updated 2/14/2012 11:51:40 AM ET 2012-02-14T16:51:40

Guests: Howard Fineman, R.T. Rybak, Bernie Sanders, Dr. Deni Carise, Joan Walsh, Krystal Ball

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

Conservatives seemed to have found their anti-Mitt. And they`re
trying to rally troops around Rick Santorum.

Meanwhile, Romney is falling in the polls, big time. Down by 15
points in Michigan. Unfortunately for Mitt, though, he can`t buy votes
like he did at CPAC.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you have to talk to
the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought. We heard all sort of
things.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Rick Santorum accuses Mitt Romney of buying the
CPAC victory and dismisses Maine. New numbers show Santorum ahead of
Romney in Michigan and nationally.

Minneapolis mayor and co-chair of DNC, R.T. Rybak, and "Huffington
Post`s" Howard Fineman are here on the state of the race.

The president outlines his political priorities as he sends budget to
the Congress, and calls for more stimulus.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When our economy is
growing and creating jobs at a faster clip, we`ve got to do everything in
our power to keep this recovery on track.

SCHULTZ: Plus, Republicans are caving on the payroll tax cuts. We`ll
have the latest with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: In this country, the
government doesn`t get to tell you or your organization what your religious
views are.

SCHULTZ: The Republican war on women`s health continues, as they
misrepresent the president on anti-religion on the contraception mandate.

MCCONNELL: This issue won`t go away until the administration simply
backs down.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh and Krystal Ball weigh in on the potential
political blowback.

And tonight, we`re taking a look back at the storied rise and tragic
fall of Whitney Houston. "The Grio`s" Joy-Ann Reid is here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Rick Santorum has been hiding in plain daylight for conservative
voters. They finally are getting a good look at him and they like what
they see. The average of recent national polls gives Santorum a slight
lead over Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.

In Michigan, the turnaround really is huge. Santorum now leads Romney
by 15 points, according to Public Policy Polling. Romney was born in
Detroit, his father a two-term governor in the state of Michigan, but
Santorum has surged while Romney has lost momentum.

Now, on this chart, Santorum`s trend is almost a vertical line. Look
at that. I mean, how many politicians do you or races you see go like
that? Last Tuesday was a big day for him.

He caught the attention of Michigan voters last week. He also has the
attention of the country`s biggest conservative leaders.

Conservative activist Richard Viguerie was on my radio show today. He
said Rick Santorum really is the last conservative standing and it`s time
for the base to rally around him.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RICHARD VIGUERIE, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: The rain is leaving the
station, you can just see by the hour, more and more conservatives coming
on board, realizing that we cannot make the mistake as conservatives that
we did in 2008. We did not unite behind a candidate.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Viguerie told me he doesn`t know four conservatives who are
supporting Mitt Romney. If conservative leadership gets behind Rick
Santorum, and motivates the grassroots, this race could change permanently.
A lot of top conservatives are starting to cast doubt on Mitt Romney`s
inevitable path to the nomination.

Even the former half governor of Alaska thinks a brokered convention
would be a good thing for the Republican Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: People who start screaming
that a brokered convention is the worst thing to happen to the GOP, they
have an agenda. They have their own personal or political reasons, their
own candidate who they would like to see protected away from a brokered
convention. So, anybody who starts saying can`t allow that to happen, that
is part of competition. That`s part of the process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin also says she`s not convinced about Romney`s
conservative credentials even after Romney won the CPAC straw poll on
Saturday. A Republican source told "Politico`s" Romney`s camp bought
registrations at CPAC to insure victory at the straw poll. They`ll do
anything.

Ron Paul`s campaign is also questioning Romney`s win in the Maine
caucuses. Several were cancelled because of a snowstorm but the state GOP
says it will not include late votes?

Santorum didn`t give Romney any time to celebrate his victories this
weekend. According to Santorum, it`s a one-on-one fight from now on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: This is a two-person race right now. That`s how we`re
focused on it. If you look at the results from Maine, I mean, you know, we
didn`t spend any time there, we did much better than we expected. CPAC,
again, we felt very good two-person race, other two candidates were far
behind. And I think Michigan and Arizona are going to show the same thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Editors of the conservative "National Review" agree with
Santorum. They told Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race today, saying
the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

You know, we`ve seen 11 different candidates lead the national polls
for the Republican nomination. And each time, Mitt Romney has been able to
manage his way right back up to the top. So far, the conservative base has
really not rallied behind one candidate the way they are starting to
coalesce behind Rick Santorum.

