updated 3/9/2012 5:09:46 PM ET 2012-03-09T22:09:46

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
March 8, 2012

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Kelly Cassidy, Janet Howell,
Ben Labolt, Eugene Robinson, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

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

It`s International Women`s Day and Rush Limbaugh attacked another
woman on his radio show today. The Republican war on women and women`s
health care has become part of their culture.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASSEMB. TERESA SAYWARD (R), NEW YORK: I really truly think that the
candidates that are out there today for -- on the Republican side would
take women back decades.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The war on women is raging in Arizona, Georgia,
Virginia, Texas and Illinois -- 1,100 anti-women laws in the past year.
The attack on women`s health is not stopping. And neither is Rush
Limbaugh.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It`s an out and out lie,
complete with your B-I itchy opinion in it.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on the latest
from Rush Limbaugh.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel on the fight going on around the nation and also
two more lawmakers who are fighting anti-women legislation with laws
targeting men`s reproductive health.

It is game on for the Obama campaign.

NARRATOR: Do we look at the day`s headlines or do we remember what we
as a country have been through?

SCHULTZ: Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt is here with a
sneak preview on the new Obama documentary.

And Sean Hannity thinks he`s found the smoking hug.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: That hug in the president`s association with
a radical professor like Bell is no doubt going to become a hot topic in
coming days.

SCHULTZ: Right-wing conspiracy theorists fall flat on their face
again.

Gene Robinson is here with the latest.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Today is International Women`s Day. And guess how the Republicans in
counsel operated the occasion? They debated a bill to restrict abortion
rights for women. It`s yet another bill criminalizing doctors who perform
abortions. The 12 female Democrats in the Senate -- well, they have had
enough.

In a letter to Speaker Boehner, they wrote, "It`s time for you to put
up an end to the attacks on women`s health care and to work with the Senate
to get back to the American people`s top priority -- creating jobs and
boosting our economy."

The war on women`s health care is taking place really all over the
country, when you look at it at every level of government. Last year, this
is an astounding number -- last year, more than 1100 reproductive health
restrictions were introduced in all 50 states, restrictions to abortion
rights skyrocketed to record levels in 2011.

Nine states -- count them -- nine states voted to reduce funding for
family planning programs. Texas reduced its reproductive health budget 66
percent. Six states passed restrictions on family planning funds. New
Hampshire prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funding.
This goes back to 1970, Title X.

Today in Atlanta, eight women in the Georgia Senate walked out of the
chamber in protest as Republicans passed restrictions on contraceptive
funding and abortion services.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here come the right-wing shock troops marching,
marching, marching, and women are on the bull`s eye target.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It`s not just Democratic lawmakers who are fed up. New York
State Assemblywoman Theresa Sayward is a Republican who is retiring from
office this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAYWARD: I do not have a favorite in the presidential race. If I had
to vote today, I would vote for Obama.

REPORTER: Really?

SAYWARD: Absolutely.

REPORTER: Wow. I think there are a number of people in your party
who would be surprised to hear that.

SAYWARD: Shocked.

REPORTER: Why?

SAYWARD: Because I really truly think that the candidates that are
out there today for -- on the Republican side would take women back
decades.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Female lawmakers and voters are revolting against the anti-
woman legislation across the country. Meanwhile, the biggest anti-woman
voice in America continues to attack. Rush Limbaugh was back at it again
today.

This is how he characterized a female "Washington Post"
humor/columnist today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Ms. Petri, I don`t know who feeds you your information. I
have a pretty good guess. But you might -- you might want to double check
here because you`ve written something that`s patently false, it is an out
and out lie, complete with your B-I itchy opinion in it. And it is untrue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, the guy just can`t help himself. Rush can`t hide his
negative attitude towards women.

He also can`t hide the trouble his show is facing as of late. This is
what you heard today, if you were listening to the Rush Limbaugh radio show
in the largest media market in the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: We barely scratch ready the service on the EIB Network
today, folks. Sit tight, the fastest three hours of media roll on right
after this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That would be dead air. Rush claims sponsors have not
runaway but silence speaks louder than words, doesn`t it?

On WABC New York web stream, the show had a total of five minutes and
33 seconds of dead air where commercials are supposed to be. Of the 86 ads
during the broadcast, 77 of them were unpaid public service announcements
donated by the ad council.

