updated 3/1/2012 1:22:54 PM ET 2012-03-01T18:22:54

Guests: Richard Wolffe, Ezra Klein, Bob Shrum, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ayanna Pressley, Dr. Amy Bryant,
Dr. James Peterson


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

Well, less than 24 hours after winning Arizona and Michigan, Mitt
Romney takes his push button mentality to the battleground state of Ohio.
Rick Santorum and his pet rock, well, they are in Tennessee.

And President Obama is cleaning both of their clocks.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let`s talk about jobs, the
president`s failed.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Mitt Romney escaped Michigan with a win. But
he can`t escape the truth.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You got folks say,
well, the real problem is, what we really disagreed with was the workers,
they all made out like bandits. Even by the standards of this town, that`s
a load of you-know-what.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Richard Wolffe on President Obama`s reality and
Romney`s fiction, Bob Shrum on the Republican fight for the middle class
votes on Super Tuesday, and Ezra Klein on the fuzzy math in Mitt Romney`s
budget.

The Republican war on women`s health is exploding in Washington.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Two-point-eight million jobs are
at stake and we`re debating birth control. Let`s beat the Blunt Amendment,
it`s a disaster.

SCHULTZ: The radical Blunt Amendment is now up for a vote. Big name
Republicans are now running away from the legislation. We`ll have the
latest.

Incredible numbers for Democrats in Wisconsin show Scott Walker is in
for the political fight of his life. We`ll have the new poll.

And Reverend Franklin Graham has finally seen the light.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that President Obama is a
Christian?

REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM, EVANGELIST: I think you have to ask President
Obama.

SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson on the reverend`s surprise apology to the
president.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, well, they wasted no time shifting
their attention to the working class in the state of Ohio. Now, it`s all
about Super Tuesday.

Mitt Romney won big in Arizona yesterday, but his win in Michigan
isn`t looking like much of a win today. Romney won the popular vote in
Michigan by about 32,000 votes, 41 percent to 38 percent over Rick
Santorum.

But today, Santorum claimed victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We won Michigan last night
by coming out of Michigan with 15 delegates out of 30 delegates in Mitt
Romney`s home state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Santorum is right, a win is a win for Mitt Romney but the
delegates are split evenly. Each candidate received 15 delegates.

Romney spent time today cutting down the guy who tied him in Michigan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Rick Santorum is a nice guy, but he`s an economic
lightweight. He doesn`t understand what it takes to make an economy work
on a personal basis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The campaigns are headed in the south country and, of
course, the Rust Belt for the next week. So, the focus is on the economic
issues.

This is why Romney is calling Santorum an economic lightweight. But
Santorum thinks his message will resonate with the working class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: We feel really good about Tennessee, we feel great about
Oklahoma, we`re going to spend a lot of time in Ohio, and that`s going to
be a battleground state. But again, we feel good about it there. We think
our message, which is, you know, about guy from steel town in western
Pennsylvania is going to play very, very well across the state of Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All right, we will see.

Santorum is trying to get back on track after killing his own momentum
with social issues in that torrid speech about -- comment about JFK.

But Pennsylvania labor leaders -- let me tell you something, folks --
they know the real Rick Santorum. This guy has only a 12 percent voting
record from the AFL-CIO and big labor basically defeat him in 2006.

Mitt Romney doesn`t have much of a voting record on labor issues but
his attempts to win over the working Americans seems pretty doggone flat.
This was Romney today during a factory tour in Toledo, Ohio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like to start the line up?

ROMNEY: Yes, fire it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there.

ROMNEY: Guys, we are about to start the line up, so you probably need
to be back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two feet, three feet.

ROMNEY: Keep going. I got to press a button which will be my heavy
lift in terms of manufacturing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That will be his the heavy lift in manufacturing.

That`s right. Romney is doing some heavy lifting in manufacturing.
It`s almost as authentic as the time he pumped his gas in his campaign bus.
There`s a dandy picture. Or the time he did his laundry in his hotel room.

Well, labor is going to play a major role in the presidential
election. Super Tuesday is what it`s all about. These contests are a big
test for Republican candidates.

But the question is, can they relate to the working class folk of
America? Can they get that segment of the population to vote for `em when
push comes to shove based on their record?

We already know this guy. This guy has a pretty good message for
workers, especially workers in the recovered auto industry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: No matter how many punches we take, we don`t give up. We get
up. We fight back. We move forward. We come out on the other side
stronger than before.

That`s what you`ve shown us. You know why I knew this rescue would
succeed? You want to know?

