Skip navigation

The Ed Show for Monday, April 16, 2012

Read the transcript to the Monday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Guests: E.J. Dionne, Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe, Joan Walsh, Sen. Bernie Sanders, John Nichols, Sal Pace

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

The Romneys have been caught on tape. Mitt is hiding his plan to cut
government and Ann is raving about her early birthday present. We`ll
unwrap it all tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

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




ROMNEY: That`s what I`d like to say.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Mitt Romney is already measuring the White
House for car elevators. But he`s totally busted when it comes to the war
on moms.

ROMNEY: I said, for instance, even if you have a child two years of
age, you need to go to work. I want the individuals to have the dignity of

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh and A.J. Dionne on Mitt`s failure with women.
Richard Wolffe and Howard Fineman on Romney`s hidden agenda and his hidden

Seventy-two percent of Americans love the Buffett Rule but the
Republicans killed it anyway. Tonight, a eulogy for fairness with Vermont
Senator Bernie Sanders.

And Scott Walker is so desperate that he`s calling in the big guns.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I`ll be the third governor in
American history facing a recall election. And we need your help. Join us

SCHULTZ: The fight for Wisconsin is hotter than ever. And John
Nichols is here with the latest.


SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight. Folks, thanks for

The Romney campaign is busted. They spent the better part of last
week creating a public spectacle out of comments made by a Democratic
strategist about Ann Romney. Behind closed doors, well, it`s a little
different story.

At a Florida fund-raiser over the weekend, Ann Romney told a roomful
of donors she didn`t view the comments as offensive but as an opportunity.
"It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a
mom, as a mother. And that was really a defining moment. And I loved it."

So, I guess you could say in a moment of candor, Ann Romney revealed
the Romney campaign cynicism. Hilary Rosen`s comments were exactly what
the Romney campaign wanted and needed to try to shore up the gender gap.
Today, on her 63rd birthday, Mrs. Romney was asked to clarify her comments.


ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: That wasn`t how it meant it. It was
a birthday gift to me because I love the fact that we`re talking about
this. I love the fact that women are talking about deficit spending and
the economy. I love that.


SCHULTZ: Well, I got news for the Romney campaign, women were talking
about the economy long before last week.

But the controversy gave the Romney campaign a perfect distraction.
It took the focus off of Romney`s proposed policies. Still, Mitt Romney is
confident that he can defeat President Obama in the fall. He has a message
for the president.


ROMNEY: Start packing.


ROMNEY: That`s what I`d like to say.

Obviously, we have a very different view. The president, I`m sure
wants another four years. But the first years didn`t go so well.


SCHULTZ: American people aren`t buying it. The latest polling taken
two days after Hilary Rosen made her remarks shows President Obama ahead by
nine points overall. Among women, President Obama has a 16-point

The truth of the matter is the middle class, folks, the middle class
Americans in America believe Mitt Romney doesn`t understand their problems.

Romney takes issue with that.


ROMNEY: We don`t divide America based upon success and wealth and
other dimensions of that nation. We`re one nation under God.


SCHULTZ: We don`t separate. Really? How about when it comes to
taxation, mister?

Mitt Romney is desperately trying to portray himself he`s man of the
people. He`s right in there with you. Insensitive comments made about his
wife have only helped him.


ROMNEY: I happen to believe that all moms are working moms.


SCHULTZ: Really? All moms are working moms except when they`re poor.

Here`s what Mitt Romney had to say about those kinds of moms earlier
this year.


ROMNEY: I also like the idea that people who are receiving
assistance, welfare assistance, have a responsibility of working. In my
state, we make good progress in that regard following the days of the
Welfare Reform Act. But then while I was governor, 85 percent of the
people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement.
I wanted to increase the work requirement.

I said, for instance, even if you have a child two years of age, you
need to go to work. And people said, well, that`s heartless. I said, no,
no, I`m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go
back to work. It will cost the state more providing the day care, but I
want the individuals to have the dignity of work.


SCHULTZ: Dignity. It`s a big word.

According to Mitt Romney, the "all moms are working moms" argument
doesn`t apply to moms on welfare.

According to Mitt Romney, moms who receive government assistance and
stay home with their children aren`t working.

In his mind, it`s really very simple. Moms struggling to make ends
meet should work outside the home. Moms like Ann Romney should be given a

The Romney campaign confirmed with "National Journal" that these are
Mitt Romney`s beliefs. "Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the
basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that
President Clinton signed into law."

