not someone who is
embracing confidently the wealth that he has created and earned for
himself.

So, that`s a problem for him, and it shows in these debates for all
the practice, all of the rehearsal, all the years running for president,
he`s not there.

SCHULTZ: I mean, I keep thinking behind the scenes of the Romney
campaign -- boss, give them a date. Let`s get this question out of the
way.

Maybe he`s not the kind of guy that can take an answer like that.
Maybe he`s a dictatorial kind of manager and doesn`t want to be told what
to do.

But the counter punch that he has come up with, Bob Shrum, is that,
hey, Newt, why don`t you release your ethics investigation forms?

I mean, that`s been the counter-punch. Is it a good one, Bob?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No, I don`t think it`s a good one
at all. First of all, anybody with a computer can get the 900-page ethics
report. Secondly, Romney doesn`t have standing to make this argument.

You know, Ed, last night, he came across as stiff and animatronic.
And I think he`s beginning not only to encounter resistance from
conservatives. But he`s raising anxieties among Republicans about how he`d
actually do in a general election.

And if you look at that resistance, you know, at a comparable period
after Iowa and New Hampshire in 2004, John Kerry was at 54 percent, 55
percent in the polls. And a week later, a week after this, 65 percent.

As you pointed out, Romney is at 30 in the Gallup poll and he`s
falling rapidly.

So, I think when you listen to him, when you look at him, he`s not
comfortable -- Richard is absolutely right -- in his own skin. I saw this
in 1994 with Senator Kennedy, when he was debating Senator Kennedy. If you
challenged him or said anything unexpected, he got very brittle, he handled
it very poorly. He sort of biffed and farbled.

But you`d think and you`re absolutely right about this, on this tax
question, he would have had an answer. The only explanation I can come up
with is that they are terrified of what`s in these returns, that they don`t
want to release more than one year, and that they`ve now been put in the
position where they`re going to have to release multiple years, and they
are worried what the impact is going to be.

SCHULTZ: Some congressional members have told me that they think that
there is a chance he has paid no tax in some of those years and that just
will not fly with the American people. That`s what they think is behind
all of this.

Richard, what about Gingrich? Did he seal the deal for South Carolina
last night?

WOLFFE: Well, he made a signature move from the get-go, which is to
turn on the media. Can we just for a minute savor the irony, the sweet
aroma of hypocrisy, of Newt Gingrich saying that there was no decorum in
raising such questions about fidelity? He made presidential setting as if
the man had nothing to do with impeachment and inflicting a debate about
oral sex on American people for two years.

So, you know, putting that aside for a minute, he did what he had to
do, he got the crowd riled up. He got them to their feet. That`s what he
needed for those South Carolina voters.

But really, any -- if Romney was a serious candidate, he should have
taken him apart by now because it`s just too easy.

SCHULTZ: What did you think of Gingrich`s response on the offensive,
Bob, no question about it. He knew that question was coming. He might not
have known they were going to lead with it, but he basically was asked for
a response. He wasn`t asked a direct question. It was a response, "Do you
want to respond to that?" He said "No, but I will."

SHRUM: Right.

SCHULTZ: How did he handle it? I mean, that was about as aggressive
as we`ve seen anybody take on a question or any response in a debate

SHRUM: Look, he`s a masterful debater. He was lucky that it was a
lead question. He was lucky that it was a CNN debate, not FOX. Made it
easier to go after the mainstream media.

Spoke right to the heart of Republicans, and their preconceptions
about the media.

And, you know, as you went on in the debate and watch him, you know,
Rick Santorum accuses him of being grandiose. He slightly changes the
meaning of the word and says this is a grandiose country, we`re big people,
we do big things.

This guy is very good on his feet. Romney is very bad on his feet,
and Romney actually I think has proved that for him being spontaneous is
very dangerous, because when he`s spontaneous, he says things like the one
you pointed out, that he lives in the real street of America. What in a
$12 million house in La Joya? Or one the suburbs of Boston?

I don`t think the guy gets it. I don`t think he knows how to connect
with people.

SCHULTZ: You guys are great. I could talk to you all night. We got
to run.

