updated 3/8/2012 12:24:06 PM ET 2012-03-08T17:24:06

Guests: Krystal Ball, Nina Turner, Bob Shrum, Sam Stein, E.J. Dionne, Richard Wolffe,
Karen Finney


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

Mitt Romney`s spineless response to Rush Limbaugh`s controversy caught
the attention of the president. And Sarah Palin is trying to play the
victim again.

Keep it right here. It`s THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Everything is fine on the
business side. Everything`s cool. There is not a thing to worry about.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Rush is spinning hard and Republicans refuse to
lead.

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA ADVISOR: The Limbaugh thing was a test of
leadership. And, you know, Mitt Romney`s failed those tests in the
campaign.

SCHULTZ: New reporting says Mitt Romney`s ties to Clear Channel could
be the reason he`s taking it easy on Rush.

The latest on the boycott with Krystal Ball and politics with Ohio
State Senator Nina Turner.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe it will be
impossible for a moderate to win the general election.

SCHULTZ: Push is coming to shove today in the disastrous Republican
primary. Sam Stein and Bob Shrum on the Super Tuesday aftermath.

Meanwhile, "Game Change II" is starting to write itself.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I wouldn`t close that door,
and my plan is to be at the convention.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe on the latest Palin-sanity.

And the right wing conspiracy theorists get scooped on their old Obama
tape.

BARACK OBAMA: His scholarship has opened new vistas and new horizons
and changed the standards of what legal writing is about.

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne on the president`s old tape and (INAUDIBLE)
Bush.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Republicans just can`t bring themselves to criticize Rush Limbaugh in
any way, shape or form. The GOP candidates have been so critical of
President Obama but they will not condemn outrageous attacks by a
commercial talk show host.

Mitt Romney punted on his first chance to address Limbaugh`s attack on
Sandra Fluke. Romney was given a second chance and he ran away from it
again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My campaign is about jobs
and the economy and scaling back the size of government. And I`m not going
to weigh in on that particular controversy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Not going to weigh in on it. Romney says he`s not going to
weigh in on Rush Limbaugh. Because it`s not what his campaign is about.
Really?

Mitt, it doesn`t have anything to do with money? Romney`s former
company bought Rush Limbaugh`s syndicator, Premiere Radio in 2008. An
article in "The Daily Beast" by Wayne Barrett described the valuable
relationship between Clear Channel Communications and Mitt Romney.

How about this? Fourteen Clear Channel directors have personally
given more than $726,000 to Mitt Romney, most of it in the current
presidential campaign. Five of those directors from Romney`s former
company, Bain Capital -- Mitt Romney has a financial connection to
Limbaugh`s boss, which means Limbaugh is pretty well insulated from
Romney`s criticism, don`t you think?

President Obama`s campaign strategist David Axelrod says Romney is
showing he will have a hard time standing up to anyone as president.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

AXELROD: These are tests, presidential campaigns can -- are tests.
You`re tested every single day in different ways. The Limbaugh thing was a
test of leadership. And you have them all the time and, you know, Mitt
Romney`s failed those tests in the campaign.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney just can`t find a spine, can he? In the right wing
noise machine is trying to pick up the slack. They are setting up a smoke
screen to distract people from what Rush actually said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: I think the definition of hypocrisy is for Rush Limbaugh to
have been called out, forced to apologize, and retract what it is that he
said in exercising his First Amendment rights and never is that -- the same
applied to the leftist radicals who say horrible things about the
handicapped, about women, about the defenseless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Despite what Sarah Palin says, Rush Limbaugh didn`t retract
his comments. He apologized, let`s remember, for two words. Not that nine
hour verbal assault over a three-day period. You know, you throw in the
show prep, you take a few hours off and you come back and do it again and
again.

Another right wing group set up a Web site, IStandWithRush to
encourage solidarity with the commercial radio talker. The site founder?
Well, Brent Bozell, who has an agenda for defending Rush.

One of Bozell`s right wing news sites posted the original article,
mischaracterizing Sandra Fluke`s testimony.

Rush also got some support from the Christian coalition founder and
Indian casino scam artist Ralph Reed. Ralph took it upon himself on
Twitter to say Rush, apology accepted. Let`s move on and talk about the
issues. We`re with you.

So nice of you to do that, Ralph. Here is a big important fact for
you. This was not your apology to accept.

Sandra Fluke was victimized by Rush Limbaugh for three straight days
and she did not accept the apology. Isn`t that important? Many of Rush`s
advertisers are also not accepting the apology. As of right now, Limbaugh
has lost 45 sponsors.

