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The Ed Show for Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Guests: Karen Finney; E.J. Dionne, Turner Clayton, James Peterson, Trymaine Lee, Dan Gelber, Tammy

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

You are looking live at the rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin rally
in Sanford, Florida. And there is late-breaking news tonight: Florida
Governor Rick Scott has just announced a new state attorney and a task
force to respond to the Trayvon Martin case.

This story is far from over and millions of Americans are still hungry
for justice.

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


decision that I must temporarily remove myself from the position as police

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Sanford`s police chief is out. And the rally
for Trayvon Martin is under way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I only want one thing. It`s real simple. I
want an arrest.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Turner Clayton Jr. of the NAACP, "The Huffington
Post`s" Trymaine Lee, and Dr. James Peterson on America`s perfect storm of

The Etch a Sketch candidate is shaking up the facts again.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I keep hearing the president
say that he`s responsible for keeping America for going into a deep
depression. No, no, no. That was President George W. Bush and Hank

SCHULTZ: "The Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne on the latest Mitt
Romney delusion.

Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich come down with a case of Obama derangement

policies are to apologize to Muslim extremists while they`re killing

SCHULTZ: Tonight, we`ll cure them with the facts.

And it`s the American hero versus the American zero.

REP. JOE WALSH (R), ILLINOIS: There`s already messiness in place.
You know what? This pisses me off.

SCHULTZ: Iraq veteran Tammy Duckworth is taking on alleged deadbeat
Joe Walsh. Tonight, Tammy Duckworth is my exclusive guest.


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

It`s been 25 days since the killing of a Florida teenager Trayvon
Martin and there are still no arrest of the shooter. There were major
developments on the case today with my commentary coming up in just a

Governor Rick Scott has changed the state attorney on the case. He
has also announced a task force to convene after the investigation is

The Sanford police chief, Bill Lee, has temporarily stepped down.


LEE: I stand by the Sanford Police Department, its personnel and
investigation that was conducted in regards to the Trayvon Martin case. It
is apparent my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process.
Therefore, I have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove
myself from the position as police chief for the city of Sanford.

It is my hope the investigation process will move forward swiftly and
appropriately through the justice system, and that a final determination in
this case is reached.


SCHULTZ: A temporary move? What does that mean?

The killing of Trayvon Martin has led to calls for the police chief to
resign. Trayvon`s parents said the police chief`s action was not enough.


SABRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: I think since the chief has
stepped down, it`s a temporary relief but we need a permanent relief. I
still say we need an arrest.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: We want an arrest. We want a
conviction, and we want him sentenced for the murder of our son.


SCHULTZ: Just moments ago, thousands converged in Sanford, Florida,
the rally, led by my colleague here at MSNBC, the founder of the National
Action Network, Reverend Al Sharpton.

Earlier today, Trayvon`s parents met with United States Justice
Department officials. The media included the U.S. attorney for the middle
district of Florida, Robert O`Neill, and the official from the civil rights

The effects of Florida`s "Stand Your Ground" law are coming to light
like never before and under scrutiny. Reports of justifiable homicide have
tripled in Florida after the law went into effect in 2005. The law has
been invoked in 93 cases with 65 deaths. The law has been used as an
excuse to shoot in deadly arguments between neighbors, in bar fights, in
road rage incidents, and in gang shootings.

U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings has called for the repeal of Florida`s
"Stand Your Ground" law. Self-defense is being twisted into a license to
kill. It`s worse when racism is added to the mix. Opponents of Florida`s
stand your ground law predicted it would lead to racially motivated

Today, Congressman John Lewis said this.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: It reminded me of that awful day,
August 28th, 1955, when Emmitt Till was lynched in Mississippi. There
should be a sense of righteous indignation in America, the same way that we
had during the days of lynching and when people had been beaten in the
streets during the height of the civil rights movement.


SCHULTZ: The lynching of Emmitt Till was in a different era, before
the Civil Rights Act. The killing of Trayvon Martin is another turning
point in the nation`s long history of coming to terms with race relations
and simple justice.

His death has caused a national outrage at an exponential level.
Social media has galvanized, shocked and sadness in a way we haven`t seen
before. Americans are incensed by this killing.

But we are also taking a good hard look at those so-called laws that
are in the way, like the "Stand Your Ground" laws. The law passed in
Florida in 2005, under pressure from the National Rifle Association, and
was later adopted by 19 other states. It took a citizen`s right to self-
defense and twisted it into a license to kill in many respects.

