updated 2/17/2012 1:15:14 PM ET 2012-02-17T18:15:14

Guests: E.J. Dionne; Rachel Maddow; Richard Wolffe, James Peterson, Sandra Fluke, Caroline Heldman, Robert Reich

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

Ugly racist attacks are on the rise. Republicans in Washington refuse
to hear the truth about women`s rights. And Rick Santorum is on a radical
rampage.

And how about Sarah Palin? She thinks she could be a game changer? I
need two shows tonight but I only got one. Stay with me.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS: Congresswoman, you saw what happened to
Whitney Houston. Step away from the crack pipe. It`s going to get you in
trouble.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Racism is once again rearing its ugly head
across America. Maxine Waters, Jeremy Lin and the late Whitney Houston
victims of disgusting racist attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes the crack ho again. What she`s going
to do?

SCHULTZ: Why is there an uptick in racist comments? Dr. James
Peterson is here with reaction.

FOSTER FRIESS, SANTORUM SUPPORTER: Back in my days, they used by a
Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and
it wasn`t that costly.

SCHULTZ: The war on women`s health turns into aspirin-sanity.

Republicans on the Hill won`t allow a woman to testify about women`s
health.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: Imagine having a panel on women`s
health and they don`t have any women on the panel. Duh!

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Sandra Fluke, the woman Republicans tried to
silence, joins me tonight exclusively here on THE ED SHOW.

And the Republican field is such a disaster that Sarah Palin thinks
she might jump back in.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: If that involves running for
public office at some point in the future, I`m game for that.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe will give us the latest.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Who is guarding the fort of racial decency in America? Ingrain racism
is rearing its ugly head in major ways. Even one of the most positive news
stories to come along in a long time is being tainted by the stench of
racial stereotyping.

Jeremy Lin, basically is water cooler conversation in every workplace
in America right now. He`s the hottest thing going in the NBA. And it`s
the hottest thing the NBA has had in a long, long time and it`s a great
underdog success story.

Last night, after the Knicks won their seventh game in a row, the MSG
network showed this image. In case you can`t tell, it`s Jeremy Lin`s head
coming out of a fortune cookie. MSG said the image was not created by the
network, it was a sign created by a fan. But the network doesn`t explain
why it decided to show the sign on television.

At best, this is racial insensitivity of the highest order. Would MSG
have shown of a watermelon with black athlete? I don`t think so. This
story is bad.

But you know what? It gets worse from there. Family and friends of
Whitney Houston are still mourning her death. But two conservative talk
show hosts out of Los Angeles decided to make names for themselves
nationally by calling Houston a racially offensive slur.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes the crack ho again. What`s she going
to do? Oh, look at that, she`s doing handstands next to the pool. Very
good, crack ho. Nice -- what? After a while, everybody is exhausted. And
then you find out she`s dead. It`s, like, really? Took this long?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The station airing the show suspended the two hosts today.
In a statement, KFI Radio said "KFI management does not condone, support or
tolerate statements of this kind."

Really? So, was that a paid vacation until a couple weeks from now?
I`m not sure the punishment fits the crime.

But here`s a guy who does still have a job. Eric Bolling from FOX
News. Today, Bolling had something despicable to say about a sitting
United States congressional woman who is black and that is Congresswoman
Maxine Waters. She was the subject of Bolling`s rage because she said John
Boehner and Eric Cantor looked like demons in a photo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: What is going on in California? How is this?
Congresswoman, you saw what happened to Whitney Houston. Step away from
the crack pipe, step away from the Xanax, stay with Lorazepam because it`s
going to get you in trouble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We should mention that his show was canceled on FOX Business
but he`s still on the other FOX network.

How is it acceptable to tell an African-American congressional member,
a woman, to put down the crack pipe?

Later, Bolling said, ah, he was just kidding around. But he has a
history of comments like this.

(BEGIN VIDOE CLIP)

BOLLING: Mr. Obama, you`ve decided that chugging a few 40s and
rediscovering your Irish is more important than a presidential visit to a
community trying to figure out what just hit them.

So, what`s with all the hoods in the hizzy? A month after the White
House hosted the rapper Common, who glorifies violence on cops, the
president opened his doors to one of Africa`s most evil dictators.

How does increasing taxes count as spending cuts in your world, Mr.
Obama? Maybe in Kenya, but certainly not here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Eric Bolling has made racially charged comments about the
president of the United States on a major television network and basically
he gets away with it.

