updated 2/8/2012 10:30:45 AM ET 2012-02-08T15:30:45

Guests: Richard Wolffe, Jonathan Alter, Ezra Klein, Keith Ellison, Dan Choi, Terry O`Neill, John Nichols

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW, live from Minneapolis.

At this hour, Republicans in this state are trying to pick the best
candidate to try to defeat President Obama. We`ll bring you the latest
from Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, and how will President Obama play in
this state?

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any time someone
challenges Governor Romney, he just simply goes out and attacks and tries
to destroy. I don`t think it`s going to work this time.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The race is on in Colorado, Missouri and
Minnesota. And we`re on the ground with the latest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to get it over with and beat Obama.

SCHULTZ: Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Richard Wolffe are
here with the latest on tonight`s election.

The Obama campaign decides to fight fire with fire.

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: We were faced with the situation as to
whether we could afford to play by two sets of rules and the answer is
obviously no.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter and Ezra Klein on today`s major super PAC
announcement.

Marriage equality earns a massive victory in the courts today.
Activist Dan Choi and Melissa Harris-Perry are here with the latest.

The woman at the center of the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood
controversy resigns. We`ll talk to the president of the National
Organization of Women, Terry O`Neill.

JUDGE: How do you plead to the charge of political solicitation by a
public employee as charged in count two?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty.

SCHULTZ: And in Wisconsin, more bad news for Governor Scott Walker as
the legal issues continue to pile up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

We come to you from Minnesota this evening, the land of Michele
Bachmann and conservatives are proud of that. But it`s also conservative
wilderness right now when it comes to selecting the candidate that they
want to see go up against President Obama.

Here in the middle of the country, again, it`s Rick Santorum who seems
to be energizing the conservative base. Minnesota, I can tell you, is not
somewhat of a country club conservative state. It`s where there`s a lot of
middle class voters who do care about gays, guns and God in the rural area.

Last night, I attended a Newt Gingrich event in Bloomington just to
check out the enthusiasm. Does Newt have a chance in the state?

And I have to tell you I couldn`t find too many people who were really
excited about the former speaker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was a great speech. I have not made
up my mine.

SCHULTZ: You have not made up your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s tomorrow. That`s tomorrow.

SCHULTZ: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s articulate. In fact the speaker is
persuasive. I like what he has to say. I`m with him on the issues.

SCHULZ: OK. Is he your guy tomorrow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think so. I go back and forth.

SCHULTZ: Would he have a better chance of beating President Obama
than say Romney or Santorum do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, as far as Romney goes, I hope so.

SCHULTZ: Is he your guy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, him or Rick, I`m undecided.

SCHULTZ: OK. You like Santorum. But no Romney?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No Romney, no.

SCHULTZ: Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Romney is too moderate, I was following
Romney in `07, you know, he used to be pro-life, not pro-life -- he used to
be pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, higher taxes, Romneycare, I mean, versus
Obama -- that`s going to look really bad.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: When it comes to Mitt Romney, there is the enthusiasm gap in
the middle of the country. But when it comes to President Barack Obama,
those people I spoke to last night, they are voters -- well, they know who
they want to vote against but they really don`t know who they want to vote
for.

I do think President Obama is going to do just fine in this state.

But what really is starting to rear its ugly head for Mitt Romney is
that he just can`t seem to get it done in the middle of the country. He
did not win Iowa, after the recount. He`s not polling very well here in
Minnesota. He`s not polling very well in Missouri, and it looks like Mitt
Romney will do well in Colorado tonight. We`ll see if you believe the
polls.

He`s up by 10 in Colorado, but it`s Rick Santorum by 13 in Missouri
and Rick Santorum by Public Policy Polling here in Minnesota, by nine
points.

How do you figure this all out? Because Mitt Romney for weeks on end,
he has had former Governor Tim Pawlenty at his side stumping for him every
chance he gets and all over the talking heads. It was Pawlenty who guided
the state as Minnesota`s nice governor for eight years. And he can`t swing
the pendulum for Mitt Romney? I think it speaks volumes about how confused
the conservative electorate is in the state.

How will it all fare up against President Obama?

I`m joined tonight by Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.

It`s always interesting to see what happens in Minnesota, because the
pendulum can shift. What do you make of Rick Santorum and his polling
right now? You know, it seems to me the same people that did it for him
down in Iowa are showing up in Minnesota. And the last time I checked,
that state is just a stone`s throw away.

What do you make of what`s unfolding?