The effects of this law have been building since 2005 and it took the
death of a 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, to shine a light on it.

What we are witnessing here -- I think we are witnessing the perfect
storm of injustice in America. What we have here is a very poorly written
law. We are living in a time when law enforcement is getting slashed to
fit state budgets.

And it`s not happening in a vacuum. This is what these budget cuts
are all about. We`ve got vigilantes out on the streets when we should have
more cops on the street. Cops are on the beat and they are under attack
across this station and departments are understaffed.

Overtime, we`re going to have a new atmosphere being created in this
country. You know what it`s going to be? Every man for himself. Is that
what we want in America?

We are truly becoming because of all these budget cutbacks across
America, acting as if none of this is going to affect anything? You know
what we`re becoming? We`re becoming leaner and we`re becoming meaner. And
it`s happening so fast we can`t even get justice in our system.

Whether you are for or against your laws out there that say stand your
ground, you will never see it in the same way again. The killing of
Trayvon Martin draws a line of demarcation. Those in favor of these laws
are forced to defend it. We may be witnessing a sea change. But, again,
only time will tell.

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

Tonight`s question: Should the "Stand Your Ground" laws in America be

Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. And you can always go to
our blog at and leave a comment. I`ll bring you the results
of the poll later in the show.

I am joined tonight by Turner Clayton, Jr., president of the Seminole
Country NAACP.

Mr. Clayton, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your

I want your reaction tonight, first to the news of the day to the
Sanford police chief, Bill Lee, temporarily removing himself. What does
temporary mean to you?

he is stepping aside just for the time it takes to conduct this
investigation. Now, we here in the city of Sanford do not agree with that.
We think that this man should be terminated or he should tender his

SCHULTZ: And what`s the reaction of the people there when they heard
this news today? That did they think this was some kind of window dressing
to the situation or did they think this was a real move forward?

CLAYTON: Well, they just take it as a temporary move forward. It`s
no real fix. So -- because the city commission had a 3-2 vote on last
night, that they had no faith in the chief, it was up to the city manager
to make a decision. The city manager didn`t want to make a decision on

So at 12:00 noon today, myself, along with a few other people, had a
meeting with the city manager and we told him we wanted this man off the
job as of today, no if and buts about it. So they decided they would talk
with him and force him into tendering a simple resignation of temporary.

SCHULTZ: So, it wasn`t until your meeting today at noon that this
decision was made for the police chief to step aside for a while?

CLAYTON: That is correct. They had said that they was not going to
make any decision about the chief until all the reports have been completed
and in. But like I said, we talked with him today. We told him if he did
not make a decision today, that we would go to the city commission and we
would ask for his resignation.

And, of course, they also have the power to remove the city manager as
well. So, he realized that this was coming, so he decided he would go to
the chief and force him to temporarily step aside until the investigation
is complete.

SCHULTZ: Well, Mr. Clayton, what you`re telling us tonight is that
all of this pressure is having an effect. What do you expect this rally
tonight to have an effect on the community and on what is being handled in
law enforcement and the operation of the city?

CLAYTON: Well, it`s had -- this rally is definitely having an effect.
Because of the number of people that showed up here tonight to show their
support for the Martin family and the fact that we are looking for justice.
We want to make sure justice prevails in this case. By having the chief of
police step aside, that is only a small portion of the justice.

Now, the governor of the state of Florida has appointed a special
prosecutor because we don`t really have faith in the state attorney in this
circuit to actually do the right thing. He wanted to pass the buck to a
grand jury and have the grand jury make the decision for him.

So, I applaud the governor for stepping in and appointing a special
prosecutor in this case.

SCHULTZ: You applaud the governor but is he also slow to the punch
here on this?

CLAYTON: Could you repeat that? I have a lot of background noise
behind me.

SCHULTZ: I know you do. I appreciate you being with us.

I just want to know if you think the governor is doing a reactionary
move here, to all of this pressure, because it seems like the governor has
been slow to move on this?

CLAYTON: Yes, he was very slow to move on it. The pressure of these
rallies has definitely got to the governor. He seen that we are not going
to stop until justice is served.

As I told the city commission last night, the line has been drawn in
the stand and we will stand our ground. We know that law enforcement is
improperly using this particular law because it does not apply in this
case. There is too much probably cause and the city police department
failed to collect major evidence that was needed in this case.

SCHULTZ: Turner Clayton, Jr., how many people are there tonight? Can
you tell us?