I don`t think these comments will go away any time soon. In fact, I
think we`re going to see more. It reminds me of the atmosphere in America
from about four years ago when Barack Obama was going full steam ahead
toward the presidency. We saw a lot of stuff like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is little Hussein who wanted to see truth and
good Americans.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It seems like the more President Obama achieves,
accomplishes, the frequency of the racial overtones just increasing
everywhere. Unemployment is going down, the economy is recovering, our
foreign policy has been pretty doggone successful, but comments about race
can still motivate people who are unhappy that we have black man in the
White House.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will racially charged comments in the media increase during the
election season?

Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can go to our blog
Ed.MSNBC.com, and leave a comment. And we`ll bring you results on the poll
later in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Dr. James Peterson, director of African studies
and associate professor of English at Lehigh University.

Professor, good to have you with us tonight.

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me.

SCHULTZ: Why is this happening? Why is this ingrained racism still a
problem in 2012? And it`s just like water off a duck`s back and yet a lot
of people get away with it. How do you feel about it?

PETERSON: Well, it`s disheartening and disappointing. There`s a
couple reasons why.

I think you`re right that the president`s election causes certain kind
of backlash that`s been ongoing since he was elected. It`s sad but there
are people who are really, really frustrated and mad and hateful just
because we have black president. So, there`s that piece of it.

And then as your show and other folk have been talking about for the
last six months, sadly Republican presidential politics has been embracing
sort of racially insensitive discourses as well. And so, when that`s going
on from the grassroots up, from a small group of folk who hate the fact
that we have a black president, you put that in conjunction with Republican
politics pandering this sort of the small minority of folk within the
Republican Party who are still holding on to certain kinds of racialized
discourses and you create an environment where these kinds of shock jocks
and different folk are sort of piling on.

I`m really, really curious to see when we`re going to sort of stand up
as a community and start to reject these things outright.

SCHULTZ: Do we need a discussion in this country about corporate
responsibility? I mean, obviously, those two talkers in Los Angeles felt
brave enough to go on the air. Maybe they didn`t know the boundaries. MSG
showing what they showed without thinking about it -- whether a fan put it
together or not.

And, of course, a broadcaster who tells a congressional member to, you
know, drop the crack pipe. I mean, what -- how do we move forward?

PETERSON: Well, there`s a couple things --

SCHULTZ: How do we get better at being American?

PETERSON: Sure. There`s -- I mean, corporate responsibility in a
capitalist society is a tricky thing, sadly. I think we need to have more
public conversation. People think we`re post-race. We can`t even have the
right kinds of constructive productive conversations about race.

I think also, we have to progress that conversation to understand the
intersectionality between gender and race because two out of three of these
comments really are more about gender, because the whole -- the term crack
ho is a gender bias term, right? Because men smoke crack as well. I would
bet dollars and donuts that women become targets because they`re women and
because they`re black.

So, there`s an intersectional discussion that we got to have to move
things along and, yes, we got to have these public conversations and public
discourses around the ways in which race still infiltrates our
conversations and our ideologies.

SCHULTZ: Now, I think that if we had seen a black player`s head in
the middle of a watermelon, OK? There would have been tremendous outrage.
We have an Asian athlete. An Asian athlete is not seen in the NBA too
often.

But there was a comfort level that it was OK to put his head in the
middle of a fortune cookie -- the Knicks good fortune. Someone decided to
put that on the air.

You know, I`m amazed at it. There`s a lot of things I could have led
with tonight to start this show out, but I`m just driven to make sure that
this conversation happens in America because I think we teach hatred and we
teach racism. Young kids don`t grow up with it. They are taught this.

PETERSON: That`s true.

SCHULTZ: And when we don`t call people out on what`s going on in this
country, when people in front of cameras and in front of microphones are
given the license and they just get a little slap on the wrist and go, I
have made my share of mistakes. And I`ve been publicly embarrassed. I
know I`ve changed. I know I have.

PETERSON: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: But how -- what do we do? The response from the black
community, they got to feel beaten down all the time when they see stuff
like this.

PETERSON: Well, it`s an uphill climb and it`s an ongoing battle. You
know, black folk have been fighting this battle for a long time and will
continue to do so. There are a lot of blind spots in our racial
discussions and sometimes racism against Latino, Hispanic communities and
racism against Asian American and Asian communities are one of those blind
spots. Gender bias is another one of those blind spots.