Bob Shrum, Richard Wolffe, always a pleasure. Great to have you with
us tonight.

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, always.

Romney`s terrible answers on his income tax return are raising serious
legal questions in the legal community. Mike Papantonio will join and
explain why.

And the Republican infighting continues, President Obama sings some Al
Green for one lucky crowd. We`ve got the tape in case you missed this.

Stay tuned. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: Mitt stumbles on his tax return
issue. Mike Papantonio is all over it. He`ll join me for the discussion
next.

Stephen Colbert and Herman Cain rally in Charleston, South Carolina.
Drew a record crowd. Can they be spoilers in tomorrow`s primary? Our
political panel is here on that and more chaos in South Carolina.

And when confronted with a question on the campaign trail from a 99
percenter, Mitt Romney loses his cool. The man who confronted Mitt is my
exclusive guest, later in this hour.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Now, put yourselves in the shoes of a South Carolina voter. And
listen to this man`s question and Newt Gingrich`s answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MARCOUX, RETIRED STOCK TRADER: Gentlemen, when will you release
your tax returns specifically?

GINGRICH: An hour ago.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: In just three words. Newt Gingrich, he got rid of it.

Here`s Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Governor Romney, when will we see yours?

ROMNEY: When my taxes are complete for this year and I know that if
I`m the nominee the president is going to want to insist that I -- show
what my income was the last year and so forth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course that`s just part, the small part of Romney`s long-
winded answer. But he is given another chance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Should the people of South Carolina before this election see
last year`s return?

ROMNEY: Because I want to make sure that I beat President Obama and
every time we release things drip by drip, the Democrats go out with
another array of attacks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, again, put yourself in the shoes and in the mindset of
a South Carolina voter -- very conservative, social issues, pretty staunch.
Romney comes up with a brand new excuse every time. But of course, this is
the worst.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Will you follow your father`s example?

ROMNEY: Maybe.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Maybe, dude get out of here, I don`t want to answer that.

I mean, three chances, three strikes in just one debate?

I don`t think pro-life voters in South Carolina are going to feel very
much comfort when they hear Mitt Romney give multiple answers to a very
simple question. If he can`t show some spine on a tax question, why should
they trust him on any complex social issue that is near and dear to their
heart? I think it`s going to hurt him.

Let`s turn to Mike Papantonio, host of "Ring of Fire" radio show.

Mike, great to have you with us tonight.

Let`s put the tax question aside for a moment. What do they answers
say about Romney`s character?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, "RING OF FIRE" HOST: Well, first of all, it says
that he`s afraid to tell us something, his answers are all -- he`s flip-
flopped, Ed, on why he can`t do this. It`s no different from the flip flop
of every other major issue that Romney has been confronted with.

When they call him the flip flopper, he is a true flip-flopper. But
he has a lot of flip-flop about here. I mean, look, there is 150 grand
jury investigations going on right now about offshore banking. It comes
out of the UBS story that you might remember from last year, where UBS had
to pay $800 million for the all tax scams that were taking place.

Not to talk about this, Ed, is like having a white elephant sitting in
the living room.

But let me say this -- offshore banking originated when organized
crime tried to avoid letting us know what was going on with them. You will
not find anybody in America who will come on television and tell you that
there is any reason at all for having offshore banking except for several
reasons. One is: avoid taxes, you want to avoid taxes. The other is to
camouflage who you`re doing business with, Ed.

Understand, the money is not put in a bank. It`s not -- the money is
not sitting in a bank. It`s sitting in investment funds.

So the question then becomes who is his partner in the investment
fund? Who is he doing business with? Understand, this is a man who has
been in politics a long time. What if there is some type of political
connection between the investment fund and a favor that he did for somebody
when he was in politics before. These are questions that have to be
answered.

But I will tell you this -- offshore banking makes it very difficult
for prosecutors and regulators to track down the money.

And when they studied this in Europe, just several years ago, they did
a very extensive study, they said there was no reason to be offshore
banking except to camouflage or hide what you`re doing. Here`s the most
obvious question, Ed. If he doesn`t have anything to hide, why were the
money would be sitting right here in the United States, in a mom and pop
bank, rather than hiding it with Bain Capital overseas?