CLAYTON: We estimate there has to be at least 30,000 people here

SCHULTZ: The head of the chapter of the NAACP from Florida, we`re
joined tonight by Turner Clayton, Jr. I appreciate your time. Thank you,

Now, let`s turn to Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana studies
and associate professor of English at Lehigh University, and Trymaine Lee,
senior reporter for "The Huffington Post" who is at the rally in Sanford as

Gentlemen, thank you for your time.

Professor, let me ask you first, what are your impressions of what
you`re seeing on television tonight, 30,000 people? And also what`s your
take on the fact this police officer, this police chief was not going to
step down until he was pressured at a noon meeting today?

JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Well, first, I`m inspired by the
show of support not only for the community there in Sanford, but also the
rally they had, the hoodie rally they had in New York City, the one they`re
planning in Philadelphia for Friday at 7:00 p.m. I`m really inspired that
people throughout this nation and really around the world are rallying
around this cause because is the probably the most egregious example of
justice I have seen in my lifetime.

So, I`m happy we`re rising to the call and rising to the challenge to
address this issue.

Now, in terms of the police chief, that temporary needs to go. He
needs to step down permanently and not step aside temporarily. Basically
by stepping aside temporarily, he`s conceding the fact his presence in this
investigation is impeding the investigation. With that knowledge, if he
was a really good criminal justice law enforcement officer, he would step
down permanently so he could be removed from this situation and we could
take one more step towards justice for Trayvon Martin.

SCHULTZ: Trymaine Lee, what`s the mood of the crowd tonight? Is
there a real sense of something has to happen?

TRYMAINE LEE, THE HUFFINGTON POST: You can actually feel it under
your feet. I talked to one young man earlier. And he said it reminded him
of the million man march, the feeling of excitement and exuberance. The
wave that you feel of energy coming across the crowd is just amazing.

SCHULTZ: Will the Sanford Police Department sit back now and wait for
the grand jury to make a determination instead of doing its job and
arresting George Zimmerman? What`s your take on that, Mr. Lee?

LEE: Well, even before we get to that point, community leaders are
hoping the Department of Justice will get into the roots of the Sanford
Police Department and start looking at past cases of abuse.

In town hall meetings the past few days, folks have talked about being
humiliated and abused by the police unjustly. So, even before we get to
that point, there is a lot of hope in the community that once the
Department of Justice gets in, they will be able to turn this place upside

SCHULTZ: All right. And you and I talked about a sea change last
night. We saw the police chief move today, we saw the governor move today
-- is this now starting to get some wheels and move faster?

LEE: That`s what we`re seeing actually. The will of the people seems
to be bending. And I`m not sure who wants to be on the wrong side of
history on this one. So, I wouldn`t be surprised if we see developments in
the coming days. It`s purely the will of the people and the energy and the
excitement behind -- as the Reverend Al Sharpton said, it`s a movement now.
And, you know, we`ll see how it goes.

SCHULTZ: All right. Trymaine Lee and Dr. James Peterson, I
appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for being with us here on THE ED
SHOW. I wish we had more time.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. I mean, what do you think
about 30,000 people showing up there tonight. We want your tweets.

Up next, do the politicians who passed the "Stand Your Ground" laws
have the guts to repeal them? Not only in Florida but all over the
country. We`ll talk to a Florida legislator who warned that the
tragedies like Trayvon Martin`s killing would happen.

And the Obama derangement syndrome is sweeping the Republican Party.
Mitt Romney and Karl Rove are caught stretching the truth yet again today.
We`ll set them straight.

This is THE ED SHOW. Stay with us. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: Opponents of the Florida "Stand
Your Ground" law spoke of the dangers back in 2005. Former Florida State
Senator Dan Gelber joins me.

And also, Mitt Romney can`t blame the president for ruining the
economy. So, instead, he`s crediting the man who got us into this mess.

And it`s considered one of the most important races this November.
I`ll talk to Tammy Duckworth, a candidate facing Illinois Tea Party
Congressman Joe Walsh later in this hour.

And you are looking live at 30,000 people who are protesting in
Sanford, Florida. We`ll have more on that protest and more discussion
about the tragedy unfolding in Florida.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using the #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Reverend Al Sharpton spoke earlier tonight at the rally in
Sanford, Florida, and we`ll have some of that later on in the show.

Here it is.


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Trayvon could have been any one of our
sons. Trayvon could have been any one of us. Trayvon represents a
reckless disregard for our lives that we`ve seen too long. And we come to
tell you tonight: enough is enough.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

That was Reverend Al Sharpton at the rally today of Trayvon Martin in
Sanford, Florida, just moments ago.