Now, the American Heart Association has asked for their PSAs to be
pulled from the Limbaugh radio show immediately.

Today, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio introduced a bill to get Limbaugh
off the Armed Services Radio Network which, of course, plays to our troops.

Right wingers are still trying to excuse Limbaugh for his actions.
They are calling for a Bill Maher to be punished for offensive comments
against women and they want the Obama-supporting super PAC to return Bill
Maher`s $1 million donation.

Bill Burton of Priorities USA said the comparison is wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL BURTON, PRIORITIES USA: The notion that there is an equivalence
between what a comedian has said over the course of his career and what the
de facto leader of the Republican Party said to sexually degrade a woman
who engaged in an important debate of our time is crazy. Like, there`s
just no similarity between what Rush Limbaugh said lying about the argument
that Ms. Fluke was making, a law student at Georgetown, and what -- and
what a comedian has said in the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Republican war on women`s health care -- well, it has no
comparison. It is happening at the federal, the state and the local level
and it is shocking to a lot of people and it is supported by the loudest
voices in the right wing media across America. We are going back to the
1970s, `60s, maybe `50s. And it is amazing to me how the Republican
candidates on the campaign trail continue to done the question about what
do they have for women voters in this country?

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Back to
radio for a moment.

Tonight`s question, would you rather listen to dead air or Rush
Limbaugh? Text A for dead air, text B for Rush Limbaugh to 622639. And
you can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ve got the results
coming up later on on the program.

Joining me tonight is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

Congresswoman, great to have you with us.

When you look at the number of bills that are being introduced at a
state level and you see what your colleagues on the other side of the aisle
are talking about, where their focus is, what`s happening here?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, you know, 135 of those bills
actually were passed into law last year. About 70 percent of them to limit
a woman`s right to an abortion. So you know, happy International Women`s
Day. The Republicans are celebrating by doubling down on their war on
women. It`s just remarkable.

But you know what, Ed -- 60 percent, over 60 percent of voters are
against the Blunt Amendment, the one that said that an employer could deny
a woman -- actually anyone, something that went -- a health service that
went against his moral judgment or his religious beliefs. And that`s also
true of the majority of independents and even 40 percent of the Republicans
don`t agree with that.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, do you think that this is somewhat of a
surrender to President Obama in that deep down, they don`t think that they
can beat President Obama, so they are going to do everything they can to
rally the social conservatives and at least get some more people in the
Congress, in the Senate and in the House that will see the world the way
they do? That they are going to get something out of this election and
this is the strongest push they`ve ever made when it comes to attacking
abortion rights?

SCHAKOWSKY: If that`s their strategy, it`s pretty ignorant, because
it is talking about trimming down the Republican Party to the lowest number
possible, because this is so far out of the mainstream that if they
actually think that somehow ginning up those people that think it`s a smart
idea to go after -- to go after women, the majority of voters, after all,
it`s ridiculous.

SCHULTZ: On the other hand, is this an opportunity for the Democrats
politically? I mean, it would seem to me, as you just heard the
assemblywoman from New York, she said if she was going to vote right now,
she`d vote for President Obama and she`s a Republican.

Do you think there will be a lot of people like that?

SCHAKOWSKY: I do. I think in suburban America that Republican women
are going to not want to vote for a Republican who stands for taking away
women`s rights. I think that women everywhere are not going to respond to
this. You know, we`re not going to go back, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SCHAKOWSKY: It`s simply not going to happen.

SCHULTZ: And some of the right-wing are saying that Democrats are not
doing enough to denounce comments made by liberal commentators about women.
How do you respond to that? You were somewhat hounded yesterday by someone
with a camera who wanted you to respond.

How do you feel about that?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, look, I`m not going to condone any kind of
name-calling, but that`s not what Rush Limbaugh is simply doing. He is
going after women for standing for their rights to -- and access to
contraception, going after a young brave woman who went to testify, not a
public figure, who stood up to declare the rights of women and her friends.

No, this is not just about a name. This is about a policy. This is
about an attack on women`s rights.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman from Illinois, Jan Schakowsky, great to have
you with us tonight. Thank you.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor, part
owner, "Nation Magazine".