SCHULTZ: What do you make of the campaign`s answer saying that it`s
in a blind trust or -- they used the term "blind." What about that?

PAPANTONIO: Yes. Well, there`s nothing -- let me tell you something.
Blind is -- you give to it somebody and say you go invest it, but that
doesn`t mean we don`t have the right to understand what that blind
investment is all about. We still have the right to understand it.

He may think it`s blind to him but to the American public, who is
voting on a man to lead the free world and we don`t know what the level of
his honesty is, all we know is we see him flip-flop virtually every minute
when he answers a question about this. There is no way that this guy can
win a general election.

You know, if I`m a Republican, here`s what I`m asking.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

PAPANTONIO: I want to know about this before the primaries, because
if we hit the general election and then start finding the truth out, then
the Republicans are down the tube.

SCHULTZ: So, you`re in Vegas tonight and gambling legally, you`re
putting your money down that he`s hiding something? There is something
very embarrassing here that he just doesn`t want out there.

All right. Now --

PAPANTONIO: There is zero question in my mind about that.

SCHULTZ: All right. And, finally, the Romney camp says the funds
established in the Cayman Islands are taxed in a very same way, they would
be if those funds were established in the United States. What about that?

PAPANTONIO: Yes. Well, here it is. They are taxed in the same way,
if we know what the shell game is, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Right.

PAPANTONIO: In other words, it`s not -- we have to know, where is the
shell? Where is the money under which shell?

So what you can do is you can move those shells around to where you
have a tax rate of zero percent. And that`s what is he`s doing, I promise
you that is what he`s doing.

SCHULTZ: Well, the American public is getting a real education
following this campaign when it comes to offshore, that`s for sure.

Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us.

Next, Mitt Romney thinks he`s a man of the streets. Did I say that?
Yes, he thinks he`s a man of the streets. That`s what he said. We`ll show
him how wrong he is when he lands in the zone.

Stephen Colbert and Herman Cain -- they held a rally in South Carolina
today. We got the tape and our political panel will weigh in. Goldie
Taylor, Jimmy Williams and Steve Benen, they are here tonight. Lots more
coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: In "Psycho Talk" tonight, 1 percent Mitt is trying to appeal
to regular Americans once again. During last night`s debate, he tried to
make himself appear more in touch than his competitors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Involvement in Washington, is my view a perfect example of
why we need to send to Washington someone who has not lived in Washington
but someone who lived in the real streets of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What real streets is Mitt Romney talking about? The ones by
his $12 million beach house in California? By his mansion in New
Hampshire?

Maybe he`s talking about the street by his old colonial house in
Massachusetts. Or his seven -bedroom ski cabin in Utah. I wonder if the
streets are paved.

Or Maybe Romney has more experience with the real streets of America
than we thought.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: We need to send to Washington someone who has not lived in
Washington but someone who lived in the real streets of America.

I like being able to fire people.

There`s nothing wrong with profit.

Corporations are people.

Probably closer to 15 percent rate;.

Ten thousand dollar bet?

(MUSIC)

ROMNEY: What`s up, gangstas? It`s the M-I double tizzle.

Never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay
the mortgage.

There were a couple times I was wondering if I was going to get a pink
slip.

I`m also employed.

Who let the dogs out? Who, who?

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: Oh, I think the only two streets Mitt Romney has been on are
Wall Street and easy street. And for him to continue to pretend he`s in
touch with middle class Americans is corporate "Psycho Talk."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m so in love with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Coming up: our political panel on show time at the Apollo
and the chaos in Carolina.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you like to take
time to respond to that?

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, but I will.

SCHULTZ: It`s an epic day for the Colbert campaign in South Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only difference of Mitt Romney and a statue of
Mitt Romney is that the statue never changes its position.

SCHULTZ: And it`s an "Ed Show" exclusive.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me tell you something,
America is a great nation.

SCHULTZ: Yesterday, Mitt Romney freaked out at a 99 percenter,
tonight, that man responds only "the Ed Show."

(END VIDEO TAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show." I may be the only person in
America who feels this way but Newt Gingrich made a fool of himself last
night. Everybody, and I mean everybody in the Republican party knows that
character counts. They have preached it for years.