It wasn`t because of anything the government did. It wasn`t just
because of anything that management did. It was because I believed in you.
I placed my bet on the American worker. And I`ll make that bet any day of
the week.

You got folks saying, well, the real problem is, what we really
disagreed with was the workers, they made out like bandits, saving the auto
industry was just paying back the unions.

Really? I mean, even by the standards of this town, that`s a load
you-know-what.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You know, I am waiting for the videotape to be shown when
Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney goes in front of a middle class working crowd
and gets a reaction like that. They can`t do it, because their record of
dealing with labor and middle class wage earners in this country, it
doesn`t hold water.

First of all, Mitt Romney is an outsourcer, he`s a job killer, and a
union buster.

And if you want to talk about Santorum and I love the way Santorum
goes around the country saying, you know, I`m for you, I`m with you. He
puts that plaid shirt on, he goes out and says, you know, I`m with unions.

No, he`s not. The unions beat him in his last Senate race in 2006.
Let`s go to his voting record.

In fact, if you`re out on the stump with Rick Santorum and you`re a
wage earner and you have a chance to ask him a question, ask him -- did
labor support you in 2006? Yes or no.

The other thing you want to ask him is the last six years of your time
in the United States Senate, is it true that the last three out of the last
six year term, you had a zero record with labor? The AFL-CIO, that they
didn`t think you were good on trade issues, they didn`t think you were good
on collective bargain, you didn`t do anything for them. They gave you a
zero, Mr. Santorum.

Ask him that question on the stump, because nobody else in the media
is asking him. This guy is perpetrating the biggest fraud out on the
campaign trail saying that he`s for wage earners, he`s right there with you
middle class Americans.

He`s done nothing for you. He wants to take away your health care and
kill what he calls Obamacare, which is helping middle class Americans in
this country. It`s certainly helping the elderly and it is certainly
helping young people as they can stay on their parents` policy.

Here`s the other thing you have to realize, folks, and I`m speaking
right to wage earners tonight. There`s a good portion of wage earners in
the country and union members who vote Republican. Why? The G-word --
gays, guns and God, is that what it is about, the social issues?

Well, those social issues, they fell flat for Rick Santorum in
Michigan.

So, maybe this is a turning point. Ohio is what it`s all about right
now because that`s where wage earners have been hurt and that`s where the
automobile recovery is very strong.

And we know who is with the auto workers, it wasn`t Romney, it wasn`t
Santorum -- it was President Obama.

So maybe this is going to be the year that the wage earners for the
first time don`t vote against their own economic interests. Turn the
corner. Turn the corner and tell the Republicans we know you have nothing
for us. It`s about time.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: should wage earners ever vote for Republicans?
Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can always go to our blog at
Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight here in studio in New York, MSNBC political analyst
Richard Wolffe.

Richard, great to have you with us.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Great to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I`ve always said that Ohio is the land of a cup of coffee.
The culture of the folks there, they don`t like bus stops. They like it
when you sit down and talk about the issues with them and there is a lot to
talk about when it comes to middle class income earners in this country in
Ohio.

How does Romney and Santorum win over those people?

WOLFFE: Well, they`ve got to change their policies, for a start.
Look, no question, Santorum can tell a good personal story about his
family, where it breaks down for him is that he shares the policies the
Republican Party has. They think jobs -- by the way, they`re parroting the
language that comes out of focus groups and polls. Everyone says they care
about jobs. So they`ll talk, I`m going to create jobs -- jobs, jobs, jobs.

But their policies are a repeat of the Bush years -- less regulation
on big business, lower taxes. We just saw Romney promise 20 percent tax
cuts across the board last week.

What did that give us in the Bush years? Less jobs over eight years
than Jimmy Carter created in four. It was the worst jobs record of any
president in modern times. And that`s the policy they want to repeat. So,
you can say that you care about jobs and heaven knows this economy needs
more jobs, but that policies don`t relate to people.

And as for Romney, he doesn`t have the person stories to talk about
jobs.

SCHULTZ: Yesterday, President Obama appeared to be talking about Mitt
Romney even though he didn`t mention him by name. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The other option was to do absolutely nothing and let these
companies fail. And you will recall there were some politicians who said
we should do that. Some even said we should let Detroit go bankrupt. You
remember that.

I`ve got to admit it`s been funny to watch some of these folks
completely try to rewrite history, now that you`re back on your feet. The
same folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, you
can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. Now, they are saying we
were right all along.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama with a little swagger there. Can he ride
that all the way to election day?

WOLFFE: Facts are stubborn things. Number one, it worked, right?
It`s hard to overcome that.