Romney`s own book "No Apology" goes even further. Romney wrote,
"Welfare without work erodes the spirit and the sense of self-worth of the
recipient. And it conditions the children of nonworking parents to
indolent and unproductive lives."

Well, Ann Romney is right. Last week`s made up controversy was a
gift. It allowed Mitt Romney to -- I guess you could say -- shake the old
Etch-a-Sketch and tell the women in the country he understands their
problems. It allowed the Romney campaign yet another opportunity to run
from the truth.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Will Mitt Romney`s war on women stunt backfire?

Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. You can always go to our
blog at And we`ll bring you results later on in the show.

I`m joined by Joan Walsh tonight, editor at large at And
E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, senior fellow at the Brookings Institutions
and Washington columnist.

Great to have you both with us tonight.

Joan, I want to ask you first.

Dazed and confused comes into mind when I start thinking about the
Romney campaign and where they stand on working moms in America. Did they
create a bigger problem for themselves? What do you think?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Oh, I think they did. You know, Ed, I`ve
always thought that Ann Romney was literally his better half and that she
was a better campaigner, a more natural campaigner, more personable in
general. But really with that comment, she shows herself to be so
entitled. A birthday present.

I mean, we ginned up this faux outrage. Hilary Rosen, I just want to
say a kind word to her. She didn`t mean it the way it came out and we all
knew it. Had he added three little word, worked outside the home, she
would have been fine. We understood that`s what she meant but we all had
to have a big hissy fit and a big horrible conversation, and they declared
that President Obama had declared a war on moms.

They ginned up this phony outrage, and then that woman calls it a
birthday present. And I think it`s really wonderful that you ran the clip
also with her husband saying that it`s time for President Obama to start

I mean, between the two things, you see the cluelessness and the
absolute entitlement of these two people who expect us to just show them
the White House and show that guy out. He can start packing.

It`s hilarious. It`s really funny.

SCHULTZ: E.J., is that somewhat a big of arrogance being shown by
Mitt Romney saying get packing. I mean, it`s not even respecting the
competition. It seems to me that the Romney campaign has taken on the
personality to continually denigrate the president of the United States.

And I think that now that they`re making comments -- well, I really
didn`t mean that. Well, Hilary Rosen didn`t really mean that either. I
mean, we got a bunch of people that are running around didn`t mean what
they are saying.

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean, the Republican Party
has been denigrating President Obama from the day he took office. So
that`s not surprising.

And you know what the definition of a gaffe is when somebody tells the
truth. It was a birthday gift for the Romney campaign. I agree totally
with Joan that Ann Romney is one of best assets they have. And the less
we`re talking about Mitt Romney`s positions, the better off it is for them.
The more we`re talking about Ann, the better off it is for them.

But I hope something good can come out of this. What we have to be
asking is, if we care about motherhood or parenthood so much, why do we
have the weakest family leave laws in the industrial world.

SCHULTZ: Great point.

DIONNE: If we care about motherhood or parenthood so much, what are
we to say to the mom that has to work at a Burger King to make ends meet
when her kid gets sick and she has no options?

SCHULTZ: You`re making a great point. But it`s the policies of where
Romney stands on these issues.

DIONNE: Right.

SCHULTZ: It`s not just so much about how his wife felt about her
career of raising five kids at home versus what poor mothers have got to

But there`s another issue here. Mitt Romney still can`t say whether
he would sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

I find this interesting. He says, "I`m not going to go back and look
at all the prior laws and say that had I been there, which ones I would
have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and
have no intention of changing that law. Don`t think there`s a reason to."

Well, wait a minute now. What about health care? He`s been running
around the country telling everybody he`s going to repeal Obamacare, is
what he calls it. He`s not going to do anything to Lilly Ledbetter, but he
doesn`t think he would have signed it.

Now I`m dazed and confused on exactly where Mitt Romney stands on
women`s rights in this country. His campaign couldn`t give a straight
answer last week when they were asked about the Lilly Ledbetter law. They
said we`ll get back to you.

Joan, we`re seeing more of the same, aren`t we?

WALSH: Yes, we are. Why is it so hard? Why can`t you say yes, I
think it`s a great law and I would have signed it if that`s what you

You know, the tough thing with equal pay is in enforcement, Ed. And
it`s extremely relevant because his hero Scott Walker, he called him a
caller, just signed a bill in Wisconsin repealing some of their equal pay
enforcement protection. So it really, you can mouth platitudes about every
mom is a working mom, and I like equal pay, but it really comes down to
what you do in terms of policy. And that`s where Mitt Romney can`t be

I mean, Chris Hayes dug up that great old clip. It`s not that old.
It`s from earlier this year actually.