Republicans are trying everything they can to avoid criticizing the
true leader of the Republican Party. Some of them are even developing wild
conspiracy theories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS: This whole situation is about President
Obama`s entitlement society and war on freedom of religion in the United
States of America, his foot soldier, Sandra Fluke, a contraception
activist, is at the center of the storm.

President Obama on the ropes with the economy, and specifically with
women voters, gets Mrs. Fluke a controversy and the liberal mainstream
media puppets play along as scripted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Eric Bolling, you are brilliant, dude.

That theory is absolutely moronic.

Let me ask you a question tonight, folks -- does Darrell Issa have
anything to do with this? He is the chairman of the committee that would
not allow Sandra Fluke to testify. If he let her testify, she would have
been another American citizen going up on Capitol Hill, giving her take and
insight and story of a friend who has had real problems, medical problems
and needs the contraception medication.

He`s also ignoring one person who actually created a controversy out
of the Sandra Fluke testimony. It`s not just Darrell Issa, it`s Rush
Limbaugh.

Republicans -- I tell you what -- they have stepped in it day after
day on this. Number one, they don`t have the character to call Limbaugh
out on it. In fact they don`t want to wade into it. Why? They`re going
to need him in the general election.

The second thing is, is that they are totally disregarding the
feelings of Sandra Fluke. Nowhere anywhere has any of these Republican
candidates that I`ve seen said anything at all about Sandra Fluke and what
she has been through.

And the Republican Party has now ripped off the scab and let all
Americans to see and voters to see that they just don`t know anything about
women`s health care and they refuse to learn about it.

Republicans continue to defend Limbaugh and run away from the
opportunity to criticize him. You know what they`re going to do? I think
they`re going to pay a real prize when it comes to the female vote in
November, and President Obama had nothing to do with it. He didn`t start
it in any way, shape or form.

And breaking news tonight, Carl Levin from Michigan the chairman of
the senate armed services committee is calling for the removal of Rush
Limbaugh from the Armed Forces Radio Network.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: would Republicans rather lose the female vote than criticize Rush
Limbaugh?

Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. Or you can always go to our
blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you results later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by MSNBC contributor and Democratic strategist
Krystal Ball.

And I want to know how this is playing in the middle of the country.
We`re joined tonight by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

Krystal, I want to ask you first, isn`t this about Mitt Romney, I
mean, his leadership -- I think Axelrod knocked it out of the park and the
Obama campaign has now made this an issue about leadership, what do you
think?

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think Axelrod was actually
too kind in his comments. To me, this is disqualifying. Mitt Romney has
granddaughters and he can`t even take the step of condemning calling a
young woman a slut and prostitute and demanding her sex tapes.

SCHULTZ: What about Mrs. Romney? Does Mrs. Romney -- is she
concerned about this at all? I mean, when you have the president of the
United States call Sandra Fluke, when you have questions from the media to
the president at the press conference about this, we`ll get to that in a
moment -- how can the Republicans just sit back and say, well, he`s an
entertainer. That`s what they`re saying.

BALL: That`s absolutely right. And you know what this reminds me of,
actually, there was a moment in the campaign trail for John McCain in 2008
when a woman was standing up and spouting off about Obama`s a Muslim, and
John McCain bumbled his response a little bit, but he at least had the
courage to say, you know what, ma`am, we disagree but he`s a good man.

What will happen when Romney has the same chance when he`s faced with
the same moment? Which I would argue this is a very similar moment and he
has absolutely failed the test

SCHULTZ: Nina Turner, I want to know -- how this is playing in Ohio?
Big night in Ohio last night, a lot of people are paying attention to
politics -- is this going to just run the female vote right in the
Democratic camp? What do you think?

STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: Absolutely, Ed. I have been
hearing from women and also men across the state of Ohio and actually the
country who are absolutely outraged. You know, everyone that has a mother
should be outraged about these misogynistic comments that are being made by
the right.

You know, you can`t give somebody that doesn`t have a spine, a spine.
And it`s obvious that Mitt Romney does not have a spine. Anybody that
would dare try to say that this was OK or this was for entertainment
purposes, they are absolutely spineless.

It is time-out for the war on women. You know, they are trying to
take us back to the Dark Ages, Ed, but we`re not going.

