updated 3/22/2012 12:37:49 PM ET 2012-03-22T16:37:49

Guests: Natalie Jackson, Trymaine Lee, Mike Papantonio, Rep. Steve Israel,
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Richard Wolffe

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

Breaking news from Sanford, Florida: according to our NBC affiliate in
Orlando, the Sanford, Florida, city commission has passed a no confidence
motion in Sanford police chief, Bill Lee. It`s the latest news in the
Trayvon Martin tragedy that is gripping America.

The country is hungry for justice and Washington is paying attention.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: The crime was committed. My
son is murdered. My son is not with us no more. Nothing can bring him
back.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Trayvon Martin killing could be the Emmett
Till moment of our time, and justice is still not done.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I just want this guy
arrested so he can be brought to justice.

SCHULTZ: We`re going to Orlando for the latest.

Florida lawmakers are running away from the "Stand Your Ground" law.
The man who signed the law in 2005 today endorsed Mitt Romney.

JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: It`s common sense to allow
people to defend themselves.

SCHULTZ: A top Romney adviser shakes up the Republican race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he hit a reset button for the fall
campaign. It`s almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can shake it up and we
start all over again.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe on Mitt Romney`s Etch a Sketch implosion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gene Sperling said yesterday that your budget
reform to Medicare is death spiral.

SCHULTZ: Even religious leaders are calling Paul Ryan`s plan an
immoral disaster.

We`ll compare it to President Obama`s vision for America.

And Republicans are standing in the way of lower gas prices. Tonight,
Bernie Sanders are doing something about it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Trayvon Martin is quickly turning into the civil rights figure of our
time. Because he was gunned down while doing the simplest of acts, just
walking home from a 7-Eleven store and talking to his girlfriend on a cell
phone. The wheels of justice are starting to turn in this case, but one
vital piece is still missing. The arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

Today in New York City, the "Million Hoodie March" took place,
demanding justice for a teenager who was doing nothing more than wearing a
hoodie, in the rain, as he walked back into a gated community in Sanford,
Florida. Trayvon Martin`s parents were at today`s rally and are at the
center of a growing wave of protests across the nation. They have
exhibited a stunning degree of calm, but they want justice to begin with an
arrest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN: I would urge people to be patient, let the courts decide.
But I strongly feels that he needs to be arrested.

FULTON: They decided on the scene to be the judge and jury. And I
just want this guy arrested and so he can be brought to justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mr. Martin was asked if he thought George Zimmerman uttered
a racial slur on the 911 tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN: I think he said words that were not comforting to my ear.
Like "these people." And who are these people? He was suspicious because
he was young and black with a hoodie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: THE ED SHOW`s Arianna Jones was at a rally today. Here are
some of the protesters and their reactions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecute George Zimmerman!

CROWD: Yes!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re here to stand in solidarity!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Folks who have never met each other, folks from
all around the country and all around the world are standing up and saying
that we want democracy to work for us! That we will not allow the criminal
justice system to ignore us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the races were reversed, you`d either have an
in-jail black man or a dead one, one or the other. Injustice anywhere is
injustice everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Other developments have been rapidly unfolding today.
Activists gathered outside the regional office of Florida`s division of
licensing to demand the suspension of George Zimmerman`s gun permit. But
under state law, a permit is not suspended until the gun owner is charged
with a felony.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is being called upon to appoint a special
prosecutor to oversee the investigation. State Senator Gary Siplin and
other lawmakers said a special prosecutor was necessary to remove the
perception of bias by Sanford authorities.

There was a capacity crowd at a town hall meeting last night in
Orlando. Local NAACP President Turner Clayton said, "The Sanford City
manager and mayor were unable to attend because they have been summoned to
Washington by Attorney General Eric Holder."

There are calls for review of Florida`s so-called "Stand Your Ground"
law. There are also calls for the Sanford police chief to resign and today
city commission gave him a vote of no confidence in a vote of 3-2.

Sanford officials have said the decision not to arrest George
Zimmerman was made by the responding officer, who released the shooter
after he claimed he acted in self-defense. George Zimmerman`s neighbor
says the media is convicting him prematurely.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK TAAFFE, TWIN LAKES RESIDENT: George is a congenial, amiable,
admirable person. He had a passion and a care for this neighborhood, to
ensure the safety of everybody here. And further more, George is no Rambo.
He was a caring person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: This is why the 911 tapes are so important. Get your cell
phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s question: does
George Zimmerman need to be arrested so justice can be served?

Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can always go to our
blog and leave a comment at Ed.MSNBC.com. Results of the poll later in the
program.