But Mitt Romney has a couple problems that even someone like Rick
Santorum can point out, how can you be for bailouts for Wall Street but not
for the auto industry? Even you`re against them completely, or you`re for
them completely, you can`t have it both ways.

This is a guy who says he was for job creation in the private sector,
that`s his pitch to everyone. Job creation wasn`t what Bain Capital was
about. Bain Capital wouldn`t even lend money to the auto industry when
they were looking for finance.

Remember, Mitt Romney`s position is there were other sources of money
out there other than public sector. That didn`t happen. It didn`t exist
and even his old company wasn`t there for him.

SCHULTZ: Can Romney find the resources to massively outspend Santorum
the way he did Newt Gingrich in Florida and the way he did Santorum in
Michigan? What about that?

WOLFFE: Well, he has a few resources of his own, whether they`re here
or offshore --

SCHULTZ: Can he do that?

WOLFFE: I think we may be at that point. Listen to him last night
when he goes out and tells people to give money online and he had a little
chuckle to him because it`s kind of embarrassing because they burned that
much money, but when he gets to that point, he`s either looking at writing
a check to his own campaign or being overshadowed by the super PAC, who is
supporting who? Is the Romney campaign being supported by the super PAC or
is it the other way around? That`s the difficult position.

SCHULTZ: And, Richard, I want your take on this. I mean, politics,
obviously, the delegate count, the convention and everything else, but it`s
all about image business, too.

I mean, how does Mitt Romney win Florida, win Arizona, win Michigan.
And if he wins Ohio, how can he not get the nomination? I mean, these are
such critical states when it comes to winning the general. If he wins
Ohio, and turns around this double digit lead right now in the polls, that
Santorum has, is it that really a statement?

WOLFFE: Ed, it`s not about winning the nomination right now. It`s
about the cost to Mitt Romney of getting there. And at moment, he`s having
to make so many promises to so many people, and he`s hurting his numbers so
badly that winning the nomination is just going to be the start of his
problems.

SCHULTZ: OK. Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

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

His donors are maxed out. Multimillionaire Mitt Romney is out begging
for campaign cash. What does it really mean for him going forward? Bob
Shrum and Ezra Klein weigh in on that.

And Senate Republicans think your boss belongs in your bedroom. We`ll
have the latest on the GOP`s war on women. Stay tuned. It`s all coming
up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Mitt Romney tries to sell himself to middle
classers, ahead of Super Tuesday. Ezra Klein and Bob Shrum on the policy
in politics, coming up next.

Now, gas prices -- they`re going up. And Republicans, they are out
there spewing the same old phony argument, well, let`s blame President
Obama. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, he`s got a thing or two to say
about that.

And the NAACP is calling out Reverend Franklin Graham for his comments
about the president`s faith. Now, Graham is responding.

Share thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Well, Mitt Romney -- if you pay attention to what he says --
he`s saying that he`s running for president because he can fix things. He
says his campaign is in it for the long haul.

OK. Yet, one of the richest men to ever seek the office seems to have
a bit of a cash flow problem right now.

How did he win Florida? Well, he outspent Newt Gingrich four to one.

How did he win Arizona? Well, he outspent Santorum 12 to one.

And how in the world did he squeak it out in Michigan? Well, he
outspent Santorum two to one as well.

All that spending seems to have caught up with the country clubber.
In January, Romney brought in $6.5 million while spending $19 million.

And Romney`s donors, where are they? Well, they`re maxed out. This
chart from Talking Points Memo shows the Romney campaign is funded
primarily by folks who have given the maximum amount of $2,500.

Sixty-seven percent of Romney`s overall money comes from maxed out
donors, not good. They can`t donate again.

Last night, just miles away from one of America`s poorest cities, the
candidate, himself, asked for more cash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: If you believe the disappointments of the last few years are
the detour not the destiny for America, that I need your support. I`m
asking for you to get out and vote, and I`m asking for you, by the way, to
go on MittRomney.com and pledge support in every way possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Democratic strategist and NYU professor Bob
Shrum with us tonight and MSNBC policy analyst and "Washington Post"
columnist Ezra Klein.

Bob, good to have you with us. And you, Ezra, as well.

Bob, you first -- he`s dialing for dollars! It wasn`t supposed to be
like this. What do you make of this? Romney has got the super PAC money
on his side. But is he in trouble financially?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, he can`t in the end be in
trouble financially because he can sit down and write the check. He
doesn`t want to do it I think since he -- it`s his last chance to be the
nominee, he thinks he is going to be the nominee. If he has to write the
check, he`ll write the check.