SCHULTZ: Well, I want to point the Lilly Ledbetter law, that was the
first thing that was signed into law when President Obama was elected, 98
percent of Republicans in the House voted against it. Equal pay, equal
treatment in the work place, what`s your reaction to that? This is a
cultural issue with the Republicans, is it not?

TURNER: No, it absolutely is. And again, absolute war on women, and
I want women to take notice of this but also men who love and respect women
should take note of this.

The last time I checked, women make up over 50 percent of this
country. The last time I checked, women were intelligent. The last time I
checked, women contribute to the society as mothers, as wives, as aunts, as
caregivers, as teachers, as police officers.

This should not be tolerated in the 21st century, Ed. It is
absolutely outrageous.

And again, anyone who has a mother, anyone who has a woman who loves
them, who has cared for them, should be outraged.

SCHULTZ: This is how the president responded at his press conference
yesterday about a question about the Limbaugh controversy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reason I called Ms.
Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I
want them to do when they get older is engage in issues they care about. I
don`t want them attacked or called horrible names because they are being
good citizens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Krystal, how does that play?

BALL: Well, here`s the thing that the president has, that Mitt Romney
completely lacks -- the ability to put himself in someone else`s shoot.
The empathetic quality that Romney has completely failed to display and the
courage to stand up on behalf of people who don`t necessarily have a voice.

So to me, that was the response that absolutely resonates with people
him as a father thinking of his own girls.

SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s talk about the health care bill and
contraception. I have taken a lot of phone calls on the radio show about
Viagra and Cialis.

And, Nina Turner, you turn the tables in Ohio, what is this bill all
about, what are you doing?

TURNER; Senate bill 307, simply all I`m trying to do is protect
vulnerable men and make sure they understand the consequences of their
actions if in fact they need to be treated for erectile dysfunction, that
is most important they receive an affidavit that should be signed by their
current or former partner to make sure that it is physical and not
psychological and the doctor takes the steps and time to really explain to
them their other options, including natural remedies or celibacy.

You know, the men -- policymaking men on the right have taken great
care to insure that women are protected, and I thought it only fair that we
protect the greatest gender, men, in this country.

SCHULTZ: Do you have a Web site people can put comments on or support
it?

TURNER: Well, they certainly can go to www.ninaturner.org and make
comments there. They can also go to the Ohio Senate page and e-mail me
there as well.

SCHULTZ: I mean, it would seem to me that other state legislators in
other states would take your lead on this. I mean, I`ve gotten phone calls
from all over the country. I mean, this is an issue of fairness, is it
not?

TURNER: It is. And, you know, women should not need a permission
slip from government to take care of their own reproductive health. They
should not need a permission slip.

Again, women are intelligent and they know how to take care of their
bodies. They know how to make decisions. And again, we want to equalize
this here, Ed. We want to equalize it. We have to take care of men.

SCHULTZ: And breaking news tonight is the chairman of the Senate
Armed for Forces Committee in the Senate, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan,
is saying that he thinks Rush Limbaugh`s program should be taken off Armed
Forces Radio Network. It will be a story to follow.

Krystal Ball and Ohio`s State Senator Nina Turner, great to have you
with us tonight. Thank you.

TURNER: Thank you, Ed.

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

Coming up, the Romney campaign says only an act of God can stop Mitt
Romney from winning the nomination. But the primary election is far from
over. Bob Shrum and Sam Stein will weigh in on that tonight.

And Sarah Palin is back. She still thinks she has a chance to be the
Republican nominee. I hope she`s right.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up: Mitt Romney was last night`s big winner, but is
Newt playing the spoiler for Rick Santorum bid for the nomination? Bob
Shrum and Sam Stein coming up next.

And President Obama goes on offense. Taking on the GOP`s criticism of
his foreign policy. E.J. Dionne will weigh in on the Obama campaign
strategy.

And members of the House Judiciary Committee are calling for a hearing
about a judge who sent a racist e-mail about President Obama. We`ll have
details on that.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: The Republican Party is having a tough time wrapping up
their presidential nomination. It`s looking good for Mitt Romney, well,
better, who is way ahead in the delegate count but he can`t close the deal.
So, his campaign is pulling out all stops.

Today, Team Romney said it would take an act of God for Mitt to lose.
Romney had a good Super Tuesday, winning six states.

But rick Santorum is still fighting hard. Here`s his response to
Romney`s act of God comment today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What won`t they resort to?
To try to bully their way through this race? If the governor thinks he`s
now ordained by God to win, then let`s just have it out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Santorum is ready for the God fight. And he has evangelical
voters backing him up. They helped him win last night in Oklahoma and
Tennessee. He also took North Dakota by surprise.

