updated 4/11/2012 12:51:03 PM ET 2012-04-11T16:51:03

Guests: Mike Papantonio, Dan Gelber, John Butchko, Joan Walsh, Richard
Wolffe, Daryl Parks, Sen. Frank Lautenberg


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

A huge new development in the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman`s
attorneys, they have quit the case and they say they`ve lost contact with
the shooter. Zimmerman isn`t talking to his attorneys, but you won`t
believe who he is talking to.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CRAIG SONNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: As of now, we are withdrawing as
counsel for Mr. Zimmerman. We`ve lost contact with him.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): George Zimmerman`s attorneys are out. Sean
Hannity is in.

HAL UHRIG, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We learned that he had called Sean
Hannity of FOX News directly.

SCHULTZ: We`ll have all the latest on the bizarre turn in the Trayvon
Martin case.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How`s everybody doing
today?

(APPLAUSE)

SCHULTZ: The president lets loose on the Buffett Rule.

OBAMA: Do we give another $50,000 in tax breaks to every millionaire
and billionaire in the country?

AUDIENCE: No!

SCHULTZ: And today, Republicans dusted off W. to provide the
response.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: If you raise taxes on the so-
called rich, you`re really raising taxes on the job creators.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh on the president`s hard-hitting speech in Florida
and Richard Wolffe on the return of George W. Bush.

BUSH: What I don`t like to do is being beaten on a mountain bike ride
by a one-legged veteran.

SCHULTZ: The bully from Jersey gets caught deceiving the public.
Senator Frank Lautenberg says he`s got the goods on the governor, and he`s
here tonight.

Rick Santorum is cutting and running, but not before he trashed the
party.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Imagine, had Mitt Romney
been around at the time that we were drafting our Constitution. He`d have
just shaken it and shook it up after it was approved to rewrite it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

The word is "bizarre" -- a very bizarre twist in the Trayvon Martin
case. The shooter, George Zimmerman, has gone rogue and his lawyers have
had enough. Late today, they cut ties with their client.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SONNER: As of now, we are withdrawing as counsel for Mr. Zimmerman.
We`ve lost contact with him. Up to this point, we`ve had contact every
day. He has gone on his own. I`m not sure what he`s doing or who he`s
talking to. But at this point, we`re withdrawing as counsel.

UHRIG: It`s not so much that we`re resigning. We`re just announcing
to you that we can no longer represent him, until such time as he may come
forward and ask for that help more formally and in a different context than
we`ve had so far.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Not only has Zimmerman stopped responding to his attorneys,
they don`t even know where he is. They said he`s still in the United
States, but apparently he`s not in Florida anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: So I will not tell you where George Zimmerman is, because I
don`t know. But for those who were engaged in the late Easter egg hunt
looking for him, they can stop looking in Florida. Look much further away
than that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That statement is a huge concern for the Martin family. One
of their attorneys, Benjamin Crump, addressed it in an interview earlier
tonight on this network with Al Sharpton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: They are concerned that George
Zimmerman, the man who killed their son, Reverend Sharpton, is unaccounted
for. His lawyers can`t account for his whereabouts. He won`t return their
calls.

And is he a flight risk? Will he ever be brought to justice, if and
when he is charged, for killing their son?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Zimmerman seems to be taking matters completely into his own
hands. He apparently defied his lawyer`s advice and personally called the
special prosecutor in charge of the Trayvon Martin case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: One of the things every defense attorney tells his client is:
don`t talk to the prosecutors, don`t talk to the cops. Frankly, don`t talk
to anybody until we get control of the situation and do it through counsel.

We were a bit astonished and had some conversations back and forth
with the special prosecutor`s office. And they told us what was expected
was, we`re not going to talk to a criminal -- potential defendant or
suspect or target of an investigation without counsel. We`re just not
going to do it. And they told him that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But there is one guy who`s taking Zimmerman`s calls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: We learned that he had called Sean Hannity of FOX News
directly, not through us, and we believe -- I can`t confirm this -- but we
believe we spoke directly with Sean, off the record, and he`s not even
willing to tell us what our client told him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Zimmerman is ditching his lawyers, but he`s talking to
Hannity? I guess we shouldn`t be surprised. Hannity has made it clear
whose side he was on when he played the role of defense attorney in a
softball interview with George Zimmerman`s father last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Do you think this has all been a rush to
judgment by the media?

You obviously have spoken to your son. Tell us his side this of story
on this night. Is it true that your son would tutor African-American and
minority children on the weekend?