Santorum, you have to believe, is the last chance for Republicans to
run against Barack Obama, the president of the United States, from the far
right. The train is leaving the station, according to many, we`ll see.
The Michigan primary in two weeks will let us know just who is jumping on
board.

Get your cell phones out, want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Santorum surge, is Rick Santorum`s surge the turning point for
conservative voters?

Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can always go to our
blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ve got the results coming up later on in the
show.

I`m joined tonight by Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst, and
editor and director of "The Huffington Post" Media Group.

Great to have you with us, Howard.

HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Rick Santorum says Mitt Romney is desperate. We`re going to
see how desperate he is in the next couple weeks. What do you think Romney
is going to do in Michigan now that the numbers are out and that`s a pretty
healthy lead for Santorum? What`s the game plan going to be for Romney to
really turn that around?

FINEMAN: Well, first, let me tell you about the Santorum game plan.
They`re going up with a TV ad tomorrow, a TV ad in Michigan, and they
haven`t had a lot of money for a lot of TV advertising especially in a big
state such as Michigan. But they`re laying down a big bet with TV
advertising and a big TV ad buy starting tomorrow in Michigan.

It will be interesting to see how they play it. I think it will be a
gentle comparative ad, in other words not a hard-hitting anti-Romney ad,
but a comparative ad on a theme of this being a two-person race.

The real significant thing that happened over the weekend in the way,
Ed, is that Newt Gingrich didn`t do particularly well at CPAC. That may
seem like a minor point, but it helps re-enforce Rick Santorum`s notion of
trying to shape this as a two-person race, and that means Mitt Romney is
going to have to go after Rick Santorum and go after him hard. But there
are fewer things for him to aim at than there were in the sprawling and
confused and contradictory record of Newt Gingrich.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s going to be interesting to see how Romney does
it, because he can`t go further right than Santorum. He just can`t do it.

FINEMAN: No.

SCHULTZ: And, you know, those old Reagan Democrats if they are still
around, there might be a few walking through Michigan. And this is going
to be an interesting event to unfold.

FINEMAN: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of that?

FINEMAN: Well, yes, you have to look at the history of Michigan and
the Republican Party, Ed.

Conservative Catholics really matter in the Republican Party in
Michigan. It was one of the first Northern states for that to be the case.
Back a generation ago, Pat Robertson, the preacher from the Bible Belt
aligned himself with pro-life Catholics in Michigan and they turned the
Republican Party and the presidential race of the `80s upside down against
George H.W. Bush.

Rick Santorum is not only a Catholic, but somebody who wears his
Catholic political identity on his sleeve. That`s going to matter a lot in
Michigan, and that is tough for Mitt Romney to go after. Mitt Romney is
going to be invoking the image of his own father, except that Rick Santorum
is the one with the working class background out of Pittsburgh to match up
against Mitt Romney`s own dad in that state.

SCHULTZ: You know, if Richard Viguerie is right and conservatives are
starting to solidify around Santorum, some conservative leaders. And he
didn`t identify them to me. But I know he`s very well-connected.

What does that mean? Could this really be a turning point? Is this
next two weeks, I know we got Super Tuesday coming up on March 6th. But I
mean, this next two weeks seems to be very critical, maybe more for
Santorum than for Romney -- what do you think?

FINEMAN: Well, it`s important for Santorum organizationally in terms
of money. In terms of money, he`s never going to catch up with Mitt Romney
if only because if Mitt Romney runs out of money that he`s elected for his
campaign, Mitt Romney can open up his treasure chest, go out there to the
Caymans or wherever and get $40 million or $50 million of his own money to
spend.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

FINEMAN: What Rick Santorum has to do is get the grassroots and the
shock troops of the party behind him. Richard Viguerie has been around for
a long time, but he still knows a lot of people. James Dobson has been
around for a long time, but knows a lot of people.

There`s a younger generation of conservative activists that Rick
Santorum has to tap.

If you looked at Newt Gingrich`s dream team from CPAC, you put out a
poster with his dream team, it had a lot of figures that don`t really count
for a lot, really. It had Herman Cain.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

FINEMAN: It had J.C. Watts.

So, what -- Santorum has got to get those people behind them because
the big thing, Ed, is not just Michigan and Arizona on the 28th, it`s right
behind that, or the 10 or 11 states in Super Tuesday on march 6th.

If Rick Santorum doesn`t get the money and organization together to
compete across the board on Super Tuesday, that will be a missed
opportunity for him. That`s what he`s really aiming for after Michigan and
Arizona.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Howard Fineman, always a pleasure. Great to have you
with us tonight. Thanks so much.