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, one thing about Rick
Santorum is that he believes what he says he believes. And in Minnesota,
whether the conservatives like us liberals or progressives, prides
authenticity. And that`s something that Romney simply lacks.

SCHULTZ: You are speaking volumes, my friend.

Let me tell you about Newt Gingrich last night at this event. He
walks in, he speaks, he says "vote for me, see you later" and walks out,
does no retail politic whatsoever. I was really stunned by that. He
didn`t interact with the people, maybe the guy is on such an unbelievably
tight schedule, he doesn`t have time for the people.

On the other hand, Rick Santorum is the guy of retail politics, the
guy who was going town-to-town, bus stop to bus stop, both in Iowa and in
Minnesota. And look at the poll numbers. I think what you`re saying is
exactly correct, Congressman.

So, how unique is this electorate? And if you take that style of
politicking, you look at Santorum at 33, Romney at 24 -- where does
President Obama fit in with this style of politicking? Because President
Obama is not the kind of guy to walk in a room and say, "Hey, how is it
going, vote for me" and take off. Sort that out for us.

ELLISON: Well, let me tell you, I mean, first of all, I am at Susan
B. Anthony Middle School in southwest Minneapolis. We`re happy to be here.
And the folks are excited. We`re at precinct caucuses.

And President Obama is great with folks one on one. He is warm. He
walks to people, he talks to them, and he actually takes a minute to
listen.

So, I think he`s going to do really well here. You should know, after
he nailed down the number of Electoral College delegates in the last
election, his first stop was in St. Paul, Minnesota, because he knows this
is Obama territory.

People here do believe in the idea that everybody counts, everybody
matters. This is the home of Wellstone. We all do better when we all do
better.

So, I think Obama is going to do just fine right here in Minnesota.

SCHULTZ: Well, I did run in a number of people in the last couple
days who were anti-Obama but they don`t know who they want to vote for on
the conservative side. Is there enough --

ELLISON: We got some of those, too.

SCHULTZ: Yes, I know. Is that anti-Obama sentiment enough to carry
Minnesota for the Republicans?

ELLISON: No way. Let me tell you -- as I talk to folks all over and
again, I`m here at Susan B. Anthony Middle School where folks are fired up.
On a night when we have our candidate already locked in, we have a full
room, people are still coming in to be part of the Democratic precinct
caucuses.

This is because we have a high degree of enthusiasm. People are
excited.

We have seen Republicans in the majority of the House. All they can
do is attack the EPA. They have no solutions around jobs. They`ve caused
almost shutdowns, default. They`re going to default on America`s debt.
And people are sick of it.

We`re in a progressive moment, and therefore in Minnesota, people are
ready to hear what the president is having to say.

And I will say, President Obama has struck a new chord. He is hitting
his stride. He`s tried to work with them a few years ago, that didn`t work
out. They didn`t want to work together.

So, he is now on the march talking about jobs, investment,
infrastructure.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ELLISON: He`s talking about human rights. And so, I think we`re all
right. I think we`re in good stead.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Keith Ellison, good to have us with us tonight.
Appreciate your time.

Now, let`s turn to MSNBC --

ELLISON: Ed, thank you.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

Let`s turn now to MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe.

Richard, good to have you with us.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Sort this out for us. Why can`t -- why can`t Mitt Romney
play well in the middle of the country? He`s got a long time governor here
in the state behind him. His national favorability is falling fast. Is
that affecting his performance in states where he doesn`t directly
campaign?

Your thoughts.

WOLFFE: Well, Ed, I`d like to make a comparison with 2008 here,
because the whole model of this Republican primary season was built by one
Michael Steele, the former Republican chair, now part of our MSNBC family,
to mimic 2008. What the Democrats went through.

And there, you know, people have had said, well, the long primaries
helped the candidates, it toughened them up, toughened up the president as
a candidate and that`s true. But it also allowed them to build a national
infrastructure.

What you`re seeing here with Mitt Romney is not just the favorability
numbers, the standing declining as people get to know him more. But he`s
just not playing, he`s not building that organization in states where he
really needs to do well.

Now, it`s true that President Obama blew out Minnesota last time
around. But Colorado was close in previous elections. President Bush took
it handily before. And that should be very much in play.

But we`re not seeing them campaign, organized, be on the ground in
Minnesota when you got Tim Pawlenty behind you really ought to be much more
in play for Mitt Romney, if he`s going to go forward in the general
election as a strong candidate.