Based on those results, Santorum could perform very well in the rest
of the races this month down South. A lot of Southern states are coming up
a region where Santorum has been strong.

But Newt Gingrich could give the former Pennsylvania senator a run for
his money down South.

After Gingrich`s win last night in Georgia, he says he`s not going
anywhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are staying in this
race, because I believe that it`s going to be impossible for a moderate to
win the general election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: According to Gingrich, even Rick Santorum is too moderate
for the Republican Party. He released a document today attacking Santorum
as a big government, big labor earmark lover.

Hold it for a minute on the big labor, will you? His last three years
in the Senate, he had a zero rating of AFL-CIO and every union leader I
talked to said he was a nada, a zero, a nothing, when it came to trade
issues.

For more, let`s turn to Democratic strategist and NYU professor, Bob
Shrum, and "Huffington Post" political reporter, Sam Stein.

Great to have you with us tonight.

SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Bob, who won overall last night?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Barack Obama. This process is
going to be extended, Romney is being pushed more and more to the right in
order to compete with Santorum, as you pointed out earlier, he can`t utter
mild criticism of Rush Limbaugh. He`s 28 favorable, 39 unfavorable in the
NBC polling numbers.

And as all of this happens to him, his rationale is disappearing, the
economy is improving, and the sense that we ought to hire an out of touch,
job-destroying ex-CEO to fix the economy is disappearing.

So I think Barack Obama was the big winner. And the other big winner
was the Democratic Party in 2016.

SCHULTZ: With the women vote?

SHRUM: Well, not just the women. What`s going to happen is they`re
going to nominate Romney. They`re going to get them whether they want him
or not. When he loses, there are going to be recrimination in the
Republican.

They`re going to say we have another moderate hoisted on us. We`re
not going to let it happen again. We`re going to have a hard right
candidate next time, and a party which needs to redefine itself is instead
going to open the way for President Clinton, Hillary, President Biden,
President O`Malley, President Cuomo, they could all thank Mitt Romney in
2016.

SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, where does Mitt Romney go from here? Let`s a lot
of talk about him spending a lot of time and effort and money in in
Illinois. Is he just surrendering in the southern states?

STEIN: Well, they`re not good states for him obvious. And I thought
last night was e emblematic of the difficulties he`s having in the South.
His wins are primarily been in the Northeast, or in states with having
Mormon population.

He`s got a regional problem. I`m not going to procrastinate out to
2016, unfortunately. But I will say the problem is he`s win enough
delegates to get majority, but won`t likely win enough to get the 1,144 he
needs to secure the nomination.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

STEIN: And so, they want to get that power and what`s Romney`s
problem is. He`s going to end up the nominee, the question is how bloodied
and how much money does he have to spend to get there.

SCHULTZ: Now, usually, big endorsements come after Super Tuesday.
Romney got former New York Governor George Pataki today. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE PATAKI (R), FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: I think Mitt showed last
night he has the breath of support that warrants our supporting him
rallying around and I am endorsing him.

Now, Mitt is not a perfect candidate. He has a number of problems,
it`s hard for him -- for blue collar families like mine to identify with
him. It`s hard for economic conservatives to identify with him. He needs
to do more to reach out to the Latinos, but I think he has to focus on that
and on defeating President Obama as opposed winning the next primary in the
next state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All right. Bob Shrum, we`ve got three negative comments and
two pieces of advice. Is that the kind of endorsement you`re looking for?

SHRUM: Well, maybe a few more endorsements like that, and he`ll
actually be undone. What I can agree with most of what Pataki said. Right
now, Romney is getting one out of six Latino votes. He is not connecting
with blue collar people at all. Conservatives don`t trust him, which is
why I do kind of look out to 2016 and say, this party, which has been
headed in an odd direction since 2009 when they melted down over the
election of Obama, sold themselves to the Tea Party, this party is going to
end up pushed further to the right. That`s what`s happened to Romney.

SCHULTZ: Romney has been taking a lot of heat for his 20 percent tax
cut that he`s going to be giving everybody. Here what is he said about the
tax plan on CNBC today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: What I put out of my plan is a series of principles that
allow our economy to grow and at the same time maintain a neutral budget
impact. And so, I have laid out all the details how we`re going to deal
with each one of the deductions and exemptions. So, I think it`s
interesting for the groups to try to score it because, frankly, it can`t be
scored, because those kind of details will have to be worked out with
Congress, we have a wide array of options.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, there is another dandy, an economic plan that
can`t be scored, how does that play?