I am joined tonight by Natalie Jackson, an attorney for the Trayvon
Martin`s family.

Ms. Jackson, thank you for your time.

I want you to respond to the latest news we`ve heard that the Sanford
City commission voted 3-2 tonight as a vote of no confidence for police
chief, Bill Lee. What do you make of that?

NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, I think that they are
seeing what the public is seeing. They are seeing a lot of mistakes made.
And really, you don`t punish people for making mistakes, but do you punish
people for adamantly and stubbornly standing by their mistakes, even to the
detriment of a family who lost their 17-year-old child.

SCHULTZ: It`s now 24 days after the killing of this 17-year-old boy.
Why have there been no arrested? And have you had any conversation with
the Sanford Police Department in their investigation?

JACKSON: We`ve had no conversation with the Sanford Police
Department. We have had some conversations with the state attorney`s
office, who now has the case.

At this point, the Sanford police chief -- he doesn`t have the case
anymore. He passed the buck to the state attorney`s office. The state`s
attorney office has now said that they will convene a grand jury. They are
convening the grand jury on April 10th.

I don`t believe there will be an arrest until April 10th -- if an
indictment comes down.

SCHULTZ: Do you think there should be resignations with the
department at Sanford?

JACKSON: I definitely do. I think that the city commission did the
right thing by voting no confidence, because, clearly, this investigation
has turned into a circus. And, clearly, the way that it`s being handled is
biased and prejudiced.

You have a victim, a 17-year-old victim, whose parents have to go out
and prove that their son is innocent.

SCHULTZ: Trayvon Martin`s mother just spoke at a rally here in New
York tonight. Here`s what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FULTON: It`s the support that we need. We need this kind of support.

CROWD: You got it, sis!

FULTON: Our son was not committing any crime. Our son is your son.

CROWD: Yes!

FULTON: I want you to stand up for justice and stand up for what`s
right! This is not about a black and white thing. This is about a right
and wrong thing!

CROWD: Yes!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Characterize, if you could for us, Natalie, just the
determination of Trayvon`s parents in managing all of this with all the
stress.

JACKSON: These parents are exhausted. They`ve done nonstop media.
They haven`t even had a chance to grieve for their son. But for them, this
is the important thing, because the people have spoken. The only way that
they will get justice is through the people, through the social networking
movement and also through the media.

Only by the pressure of the people and the public has this case gotten
any attention. It would have died like countless other cases.

SCHULTZ: Another lawyer for the family, the Martin family, Benjamin
Crump, had this to say. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: Why didn`t the Sanford Police
Department do a drug and alcohol analysis on him? They did one on Trayvon
Martin, who was dead on the ground. Why didn`t they do it on George
Zimmerman? You ask yourself, why didn`t they take a background check on
the man who had just killed this kid in cold blood? They did a background
check on Trayvon Martin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I want your response to that.

JACKSON: Yes. We talked about that. Our team has had to find out
everything. The Sanford Police Department has not released anything to our
team, except the 911 tapes. And that was after a week of constant media
pressure that they released those.

All the information that we have found, such as George Zimmerman`s
arrest history, the Sanford police chief -- the Sanford police department
said he was squeaky clean. That`s what they told the parents. That he was
squeaky clean.

At a news conference, they were asked, where`d you get that
information from? They got it from George Zimmerman. They`ve been taking
George Zimmerman`s word at everything.

The young lady who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin one minute
before his death, the phone hung up one minute before his death.

This is information that we had to go get. That the family has
gotten. The family has acted as the investigators in this case.

This is a relentless family. They are not giving up. If anyone
thinks that they`re going to stop, they will not.

SCHULTZ: Well, I want to ask you. You said something very
interesting there about how your team has had to do all the work, and
they`ve taken the word of George Zimmerman. Have you been able to
establish any kind of friendship or relationship that you`ve seen between
Zimmerman and the local police department, where they might be giving him
cover?

JACKSON: No, we haven`t.

SCHULTZ: OK.

JACKSON: I mean, you know, everything would be speculation at this
time. But what we have seen, time and time again, is the police
department, the Sanford Police Department, release information that they
consider -- which is not -- they consider favorable to George, without
releasing any other information.

If you`re going to say this is an investigation, make it a real
investigation and that`s the reason they`re saying, we can`t obtain any
information, because there`s an investigation.

SCHULTZ: OK. Natalie Jackson, I appreciate your time tonight.
Thanks so much.

JACKSON: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Later on -- you bet.

Later on in this broadcast, we`re going to hear from longtime
attorney, Mike Papantonio, who works in Florida, and he`ll give us
clarification on the "Stand Your Ground" law, which is at the center of all
of this.