Now, we know welfare doesn`t need the dignity of work but his wife
doesn`t. She has dignity already.

I mean, when he opens his mouth to talk about anything class-related,
he sticks his foot in it.

SCHULTZ: Well, and he`s also continuing to push this 92 percent lie
about women losing jobs.

WALSH: Right.

SCHULTZ: E.J., is this going to work? It`s just a buzz phrase, 92
percent of the jobs lost in the recession were lost by women. What about

DIONNE: I don`t think it`s working. I mean, my sense is every fact
checker has made the point that men lost jobs in the Bush years. And that
they are just drawing a line on January 20th. This recession was not
caused by President Obama. Job growth started again under President Obama.

But what they were looking for and they were clever about it was
something to distract attention from all the other issues related to women
that were really hammering them until they brought this up. And then they
just kind of scrambled things.

You know, and the other issue that`s dear to your heart, Ed, that we
ought to talk about on this whole family question is declining wages for
middle class and working class people -- people who want one parent at
home, can`t afford to do it anymore. That ought to be what we`re talking
about, too.

SCHULTZ: Let me tell you -- I had call on the radio show today. A
lady says I work two jobs. I`m a single mom. I`ve got a couple of kids.

I could take $100, and I can go a long way with $100. You`d be
surprised how I can stretch a dollar.

I don`t think Mitt Romney knows those people. I don`t think he`s ever
going to know those people.

And that is the majority of Americans out there who live paycheck to
paycheck. And the fact is small businesses in this country, they can`t go
maybe two or three payrolls without going under unless people pay them. I
mean, that`s how tight it can be at times. And I just don`t think Mitt
Romney is swimming in that fish bowl with the majority of Americans.

DIONNE: And I hope -- I hope we can use this parenthood issue to turn
it right back around to the question of how can parents have the kinds of
lives they want with their kids. That should be at the center of the

WALSH: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: I`ll tell you, it just seems to me that the Romney camp
wants to change the lifestyle of middle class Americans, the wrong way.

Joan Walsh, E.J. Dionne -- great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much.

DIONNE: Good to be with 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 think.

Mitt Romney is telling supporters he`s going to gut Washington, going
to cut a bunch of programs. But he`s still not telling anyone what he
plans to cut.

Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe will join me on the discussion.

And later, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is becoming the poster
child for extremism. Just listen to him. This weekend, he called on the
NRA to help out his campaign efforts. John Nichols will be here from "The
Nation" magazine for that story.

We`re right back. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: now, Mitt Romney says he`s going
to cut programs, but he`s not going to tell us what programs he`s going to
cut. Does that pique your interest? Well, Howard Fineman is going to give
commentary on that along with Richard Wolffe.

Senator Mitch McConnell says the president is pushing his idea of
fairness with the Buffett Rule. Polls show the country is all about
fairness. Bernie Sanders is here on today`s vote, on the rule, and we`ll
talk about that.

And rising gas prices are good news for Republicans. The campaign
manager of the Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton thinks so. More details
later in the hour.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. We`ll be right back.



ROMNEY: Unlike President Obama, you don`t have to wait until after
the election to find out what I believe or what my plans are.


SCHULTZ: How can you trust Mitt Romney when he won`t even tell his
biggest supporters what his plans are?

NBC News reported on Romney`s conversations with high level donors at
a fund-raiser in Florida. Romney said, "I`m going to take a lot of
departments in Washington and agencies and combine them, some eliminate.
But I`m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to

Apparently, nothing is safe, not even the department his father used
to run. "Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head
of, that might not be around later. But I`m not going to actually go
through these one by one."

The elimination of HUD would be a new policy position for Mitt Romney.
But his campaign says there`s nothing to see here.

Well, former Senator Jim Talent told reporters Romney was just
throwing some ideas around.


FMR. SEN. JIM TALENT (R), MISSOURI: He was discussing ideas that came
up at the meeting which happens a lot, as you know, when you`re on the
stump or doing interviews with the press. So, that`s what he was doing.


SCHULTZ: Here`s another idea Romney was tossing around. "The
Department of Education, I will either consolidate with another agency or
make it a heck of a lot smaller. I`m not going to get rid of it entirely."

