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The Ed Show for Friday, March 30, 2012

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Guests: Jonathan Capehart, Eugene Robinson, Natalie Jackson, Caroline Heldman, Ruth Conniff, Bob Shrum

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

You won`t believe who agrees with me on Florida`s "Stand Your Ground"
law. Caution!

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


BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: An unarmed kid is killed and
he`s allowed to go home that same night --

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Because of that law in Florida.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The truth slips out over on FOX News.

O`REILLY: The law in Florida changes everything. In another state,
that never would have happened.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, my challenge to Bill O`Reilly: get your Republican
pals to do something about the "Stand Your Ground" law.

STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: So, you`re throwing your support to --


SCHULTZ: Ryan endorses Romney and gives voters an undeniable choice.
Vote for Mitt and you can kiss Medicare good-bye.

Eugene Robinson on Ryan and Romney`s radical alliance.


SCHULTZ: The president let it fly today in Vermont.

OBAMA: The last thing we can afford to do is to go back to the same
policies that got us into the mess in the first place.

SCHULTZ: The Dow hits another new high. I`ll ask Bob Shrum what it
means for re-election.

And the day of reckoning is set in Wisconsin. There`s nothing but bad
news out of the Badger State for Scott Walker and another Democratic
challenger jumps in the race. We`ll have all the latest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to return Wisconsin to Wisconsin
people. We`re going get rid of Walker, we`re going to get rid of tougher
Senate (ph), too.


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

The "Stand Your Ground" laws are in the national spotlight because of
the Trayvon Martin killing. But bills are stalled in states like Iowa,
Massachusetts and Minnesota. They`re getting a second look. Although in
Florida and more than a dozen other states, there is nothing being done to
prevent a killing like this from happening again.

But Bill O`Reilly has declared the story is over. He criticized MSNBC
and other media outlets for continuing to bring attention to the Trayvon
Martin case.


O`REILLY: No media observer knows what happened the night Trayvon
Martin was killed. Yet, there they are bloviating all over the place,
exploiting the death of a young man inciting violence against the system.


SCHULTZ: By talking about the case, Bill O`Reilly says we`re
exploiting Martin`s death and inciting violence.

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump was there to set O`Reilly


CRUMP: The only reason that the state stepped down because of the
media and the public. And at this point, the longer things go without
anything happening, the next story comes and you kind of forget about it.

O`REILLY: That`s not going to happen in this case, you know that.

CRUMP: I hope, but they are --

O`REILLY: There`s no way. I won`t let it happen.


SCHULTZ: Oh, he won`t let it happen. How generous of you, Bill

But there`s a reason the folks might not rely for a story like this.
You see, according to Bill O`Reilly, racial problems in America are gone.


O`REILLY: It`s a much more interesting country, America, if we stop
with the race business, I think. I mean, I`m not black, so I don`t know
your struggle, and you don`t know my struggle, all right, because you`re
not white. But after 9/11, we pretty much dropped that race stuff, did we
not? We were pretty much all Americans there, right? I hear yes. I hear


SCHULTZ: No, the audience didn`t agree. I was there and witnessed

We don`t agree with him now when he says we should stop covering the
Trayvon Martin case. Here is why we shouldn`t stop covering it.


CRUMP: What we hopefully is a dialogue how can this investigation
have happened like this where you get to the say an unarmed kid is killed
and he`s allowed to go home that same night.

O`REILLY: Because of that law in Florida. See, that law in Florida
changes everything.


SCHULTZ: Exactly, Bill. The Florida "Stand Your Ground" law created
the conditions for this killing and the chaotic aftermath. So, at least we
agree on this point.

But Bill O`Reilly seems to be misinformed about "Stand Your Ground".


CRUMP: The law in Florida changes everything. In another state, that
never would have happened.


SCHULTZ: Really. It would have never happened. Good research. Hang
on a second. Any other state -- there are more than a dozen states with
"Stand Your Ground" laws that were implemented under the lobbying force of
the National Rifle Association.

Let`s look at some of those other states. Let`s take for instance
Texas. Let`s go back to 2007, a man named Joe Horn took full advantage of
the "Stand Your Ground" law to kill two men who were breaking in to his
neighbor`s house. This was the 911 call.


JOE HORN: I`ve got a shotgun. You want me to stop them?

911 OPERATOR: No. Don`t do that. Ain`t not property worth shooting
somebody over, OK?

I don`t want you to go outside of that house. I don`t want you to
have that gun in your hand when those officers are poking around over

HORN: I understand that, but I have a right to protect myself, too,
sir. And you understand that. And the law has been changed in this
country since September the 1st. And you know it and I know it.