One of the things that is very interesting is that who was pushing the
"Stand Your Ground" law and what are they saying right now? And also,
Governor Jeb Bush was very much in favor of it and there was a tremendous
amount of lobbying that was taking place by the National Rifle Association,
who by the way has been very quiet throughout all of this.

Now let`s turn to Trymaine Lee, senior reporter with the "Huffington
Post," who has been closely following this case. Is Mr. Lee with us?

OK. Trymaine, good to have you with us. What are the latest
developments from Florida? What can you tell us?

TRYMAINE LEE, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, first of all, what kind of
began as a kind of angry whisper is now a roar. You see around the
country, people are mobilizing. The you have the Million Hoodies March in
New York City. In Detroit, there are actions.

And now, it seems the community is galvanizing in a way. And I`ve
been around the block, but I`ve never seen anything like this. Not with
Sean Bell, not with Oscar Grant. It`s just this crazy groundswell.

SCHULTZ: Would you say that this is a sea change when it comes to
dealing with race relations and crime in this country? That this is an
event that has unfolded on Twitter and social media and protests have
brought this to a level of awareness that we`ve never seen before?

LEE: Oh, this is clearly a watershed moment, because for some reason,
this story resonates with black, white, male, female. It could be your
son, it could be me. And we`ve never seen that.

I think this is kind of the perfect confluence. Trayvon Martin, by
all accounts, was an all-American boy. And to be gunned down, I think it
kind of hits home. And I`ve never seen anything like this before.

You say Twitter, I`ve been on it from day one, from the beginning.
And as you know, "The Huffington Post" is all online, thousands of shares
on Facebook, thousands and thousands of comments.

It`s just amazing how social media has got than story out, where in
the past, this might have been brushed under the rug and we may have never
known the name, Trayvon Martin.

SCHULTZ: You deserve a tremendous amount of credit, Mr. Lee, because
you were one of the first reporters that was on this that would bring it to
the level where it is right now. And we`ve heard some stunning 911 tapes,
showing how George Zimmerman pursued the 17-year-old boy. And after being
told not to, even prior to the grand jury investigation, why can want
Zimmerman be arrested on that alone? What authorities telling you in your
reporting?

LEE: Well, first of all, there seems to be enough wiggle room in this
law, where it`s not clear. Because as the law states, you can stand your
ground, regardless of the location. I think that`s what they`re banking
on.

But a few of the co-authors of the original bill spoke to my
colleagues this afternoon, and even they say that George Zimmerman should
have been arrested, because of the pursuit, because he was actually being
the aggressor, that he kind of stepped out of, you know, from under the
umbrella of protection here.

So, as of right now, they seem, at least in terms of the law, the
police chief, as you said, he doesn`t see enough evidence to refute it.
But we`ll see.

SCHULTZ: And finally, would you agree that it has been the release of
the 911 tapes that has really brought this to light at a different level?

LEE: I think until that point, people -- at least in the media, you
know, we deal a lot of times in story lines and stereotypes. And we try to
fit things in a box.

So I think the broader media, we`re trying to figure this out. But
once the 911 tapes were released and you hear the shocking sobs from the
neighbors and you hear those last minutes and you hear Zimmerman`s call, I
think that kind of drove a few points home.

SCHULTZ: And from your reporting, your gut check, what do you think
the next big development is? Will there be an arrest soon?

LEE: I think -- you know, it would be pure speculation, but I think
that`s probably the direction we`re going in, and I wouldn`t be surprised
if Chief Lee was asked to step down.

SCHULTZ: Trymaine Lee, "Huffington Post" -- thank you so much for
joining us tonight.

LEE: Thank you for having me.

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.

Next, the law that is allowing George Zimmerman to roam free got
overwhelming support both from Republicans and Democrats in Florida in
2005. Mike Papantonio will sort it all out for us.

And Bernie Sanders has a plan to bring down gas prices, but
Republicans prefer to keep blaming President Obama.

Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, George Zimmerman is a free man because of
Florida`s "Stand Your Ground" law. Details on who supported the
controversial law when it passed, that`s coming up next.

We`ll compare Paul Ryan`s radical budget with the president`s plan for
America with DCCC chairman, Steve Israel.

And a Romney campaign ad compares their campaign to an Etch a Sketch.
How appropriate. Richard Wolffe will draw some conclusions about Mitt
Romney`s campaign later in this hour.