This isn`t the first time Romney has refused to give specifics. When
a conservative "Weekly Standard" asked Romney if he could cut government
agencies, Romney said, the answer is yes, but I`m not going to give you a
list right now.

In fact, Romney admits his entire economy plan is a mystery.


ROMNEY: I think it`s kind of interesting for the groups that try to
score it because, frankly, it can`t be scored because those kinds of
details are going to have to be worked out with Congress and we have a
wide, wide array of options.


SCHULTZ: But wait a minute. Mitt Romney wants to give huge taxes to
the rich. That can be scored. He wants to increase military spending. He
can score that.

He`s fully on board with Paul Ryan`s budget. How about scoring that

And, of course, the money to pay for these things has to come from
somewhere. But Mitt Romney refuses to tell us just what he plans to cut.
Now ask yourself tonight, is that leadership?

Guy runs around the country wants to be president of the United
States, throws out a bunch of policy but he can`t tell you -- can`t finish
the deal with you. How do you get confidence in a guy like that?

Let`s turn to Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and editorial
director of "The Huffington Post" Media Group, and MSNBC political analyst
Richard Wolffe with us tonight as well.

Howard, first of all, congratulations to the "Huffington Post" on
winning a Pulitzer Prize today. That`s outstanding. Congratulations.

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: Thank you, Ed. It`s not only for us
and not only for the wounded veterans that we wrote about, but for the
future of online journalism. So, we`re really very proud.

SCHULTZ: Well, you got a lot to be proud of. It`s a great honor.

All right. Now, let`s touch on Mitt Romney here for a moment. Why is
-- Howard, why is Romney not willing to admit which programs and agencies
that he plans to cut but he can sure go right to the wealthy and go right
to the military and give them anything they want?

FINEMAN: Well, because the wealthy want to know how it pencils. The
wealthy want to know what the bottom line is. They are people who are used
to looking at balance sheets and he has to give them something for them to
try to believe them. And what he gave them massive cuts in housing and

HUD isn`t just a bureau. It`s place that oversees the distribution of
housing for people who need it, in subsidized housing for people that need
it. The Department of Education isn`t just a bureaucracy. It`s a place
that handles Pell grants for college students who need it and lots of other
aid that`s made the rise of the middle class possible in this country.

But the rich donors that he was talking to wanted to know specifics of
how he was going to cut if they were going to believe in him as a
conservative. Don`t forget, Ed, his whole challenge this whole time to get
support and money from conservatives has been to prove he`s conservative.
That`s what he was trying to do.

SCHULTZ: Richard, isn`t there a trust -- a level of trust here that
has to play out? I mean, if Romney can`t be specific with big donors, who
can he be specific with?

more specific than he intended to and these comments were not supposed to
get out in public. But you would think a candidate who isn`t releasing his
tax returns right now would be a little more careful about this.

I mean, it`s one thing to try to have a Jell-o strategy. You can`t
get your arms around me because I`m shaking so much.

But in the end, you don`t admit it. You don`t tell people this is the
point. You cannot score my budget. I`m doing this on purpose.

So, even as he`s telling the donors, here is the secret plan here,
here`s a secret plan there. He keeps saying, oh, but I shouldn`t be saying
this. I don`t want to get into much into the specifics.

What`s strange is that he still feels he has to prove himself as a
conservative. He is still doing this Ron Paul, you know, Rick Perry
contest. I`m going to eight departments. No, I`m going to close three.

You know, that speaks to a lack of confidence, I think, in who he is
in his standing in that party right now.

SCHULTZ: Today, David Axelrod raised more questions about Romney. I
thought it was interesting.

"There was a TV show called `I`ve Got a Secret.` Increasingly, I
think that would be the appropriate for the Romney campaign. It goes to
that question of who is this guy? What does he stand for? What does he
believe? What do we know about him?"

I mean, Howard, this is the strategy that the Republicans had when
Barack Obama was running in 2008, isn`t it?

FINEMAN: Yes, it is. I think it`s very deliberate and very cynical.
What they are saying is we`re not going to tell you anything about Mitt
Romney if we can get away with it. We want the focus on President Barack
Obama. We want you to look at what he`s done or not done. We`re not going
to tell you anything about what`s behind the curtain.

That also happens to fit with Mitt Romney`s life and personality. I
first interviewed him back in `94, Ed, when he was running for the Senate.
Cards very close to the vest, very guarded. So, he`s like that personally.

Also, his faith is like that. It`s one where a lot of the elements of
the faith are private and he keeps them to himself.