FINEMAN: Thanks, Ed. Thanks.

SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis, and
also the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, behind closed
doors I would think that there`s probably some entertainment going on for
the Obama team right now.

What do they make of this surge by Santorum? And how do you view
Michigan playing out versus the president`s position in that state?

MAYOR R.T. RYBAK (D), MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Well, you know, the bigger
challenge Santorum is, the more you wonder where Romney goes. But he can`t
go further right or he`s going to fall off the flat earth he`s pretending
we live on.

But he can go more negative. And so, that`s why it`s important to
people to go to BarackObama.com, sign up to part of the truth team, and
let`s make sure that everybody out there is sending e-mails, use your
Facebook, your Twitter, and getting the message out what the president has
done so that we don`t have Romney, once he`s done smearing everybody on
their end, take all those many, many, many millions of dollars and try to
smear the president.

SCHULTZ: R.T., can the president win the economic conversation in
Michigan? That`s rally -- I mean, it`s about jobs, and how much is the
automobile turnaround going to play for the president in Michigan?

RYBAK: You are going to hear a lot about the auto turnaround and you
should, because it`s a very clear contrast. Here`s the fact: the auto
industry is the number one backbone of our manufacturing sector. It`s
always been. In fact, it was how the Romneys made their money.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: So, you think the president can win that conversation in
Michigan?

RYBAK: Absolutely. The question is clear. When the auto industry
was about collapse, Mitt Romney said let it go. Barack Obama took a
controversial stand, took the hit, we made a million more cars on America
this year than last years, because the president led.

We can`t do that under a President Romney who would have let it go.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: Yes. New polls are showing the president fares well against
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum by strong margins. How are you going to keep
that momentum going? How do you maintain that?

RYBAK: Watch a Republican debate. That is all it takes me to get
excited about the fact that we`ve got to work hard.

SCHULTZ: Well, there`s going to be one more debate before Michigan
and Arizona, and will the DNC change its strategy and begin treating Rick
Santorum like a possible opponent in the general? How about that?

RYBAK: Well, I think we`re going to treat everyone seriously. But
the fact of the matter is Romney is sitting on a lot of money, and he has
made an unbelievable series of erroneous statements. So, we`ll correct
them.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

RYBAK: The main thing we`re going to do is we`re going to talk about
the president`s record. He`s created jobs, 23 straight months of private
sector job growth. When you hear these Republicans talk, they seem to be
cheering against the American economy. The president is leading it. He`s
delivering on promises and we`re going to talk a lot about that. That`s
how we win.

SCHULTZ: CNBC`s Jim Cramer had this to say about support for Mitt
Romney in the business community. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CRAMER, CNBC: Business leaders see that he created companies.
Business leaders recognized that he would encourage hiring. But I got to
tell you, no one sounds as enthusiastic as I thought they would be, and
people are talking about Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What about that? Are you hearing the business community get
behind the president?

RYBAK: Absolutely. There are different parts of a business community
but when I can be here in Minneapolis and see, at a community college last
Friday, see people training to be able to be prepared to go in the
manufacturing sector and you see a small business that suddenly has a
welder who has been trained and now ready to go, that helps. When you see
the fact there are exports that are picking up, that helps.

So, we`re going to make our case because this is the president who`s
created jobs.

SCHULTZ: R.T. Rybak, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us.
Thanks so much.

RYBAK: Thanks, Ed.

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

The president laid a vision for America`s future in his budget that
was released today, Republicans, of course, are attacking it. Senator
Bernie Sanders, we`ll ask him how he feels about the numbers.

This weekend, there was widespread sadness over the death of Whitney
Houston. Details her death are coming in and the tributes to her talent
have been in earnest.

Stay with us. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, President Obama lays out his new budget and the
GOP caves on the payroll tax extension. Senator Bernie Sanders on the
latest from Washington when it comes to the numbers.

Scott Walker, well, he took a shot at collective bargaining at the
CPAC convention on Friday night, says some very interesting things about
his recall election. We`ll show you highlights.

And we`ll look back at the life of Whitney Houston and her struggles
with addiction with Dr. Deni Carise.

We`ll also have highlights from the Grammy tribute to the singer with
Joy-Ann Reid. Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to stop
taxes from going up on 160 million Americans by the end of this month. And
if they don`t act, that`s exactly what will happen. The time for self-
inflicted wounds to our economy has to be over. Now is the time for
action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President was in Virginia today unveiling his budget and
slamming Republicans on the payroll tax cut. And the end of the month
taxes -- at the end of the month, the taxes are scheduled to go up on 160
million Americans.