And I want to know why Scott Walker didn`t get any tough questions
from a FOX News anchor.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I even get choked up when I think about it. If
anything like this would have happened to my brother, I would be livid. So
I think -- I look at Trayvon`s picture and I see my brother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I look at that boy`s picture and my heart breaks
for that family. We lost a child and we know what it`s like when you lose
a child and it`s just the most blatant case of racism and it`s just
outrageous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Voices from all over America speaking out. Florida`s "Stand
Your Ground" law gives people the right to use deadly force and call it
self-defense.

The law allowed George Zimmerman to not only shoot and kill a 17-year-
old, Trayvon Martin, but it has enabled Zimmerman to walk the streets as a
free man.

So how did the law pass the Florida house overwhelmingly and the
senate unanimously?

Well, how about help from the NRA? "Stand Your Ground" was a top
priority of the NRA back in 2005. In fact, Governor Jeb Bush signed the
bill with the National Rifle Association`s lobbyist, Marianne Hammer (ph),
at his side. At the time, Hammer told "UPI," "People shouldn`t have to
depend on law enforcement for protection in every situation," calling
criticism of the measure "silly."

Bush, the governor then, supported that sentiment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: It`s common sense to allow people to defend themselves. And to
have to, when you`re in a position where you`re being threatened, when
there`s a life-threatening situation, to have to retreat and put yourself
in a very precarious position, you know, it defies common sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Former Democratic State Senator Walter Campbell, who
supported and co-sponsored the bill in Florida, now says the measure was
sold to lawmakers as a way to expand self-defense rights. Campbell now
admits the law is being abused.

Along those lines, State Representative Dennis Baxley, another co-
sponsor of the measure, also known as a Castle Doctrine Law, says he stands
by it, but believes it is not being applied properly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE REP. DENNIS BAXLEY (R), FLORIDA: There`s nothing in the castle
doctrine statute that provides authority for you to pursue or confront
other people. This is a self-defense law. There`s nothing in this statute
to protect somebody who is pursuing and confronting other people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So doesn`t anybody on the Sanford Police Department know the
law?

I`m joined tonight by attorney Mike Papantonio, also host of the "Ring
of Fire" radio show.

Mike, sort this out for us. What`s at the crux of all of this? The
interpretation of this law?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RING OF FIRE: Well, it is. As a prosecutor, this --
Zimmerman could be charged with premeditated murder, Ed. There`s no need
for a grand jury. The grand jury is simply a way for the state attorney`s
office to cop out and to pass the buck on this one.

Premeditated murder, a plan to commit premeditated murder can take
place in three to five minutes. It can be formulated in that short a time.

The elements of premeditation certainly exist here. The child was
running away, there was no question about it. He was running away from the
point of conflict. The shooter had been clearly warned, don`t pursue,
we`ll take care of it. Let the professionals take care of it.

And rather than the shooter having a reasonable fear of harm -- and
those are the key words -- a reasonable fear of harm for himself, it`s
clear that there was abundant evidence that Zimmerman was acting out of
rage about this African-American child in his neighborhood. He had stated
that "these people" get away with things like that, and it just shows that
there was more going on in this man`s mind than simply being a neighborhood
watch.

So the real question comes down to this -- what state of mind is the
issue? State of mind comes down and the prosecutors need to focus on the
state of mind, what the state of mind of that person was, when the child
was running away, taking himself away from the conflict, after the shooter
had been told, do not pursue.

So here you have this character that is, you know, he`s been doing
this for years. Driving around the neighborhood, hunting -- the only way I
can characterize is kind of hunting for something.

The real thing that concerns me, Ed, is that you see this type of
thing happen when charges aren`t brought. Usually, where there is a
confidential informant, when somebody has been working for the authorities
in some capacity.

You remember, this is a man who was charged with battery on a police
officer. I think it`s remarkable that that was just dropped out of thin
air. You don`t get away with battery on a police officer.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

PAPANTONIO: And you almost ask yourself, was that time that he became
an informant? We don`t know. There`s been no discussion about that.

But that`s something these lawyers need to be asking about.
Otherwise, it doesn`t make any sense that they failed to perform even basic
forensics that points to --

SCHULTZ: Mike, has the NRA done a terrible disservice to the state of
Florida and other states by passing this law, under the guise that, hey,
they got to protect gun rights? Look what this has delivered us.

PAPANTONIO: The real problem to me, Ed, is not -- the NRA is the
problem, but the real problem is the politician who jumps behind the NRA,
simply because the NRA is feeding him a bunch of campaign money. That`s
what happened here.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

PAPANTONIO: When Jeb Bush thought this was a good idea to pass this,
if you follow the money on it, it was the NRA -- as a matter of fact, Jeb
Bush at one point said, listen, you got my brother, George, elected, I`m
grateful for that.