The problem with what MSG does, or what they did with that fortune
cookie mishap is that they basically endorsed the ways in which we enact
biases against the Asian American community. And so, that kind of
endorsement at that level is problematic.

Think about the various Asian communities within New York City. You
know, how are they supposed to take that kind of representation of someone
who is being elevated with a great story, great talent, and then you sort
of take the wind out of the sails with that kind of negative imagery.

The bottom line for us, is we have to be vigilant about these things,
we have to wrestle with them directly. And the only way to get out of
these sorts of situations recurring and recurring is through education.
You know, we`ve got to fight it in the classrooms and we`ve got that fight
that indoctrination through media and through different platforms as sort
of engage it in the most critical way possible.

SCHULTZ: And it`s being presented as entertainment on some talk shows
around the country, as it was on that one on KFI, that -- in the middle of
misery, when people are suffering the loss of a loved one, it`s OK, just
call her a crack ho. It`s no big deal. They took the license to do it.

And then, of course, there`s probably some Asian parents who were
watching this Jeremy Lin and now they have to explain to their kids who are
7, 8, 9 years old of an impressionable age, you know, what that really
meant and how we have to deal with it. And it forces parents and kids at a
young age to have to deal with this stuff.

That`s why we have to call them out to be responsible.

PETERSON: It is. And we have to give people tools to wrestle it.
I`ve had -- sadly, I`ve had those conversations with my children and I want
to plug a book that`s called "American Born Chinese". It`s a great novel
that sort of excavates a lot of the different Asian American stereotypes
that we have in our society.

It will make you laugh but it will also make you think about the ways
in which we think about certain groups of people. And, yes, we have to
have those conversations with our children and we have to have these kind
of conversations on your show. And we have to have the same kinds of
discourses in our classrooms so we can sensitize people to this insensitive
language.

SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson, thank you for joining us tonight. I
appreciate it.

PETERSON: Thank you for having me, Ed.

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

Coming up, the Republicans war on women`s health -- well, it
continues. A mostly male panel testifies to Congress about contraception.
But Sandra Fluke was not allowed to testify. She is my exclusive guest
next.

And later, General Motors posts a record profit and unemployment
claims hit a four-year low. All good news for the economy. Bad news for
Mitt Romney. Robert Reich with the conversation.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: Republicans on the Hill refuse to
let a woman to testify at a hearing about women`s health. The witness who
was denied the chance to testify is my exclusive guest, next.

Mitt Romney`s disaster in Michigan continues. Good news on the
economy are sinking Republicans in the polls. Robert Reich will join me
with the latest.

And Sarah Palin is back from Alaska and she has the White House on her
mind. Richard Wolffe will tell us if we need to worry about the half
governor.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow. We`ll be right
back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK0

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRIESS: This contraceptive thing, my gosh. It`s so inexpensive.
Back in my days you used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it
between their knees and it wasn`t that costly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was Foster Friess giving us some history, huh? The
money man for the leading candidate for Republicans which would be Rick
Santorum, summing up the Republican Party`s attitude towards women`s
reproductive rights. The GOP war on women`s health continued in the House
today. The Oversight Committee held a hearing on the Obama
administration`s decision to mandate coverage for birth control.

Here`s the first panel of witnesses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAEL: Reverend William Lori. Reverend Matthew Harrison.
Dr. C. Ben Mitchell. Rabbi Soloveichik. Closes? Dr. Craig Mitchell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You got it. Republicans called an entirely male panel to
talk about women`s health. Women did not testify until this afternoon when
two women joined three more men on a second panel.

Not only were the vast majority of witnesses male, they were all
called to testify by Republican members, because they seem to have all of
the answers.

The Democrats witness was rejected by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was not pleased with Issa`s
decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Mr. Chairman, I was deeply
disturbed you reject our request to hear from a woman, a third-year student
at Georgetown Law School named Sandra Fluke. Your staff told us you
personally rejected Ms. Fluke`s testimony, saying that and I quote, "the
hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The entire motivation for the hearing was President Obama`s
rule on contraception. Darrell Issa`s bogus excuse for denying the
Democrats their witness proves his hearing was a complete farce.

Joining me tonight is Sandra Fluke, the woman Congressman Darrell Issa
rejected as a witness today. Ms. Fluke is a law student at Georgetown
University.