But just hours after the president made that speech, the Republicans
caved in a statement, House GOP leadership says that they will agree to
extend tax cuts for the middle class without paying for them. Big move
there.

Two months ago, Republicans wanted to pay for the tax cuts by slashing
spending on the middle class. Democrats wanted the ultra rich to pay a
little bit more, the two month compromise is about to expire, and
Republicans seem to be caving.

Bottom line, Republicans showed today that they would rather add to
the deficit than ask wealthy folks to kick in their fair share.

But the president wasn`t done thumping Republicans this morning in
Virginia. He also released his budget for 2013. It`s a vision for
America, the economy, and, of course, requires the rich people in this
country to start pulling their fair share in weight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Warren Buffett is doing fine, I`m doing fine. We don`t need
the tax breaks, you need them. You`re the ones who see your wages stall.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: You`re the one whose costs of everything from college to
groceries has gone up. You`re the ones who deserve a break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is a
member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

Here are just some of the highlights and the headliners, should I say,
of the president`s budget: $350 billion in short term measure to encourage
job growth. Before we go any further, of course, that is stimulus package.
Again, it would implement the Buffett Rule, repeal Bush tax cuts for the
wealthy. It would also tax dividend income over $250,000 as ordinary
income. It would end oil subsidies and reduce the deficit by $4 trillion
over the next decade.

What`s good about this budget, Senator? What do you like? What you
don`t like?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, all of that stuff is good
stuff.

Look, the fact of the matter is the United States today has the most
unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country. Wealthiest
people are doing well, they are effective tax rate is lowest in decades.
So, if we are serious about two things, Ed, number one, the need to create
millions of jobs, the need to make investments in our energy system,
transforming energy, rebuilding our infrastructure, it is totally
appropriate that we ask the wealthiest people in this country to pay more
in taxes and that`s where the Buffett Rule comes in.

Second of all, what the president has said, which I think most
Americans agree, we`ve got to end the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest
people in this country, he`s absolutely right on that.

Thirdly, what he also said is that we have to end tax breaks for oil
and gas companies. We have had companies in recent years, Exxon-Mobil,
among other companies, making billions of dollars in a given year in
profits, and paying nothing in federal income tax. That is totally absurd.

So, I think all that stuff is right. We have got to reduce the
deficit. We`ve got to create jobs, and the wealthiest people in this
country should be asked to play a role in that.

SCHULTZ: Senator, these numbers, do they add up? Would it really
reduce the deficit over the next 10 years? Would it do $4 trillion over
the next decade?

SANDERS: From what I understand, it would. I would go further in one
area, Ed. We need tax reform, corporate tax reform -- what the president
is saying he wants to make it budget neutral. He wants to end some of the
loopholes and exemptions and he wants to lower corporate tax rates.

I think you have so many outrageous loopholes, you have a situation
where we`re losing $100 billion every single year, because of the tax
havens --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SANDERS: -- the corporations are investing in. I think we can raise
substantial revenue while we also make a simpler, and more progressive
corporate tax code.

SCHULTZ: Now, we all know that Paul Ryan`s budget would cut taxes for
the wealthy and end Medicare as we know it. Today, he essentially called
this budget dishonest. What`s your reaction to that?

SANDERS: Well, I don`t think it`s dishonest. I think it is a serious
budget, trying to deal with the issue of fairness. I think clearly what
Ryan is about is continuing the Republican effort to engage in class
warfare.

Who in their right minds could support a proposal which says more tax
breaks for the wealthiest people and yet we`ll cut Medicare and Medicaid in
drastic form?

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SANDERS: That makes no sense to anyone I know.

SCHULTZ: Here`s Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: The president`s goal isn`t to solve our problem but to
ignore them for another year, which will only insure that they get even
worse. Once again, the president is shirking his responsibility to lead by
using this budget to divide us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Senator, is voting on the payroll tax cut separate from the
extension of the unemployment insurance? Is that a mistake?

SANDERS: I don`t think it should be separate, Ed. I think you got
two huge issues. Clearly I`m not a great fan of the payroll tax holiday,
but the middle class needs a tax break but at the same time we cannot
forget that long term unemployment in this country is very, very high, and
we also need to make sure that we don`t cut drastically the reimbursement
rate for doctors who serve Medicare patients.

SCHULTZ: You know, back to the budget for a moment, I have to say I
thought it would have been a bigger number now that we`re going to be
winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought it would be $6 trillion or
$7 trillion instead of $4 trillion.