The terrible effects of Florida`s "Stand Your Ground" law have been
mounting and they were predictable.

I`m joined tonight by Dan Gelber, former Florida state senator and
former federal state prosecutor.

Mr. Gelber, I appreciate your time tonight.

I want your response to what you`re seeing on TV right now. That live
shot of 30,000 people in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin and also
the conversations surrounding this law. What are your thoughts when you
see that crowd?

DAN GELBER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, first of all, we have to
understand that behind everything, there is a family that lost a child, the
child was killed unnecessarily, unfairly, and now, they`re upset because
there doesn`t seem to be justice available for this horrible act. That`s
what the frustration is and it`s absolutely understandable.

We`re a nation of laws and the idea our laws are such that that act of
aggression is not going to be vindicated in the courts possibly is
upsetting people and absolutely understandably so.

SCHULTZ: What do you think of the law now? Did you feel before it
was passed, that we were going to have instances like this? Since we have
seen it passed in 2005, there have been 93 cases resulting in 65 deaths.

GELBER: Well, I was a federal prosecutor. I also come from a family
of prosecutors. My wife`s been a federal prosecutor for 20 years. You
don`t need to be in law enforcement to know that when you tell somebody you
can be stupid and irresponsible and malicious, and so long as you say you
felt like you were being attacked at some point, you can do whatever you

And if you give people the license to act stupid or vehemently or
what-have-you, then this is going to happen.

And those of us that did not support this, and there were 20 House
member, I was in the House at the time, the Senate passed this anonymously,
we said this was going to happen. We said -- we were telling people,
you`re going to -- you can do whatever you want so long as you say to
somebody later, I thought I was in danger so I used whatever force I felt
necessary, you can get away with murder.

And that`s literally what`s been happening in Florida, for a
legislature that constantly claims they value life, this provision, the
"Stand Your Ground" provision endorses behavior that absolutely devalues

SCHULTZ: Well, what do you say to your former colleagues who are in
the legislature in Florida? Do they need to address this? Do they need to
repeal it and start over?

GELBER: I think they`d be incredibly obtuse if they didn`t go back in
a special session. They were in one today, by the way and address it. The
governor was a little bit late but at least he realizes that are tens of
thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Floridians
who are aghast at what is playing out here.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gelber, I want to ask you. There has been a lot of talk
about the NRA and their lobbying efforts. What instances took place that
forced the legislature and Governor Jeb Bush at the time to sign this law?
I mean, were there a bunch of killings that people had to be armed or was
this really the work of ALEC and the National Rifle Association lobbying
just because they wanted people to have firearms?

GELBER: Listen, the NRA is a victim of their success in that they
have won all the major battles. So, they look for these fringe issues now.

I asked this during the legislative session when it was passed. Every
single person in support of it, I said, give me a single person in Florida,
name one, who has been unfairly charged, unfairly convicted or acquitted
because they used defense and they didn`t have the protection of the "Stand
Your Ground" bill.

There was not a single instance in Florida of a single person
suffering in any way. This was a solution in search of a problem and the
predictable and unfortunately unintended consequence are what we`re seeing
right now, a man who potentially is going to have a defense for the
horrible slaying of a child.

SCHULTZ: You speak volumes, Mr. Gelber. I appreciate your time on
THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.

You`re a great resource. We`re going to want to come back to you,
speaking common sense to a very tragic situation. Thank you very much.

GELBER: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Up next, Mitt Romney giving "W" credit for saving the
economy? He must really want us to forget the Etch a Sketch controversy.

And later, Jeb Bush has plenty of time to talk politics, but hasn`t
take a stand on the "Stand Your Ground," a law he signed as governor of

Stay tuned, you`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Well, we call it the Obama derangement syndrome. And, you know, it`s
sweeping across the Republican Party in case you haven`t noticed.

Karl Rove is doing his best, his part to smear the president, saying
that the death of Osama bin Laden just wasn`t a big deal. Today, in the
"Wall Street Journal," he wrote, "Mr. Obama did what virtually any
commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President
Clinton says in the film, `That`s the call I would have made.` For this to
be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare
the White House cupboards are.

Well, first of all, Rove is distorting President Clinton`s words.
Here`s what he actually said.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: He took the harder and more
honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, I hope
that`s a call I would have made.