HORN: They just stole something. I`m going out the window. I ain`t
going to let them get away. They stole something.

911 OPERATOR: Don`t go out the house.

HORN: I`m doing it.

911 OPERATOR: Mr. Horn, do not go out the house.

HORN: Right. But --

911 OPERATOR: You`re going to get yourself shot when you go outside
with the gun.

HORN: You want to make a bet?

911 OPERATOR: I don`t want you going outside, Mr. Horn.

HORN: Well, here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking and
I`m going.

911 OPERATOR: Don`t go outside.

HORN: Move, you`re dead.



SCHULTZ: Joe Horn was told 14 times to stay inside his house.
Instead, Horn ignored instructions, went outside and shot two men to death.
He was the judge, jury and executioner and he got off scot-free. FOX News
treated Joe Horn as a hero.


HORN: When your life is on the line and you take a human life, I
wanted to live. OK. I will not was going to let those two men kill me. I
can assure you, if they had got to me, they`d have killed me.


SCHULTZ: Bill O`Reilly can say there`s no reason to cover the Trayvon
Martin case, but Joe Horn proves him wrong.

As long as these "Stand Your Ground" laws are on the books, Americans
have the right to kill other Americans without being physically threatened.
I mean, we`ve seen it.

Bill O`Reilly seems to understand the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law
is bad. At FOX News, look at this -- he has the access to Florida Senator
Marco Rubio and some powerful decision makers, maybe like Jeb Bush who
signed the law back in 2005.

When will these people be on "The O`Reilly Factor"? When will Bill
O`Reilly get maybe an NRA representative on his somehow and ask why these
"Stand Your Ground" laws are so doggone necessary. In that 911 tape, two
men were haunted down. No question about it.

I think it was some hunting going on on February 26th.

The folks are waiting for the call, Bill. What do you say? Don`t
spin this one. You for or against the "Stand Your Ground" law?

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

Tonight`s question is: are the "Stand Your Ground" laws costing
Americans their lives? Text A for yes, text B for now to 622639. You can
always go to our blog, leave a comment at We`ll bring you
the results later on in the show.

Now, this is the center of the entire conversation. Where are we
going to move forward with these laws on the books in this country? And do
we have lawmakers that have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to these
radicals out there who were so afraid that there`s just gun grabbers
everywhere, innocent people are dying, confrontations are taking place that
don`t have to take place.

I`m joined tonight by Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Trayvon
Martin`s family, and Jonathan Capehart, an MSNBC contributor and
"Washington Post" opinion writer.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.


O`DONNELL: Ms. Jackson, let me as you. What`s your response when you
hear someone saying that we should stop covering the case until the
investigation is finished?

NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: Well, we`ve talked about this
among our team. The family is very tired. They however feel that they
need this press. They need the media because without the people, without
the support, they would have never gotten a special prosecutor. They would
have never gotten a grand jury.

This was a family that was told your child is dead, he`s claimed --
George Zimmerman claimed self-defense. Case closed.

O`DONNELL: Natalie, isn`t the story right now spreading out to Iowa,
Minnesota, Massachusetts where the "Stand Your Ground" laws are getting
some serious scrutiny and they are not flying through the legislative
session or getting the gubernatorial signatures that they`ve got in the
past? I mean, are we seeing somewhat of a sea change here, a review of
what we`re doing with gun laws?

JACKSON: We are seeing that. But we`re seeing actually, more
importantly, a review and understanding of what the gun laws say. In this
case, people have purposely misconstrued the justified use of force law.

The justified use of force is for an innocent person who is being
attacked. It says you don`t have to retreat. You can defend yourself.

Here, we have George Zimmerman get out of his car, stop and pursue
Trayvon according to his own words. That`s not me saying that. That is
George Zimmerman saying that on the dispatch tape.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, I want to point out what happened today. The
National Rifle Association was in Alaska lobbying for "Stand Your Ground"
law similar legislation in several states. Has the coverage of the Trayvon
Martin case contributed to the stalling of these laws in your opinion?

CAPEHART: I would think so. I mean, at least I would hope so that it
would allow folks in these legislatures around the country to reconsider
what they`re doing, not necessarily stop doing a "Stand Your Ground" law.
Remember, the Florida law, if I remember correctly, is on the far extreme
of a lot of the -- of a lot of the "Stand Your Ground" laws basically
granting immunity from prosecution to people who use it, and as we`re
seeing it in high relief with George Zimmerman.