I mean, when you saw that number, what was your reaction?

SANDERS: Ed, remember, the president`s budget is essentially a
recommendation to Congress, that is all it.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SANDERS: And we`ve got to go from here and I agree with you, I think
with the infrastructure that`s crumbling, with the potential to create over
a period of time millions of decent paying jobs, roads, bridges, rebuilding
the rail system, water systems, et cetera, I think we should make a very,
very heavy investment and I think the president has put money into energy
conservation and sustainable energy we could do even more.

SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.

SANDERS: Good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Bernie Sanders of Vermont here on THE ED SHOW tonight.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker went do CPAC to beg for money, to
fight off a recall election. You won`t believe how Walker did and I`ll
show the tape, next.

The shock and sadness over Whitney Houston`s death and the amazing
tributes later in the show.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

This is one of the most overlooked CPAC speeches which certainly
caught my attention. Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is the
poster example for attacking the middle class in America, which made him a
perfect speaker at the radical conservative convention. Walker tried to
whip up the crowd by talking about the importance of his upcoming recall
fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Now, many project that there will
be as much as $70 million or more spent on the recall election against me
come this next late spring or summer. That`s what`s at stake here, because
you see the big government union bosses understand this isn`t just about
who the governor of Wisconsin is. It`s not even just about what the
momentum or impact will be on the November 2012 elections will be. Those
are factors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Governor Walker told the crowd that if he loses, it will
send shockwaves across the political spectrum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: When we prevail, it will send a powerful message to every
politician in America, that if you stand up and do the right thing, if you
tackle the tough challenges, make the tough choices, there will be men and
women in every state and every part of the country who will stand up
shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm with you. Lord, help us if we fail.

I believe fundamentally, having looked at this more closely over time,
if we fail -- and I`m not planning on it, but if we were to fail, I think
this sets aside any courageous act in American politics for at least
decade, if not a generation. That is why we must not fail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Walker has enough savvy to make his recall election bigger
than himself. The freshman governor needs to raise a ton of money outside
of the state to cover his backside, because he destroyed the rights of
working men and women in Wisconsin by radically changing collective
bargaining. Walker`s problem, he doesn`t see collective bargaining as a
right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: Collective bargaining is not a right. In the public sector,
collective bargaining is an expensive entitlement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So we have a big ideological fight unfolding in the middle
of the country. I think Walker is dead wrong. Collective bargaining is
the reason most American workers have 40 hour work weeks, eight hour work
days, overtime, pension, paid vacation, weekends, holidays, breaks on the
job, safety standards in the work place, health insurance and sick leave.

Unions have fought for those rights for over 100 years in America,
especially in Wisconsin. Scott Walker and his allies in New Jersey,
Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Arizona all invested in his survival.
If Walker wins, the attack on wage earners will explode. If Walker loses,
the radical attack might get stopped dead in its tracks for a while.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it alcohol? Is it marijuana? Is it cocaine?
Is it pills?

WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER: It had been at times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Tonight, we`re looking back at the life of Whitney Houston,
and the issues that could have led to her death. Dr. Deni Carise of the
Phoenix House and "the Grio`s" Joy-Ann Reid are here.

And Republicans in Congress are promising to continue their war on
women`s health.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: If we end up having to try
to overcome the president`s opposition by legislation, of course I would be
happy to support it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Democratic strategist Krystal Ball and "Salon`s" Joan Walsh
join us to discuss how women will respond.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A very memorable moment in the career of Whitney Houston,
performing the Star Spangled Banner for the Super Bowl XXI, years ago. Her
death immediately brings to mind her incredible talent as well as her
struggle with drug addiction. She was 48 years old.

Houston was discovered in her bathtub by a member of her staff at the
Beverly Hills Hotel Saturday afternoon. She was under water and
unconscious. First responders were immediately called but could not revive
her. And she was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Assistant Chief Coroner Red Winter, there were
prescription drugs in her room, but less than usually present in cases of
overdose. It could be weeks before the coroner`s office completes
toxicology tests to determine the cause of death.

Police do not suspect foul play.

Houston attended a party in Los Angeles Thursday night where she drank
alcohol, but did not seem disheveled. According to her friend, Kelly
Price, she was dancing, she was laughing, Price said.

Houston was in town for the Grammy party of her long time mentor,
legendary music producer Clive Davis. Houston`s funeral will be held in
Newark, Jersey later this week.

Joining me tonight is Dr. Deni Carise, chief clinical officer at the
Phoenix House, a leading addiction center. So sad, isn`t it?