I want to play this clip from I will Bill O`Reilly. He said this
today about women`s contraception being available through Title X funding.
Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: It`s in motion now that if you need birth
control and you go to a federal clinic, you`d get it. That`s under Title X
of the Public Health Act, all right? So there really isn`t any -- any
problem, you can get it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Katrina, what`s wrong with that?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Well, first of all, the
four Republican candidates running for president want to eliminate Title X.
Title X is mostly used, Ed, for cervical breast cancer screening, for HIV
and other sexually transmitted diseases.

SCHULTZ: For low-income women.

VANDEN HEUVEL: For low-income women.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

VANDEN HEUVEL: So we are witnessing an attempt to roll back a program
that has provided access to health care for low-income women in this
country and the Congressional Research Service a year ago estimated that if
you did away with Title X, a program, Ed, by the way created with the
support of Republican President Richard Nixon and Senior George Bush --

SCHULTZ: Since 1970.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Since 1970. This is the bulwark -- this is the
ballast that has helped low-income women.

It`s crazy to me that in this year, we are having a debate about
contraception -- an issue which should have been resolved but also we are
witnessing a targeting of not only women but low-income women in an attempt
to rollback access to health care.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of the number? I was told 1,100 bills on
states across the country. I was astounded at that number.

VANDEN HEUVEL: This has been -- you know, what we are seeing now is a
conversation this country has needed to have. Unfortunately, it`s
happening with terrible GOP overreach with a party that wants to roll back
time and roll back women`s access to health care. But this has been going
on.

SCHULTZ: Will they pay a price for it politically?

VANDEN HEUVEL: They will pay a price because the framing work, so to
speak, shows a majority, not just women, a majority of people see this as
about women`s health, not religious liberty. And they see the Republicans
as freedom limiters.

And I think we are seeing a backlash among women. And you see it
among the -- Lisa Murkowski, the Republican senator from Alaska.

SCHULTZ: Well, she voted for --

VANDEN HEUVEL: But she repented.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But you`re seeing -- listen, even Republican women use
birth control. So, you are seeing moderate and independent Republican
women, you could see it in the primaries this past week, where you saw the
gender gap for a Rick Santorum who has been flogging this so hard.

SCHULTZ: I mean, the Blunt amendment was when the transportation
bill, so was the post office -- I mean, it`s amazing what they are doing.
I want to play more. Here`s more of O`Reilly today. And I want your
reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: The Centers for Disease Control basically categorized
things, and they say this is a malady, this is a medical condition, and
this isn`t. And so, Viagra comes under the government`s guidelines for
medical condition. Contraception doesn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: How can he defend this double-standard?

VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, until now, I didn`t know Bill O`Reilly has
standard. I see he has double standard.

You know, we`ve heard this B.S. before. Contraception is central to
women`s health and their ability to be part of an economy, to control their
family`s welfare. It is a terrible double standard but one that comes, Ed,
from men dominating a political process. And I think it`s important now,
this is a pivotal moment for women to take back their power.

And I understand there are many different kinds of women in this
country, low-income women, by the way, don`t get heard much from. But
those eight women walking out in Georgia, in the state senate, state
legislature, we are going to see a lot more of that because this, again, is
going to be women`s historic year as 1992 was when Clarence Thomas and
Anita Hill had their square-off and the Republican and Democratic men on
the judiciary committee didn`t stand up for women`s rights broadly.

Instead of having this discussion, Ed, I wish we were having a
discussion about some of the real problems and priorities in this country,
that would include women`s economic justice and advancement. And that`s
linked to this -- that`s linked to this.

SCHULTZ: Yes, it is. And 98 percent of Republicans in the House
voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Bill. It`s just amazing.

Katrina, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.

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

Coming up, Democrats are fighting back in the Republican war on
women`s health. Two lawmakers who introduced legislation governing men`s
sexual health will join me next.

And later, Bill O`Reilly`s latest spin on gas prices. His latest tall
tale caught on camera.

And we`ve got the shocking video to prove him wrong. You won`t want
to miss it.

Stay with us. We are right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Republicans` war on women`s health care has
female legislators fighting back. Pay attention, guys. I`ve got a couple
of women introducing men`s health care bills. They`ll join me next.

The Obama re-election campaign wants you to see this video touting the
president`s accomplishments. I`ll speak with the campaign`s national press
secretary, Ben LaBolt, to tell us what it`s all about.

And Republicans are fear-mongering about war with Iran. Colonel
Lawrence Wilkerson will weigh in on their scare tactics later in this hour.