And you start following the money on this, there was no reason for
this law to pass.

SCHULTZ: So there was very little pushback -- there was very little
push back on this law in Florida because of the influence of the NRA.

Now, moving forward, do you have any confidence that the grand jury,
with the character of this part of the country, is going to be able to
deliver justice?

PAPANTONIO: Ed, people don`t understand, the grand jury is going to
be completely influenced by the state attorney who presents the evidence.
This state attorney, obviously, has blown this case from the beginning. So
to think that a grand jury is going to be able to be influenced in a
positive way by this prosecutor is very far-fetched.

SCHULTZ: And what about the Justice Department being involved?

PAPANTONIO: Well, the Justice Department, if anything, at best, Ed,
it`s going to cause the state attorney to maybe try a little bit harder.
But from what the Justice Department can really do here, from the
standpoint of a civil rights case or a hate crime case, it`s going to be a
long stretch.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

PAPANTONIO: The positive thing is the Justice Department looking over
the shoulder may cause these officers and the state attorney`s office to do
the right thing.

SCHULTZ: And quickly, do you see this law being changed in Florida
because of this?

PAPANTONIO: Probably not. The NRA has such a strong hold in lobbying
here in this state, it would be very difficult.

SCHULTZ: All right. And it`s in 23 states around America.

Mike Papantonio, thanks for joining us tonight.

Paul Ryan is trying to sell his budget to the people it will actually
harm the most. Congressman Steve Israel tells us why the Republicans are
pushing such a dangerous vision for America.

And Scott Walker is playing the victim, pretending like he`s a
grassroots candidate. He`s hoping we`ll forget all about the Koch
brothers` money that he`s taken in from out of state. Not a chance.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Congressman Paul Ryan claims there`s bipartisan support for
the billionaire tax cuts and eliminating Medicare as we know it. It`s all
in the budget. Here`s how Ryan is trying to sell his radical budget plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: This is an emerging bipartisan
consensus on how to save and strengthen this program, how to make sure
people in and near retirement can actually count on these promises, and how
we can save this program for the next generation without bankrupting their
children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Bipartisan? How many Democrats are on board? I haven`t
heard any speak up, on board with Ryan`s budget plan, which is nothing but
Robinhood in reverse. And no polling anywhere shows support for any of its
radical changes to social programs.

Americans overwhelmingly want to leave Medicare alone. Democrats,
Republicans, and independents, they all agree. Most people also want taxes
raised on Americans making more than 250,000 dollars a year. But Ryan`s
budget not only gives the wealthy and corporations a three trillion dollar
tax cut, it cuts billions from social programs and adds to the military
budget.

Today, a group of religious leaders signed a joint statement
condemning cuts. One signature was from Father Thomas Kelly of Wisconsin.
He wrote, "as a constituent of Congressman Ryan and a Catholic priest, I`m
disappointed by his cruel budget plan and outraged that he defends it on
moral grounds."

Republicans are providing a stark contrast to the president`s vision
for America. Democrats need to run on this and run on it hard.

Let`s turn to New York Congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the DCCC.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. I mean, this is the golden
turkey for you to carve up. I mean, what in this budget is popular?

REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: Well, I`ll tell you, there is very
little about this budget that is popular or that is right. The more we
study the details of this budget, the more we realized it is stacked
against the middle class, seniors, and working families.

Four quick things, Ed, that this budget does. If you`re a
billionaire, in this budget, you get an average tax cut of 150,000 dollars.
If you`re an oil company, you get a tax break. If you`re a company that
ships jobs overseas, you get a tax break. If you`re a senior citizen, you
lose the Medicare benefit as we know it. And it`s ultimately going to cost
you an additional 6,000 dollars.

So once again we have Republican priorities that are stacked against
the middle class, stacked against seniors, and that favor oil companies,
billionaires, and companies that ship jobs overseas.

SCHULTZ: So that is a hard number, 6,000 dollars is going to be the
count on seniors who are on Medicare?

ISRAEL: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Ryan Plan
will cost the typical senior -- and it could cost the typical senior an
additional 6,000 dollars, ultimately, because they essentially put seniors
in the greatest generation on an allowance. They give you a voucher.

SCHULTZ: Yes, now it`s up to messaging. How will the Democrats do
this?

ISRAEL: Well, we`re going to do it the way we`ve been doing it for
the past year. We`re going to hold these Republicans accountable in every
single congressional district. We need 25 seats to take the majority and
protect Medicare and protect the middle class.