But last night, in the wake of what some call a serious accusation,
Gingrich decided to pull one of his favorites and attack the media. In
this case, John King. It was the right subject at the perfect time in the
right setting. I thought this is why we had debates in our political
process. To clear the air. To leave no stone un-turn. Gingrich wasn`t
even asked a direct question. He was asked to respond. As for the
standing ovation, what do you expect from a full room of right wingers in
the south? Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Your ex-wife gave an interview to ABC news, she said you asked
her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. Would you like to take some time
to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No. But I will.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much
of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract
decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would
begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Makes it harder to govern the country but there`s a question
like. Well, tell me Newt. Tell the world. How do you feel about the
president dealing with a record number of filibusters in an obstructive
agenda that has been put forth in front of a president that no president
ever had to deal with it? Does that make it hard to govern? What do you
think?

Let`s bring in Goldie Taylor, managing editor of the "Goldie Taylor
Project," Steve Benen with us tonight in a `Washington Monthly" and MSNBC
contributor and former Democratic strategist and senate staffer, Jimmy
Williams. Great to have you with us tonight.

Goldie, let me ask you first. How did Gingrich handle that?

GOLDIE TAYLOR, THE GOLDIE TAYLOR PROJECT: Well, you know, he took
what was a softball, sort of tossed over the plate, something he could have
tuck aid way bunted, landed on first. He tried to rip the skin off the
ball and in fact, he did. He wasn`t talking to you or me, he was talking
to his GOP base there in South Carolina and this is just the kind of red
meat they want to hear. It`s what drives them out to the polls,. It`s
what gets them fired up. It`s the same script that Newt Gingrich has been
writing and singing for 35 years. And so I don`t know why anybody expected
him to respond really any differently.

SCHULTZ: Now, you`re from the neighborhood down there, you`re from
Georgia. You know. Is that red meat to them, is that going to help him?

TAYLOR: That is absolutely red meat. I mean, it`s the kind of
question that Gingrich was waiting for, his answer was prep and ready to
go, the feigned outrage and all. I mean, it is how he is going to turn
this rolled out tomorrow. And likely, how he`s going to win this primary.

SCHULTZ: Jimmy, does that fair well with Southern conservatives who
are Christian based, to have those family values that have been talking
about this and pitting it against the Democrats for years, how does this
wear?

JIMMY WILLIAMS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, as usual, Goldie Taylor is
dead on the money on this but she is right. I`m from South Carolina, and
let me be clear about something that folks back home like. They like when
you attack the media, and Gingrich knew exactly what he was doing. He`s a
pro.

Here is the other thing to remember about those kinds of voters down
in South Carolina. They are Christians. And Christians believe in the
redemption of the sinner. I wrote about this yesterday. And at the end of
the day, Gingrich admits he sinned. He reformed himself, according to
himself and according to other Christians. And so now, he is in the
perfect marriage. And he may have made mistakes, he has admitted to them
though. That plays well. It makes him real. It makes him like somebody
that lives down there.

Here`s the problem, though. Romney has zero in common with anyone
down there. Tea partiers don`t like him, evangelicals don`t like him. And
you put Newt Gingrich, who is in your face, who is a sinner but who is
redeemed, and you compare him to Romney. It`s a clear winner, Gingrich is
going to win the South Carolina primary tomorrow.

SCHULTZ: Steve Benen, from a journalist position, given the history
of Newt Gingrich going after Bill Clinton, as vocal as he was, how he led
the charge for impeachment. Doesn`t that make it doubly tough or does it
make it easier to ask Gingrich those kinds of questions?

STEVE BENEN, WASHINGTON MONTHLY: I think it`s the former. I think it
was kind of astounding to me to hear him talk about the fact these
allegations would make it difficult for someone to govern. And it was hard
not to stop and think. Wait, weren`t you the same guy leading this
impeachment charge against a sitting president not that long ago in the
late 90s, while he was carrying on an affair with his now third wife. The
fact that he seemed completely disconnected from all that and the audience
just ate it up was jarring and a reminder if this how detached Republican
politics are from recent history.