SCHULTZ: Rove`s version of Clinton`s quote was so far out of context,
the "Wall Street Journal" changed it and emphasized Karl Rove`s lie in an
editorial note.

And Clinton is not the only former president to recognize the perhaps
of killing Osama bin Laden. Turd Blossom`s old boss also thought it was
pretty big deal and called it a momentous achievement. Karl Rove is way
out on a limp on this one.

Let`s bring in Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and former
communications director for the democratic national party. Why is Rove
doing that?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, because what else does
he have to talk about? I mean, if it is really not such a big deal, then
why didn`t they go ahead and do it when they had a chance?

SCHULTZ: So, let`s see. The economy isn`t recovering and killing
Osama bin Laden was really no big deal.

FINNEY: That`s right. And you know, don`t even think about that
little part about, you know, the definite that President Obama inherited
and that surplus that President Bush blew away.

SCHULTZ: So as a former DNC communications director, what`s the best
way to respond to the way Rove is doing this? I mean, if he`s doing it
this early, it`s not going to stop.

FINNEY: It`s not going to stop. But it also shows frankly that
they`re scared. I mean, they know that their ammo is actually dwindling.
They have no so confident about going out after Obama on the economy,
because here`s the truth.

You and I both know that Americans it`s very hard to take down an
incumbent president particularly when he can make the argument things are
getting better. People are not going to want to switch gears in the middle
if they believe things are getting better. And things are getting better.
So, the only thing they can do is to try to undermine President Obama and
the classic Republican way, I learned this in the Clinton years as you try
to go after your opponent`s strength. We know taking down Osama bin Laden
was a very big deal.

SCHULTZ: So, if we`re playing the word game when I was a kid, I used
to watch the game "password." I guess the word is desperation.


SCHULTZ: Newt Gingrich is also pushing the Obama derangement syndrome
yesterday. He refused to correct someone at a campaign who called
President Obama a Muslim. Then he went on FOX News and said this about the


policies are to apologize to Muslim extremists who are there killing
Americans at the same time that is waging war against the catholic church.
He went to occur a Christian church for over 20 year. Why is it he is more
sensitive to radical Islamists who are killing young Americans than he is
to the Catholic church, Baptists, to fundamentalist, to people who are pro-
abortion, I mean who are pro-life. I mean, the fact is, this is a very
strange presidency.


SCHULTZ: Is that desperation?

FINNEY: That`s cowardice. Are you kidding me? I mean to attack the
president? Why didn`t he stand up to the guy who says, you know, called
the president a Muslim? The only reason, these guys are terrified to death
of the tea party. How can we possibly trust them in foreign policy matters
if they don`t stand up to their own people?

SCHULTZ: Well, Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail had a chance to do
what John McCain did in 2008 when he corrected a voter who said Barack
Obama was an Arab. So, what happens to the Republican? What has happened
to the Republican Party since that moment?

FINNEY: I want to tell you a little antidote though about that
moment. You know, a little known fact is actually the threat levels, the
tension had gotten so high on the campaign trail, the secret service
protecting then senator Obama, actually reached out to the McCain`s
campaign and said, we need your help toning this down because we`re

And to his credit, McCain, you know, stepped in. But my point is,
this kind of language, we know what it does. It incites violence. It
incites tragic consequences like we`ve seen in Florida when we let people`s
biases and stereotypes get out of control.

And that`s exactly -- Gingrich is too afraid to say to this person,
you know what, he`s a Christian and then attack the president on whatever

SCHULTZ: And the Birther conspiracy theory is also alive in the state
of Florida. Congressman Cliff Stearns recently questioned the legitimacy
of the president`s birth certificate. House majority Eric Cantor back him
up saying this, "I think Cliff Stearns does a good job with the
chairmanship of the subcommittee. He has my full confidence."

I mean, what does this tell you about the Republican leadership that
they can`t distant themselves from the crazy?

FINNEY: They`re scared to death of the crazy because they need the
crazy. So, rather than telling the crazy hey, guys, you`re wrong, they are
basically let them do as they want. And instead of actually taking them on
- you know, this is the trick they play in this little word game is, they
say, why should I have to say something? You know, let that`s what they
believe rather than acknowledging that you know, your silence actually says
a lot as well.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, great to have you with us. Thank you so much.

Coming up. Mitt Romney says we need to thank George Bush for the
nation`s economic recovery? E.J. Dionne is here to respond.

And later, the American hero versus the American zero. Iraq veteran
Tammy Duckworth is taking on alleged deadbeat dad, Joe Walsh.