Great to have you with us tonight, Sandra.

Now, I understand that you already planned your testimony. You were
going to cite examples of people who could have benefited from President
Obama`s mandate for birth control coverage.

Share with us what you would have told that committee today.

SANDRA FLUKE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW STUDENT: That is what I was
there to speak to the committee about. That`s why I was so stunned when
Chairman Issa made the decision to not allow me to speak on behalf of those
women and to say that I was not an appropriate witness, that those women`s
stories were not appropriate for this committee. I cannot think of who
would be more appropriate for the committee to hear from than the women
affected by this policies whose lives were affected.

One of the women I wanted to talk about today is a close friend of
mine. She has polycystic ovarian syndrome. And what that means is that
she needs to take contraception for medical reason, to prevent cysts from
growing on her ovaries and not to prevent pregnancy.

Now, that technically means it should be covered on Georgetown student
health insurance which does not cover contraception for prevention of
pregnancy. But unfortunately when university administrators and employers
and insurance companies get involved in deciding whose health needs are
legitimate and whose aren`t, what happens is that women`s health needs take
a back seat to that type of ideology. And that`s what happened in her case
and we found that that happens in 65 percent of the female students` cases.

So, for her she was unable -- they repeatedly refused her
contraception coverage claims and she had verification from her doctor. It
didn`t matter. So, she had to pay out of pocket about $100 a month for
her, month after month after month. And eventually she just couldn`t
afford it like many students just cannot afford that kind of a cost.

And she had to stop taking it. I have to tell you, it`s -- so what
happened is that after a few months of her not taking the prescription, a
massive cyst grew on her ovary. And she woke up one night in the middle of
the night in excruciating pain and told me it felt like she had been shot.

And I just can`t -- I can`t imagine what that felt like for her. What
ultimately happen is that she had that ovary surgically removed, she had to
have it surgically removed. And as a result of that, she would have
problems conceiving a child. But even more, it just hasn`t stopped for
her.

She since the surgery she`s experienced symptoms of early menopause,
and her doctors are very concerned that at the age of 32, she is entering
early menopause, which means that there will be nothing any doctor can do
to help her to conceive a child. And it will also put her at risk for
increased risk for cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

And that`s where she was this morning when I was attempting to tell
her story to the public and to members of Congress, she was at the doctor`s
office trying to cope with the symptoms she`s experiencing.

SCHULTZ: Sandra, you know, I know our audience appreciates the story
you just told. That was tremendous testimony. And it`s very powerful.

I wish you would have had an opportunity to testify in front of
Darrell Issa but they are politically bent.

I want to know, what`s it like -- you`re a third-year law student at
Georgetown. Are people on campus -- are they talking about this story, or
has this really hit the attention of women that you interact with
professionally in the school setting?

FLUKE: Oh, my goodness. Unless you studied at one of these schools,
I can`t even explain to you what it is like on campus. We have been
following these regulations ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed.
And it`s a fight we`ve been having for years, literally decades students
have been struggling for this.

So, this makes such an incredible difference in our lives, in the
lives of so many women. My friend is just one of the women who would
benefit from this. And so, when we hear the regulations announced, when we
hear updates on this situation, these policies, there is such jubilation,
celebration on campus. People are so excited.

They know I`m involved in this issue and they come and ask me
questions about it and they are so excited about it. And they are so
grateful --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

FLUKE: -- that this policy is going to help protect vulnerable
students in this way. We`ve tried to convince our universities to cover
contraception and students at many other universities around the country
have tried the same thing and they`ve turned a deaf ear to us. So, this is
-- this is our hope. This is what we hope will help the women that I
wanted to talk about this morning.

SCHULTZ: Sandra Fluke, I appreciate you being here tonight. I know
they watch on Capitol Hill. Great testimony here on THE ED SHOW and I
think you`ll probably get an opportunity to talk more with people who will
be in a position of making a decision that will affect the lives of women.

I really appreciate you being with us tonight. Thank you so much.

FLUKE: Thank you for having me.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

The testimony Sandra was going to give can be found on our blog,
Ed.MSNBC.com.

Now, let`s turn to Caroline Heldman, professor of politics at
Occidental College.

Your reaction to that, Professor?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: Well, Ed, I`m wondering what
Darrell Issa is so afraid of. He`s afraid of a young woman in her 20s
testifying about this? He`s afraid of dissenting opinion?