DR. DENI CARISE, PHOENIX HOUSE CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER: Very sad.

SCHULTZ: And it`s all too often that we see big stars struggle with
drug addiction. What is it? Is it the pressure? Is it the visibility?
Is it the money? It is not knowing how to handle the fame? Just so many
of those things.

CARISE: I think one of the things is if we could answer that, Ed, we
would know what to do. We`d know better how to help. I think that
celebrities have a little bit more pressure in many ways. I think they are
less likely for people to confront them about their behavior or their
missed appointments and things like that.

But I think that it`s an equal opportunity illness and that addiction
hits everybody. You just hear about it and you see it when it`s a
celebrity. You see it when they relapse, not when they`re doing well.

SCHULTZ: Some of the pictures of Whitney Houston before she died, a
lot of people around here, and it didn`t look good. It looked pretty sad.
What kind of pressure is on peers to help her out?

CARISE: Yes. She did look pretty disheveled. It`s on your friends,
your family, those close to you to help out. But what happens is when
people have a long addiction career is that people try and help. And when
the person looks like they`re going kind of over the edge, they help. The
first 25 times, they intervene. They do something big. And the person
gets through it. And they show up the next day and they are fine.

And the next 25 times or so, they say hey, I`m worried about you; I`m
worried about you. And the person is basically fine. And then finally,
it`s just, oh, they`re doing that again. And people forget, it just takes
one little switch to really --

SCHULTZ: They get used to seeing it and they don`t intervene maybe
the way they should.

CARISE: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: It seems like everybody in America knows someone who has a
problem. Do we have a problem when it comes to intervention? Are we as a
people afraid to step forward and do something?

CARISE: I talk to people almost every day that are afraid to say
something. Well, what I`m wrong? They won`t like me or they`ll be angry
at me. I say that you have an obligation, if you care about somebody, to
say, you know, I`ve noticed that you`re having difficulty with things that
used to come easily for you. I`ve noticed that it appears that your eyes
are shut or that you are groggy all the time. Is something going on?

SCHULTZ: We don`t know exactly what happened.

CARISE: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: She may have just had a heart attack. We don`t know. There
is a lot of speculation out there. But a long trail of addiction, there
are some folks that just can`t be retrieved, is that the truth? There is
just some people that can`t be turned around, not that that was Whitney`s
issue.

CARISE: I think that, at the very least, there`s some people who
can`t be turned around in time, you know. What -- the big problem we have
is we can`t predict who that is. So a lot of people will tell me oh, they
have been through treatment three times already; it didn`t help. That is
not a predictor that they won`t get better the fourth time.

SCHULTZ: She seemed to be doing well. She just completed a movie.
There were some positive things that were happening and then all of a
sudden.

CARISE: Yes. I think it`s important to know that when you do drugs,
particularly cocaine for a long period of time, it changes your brain. It
changes the way your brain responds to normal stimuli. You have cravings
and you have cravings no matter how long you`re sober.

They diminish. They are not as intense. They don`t happen as much,
but there is always that piece to you. Your brain has changed and you have
to deal with that on a daily basis.

SCHULTZ: Dr. Deni Carise, thank you for joining us tonight. I
appreciate it so much.

Up next, the stunning tribute to Whitney Houston and the other notable
moments from last night`s Grammy Awards. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Every American captivated by that. That was Oscar winner
Jennifer Hudson paying tribute to Whitney Houston at the Grammys last
night, performing one of Houston`s signature songs. Last night`s award
ceremony was notable for its classy treatment of Houston`s passing,
including a prayer at the beginning of the show.

Singer Adele swept the awards and sang for the first time since her
throat surgery. The Beach Boys reunited, each of them between 69 and 71
years old. They are still young. And they are great.

And New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen sang his new patriotic anthem
to Americans coming together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Joy Ann-Reid, MSNBC contributor. First of
all, Jennifer Hudson, it -- fabulous. It was perfect.

JOY-ANN REID, "THE GRIO": You know, there have been some people who
criticized the performance because, of course, she didn`t do the whole key
change, the sort of big piece of the song. And it was a truncated version.
But I really thought it was understated. I thought it was emotional. You
could actually see her emotion. You could you see in her face that she was
really struggling to complete the performance.

I thought it was really beautiful because it was so simple.

SCHULTZ: It was on short notice, obviously. How did they handle all
that behind the scenes, the selection, all of it?

REID: It was difficult. Chaka Khan was also expected to perform, but
she just really felt like emotionally she couldn`t handle doing it. And
the people you would naturally expect to also do tributes, like Dionne
Warwick -- I think people were just still in shock.