When he was at Bain Capital, if you`re a takeover artist, if you`re in
the investment business the way he was, you don`t broadcast your plans.
You keep them to yourselves.

And also, he made a lot of money at Bain and a big thing for wealthy
people is to keep the strategies that they use to protect their wealth

So, he`s a kind of quadruple private guy and that fits into the Romney
campaign strategy which is to say nothing and try to keep the focus on
Barack Obama.

SCHULTZ: And, Richard, is this going to go throughout the campaign or
we going get specific? Is this the way the guy is going to run?

WOLFFE: I don`t know that he can control his mouth here because these
things are getting out there. Remember that this is a man who`s out there
saying, I understand the budget. I understand the deficits. The little
snippets we just heard eliminating deductions for second homes is going to
help all the sport franchise owners he knows, and closing down a couple of

Even if you put those all together, it goes nowhere near to plug the
hole in the deficit he`s going to blow wide open with the tax cuts he`s
proposing. So, you if there`s a debate that`s worthy of the name in the
fall, if the media and political news reporters do their job, we`re going
to be chasing him down with this stuff. How are you going to pay for the
tax cut you`re proposing with these tiny cuts?

SCHULTZ: He`s going to make everybody pay income tax. That`s his
plan. And he`s going to go after the big three like we`ve never seen
before, but he ain`t going to tell everybody about it. That`s where I
think he`s going.

Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe -- great to have you with us. Thank

WOLFFE: Thanks, Ed.

FINEMAN: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Mitch McConnell says the Buffett Rule is a political gimmick
by the president, but the American people disagree in overwhelming numbers.
Senator Bernie Sanders will join me.

And Dick Cheney is back. After going through a heart transplant,
nothing has changed. He`s still throwing out unbelievable, hypocritical
attacks on President Obama. I`ll show you why Dick doesn`t have a leg in
the standoff.

That`s coming up.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Today, every member of the Senate had a chance to take a stand on
basic fairness and the verdict is in. Paying a Fair Share Act, also known
as the Buffett Rule, was blocked by Republicans. Senator Susan Collins of
Maine was the only Republican to vote for it.

In a statement, President Obama said tonight, "Senate Republicans
voted to block the Buffet Rule, choosing once again to protect tax breaks
for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the proposal was nothing
more than a political gimmick by President Obama.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: We`re in a crisis here.
And sadly it`s all politics all the time.

For him, it`s not about jobs or the economy. It`s about his idea of
fairness, about imposing it on others. If we lose more jobs in the
process, oh, well, so be it.


SCHULTZ: This is who they are. Do you hear that? He says we`re in a
crisis. But the Republicans want to give the wealthiest Americans even
more money. It`s not just about President Obama`s idea of fairness.

The Buffet Rule is about ending a loophole. And Americans do get it.
It means people making a million dollars or more per year would pay at
least 30 percent in taxes.

In a new poll -- this is a hot number -- a whopping 72 percent of
Americans favor the Buffet Rule. Even 53 percent of Republicans are for

The idea of fairness isn`t subjective. You`ve got to illustrate it.
So we do. It`s illustrated by yes, our favorite chart, it`s the Vulture
Chart. This is what happens when fairness has left the building.
Democrats aren`t changing the lifestyle of the wealthiest Americans of the
Buffet Rule were to pass.

You mean to tell me that people making over a million dollars a year
couldn`t shell out 30 percent of their income for the good of the country
if as Mitch McConnell says, we`re in a crisis? But Republicans, you know
what they`re doing, they`re changing the lifestyle of the middle class, and
middle class Americans for the worse.

That`s why Obama`s Super PAC is hitting Mitt Romney with this ad in
Ohio and in other swing states.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mitt Romney, he made millions off companies that
went bankrupt while workers lost promised health and retirement benefits.
His own tax return from last year reveals he made 21 million dollars, yet
paid a lower tax rate than many middle class families.

Now Romney`s proposing a huge new 150,000 dollar tax cut for the
wealthiest one percent.


SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator,
I want to take you to my Vulture Chart right away here, the chart that we
show a lot. The two top two percent, their income over the last 30 years
has gone through the roof, over 300 percent.

The middle class, of course, is the blue line. That`s how much the
middle class has moved forward in this country over the last 30 years. So
when people on the radio ask me, well, what`s fair. There`s your
definition of fairness right there. Your thoughts, senator.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, Ed, I think the average
American understands that the middle class in our country today is
collapsing. They see poverty increasing. But they also know that the
wealthiest people are doing phenomenally well.