SCHULTZ: You know, no delegates are going to be awarded tonight. I
mean, tonight is all about P.R. You show me a loser, I`ll show you a
loser. You show me a winner, I`ll show you a winner.

What does tonight mean to Santorum? Is this his resurgence if he
comes out victorious in two of the three states?

WOLFFE: He`s got to come out big here, you know? Getting out that
squeak of a victory in Iowa is a good start, but the things have moved on
from here. With Newt declining, this is his really moment to say I`m the
conservative alternative.

So, he`s got to win not just by a little margin here, but to say he
can really play with the base. Remember the reason Romney is not doing
well in Minnesota here is not because of the general election make-up, it`s
because of the conservative evangelical voters that really make up
Republicans in that state. That`s Santorum`s natural base.

He`s got to do the same in Missouri, which is much closer in terms of
the general election. That`s where he builds credibility because delegate
count at this point is meaningless -- never mind the beauty contest for
tonight, the overall count to date is meaningless.

SCHULTZ: It`s also in this part of the country, voters like to know
you. They like -- they want to trust you. And like last night when I saw
Newt Gingrich come in the room, give his speech and leave and not shake a
whole lot of hands, it was just so non-Minnesota, it was almost like it was
just a media stop.

And then, of course, he gave his usual speech last night which I
thought, I was just watching one of the cables. But it just happened to be
in Minnesota. He did bring up the Clint Eastwood ad, the Chrysler ad that
played in the Super Bowl. Here he is.

WOLFFE: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I really like Clint
Eastwood`s halftime commercial where he talked about America being at
halftime. I think it`s exactly right. If we`re going to get our act
together, we`re going to have a terrific third century as the leading
country in the world. It`s just that simple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Why doesn`t that play well in the middle of the country?
Gingrich is trying to separate himself from Republican establishments like
Karl Rove, of course, who couldn`t stand the ad. He made an issue about
it.

WOLFFE: Right.

SCHULTZ: But it would seem to me the raw meet that Newt is throwing
out there should play a little bit better. Your thoughts.

WOLFFE: Well, it should. But unfortunately for Newt Gingrich, he
cannot fake the fact that he thinks he`s going to lose and his heart isn`t
in it. You know, that may be refreshing to some, authentic, but, you know,
he fakes it in all sort of other ways. So, why he can`t pretend like the
states actually matter to him, you know, you`re really sending a message to
voters in parts of the country that you just don`t care.

Again to compare it to 2008, President Obama, then a candidate, knew
he was going to lose in Pennsylvania. He still went on that death march,
he`s still campaigning, he out retailing, went out bowling for heaven`s
sake even though he couldn`t really bowl very well. And that`s a guy who
actually thinks that every vote counts.

Gingrich is really saying to these states -- I know I`m going to lose.
It`s not worth me trying.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Richard Wolffe, always a pleasure. Great to have you
with us on this election night in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.
Thanks so much.

WOLFEE: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Don`t forget to share your thoughts with us on Twitter
@EdShow. We want to know what you think.

The Obama reelection campaign faces up to the political reality.
Raise money for Democratic super PACs or lose to Republicans. If you`re a
liberal, ask yourself the question, how would you like to have the outcome?
What`s most important to you?

Jonathan Alter and Ezra Klein will join me for that discussion.

There was a major victory for marriage equality in the courts today.
Lt. Dan Choi and also Melissa Harris-Perry on today`s Proposition 8
reversal.

And in Wisconsin, another bad day for Governor Scott Walker. A former
staffer copped a plea, pled guilty. Full details ahead.

Stay with us. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up: It`s a sign of the times. Democrats look to
level the playing field by encouraging donors to donate to super PACs.
Jonathan Alter and Ezra Klein have reaction.

Rush Limbaugh says the president is monkeying with the numbers on the
latest jobs report -- he`s going in the zone.

And the Susan G. Komen story has exploded again. There was a major
resignation today. The head of the Komen is caught in an apparent lie.
Terry O`Neill of the National Organization of Women will join me for the
latest.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

In this political cycle, decision makers are learning one thing, money
counts.

So, the Obama campaign will now start raising money for Democratic
super PACs. It`s a reversal, but the president of the United States and
his team is recognizing the political reality here. President Obama still
believes Citizens United needs to be overturned reined in. But until then,
Democrats must take advantage of the same rules as Republicans or they`re
going to lose.

Democrats were facing the prospect of half a billion dollars in
Republican super PAC money from the Koch brothers and Karl Rove`s crowd.
That would be a half billion dollars in negative advertising. Democrats
either get in the game, try to counter it, or lose.