So, I think it would be incumbent upon legislatures across the country
as who are considering a "Stand Your Ground" law to take a look at what`s
happening in Florida and figure out how if they decide to go ahead and do
something as insane as implementing a "Stand Your Ground" law, to at least
not do it as insanely as happened in Florida.

SCHULTZ: Well, this is the scary thing about this as I see it. When
you get a law like this passed and something happens, another state, all of
a sudden, starts -- gets lobbying by people who are gun advocates saying,
hey, you got to toughen these laws up in your state. You got to do what
they did down in Florida because this is what happened.

And the next thing you know, they start cash whipping the legislatures
and the next thing you know, a bill is introduced to strengthen the laws
and "Stand Your Ground" who know where the hell it`s all going to end up.

Natalie, the "New York Daily News" spoke to an ex-coworker of George
Zimmerman. He told them Zimmerman was fired from his job as a party
security guard. And this is some of the quotes, he said, "It was like
Jekyll and Hyde. When the dude snapped, he snapped. He had a temper and
he became a liability."

How does this play into your potential case against George Zimmerman?

JACKSON: Well, that`s going to go to his character and what he is.
In this case, we have case evidence from his 2005 arrest that he has a
propensity towards violence and even violence towards a law enforcement

That plays a lot into who George Zimmerman is and who really was the
aggressor in this case. They want to bring up Trayvon`s school records but
nowhere in Trayvon`s school records will you find any criminal activity or
propensity towards violence.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, you agree with Mr. Crump, the other attorney who
says that the case would be closed if the media did not cover this?

CAPEHART: Absolutely. Think about it. We`re now talking about this
for the second full week. This is March 30th. Trayvon Martin was shot and
killed by George Zimmerman on February 26th. It took that long for the
national media to get whipped up and start talking about this, myself
included. I didn`t write my first piece until a week ago this past Sunday.

So, yes, we`re it not for the media, were it not for the groundswell
of attention being paid to this case by print media and also television
media, and particularly us here at MSNBC, yes, I think Mr. Crump is
absolutely right.

The media in this case is the sunshine of what`s happening. A lot of
things that we know now, we wouldn`t have known if a lot of us in the press
were not asking serious, serious questions and focusing like a laser beam
on Sanford.

SCHULTZ: Natalie Jackson, Jonathan Capehart -- thanks so much for
joining us. Appreciate your time.


JACKSON: Thank you.

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

Next up, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. These guys are connected at the
hip. I mean, philosophically, they`re right there, which means Romney is
tied to Ryan`s radical budget. Eugene Robinson will tell us if it`s going
to hurt the Mittster in November.

And it`s official -- the Walker re-election has been certified in the
state of Wisconsin. We could even end up with a rematch of 2010. We`ll
have the latest details coming up.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Coming up: Mitt Romney`s racking up some big name
endorsement this week. I`ll ask Eugene Robinson what Congressman Paul
Ryan`s endorsement means to Mitt.

And as he picks sup endorsements on the way to the nomination, Mitt is
spreading lies about the president in a new TV ad. Professor Caroline
Heldman weighs on it if all these GOP truth problems are going to be a

And the Mega Millions jackpot is at record $640 million. Later of
this hour, I`m going to tell you exactly how to spend all that. That I got
that kind of experience and that kind of money, but I got some ideas. It`s
later on the show.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

It`s Friday night. We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL: The day after House Republicans passed Paul Ryan`s radical
budget, the congressman from Wisconsin is endorsing a Republican
presidential candidate. Ryan made the big announcement this morning on
"FOX & FRIENDS" where Steve Doocy set up for one of the most awkward
anticlimactic endorsements of all times.


DOOCY: Congressman Paul Ryan just got his budget passed yesterday.
And now, he`s here with a big announcement. He joins us live from

Good morning to you, Congressman.

RYAN: Hey. Good morning. How are you doing, Brian, Steve, Gretchen?

DOOCY: It`s great to have you.

So, you are throwing your support to --

RYAN: Mitt Romney.


SCHULTZ: Take a deep breath. I think there was something missing
from that clip. Let`s play that again.


DOOCY: You are throwing your support to --

RYAN: Mitt Romney.


SCHULTZ: So mega millionaire Mitt Romney has picked up a radical --
that`s right -- from a radical endorsed candidate. It may help him win
Wisconsin. Ryan campaigned with Romney today in his home state.