STEIN: But it`s fairy dust. It`s just a set of broad goals that you
want to achieve without any specifics. And, you know, there`s a reason
he`s not mentioning specifics, because when he starts talking about all the
programs that he wants to cut, the popular programs he wants to cut, people
are going to recoil from it.

And so, you know, it`s odd that the numbers guy, the business guy, is
delving in the vague. I mean, it sort of defeats the rationale for his
candidacy because he`s supposed to be the one who can balance the budge,
who can handle the economic sheets and who can offer you specific
proposals. But here he is talking about his plan can`t be scored.

SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, Sam Stein, always a pleasure. Great to have you
with us.

STEIN: Thanks, Ed.

SHRUM: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Does this look like a radical leftist to you? Let`s examine
the tape. Right wingers? Well, they seem to think so. We`ll show you the
tape and talk with E.J. Dionne, next.

And later, FOX News is in hysterics over gas prices. Did they get
this worked up when President Bush was in office? Well, we got some tape
that you just won`t want to miss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back do THE ED SHOW.

The Republican primary in Ohio was the main event of all the Tuesday,
Super Tuesday contests, but the big winner in the Buckeye State. Really,
wasn`t Mitt Romney. As Bob Shrum said, it was Barack Obama, the president.

This chart from Steve Benen shows the stunning results. The president
got more votes in Ohio in a non-contested primary than the guy who spent $4
million to win the doggone thing on the Republican side, Mitt Romney. It
shows how seriously the Obama campaign is taking this crucial swing state.

Now, next week, Vice President Joe Biden will start stumping for
president`s reelection I Ohio. The state is a must-win on the editorial
map.

And the Republicans are throwing the kitchen sink at the president,
hitting him on everything, from gas prices to foreign policy.

Here is what the president had to say about the all out war from the
GOP, fear-mongering on Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What is said on the
campaign trail, you know, those folks don`t have a lot of responsibilities.
They`re not commander in chief.

And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk
about war, I`m reminded of the costs involved in war. I`m reminded that
the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and
women in to battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it
has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy.

This is not a game. And there is nothing casual about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, senior fellow
at the Brookings Institution, and columnist for "the Washington Post."

E.J., I just have to observe that I don`t think I`ve seen a
presidential campaign this focused, this aggressive and so on message this
early. The president has a logical, sensible, intelligent answer for
everything the Republicans are coming up with. What do you think?

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": You know, I think that we have a
habit of saying every four years, this is the most important election in
your lifetime. Actually, this one really is an important election. I
don`t think we have seen the issues drawn this clearly since the Goldwater
election, the Goldwater-LBJ election back in 1964.

Because the Republicans really are arguing that the only thing the
government needs to do domestically is to taxes again, mostly on very
wealthy people, and sort of slash away at regulation.

And Obama is saying no, wait a minute, government really has a lot to
do, if you want the free market economy to work. And it`s ironic, by the
way, that the least popular thing he did, the auto rescue, may be the most
politically consequential thing he did. It`s going to -- it`s put him way
ahead in Michigan, put him ahead in Ohio.

So there were real stakes in this election. And Obama is speaking to
them.

If I may on that clip about Iran, I think he`s right where the middle
ground is in the United States right now. People are tired of war. They
do want us to be tough with Iran. But they want a president who says he
doesn`t go to war casually right. And that is a good attitude. It`s how
generals feel.

SCHULTZ: You have Lieberman and McCain talking about air strikes. I
mean, it`s just outrageous how the GOP just can`t get enough of dropping
bombs.

I want to go to this Buzz Feed videotape that they scooped the right
wing conspiracy theorists, and released this video of President Obama back
in 1991 at Harvard, when he was advocating for more minority hires on the
staff at Harvard. This was in 1990, I believe. Let`s look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: One of the persons who spoke at that orientation was Professor
Bell. I remember him sauntering up to the front and not giving us a
lecture, but engaging us in a conversation, and speaking the truth and
telling us that he (inaudible) to learn at this place that I carried with
me ever since.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: When I first saw that tape, I said that is the president.
That is the same guy. I mean, he had skills way back.

DIONNE: It`s amazing how similar he sounds, isn`t it?

SCHULTZ: It is. They are going to take this and try to -- the right
wing is going to take this tape and try to tie a connection to one of the
professors he was talking about as being radical and President Obama was
sticking up for him at the time. Is this desperation on the right?