I think what`s happened to him is that a lot of folks are watching him
and beginning to decide this guy is a pretty mediocre politician, his
favorable-unfavorables are upside down. And I think Ezra will say his
policies don`t work in terms of general election appeal.

And I was thinking today, you know, his big argument is I`m a CEO, I
can fix the economy -- not only may the economy be getting fixed on its
own. But you know the last CEO who was president was? Herbert Hoover.

SCHULTZ: That didn`t turn out too well.

SHRUM: No, it didn`t.

SCHULTZ: So, you got both Romney and Santorum have real poor records
with the middle class and wage earners right now, and that`s what Ohio is
all about. How is this going to unfold for him?

SHRUM: Well, I think it`s not just the content of his policies. I
agree with what Richard said a minute ago that they are a problem.

I think it`s his persona. You watched him today at that silly rally,
where you had 120, 150 people turnout, what kind of momentum was that? I
mean, this maybe his one time he ought to go on a firing mode and fire his
advance staff. But then he walks up, pushes that button and said that is
my heavy lift for manufacturing.

He doesn`t have a sense of humor or at least one that translates. He
doesn`t seem to know how to identify or talk with the ordinary people. He
ought to stick on the script.

He comes across increasingly to me, any a guy who lives in a golden
tower who every once in a while goes and visits the peasants and they try
to give him some cards to read off of.

SCHULTZ: Ezra, here`s Romney talking about his tax plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This president wants to raise your taxes. I`m going to cut
them. That`s going to start with an across the board 20 percent rate cut
for every American. I`ll also repeal the alternative minimum tax and we
will abolish finally the death tax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I mean, is this guy totally out of touch with finances? He
promises to cut cap and balance, OK? He likes to go down that road. How
does this tax plan achieve that goal?

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Take a step back. Mitt Romney has
four places he can look in the budget because he says he wants to cut the
deficit, he wants to cut spending by $6.5 trillion. He`s got big plans.

He`s got defense spending, spending on programs for the elderly, on
programs for the poor and he`s got taxes. He says taxes are going way
down. He says defense spending is going to go up. And he says that he is
going to not touch programs for the elderly for at least 10 years. The
current generation of retirees will be untouched.

So, he`s got one of two things he can do here if he`s going to make
his promises add up. One is he can cut programs for the poor savagely, and
if you list tonight to his speeches, the only thing he does talk about that
really save money are Medicaid, food stamps, housing subsidies for low
income homeowners, that type of thing. So, he could cut that by 40 percent
or more and make the numbers add up.

The other thing he can do is he can say tax cuts will create massive
economic growth and pay for themselves that way. Obviously, we saw how
that worked out in the George W. Bush years, and they don`t have that kind
of a supply side effect. But if you actually try to make his numbers out,
if you add up one thing that is very unpopular in terms of cutting those
types of programs or another which is unpopular in terms of raising the
deficit in order to give people big tax cuts.

SCHULTZ: How in the world does he sell that tax plan to the people of
Ohio? What do you think?

KLEIN: I think it will be difficult. But the point for now is that
who is going to argue with him on that? Rick Santorum`s tax plan is vastly
more irresponsible that Mitt Romney`s. Where Mitt Romney gives folk about
$80,000 tax cut in the top 1 percent, about $80,000 tax cut, Rick Santorum
is $270,000 range, if I`m remember this correctly. It`s a huge, huge gap
in responsibility between the candidates.

You know, I did this look back a couple weeks ago where I went back to
George W. Bush`s 2000 platform and it`s just remarkable how much further to
the center he was than these candidates. But even with that said, Mitt
Romney is much farther to the center than Santorum and Gingrich.

So, until he gets to a general election where the Obama campaign will
have an incentive to call these kinds of things out and independent
analysts will be able to begin to look at this stuff and get what they say
about it into the news stream, this will become a problem. Because in the
Republican primary, big tax cuts -- that`s an advantage. It`s not a
disadvantage.

SCHULTZ: So, Bob, let`s say Romney erases the deficit right now in
the polls to Santorum and wins Ohio. Isn`t that big?

SHRUM: Yes, it is big. He has to win Ohio. You know, I was thinking
about my thought this morning that maybe we now know he`s eked it out but
he probably has eked it out. But the truth is Ohio is apocalypse two for
him. He has to avert the sky falling because if he loses Ohio, he`s going
to lose a lot of other states on Super Tuesday.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SHRUM: Carrying Vermont and Massachusetts ain`t going to help him.