I mean, I think this is just -- it`s sham politics. And it`s politics
-- partisan politics being played out on women`s bodies.

And frankly, there is no issue here -- 98 percent of Catholic women
already use contraceptives. More than half of the states in the Union have
requirements similar to what can be found in the Obama health care act.
And 77 percent of campuses, college campuses that have a Catholic
affiliation already provide this.

So, any time there is smoke in politics but no fire, you have to ask
what`s going on. And I think it`s really clear that Republicans are trying
to use this to drive -- as a wedge issue to scare people that Obama is
persecuting religious people and also to paint him as not being Christian.

You know, one in five Americans believe he`s Muslim and perhaps that
number will go up after this campaign of misinformation.

SCHULTZ: Caroline, what kind of political price do you think the
Republicans could pay for this? Is this really on the radar screen, and is
this such a terrible political misstep?

I feel bad asking that question because this is such a serious issue
for women`s health in America, that it would turn out to be a political
football. I can`t believe they`re going down this road.

I give you an example -- today, when that gentleman who supports Rick
Santorum -- I use this comment on my radio show. I interviewed Senator
Barbara Boxer on my radio show today. I read her the quote that we played
at the beginning of the segment where the guy bankrolling Santorum`s super
PAC talked about women heading aspirin between their knees as
contraception.

It was the first time Senator Boxer had heard the quote. Here`s her
reaction. I want to play it for you.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The billionaire who was supporting Rick Santorum says that -
- did you know that gals just used to put aspirin between their knees for
contraception?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: What?

SCHULTZ: Yes. Yes. That`s right. I`m just reading it now. It was
just a simpler time. There was other ways to deal with female sexual
desire.

BOXER: Oh stop.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The senator left speechless. That pretty much sums up where
women in America are, you think?

HELDMAN: Well, yes, this is new information. I don`t think a lot of
women know about aspirin. It sounds a little painful to me. Or perhaps if
you were a woman or listened to women, he would know that.

I just think it`s fascinating that we live in a society where certain
segments just embrace patriarchy to, you know, this idea that men`s bodies
are valuable, but women`s are not. And they are so threatened by women`s
sexual freedom.

I mean, we are really back in 1973 with Roe v. Wade here.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Well --

HELDMAN: It`s such a ridiculous argument.

SCHULTZ: There`s one candidate out there that definitely wants to
attack that, too.

Caroline Heldman, professor at Occidental -- thank you for joining us
tonight. I appreciate it

HELDMAN: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Rick Santorum went off the rails in Fargo, North Dakota,
last night. I`ll show you the tape not many people are playing but I am.
The Republican front runner`s radical comments that everyone will be
talking about tomorrow.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: General Motors is once
again the number one automaker in the world.

SCHULTZ: GM posts record profits and jobless claims drop. Good news
for the country. Bad news for Mitt Romney. Robert Reich is here with the
latest.

Rick Santorum reveals his radical plan to gut public education in
America.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Should education be a
federal government issue? OK. That`s pretty simple.

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne will tell us why Santorum could take out Romney.

And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water --

SARAH PALIN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT CANDIDATE: If that involves
running for public office at some point in the future, I`m game for that.

SCHULTZ: America`s worst nightmare could come true. Richard Wolffe
on president Sarah Palin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to show "the Ed Show." And thanks for watching
tonight.

Well, there`s more good news on the economy which is bad news for the
Republicans and especially Mitt Romney but it`s the kind of news that`s so
great.

General Motors hit a record profit in 2011, $7.6 billion. Its last
record year was way back in 1997. And there`s more. Manufacturing
Technology orders skyrocketed at 66 percent in 2011. It`s the strongest
year in more than a decade. Jobless claims are at a four-year low and
dropped once again last week. I mean, it`s just happening, isn`t it?

Mitt Romney says we need him to rescue us from a bad economy. He says
President Obama; he`s in over his head. But Romney is twisting in the wind
right now, folks. Here`s what he said at a business roundtable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the number of
manufacturing jobs from 1975 to 2010 and you`ll see manufacturing jobs have
come down a lot. But all of that has come through union jobs and I think
in many cases as in the case of the UAW where a union asks for too much and
the management gives in. You end up in some cases killing the company or
killing an entire industry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yes. It`s those union workers. The united autoworkers.
You`ve been the problem all along. You can`t make cars. You make too much
money. It`s your pension. It`s your health care. You`re the problem.