So Jennifer Hudson really stepped up to the plate. And I think with
all the pressure that was on her -- look, people waited the whole telecast
for that tribute. And it took a long time. I think if I had one criticism
of the way the Grammys handled it, it took almost took too long.

so by the time she stepped up there, the weight of the world was
really on this young woman. I thought she did a really good job.

SCHULTZ: Well, this is an unusual situation, is that I can`t remember
someone of star power as Whitney Houston passing away just hours before the
Grammys. They have to be commended on how they handled it. And on top of
that, it was a fabulous concert.

I mean, it was just one unbelievable act after another, Taylor Swift,
just tremendous.

REID: It was a big night. You have to say Nikki Minaj put on a very
interesting show. There were sort of Grammy moments. That is really what
the Grammys is about, sort of over the top performances. And it had that
as well. But I definitely think -- again, I think they did wait a bit too
long to get to the Whitney tribute, but I thought it was beautiful,
Jennifer Hudson.

SCHULTZ: What about Springsteen`s opening number? Kind of
paralleling that of Clint Eastwood of the Super Bowl ad, someone of that
American message, we`re going go come back and get it done.

REID: You can`t hate on the Boss, man. Bruce, he did a great job.
There were a lot of great performers. Bruno Mars was great, as well. So
it was very up tempo. You cannot -- absolutely can`t hate on the Boss.

SCHULTZ: I found it interesting that in the Twitter world, there are
some kids out there that don`t know who Paul is. The Beatles, come on.

REID: Then they wrote that Glen Campbell -- hey, "The Muppets Show"
made sure that I understand exactly who Glen Campbell was.

SCHULTZ: I have to say, I was surprised to see Glen Campbell out
there.

REID: Yes. Apparently he has Alzheimer`s, so he was able to remember
his songs reading them off cue cards. I thought that was really
remarkable. When someone Tweeted that, I was like, you know what, enough
respect to Glen Campbell. Good job.

SCHULTZ: The world was definitely rooting for him. There`s no
question about it.

All in all, I thought it was absolutely fabulous. Joy-Ann Reid, thank
you for joining us tonight.

REID: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: The Republican party is about to make a fatal mistake with
female voters. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the focus, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked is Rick Santorum`s surge the
turning point for conservative voters? Fifty eight percent of you said
yes; 42 percent of you said no.

Coming up, the president compromised on his contraception policy last
week, but Republicans won`t give up their war on women`s health. Salon`s
Joan Walsh and Democratic strategist Krystal Ball in the conversation next.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Tonight, the Big Finish, the Republican party is I think
skating on thin ice with female voters on the contraception issue. Mitch
McConnell and his buddies in the Senate want to deny all American women the
right to coverage for birth control. On Friday, we told you about
Republican Senator Roy Blunt, he has an amendment which allows any employer
to deny contraception coverage to any employee based on moral convictions.

This has nothing to do with religion anymore. But Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell is still spinning it this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: The fact that the White House thinks this is about
contraception is the whole problem. This is about freedom of religion.
It`s right there in the First Amendment. You can`t miss it, right there in
the very first amendment to our Constitution.

And the government doesn`t get to decide for religious people what
their religious believes are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Bob Schieffer asked the gentleman from Kentucky if he
supported Blunt`s radical amendment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: Yeah. You know, if we end up having to try to overcome
the president`s opposition by legislation, of course I would be happy to
support it and intend to support it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Republicans and Catholic Bishops muddied the waters on this
story for a week. Now it`s clear this isn`t about religious freedom. This
is nothing more than a frontal attack on President Obama and any woman in
this country who wants coverage for birth control. It`s 2012. Why can`t
we get this right?

I`m joined tonight by Democratic strategist Krystal Ball and the
editor at large for Salon.com, Joan Walsh. Great to have both of you with
us.

Joan, will this issue have an impact with female voters this fall?
Or is this going to subside between now -- is this something that women
voters would really remember for the long haul?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: I think so, Ed. I`m very grateful to them.
They`re not going to let it subside, apparently. They have walked into a
trap. I mean, I want to thank the Catholic bishops, because you and I have
talked for a long time about how some of the provisions of the health care
reform bill didn`t take effect right away. They weren`t too clear to the
American people.

I have talked to more women in the last week about the fact that
regardless of the church controversy, their contraception is going to be
free with no co-pay. Everything that the bill did for women`s health,
equalizing the playing field, we`ve had a teach in on it in the last week.
So that is the other thing that I think is really important.