But it also means Romney is directly tied to the Ryan budget, which
means Mitt Romney supports -- here it is -- turning Medicare into a voucher
system, which could eventually increase out of pocket cost by $5,900. Are
you for that?

Romney is in favor of slashing Medicaid, spending up by 35 percent
over the next 10 years, reducing enrollment by as many as 14 million

Ryan`s budget also cuts spending programs ranging from food stamps to
border control? I thought they were concerned about security.

Meanwhile, every millionaire gets a dandy, it`s $187,000 cut.

This is what a vote for Mitt Romney gets you.

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

Eugene, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: I mean, the Democrats couldn`t ask for beater lineup, could
they? I mean, they ought to be able to campaign against this in a

ROBINSON: Yes. I mean, what this means is that Mitt Romney now owns
the Ryan budget. And, you know, he obviously is going into this with his
eyes open. When Ryan came out with this Romney went much further that I
had expected in embracing it and saying what a great idea it was and how
constructive it was and, you know, everything but kissing it.

And, so, if this is the program that you want to bring before the
American people, bring it on. I don`t think it`s going to fly very well,
but bring it on.

SCHULTZ: Going after the big three, especially health care, Social
Security as well, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security. Giving tax
breaks to the wealthy.

None of these things poll very well across America. They are all in
the minority. I mean, why would the Republicans be so dogmatic about
things that don`t have the populous view?

ROBINSON: Ideology. I mean, Paul Ryan -- bless his heart -- believes
this stuff. He believes that society shouldn`t essentially have this sort
of safety net. That he`s a devotee of the author Ayn Rand. He encourages
or requires his staff to read the works of Ayn Rand who essentially
believes, you know, everybody for him or herself, period.

And, you know, he thinks that`s a good thing. And so, he`s at least
partly motivated not by so much by desire to reduce the deficit as to
restructure the society in a way that he thinks is a better way for society
to run.

Now, most people would disagree with that. Most people vehemently.
But that`s what he believes.

SCHULTZ: The Ryan budget increases defense spending. This is really
surprising because the Pentagon requested a half trillion dollar decrease
in defense spending, and Paul Ryan recently said this: "We don`t think the
generals are giving us their true advice. We don`t think the generals
believe their budget is really the right budget."

What`s happening here? Does Paul Ryan think the Pentagon is lying
about their budgetary needs?

ROBINSON: That just has to be a sop either to the defense wing of the
Republican Party or defense contractors or something. It`s a ridiculous
thing to say. Why would the generals not tell the president what they
want? Of course, they will tell you exactly what they want and what they
think they need.

So, I don`t know where that comes from except some sort of cynical
political calculation.

SCHULTZ: New NBC News/Marist poll shows that Mitt Romney has a 7
percent lead heading into Tuesday`s primary in Wisconsin. Romney at 40
percent, Santorum 33 percent, Ron Paul and Gingrich down at 8.

Now, how are these results going to affect the race? I mean, is this,
I guess you could say a must-win on the road for Rick Santorum? Is he
going to be finished if he can`t close this deal? Is this the big primary
for Mitt Romney?

ROBINSON: Well, this could be. I mean, they`re trying to make it
really, really tough on Santorum. This sort of cavalcade of endorsements
that we`re having now, probably have more between now and Tuesday. They
seem to be trying to set it up so that if Romney does win on Tuesday, more
voices will come out and say look, Santorum, just hang it up. You`re
hurting the party and just go away.

Now, whether Santorum is in any mood to listen to that, I don`t know.
I kind of doubt it. But if he really gets walloped on Tuesday, there`s
going to be enormous pressure on him to pull out for the good of the party.
We`ll have to see what he the margin is. If it`s close, Santorum is going
to stay in.

He knows that if he can just make it to May, if he could just make it
to May, then some states start coming up that are much more friendly
territory for Santorum, and not so friendly for Romney.

SCHULTZ: Yes. It`s been Santorum that`s been trying to connect with
the lunch bucket workers. He`s lost Ohio. He`s lost Michigan. He didn`t
win Illinois.

It doesn`t look good right now for Wisconsin. I mean, it would seem
to me that the people he`s trying to garnish in these manufacturing states
is not where he`s doing well. So, I think Tuesday is an awful big one for

ROBINSON: It is. Wisconsin is right in the middle, though. Michigan
and Ohio where he didn`t -- Santorum didn`t do too well. Minnesota, Iowa
on the other side where he won. So, which way will Wisconsin go?

SCHULTZ: I think it`s going to go to Mitt Romney. And I think the
whole thing is gong to go to him. I think that`s the conventional wisdom
right now.