And Ezra is right about one other thing. This guy, as he goes through
this process, is setting himself up for a general election where he`s
already upside down in favorable/unfavorables with independents, he`s
falling behind the president on policy and on his persona, on the effect he
has, on his ability to talk to people.

I think he`s in deep trouble in the general.

SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, Ezra Klein -- always great to have you on the
program. I appreciate it so much.

Rick Santorum is using a chunk of North Dakota oil to fearmonger about
gas prices? Senator Bernie Sanders joins me next to tell us what`s really
driving up the cost of oil and gas at the pump.

Scott Walker has done every conservative talk show on the face of the
earth, raised millions of outside dollars. But the rookie governor is
spinning his wheels. I`ll show you some new polling out of the Badger
State. And we`re buzzing about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Well, we all know that Republicans never lie, and they never
stretch the truth, and, of course, they never blame anybody, either, do
they?

This is Rick Santorum on the stump. He is desperately blaming
President Obama for high gas prices. And he`s using my old stomping
grounds as a political football. Here`s what he said about oil in Tioga,
North Dakota, the other night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: It`s a small town. And it could be a boom town. But they
are nervous, because the present EPA is hovering.

Yes, they are developing oil in private lands. This oil. Yes, this
is oil. Oil.

It can produce thousands and thousands of jobs up in northwest North
Dakota. But they have trouble. They have trouble getting investors to
come here. Why? Because they believe -- they believe the government is
going to shut them down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The guy is lying. He`s absolutely lying. He must think
that nobody has ever been to Tioga, North Dakota. Well, I have. I have to
tell you, they`ve got some damn good goose hunting up there.

But I`m going to tell you what, folks? I know this state. The
problem is North Dakota is not a problem with the EPA.

The problem is this: housing and infrastructure. They can`t keep up
with all the jobs being created in the state of North Dakota because of the
oil boom. In fact, nationwide, there is more drilling now than during the
Bush administration.

But, of course, President Obama is not getting any credit for that,
either because he`s got the EPA in the way.

Today, Congressman Darrell Issa fell over himself trying to give Bush
credit for all the drilling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CA: Bush opened up areas to drilling. And
drillers became much more efficient. They almost never hit a dry hole.
They get more extracted from existing wells than ever before. And the
president is benefiting from that.

But with lower amounts of permits, areas being closed, what is going
to happen is whether he wins a second term or not, that is going to begin
to dry up as that three to seven year cycle starts to go the wrong way.

So it`s very, very clear, yes he`s enjoying the benefits of his
predecessor, not 20 years ago predecessor, three year ago predecessor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Republicans love to say if you drill more, prices are going
to go down. Well, Darrell Issa, he just admitted drilling is way up, but
gas prices are still rising? The Republicans` logic makes absolutely no
sense whatsoever.

The real culprit behind high gas prices, oh, those wonderful
speculators on Wall Street. Oil speculation, that`s it. Today,
Congressman Peter Welch said speculation adds 56 cent a gallon to the price
of gas.

Part of the Dodd-Frank Act limits speculation in the energy markets.
But Republicans in Congress, they are trying to block the rule from going
into effect in October.

Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Senator, good to
have you with us.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: If I have said anything that`s wrong, I want you to correct
me.

SANDERS: No, I don`t think you have. Here`s the interesting point.
Most people think that oil prices have something to do with supply and
demand. Supply today is greater than it was three years ago, when the
price of gas was 1.90 a gallon. It`s greater.

Demand today is lower than it was in 1997. You have to go all the way
back to 1997. So the issue is not supply and demand in the United States.
What is the issue? The issue has to do with the fact that over 80 percent
of the oil futures market is controlled by speculators.

Their function in life is not to purchase oil, not to use oil, as an
end user. They are not in the trucking business. They`re not in the
airline business. Their sole purpose is to speculate and drive prices up.
That is exactly what they are doing right now.

SCHULTZ: And so how important is it to crack down on this oil
speculation? And of course the Republicans are trying to stop the rule
that is going to go in effect in October. We need it to go in effect right
now. Of course, you`ll never get it from the right. Is this the key,
senator?

SANDERS: I think it`s one of the keys. The Dodd-Frank Financial
Reform Bill stipulated that the Commodities Future Trading Commission is
obligated to come up with rules, strong rules to limit speculation. You
know what, they were supposed to have done this months and months ago.

They still haven`t done it. And that is a demand that we have got to
make. They have to obey the law.

SCHULTZ: Rick Santorum said today that the Environmental Protection
Agency is, quote, "raining terror over energy producers." What does that
remark tell you?