Of course, Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Newt
Gingrich have their very own super PACs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a strange thing in
these campaign finance laws. They set up new enemies, which I think is a
disaster, by the way. Campaign financial law has made a mockery of our
political campaign season. We really ought to let campaigns raise the
money they need and just get rid of these super PACs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney used the power of the super PAC to go from South
Carolina loss to Florida win, big turnaround, as far as the numbers are
concerned.

When House Speaker John Boehner was asked today about the Obama
campaign`s decision on super PACs, he said this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Just another broken
promise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But when Citizens United ruling was handed down, Boehner
called it a big win for the First Amendment. He said, "Let the American
people decide how much money is enough."

Let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst and "Bloomberg View" columnist,
Jonathan Alter, and MSNBC policy analyst and "Washington Post" columnist,
Ezra Klein.

Gentlemen, a lot on the table here. I guess we can first of all, the
money war has officially started.

Jonathan, I get a sense of this certainly is not the road that
President Obama and his campaign wanted to travel. But do they have any
options?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: They probably don`t have any
options, you know? But, Ed, if you talk about leveling the playing field,
that`s not going to happen.

Because the president has been against this kind of unlimited campaign
finance, it`s pretty hard for him now to turn around and say to all these
Democrats who are philosophically opposed to this crazy system we have, OK,
now you take advantage of it, we want you to give unlimited donations, of
millions of dollars.

George Soros isn`t going to be playing this time. There aren`t long
list of billionaires on the Democratic side the way there is on the
Republican side.

So, it`s going to be a very uneven playing field. You have people
like Shel Adelson who are saying after giving all these money to Gingrich,
he`s now saying he will put tens of millions of dollars into the Romney
campaign, in the Romney super PAC this fall.

So, they`re going to have a huge financial advantage and it definitely
improves the odds of Mitt Romney being the next president.

SCHULTZ: Ezra, how uncomfortable do you think Democrats are going to
be doing this? You`re going to have senior officials and cabinet
secretaries available for fundraising events for Priorities USA. Is this
an uncomfortable situation for `em?

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: I think they`ll get over it.

One thing I would add to what Jonathan was saying is I don`t think the
philosophical discomfort is going to be what really created money imbalance
in the 2012 election. The big problem for the Obama campaign is their big
money in 2008 came, of course, from small donors. But their big money,
their big contributors were Wall Street. That was where their money was
coming from, and Wall Street has turned on them completely decisively.

ALTER: Right.

KLEIN: And funding Mitt Romney in a very, very big way.

And so, you have to ask them, what are the industries left that would
go to the Democrats. The Democrats, obviously, have another problem
because President Obama wants to raise taxes quite substantially on the
rich.

So, if you`re a rich person, putting money toward Mitt Romney, putting
10 million bucks towards Mitt Romney is a good business investment. It`s a
good tax investment.

So, there is a large disparity in the industries supporting the two
candidates. And so, the problem for Obama I don`t think is going to be
that he couldn`t convince Democrats to sort of hold their nose and do it
this one time. It`s going to be that he don doesn`t have Democrats who
have that type of money to support him at the level where they`ll begin
pumping $50 million, $100 million into his campaign or into super PACs
allied with his campaign.

SCHULTZ: First thing that comes to mind for me is the trial lawyers.
I mean, it would seem to me that they would get behind the president of the
United States, but, Jonathan --

(CROSSTALK)

ALTER: They are wealthy but not that wealthy. They are not Sheldon
Adelson wealthy.

SCHULTZ: That`s true.

ALTER: I mean, this guy just reported these huge profits from his
Macao casino, which, by the way, there are reports of prostitutes all over
these casinos. He`s under federal investigation for bribing foreigners,
you know? And needless to say, if he puts in tens of millions of dollars
in the Romney campaign, you know, he has a particular agenda looking --

SCHULTZ: So, you`re saying that the Democrats can`t match this?
You`re saying that --

ALTER: I don`t know -- absolutely they can`t match it. They have no
chance of matching this dollar for dollar.

So, what they`re going to do is expand their small donor base. They
already have well over a million small donors. They`re going to need a lot
more small and medium size donors if they`re going to have any chance of
being truly competitive.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ALTER: Think about what this means in a small d, democratic sense,
Ed. On one side, you have more than a million donors, average donation
about $70. You have some bundlers on the Democratic side who are giving
$10,000, $20,000, $30,000.