DIONNE: I don`t know if it`s desperation. It`s what they have done
all the way through. First of all, the premise is basically wrong, because
if they are trying to say that Barack Obama was some kind of radical back
in those years, they forget that he was elected president of the Harvard
Law Review because he got conservative votes.

The conservatives felt on the Harvard Law Review that he was the most
reasonable liberal, the guy they could deal with. So the premise is wrong.

Secondly, I really want somebody who in his youth, and I hope to this
day, actually cares about injustice. And to see him in that circumstance I
don`t think it hurts him.

And the third thing is why are these -- so many of these things that
they try to dredge up always have a racial tinge to them? They are trying
to make Barack Obama look like some kind of out of the mainstream black
militant, if you will. And everybody in the country -- I think the vast
majority of the country knows, looking at the last four years, that Barack
Obama is a moderate.

He`s a moderate on a lot of things. And he`s especially moderate
about race. So if this is the worst they`ve got, I think he can sleep well
at night.

SCHULTZ: I want -- let`s look at this videotape closely. Can we go
back to President Obama, where he is speaking there. There`s a microphone
in front of him. I just want to point out, I didn`t see the teleprompter,
did you?

E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight. Always a pleasure to
have you with us.

DIONNE: Good to be with you, Ed. Thank you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I wouldn`t close that door. And
my plan is to be at that convention.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sarah from Alaska is causing major headaches for Republicans
once again. Richard Wolffe on her latest "Game Change."

Media Matters blows the cover off the Obama gas price lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- and abdication of leadership is causing these
prices to go up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You won`t want to miss the tape.

And a federal judge sends a disgusting racist e-mail about President
Obama. Democrats want a hearing in Congress. I`ll ask Karen Finney if the
Republicans have the guts to block the investigation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference
between a hockey mom and a pit bull, lipstick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin wants another chance to step into the spotlight
at the Republican Convention. After voting last night in Alaska, Palin
said she is leaving the door open to a presidential run of her own.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we wind up with an open convention and someone
wants to place your name -- throw your name into the hat, would you stop
them? Would you be open to that?

PALIN: Anything is possible. And I don`t -- I don`t close any doors
that perhaps would be open out there. So no, I wouldn`t close that door.
And my plan is to be at that convention.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, she can`t resist the big lights on a Tuesday night.
Palin refused to tell CNN who she voted for. But when Fox News asked her,
she just couldn`t resist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: It`s tough for me to spin out of a question like that when it
comes from a Fox reporter. If it comes from another reporter, I can spin
out of it. But since it came from you, I will tell you, my own personal
opinion is the cheerful one, is Newt Gingrich.

I have appreciated -- I have appreciated what he has stood for --
stood boldly for. He has been the under dog in many of these primary races
and these caucuses. And I have respected what he has stood for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Tell you what, she is right there with the people, isn`t
she? Last night showed Sarah Palin`s lack of influence, even among Alaska
Republicans. Newt Gingrich, the guy she supported, came in dead last in
her state.

Today, Karl Rove said Palin`s vote for Gingrich, quote, "demonstrated
that endorsements don`t mean snot."

On that note, let me bring in MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe,
the comedy being served up by Karl Rove. I mean, is she serious? I mean,
she is going to be at the convention expecting the call, Richard. What do
you think?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: By the way, Karl Rove is a
man whose boss used to call him "Turd Blossom," so I guess he knows
something about snot. Yes, she is happy, obviously, in her delusions that
she thinks that having decided to run half a term and not run for
president, then an entire convention is going to be knocking on her hotel
room door, begging her to save the party from utter -- the utter abyss of
failure.

It`s -- it`s an interesting one that she thinks that Gingrich is
cheerful in all of this, because they are obviously smoking the same thing.

SCHULTZ: Well put. I mean, she actually thinks that the Republicans
are going to come to her as the savior on this. Here she is again last
night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: I believe that those would want to stop the process as soon as
possible, they have their own agenda. Obviously they have their own person
whom they want to see as a front runner. Perhaps he is the front-runner
and they want to see everything stop, no more debate, no more ideas
discussed.

I want to see the competition continue. Truly it does strengthen all
four of our candidates. It allows the voter to understand that we do have
a choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, the polls are showing that it`s not strengthening the
GOP. What is your response to all of that?

WOLFFE: She always had a strange relationship with reality. And
political judgment isn`t her forte. But she does speak for a sentiment,
not that she has a following, but a sentiment within the party that they
just don`t want to nominate Mitt Romney, and somehow some magic bean will
be placed in the middle of this, and out will pop a winning candidate.