Trayvon confronted him, he reached for his cell phone, and Trayvon --
this is confirmed. He broke -- his nose was broken. And is it true that
he had lacerations and injuries to the back of his head, sir?

None of us were there and I know people are trying to put this
together, but I would argue that there`s been a rush to judgment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What was the question, Sean?

Get your questions out, folks, I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: will George Zimmerman ever face justice?

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

I`m joined tonight by Mike Papantonio, attorney and host of "The Ring
of Fire" radio show. And Dan Gelber, former Florida state senator and
former federal prosecutor.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

Mike, is this a reasonable move by Zimmerman`s attorneys to step out
after not being able to get in contact with him for some 48 hours?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, "RING OF FIRE" HOST: Ed, the safest thing these guys
should have done is just said, these are irreconcilable differences.
Whether it`s safe or not, it`s tough to say right now.

What they`ve potentially done is prejudiced Zimmerman by these
statements. Understand, he`s going to face a bond hearing in front of a
judge at some point. The judge is going to be asking him about this idea
of his own attorneys not being able to find him.

Second thing they`re going to be asking is this description that they
have a client that`s suffering from posttraumatic stress syndrome.

So the best thing to do in a situation like this is simply say, we
have irreconcilable differences, we`re pulling out.

The last thing you want is a loose cannon like Zimmerman talking to
another loose cannon like Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity is a polarizing
character. And any defense lawyer is going to tell you, you want to go
into a trial as neutral as you can.

Sean Hannity may not believe this, but there are many jurors that are
appalled by Sean Hannity. And simply having his name associated with this
is a problem for Zimmerman, as I see it.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gelber, what would motivate a potential defendant to
want to make direct contact with the prosecuting attorney after his
attorneys hold him not to do that?

DAN GELBER (D-FL), FORMER STATE SENATOR: An utter lack of judgment.
And that`s the some way to explain it. I mean, if he`s going to represent
himself, then he truly has a fool for a client, because he doesn`t have any
of the expertise to navigate these waters and the idea that he would go
directly to the prosecutor, and equally confounding, to go to someone like
Sean Hannity, as if that`s going to help him, is just so -- I mean, it
reflects that this man really is irresponsible and has no judgment.

SCHULTZ: Well, Mike, what about Sean Hannity`s involvement now? How
legally involved is he? Because it would seem to me the question by
anybody in the legal community would be, Sean, what did you ask him and
what did he say?

PAPANTONIO: Exactly. There`s no client -- attorney/client privilege
here. What he -- everything this man says, every utterance becomes what
they call an admission. And that admission can come in many different
forms. Hannity can try to spin it however he can, but a good prosecutor
can take any admission and usually make it work against the person accused.

This guy is looking at potential life sentence, with second-degree
murder with a firearm in Florida is a potential life sentence. If it`s
manslaughter with a weapon, Ed, he`s looking at 30 years. And you have him
out there like a crazy man, talking to other crazy people, like Sean
Hannity, who has the potential to deep six his defense.

He has a great defense right now. Zimmerman has a plausible defense,
because of the incompetence of the state attorney`s office, because of the
incompetence of the police department. But he`s losing that edge, and no
matter what these defense lawyers do, to try to advise him, he`s not going
to listen to him.

Both your other guests and I have seen it many times in criminal
defense cases. They simply don`t listen.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gelber, as a prosecuting attorney, how important is it
that someone has spoken to George Zimmerman and asked him questions?

GELBER: Well, listen, prosecutors often will go to trial without any
statement from the defendant. So the idea that there are people out there
who are going to be given the account that he`s given means that he`s
tethered to that. It makes it much harder for his defense lawyers to put
on a defense. It helps the prosecution immensely.

And remember something -- this is a tough case to begin with, because
of the ridiculous "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida. So this at least
will maybe swing that pendulum a little bit back in the other way if those
statements are ever revealed to the prosecutors.

SCHULTZ: Here`s Hannity on his radio show, revealing that he has
spoken to the shooter.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HANNITY: People are trying to make this all about George Zimmerman.
And I spoke to George Zimmerman. And I`m not going to reveal the contents
of that conversation.

But I have confirmed, yes, he was a mentor to minority children. Now,
if you were a racist, I think you`d be a mentor to minority children.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gelber, I have to ask -- as a prosecutor, if Sean
Hannity is saying that he`s not going to reveal the conversation, that
would only pique my interest into, what did he the tell you?