And then on the other side, you have a group that just met in Indian
Wells, California, Republicans. The Koch brothers are asking each to give
a minimum of $1 million and he wants many of them to give more than $10
million each. That`s oligarchy.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ALTER: That`s a small group of individuals who are trying to seize
control of our political system. That`s not an exaggeration and it`s a
frightening prospect in 2012.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. And finally -- go ahead, Ezra.

KLEIN: One thing I would add to that, though, because I think people
can sometimes look at elections, overly linearly. And I don`t think
Jonathan is doing this here.

The Obama campaign will end up having a lot of money. A couple of
months ago, we talked about how they would be the first to get there a
billion bucks, or 500 million bucks. They`re going to get there. Romney
might have more, but the Obama campaign will have a lot.

And so, you do hit a saturation point. You do have a point where
every voter in every swing state is seeing these ads 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
times a week, and not of real sort of incremental value becomes less so.

So, the other point we should make is that Obama has now come out to
potentially a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics that
would limit campaign donations. I don`t see a very chance of that
happening, but it does represent if not a reversal, a new sort of -- a new
way of him trying to square this circle, where he says, look, on the one
hand, I have to recognize the system post-Citizens United is what it is and
I have to participate in it.

But on the other hand, I`m willing to sort of consider fairly extreme
remedies to try to get the money out politics once and for all.

SCHULTZ: All right. Ezra Klein, Jonathan Alter, great to have you
with us tonight. Thanks for joining us.

ALTER: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It will be interesting to see who start writing the checks.

In "Psycho Talk," Rush Limbaugh is so desperate for President Obama to
fail. He`s making up lies about the January job growth.

It looks like Governor Scott Walker`s legal problems are just
beginning as a former top aide pleads guilty in court. John Nichols joins
me on that. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: In "Psycho Talk" tonight, noted conservative economist and
college drop-out Rush Limbaugh. Well, Rush, is desperately trying to put a
negative spin on the 243,000 jobs created in January.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: But even I, El Rushbaugh, failed
to grasp this within the amount of the allotted time I had, but we`re still
working on this, because I want to get to the bottom of it. I`m still
struck with the difference of raw number of 2.5 million jobs lost and the
government telling us 243,000 were created.

The bottom line is this, in a nutshell, the withholding tax receipts
number doesn`t line up with employment. Obama monkeying the numbers here,
jimmying around with things in an election year, designing to make things
look better than they are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Limbaugh admits he doesn`t understand what he`s talking
about, but he`s confident the president is cooking the books.

He`s wrong. Here is how the Murdoch-owned, "Wall Street Journal"
explains the January employment report. "Every January, the Labor
Department readjusts its data to account for changes in the population.
The share of the population that working is actually lower than previously
believed. Taking that into account, the employment population ratio went
up. The unemployment rate wasn`t affected. This means the improvement in
the labor market is real, people actually found jobs."

Need more evidence, Rush? Mark Zandy, chief economist at Moody`s
Analytics and economic advisor to the 2008 McCain campaign, called the
January jobs report "unambiguously good." Mark Zandy, he`s a pretty smart
guy. He has a PHD from the Ivy League school, University of Pennsylvania.

But Rush Limbaugh is arrogant enough to think that he knows better.
Rush wants the president to fail at all costs. And accusing the Obama
administration of monkeying the numbers is desperate Psycho Talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are so grateful for the victory here today and
in a trial. And we look forward to very soon Californians being able to
wed again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A major victory for marriage equality in California.
Proposition 8 has been overturned. But there`s a long way to go. Gay
rights activist Lieutenant Dan Choi and Melissa Harris-Perry are here with
reaction.

In Wisconsin, more bad news for Scott Walker isn`t stopping the
governor from raising cash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: To counter that big money coming in
from Washington, we`re going to need the help from people not only here in
Wisconsin but from across the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: John Nichols of "The Nation" magazine is here to fill us in.

And the Komen controversy just gets bigger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Karen did not have anything to do with this
decision.

KAREN HANDLE, THE KOMEN FOUNDATION: I was asked to look at options.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill of the National Organization of Women is here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the greatest opportunity I`ve seen in
civil rights for this generation. Your Constitutional rights shouldn`t
have to wait. They really should not have to wait for everybody else to
catch up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The fight for marriage equality in California took a big
step forward today. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled two to one against Proposition 8. The 2008 California ballot
measure banning same sex marriage, Proposition 8, was approved with 52
percent of the vote.

The law was first overturned in 2010 by a U.S. District Court judge.
Today`s ruling upholds his decision and could send the case to the United
States Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit`s decision was very blunt.