It`s -- it`s a sign that actually she does believe in the hope and
change thing.

SCHULTZ: Is she supporting Newt Gingrich, because obviously that`s
taking votes away from Rick Santorum, and maybe peeling some from Romney as
well, but it just thickens the race across the board and mixes things up
and makes it maybe a better chance for a brokered convention, where she
wants to shine.

What about her support for Gingrich?

WOLFFE: You know, it`s hard to say that she has really thought this
through to that level. I think there are --

(LAUGHTER)

WOLFFE: There is some reciprocation there. Newt Gingrich has been
nice to her. Maybe they chatted together in the Green Room at Fox News.

But Rick Santorum was a Fox News contributor too. Why he`s singled
out of this party and excluded from it I don`t particularly know. I do
think there is -- there is an ideological populist alliance going on there.
Whether she has figured it out that there is some narrow path for her, who
on Earth knows?

SCHULTZ: Would there be any chance that she could be on the GOP
presidential ticket this year? Do you think that anyone -- pick any of
them, whether it be Gingrich or Santorum or Romney, would they pick Sarah
Palin?

WOLFFE: I think color of snot has a better chance of being on the
ticket, frankly. She is going to alienate so many people at this point.
Who -- who believes that she is going bring something to this table that
these other candidates who are slogging it out around the country, building
up support and networks of supporters -- that they won`t bring themselves?

That is what you don`t get with Sarah Palin. She brings no delegates
and the worst kind of media attention. It`s going to be hard enough being
Mitt Romney and trying to get to the magic number of delegates without
having Sarah Palin around.

SCHULTZ: Richard, I want to ask you one more question about last
night. Who was the winner? OK, Barack Obama, obviously, scored very well
in Ohio, uncontested. But as you see it, was it not a good night for Mitt
Romney?

WOLFFE: I think we came out -- Mitt Romney came out of this exactly
where he went in, incredibly unconvincing. Yes, he`s the front runner.
But he doesn`t actually have the support of his own party. That is going
to continue on and on. For the Obama campaign, it is a godsend.

SCHULTZ: And the Rush Limbaugh issue won`t go away for Mitt Romney.
And now of course the financial connection has been exposed. People are
going to be talking about that. Richard Wolffe, always a pleasure. Great
to have you on the program. Thank you.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Fox News says it`s all President Obama`s fault that gas
prices are high. Were they singing the same tune four years ago when
President Bush was in office? Well, the videotape doesn`t lie. We`ll show
it to you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The next time you hear some politician trotting out some three
point plan for two dollar gas, you let them know we know better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was President Obama in North Carolina earlier today,
hitting the Republicans on gas prices. The right wing is united in
attacking the president on energy. As House Speaker John Boehner puts it,
"this debate is a debate we want to have."

Really? Of course it`s much easier to have that kind of debate when
you have Fox News on your side. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gas goes up almost double under this president?
Did anyone see that coming? Here is a guy who said no, I`m good for the
economy. No, he has been nothing but bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republicans are going to have to explain why
gas prices have gone up. And unlike the White House, which seems to
suggest that these are just some random effect, point to the president`s
role in causing these gas prices to go up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gas prices rise and fall under every president.
But President Obama is the first to try and actively stop supply and
production in the United States from increasing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is nobody talking about this? I have been
wondering --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the headline on "Drudge" right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know but it`s been -- gas prices have been
incredibly high for the last couple of years. And it seems like this is
not front and center.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, for those folks who like to deal in facts, here are
just a few I think we should all pay attention to. Since President Obama
took office, the number of oil rigs operating in the United States has
tripled. Total domestic oil output is up eight percent, after declining
under President Bush.

And rising oil prices are caused by a number of factors, from tensions
in the Middle East to Wall Street speculation. There is not much the
president or any president can do about that.

But don`t just take my word for it. Listen to the words of the
enlightened few over on Fox News, back in 2008.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The facts are behind them. And the facts are, as
you suggested, no president has the power to increase or to lower gas
prices. Those are market forces.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You got a booming global economy. You
got China and India that are slopping up all this oil faster than we can
these days, and that that is a not so sinister response to what is going
on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, at this point, it really is tough for
this president. I have to be honest with you, because he really does not
have any control what is going to happen with the markets and with the
economy and with oil prices and supply and demand and gasoline. It really
is out of this president`s hands.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The next time you hear a politician
say he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it`s complete BS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Wow! No spin zone there, huh, big guy? Why don`t you play
that tape on your show tomorrow night? I`ll be looking for it.