GELBER: And the lawyers may get involved. And who knows who else
he`s spoken to? I mean, I think it just -- you`ve got an out of control
client at this point, and I understand why the lawyers want to get out of
the case. I agree that laying out their client may not have been the best
way to do it, but I understand why when they were communicating with him,
they were lawyers without a client for all intents and purposes.

SCHULTZ: All right, Mike, let`s say you`re defending George
Zimmerman. I mean, this guy has disregarded the advice of his attorney,
just like he disregarded the advice of the 911 operator who told him not to
follow Trayvon Martin.

How difficult does it make for the defense attorney?

PAPANTONIO: The defense has -- the best defense here, Ed, is that the
forensics on the case, the lack of real police work, the lack of what the
state attorney`s office did gives Zimmerman a plausible defense. The
"Stand Your Ground" law gives him a plausible defense.

Right now, it`s very defensible. But as Mr. Gelber`s pointed out, the
more he talks, every word he speaks just gives the prosecutor another edge.
What he has now, Ed, he has a bunch of flying monkeys flying around his
case. He even has a Web site out that really attracts like skinheads,
white supremacists to give to his defense.

The whole point of the prosecution is, is this is a murder that took
place and racism was part of the reason the murder took place. He has
flying monkeys all over his case right here, his defense lawyers -- I`m
certain that, look, they messed up in saying too much at that press
conference. No question about it.

But, really, they have an out of control client. Mr. Gelber`s had
him. I`ve had him before. They`re tough to control.

And Zimmerman is his worst enemy. It`s getting worse by the day,
every time he speaks.

SCHULTZ: One of the attorneys, Mr. Uhrig compared the Zimmerman case
toot famous Florida case. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: We hope the best for George Zimmerman. We hope for the best
for the Martin family as well. When this case is eventually over, and just
like Casey Anthony, it will eventually be over, it`s our hope that the
Martin family can begin completing the grieving process for their son and
that George can get his life reinstated a little bit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Dan, what does it tell you about Zimmerman`s lawyers that
they`re comparing this to Casey Anthony?

GELBER: Well, I hope there are no book deals in the offing for
anybody. But, listen, this guy is out of control. And, unfortunately for
him, and fortunately for the prosecution, he`s acting right now with the
same kind of lack of judgment that they`re going to claim, if they do
charge him, that he exercised on the night he shot and killed Trayvon
Martin.

SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, Dan Gelber, great to have you with us
tonight. Appreciate your time on THE ED SHOW. Thank you.

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

Up next, did Zimmerman`s former attorneys affect a potential case
against George Zimmerman? Former Miami homicide detective John Butchko
joins me.

And former President George W. Bush, he`s back at it. And he`s trying
to explain why the Bush tax cuts shouldn`t be called the Bush tax cuts
anymore. But he seems to be a little confused.

Stay tuned. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We have some breaking news to report at this moment. Special
prosecutor in the case of killing of an unarmed Florida teen -- special
prosecutor in the case of killing of an unarmed Florida teen says she will
call a news conference within the next 72 hours to release new information.
That being reported by "Reuters" tonight, that news coming to us from
"Reuters."

Within the next 72 hours, the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, will
hold a news conference to release new information with within 72 hours.

Coming up, what do George Zimmerman`s ex-lawyers` comments mean for
the case? I`ll talk to retired homicide detective John Butchko, next.

The president hit the trail today, speaking out on the Buffett Rule
and tax fairness. Joan Walsh is here with the latest. And a new report
reveals that Chris Christie lied about the cost of a commuter rail project
in order to kill it. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey called for the
study. He joins me later.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: Nothing that we`re saying here today is going to change the
evidence. Nothing we`re saying here today is going to change the law. If
we`re correct and we believe we are as to what we`ve said so far, the
evidence that you have seen and the evidence that we have reason to believe
that exists is in the possession of the prosecutor and law enforcement,
taken together, and applied to the law. We frankly believe that the
correct decision will be to not charge him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: George Zimmerman`s former attorney says their statement
today will not influence a potential case against Zimmerman. But at the
same time, they called George Zimmerman`s mental well-being into question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: Our concern is that more him to do this, when he`s got a
couple of professionals out there working as hard as we were for his
benefit, to handle it this way suggests that he may not be in complete
control of what`s going on. We`re concerned for his emotional and physical
safety.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: In another surprising revelation, attorney Hal Uhrig said
the lawyers never met face to face with their client.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: Probably a 99.44 to 100 percent of the cases you meet with
your client, sign a representation agreement, and represent them after
that. However, for attorneys that practice here in central Florida, with
50 million tourists a year coming to Disney and Universal and often times
getting arrested and flying us home and hiring us from Minnesota, or from
California, or from Europe, it is not totally unusual to not meet with your
client personally. We do it all the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in John Butchko, a retired Miami Police
Department homicide detective.