"Proposition 8 serves no purpose and has no effect other than to
lessen the status and human dignities of gays and lesbians in California,
and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior
to those of opposite sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow
for laws of this sort."

California Governor Jerry Brown Tweeted his support of the ruling
today. "The court has rendered a powerful affirmation of the right of same
sex couples to marry. I applaud the wisdom and courage of this decision."

Same sex couples will still have to wait to get married. However, the
court ruling does not take effect for 14 days. And Prop 8 supporters vowed
to immediately appeal the decision, either to the full 9th circuit court or
directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Let`s turn now to retired Lieutenant Dan Choi, an Army combat veteran.
He is now on the advisory board of the American Foundation for Equal
Rights. Also with us tonight, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, whose new
show, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY," begins -- premieres February 18th.

Lieutenant, good to have you with us, and you too, Melissa. Thank you
very much. Lieutenant, I`d like to know, how big a victory is this? And
do you think it will stand the test of time with the Supreme Court, if it
goes there?

DAN CHOI, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, it`s an honor to be with you,
Ed, and doctor. It`s such an honor to be with you. I love your show
because you`re not afraid to be loud.

And that is the reason why this is a victory today, because there was
some people in California who were not afraid to stand up loudly,
uncompromisingly for their full dignity. So that is why it`s a victory
much greater than what a court alone could say, but it really strengthens
the backbone of many gay people, especially young gay people who are
growing up.

So I don`t think we can underestimate the social impact, as well as
the fact that if this does, as you say, go up to the Supreme Court, I think
we have a great advantage knowing that the Supreme Court has ruled 14 times
already that marriage is a fundamental right.

SCHULTZ: Melissa, where does this fall in terms of civil rights
advances in America? How big is this? Is this is a big benchmark moments
for civil rights?

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: This is a really huge win. I
want to be clear, marriage is -- in our kind of activism around it, we talk
a lot about marriage being about love. Obvious, it is. Marriage is
undoubtedly -- particularly in the 21st century -- about love and
companionship and the ability to state your preferences and all that.

But it is about much more than that when we start talking about the
issue of political, economic and social rights. Marriage comes with a
whole series of -- a bundle of goodies, from tax breaks to the opportunity
to be with your partner in the hospital, to the ability to make choices
around custody for your children, to the ability to travel together, to
stay together.

The number of rights and privileges that are bundled together with
marriage mean that marriage is a fundamental civil right. To bar people
from being able to take part in that bundle of goodies -- economic, social
and political -- is to make them second class citizens, Even if all of the
other civil rights existed. And by the way, they don`t for LGBT
communities. There are still many, many issues of housing, of employment,
and of custody, where in fact lesbians, gays and transgendered individuals
are still legally discriminated against in this country.

SCHULTZ: Dan, this ruling specific, obviously, to California. But do
you think that this will ignite a firestorm across the country? And
finally are we going to get this settled once and for all at the Supreme
Court? Do you want it to go to the Supreme Court?

CHOI: Absolutely I do. I think having Ted Olson, former solicitor
general and a very well-known conservative , wonderful lawyer, as well as
David Boise, teaming up together I think is a very powerful message. Love
is not partisan.

There is no party that knows love better than the other. I know there
is a lot of debates on is this a political shows. Maybe some people will
say that some parties know how to love more than others. But I want to say
that love knows no boundaries. And that is why this is just such a
powerful thing.

It`s not just California, though. Remember, the 9th Circuit deals
with Washington. We have a very important decision going up there still,
Washington State. And I hope it goes to the Supreme Court. Why? Because
we learn through this process of standing up and fighting for our rights,
especially when you consider Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell being repealed, there
are soldiers that are serving overseas right now. And if they happen to be
gay and they have a loving partner at home, you know, what if they die?
What if the soldier dies and you drape a casket with the American flag?
Are you supposed to say, let`s cut out some stars and let`s say, you know
what, you`re only equal in some of those states?

No, we fight for an America where all of those states -- and I believe
that love is really something that is worth fighting for.

SCHULTZ: Dan Choi, Melissa Harris-Perry, great to have you with us.
Melissa you`ll know, having your own show, that time flies when you`re
having fun. I wish we had more time for this.

HARRIS-PERRY: We`ll talk about it when it goes to the Supreme Court.

SCHULTZ: Absolutely.

CHOI: That sounds good.