I tell you what. I know that there are some guys in the united
autoworkers who in the past voted for Republicans. I mean, that`s the only
sound bite you need to see right there to get your head screwed on right.
I mean, Republicans have nothing for you.

Mitt let me tell you something. Union jobs decreased because of the
sustained decades-long assault on workers.

Let me give you some free campaign advice here, dude. Here`s the
chart you should be showing if you want to speak effectively to the middle
class in America. As union membership declines, so does the middle class
share of the national income. But don`t bother Mitt Romney with any facts.
Today, he announced that he would skip the CNN debate on March 1st, the
week before super Tuesday so the debate was canceled.

Let`s turn to Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under president
Clinton and now a professor at UC Berkeley and author of the book "after
shock."

You know, I tell you what, Mr. Reich. I don`t know what it is about
conservative Republicans and even Republicans. They always want to blame
labor. So, if labor is the problem, how in the world do we have this
success right now? What`s the best conversation you could come back with
to Mitt Romney saying that it`s the unions that hurt manufacturing?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR: Well, you can look at the
record, Ed, and that`s something they don`t do. I mean, manufacturing
declined for years. It took a huge plunge under Ronald Reagan and
unfortunately continued to decline somewhat under Bill Clinton, not nearly
as much. But then it took another huge plunge under George W. Bush and as
manufacturing declined, well, you know, a lot of very good jobs were lost.

The Republicans have cause and effect backwards. They say that
manufacturing declined because of the unions. Actually, manufacturing
declined despite the unions. I mean a lot of people, a lot of very, very
strong working class people tried to maintain America and made an America
mean something but it was a lot of Republican governors and Republican
presidents that actually presided over shipping a lot of these jobs abroad.

Now that is being reversed. We are seeing in General Motors one of
the mote dramatic comebacks in recent industrial history. That company was
written off by a lot of Republicans. They said don`t bail it out. Don`t
do anything for GM. But President Obama stuck to his guns. He helped GM
and we now have a success story. Very hard for Romney to respond to that.

SCHULTZ: Especially in his home state. He`s kind of in a funk right
now. He`s forced to say things like, the economy is getting better despite
President Obama. At the same time, in the same event should I say in
Michigan, Romney called for right to work legislation but also said unions
play an important role in our economy and here`s Romney before the Michigan
chamber of commerce.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: My impression is from some government people they don`t like
you very much. I love you. All right. I like the fact that you`re
entrepreneurs and working to create jobs and build enterprises and that
makes America stronger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He`s all over the place, isn`t he?

REICH: He is completely all over the place. I mean, he knows he has
to appeal to working people in Michigan. And that`s a big union state
still. It`s a big industrial state still. Yet his record, not only in
terms of what he said, Ed. But also as a private equity manager and a head
of a private equity firm was basically getting rid of unionized workers and
cutting wages of a lot of people and getting rid of a lot of jobs.

I mean, what he said in that clip you played just a moment ago about -
- look, the big problem for American manufacturing was unionized workers.
That`s been his modus operand. That`s been his MO for all of his career
with regard to private equity. And it has caused havoc with regard to a
lot of manufacturing companies and a lot of good unionized and nonunionized
wages.

SCHULTZ: I mean. They can just politically naive to just throw out
the united autoworkers. I mean, he`s just alienating workers. It amazes
me. Robert Reich, always --

REICH: Especially in Michigan of all places. It`s extraordinary.

SCHULTZ: It is amazing. He thinks the home cooking is going to help
him out. We`ll see.

Thank you, Mr. Reich. Appreciate your time tonight.

Rick Santorum is on a role and he`s talking up his hardcore radical
right views more than ever. E.J. Dionne will join me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: All right. You be the judge if this is radical. Rick
Santorum`s radical views have largely flown under the radar screen because
he`s been really low standings in the polls until now. And now that he`s
taken the lead in several national polls, you know his extremist views are
getting more attention.

Now, last night out in the middle of the country of all places good
old Fargo, north Dakota, he told a crowd that he wants to, listen up, he
wants to completely gut public education.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Get rid of all of the federal money that goes to primary
and secondary education. Not just get the federal government out but let`s
get the state government out and get it back into the local communities and
to the parents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And they want the teachers to work for free in Fargo now, is
that what it is? Cutting off funds to education. Let me tell you
something folks, it`s just of the tip of the iceberg. Here are more
examples of Santorum`s radical views.