A study just came out -- and if you can believe it -- this is really
unbelievable. Between 2009 and 2010, 93 percent of all new income went to
the top one percent. Ninety nine percent of the people shared seven

You have the 400 wealthiest people in this country owning more wealth
than the bottom half of America, 150 million Americans. Then on top of
that, the effective tax rate for the very rich is the lowest that it has
been in decades, where as you have just shown us, you have billionaires
paying a lower effective tax rates than teachers and firefighters.

SCHULTZ: I kind of viewed the Buffet Rule as a start. Really as a

SANDERS: Exactly.

SCHULTZ: I mean, you think we should have gone further.

SANDERS: Absolutely. Look, here is what worries me very much, Ed: if
we don`t turn this around, we are going to lose the democratic foundations
that have made this country the nation that it is. And we are going to
move very rapidly, which is where we`re going right now, into an oligarchic
form of society, where a handful of people on the top control not only the
economics of the nation, they control the politics as well.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think when you`re looking at 72 percent of the
American people want something and the Congress doesn`t deliver, what does
that tell you?

SANDERS: That tells you that our Republican friends are in the pocket
of big money interests. And they understand, by the way -- and this should
also concern us -- that with Citizens United Supreme Court decision, these
billionaires are pumping huge amounts of money into the political process
so that they can become even wealthier.

SCHULTZ: Senator, Republicans love to talk about the percentage of
Americans who pay no federal income taxes. What they want to do is they
want to take blood out of a rock, is what they want to do. They want the
working poor to ante up. What`s your response to these folks that say
everybody`s got to pay?

SANDERS: The response is you`re quite right. Median family income
has gone down precipitously in the last 10 years. We`ve lost millions of
good paying jobs. You have the top one percent now earning more income
than the bottom 50 percent.

You have millions and millions of people today, Ed, who are struggling
to pay their mortgage or rent, to buy food, to put gas in the car. You
know what? They are -- by the way, they are paying federal taxes in terms
of FICA taxes. But you`re quite right. You can`t get blood out of a stone
when the middle class is shrinking.

SCHULTZ: Well, how are these guys going go home -- or these people
that vote against what the American people want, go home and tell their
constituents, you know, we have to do more for the wealthy? For the life
of me, I don`t know how they`re going to get reelected.

That`s another subject. Senator, great to have you with us. Thanks
so much.

SANDERS: Good to be here.

SCHULTZ: There`s a lot more coming in the next half hour of THE ED
SHOW. Stay with us.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: We`re fighting, first and foremost,
to protect in our state our personal security, our safety.


SCHULTZ: Scott Walker accepted the NRA`s Defender of Freedom Award.
Now he`s accepting donations.


WALKER: That`s why we need your help. Join us at


SCHULTZ: "The Nation`s" John Nichols is here.

Dick Cheney makes his first public experience since his heart
transplant. And he`s not pulling any punches. We`ll show you what he

And another Republican gets caught celebrating bad news for the
economy. Tonight, his Democratic challenger will respond.


OBAMA: Only in politics do people root for bad news. You pay more.
They`re licking their chops.



SCHULTZ: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is the poster child for
right wing extremism. And his credentials were on full display at the
National Rifle Association`s convention a few days ago. On Friday, Walker
got a huge ovation when he accepted the NRA`s Defender of Freedom Award.

Then he took to the podium and begged NRA members to help him keep his
job. He used some gun friendly language to hit the point home.


WALKER: Our opponents believe that the success in government is
determined by how many people -- how many people are dependent on
government programs. It`s just the other way around. Success in
government is dependent on how many people are free of dependency on
government programs.

That`s why I become a target. That`s why I`m asking for your help.
The advocates for big government view me as a threat. They want to take me
out. They want to take me out before anybody else across America dares
take them on when it comes to big government.

That`s why we need your help. Join us. Our opponents are targeting
me because I stand in the way of getting their hands on their money and
their power.


SCHULTZ: Public education is big government. You know that? Scott
Walker knows his audience. He is telling the NRA big government is
targeting him. They want to "take him out." Walker has been making this
pitch all over the country, especially in Washington, D.C.

I guess you could say it`s all hands on deck to save his seat in the
governor`s office. His sell job, well, you know, you`ve got to hand it to
him, it`s working. The money is coming in. The latest polls show Walker
has pulled five points ahead of the leading Democratic candidate, Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett.