Share your thoughts on Twitter, using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: All I`m trying to do is protect
vulnerable men and make sure that they understand the consequences for
their actions. Policymaking men on the right have taken great care to
ensure that women are protected and I thought it only fair that we protect
the greatest gender, men, in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Last night on this show, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner
discussed a bill she introduced requiring men to get psychological testing
before receiving erectile dysfunction drugs. The purpose of the bill was
to point out the inequality and sexism of more than 1,100 laws in the
United States attacking women`s health and reproductive rights.

And Senator Turner is not the only state using this strategy. Similar
bills have been introduced in at least eight other states.

In Virginia, State Senator Janet Howell introduced an amendment to the
controversial ultrasound bill requiring men to undergo a rectal exam and
cardiac stress test before getting erectile dysfunction drugs.

In Illinois, State Representative Kelly Cassidy suggested men should
have to watch a video showing the treatment for persistent erections before
being allowed to pop a Viagra pill.

In Georgia, a bill was introduced outlawing most vasectomies, saying
thousands of children are being deprived of birth because of them.

And I have to tell you tonight, 30 years in the business, I didn`t
think I`d ever read anything like this. But this is what the news is all
about in America in 2012. I find it amazing.

Let`s turn to the authors of these two bills, I mentioned -- Illinois
State Representative Kelly Cassidy with us tonight. And also Virginia
State Senator Janet Howell.

Senator Howell, you first. I appreciate you both being with us on
this subject. I can`t believe this is what it is all about in America
right now for women`s health care.

Senator Howell, what inspired you to introduce this legislation, a
rectal exam and cardiac stress test?

STATE SEN. JANET HOWELL (D), VIRGINIA: Well, I was just so angry
about the ultrasound bill that was in this Virginia senate. It was
requiring women to have transvaginal probes before they could have an
abortion. These -- totally medically unnecessary, costly, demeaning
procedure.

So, I thought, well, let`s have a little gender equity and let`s have
the men have digital rectal exams.

SCHULTZ: How do you think this is going to be received?

HOWELL: Actually, it`s had a great reception. It`s gone viral. It
led to all sorts of jokes about Virginia and what the Republicans were
trying to do to women.

So, the bill -- even though we didn`t have the votes to defeat the
bill in the first place you can -- place, the governor was forced to modify
the bill. It has passed but no longer requires transvaginal probes. It`s
still a terrible bill, but it`s not as bad as it would have been.

SCHULTZ: Representative Cassidy, what reaction have you gotten from
your bill in Illinois -- video of persistent erection treatment. I
understand it shows exactly what men are going to go through if they have
an erection more than four hours. What`s the purpose here?

STATE REP. KELLY CASSIDY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, you know, if, as is
presupposed in the Ultrasound Opportunity Act, which is one of the better
titles I`ve heard, you know, the premise of that bill is that women are
fundamentally incapable of making that decision with their doctor, without
help from their legislators. I believe that we need to ensure that men
have that same opportunity to view the potential side effects of erectile
dysfunction treatment.

If we -- if we don`t believe women can make these decisions, then we
must not believe that men can either.

SCHULTZ: And there are some who see your legislation as ridiculous --
while legislation about women`s reproductive rights is so widespread. I
mean, you think that this is going to be a real attention getter? And
maybe this will back off the right wing and their social agenda?

CASSIDY: Well, you know, earlier in the show, there was discussion of
1992 and when women were just so angered and so outraged, and how women
came out in such enormous numbers and that`s what I`m seeing here. It is -
- it is stunning to me that we are still having this conversation, that --
that we have it established that women and doctors can do this on their
own.

And so I think the -- weather it has an impact on this bill or other
bills in the country is less clear than the fact that it will have an
impact on how women vote.

SCHULTZ: And I want to get both of your take on this. Senator
Howell, is this a turning point for women on this issue?

HOWELL: Oh, I -- I definitely think that it is. The forces against
women`s reproductive health have overreached and people are reacting. But
I have been interested in the reaction I`ve gotten from mine, which I
believe was the first of this kind of an amendment. I`ve received as many
e-mails from men who are outraged by what`s being done to women as I have
from women.

SCHULTZ: How about you, Kelly? Is this a big turning point socially
in America right now that will have a big political impact?