John, good to have you with us tonight.

As an investigator, did the attorneys` statements impact a potential
case against George Zimmerman, from what you can see?

JOHN BUTCHKO, RETIRED HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Well, it`s a pleasure being
here.

No, from what I can see, from their statements, what they say really
means nothing to the case, especially what they`re saying to the media and
during these press conferences. However, should he be charged and should
this case go before a jury, by saying those exact words in front of a jury
could influence that jury to find the defendant not guilty.

However, the case is going to be based on the physical evidence, on
the angles of the shot, the injuries to Mr. Zimmerman, and a variety of
other information, which will be important to a jury. Defense lawyers all
the time will talk about a case in front of a jury. They`ll tell the jury
some things that are not true and they`ll try to discredit the police
officers on the stand and go from there.

So it will mean something in front of a jury, but not here in the
media.

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring back Mike Papantonio, attorney and host of "Ring
of Fire" radio show; and also, Dan Gelber, former Florida state senator and
former federal prosecutor.

Gentleman, the story tonight now is that the prosecuting investigator
is going to hold a press conference within the next 72 hours to release new
information. Mike, your response to that?

PAPANTONIO: Well, it`s all adding up to where there`s really a real
potential, it`s hard to read tea leaves, other than to say I think there`s
probably going to be an indictment. I say that because this is a
prosecutor who said, we don`t need a grand jury. I have the facts in front
of me. They`ve looked at the facts. She`s very capable.

I would be amazed if there`s not some indictment that comes out. I`m
sure this is a prosecutor that`s also concerned about the public relations
circus that`s taken place here. And she feels like she has to get out
there.

She has to say, look, hold on. I`ve looked at it. In 72 hours, I`m
going to give you an answer, to maybe calm this three-ring circus down just
a little bit.

I think that`s probably what`s at work here.

SCHULTZ: Dan, your thoughts on this. The 72 hours -- is that rather
strange that she would put a time frame on when she`s going to release new
information?

GELBER: Well, it`s going to create a lot of anticipation and even
more scrutiny and interest. In this case, though, there`s so much of it,
it may not matter either way.

But I do think, however, talking to Mike`s point, look, there`s no
question this is going to be a tough case if it`s brought. But if she
believes that this guy committed a crime, then she ought to bring the
charges, even if it`s a tough case. There`s no reason not to bring a tough
case, if you believe and are convinced that there`s been a crime.

And I think she may be leaning that way, just based on some of the
things that we`ve been hearing and seeing.

SCHULTZ: I got to ask you, Mr. Butchko, as an investigator, now that
George Zimmerman has spoken to someone who happens to have a radio and a
television show, wouldn`t that take the prosecutors or the investigators
right to that host to ask him some questions?

I mean, he`s not bound by any attorney/client information. He could
be withholding some information. Who knows? Wouldn`t you want to
interview him?

BUTCHKO: That`s right. And any information that George Zimmerman
gives to anyone, other than his attorneys, is information that the
prosecutors could gather. You would serve a subpoena to whoever this
person is, bring them in, and interview them as to what was said to them by
Mr. Zimmerman, and that information could be used against Mr. Zimmerman, or
in his favor, on the other hand.

SCHULTZ: And, Mike, earlier today, the attorneys for Zimmerman said
that they apparently contacted Hannity and he wouldn`t tell them what the
conversation was about. What do you make about that?

PAPANTONIO: Yes, first of all, these are very capable criminal
defense attorneys. Have they done a little more -- have they said more
than I would want them to say? The answer`s yes.

But the very fact -- this is all about Hannity. See, Hannity at this
point could not care less about Zimmerman. This is about Hannity.

Hannity has taken this thing, this terrible tragedy, he`s turned it
toward being a Sean Hannity story, which is very characteristic of Sean
Hannity.

In the process, what he`s done is he`s prejudiced the -- he`s
prejudiced Zimmerman, for sure, in the end, you`re going to see the
polarizing effect of a guy like Hannity has big ramifications, it has big
legs. I don`t care how hard you try to pick a fair and impartial jury.

He`s very polarizing. You want to go in, as I said, with a neutral
story. You don`t want a guy like Hannity who is a loose cannon trying to
try this case in the public. Not for Zimmerman, Ed, but for FOX News and
for Hannity.