SCHULTZ: Thank you so much. Scott Walker goes on national TV to
literally beg for money, while his legal problems back home, well, they
just continue to mount. More developments today. John Nichols of "The
Nation" will join me for the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: More trouble for Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. With a
recall election looming, he`s going on national TV literally begging for
money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: My hope is people can come and join us at ScottWalker.org and
help us get our message out there, because to count that big money coming
in from Washington, we are going to need help from people not only here in
Wisconsin, but from across the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Counter that big money? We`ll talk about that in a moment.
Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin, one of Walker`s former aides pled guilty to
campaigning for Walker on taxpayer time. Darlene Wink worked for Walker
when he was when the Milwaukee County executive.

Today, she had her day in court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plead to the charge of political
solicitation by a public employee as charged in count two?

DARLENE WINK, FORMER AIDE TO GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER: Guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wink told the judge she worked on invitations to
friends of Scott Walker fund raisers, while at her desk in the county
executive`s office?

WINK: Actually, what I was doing was putting together flyers and that
-- that were for a fund-raiser.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wink hopes to evade serving any jail time by
pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with a probe into other current
and former Walker staffers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: As for her former boss, on Friday, Governor Scott Walker
issued a statement claiming that he had volunteered to meet with
prosecutors. Here`s what he told reporters yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you say voluntarily, does that mean you set
the appointment up? Or were you asked to come in at your best time?

WALKER: I have not received an official request for that. We offered
to come on in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yet, when pressed further on the matter, Walker acknowledged
that prosecutors wanted to meet. "They would like to talk to us about it,
but we voluntarily set it up."

Joining me tonight, Washington correspondent of "The Nation" magazine,
John Nichols. John, what`s going on here? Was it voluntary or did the
prosecutors say it`s time to meet with Walker; you got to come in and talk
to us? What`s happening?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": Look, the governor has been under
investigation and his campaign has been under investigation now for the
better part of 20 months. They`ve already been asked to turn over
computers, e-mails, all sorts of data.

There was no question that there was going to come a time when the
governor had to talk. It is clear and reported throughout the media in
Wisconsin that it was District Attorney John Chisholm who asked the
governor to come in and begin those conversations, which ultimately will, I
suspect, lead to testimony before the John Doe.

But the governor tried to get ahead of it, playing the game of
claiming everything was voluntary. In fact, that`s unraveled all over the
place. And the headlines across Wisconsin today were that the governor`s
had to back off that claim of it being voluntary.

SCHULTZ: What does it mean that one of his former staffers who pled
guilty is now willing to cooperate? It would seem to me that the net would
spread out a little bit wider? And would it encompass Walker even further?
What do you think?

NICHOLS: It`s very important what this former employee has agreed to
cooperate with and what she`s agreed to talk about. It is the destruction
of digital records, particularly e-mails. And what you are really getting
to here is the possibility of an obstruction of justice charge. That`s a
major felony.

Remember that in this woman, Darlene Wink`s complaint, filed by the
D.A., there were details of e-mails between her and a very close aide to
Scott Walker, a gentleman named Russell, who has already been charged with
a number of violations. This is the guy who also is e-mailing back and
forth with Governor Walker about laptops and computers.

SCHULTZ: Walker has hired two criminal defense attorneys. Here`s
what he had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: There are literally thousands of e-mails that our campaign
has handed over. We asked for counsel in that, to look through that. I`m
not going to use public funds for that, nor do I think the public wants me
to take days away from my time to look through all those.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What can you tell us about the Walker defense team?

NICHOLS: The Walker defense team is not your typical lawyers for a
politician that might have some trouble with some campaign finance problems
or perhaps some office regulations. These lawyers who he has hired both
list themselves as criminal defense lawyers, specializing in murders, drug
cases and issues before John Doe inquiries.

SCHULTZ: What about him just begging for money on national
television. Why is he doing that? He claims that there`s going to be all
this money pouring into the state. I`m told the Democrats don`t have any
money right now in the state to do anything to unseat him, that this is a
grassroots recall effort. That`s what they`re counting on.

But yet he`s out there saying that all this money is coming in. What
about that?

NICHOLS: Since this recall drive began, the advertising that`s been
on TV in Wisconsin has been Scott Walker ads and ads from groups that
support him. Scott Walker has raised 12 million or more. He has spent
more than 10 million dollars just in the last couple of months.

And there has been no counter advertising by big unions. You will not
find it on Wisconsin TV. It`s not there.

SCHULTZ: John Nichols, good to have you with us tonight. We will
continue to follow the story.