CASSIDY: I certainly hope so. What is frustrating though is that we
keep winning this battle over and over again, we keep having to refight it.
You know, began working in Chicago a little over 20 years ago and, you
know, we had the year of the woman in 1992, and I was working on
reproductive rights then.

I have been working on reproductive rights and women`s equality I
think for as long as I can remember. I`m sure we could find some grade
school friends who will tell stories of me standing up to them then.

And we keep having to refight the same battles, and that`s the most
frustrating. But, yes, the response has been really overwhelmingly
positive and pretty balanced by gender. I mean, I`m getting reactions all
over the state and the country from folks who are frustrated as well and
glad to see folks standing up and fighting back.

SCHULTZ: Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy and Virginia
State Senator Janet Howell -- I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so
much.

President Obama`s campaign is touting his accomplishments with a new
film. We will preview it and talk to Ben LaBolt of the Obama re-election
campaign. That`s coming up next.

And it`s the Al Capone vault story all over again. Well, not really,
but it is Sean Hannity uncovering the Obama video you have already seen.
And we`ve got an ED SHOW exclusive that you won`t want to miss. Eugene
Robinson will be with me.

Stay here. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. President Obama`s re-election
team wants to remind voters how far we have come since the president`s
inauguration, when the country was on the edge of an economic cliff. Next
week, the campaign will release a 17-minute film about the president`s
accomplishments in his first term.

Here`s a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we look at the day`s headlines or do we
remember what we, as a country, have been through?

DAVID AXELROD, FMR. SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: What was
described in that meeting was an economic crisis beyond anything anybody
had imagined.

ELIZABETH WARREN (D), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: If the auto industry goes
down, what happens to America`s manufacturing base? What happens to jobs
in America? What happens to the whole Midwest?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course, the president has been on a roll lately, 23
consecutive months of private sector job growth, winning a battle with the
GOP on extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, unveiling
more help for homeowners across America, and winning a fight over women`s
health in which Republican leaders looked reactionary and afraid to stand
up to Rush Limbaugh.

I`m joined tonight by Ben Labolt, national press secretary for the
Obama reelection campaign. Ben, good to have you with us tonight. I have
seen the excerpts, obviously haven`t seen it. You`re going to be releasing
it soon. It is intense, isn`t it?

BEN LABOLT, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, OBAMA REELECTION CAMPAIGN:
Yeah, I mean, this is about the tough calls that the president made in the
face of historic challenges over the past three years, but it also about
the journey that the nation has been on.

We were losing 750,000 jobs a month when the president took office.
The auto industry was on the brink shortly thereafter. The markets were
crashing. And we have now created more than 3.7 million private sector
jobs. We have passed Wall Street reform to prevent another financial
crisis from happening and, you know, certainly made significant progress on
the foreign policy front, ending the war in Iraq in a responsible way and
taking the fight to al Qaeda.

This -- this documentary will actually take you in the room, into the
decision-making behind the decision to get bin Laden.

SCHULTZ: OK. so it sounds like it is a big reminder to the country
on what a nosedive we were on when President Obama stepped in the Oval
Office. Is that it in a nutshell? Then just to document how far we have
come since then, hoping that that is going to be enough to turn back a lot
of money that`s going to be thrown at this campaign when it comes to
Citizens United? What about all that?

LABOLT: Well, you are right about the money. Special interests have
said that they are going to spend 500 million dollars in an attempt to
defeat the president. The Koch Brothers, oil companies out there,
billionaire oil executives are going to spend 200 million dollars alone.

American Crossroads, Karl Rove`s group, said that it will spend 300
million dollars. And you know this -- you know what this is about. This
is about oil and gas companies trying to maintain their subsidies.

SCHULTZ: Sure. So Ben, what are your expectations? How many people
do you think are going to watch the full 17 minutes? And how impactful do
you think it is going to be?

LABOLT: Well, my hope is that 17 minutes isn`t too much time to ask.
If another campaign releases a 17-minute documentary, I will reserve 17
minutes of my time. But our supporters across the country will be
screening this next week. In some cases, it will be right there in their
homes. In some cases, it will be in local restaurants and even in movie
theaters across the country.

SCHULTZ: Here is one of Mitt Romney`s favorite lines criticizing the
president. I want you to respond to this. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When he took office, the
economy was in recession. And he made it worse and he made it last longer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Will the President Obama push back hard on this line?
That`s what Romney is going to use often?