Coming up, the federal judge who sent out a racist e-mail about
President Obama is under increased pressure to resign. Karen Finney joins
me on the Democratic response. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Tonight ED SHOW survey, I asked would Republicans rather
lose the female vote than criticize Rush Limbaugh? Ninety eight percent of
you said yes; two percent of you said no.

Coming up, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are calling for a
hearing on Judge Richard Cebull of Montana. But will they get their way in
a Republican-controlled House? Karen Finney next with me on the
conversation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Big Finish tonight, the outcry grows over a federal judge
who sent a racist e-mail about President Obama. Richard Cebull was back at
work today as Montana`s chief federal judge.

Last week, he forwarded an e-mail to friends featuring a racist,
sexist joke about President Obama and his mixed raced parents, comparing
the unity to bestiality.

The judge later asked the 9th Circuit to review his own misconduct.
And he wrote an apology to the president of the United States. But now the
top Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, is calling for
a hearing.

Conyers say he isn`t asking for impeachment. He is not. But "the
judge`s conduct may undermine the public`s view of his personal credibility
and impartiality."

The Republican chairman, Lamar Smith, has not yet responded to the
request. Civil rights organizations have filed complaints directly with
the 9th Circuit, calling for the judge`s resignation.

They point to the Judicial Code of Conduct. "A judge shall disqualify
himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge`s impartiality might
reasonably be questioned, including instances in which the judge has a
personal bias or prejudice."

Joining me tonight, Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and former
communications director for the Democratic National Committee. It would
seem to me, Karen, that this judge needs a good communication director at
this point. As the guidelines are set up, how can he wiggle out of it?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he can`t, Ed. Unless he
-- you know, he`s already said that he recognized that it was racist, but
that he only meant it as an anti-Obama thing, not as a racist thing.
Clearly, he knew. And he`s old enough to know the racist, misogynist
implication of that kind of email.

So -- and as the Judiciary Committee folks are making the point, can
you imagine if you were an African-American who had to go up in front of
this judge, would you trust him to be impartial at this point?

SCHULTZ: Well, I certainly wouldn`t advise putting an Obama t-shirt
on when you go in the courtroom, that is for sure.

FINNEY: That is exactly right.

SCHULTZ: I think that -- I think that this judge is out there so far
that sometimes an apology doesn`t work professionally. Is this one of
those cases?

FINNEY: I think so. Gee, Ed, how many times now have we -- people
are always sorry when they get caught, aren`t they? This has -- getting a
ring of familiarity coming from conservatives.

This one hits really close to home, I got to tell you. My mom is
white and she read this and, you know -- so basic -- this is the kind of
crap we dealt with when I was a kid, I mean, and all the sexual taboos of
the segregated, racist south about white women and men of color.

There is a lot going on here in this e-mail, beyond just being anti-
Obama. It`s misogynist. It`s sexist. It`s racist. And what incredibly
poor judgment, you know, to pass something like this on and think it was
funny.

SCHULTZ: So John Conyers, who has been in Congress a long time --
he`s the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he wants a hearing, but
he doesn`t want to impeach him. Is this the practical effort to put
pressure on this judge to resign?

FINNEY: Well, sure. And remember also there could be other courses
of action. he Could be censored. He could -- there are other things that
could come in terms of outcomes of an investigation and a hearing.

I think the point that Conyers is raising, rightfully so, is this kind
of conduct -- we can just let this go without taking a very big time-out
and saying, wait a second, this is not OK. It`s a lot like, I got to tell
you, Ed, the stuff we have been talking about with Rush Limbaugh.

At some point we have to stop and say, "this is not OK." A federal
judge should know better than to do something like this.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, good to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time. The big news about Rush Limbaugh tonight, of course,
is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin out of
Michigan, wants to make a move to take Rush Limbaugh off Armed Services
Radio Network, which is heard around the globe by our forces.

We`ll follow up on that story tomorrow.

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 and on great
progressive talk stations around the country.

Follow me on Twitter @EdShow, and like THE ED SHOW on Facebook. We
like it when you do that.

Rachel, great to see you tonight. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" -- you
know, there used to be a radio show in North Dakota called "What`s On Your
Mind." And after going through all this coverage last night and listening
to the Republicans, I thought I would change the name of my show to "What`s
Left of Your Mind".

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

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