Coming up, the woman at the center of the controversy surrounding the
Susan G. Komen foundation, she resigns. What was her role in the decision
to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood? Find out next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY O`NEILL, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN: You know, Ed, look
five years from now. My prediction is that Susan G. Komen foundation will
not exist, or it will be reduced to say between 10 and 25 percent of its
current size.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization of Women, on this program just last week, speaking about the
Susan G. Komen Foundation`s initial decision to cut off funding to Planned
Parenthood. In a moment, Terry will join us again.

Now the woman at the center of the controversy, Komen`s vice president
of public policy, Karen Handle, has resigned. Handle was thought to be a
key player in the Komen`s decision to stop funding breast exams for low
income women.

The public`s outrage led Komen to quickly reverse the decision.
Today, after submitting a letter of resignation, Handle went straight to
Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANDLE: I clearly acknowledge that I was involved in the process.
But to suggest that I had the sole authority is just absurd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Handle`s statement contradicts what Komen CEO Nancy Brinker
said just last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY BRINKER, SUSAN G. KOMEN FOUNDATION CEO: Karen did not have
anything to do with this decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yet, sources from inside Komen tell "The Huffington Post"
Handle was the prime instigator in the effort to cut off funding for
Planned Parenthood. Komen says its original decision was due to a change
in grant funding criteria, not pressure from anti-abortion groups.

Handle, who ran for governor in Georgia on a defund Planned Parenthood
platform, says the move by Komen was never political. In fact, she puts
the blame squarely on Planned Parenthood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANDLE: The only group here who has made this issue political has
been Planned Parenthood.

It`s no secret, Megan, that Komen and other organizations that were
funding Planned Parenthood had been under pressure for some years, long
before my time.

Komen was doing its level best to move to neutral ground. And I will
say, I was asked to look at -- at options for doing that, some alternatives
to do that. I was asked to do that. I looked at it and I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined by Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women. Terry, thanks you for your time tonight. I just
want to say that I think that your voice made a real difference in this
entire conversation in this country. So I think what I really want to know
and I think our viewers want to know, does Karen Handle`s resignation
really change anything? What do you think?

O`NEILL: No. And actually, Ed, I stick by my prediction; look five
years from now, I don`t think the Susan G. Komen Foundation will exist,
certainly not in its current form.

Look, they have become a political anti-abortion organization. Karen
Handle`s resignation, in and of itself, has not changed that. Her
resignation letter talks about how upset she is that her action was
politicized.

Her action was political. It was politically motivated. And the
blow-back against the Komen Foundation is an indication op how strongly
people in this country feel that we don`t want breast cancer politicized.
That is what Karen Handle did. That`s what Komen has been doing.

SCHULTZ: What about Nancy Brinker`s role in all of this? Didn`t she
lie about who was responsible?

O`NEILL: It certainly seems like she did. The insider reports, what
I have read, is that in fact Karen Handle drove the decision. She was very
insistent that they could find out -- come up with some kind of fako-bako
(ph) excuse to defund Planned Parenthood. The excuse that she preferred
the most was the purely political investigation that is going on in the
House of Representatives against Planned Parenthood.

Then they came up with another excuse, having to do with direct
services for mammograms, which, by the way, nobody`s OB-GNY office offers
direct mammograms. Then they went back to the investigation excuse. The
whole thing is really shabby.

And Karen Handle`s resignation would be a good first step. But Komen
has to decide if it is going to be a breast cancer organization, or will it
change its mission and tell its funders it has changed its mission to
continue on this path of being a political anti-abortion organization.

SCHULTZ: Is -- why did it take so long? Or was this about the timing
you expected? I mean, public pressure mounted within days. But there are
some that think it should have been reversed quickly.

O`NEILL: Yeah, I think that I don`t know why it took so long. I`m
glad that things -- that she has resigned. I`m glad that Komen made the
decision not to defund Planned Parenthood right away, or at least to try to
backtrack some.

But I think at this point people legitimately don`t trust the Komen
Foundation to be telling the truth. And as long as that is the case, their
future is really in question.

SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, president of the National Organization of
Women, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time. I just
have to ask you, this is a victory, is it not?

O`NEILL: It is a victory. It is a victory. It is a step. There is
a longer road to go, but this is a victory.

SCHULTZ: All right. Thank you, Terry. Appreciate your time.

That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. I`m going to be back here live
at 11:00 Eastern for another edition of THE ED SHOW. We`ll have the poll
results from tonight`s elections in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

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

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