LABOLT: Well, it is certainly intellectually dishonest. We were
losing 750,000 jobs a month. And the entire economy was on the brink when
the president took office. And we have created more than 3.7 million
private sector jobs.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

LABOLT: The question why Mitt Romney is trying to run as a job
creator. Take a look at his record in Massachusetts, 47th out of 50th in
job creation. Manufacturing jobs declined at twice the national average
after he cut funding for the manufacturing extension partnership. And as a
corporate buyout specialist in the private sector, he profited off of
bankrupting companies and outsourcing jobs.

SCHULTZ: Does it help when Mitt Romney displays such a stunning lack
of leadership on everything from his tax plan, that he says can`t be
scored, to failing to stand up to Rush Limbaugh and make a real judgment
about what is acceptable vernacular on talk radio, to the point where it`s
not insulting?

What about all that? Is that a lack of leadership?

LABOLT: You raise an important point about the tax plan, which hasn`t
gotten a lot of attention. His tax plan, which would extend and expand tax
breaks for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations, costs five
trillion dollars. And he is telling the American people he will not
explain how he is going to pay for that before election day.

And he has two options, raise the deficit by five trillion dollars or
cut programs that are essential to the middle class. That would mean a 40
percent cut to Social Security for current workers.

And in terms of Limbaugh, I mean, this is -- this is a manifestation
of where the Republican party is right now. Instead of -- instead of
focusing on the issues that the American people are focused on, creating
jobs and restoring economic security for the middle class --

SCHULTZ: That`s what it`s about.

LABOLT: They actually had a debate over rolling back the rights of
women to make their own decisions about their -- about their health care.
Are we really having that debate in 2012?

SCHULTZ: Well, I think I got it figured out; 17 minutes is one bag of
popcorn. Ben, way to go. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
much.

LABOLT: Thanks, Ed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Derrick Bell was the Jeremiah Wright of academia.
And Barack Obama embraced him and endorsed his views.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sean Hannity and his gang try and fail to paint the
president as a leftist radical.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: There is a lot to this. It gets very
complicated. But I think it`s easy to explain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The "Washington Post`s" Gene Robinson on the non-scandal
known as Huggie Scare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: America will be at risk. And someday nuclear weaponry will
be used.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And Republicans are trying to scare votes out of Americans.
But the president is having none of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What`s said on the
campaign trail, those folks don`t have a lot of responsibilities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson will give it to us straight on
war mongering Republicans.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Sean Hannity had the cable news exclusive last night, an
exclusive of video that had already been posted online about nine hours
earlier and broadcast in a PBS documentary four years ago. That`s still
considered an exclusive in Hannity`s world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Let`s watch this.

OBAMA: Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of professor
Derrick Bell.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yes, it`s true; 20 years ago, when he was president of the
Harvard Law Review, Barack Obama hugged a man. His name, professor Derrick
Bell. Now, at the time, Mr. Bell was protesting Harvard`s failure to hire
a minority faculty.

In the video, then the very young Barack Obama introduces him and then
hugs him. disciples of the right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart went on
Hannity`s show to explain the truly shocking nature of this hug.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the one smoking gun here -- the only
smoking gun here -- there are two smoking guns, actually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: There might have been three smoking guns. Fortunately, Sean
Hannity was able to guide the conversation into more familiar territory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: We have what was said by then-student Barack Obama. We have
who he was associating with, controversial association again, radical, I
would even argue. And the president`s association with a radical
professor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a well-known history of associations
between Barack Obama and radical figures. Derrick Bell was a radical.
This was about radical ideology.

He is talking about some very radical things, so radical --

HANNITY: This candidate is far more radical, now president -- that he
is far more radical than he let on. What are people to grab from this,
more than anything else? Is it that Barack Obama seems to always gravitate
toward the most radical people?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Radical. Very radical. Extremely radical. Radical,
radical and then some more radical. For once, I think Hannity is onto
something. In fact, we have our own exclusive video of the president
associating with someone who is truly radical. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Tony Hawk, who is the best skateboarder in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And there`s even more evidence of the president`s radical
association. Here is a picture of a totally radical professional
skateboarder, Tony Hawk, skateboarding -- can you believe it -- inside the
White House!

Scooped you on that one, Hannity.