States should have the right to outlaw contraception. He is right in
the middle of that argument. Radical feminists, get this one, dope women
in to thinking that they had to pursue careers. Women should not serve in
combat roles in the military because emotions will get in the way. It`s
better for children to have a parent in prison than to have gay parents.

Of course, there`s Santorum`s famous comparison of homosexuality and
bestiality. And it seems, like he can`t wait to bomb Iran. The Barry
Goldwater, I think,, was famous for his doom`s day rhetoric. And I`m kind
of hearing the same stuff coming out of Rick Santorum`s mouth.

I mean, I get the feeling that he knows where the nuke button is and
he`s pretty reckless and can`t wait to get to it. And one more thing about
Santorum. He talks a good game about made in America but his tax returns
from 2008 showed that he was driving a German made Audi a6. Not real good
for Mr. American manufacturing.

I wonder what 2012 presidential candidate Santorum would say about
that?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Elite snobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Elite snobs? Joining me now is MSNBC contributor E.J.
Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings institution and columnist for "the
Washington Post," and may I also say a professor and I`ve been in your
classroom at Georgetown. And I know you care about education so I`m just
going to throw this out to you, E.J. What would America be like if we cut
all funding on a federal and state level to public education?

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, let me say this Chevy
Malibu driver is happy to be with you.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: Good for you. I`ve got a Silverado at home.

DIONNE: You know, when Arianna Jones, your booking producer, called
me and read me that quote, I couldn`t believe it was what he said. I asked
her, Arianna, are you sure? She actually sent me the text of the quote.

Because what`s really amazing is it`s not just that he`s proposing
cutting federal education aid which has been with us in some form since
World War II but has really been part of our life and helping schools
especially poor kids since the `60s. But when he says get it out of the
state government. I mean my word. We use the state governments to try to
arrange at least a little bit of equality between school districts. A
little more equality.

I mean, we live out in Bethesda, Maryland, which is an affluent
community. We moved there because the public schools are great. Some of
my state tax money goes to help inner city schools in Baltimore and a lot
of rural districts around Maryland because those kids deserve a good
education too. And I was just astonished he said that.

SCHULTZ: I tell you what, it`s amazing. This is a guy who home
schools his kids, OK, and this is a guy that has no problem with the
defunding of public education where teachers in his home state of
Pennsylvania have voted to work for nothing and they have gotten a big
scrap with the governor right now about getting funds to run it.

You know, I want to play a sound bite of Rick Santorum yesterday in
North Dakota talking about Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Right now the big issue of the day is Iran. The
development of a nuclear weapon and let me assure you they do not respect
us. They are promoting terror all over the world. There are plans here in
the United States that Iran is planning to do terrorist attacks here and
what does the president do? He appeases. This is a fundamental threat to
your security. No one is safe. No one is safe from asymmetric threats,
terrorism. And that`s what Iran is all about unless we stop them from
getting that nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We should point out factually that the stated position of
the president of the United States is that he will not allow Iran to have a
nuclear bomb. But, I guess, we have got to have all of this testosterone
on the Republican trail for campaigning. Is he building an argument for
bombing that country?

DIONNE: I think that`s what he`s trying to do. But when you put
together and by the way, somewhere in there he said President Obama called
Iran a tiny country and in fact the actual quote from President Obama which
was before he was president was that it was tiny compared to the soviet
union. It was a very different quote than the one that I understand he
said.

But I think the problem Santorum is creating for himself with all of
those quotes you had on social issues at the beginning and with some of
this rhetoric, is if he blows this lead he has in Michigan to Romney, one
of the reasons is that women voters are abandoning him.

Now, obviously, women who vote in Republican primaries are not
liberal. But there are moderate and moderately conservative women who
don`t like that rhetoric at all and I think that`s something he should be
careful about and the schools quote will also affect those voters.

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne. Thanks so much. This was a good day for
Romney is what you`re saying because that kind of out of the main street
rhetoric could actually help a guy like Mitt Romney so there`s a real
tussle with Republicans on which way to go on that.

Thank you, E.J. Appreciate your time.

DIONNE: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin gives the green light for being drafted at a
convention. Richard Wolffe weighs in on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Tonight I asked will racially charged comments in the media
increase during this election season, 98 percent of you said yes. 2
percent of you said no.