Eugene Robinson, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you so

ROBINSON: Great to be here, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney`s latest ad doesn`t stretch the truth. It`s a
flat-out lie. Caroline Heldman will tell us if it`s going to work.

And things are looking up for President Obama. Bob Shrum is here with

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


SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney has a few problems on his hand. The economy is
getting a whole lot better, isn`t it?

President Obama is closing the battle in key ground states. Romney is
on the cusp of getting the nomination. Yet Romney and his campaign are
just not misrepresenting the facts, they`re flat out lying about them.

Here is part of his latest TV ad.


NARRATOR: President Barack Obama named himself one of four best
presidents. Better than George Washington, John F. Kennedy and even Ronald


SCHULTZ: Well, I would agree with that. But not`s even close to what
the president said on "60 Minutes". He did not rank him as one of
America`s top four presidents.

Of course, we shouldn`t be surprised by Romney`s tactics. Here is how
he kicked off his campaign.


OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you, New Hampshire. How is everybody doing

I`m confident we can steer ourselves out of this crisis.

We need a rescue plan for the middle class.

We need to provide for homeowners.

It`s going to keep a new direction.

If we keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose.


SCHULTZ: That was then-candidate Obama quoting an aide to John McCain
in 2008. Romney had no problem misleading voters into thinking the
president was referring to his own economic record.

You see, Romney`s got really nothing to run on. The guy is an empty
suit. His own party doesn`t even like him. The only way he is going to
win is by distorting the facts. The only way he can come out on top is by

Joining me now is Caroline Heldman, professor of politics at
Occidental College. Well, we are in full throttle to see Mitt Romney
moving forward. It looks like he wants to lie his way to the White House.

But Professor Heldman, can it work? With all the money he`s going to
have behind him, can it work?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: I do think it will work with a
certain segment of the electorate. Right now, he`s trying to appeal to
that segment, which are Republicans. I don`t think it will work with
independents, because right now 55 percent of the American public and an
even larger number of Democrats and independents, know that President Obama
inherited his economic situation from George W. Bush and his policies.

They know, for example, that he is not to blame for what is happening
right now in the United States. The economy is really going to be the
biggest issue in this election. So I don`t think it will work in the
general election. But I do think it will work now.

Look at the fact that we have 45 percent of voters in the deep south
who believe the Republican lie that President Obama is a Muslim. So
certainly it is playing with certain segments of the electorate, these

SCHULTZ: Well, if it`s going to work like that in the south, they are
going to keep throwing more lies out there. That`s what it looks like.
Here is the latest ad from the RNC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Case 11398, the Department of Health and Human
Services versus Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For more than 80 percent of Americans, the
insurance system does provide access. Excuse me. It -- because the -- the
-- excuse me.


SCHULTZ: Now the audio of the solicitor general was m manipulated.
Will these tactics work?

HELDMAN: Well, again, I think they will work with certain people.
But the fact that you`re exposing them, Ed, and that will be
exposing them, and Media Matters -- I think that it might hurt Romney in
the general election. The fact of the matter is health care is -- is going
to reduce the deficit. It is going to have all of these positive effects,
the Affordable Care Act.

And Romney has absolutely distorted President Obama`s record on this.
And Republicans have distorted his record on energy policy, obviously
health care, the deficit, the debt, him inheriting that. And the idea that
President Obama doesn`t have a lot of policies that he can put out there is
just incorrect.

I think he will do very well in the general election if he brands
himself properly and that this will come back to bite Romney.

SCHULTZ: What`s the best way for the Obama people to combat all of
this? Let`s say they get out-spent. Does this change the stump speeches
for the president in any way? Does he stay consistent and just keep
hammering on the facts or does he try to answer each one of these?

HELDMAN: I wouldn`t answer them at all. Because I think what he
needs to do is talk about the economy, talk about the fact that we have the
lowest number of new jobless claims in four years, that the housing economy
is rebounding, that manufacturing is rebounding, that consumer spending was
up last month much higher than analysts predicted.

We`ve turned a corner on the economy. And all President Obama has to
do is remind Americans of that and he will regain the White House.

SCHULTZ: And There are some very good numbers we`re going to show you
coming up here. Caroline Heldman, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much for your time on THE ED SHOW.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the eyes are turning to Wisconsin once again.
This is history in the making. Scott Walker is on the wrong side of it.


SCHULTZ: The Walker recall is now officially set. And the new
polling shows the people are not standing with Scott Walker. We`re going
to Wisconsin, next.


sell things all around the world.