And we have put these Republicans on notice. If you`re going to vote
against Medicare in order to protect billionaires, we`re going to hold you
accountable and we`re going to let the people in your districts make the
decisions.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Ryan -- Mitt Romney was given a chance to weigh in on
the Ryan Budget yesterday. Here`s what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m very supportive of the
Ryan Budget Plan. I think it`s a bold and exciting effort on his part and
the part of the Republicans. And it`s very much consistent with what I put
out earlier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Congressman, why are so they dogmatic about this when
there`s just no majority support anywhere for any of this? But why do they
keep pushing it?

ISRAEL: Well, look, years ago, the Republicans said that they wanted
Medicare to wither on a vine. I have to give them credit. They are true
to their beliefs.

The problem is that they are not truthful with senior citizens. They
are not truthful with middle class families. This budget is an assault on
seniors and middle class families. And it is part of an extremist agenda
to simply end Medicare in order to protect the biggest oil companies we
have in the country.

SCHULTZ: Well, that vulture chart that I put up from time to time, I
tell you what, this is nothing but vitamins for that. Because this is
going to take the red line further to the top. And it is going to hurt the
blue liners more than you`ve ever seen, and also seniors.

Seniors vote. But it`s interesting how the Republicans are doing
everything they possibly can on a state level to disenfranchise minorities
and seniors when it comes to voter I.D. laws around this country. It all
ties together.

Congressman Steve Israel, great to have you with us tonight.

ISRAEL: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to
continue producing oil and gas at a record pace. That`s got to be part of
what we do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Republicans are standing in the way of lower gas prices and
Senator Bernie Sanders is doing something about it. He`s coming here to
explain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: What we saw last year about this
time was when money and bodies came in from out of the state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Scott Walker is still spreading lies over on Fox. We`ll
bring you the facts.

And a top Romney adviser makes the gaffe of the year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC FEHRNSTROM, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: I think he hit a
reset button for the fall campaign. It`s almost like an Etch a Sketch.
You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe on Mitt Romney`s Etch a Sketch moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Today, President Obama kicked off a four-state tour to
promote his energy policies in the wake of relentless Republican attacks,
blaming the president for high gas prices.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president of the
United States has done everything possible to shut down energy production.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president and his
secretary of anti-energy, Dr. Chu, have has a goal of getting to us pay
European-level prices of eight or nine dollars.

ROMNEY: He has done everything in his power to make it harder for us
to get oil and natural gas in this country, driving up the price of those
commodities, in the case of gasoline.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So they`re sharing talking points. What else is new? All
these guys are lying, as President Obama pointed out today in Nevada.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I just want everybody to be clear, because sometimes when you
listen to the news and you listen to some of these other politicians, they
seem a little bit confused about what I`m saying. We are going to continue
producing oil and gas at a record pace. That`s got to be part of what we
do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Fact, domestic oil production is at its highest level in
eight years. There are more oil rigs working in the United States than the
rest of the world combined. You won`t here that on Fox News.

And tomorrow, the president is expected to announce his administration
will help expedite the southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. I
thought the president was against that.

But all of this drilling has not brought down gas prices, as we`ve
reported before, because there is no direct correlation. One factor that
does directly affect gas prices is oil speculation. And while Republicans
are throwing blame around, Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced
legislation for the Republicans to step up and help him stop the
speculators and bring the prices down.

Independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders joins us tonight.
Senator, good to have you with us. Again, you`re doing great work.

Give us the numbers, senator. How much of a problem is speculation?
And if your bill were to get through and signed, what would it do to the
price?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, this is what we do know, Ed:
there is now more supply available in America today than there was three
years ago, when the price of gas was a buck 90 a gallon.

There`s less demand now than there was at any time since 1997. So
we`re not looking at a supply and demand problem. What we also know is
that over 80 percent -- repeat, over 80 percent of the oil futures market
is not controlled by people who actually use the oil, airlines, et cetera,
but by Wall Street speculators, like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley.

SCHULTZ: Who are trying to make a dollar.

SANDERS: Whose only goal in life in terms of being on the oil futures
market is to make as much money as they possibly can. Now, there have been
differing estimates as to how much would be saved if we ended the excessive
speculation that we have got to end.

But this is interesting. Goldman Sachs, itself -- and Goldman Sachs
may be the major speculator on the oil futures market. They have estimates
that the price of a gallon of gas would go down by 56 cents. Other
suggests that the number might be -- that the number might go down even
lower.

SCHULTZ: And senator, you heard those sound bites from those three
Republican candidates. Are they lying?