Coming up, Sarah Palin has been on the sidelines this election year
but now she says she`s willing to be drafted. Richard Wolffe joins me on
whether she has a shot at the nomination. Could it really happen? That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: The big finish tonight. Welcome back to the show.

Sarah Palin says she`s open to being drafted in a brokered Republican
convention. In an interview with Eric Bolling she was asked about her
future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: I know that, I`ve got the fire in my belly to try to help, to
try to make a difference, and if that involves running for public office at
some point in the future, I`m game for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And then she was asked about the possibility of a brokered
convention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: Well, for one, I think that it could get to that. And, you
know, if it had to be kind of closed up today, the whole nominating
process, then we would be looking at a brokered convention. I mean, nobody
is quite there yet. So I think that months from now if that`s the case,
then, you know, all bets are off as to who it will be willing to offer
themselves up in the name of service to their country. I would do whatever
I could do help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin is the entitlement candidate. She doesn`t work
for it by going through a messy primary and caucuses. She is only
interested in campaigning for two months and serving for two years like she
did when she was governor of Alaska. Now, we know why she keeps encourages
voters to keep Gingrich`s candidacy alive up to the convention.

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

Richard, there would be nothing greater for cable news than to have
brokered convention and Sarah Palin come away as the nominee. I mean, is
she giving the green light here? What do you think she`s saying?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, maybe cable news
interests or not the country or the world`s interest given that it`s a
fairly evenly divided country.

Look. Her eloquence in that interview speaks for itself. I have no
idea what scenario she was painting. If she thinks she`s going to light up
the convention floor with speeches like that, all credit to her.

But, you know, things have moved on. I know that you can be
delusional. Maybe you`re delusional just by being Sarah Palin but you can
be delusional because people are out there, thousands of them, chanting
your name when you get picked to run for vice president or you actually run
for president, something she didn`t do.

But anyway, that delusional aspect is hard to shake off and for her I
think she doesn`t realize the country has moved on, the party has moved on
and her brand of craziness has now been trumped by a whole bunch of other
people.

SCHULTZ: Is she a political asset in a strange way at this point? I
mean, she`s a media star no doubt. She commands the camera quite often
where she works. She draws good crowds where she goes. Is she a factor?

WOLFFE: She did draw good crowds. But, you know, there was evidence
as she was playing around with the idea of running for president that she
wasn`t going to keep those crowds for very long.

Remember, by the time she decided not to run, she only had 20 percent
of Republican voters saying they were enthusiastic voting for her. Well,
20 percent in this race is pretty much where everyone has been including
Mitt Romney at various points.

So, I don`t know what enthusiasm is out there. It`s like Herman Cain
thinking he has a base that will go out to bat for him. They`re not there.
They moved on. They have two other folk new demigod populist. Call them
what you like, that are still in the race. So, who does she speak for?

SCHULTZ: Would it be smart for the nominee to put her on the ticket
again and let her run wild so to speak. You know, we keep hearing stories
about how she was pretty much harnessed as far as a candidate is concerned
and not being able to speak freely on the campaign trail. Would she be a
good VP say, for Romney or Santorum?

WOLFFE: Well, I don`t know. She said she was harnessed. I mean.
The people who worked with her in that McCain campaign said that she just
couldn`t speak for herself. So, what were they harnessing here? There`s a
difference of opinion on that one.

Look. She has 60 percent disapproval among the general electorate.
So, you would have to be pretty weak as a nominee to think that you need
the conservative base that she would bring with her for all of the people
that she would alienate. And again, you know. She is old school crazy and
extreme. You know, she goes after fruit flies. Today`s Republicans go
after birth control. She`s so behind the times.

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us, Richard Wolffe. Thank you so
much.

That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on the
radio, Sirius XM radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday noon to 3:00
p.m.

We`ll follow-up tomorrow with our discussion on race. And you can
follow me on twitter @edshow and like "the Ed Show" on facebook. Rachel
Maddow shows starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: Good evening, Ed.

I can hear you unable to contain your glee in the lead into this
segment. Your giggles were showing.

SCHULTZ: You know, in looking back at that interview, that tape that
we just played, I`m not convinced that she understands how a brokered
convention works. She thought she would give it a try.

MADDOW: Yes. And so - I mean, she`s been -- other people have been
hinting about this prospect for a long time. But I think you`re right. I
think she was directly saying pick me, pick me.

SCHULTZ: Exactly.

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

Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>