SCHULTZ: All right. John Butchko, Mike Papantonio, Dan Gelber --
thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

President Obama is calling out Republicans for stomping on middle
class in order to benefit the wealthy. "Salon`s" Joan Walsh joins me next.

The guy who told reporters they`d be better off voting for President
Obama over Mitt Romney ends his bid for the GOP nomination. We`ll go back
-- he goes back on his word in support of the Mittster.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If you make more than $1 million a year, and I`m not saying
you have $1 million, right? I`m not saying you saved up, you know, all
your money and you made smart investments and now you`ve got your nest egg
and you`re preparing for retirement -- I`m saying, you`re bringing in $1
million or more a year, then what the rule says is you should pay the same
percentage of your income in taxes as middle class families do.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama on a roll, urging the Senate to go with the
Buffett Rule. It makes millionaires with low tax rates pay an overall rate
of 30 percent. At a speech in south Florida, the president described some
of the things the country could pay for if millionaires paid their fair
share. Prescription drug savings for the elderly, Medicare for veterans,
salaries for firefighters and police officers, financial aid for students,
and a whole lot more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If you hear them saying, well, the president`s making this
stuff up. No, we`re doing the math. If they want to dispute anything that
I`ve said right now, they should show us specifically where they would make
those cuts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama didn`t mention any Republicans by name, but
his message will be central to the general election. There was any doubt
as to President Obama`s general election opponent will be, Rick Santorum
wiped it away today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: We made a decision to get into this race at our kitchen
table and against all the odds. And we made a decision over the weekend
that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will
suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting. We are
going to continue to fight for those voices. We`re going to continue to
fight for the Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings
that allowed us to accomplish things that no political expert would have
ever expected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined by Joan Walsh, editor at large, Salon.com, the
great Joan Walsh. Great to have you in studio here in New York.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: It`s so much fun.

SCHULTZ: All right, Rick Santorum, he just didn`t have confidence to
go home on home turf to face Romney. What`s that all about?

WALSH: No. You know what was so funny? They revealed this ad, the
last ad that Romney was going to drop on him, the last cluster bomb that
just called him a loser in his home state. That`s what was happening. He
was seeing the polls.

But when I saw that ad, I thought this poor guy. He -- Romney has
made himself an enemy with this one last nasty dig. He`s made it very hard
for them to come together. He said nothing about Romney today.

SCHULTZ: Well, he also -- I think that Santorum did not want to give
Mitt Romney the street credibility of being able to go to the convention
and say, what are you talking about, a brokered convention. The guy that
was closest to beating me in the delegate count, I beat him in his home
state.

WALSH: Right. He absolutely wiped him off the map today. I think
that`s good for Romney. But at the same time, we saw President Obama set
up this perfect choice. You and I have talked about this for a long time.
Mitt Romney is the poster boy for the top one percent. He`s the poster boy
for the Buffet Rule.

We`re going to have a lot of talk about tax fairness and also the
opportunity that tax fairness provides.

SCHULTZ: The president and his campaign obviously banking on income
inequality being more important to people than the deficit. Will it work?

WALSH: Yes, I think it will work. You know, the Third Way Group,
they are a nice, pragmatic Democratic group. They are really saying income
equality is a losing issue and that he shouldn`t talk about it so much. I
think the way the president does it is perfect, though. He does tie it to
opportunity. He does tie it to what that -- those the tax dollars could
pay for to create the middle class that existed for you and me when we were
growing up.

SCHULTZ: Isn`t President Obama facing the perfect candidate, Mitt
Romney, for the conditions of the country right now to depict where the
vulture chart is that we show so much, versus the middle class? This is a
guy who really has got, what, a tax rate of 13.9 percent. And he also has
a tax policy that is only going to help those red liners.

WALSH: It`s only going to help him. Absolutely, it`s the perfect
candidate, the perfect time. Rick Santorum too, he called Mitt -- he
derided Mitt as a Wall Street financier. The Republicans have done a lot
of damage to Mitt Romney in this primary. It`s a good day for the
president.

SCHULTZ: Paul Ryan, the House budget chair from Wisconsin, spoke
about the president`s recent speeches on "The Today Show." Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: You know, we have gotten kind of used
to this sort of verbal tantrums from the president. To me, it`s a little
more petulance than presidential.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is he targeting you?

RYAN: I think it`s because we are actually offering solutions to a
debt crisis where he isn`t. So I think we -- our existence and our
solutions point out the fact that he hasn`t offers any solutions to these
problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Your response.