I`m joined tonight by John Nichols, Washington correspondent of "The
Nation" magazine, and author of the book, "Uprising."

John, this apparently is the play book. He`s going all over the
country begging for money, spending money in Wisconsin. It`s not coming
from within the state. And it seems to be working on the polls. What do
you make of it?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": I think it`s working up to a point, Ed.
But one thing I`d remind you of that is we have had polls that have shown
Scott Walker up five points. We`ve had him down three points. We`ve had
him up two, down two.

What we`re dealing with is a very intense race. At this point, Scott
Walker has had the tremendous advantage of being on air now since November,
both with his own campaign and also with super PACs and independent
expenditures backing him.

So it`s not surprising that he`s at around 50 percent. What is
striking to me is that he can`t really get above that. He has had no luck
getting beyond that.

Right now, we`ve had a Democratic race. It`s relatively intense. I
think it`s going to continue to be for a couple of weeks. But where you
should really start to look at the polls is after May 8th, when the
Democrats have a clear contender and when it`s real one-on-one fight.

The other thing I`d remind folks is that in Wisconsin, as in most of
the rest of the country, there`s still not a lot of awareness of the
intensity of the John Doe probe that is examining not just --

SCHULTZ: He acts like that doesn`t even exist. He goes around the
country and doesn`t say a word about it. And his friendly media doesn`t
ask him anything about it.

These out of state appearances, obviously, are the only way he`s going
to be able to save his job. No -- he wouldn`t be able to come anywhere
near close to this race and this kind of money in the state of Wisconsin.
Now Wisconsin is one of the states that passed ALEC sponsored Shoot First
Law, which has led the boycott of ALEC, major companies, sponsors. And
Walker`s lieutenant governor addressed the boycott on Fox today. Here it


people, mostly on the other side, our opponents, who believe that this is
group that, by their mailings and by their phone calls and by their
discussions with lawmakers, that they are somehow the great influencers in
these minds of leaders who have been elected by the taxpayers in their

That`s a sad shame that folks don`t believe that these elected
leaders, these legislators from around the country can think independently,
think for themselves and for their constituents. And so I think that this
type of boycott is a real sad shame.


SCHULTZ: Come on. She`s making the case that ALEC doesn`t think for
these people. It is play book legislation. Here, go pass it. I also find
it very interesting that a lieutenant governor would get a national
interview. You don`t see that too often. John, your take on it.

NICHOLS: Well, the fact is that this recall election targets both
Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch. They run separately.
It`s a unique situation. So there`s very little doubt that national
conservative media has started to make her a bit of a celebrity.

They want to raise her profile because, like Scott Walker, she needs
to raise money. She`s very aggressively putting herself out front.

I thought this was a bizarre interview. Early on in the interview,
she made a rant about out of state special interest and influences from
outside Wisconsin trying to affect Wisconsin elections. Then a minute
later, she was defending ALEC.

SCHULTZ: Yes, no doubt. John Nichols, great to have you with us.
Thanks so much. We`ll follow the story.

And Dick Cheney says the Obama administration is a disaster. Does he
remember the Bush administration? I`ll remind him, next.


SCHULTZ: Well, three weeks after Dick Cheney received a heart
transplant, he`s back out in public trashing President Obama. Over the
weekend, Cheney spoke at the Wyoming Republican State Convention.


think of a time when I felt it was more important for us to defeat an
incumbent president than today with Barack Obama. I think he has been an
unmitigated disaster for the country.


SCHULTZ: Unmitigated disaster. I`ll show you what an unmitigated
disaster really looks like. As soon as they took office, George W. Bush
and Dick Cheney, went to work turning a budget surplus into a deficit.

They gave their rich buddies a pair of huge tax cuts. They started
two wars without paying for them. By the end of their eight years in
charge, Bush and Cheney had led the country into an economic free fall
which Dick Cheney has the nerve to blame on President Obama.

Meanwhile. the Bush administration had the worst job creation record
since at least 1939.

That`s not all. After the 9/11 attacks happened on their watch, Bush
and Cheney decided to go to Afghanistan, only to shift focus to pursue a
second war in Iraq, looking for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

The war worked out great for Dick Cheney`s Haliburton and the
company`s multi-billion dollar military contracts. It did not work out so
well for the United States Treasury, not to mention the more than 4,000
American soldiers who lost their lives, and tens of thousands who were

Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney decided it was OK for the United States of
America to go ahead and torture.