SCHULTZ: There are e-mails were sent to South Carolina voters
claiming Newt Gingrich forced ex-wife to have an abortion. One of them was
made to look like it was a CNN breaking news alert. CNN says it did not
send it. Gingrich the campaign says they are fake. Here is his reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: It`s an unfortunate fact that there are elements in
American politics that are negative, dishonest and used the words I used
last night, despicable. If we could find out who they are, I would urge
the government to prosecute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We can go back to 2000 and talk about the Bush and McCain
back and forth, Steve Benen, is this just life in South Carolina
politically?

BENEN: You know, I don`t want to disparage my friends in South
Carolina but, I don`t think anyone was terribly surprised when we saw the
dirty tricks that we saw today. It`s something we`ve come to expect. We
know that allies of George W. Bush had some vicious smears toward John
McCain years ago in the South Carolina primary which could be quite
effective.

I think though, that it`s interesting to think about where the source
of the attacks were, Romney campaign or someone associated with the Romney
campaign was in any way involved with some of the things we saw today, that
is going to get a very serious bash lash.

SCHULTZ: Goldie, what about these tax returns. You got a moderate
senator from Massachusetts now, and Scott Brown who has come out and said
about the former governor, Mitt Romney up there. He`s in a category, a lot
of those folks are categories that we don`t really understand, and
certainly he has to release his returns. What do you make of it? Does he
have to do it, why is he not doing it?

TAYLOR: He has to do it. For 100 bucks, he can get a copy of turbo
tax, a laser printer and a ream of paper. He ought to have that on the
ready tonight. We don`t care how much money Mitt Romney made. What we
care about is those deductions, and where is the money, what happened in
the Cayman islands? That`s what we cared about.

SCHULTZ: And did he pays his fair share under the law? Goldie
Taylor, Steve Benen and Jimmy Williams. Stay with us, lots more coming up.

Thousands showed up for his rally today. How well, will Stephen
Colbert do tomorrow? I mean, it`s a serious question, stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: There is, at least, one elephant polling for Stephen
Colbert, highlight from Colbert and Herman Cain`s rally next. Don`t forget
to tweet us using #edshow. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show." It was the biggest campaign
rally of the 2012 election cycles so far, no kidding. Charleston police
estimated 4,000 people in attendance. The only problem, those 4,000 people
weren`t there to see any of the major contenders in tomorrow`s GOP primary.
They were there to see a non-candidate and guy who used to be a candidate,
but dropped out.

Stephen Colbert and Herman Cain joined forces today. Colbert is on a
mission to become the president of the United States of South Carolina, and
the pizza man is lending a hand. Today`s rally featured a marching band,
gospel choir and vocal styling of Herman Cain.

(HERMAN CAIN SINGING)

SCHULTZ: Since Colbert couldn`t get his name on the South Carolina
ballot he`s name on the South Carolina ballots, he`s asking South Carolina
voters to vote for Herman Cain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I want you to vote for Herman Cain because
Herman Cain is me. We both refused to play by Washington`s rules. We both
flout convention when it comes to things like taxes and debt and how many
Becky`s there are in (inaudible). I say three, Herman says four. National
geographic is working on it.

But mostly, I believe you should vote for Herman Cain because he
believes in hard work, the power of free market and he possesses one thing
I don`t think I will ever have. A place on the South Carolina primary
ballot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: In a preview of tomorrow`s contest, Asia, a local circus
elephant, cast her vote. She was presented with pictures of Mitt Romney,
Newt Gingrich and Stephen Colbert. Guess what. she of course picked
Stephen Colbert. It is going to be something tomorrow.

I`m joined again tonight by Goldie Taylor, Steve Benen of "the
Washington Monthly" and MSNBC contributor, Jimmy Williams.

Goldie, seriously. What affect will Colbert have on this election? I
mean, he`s polling at 13 percent. What does this mean?

TAYLOR: Well, you know, I guess that is why Perry got out. He didn`t
want to be beaten by Stephen Colbert.

(LAUGHTER)

TAYLOR: I think that -- every time I hear I got to thank him for
letting me hear from Herman Cain sing again. Every time I hear him sing I
feel closer to Jesus as in dead.