Tonight, Tammy Duckworth is my exclusive guest. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: The etch-a-sketch candidate, Mitt Romney, well, he`s shaking
things up again. He`s having a hard time figuring out how to make
President Obama look bad while the economy is improving. Undeniable
numbers coming up. Romney`s latest strategy is to give George W. Bush
credit for saving the economy.


Paulson said we have to do something to show we`re not going let the whole
system go out of business. I think they were right. I know some people
disagree with me. I think they were right to do that. They kept - I keep
hearing the president say he`s responsible for keeping America from going
into a great depression. No, no, no. That was President George W. Bush
and Hank Paulson that stepped in and kept that from happening.


SCHULTZ: Bush saved the economy? Newsflash? The Bush policies led
us to the brink of almost another great depression. In the waning days of
his administration, Bush bailed up the banks, no doubt. So, Bush saved
Romney`s buddies at Goldman Sachs.

Meanwhile, President Obama was looking out. I guess you could say,
for the rest of the country. 3 1/2 months after T.A.R.P., employment was
still in the middle of a steep free fall. Then President Obama signed this
thing called the stimulus package that the Republicans didn`t support. And
then there was auto loan which they were against. They even called it a
bailout when it wasn`t. It was a loan. And of course, here come the
middle class tax cuts.

Today, we have had 24 straight months of private sector job growth.
Unemployment has been on decline for six months. And today, we learned
weekly jobless claims fell by another 5,000. They are at the lowest level
- they are at the lowest level since February of 2008.

Sure, T.A.R.P. helped out Wall Street. But, President Obama went much
further when he took office in 2009. So, I guess Mitt Romney, he wants you
to forget that 2009 ever happened. All gone!

Let`s turn to E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, senior fellow at the
Brookings institution and columnist for the "Washington Post." See how
easy that was, E.J.?

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And I think all people on this show
should get etch-a-sketches of their own that we can have and shake up.
That looks like fun.

SCHULTZ: Well, with the Romney candidacy, it`s the latest and hottest
and most useful tool that`s out there. no question about it.

DIONNE: Amazing metaphor.

SCHULTZ: I mean did Bush and Hank Paulson save us from a great

DIONNE: No. Let me give Mitt Romney this much. If there`s anything
Bush did I respected, it is that he was willing to throw in his free market
ideology which clearly didn`t work and helped get us in to the mess and say
at least at that point, we can`t let everything go down the drain.

So, I agree that it was better to do T.A.R.P. than not and guess what,
Barack Obama could have played politics with it right before the election,
voted for it. But what he forgets are a number of things. One is that
chart you showed which is that the recession started under Bush. And if
Romney wants to run on the Bush economy, I think President Obama would
welcome that. The job loss has continued seriously for three or four months
after Obama took office and then they passed the stimulus and slowly we
started coming back.

The second thing he forgets is we almost went under again in March in
2009. And there -- the people in the White House were petrified the whole
system despite T.A.R.P. was going to collapse again.

SCHULTZ: And how much of an impact did the stimulus package have? In
hindsight, we probably wouldn`t have had these 24 months of private sector
job growth had we not done the stimulus package.

DIONNE: I agree. And not only that. If there`s any critique to be
made of the stimulus, it is sort of not big enough, that`s the critique
from the left. But the reason it`s smaller than it should have been, is in
order to get it through the Senate, where there weren`t 60 votes yet
because Al Franken was still in a recount, they had to make concessions
that cut it down even smaller.

But compare these relatively small number of public sector layoffs
when we had the stimulus helping state and local governments versus what`s
happened since. You know, we would have been in a lot of trouble without
that stimulus. And I hope Romney`s comment may encourage people to look
back and say that the stimulus which has been demonized was actually very
important to the recovery we`re seeing now.

SCHULTZ: He would be giving credit to President Obama if he were to
do anything like that and that of course, is a cardinal sin, so to speak.

Most conservative Republicans are against T.A.R.P. I mean, could this
hurt Romney in the election? I mean is he going to have to back pedal as
well, I really wasn`t for the bailout, it was something they had to do on
Wall Street. What do you think?

DIONNE: Well, I think you`re forgetting the etch-a-sketch. I mean,
that`s the general -- he`s already moving into the general election. Bu, I
do think this hurts. And there`s been a real inconsistency among

A lot of Republicans who voted for the bailout tried then to align the
stimulus into the bailout -- the Wall Street bailout and attack Obama for
being for the stimulus. So, yes. I think this could hurt him among some
conservative Republicans.