To top it all off, while a great American city was drowning, President
Bush glanced down in Air Force One before heaping praise on an incompetent


you`re doing a heck of a job.


SCHULTZ: After the Bush-Cheney track record, Dick Cheney is the last
person in the country to be saying President Obama is an unmitigated

In the Big Finish tonight. a Republican campaign manager let the cat
out of the bag when it comes to gas prices. His candidate feels good about
the bad economic news. We`ll talk to his Democratic opponent about a
Republican strategy of rooting for bad news. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked will Mitt Romney`s war on
women stunt backfire? Ninety six percent of you say yes; four percent of
you say no.

Coming up, Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton and his campaign, they
feel good about their reelection chances because of bad economic news.
State Representative Sal Pace responds next.

Don`t forget to listen to me on the radio, XM channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 pm. Follow me on Twitter EdShow, and like THE
ED SHOW on Facebook.

We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, we finally found a Republican
who admits the GOP is rooting for bad economic news. The campaign manager
for Republican Congressman Scott Tipton was talking about fund raising to a
Colorado paper.

And here is the quote. "It was a very successful quarter. Voters in
the third district are rejecting Obama`s policies that have led to gas
prices doubling, the national debt doubled, and unemployment has barely

We feel good about our chances."

Republicans have denied rooting for national failure. But even
President Obama has called them out on it.


OBAMA: Last week the lead story in one newspaper said gasoline prices
are on the rise and Republicans are "licking their chops." That`s a quote.
That was the lead, "licking their chops." Only in politics do people root
for bad news.


SCHULTZ: Republican can all they want, but their strategy to keep
President Obama from re-election relies on bad economic news. Remember it.
It`s what Mitch McConnell, who said the number one priority of the
Congressional Republicans was to make President Obama a one-term president.

I`m joined tonight by Colorado State Representative Sal Pace, who is
running against Congressman Scott Tipton in Colorado`s Third District.

Great to have you with us tonight, Sal. Appreciate your time. Do you
think Congressman Tipton`s campaign manager slipped or was he just being

We must have an audio problem there. Unfortunately I`m not hearing
what you`re saying. Maybe we can connect it again, and try it one more
time. We are trying to connect with you.

We`ve got an audio problem there. Sal Pace is running for that
Congressional seat against Tipton. And of course this is one of the themes
that the Republicans have been talking about for long time, is that they
are doing everything they can to hurt the economy by obstructing, by not
working on anything when it comes to jobs in the economy.

They`ve obstructed at a record pace and they go right back home and
blame it all on President Obama. So now Tipton`s fund-raiser and guy that
works in his campaign goes out and makes a comment to a newspaper guy
saying, look, all this bad stuff is taking place and this is exactly what
we want.

Let`s go back to Sal Pace. I believe we have got the audio problem
squared away now. I want to ask you again, you called for him to
apologize. I don`t expect he`s going to do that. But do you think his
campaign manager just slipped or was he telling the truth?

prices are high. Unemployment is high. Coloradoans are hurting. However
Scott Tipton wants, it`s appalling. His campaign wants to use this pain
and suffering for personal political gain and advantage.

This isn`t the way it`s supposed to work. Scott Tipton and his
campaign should apologize for making light of people`s pain and suffering
for their own advantage. We`ve asked folks to sign our petition on our
website to ask for Congress to focus on creating jobs instead of
celebrating people`s pain.

SCHULTZ: Has this guy done anything as a representative to make life
better for folks in Colorado? Has he accomplished anything in this last

PACE: You know, this seems like more of the Washington way of doing
things. As you know, Washington is gridlocked. They`re not working on
trying to create jobs. Our own district in Pueblo, Colorado, we risk
losing the largest wind manufacturer tower plant in the world because of a
loss of the production tax credit.

It seems like Washington is broken and stalling. Yet we have a
congressman or at least his campaign who thinks losing those jobs in Pueblo
or losing those jobs here in the district are to his advantage. You know,
in Colorado, we just passed a budget, 64 to one. And that`s not the way
it`s being done in Washington.

SCHULTZ: Colorado State Representative Sal Pace, good luck to you.
Sorry for that audio problem. We`ll try it again sometime.

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

Sitting in for Rachel tonight, who is very tired from being on her
book tour and selling a bunch books, Chris Hayes, who is the gold digger of
sound bites.


<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2012 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

The Ed Show Section Front
Add The Ed Show headlines to your news reader:

Sponsored links

Resource guide