SANDERS: It tells me, A, he knows nothing about what the EPA does.
And B, it tells me that along with many of his Republican colleagues, these
guys want to abolish the EPA, or greatly limit its authority.

The American people understand that it`s imperative that we have clean
air, that we have clean water, that we don`t let corporations destroy our
environment. They support the EPA. Many right wing Republicans literally
want to abolish it or dismember it.

SCHULTZ: So Republicans basically are lying when they say that
regulation and more drilling will lower prices -- that deregulation.
Here`s the bottom line here: the numbers don`t match up what they are
talking about. And they are trying to pin this political football on the
shoulders of the president, that he is the problem that gas is going up.

The Democrats I think have got to scream at the top of every building
to make the American people understand how this is controlled on Wall
Street. And if it`s 56 cents a gallon, is that -- that is added to this
because of speculators, is that the difference between a good and a bad
economy, in your opinion, and a stalled economy?

SANDERS: I come from a rural state. People drive 50, 100 miles to
and from work every single day. That is true all over America. And if
people are shelling out money to the oil companies or to the speculator,
obviously that is less money going into other areas. It`s going to have a
very negative impact on the economy.

But the point here is if supply in the United States today is high,
and if demand is low, what the American people understand is there are
other causes for the 3.70 that we`re paying for a gallon of gas right now.

SCHULTZ: Senator, great to have you with us tonight. I would love to
see Rick Santorum`s website post all the different oil companies that are
operating in North Dakota. It`s not four or five. The last time I heard,
it`s over 200, including Halliburton.

The state has the best unemployment record in the country. The state
treasury has over a billion dollars because of the oil that`s being
extracted. They are drilling down thousands of feet. They are fracking
big time.

Nobody is stopping them from doing it. I don`t know what they are
complaining about. Again, Santorum doesn`t know what he`s talking about.
And I want Santorum to come out and go after the speculators just the same
way you have, senator, because that truly is what the problem is.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, always great to have you with us.
Thanks for your time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The right wing of the Republican party does not
speak for most of the women in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Senate Republicans want to restrict women`s access to health
care and the Democrats are fighting back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The decision of whether a woman takes one
medicine or another should not be the decision of her boss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Blunt Amendment is just hours away from a vote. We`ll
have the latest.

A big win for the recall effort in Wisconsin. Scott Walker is
trailing in the polls, and shaking in his boots. We`ll show you the
numbers.

And Reverend Franklin Graham is apologizing to the president for these
remarks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM, EVANGELICAL LEADER: The Muslim world sees
Barack Obama as a Muslim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson is here with reaction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Seventy thousand of our bridges
stand deficient; 50 percent of our roads are not up to standard. And we
are voting on birth control?

Come on! What`s next? Egypt? They have a whole list of things that
have nothing to do with the Highway Bill.

Bring it on. Let the people see who is stopping progress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Senator Barbara Boxer on the Senate floor earlier discussing
the Blunt Amendment. Attached to a larger Transportation Bill, the measure
would allow your boss to have a say in your health care. The Senate is
scheduled to vote on it tomorrow. The sponsor, Senator Roy Blunt, says
it`s all about religious freedom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: It`s not about a specific procedure.
It`s about a faith principle that the First Amendment guarantees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A few moderate Republicans remaining in the Senate, they are
not buying it. Senator Olympia Snowe, who will retire at the end of this
year, will not vote for it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R), MAINE: With respect to the Blunt Amendment, I
think it`s much broader than I could support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Really? How broad? An employer or insurance company would
be able to deny any essential or preventative care, from contraception to
cancer screenings, for any reason. If your boss thinks treatment can be
achieved through prayer, or -- he or she would be able to deny you the
coverage because of that, based on their moral standing.

Rick Santorum thinks it`s a fine idea, and supports the Blunt
Amendment. Mitt Romney was asked where he stands on it earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blunt-Rubio is being debated I believe later this
week, that deals with banning -- or allowing employers to ban providing
female contraception. Have you taken a position on it? He has said he was
for that, We`ll talk about personhood in a second. But he`s for that.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not for the bill. But
look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about
contraception within a relationship between a man and woman, husband and
wife, I`m not going there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He said he`s not for the bill. Minutes later, Romney
changed his mind. His campaign issuing this correction, this statement,
"regarding the Blunt Bill, the way the question was asked was confusing.
Governor Romney supports the Blunt Bill because he believes in a conscious
exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of faith."

Joining me now is Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Council member and
chair of the Committee on Women and Healthy Communities. Mitt Romney was
against the Blunt amendment before he was for it.