(LAUGHTER)

TAYLOR: But, you know, at the end of the day, it means that people
are really dissatisfied with their choices. You know, and Stephen Colbert
has got a message and it`s about keeping big money out of politics. It`s
about telling the truth. He`s making a mockery process to show us what the
truth is. And so, I applaud what Colbert and some of the others are doing
a, you know, really to point to the issues.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. Steve, you have a weekly feature on your blog
highlighting the most offensive Mitt Romney falsehoods of the week. What
is this week`s biggest Romney lie?

BENEN: There`s a lot to choose from this week. You know, we had a
handful.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: A lot to choose from, give me the number one thing.

BENEN: My favorite one, my top choice would be the claim he made
early in the week that the president did not yet have a jobs plan. That
struck me as astounding he would make that claim after we had months of
debate about the American jobs act, after president gave a speech in joint
session of congress. I`m thinking, how in the world could, even Mitt
Romney, have missed all of this, the debate, the speech, the analyses,
scrutiny. The fact he said the president didn`t have a jobs plan is
certainly was the most glaring falsehood of the week.

SCHULTZ: And while all this for Republican in-fighting is going to,
President Obama was at the Apollo last night singing Al Green. Here it is.

(BARACK OBAMA SINGING)

SCHULTZ: All right, Jimmy, no doubt he`s better than Herman Cain, but
is there any chance we could get Bill Clinton on the saxophone and
president carrying a tune, what do you think?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think it make for a hell of a theatrical
performance but not nearly as a theater performance as the Colbert - Cain
showdown at South Carolina. Well, I had no idea that Barack Obama could
sing as well as he could. And I`m a little blown away.

I think - you know what, I don`t like that kind of stuff. I don`t
like when Herman Cain sings. I don`t like when Barack Obama sings. I`m
pleasantly surprised. I just want them to, you know, lead the country and
do the right thing, et cetera, et cetera.

So it`s nice relief. It`s funny to look at. But let`s -- the country
is in a world of hurt. Unemployment in South Carolina almost at 10
percent. We need to create 30 million jobs and we`re not doing that.

So we have to refocus a little bit. That goes to the heart of why
people in South Carolina are so displeased to a large degree with the
candidate or this field of candidates. They just don`t like the slate that
is before them and that is they are fed up at this point.

SCHULTZ: And Jimmy, quickly, give me a prediction about the primary
and life after South Carolina.

BENEN: Well, listen. You know, two days ago I thought Gingrich would
come in second. I think he win tomorrow by four to five points.

SCHULTZ: OK.

BENEN: And if he does, gives him a fundraising boost to go in
Florida. Florida is an expensive state, four major media markets, it`s a
hell of a lot of money. And I don`t know that he is going to have that
money. But, it will going to make Romney suffer a little bit.

SCHULTZ: Steve Benen, your call, tomorrow and life after South
Carolina.

BENEN: I say Gingrich by about six points. And I think that in the
previous point about Florida is expensive is important. But Gingrich is
also has shown a demonstrated and an appeal with older voters who have a
very strong influence in Florida. I think he will be competitive there
too.

SCHULTZ: What do you think, Goldie?

TAYLOR: I think it`s Gingrich tomorrow and Gingrich by four or five.
But after Florida, you`ve got Mississippi and Alabama and all those other
red states. You have Georgia where he is going to bring it all home. And
so, that is going to extend the process just a little bit longer and Romney
just has no chance of locking it up if he loses South Carolina.

SCHULTZ: Goldie Taylor, Steve Benen, Jimmy Williams. Always a
pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for being on
"the Ed Show."

The American who dared to ask Mitt Romney a question he didn`t like.
See what happens when Mitt Romney meets the 99 percent next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: "The Ed Show" survey tonight, I asked - it`s a dandy. Do
you think there are skeletons in Mitt Romney`s tax closet? Ninety eight
percent of you said yes. Two percent of you said no.