Now women are realizing what they have got. And then these guys are
saying they want to take it away. I think they are making a huge mistake.

SCHULTZ: They certainly have spread the net out a lot further here
with this Blunt amendment. Krystal, is the Republican party tone deaf with
women on this issue? I mean, to spread it out -- first to say it`s a
religious issue, and then to say that any employer could branch out and
deny this I find absolutely amazing.

KRYSTAL BALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. It makes it very
clear what this is really all about. And even before the president offered
his compromise, two-thirds of women already supported the law as it stood.
So women are absolutely on the side of the president here.

And let`s remember, Republicans are not exactly doing that great with
women to start with. Last time around in 2008, President Obama got 70
percent of unmarried women voted for him. And the numbers right now are
looking the same for the GOP field.

Mitt Romney right now is actually beating the president by five points
among men. But among women, he`s losing by 21 points. So this just
doubles down on a losing strategy for them.

SCHULTZ: What amazes me, Joan, is that the Republican party doesn`t
seem to understand that women that exercise birth control are doing it for
medical reasons, OK? They take the medication for medical reasons, other
than getting pregnant. Why can`t they get that right?

WALSH: Because they don`t want to, Ed. They just don`t want to.
They want to make this about sexuality. They are stuck back in the culture
wars of the 1980`s. They think this is a winning hand for them. They
really don`t see what Krystal said, that they are alienating huge swaths of
the population.

I would also like to say, it`s not just about women. If we`re having
sex and we need birth control, there is a man involved, you know? There
are husbands and fathers and partners all over this country who are
benefiting from this as well. So it`s really a national issue. And they
have botched it.

SCHULTZ: Here is what Congressman Paul Ryan said about the
president`s compromise on Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: It`s really an accounting trick. It
forces the insurance company that they have to pay to do the coverage. So
instead of making the institution itself, it reinforces the insurer. And a
lot of these Catholic institutions are self-insured. And all insurers
under this rule must provide those mandated benefits.

So it really is a distinction without a difference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Krystal, what do you think of that?

BALL: Let`s be clear; this is not about religious freedom. OK,
religious freedom does not mean that your employer gets to impose their
religious beliefs on you. That`s not what this is about.

And in fact, health insurers know that it`s far cheaper to pay for
birth control than it is to pay for abortions or pregnancies. So this is
basically a cost-less thing.

So what Paul Ryan is saying doesn`t make any sense. There`s another
element to this, too. The Republicans have a very dispirited base that is
not enthusiastic. This is one of the ways that they gin up their base, and
keep the working class and middle class folks who are voting against their
own self-interest economically with the Republican party -- they use this
as a culture war, tribal chip to keep them in the party, frankly.

SCHULTZ: Today both of Maine`s Republican senators broke with
McConnell on this issue. Joan, what do you make of that, both Susan
Collins and Olympia Snowe?

WALSH: I think it`s terrific. I expected it, frankly. I want to say
one more thing, I`m very excited for Elizabeth Warren, because Scott Brown
announced today that he is supporting Roy Blunt`s ridiculously broad
legislation. So he did a great favor to Elizabeth Warren.

SCHULTZ: So does Elizabeth Warren run commercials on that issue, do
you think?

WALSH: I think so, yeah, I do.

BALL: Can I just point out one other thing here? The importance of
having more women in office? I mean, I think it`s notable that the two
Republicans who are breaking ranks here are two women. And right now, we
have 83 percent of the legislature is -- are men. And that is not to say
women always vote the right way, but having those voices at the table makes
a real difference.

SCHULTZ: You think --.

WALSH: Women jumped out in front last week to defend President Obama,
women senators and House members.

SCHULTZ: Are both of you comfortable with what the president did?
Did he handle it properly?

WALSH: Wonderful.

BALL: Absolutely. I think the American people will look at this and
say the president is being reasonable and Republicans are being completely
unreasonable, as usual.

SCHULTZ: OK. Great to have both of you with us. Joan Walsh, thank
you tonight. And also Krystal Ball, great to have you on the program.

That is THE ED SHOW, I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to my radio show
on Sirius XM Radio Channel 127, Monday through Friday, Noon to 3:00.

You can follow me on Twitter #EdShow. And like THE ED SHOW on
Facebook. Thank you.

And just a quick show note, not that we`re keeping score -- but we are
-- it`s been six days since Sean Hannity promised to release his tape of
President Obama saying that he didn`t want to get Osama bin Laden. Ezra
Klein is filling in for Rachel Maddow tonight.

Ezra, good to have you with us.

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you, Ed. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

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

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