And also, Romney faces a problem which Santorum raised in the
primaries. That he was for bailing out Wall Street and against bailing out
our auto industry. And you can bet that issue is going to come up again in
the election, particularly in states like Ohio and Michigan.

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne, always great to have you here with us here on
"The Ed Show." Thanks for joining us.

DIONNE: It`s great to be with you.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

He signed the stand your ground law in Florida but Jeb Bush isn`t
talking about Trayvon Martin.

Next, I`ll explain why the former governor is missing a real
opportunity to lead. Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Up next, Jeb Bush has weighed in on the presidential race
this week but he`s silent on the death of Trayvon Martin, because of a law
he signed in 2005 which is a big equation in all of this.

And in the big finish tonight. All eyes on the Illinois race between
Tammy Duckworth and tea party congressman, Joe Walsh. Tammy joins me

Don`t forget to tweet us using #edshow. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: In the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin, some Florida
legislators have come forward and expressed their dismay over the total
failure of the state`s stand your ground law. The law allowed George
Zimmerman to shoot and kill an unarmed teenager, claim self-defense and
walk free. One person we have yet to hear from all this matter is former
Florida governor Jeb Bush. He signed the stand your ground law in 2005
with an NRA lobbyist at his side. Here`s what he had to say at the time.


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: 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, there`s a life threatening situation, to have to
retreat and put yourself in a very precarious position, you know, defies
common sense.


SCHULTZ: Since that law, here`s some common sense for you that really
defies common sense. There have been 93 cases in which this law has come
into play in Florida since 2005, including 65 deaths.

The former governor has been silent and void of leadership at a very
crucial time for race relations in America, yet he found the time to
endorse Mitt Romney this week and push for Florida senator Marco Rubio to
be on the ticket.

Jeb Bush needs to step up, show some courage and explain what he
believes now, the stand your ground law is all about. His partner, in
passing the law, needs to speak up, too. The NRA used its money, influence
and lobbying effort to pass the law not only in Florida but over a dozen
states around America.

And as Daniel gross of the Brady campaign reports, they`re not
stopping there. Just days after Trayvon Martin was killed, the NRA, where
were they? They were on Capitol Hill working to nationalize - that`s
right, nationalize that law, stand your ground. The national reciprocity
act would force states like New York with strong gun laws to follow
Florida`s example, just what we want here in Manhattan.

Jeb Bush talks about common sense. How`s this for common sense, Mr.
Former governor? When stand your from ground legislation reached Minnesota
Governor Dayton`s desk this month, he vetoed the damn thing and it was the
right thing to do. Jeb Bush helped paved the way for this senseless
tragedy and remained silent. What a political tragedy.

Coming up, it is being billed as one of the most important races in
the country. Will this Iraq war veteran help the Democrats take the house
in November?

Next, Democratic candidate for congressman, Tammy Duckworth will join


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show." Again, the breaking news
tonight out of Florida. Tens of thousands have gathered in Sanford Florida
for a justice for Trayvon rally. Governor Rick Scott is appointing a new
state attorney to investigate the Trayvon martin killing.

The president of the seminal county and AACP revealed tonight here on
"the Ed Show," that he personally pressured Sanford police chief to step
aside during a meeting today.

And at tonight`s rally in Sanford, Representative Corrine Brown,
Congresswoman Brown told the crowd that she will conduct a congressional
hearing in Washington on Tuesday on hate crime.

Tonight, on survey I asked, should be stand your ground laws in
America be repealed? Ninety four percent of you said, yes. Six percent of
you said, no.

Coming up, Tammy Duckworth joins me to discuss her campaign as she
takes on tea party congressman Joe Walsh in Illinois. Don`t forget to
listen to me on Sirius XM radio channel 127 Monday through Friday noon to
3:00 p.m. And follow me on twitter @edshow and like "the Ed Show" on

We will be right back. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: The big finish tonight, it is being called one of the most
important races in the country and it`s happening in Illinois, the eighth
congressional district. Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth won the
democratic primary Tuesday night. She will face Republican congressman,
Joe Walsh in November. Walsh, a tea party freshman nabbed a 100 percent
rating for the family research council for his unwavering support for the
family even though he owed his wife over a hundred grand in child support.
Personal baggage aside, Walsh got an uphill battle on his hands. No doubt
about it. That the Democratic leaning district. Meet and greets like this
just aren`t helping matters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t blame banks and don`t blame the marketplace
for the mess we`re in right now. I am tired of hearing that crap. You
know what, this pissed me off. Too many people don`t listen. There are
already mechanisms in place to do that. Are they doing their job? No.
What do you want to do? You want to bombard them with more regulations?
More government?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about reform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Government screwed this up. Quiet for a minute.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quiet for a minute or I`m going to ask you to


SCHULTZ: No anger there. I`m joined now by Tammy Duckworth, Iraq war
veteran, former Obama administration official, a Democratic congressional
candidate for Illinois.