WALSH: He called the president petulant. Have you ever heard of
projection, Ed? When you don`t like something and someone because it`s
something about yourself. Paul Ryan is the most petulant character in
Washington. He`s so thin skinned.

Then he was also deriding the president today because the Buffet Rule
won`t collect enough revenue. His budget doesn`t collect any revenue.

SCHULTZ: It doesn`t. And that`s nothing in the Ryan Budget that
polls beyond 50 percent. I mean, it is not a popular budget. The country
-- that is not where the country is, to attack the big three. Sixty seven
percent of Americans want to see the wealthiest Americans pay more when it
comes to taxes. That goes exactly the opposite of where the Republicans
are with the budget that came out of the House, the Ryan Plan.

But to go after the president like this, does this just show that they
are weak on game, that they just don`t have anything else to make him the
target?

WALSH: They have no game. I mean, their game is going to be that the
economy is still in a tough place. We know that. That`s what he
inherited. He has made it better.

As long as things are ticking up, or the unemployment rate is ticking
down, he`s in pretty good shape. He`s not out of the woods. Democrats
cannot be complacent about this stuff.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Because of the money. Citizens United and keeping up
with the money is going to be hard.

WALSH: Because of the suffering. A lot of people are still in a
tough place. You and I both know that.

SCHULTZ: Yes, they are. But I think that Ryan pretty much is proving
the president`s point with some of the things that he`s saying. No doubt.

Joan Walsh, great to have you us with tonight. Thanks so much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We believe
that all freedom is universal. In other words, we strongly believe in the
concept of the universality of freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, George Bush is back and he is still not making
any sense.

Rick Santorum is cutting and running.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: This presidential race for us is over for me and we will
suspend our campaign effective today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Ahead, we`ll bid him a fond farewell.

And Chris Christie gets busted deceiving the people of New Jersey.
Senator Frank Lautenberg is here with the details.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I wish they weren`t called the Bush Tax Cuts. If they were
called some other body`s tax cuts, they`re probably less likely to be
raised.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Wait a minute now. George W. Bush sure loved them being
called the Bush Tax Cuts when he was president. But now the country I
think is realizing what a bad idea they really were. I guess you just see
things differently once you`ve been out of the White House for a while.

That, of course, was former President Bush today in New York, speaking
at the New York hysterical -- I mean the New York Historical Society. I
wrote that.

He`s back. He`s bringing back the greatest hits of the Bush
presidency, you know, like the job creators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: If you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you`re really raising
taxes on the job creators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, yeah. Bush`s economic policy worked so well, it helped
create the worst recession since the Great Depression. Look at all the
jobs created under George W. Bush, when he cut taxes on the so-called job
creators.

The former president spoke about the Bush Presidential Center and its
support for veterans. But then he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I`m taking a bunch of vets mountain bike riding in the Paladura
(ph) Canyon. I love to mountain bike ride. What I don`t like to do is be
beaten on a mountain bike ride by a one-legged veteran, but it`s likely to
happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, in the Iraq War alone, there were more than 4,400
American troops killed and more than 32,000 troops wounded. Bush has
stayed largely out of the limelight since President Obama took office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I don`t think it`s good, frankly, for our country to undermine
our president. I don`t intend to do so. But I do intend to remain
involved in areas that I`m interested in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And the former president also answered a question he is
frequently asked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I`m often asked, do you miss the presidency. Really -- I
really don`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: "I really don`t." Let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst
Richard Wolffe.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: We miss him, right.

SCHULTZ: It`s like an old highlight film, isn`t it? That`s the same
guy, isn`t it, Richard?

WOLFFE: Unchanged. His arguments haven`t changed. Look, I was there
in 2000 when he would go out there and say, it`s not the government`s
money; it`s the people`s money. It turned out to be China`s money when it
came to tax cuts.

But still, he`s still making the same arguments he did 10 years ago.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s hard to know where to begin after two wars. I
don`t think the former president should be making a joke about a one-legged
veteran. Or was there something I`m missing here?

WOLFFE: No. You would think that after the period of self-reflection
that would come at the end of a presidency, he might to able to take things
differently. But that`s who he is. He was always this cut up. He always
had an inappropriate sense of humor.

And it was -- you know, we heard Paul Ryan call the president petulant
-- the current president petulant. But there was always a child-like sense
of humor about President Bush. And the seriousness of occasions often sort
of escaped him, not necessarily when he was doing his visits to hospitals,
of course.

But to make light of something like the war in Iraq and its terrible
legacy is strange. But that`s who he always was.