SCHULTZ: Does more good news for the president on the economy mean
good news come November? I`ll ask Bob Shrum.

And what would do you with 640 million dollars? Tonight, I`ll show
you my plans for the cash with a Romney twist. You don`t want to miss it.


SCHULTZ: Next Tuesday, all eyes will be on Wisconsin, as the
Republican presidential candidates go head to head in the state primaries.
But Wisconsin voters are focused on a different election.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This primary is kind of a side show compared --
for Wisconsin voters compared to this recall election, which has consumed
all the oxygen. I talk to sources out in Wisconsin all the time. And it
is so hard the breakthrough on anything related to politics that is not
about Scott Walker right now.


SCHULTZ: Today, Wisconsin`s Government Accountability Board
officially triggered a recall election against Scott Walker. The board
certified over 900,000 petition signatures, 67 percent more than necessary.
A special election is scheduled for June 5th.

And it`s shaping up to be a tight race. A new NBC News/Marist poll
shows 46 percent of registered voters would vote for Scott Walker while 48
percent picked the Democratic candidate, I guess you could say a player to
be named later. The Democratic primary will be held on May 8th to choose a
candidate who is going to go up against Scott Walker.

Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, State Senator Kathleen
Vinehout, and Secretary of State Doug La Follette. And -- those are
already in the race. And today, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who was
defeated by Walker in 2010, announced that he too is going to throw his hat
into the ring. And he will join us from Madison on Monday night here on

Let`s bring in Ruth Conniff, political editor for "The Progressive
Magazine." She joins us live from Madison tonight. Ruth, good to have you
with us.

What do you make of the -- first of all, the comment that was just
made about one of the folks that was on Chuck Todd`s show earlier today,
about folks in the state aren`t even thinking about the primary coming up
on Tuesday. They are all focused on the recall coming up.

Is that fair statement? You agree with that?

is so focused on what`s going on here in Wisconsin right now, I don`t hear
of much chat about the GOP primary coming up on Tuesday.

People are just too focused on this. In fact, you see the GOP
candidates coming in nationally and doing things like Romney is doing,
going and making phone calls tomorrow night for Walker. So they are trying
to catch some of the energy of what`s happening in Wisconsin, in this very
big battle for us. We`re really focused entirely on those recall races
right now.

SCHULTZ: I noticed that Walker -- he hasn`t endorsed any of the
Republican candidates. What`s going on there? Why doesn`t he endorse Mitt

CONNIFF: You know, I think he`s focused on his own battle. I think
by associating themselves with Walker, the primary candidates are hoping to
catch a bit of his coattails. It`s a very divided state.

I saw Rick Santorum talking up Walker the other night. Mitt Romney is
making phone calms and talking up Walker. I think Walker just figures --
you know ,he`s out-raising these guys. He has raised 2.5 million dollars
to their 700,000. That`s for all the GOP presidential primary candidates.
So he doesn`t need them. They need him.

SCHULTZ: President Obama is polling very well in Wisconsin right now,
isn`t he?

CONNIFF: Yes. Yes, he is. I think again, it`s the same situation.
I think that what`s going to happen for Obama is going to be really a
product of people really being energized by this last year in Wisconsin,
and coming out in numbers that we haven`t seen.

Really, in some ways, it`s comparable to Obama`s first race for
president, the level of grassroots enthusiasm and just the drive and energy
to vote our governor out of office. I think that is going to benefit the

SCHULTZ: Well, this whole thing in the recall has been played up as
the unions and the middle classers against Scott Walker and the elitists.
Here come these Republican candidates into the state. They have the Ryan
Budget Plan, which, of course, they are all in favor of, which cuts right
at the middle class, cuts right at the elderly.

And they are also anti-union. And you can look at Mitt Romney`s
background and see exactly how he has treated organized labor in the past.
This is really kind of the political gift that keeps on giving to this
recall for Democrats, isn`t it?

CONNIFF: Yeah. I think the decision today that you mentioned at the
start of the segment is really a big deal. I mean, this is huge news, that
our governor is not, in fact, going to be able to make it impossible for
automatic paycheck deduction for union dues. That means that he`s not
succeed in cutting off the unions financially, cutting off their life
blood. So that`s very significant.

To say that it`s elitists and to say that it`s the middle class and
working folks is sort of the gobbledygook that you hear from the Republican
side. Obviously the unionized folks -- you were here, Ed. You saw it.
The people who were pouring out into the streets in Wisconsin are people
who drive snowplows. They`re the cops and the firefighters and really
regular working people.