I have to ask you, Ms. Pressley, how does he explain that one going
forward? What do you think?

AYANNA PRESSLEY (D), BOSTON COUNCIL MEMBER: I really don`t know. And
it certainly isn`t surprising. Here in Boston, we have a saying, if you
don`t like the weather, wait 15 minutes. And that is what I`m doing when
it comes to Mitt Romney`s position.

SCHULTZ: This is a big story in your state. Scott Brown, the
senator, supports the Blunt Amendment. He faces a tough reelection bid
against Elizabeth Warren. How is this support being received in
Massachusetts on this? How big a deal is it?

PRESSLEY: Well, I know that it`s completely out of step with the
American people and certainly the people of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts. And it`s a losing strategy.

I don`t believe, given how Draconian and how far-sweeping this is, how
extreme this legislation is -- again, an -- an employer would have carte
blanche and the full authority, at their own whim, based upon moral
conviction, to deny access to treatment or services.

And I don`t believe that the women and families of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts want someone to have the authority to deny them vaccinations
for their children, to deny an expectant mother access to prenatal care or
genetic testing, to deny a family with a child struggling with mental
health issues access to those services and those treatments.

SCHULTZ: So it`s not about religious freedom at all, in your opinion?

PRESSLEY: Absolutely not. Let me just be clear, I consider myself to
be a person of very deep faith. I am a Christian. I am the granddaughter
of a Baptist preacher. I`m in church every Sunday.

And one of the tenets that I cling to in my faith is that I am my
brother`s keeper. And it infuriates me that Scott Brown and Republicans
like him are not their sister`s keeper. I believe in accessibility to
health care because I am a Christian. The two are not mutually exclusive.

SCHULTZ: Ayanna Pressley, you`ve said it all. Thank you for joining
us tonight.

Now let`s turn to Dr. Amy Bryant, an obstetrician and also
gynecologist and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Choice and
Health. Doctor, good to have you with us tonight.

What kind of impact would the Blunt Amendment have on women`s health
care, from your standpoint?

DR. AMY BRYANT, OBSTETRICIAN AND GYNECOLOGIST: Well, I think the real
issue is that women need to have access to affordable birth control. Birth
control is absolutely an essential part of women`s well being and health.
And it`s their right to be able to decide how many children they would like
to have and when they should have those children.

And I think that allowing someone`s access to birth control to be
based on the religious affiliation of their employer or -- or the whim of
their employer, as the Blunt Amendment would really broaden the exemptions,
with its -- the arrangement that it proposes, I think that it would really
have a sweeping effect on women`s health care, if women could not have
access to affordable contraception.

SCHULTZ: Mandatory ultrasound bills are being debated in several
states. These ultrasounds are not medically necessary. What kind of
position does that put doctors in?

BRYANT: I think it really puts doctors in a very difficult position
of having to take care of -- of having to do a government-mandated
procedure on a woman when it`s really not medically necessary. We have
patients that we see who come in to us who already have an ultrasound
already done, and so to have to put them through another ultrasound, when
it`s not medically necessary at all, can be very troubling. It can be
costly. And it can be invasive, if it needs to be a trans-vaginal
ultrasound.

And so I really see no reason why this kind of -- this kind of
intrusion by the government onto the doctor and patient relationship is --
is being put forth.

SCHULTZ: This is exactly what the Republicans have been whining about
all through the health care debate, that the government doesn`t get between
you and your doctor. But they`re right there for it right now.

Dr. Amy Bryant, thank you for joining us tonight.

Late news on the Scott Walker recall that might give the radical
governor an unfair advantage. We`ll bring you the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And my favorite story, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, he
is singing the blues, "Money Can`t Buy Me Love." Despite all the money and
all the free TV, the latest polling in Wisconsin shows Walker is in
political trouble. According to recent polling in the state, if the
election were held today, Governor Walker would lose to Kathleen Falk, Tom
Barrett or Russ Feingold.

Walker knows he`s in trouble. But do you know what? He has been on
nearly every conservative talk show on radio and TV across America. But
Walker does have a ray of hope.

Today, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced that
they would ask a Dane County judge for an extension of the March 19th
deadline to certify the recount petitions. If the judge grants the
extension, Walker will have more time to rake in unlimited out of state
funds before the Democrats could even pick a candidate.

Wisconsinites, let me tell you something from Big Eddie tonight, they
can`t take your faith. They can`t take your heart. They can`t take your
soul. They can`t take your determination. And they can`t take your vote.

Stay focused. Stay on task.