Tammy, it`s great to have you with us tonight. Good to see you. How
do you feel about this, doing this after the big victory?

really focused on talking to the constituents in the district than, you
know, in contrast to a very extreme congressman Joe Walsh, listening to my

SCHULTZ: Steve Israel says Illinois is going to be absolutely pivotal
to what happens in November. Do you believe what happens in your district
will reflect what is happening in the country?

DUCKWORTH: You know, Ed, I absolutely do think that is the case.
Because my district is full of hard working Americans who are struggling
right now. They need help with jobs and the economy. And so, that`s why I
am going to focus on the economy.

In my race, you know, with all Joe`s antics aside and everything he`s
trying to do to become a spokesman for the tea party, what the people in
the district need right now are some real practical solutions to the
problems that they`re facing, everything from jobs to high cost of
education, to even our infrastructure here in the district.

SCHULTZ: You know the race between you and Congressman Walsh is
expected to get pretty heated. Here`s what he had to say about you.


REP. JOE WALSH (R), ILLINOIS: I`m hopeful she will not hide behind
David Axelrod and some of her other Chicago democrat advisors and really
get in front of voters.


SCHULTZ: Is Tammy Duckworth going to get in front of voters?

DUCKWORTH: I`ve been in front of voters. And in fact, unlike Joe who
actually said that he didn`t go to Washington to work for his constituents.
I`m going to do that. I`m actually out talking to people across the
district, making proposals that the need for a grant program to help
businesses that hire people who have been unemployed more than six months.
It is based on the work that I have been doing both, at the state and
federal level. And people are really, you know, really concerned out
there. They`re struggling and they need someone who is going to make sure
that we help them first, not the wealthiest Americans, not the oil
companies, not the businesses that send jobs overseas. That`s what Joe is
trying to do when he supports things like the very extreme Ryan budget.

SCHULTZ: Tammy, what are women in your district saying about the war
on women that the GOP is engaged in. I mean, your opponent has said that
birth control, that debate is not about women. If it`s not what it`s
about, what it is about?

DUCKWORTH: Well, I`m not sure what it is about if it is not about
women. And really, you know, one of the things that Joe said in that that
really shocked me was, you know, he said it`s not about women, religious
freedom. I said women don`t care about religious freedom either? And, you
know, he`s so out of touch on where people are in this district. He is
waging a war on birth control and on women when really we need to be
focused on making sure that our families have health care they need, that
our seniors of Medicare, that our seniors have Social Security, to make
sure that hard working Americans are supported.

SCHULTZ: Let me ask you about that. The Ryan plan, you obviously
would be against that, correct?

DUCKWORTH: I`m absolutely against the Ryan plan. Because it tries to
balance the budget and it doesn`t even do that. It actually increases the
budget deficit and does it on the backs of seniors. It would gut Medicare
as we know it, in the words of the "Wall Street Journal".

SCHULTZ: What do you think people in your district want?

DUCKWORTH: People in my district want a representative who is going
to roll up their sleeves to work for them. They want a representative who
understands responsibility. I worked for this country my entire life. You
know, I lived my life responsibly. And I want to make sure to go to
Washington to fight for an economy that honors hard work and people who
lived up to their responsibilities.

SCHULTZ: And of course, the president is defending his handling of
the keystone pipeline today. He`s now fast tracking a portion of that
pipeline. Is he doing the right thing? Because they`ve been hitting him
pretty hard on gas prices. What do you think about this pipeline?

DUCKWORTH: I just don`t know that the pipeline has answered my
questions on, are the risks worth the rewards, you know? That oil is going
to be sent and sold to China. The profits will go back to Canada. We take
all of the risk and yet we don`t get any of the benefits of lowering gas
prices in this country. I come from a commuter district.

SCHULTZ: Tammy Duckworth, we will visit again. Appreciate your time
tonight here on "the Ed Show."

That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. The `Rachel Maddow Show"
starts right now.


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