SANDERS: Yeah, they are. The truth is, as the president indicated,
we are doing a lot of oil drilling right now. But I think at the root of
the problem, is not the supply issue. I think the root of the problem is
that our friends on Wall Street, who caused this recession through their
greed, are at it again, and by manipulating the oil futures market, they`re
driving up prices.

What we are trying to do, Ed, now is demand that the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission, an arcane agency which regulates the oil futures
market, use emergency power to end excessive speculation.

SCHULTZ: Now, we`ve been down this road before. Identical
legislation was overwhelmingly passed in the House in 2008. And it`s not
likely to pass the House this time. Obviously, the Republicans are going
to try to make this an issue. This really has been their best issue,
blaming the president for gas prices, don`t you think?

SANDERS: I think it`s a potent issue because people are disgusted.
They`re profoundly angry. And it`s hurting the entire economy. But I`m
not as pessimistic as you might be.

I think if we rally the American people to say, end excessive
speculation, let supply and demand play the role it`s supposed to play, we
could win in the House as well.

SCHULTZ: Senator, great to have you with us tonight. Great work.
Thank you so much.

SANDERS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Scott Walker lied through his teeth about the recall
election this week on Fox News. Fox host Greta Van Susteren, did she let
him off the hook? Oh, yeah. I got commentary, ahead.

And Tim Tebow may be taking a knee in the swamps of New Jersey.
Breaking Tim Tebow news coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ELWAY, DENVER BRONCOS: We don`t know yet. We haven`t got that
far. We`re still in the process. That is a possibility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: John Elway of the Denver Broncos introducing his new
quarterback, Peyton Manning. Today, the New York Jets announced that they
had agreed to a trade with Denver for Tebow. That means the Heisman Trophy
winner and right wing icon would come to play in the swamps of New Jersey
for a foul-mouthed coach who starred in softcore footsie flicks.

Sounds like an odd couple to me.

But hold on a minute, late today, the deal hit a snag. No deal yet
because of a contract issue.

Meanwhile, other news in the league, an unprecedented move, the NFL
suspended New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton for a year without pay.
Payton is accused of trying to cover up a system of cash payouts to players
for things like interceptions, fumble recoveries, and injuring other
players.

According to the NFL, multiple sources have confirmed that several
players pledged funds towards bounties on specific opposing players with
defensive captain Jonathan Vilma, offering 10,000 dollars to any player who
knocked Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game in 2010.

In my opinion, the Saints should forfeit their Super Bowl trophy and
it should go right to the Vikings. But I`m not holding my breath.

Coming up, Scott Walker is -- well, he`s laying it on really thick.
And I`m going to set the record straight big time.

And it is one of the worst political gaffes in modern history.
Richard Wolffe on today`s Etch a Sketch moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker lied his way through an
interview on Fox News this week. And Greta Van Susteren, the anchor, let
him do it with such hardball questions like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Your recall, how`s it going?

So far, you don`t have any opponents, official opponents. Why?

Who is considered the most serious candidate among most people?

Why has it gotten so fierce here?

Do you have any regret how you handled the collective bargaining
issue?

Give me the state of the state. How are you doing?

What`s your unemployment level?

Is that a fair description of this, that this has been hijacked, to
some degree, by the -- on the national level?

Well, I think this is going to be a very fascinating recall race.

Governor, nice to see you. And of course, go Badgers this week,
right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I need some journalism professor from any college in
America, from a reputable college that teaches journalism, to step forward
on THE ED SHOW and tell me that was just one hell of an interview. What
journalism professor would think that this is a good interview. Who?
Question mark.

I want to know.

Scott Walker is facing the largest recall election in the history, and
Greta van Susteren asks him, how`s it going? She completely ignored the
fact Republicans have lost their majority in the Senate with the recent
retirement of Tea Partier Pam Galloway. And not once did she ask about the
ongoing John Doe investigation centered around Walker`s time as Milwaukee
County Executive, and that interview was done in Milwaukee.

The investigation has already resulted -- and I know it`s not a big
deal for journalism to bring this up -- 15 felony charges and three
misdemeanors against six of Scott Walker`s closest aides and associates.
Walker has set up a legal defense fund. I`m sure governors all over the
country do that. They`ve set up a legal defense fund and hired a couple of
criminal attorneys.

But Greta pretended like, well, that really didn`t happen. Her weak
interview let Walker get away with lies like this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: The out of state money, even before there was a recall
campaign, clearly came from the big government unions and special interests
from Washington. You`re going to see the vast majority of money coming in,
I believe, from out of the state, in the end. And yes, there are people
helping all across the country.