Next, Franklin Graham backs down and apologizes for questioning
President Obama`s religion. Dr. James Peterson tells us if it`s enough,
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked should wage earners ever
vote for Republicans? Three percent said yes; 97 percent of you said no.

Coming up, Franklin Graham apologizes for his comments about President
Obama`s faith, while another conservative keeps the Birther myth alive.
I`ll ask and visit with Dr. James Peterson, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the big finish tonight, after questioning President
Obama`s religion on television and on radio, Franklin Graham is
reevaluating his position. One week ago, he came on this network and
challenged President Obama`s Christianity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: The Muslim world sees Barack Obama as Muslim, as a son of
Islam. That is just the way it works. That is the way they see him.

But, of course, he says he didn`t grow up that way. He didn`t believe
in that. He believes in Jesus Christ. So I accept that.

But I`m just saying the Muslim world -- Muslim world, Islam, they see
him as a son of Islam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you do not believe he`s a Muslim?

GRAHAM: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Categorically not a Muslim?

GRAHAM: I can`t say categorically, because Islam has gotten a free
pass under Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Today, Graham walked back his remarks with the following
statement: I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any
doubt on the personal faith of president -- of -- Mr. -- Mr. Obama, the
president. I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better
articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election."

No political statement there, huh? The apology comes after a group of
religious leaders from the NAACP denounced Graham`s outrageous attacks.
They said "we can disagree about what it means to be a Christian engaged in
politics. But Christians should not bear false witness. We are also
concerned that Reverend Graham`s comments can be used to encourage racism."

Let`s bring in Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana studies and
associate professor of English at Lehigh University.

First of all, doctor, good to have you with us tonight. What is your
response to that statement by Franklin Graham and him addressing this after
criticism?

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Well, it`s not enough. The
statement did a lot of damage when it came out of his mouth in the first
place. The apology is not broad enough and it`s not sweeping enough and it
doesn`t cover all the things that he actually said.

Remember when he is speaking of that language of son of Muslims and us
and them, he`s stoking the flames of religious conflict all over this
world. And he is playing into the fears of Americans who -- unfortunately,
we have a terrible history with terrorism and different politicians sort of
playing the politics of fear.

Reverend Graham participated in that. So he needs to do a couple of
thing. He need to make reparations to his father`s legacy. His father
would never engage in this kind of political maneuvering and political
grandstanding. And number two, he needs to apologize to the broader
community of religious leaders, because there are real conflicts around
this world around religious doctrines and beliefs.

SCHULTZ: He needs to go further?

PETERSON: He needs to go further.

SCHULTZ: OK. How would he know what the Muslim community around the
world thinks? I found that rather interesting. Your thoughts.

PETERSON: It`s unconscionable. He doesn`t know and he is actually
inaccurate there. That is not the way that one`s faith in Islam is
determined. So he was inaccurate and obviously doesn`t know what he`s
talking about.

But what he`s doing is he`s playing politics with religious beliefs.
And it`s to the detriment of the body politic. We can`t really make
progress and come to consensus and compromise around our religious
differences, our racial differences, our class differences, with that kind
of rhetoric.

SCHULTZ: So it was pressure that made him apologize, do you think?

PETERSON: Absolutely. Well, applaud the NAACP, because obviously
they got out in front with this and really just using the language of
bearing witness brought it all home for us. But yes, he probably got some
criticism even from his own camp, because he`s out there on a limb.

You can`t make those kinds of claims about this president at this
point in time without this kind of backlash.

SCHULTZ: How do you think race plays in these challenges to President
Obama`s faith, if at all?

PETERSON: It plays into it because race is the sort of primary
othering that we -- that we sort of pivot around in our society and our
discourse. So the more you can heap on religion or the more you can heap
like where he`s from, there is -- these are just different ways of
othering the president.

So race being first, then they try to use region where he was born,
the Birthers are all on that. And obviously religion plays into that as
well.

SCHULTZ: And of course, Joe Arpaio, the sheriff down there in
Arizona, says he`s releasing the results of his investigation into
President Obama`s birth certificate tomorrow. Are you surprised at this
type of thing is still going on?

PETERSON: It`s insane. It`s insanity. What is this sheriff -- this
county sheriff`s jurisdiction? There has got to be some enforcement
misconduct or maybe prosecutorial misconduct here. This is ridiculous.
It`s insubordinate as well.

SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson, always, thanks for being here.

PETERSON: Thanks for having me, Ed.

SCHULTZ: That is THE ED SHOW,. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me
on Sirius XM Radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00.
Follow me on Twitter @EdShow, and like THE ED SHOW on Facebook. Thank you
so much.

"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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