Let`s turn to Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political analyst and Pulitzer
Prize winning columnist and associate editor of the "Washington Post."

Well, we got that out of the way.

EUGENE ROBINSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Radical segment, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You know what, I was thinking when I was watching that last
night -- because I thought that Hannity was going to be producing the
videotape that he has been talking about, how President Obama didn`t want
to kill the world`s number one terrorist. And that would be Osama bin
Laden.

But it kind of measured up to what Geraldo Rivera did 26 years ago
with the Al Capone vault thing. But you know, isn`t this just so trivial
reaching? They have nothing else, Eugene?

ROBINSON: This is considerably less than the Al Capone video,
actually. What you saw was a student at Harvard Law School embracing a
professor at Harvard Law School. Professor Derrick Bell was, in fact, the
first tenured African-American professor at Harvard Law School. And thus,
you have a student associating with his professor.

This is -- you know, stop the presses. I mean, this is just -- how
can we stand for this?

SCHULTZ: And of course, he said he gave a speech several weeks before
that hug where he said that there was racism in America. Can you believe
that?

ROBINSON: No, I can`t believe that. And Ed, how could a guy who is
the first black tenured professor at Harvard Law School -- you know, why
would he say there was racism? Does it -- perhaps it occurred to him that
he is the first one and therefore, there might be some reason there hadn`t
been anybody before him in that position?

But I guess that`s not -- that`s not racism, right?

SCHULTZ: You would think that Fox would be talking about this 24/7,
but they are not. Do they have egg all over their face? What do you
think?

ROBINSON: Well, yes. I mean, come on, how are they going to carry
this forward, right? Because it doesn`t go anywhere. This is a little
clip and there is this little hug. And the second part of it is that I
guess another Harvard professor, Charles Ogletree, allegedly said we have
to hide this during the campaign.

But I have a confession to make. I`m a friend of Charles Ogletree, so
I guess I`m part of the conspiracy, too.

SCHULTZ: That`s why you are on this show. That`s why you are on this
show, because you`re part of that stuff. We wanted to break that story,
too.

Here is one of Breitbart`s conspiracy theorists pointing the finger at
the media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is amazing about this video in particular is
it was seriously open to anyone. This was not hidden. We were actually
able to find -- it was hidden by them. But it wasn`t hidden from the
media. If the media had really wanted to do the leg work, they could have
found this stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That`s right. If we wanted to do the leg work, we wouldn`t
have found the videotape on the shelf of a television station that just
happens to have a pretty good file system. So how`s that for digging for
stuff?

ROBINSON: Yes. That`s really digging to find something that was
broadcast to a national audience four years ago, that has apparently been
sitting on Youtube as well.

You know, what we have demonstrated -- what Hannity has done the
service -- he has demonstrated President Obama has associated with black
intellectuals. Can you imagine that? I guess that`s something Hannity
would never do.

SCHULTZ: I`ll tell you what we also found out, that that guy named
Barack Obama had a whole lot of talent way back when.

As Is aid to E.J. Dionne, one of your colleagues, last night on this
broadcast, I didn`t see the teleprompter there. Maybe you. I didn`t see
the teleprompter. That was a pretty good speech.

Eugene Robinson, always a pleasure. Thanks for joining us tonight.

Bill O`Reilly tried to pull a fast one on middle America again today.
Fortunately, Big Eddie`s looking out for you and he`s not. The latest
O`Reilly spin on gas prices next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Bill O`Reilly claims he is looking out for you. Yet here is
what he told the folks about gas prices today on "The View."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": Americans know that the gas prices have
nothing to do with Obama. It has to do with world affairs. Everybody
knows that.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I don`t know that. I don`t know
that. I`m not in that discussion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, but he does know that. Take it from the man himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: So the next time you hear a politician say he or she will
bring down oil prices, understand it is complete BS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What`s that spin thing all about? The tape doesn`t lie,
does it? Yet O`Reilly wasn`t done talking about prices on "The View."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: Why are the prices going up?

(CROSS TALK)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": -- every several years, Bill. It
doesn`t matter who the president is.

O`REILLY: Because the president it doesn`t solve the problem of
speculation.

GOLDBERG: None of them do, darling. That`s my point.