SCHULTZ: This is the template right here. You`re looking at the
template, America, to fight back against Citizens United. This is what
it`s going to take, boots on the ground, people getting active, people
talking to their neighbors, motivating people to get registered to get out
and vote.

Today, a federal judge ruled two big parts of Walker`s anti-union law
are unconstitutional. How is that ruling going to -- how big is that
ruling, you think?

CONNIFF: It`s huge. It doesn`t go all the way to restoring public
employees` ability to sit down at the table and negotiate over everything,
which is what we used to have. But what it does is it`s a major brush back
of the Walker agenda.

And fundamentally -- I just read the decision today. Fundamentally,
what it says is that this a First Amendment issue. It`s a U.S.
Constitutional issue. By separating the few union member who supported him
politically in the election, the public safety employees who he said could
ahead and have their unions and also have automatic union dues deducted
from their paychecks -- by treating them differently from other public
employees, he violated the First Amendment.

You can`t do that. It exposes how craven and crass and political this
thing was. And it restores just financial viability to the unions.

SCHULTZ: He`s just an absolute trainwreck. It`s unbelievable.
Editor of "The Progressive Magazine," Ruth Conniff, great to have you with
us tonight. Thank you.

Just a reminder, we`re going to be broadcasting live from Madison,
Wisconsin this coming Monday night at the Great Dane from 7:00 to 8:00
local time. It is going to be open to the public on a first come, first
serve basis. We`d love to see you there. I think there might be a few
folks there. I`m looking forward to it.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will join me on the show Monday night as

Coming up, things are looking good for President Obama. That means
things aren`t looking good for Mitt Romney. Bob Shrum breaks it down with
me next. Stay with us.



OBAMA: It doesn`t matter who you are, where you come from, what you
look like. That`s what has created this extraordinary country of ours.
That`s what we`re fighting for. That`s the choice in this election.

This is not just your usual run of the mill political debate. This is
the defining issue of our time, a make or break moment for the middle
class. That`s what we got to fight for.


SCHULTZ: President Obama getting after it today in Vermont. He`s the
first president to go to Vermont since Bill Clinton. I want you to be
honest with me tonight. You`re sitting at home thinking I really don`t
like Obama. I don`t believe in the guy. I don`t think he`s got it
together on the economy.

Can I just give you some facts, if you don`t like President Obama, you
don`t think he has the right remedy for the economy? The guy`s on a roll.
If you`re a one percenter, you got to love this guy. The fact is -- the
fact -- the Dow posted its best quarter in 14 years. So did the S&P 500.

Let`s not forget the Nasdaq. It had its best performance since 1991.
If you`re a one or two percenter, you ought to be loving this guy. He
hasn`t raised your taxes either. Mitt Romney`s argument against the
president starting to fall really short.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Out of touch liberals like
Barack Obama say they want a strong economy. But they really don`t like
businesses very much. But the economy is simply the product of all the
nation`s businesses added together.

So it`s like saying you love omelets but you don`t like eggs.


SCHULTZ: Yes. The Dow posted its best quarter in 14 years. Mitt
Romney`s weak attacks on President Obama don`t hold water. The liberal in
the White House has led this country to 24 straight months of private
sector job growth. Weekly unemployment claims are at a four-year low.
Holy smokes, do we have a lot of facts tonight about the economy.

And the national unemployment rates have been steadily declining for
months. Millions of Americans, no doubt about it, still hurting. We have
a high unemployment rate but it`s getting better. And the president`s
approval rating on the economy is going up.

The latest Marist poll has him at 46 percent approval rating on the
economy. That`s his best number in two years. More and more people just
aren`t buying the lies Mitt Romney is selling. Joining me now is Bob
Shrum, Democratic strategist and professor at NYU.

Bob, great to have you with us on this Friday evening.


SCHULTZ: Lots of good stuff there. What`s the best play for Romney,
other than lying?

SHRUM: The first thing, eggs and omelets, I think he ought to get a
new speech writer. Look, the president`s got stay the course through a
very difficult time. The economy is getting better. People are
understanding that. The policies that Romney would propose, for example --
you talked about this earlier -- could cost four million jobs in the next
two years.

The president always said he wanted this election to be a choice, not
a referendum. It`s becoming a choice. Romney is a clunky candidate,
sitting at 34 percent approval in that "Washington Post" poll.