Coming up, Mitt Romney told an occupy protester that America is right
and he is wrong. The protester joins me, exclusively, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And the big finish, Mitt Romney hasn`t figured out how to
relate to people worth less than several million dollars. I think that is
really that capsulize it all. Mr. One percent got in a heated discussion
with an occupy protester on the campaign trial in South Carolina. Romney
gave a testy response to a question about how he would help the 99 percent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you do to repeal citizens united?

ROMNEY: Hi, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will do you to support the 99 percent seeing
you`re part of the one percent?

ROMNEY: Let me tell you something, America is a great nation, because
we`re united nation. And those trying to divide the nation as you`re
trying to do here and as the president doing are hurting the country
seriously. The right course for America is not to die vied America, try to
divide it between one another is to come together as a nation. And if you
got a better model, if you think China is better or Russia is better or
Cuba is better or North Korea is better, glad to hear about it. You know
what, America is right and you`re wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And the man who confronted Mitt Romney joins me exclusively
tonight. Let me bring in Tim Devincenzo, a protester with occupy New
Hampshire, who has been down in Charleston, South Carolina working with the
occupy Charleston movement.

Tim, nice to meet you, good to have you on the program tonight. I
didn`t see the videotape of what kind of response you gave him when the
candidate, former governor of Massachusetts said that to you, what was your
response?

TIM DEVINCENZO, OCCUPY MOVEMENT PROTESTOR: Hi, thanks for having me
on the show. You know, my initial question was the anniversary today is
the anniversary of citizens unite and my initial question was about the
revocation of corporate personhood and Marriot putting, you know, million
dollars in a super PAC. And, you know, he dodged that question and then
when I hit him with how he will support the 99 percent, he went on his, you
know, ruffled feather Romney rent, you know, which was pretty typical.

But, my, you know, my response was, you know, are you denying
association with Marriott and I also, you know, was trying, you know, to
let him know that we can`t be silenced.

SCHULTZ: Did you think he lost his cool there, lost his composure and
had to regain it a little bit? What did you make of his reaction? I mean,
he came right at you. It was not a normal hey, how`s it going on the
campaign trail.

DEVINCENZO: Yes, you know, I just kept hitting him with the questions
and I finally got him to respond. You know, his response that occupy wall
street and occupy movement is trying to divide the country, you know, this
country is already divided by the division -- the divide of wealth, income
and power in this country has been relevant, real for over 30 years. And -
-.

SCHULTZ: Well, he told you to go to North Korea or China or some
other countries. What were you thinking when he was saying that?

DEVINCENZO: Yes, you know, I was pretty appalled by that, you know.
I`m an American citizen. I love this country. I`m proud to be an
American. And I came down with other patriots from New Hampshire to help
out with the event,. And, you know, stuff like that, you know, is just
typical, I guess, of Romney and, you know, it bothered me a lot. You know,
I love this country so.

SCHULTZ: Well, he ignored you when you asked him about citizens
united. What does that tell you, and what does it tell you about him?

DEVINCENZO: You know, it`s just -- it`s obvious he has -- he`s part
of the one percent. And you know, he wants to support the one percent.
And you know, I don`t know, occupy is addressing these issues while Romney
is choosing to ignore them.

SCHULTZ: OK. Do you get a sense that Mitt Romney can relate to
people like you? That Mitt Romney can relate to average Americans?

DEVINCENZO: Yes, it`s been pretty evident he cannot relate to average
Americans. And he`s proven that since he started this campaign trail and
in New Hampshire we hit him hard and he got, you know, really agitated with
us there, and, you know, we followed him to South Carolina to do it again.

SCHULTZ: Tim Devincenzo, thanks for your time tonight. You`re an
American going out there looking for answers, nobody can blame you for
that. Good to have you with us on "the Ed Show."

That is the "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to my
radio show on Sirius XM channel 127, Monday through Friday, 12:00 to 3:00.
Follow me on twitter @edshow and like me on facebook, you know, "the Ed
Show," like it like Rachel does. She likes it. She told me that once.

Rachel Maddow, her show start tonight right here.

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: Have I only told you
that once, Ed?

SCHULTZ: Yes, you have. I was telling secrets.

MADDOW: All right. Thanks, I`m looking forward tomorrow night.

SCHULTZ: Yes. it is good to fun and who knows. You will never know
what is going to happen.

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

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