SCHULTZ: Let`s go back to the tax cuts, which he is pushing hard for
right now, even though he doesn`t want them to be called the Bush Tax Cuts
anymore. His philosophy is still the same. He never argued that calling
them the Bush Tax Cuts was a problem back then, when they were actually
taking place in 2001 and 2003, and of course what they thought was economic
growth for the top two percent.

What do you think?

WOLFFE: Well, a couple of things. He seemed to be making the
argument in his speech that they were a form of stimulus. And it could
well be that, to some degree, this president, President Obama, will say,
you know, we need to keep those middle class tax cuts, that piece of the
Bush tax package in place because the economy isn`t strong enough at the
end of this year to take them all out of circulation.

But the stimulus argument is not, in fact, what conservatives are
saying right now. What they are saying is they will pay themselves. It`s
just the right thing to do. Never mind the fact that disproportionately,
in terms of the cash, the millionaires and billionaires are the ones who
benefit.

It`s a weird piece of philosophy because he is arguing for something
now, but he`s not in line with the conservative ideology of his own party.

SCHULTZ: Here is more words of wisdom on economic policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: The pie rose. The debt relative to the pie shrinks. And with
fiscal discipline, you can better solve your current account deficits and
your entitlements.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We`re getting a good lecture on deficits, aren`t we?

WOLFFE: Yes. You know, here`s a guy who, again in 2000, he said he
wanted to make the pie higher for everyone. I`m not still sure what he
meant by that. But growth is an interesting argument. Growth will deal
with deficits. I think that`s what he is trying to say, in terms of the
economics he is putting out there.

But again, what you are hearing from his own party is that growth
isn`t the most important thing, that cutting the deficits is the most
important thing. Again, you wonder, if you look at him now, as
conservative as he was, you`ve got to ask yourself, could he win the
nomination of his own party today? I think the answer to that is no.

SCHULTZ: Finally, the former president on the lessons he`s learned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Here`s the lesson, by the way: in life, you`re going to be
dealt a hand you don`t want to play. It`s going to happen to all of us.
It certainly happens when you`re president. The question is not if you`re
going to be dealt the hand. The question is how do you play it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: How do you play it?

WOLFFE: You know, I think -- look, I actually do have some respect --
a lot of respect for this former president, for one reason right now in his
post-presidency. He has stayed out of the limelight. He has refrained
from criticizing the president, President Obama, in the way that many in
his party has done.

He seems to let history wash over him as if he was a passive creature.
That`s what is still most mystifying. Here is someone who chose to invade
Iraq. We still don`t know the full reasons, but that`s the hand he was
dealt, I guess.

SCHULTZ: Looks like the same guy to me. Richard Wolffe, good to have
you with us. Thank you so much.

We`ll have more on the breaking news of the Trayvon Martin case.
Martin family attorney Daryl Parks is next. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Breaking news tonight; Florida Special Prosecutor Angela
Corey will hold a news conference sometime in the next 72 hours to release
new information in the Trayvon Martin investigation. The announcement
comes on the heels of George Zimmerman`s attorneys dropping their client
after he stopped responded to their calls.

For more, let`s bring in Daryl Parks, attorney for the family of
Trayvon Martin.

Mr. Parks, good to have you with us tonight. I`ve got to ask you
directly, do you think that this is it, that charges are going to be
brought forward within the next 72 hours?

DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR MARTIN FAMILY: I`m very encouraged. I
think that if you think about this case, Ed, it was rather clear that most
of us set a deadline of today being the day that we would get some type of
decision. I think the special prosecutor must have realized that, and
realized that she had to give us some information, so that we`ll have some
indicator of when we could get an announcement.

Low and behold, this evening she did just that. She put out a
statement that she, in the next 72 hours, would have a major press
conference to announce what she`s going to do.

We know from our personal information in this case that her
investigators have been out talking to witnesses, have gathered a lot of
information. She`s asked us to be patient with her in doing her
investigation. Now, she`s come to the point where she is ready to give us
major decision.

We`re very enthusiastic about receiving that decision. Because at the
end of the day, George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin and he remains free.
That`s a problem.

SCHULTZ: What about the 72 hours? Isn`t that rather unusual, that
she would put a time frame on it?

PARKS: Well, she probably won`t take the whole 72 hours. I think
what most prosecutors do, they give themselves a nice, wide, broad time
set. Then they have something to work within. And it`s still under their
discretion.

SCHULTZ: All right, some very unusual and bizarre news today. And
that is that George Zimmerman`s attorneys have distanced themselves from
their client because he hasn`t been communicating with them, but he has
been talking to Sean Hannity. Your reaction.