But our last report showed that more than 76 percent of our
contributions came from people who gave us 50 dollars or less. When you
see the buses of people come in, the charter planes coming in, and the
money being spent. I mean, they dumped four to five million dollars even
before any campaigns last year, attacking me and attacking the process.
You know, that`s been hard to recover from.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Walker playing the victim again. But in reality, he is the
one raking in out of state money. In just the last month, he picked up
200,000 dollars from Florida, 700,000 dollars from the Koch Brothers.
Walker is getting away with it because the right-ringers on Fox are giving
him a pass.

Tell me, Greta, what kind of grade would you give yourself on that
interview with all these investigations and felonies?

Mitt Romney`s campaign spokesman let the cat out of the bag. He
revealed the true strategy of the Romney campaign. And now Romney`s
opponents are jumping all over him. Richard Wolffe joins me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked you does George Zimmerman
need to be arrested so justice can be served? Ninety nine percent of you
say yes; one percent of you say no.

Coming up, Mitt Romney`s campaign aide shakes up the conversation by
comparing their campaign to an Etch a Sketch. Richard Wolffe joins me
next. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, Mitt Romney won Illinois last
night, the primary, but disaster struck early this morning. His senior
adviser -- senior adviser -- went on TV and gave an eye-opening response to
a question about campaign strategy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a concern that the pressure from Santorum
and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right, it would
hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think he hit a re-set button for the fall
campaign. Everything changes. It`s almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can
kind of shake it up and we start all over again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney`s camp may have given Rick Santorum some new
momentum. Santorum hit the trail today, armed with an Etch a Sketch, and a
clear message to conservative voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: You take whatever he said and just shake it up and it will
be gone. And he`s going to draw a whole new picture for the general
election. Well, that should be comforting to all of you who are voting in
this primary, that whoever you`re going to vote for is going to be a
completely new candidate. Remove all trace of any kind of marks and be
able to draw a new picture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney looked like a lock for the nomination. He was on a
path to the magic number of delegates, 1144. But after his adviser`s
comment s, Romney`s campaign is totally shaken up. See how easily that
happens?

Joining me tonight is MSNBC political analyst, Richard Wolffe.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC ANCHOR: Very impressive, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You know what, I haven`t used one of these -- you know,
these are 52 years old, I believe, or 59 years old. How much damage
control is needed now? If this is really going to be the thinking of the
Romney camp, or was this just a misstep in words?

WOLFFE: Well, look, I know people are having fun with this whole
metaphor thing all day. And yes, yes, he is a blank screen, and you can
erase him at any point with a flick of a wrist. Yes, he`s a mechanical
device, and the more time you spend with him, the less you like him.

But, actually, you remember the Etch a Sketch was a 1950s invention
built for decades by the American workers, whose jobs were all outsourced
to China. So is this a metaphor for Romney? You tell me.

SCHULTZ: Romney responded to the comments this afternoon. Here it
is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The issues I`m running on will be exactly the same. I`m
running as a conservative Republican. I was a conservative Republican
governor. I`ll be running as a conservative Republican nominee -- excuse
me, at that point, hopefully, nominee for president. The policies and
positions are the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Richard, we are talking about a senior adviser saying that
once this primary`s over, they can just wipe the slate clean and start all
over again and we get a brand-new candidate from the right. What do you
think?

WOLFFE: You know, he was asked the specific question, are you tacking
too far -- is a candidate going too far to the right to alienate moderate
voters? And that was his response. The idea that you can have a reset,
that we`ll just forget everything he`s ever said and every position he`s
ever said.

Either he thinks people have amnesia or he thinks the Obama campaign
is completely incompetent. In this environment, you cannot wipe anything
clean. The video will be played forever, as if it happened yesterday.

So even naive or dumb or brilliant strategy masquerading as
amateurism.

SCHULTZ: But with all of this, you can`t deny the fact that he`s
shifted up positions on the campaign trail before the Etch a Sketch?

WOLFFE: He shifts his positions all the time. And he prides himself
on the fact that you cannot even assess where his positions are, for
instance, the budget that can not be scored. But there is something
inherently slippery. It`s not just about shifting positions. It`s
positions you cannot get your arms around.

He thinks that is going to carry him through. He thinks that hatred
of Obama is going to carry him through. But you`ve got to stand for
something. And the Etch a Sketch stands for jaggedy lines that don`t look
like much.

SCHULTZ: Or it could be a senior adviser who has no idea where his
candidate is, and he`s just looking for an out, so he can get back on these
shows and cover his fanny on stuff like that.

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

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "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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