Here`s the critical metric, Ed, in the key industrial swing states or
in the key states where they have seen Romney most, from Florida all the
way through Wisconsin, he is running behind the president, often pretty far

In that Marist/NBC poll he`s 17 points behind in Wisconsin. You know
you`re in trouble if the more they see you, the less they like you.

SHRUM: You know, Bob, I got a real sense that this White House and
the Obama campaign is pretty confident. Joe Biden said at a Chicago fund-
raiser -- this is interesting. He said "I don`t think we`ll be beaten by
those candidates. I think we`ll be beaten, if we are, by something
happening in the Eurozone or something happening in the Gulf, which could
be difficult for us, or this barrage of super PAC money. But even with
that, I feel good."

Sometimes Joe Biden just speaks the truth a little too good. But
that`s a confident camp right there. If we add jobs April, May, June,
July, August, September, October, I mean, that`s going to be a string of
months plus the 24 that we`ve had. Holy smokes, that`s going to be 30
months of private sector job growth. What can Romney say about that?

SHRUM: I don`t know what he`ll say. He`s losing his argument, you
know, I`m the CEO who can fix the economy. What`s he going to say if the
economy is on its way to being fixed, if people think that things are
steadily getting better.

SCHULTZ: What about Biden`s comment?

SHRUM: You know, Joe Biden is spontaneous. He`s real. It`s great
strength. What he did was the classic Washington thing. He told a truth
that maybe you might have said, well, don`t tell it here, just tell it
inside a conference room where we`re talking with each other.

But it`s not going to hurt him at all. He`s going to play a critical
role in Florida and in those Midwest industrial states.

SCHULTZ: Is the Obama campaign over-confident right now? Are they
letting the door open and some sunshine in, so we see what they`re really

SHRUM: No, I don`t think so at all. I think that the Obama campaign
works hard and worries every day about where this is going, takes nothing
for granted. The whole lesson in politics is that you can`t take anything
for granted.

That doesn`t mean that you and I can`t sit here and talk about the
manifest weaknesses of Mitt Romney, who short of some malign turn of
events, is going to have a very hard time winning this election. He`s got
a character problem. He`s got a flip-flop problem. He`s got a jobs
problem. He`s got a fairness problem.

Those are very, very big thing on the table. And the president`s
strengths happen to be the opposite of that: character, consistency,
fairness and jobs.

SCHULTZ: Quickly, let`s say the Supreme Court strikes down the health
care mandate. What`s that mean? Who wins? Who loses?

SHRUM: I think it will consolidate the Democratic base like never
before. I think we will understand that we have a Tea Party Supreme Court.
We cannot let another Republican president pack this court with more
justices or I`m going to call them injustices, who will go after women`s
rights, equal rights for gays and lesbians and for minorities, and maybe
undo the whole structure of the social safety net.

SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.

SHRUM: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Someone in America might become an instant half billionaire
tonight. I`ll show you what I`m planning to do -- well not if, but when I
win big tonight.


SCHULTZ: In tonight`s Big Finish, I guess we could call it a Mega
Finish. What would you do with 640 million dollars. In just over two
hours, the 640 million dollar Mega Millions lottery number will be drawn.
It`s a world record pay out.

If the winner takes the cash option, the prize will be 462 million
dollars. The feds get 25. State taxes vary around the country. But if
the winner is here in New York, the lucky person would clear around 305
million dollars after taxes. That`s a hell of a lot of money.

With money like that, you can do just about anything. You could
easily afford a 12 million dollar California beach front mansion. No doubt
about it.

You could build an elevator in your new residence for two spanking
brand new Cadillacs. You could make friends with all the Nascar owners in
America. You could make friends with some Major League Baseball owners as

If I win, Wendy and I would invite Jeff Foxworthy up north to do some
fishing at the lodge. We would even start hanging around Kidd Rock.
Although I did see him at WiFest (ph) last year.

You could park some of your 300 million dollars in the Cayman Islands.
That`s always a good thing to do. And you could even take a trip to
Switzerland to hide some of your money.

You wouldn`t have to cut any corners on the airtight kennel that you
could put on the top of your roof. And you would never have to step foot
on Southwest Airlines again.

I`ll just tell you straight up, there it is, baby. That`s a Citation
10. That`s the fastest business jet in America. It travels at 53,000
feet, at over 600 miles an hour. If I wing the lottery, baby, a Citation
10 is going to be purchased. That and whole lot of fishing tackle.

starts right now.

And I don`t have to win the lottery to hold a few bucks off to the
side to buy that book "Drift." I hear it`s a dandy.


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