O`REILLY: I would. I`d solve it. All right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All right. Now, O`Reilly, he has a point about speculation.
And we talked a lot about that on this show. But four years ago, O`Reilly
offered a few different options to solve high gas prices.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: If Americans want lower gas prices, cut back, sell those
SUVs, ride a bike when you can. If every one of us bought 10 percent less
gasoline, prices would fall fast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, there you have it. The clearest evidence yet that
Bill O`Reilly, he simply suspect looking out for you. He is just a
huckster and a shill who will twist the facts to fit his conservative
ideology.

I have always wanted to be on "The View." What do I have to do? Lie
on this program?

Next, Republicans are playing the fear mongering card one more time.
This time, they are ready to go to another war, this time with Iran. Colin
.Powell`s former chief of staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, joins me next.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear
weapon and the world will change, if that`s the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was Mitt Romney responding to a question from an 11-
year-old boy, showing Republican presidential candidates who will stop at
nothing when it comes to fear mongering about Iran. They certainly didn`t
hold back this week at AIPAC conference or on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to say to the
Iranian government, the time is now. You will stop your nuclear production
now. If they do not tear down those facilities, we will tear down them
ourselves.

ROMNEY: I will be ready to engage in diplomacy. But I will be just
as ready to engage our military might.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should indicate calmly
and decisively that any effort to close the Straits of Hormuz would be
considered an act of war and we would eliminate the government of Iran.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, these guys just can`t wait to bomb Iran, can they?
Meanwhile, President Obama has presidential experience on his side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk
about war, I`m reminds of the costs involved in war.

Those who are suggesting or proposing or beating the drums of war
should explain clearly to the American people what they think the costs and
benefits will be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former
chief of staff of General Colin Powell, currently the Pamela Harriman
Visiting Professor at the College of William and Mary.

Colonel, good to have you with us tonight.

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON (RET), FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO COLIN POWELL:
Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: How dangerous is it to have Republican candidates or people
in a position of leadership out hawking the talk like this? What`s your
response to all of that?

WILKERSON: I think it`s -- I think it`s dangerous. I listened to
what candidate Romney said closely. And his position didn`t differ all
that much from President Obama`s. It`s just more starkly put.

But when you look at Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, you get scared.
You get frightened. These guys, as the president so eloquently said, don`t
have any responsibility and can just mouth off as they will. I think they
probably believe what they are saying, and so they are very dangerous.

It is very dangerous talk, just as the president pointed out in his
press conference and in his speech to AIPAC, which I thought was fairly
powerful.

SCHULTZ: President Obama has made it clear that all options are on
the table when it comes to Iran. Here he is earlier this week with the
Israeli prime minister.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We do believe that there is still a window that allows for a
diplomatic resolution to this issue. But ultimately, the Iranian`s regime
has to make a decision to move in that direction, a decision that they have
not made thus far.

I reserve all options. And my policy here is not going to be one of
containment. My policy is prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So it`s -- he is the most sensible guy in the room, but are
Republicans hoping no one is listening to the president?

WILKERSON: I don`t think that`s the case. I go all over the country
talking here and there and so forth in my academic responsibilities. And I
hear Americans questioning whether or not there`s anyone in the Republican
party who can do anything but a Goldwater against President Obama.

And you know what that means, the worst defeat in the history of the
Republican party. I think they are heading for the same thing. I think
the metaphor of a circular firing squad is an apt one for this group of
candidates.

SCHULTZ: What about John McCain and some other senators talking about
taking an air strike against Syria? Your response to that?

WILKERSON: Well, I was on the Hill the other day, before we put the
full page op ed, as it were, in the "Washington Post" on Monday, I was on
the Hill. And one of the reasons I signed the letter that accompanied that
op ed was what I was hearing on the Hill.

And I was with Republicans and Democrats, staffers and members both in
both houses. And I was stunned at what I was hearing with regard to Iran.
But I was also equally stunned at what I was hearing about Syria.

The level -- the depth of ignore as to what`s going on in this country
and what any kind of military action by an outside power might do to what`s
going on was just unbelievable. And John McCain and his remarks of late
about entering the fray, as it were, with air power, they come from a man
who knows nothing more than air power, never been in day of ground combat
in his life.

Prisoner of war, honorable, courageous man in that respect, but not a
man from the ground combat arms. This is an extremely difficult situation.

SCHULTZ: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, appreciate your time tonight.
Thank you so much for joining us on THE ED SHOW. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m
Ed Schultz.

"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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