PARKS: Well, I think it goes even beyond that. He actually called
the prosecutor too. So he`s been very noncompliant with their
instructions. Maybe that`s not the type of information that we should know
as the public and as opposing attorneys.

But now we know it. But what it does say is that George Zimmerman is
the type of guy who will do what he wants to do, who will noncompliant,
even when he has instructions. Very similar to what we have seen in this
case, when the dispatcher told him to stay in the vehicle, not follow
Trayvon, and he followed him anyway.

SCHULTZ: So he`s pretty much a loose cannon from what you`ve seen?

PARKS: Pretty much. I mean, the evidence speaks for itself. I think
if nothing else, the American public has to look at this and clearly see
that this is the type of guy who does what he wants to do?

SCHULTZ: Are you concerned about a flight risk? Do you think he`s a
flight risk at this point?

PARKS: Very concerned. The only reason I have some assurance is that
when we met with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about two and a
half weeks ago, they told us that they knew the whereabouts of George
Zimmerman. Realizing that this is an ongoing investigation, I`m pretty
sure that they have maintained that contact.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Parks, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

Next up, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he killed a major
infrastructure project because of the cost. Now a new report says Christie
fudged the numbers. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey will weigh in
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I`m not going to put the
taxpayers of our state on the hook for costs that are well in excess of
what this was originally projected to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey back in 2010
blocking a Hudson River rail project that would have created thousands of
jobs, improved commuting for millions of workers and enhanced
infrastructure in the northeastern portion of the United States.

At the time, Christie explained he was killing the project because of
the cost. But today we learned that was a lie. A report from the
Government Accountability Office concludes that Christie exaggerated the
project`s price tag. "The New York Times" reports that Christie had cited
estimates from the state transportation officials ranging from 11 to 14
billion dollars.

But the GAO report concludes those same state officials estimated the
cost to be no more than 10 billion dollars. Christie also inflated New
Jersey`s share of the cost. Christie had said the state was on the hook
for 70 percent of the project. Well, it turns out the state would have
paid just over 14 percent for the project.

The project was killed after it had already begun. Millions of --
hundreds of millions of dollars had already been spent. The decision
didn`t just impact the state of New Jersey. The tunnel would have
alleviated congestion along the northeastern corridor, from Boston to
Washington, D.C.

The only person this decision helped was Governor Chris Christie, the
same guy who will not raise taxes on millionaires, at the expense of
teachers, police officers and fire fighters. Today, before an audience of
right wingers, Christie had no apologies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: When they want to build a tunnel to the basement of Macy`s
and stick the New Jersey taxpayers with a bill of three to five billion
dollars over, no matter how much the administration yells and scream, you
have to say no. You have to look them right in the eye, no matter how much
they try to vilify you for it, and you have to say no. You have to be
willing to say no to those things that compromise your principles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg,
the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D), NEW JERSEY: Nice to be here.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Good to have you with us. There`s a big
difference between 70 percent and 14 percent. What`s your reaction to the
GAO report?

LAUTENBERG: The GAO -- GAO report is done. It`s a nonpolitical
organization. They are credible surveys. They say baloney, that that`s
not the case, that he misconstrued or misled the public in terms of what
the costs might be.

I had worked very hard and had several people to get the initial
money, six billion dollars, Ed, for that tunnel. We have worked already
about 400 million dollars worth, just preparing. And found out that he
casually, inexcusably was creating figures that just didn`t balance.

SCHULTZ: Did he lie to the public?

LAUTENBERG: He misled them.

SCHULTZ: This was a big move on his part.

LAUTENBERG: It was a big move. It was deliberate. He had a mission
for the funds that were going to come to the government, to the federal
government and to the state government.

SCHULTZ: You called this the most transportation project of our time.
You also called Christie`s decision one of the biggest public policy
blunders in New Jersey history.

LAUTENBERG: I believe that to be the case.

SCHULTZ: How much fuel does this throw on that fire? How do you --
what do you think the reaction is going to be?

LAUTENBERG: I think the reaction is going to be angry at Governor
Christie. He owes the public an apology. We were working in 2009 on the
tunnel. Suddenly, he called it off. It would have been 22,000 cars a day
off the road. It would have been 6,000 jobs immediately digging and
shoveling.

It would have resulted in 44,000 jobs for people to go from New Jersey
to New York and vice versa.

SCHULTZ: Senator Frank Lautenberg, great to have you with us tonight.
Appreciate your time. Thank you.

And that`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW"
starts 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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