updated 5/9/2012 3:49:27 PM ET 2012-05-09T19:49:27

Guest: Suzi Parker, James Peterson, Sam Stein, Bob Shrum, John Nichols, Nina Turner


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

Conservative talkers are circling the wagons around Ted Nugent, one
day before the Mitt Romney backer gets a visit from the Secret Service.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN: If the coyotes in your living room (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) on your couch, it`s not the coyotes` fault, it`s your fault for
not shooting him.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Breaking news: Ted Nugent keeps pouring it on
and the Republican Party is rallying behind the Motor City madman.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Now, how does that relate to the
president? I have a real hard time putting that together.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney meets real people who ask him to raise their
taxes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of us like to pay more taxes, but sometimes
that`s necessary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a necessary evil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, right.

SCHULTZ: You won`t believe his response to these Republican middle
classers.

The president was on fire in Ohio today.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is about us
together making investments in our country so everybody`s got a fair shot.

SCHULTZ: Sam Stein and Bob Shrum on what is officially a neck and
neck race.

And Scott Walker`s troubles run deeper than he wants you to know.
There are new developments in the John Doe investigation. John Nichols of
"The Nation" magazine has the latest.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Mitt Romney`s campaign has a Ted Nugent problem. The conservative gun
nut and aging rock star is attracting the wrong kind of attention for
Republicans right now.

Nugent backpedaled today on the statements that he made at a National
Rifle Association gathering.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NUGENT: I`m a non-violent guy. I don`t threaten. I wouldn`t waste
my time threatening. I`ve never threatened anyone`s life in my life. I
would not win will not threaten anyone`s life. I certainly wouldn`t threat
the life of the president.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Nugent also says his speech at the NRA was 100 percent
positive and he stands by it. You decide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUGENT: And if you want more of those kinds of evil, anti-American
people in the Supreme Court, then don`t get involved and let Obama take
office again. Because I`ll tell you this right now -- if Barack Obama
becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail
by this time next year.

Why are you laughing? You think that`s funny? That`s not funny at
all. I`m serious as a heart attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He`s serious. Well, the Secret Service is too. They will
judge Nugent`s 100 percent positive speech real soon.

In a statement, the agency said, "We are aware of the incident with
Ted Nugent and we are conducting appropriate follow-up. We recognize an
individual`s right to freedom of speech, but we also have a responsibility
to determine and investigate intent."

Ted Nugent didn`t sound too apologetic on Twitter today. He wrote,
"When you do God`s work so beautifully like I do, the devils go berserk.
It`s called inescapable justice and I, as always, will win in the end.
Precious."

Nugent`s Twitter account might draw some attention from the Secret
Service investigation as well. So will his comments about President Obama
and Hillary Clinton in 2007.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUGENT: I was in Chicago last week. I was in Chicago. I said, "Hey,
Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk." Obama, he`s a
piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and I told him to suck on my machine gun.
Let`s hear it for him.

And then I was in New York. I said, "Hey, Hillary, you might want to
ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It would make sense for Republicans and right-wingers to
denounce a guy like Ted Nugent, who doesn`t appear to be playing with a
full deck. But instead he threw their arms around him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: I can`t figure out what people are
talking about. He`s talking about him, that Ted himself, will either be
dead or in jail. Now, how does that relate to the president? I have a
real hard time putting that together.

If you want to see how you can be abused, read my book, "The Greatest
Hoax."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: James Inhofe. Well, he never misses an opportunity to
waste, does he?

Neither does the new, softer, kinder voice of conservative talk radio
at America, Mike Huckabee, who called Nugent a good friend and an
incredible individual.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t know
whether the Secret Service is really taking what he said seriously. It
really was not threatening at all. The Secret Service has their own issues
to worry about. In fact, some of them probably need to be inoculated from
a little Colombian cat scratch fever.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The double standard coming from the right wing is
outrageous. When Reverend Wright said, "God damn America," the right wing
said -- words matter!

Heck, the right wing tried to ruin the Dixie Chicks for saying that
President Bush embarrassed them from Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIXIE CHICKS: Just so you know, we`re all on the side of y`all. We
do not want this war, this violence. And we`re ashamed that the president
of the United States is from Texas.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: No one has gone after Ted Nugent`s comments the way the
right wing went after the Dixie Chicks.

The Romney campaign hasn`t even mentioned Nugent by name when
responding to his comments. Romney`s camp is now saying they didn`t
solicit Ted Nugent`s endorsement. But a report in the "Texas Tribune"
tells a much different story. Before endorsing him, Nugent demanded that
Romney pledge there would be no new gun laws or restrictions on Second
Amendment rights in his administration. Romney obliged.

Ted Nugent has put Mitt Romney and the Republicans in a political
untenable position. If Romney throws Nugent under the bus, he`s got
problems. Nugent takes this head-shaking crowd with him. These are the
guys standing in the NRA crowd shaking their heads in accord, yes, right.

This crowd is stuck with Mitt Romney, because Mitt Romney has a shaky
record on gun control and they`re nervous about it. Romney needs to have
these people if he wants to get elected. He can`t afford to lose this
crowd.

Bottom line: Romney needs to sweep these Nugent comments under the
rug. Get them out of here.

It`s amazing what the right wing can get away with, isn`t it? They
just say, hey, he`s a rock star. He`s free to speak his mind.

Nugent, his comments go beyond with hateful rhetoric. He was
basically advertising violence. Republicans in the Romney campaign, how
have they responded? Like cowards. They are afraid to throw this guy
under the bus after saying that we should chop their heads off on Election
Day.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: does Mitt Romney have the political courage to publicly denounce
Ted Nugent?

Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. And you can always go to
our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and, of course, we`ll bring you the results later
on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by "Washington Post" contributor Suzi Parker, and
Dr. James Peterson, director of African studies and associate professor at
Lehigh University.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Suzi, you have written about Ted Nugent`s career when it
comes to his remarks about women. Would it be the correct thing to do at
this point, beyond these comments, for the Romney campaign to take a closer
look at what his background is?

SUZI PARKER, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I think so. I think it would
really benefit Romney in a way to do that, although he would be, as you
said, throwing himself possibly under the bus.

But he needs to come out strong for women and he totally needs to
denounce what Ted Nugent said. Ted Nugent has a long history of just
saying vile things about women, both in his song lyrics and from about
Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, the list goes on
and on.

So, yes, he should -- Romney should totally denounce Ted Nugent.

SCHULTZ: James, are you surprised that the right-wing defense of Ted
Nugent? I mean, why defend Ted Nugent? Who`s this guy?

Well, as I explained, the head half shaking crowd who is all about
firearms in this country and the NRA, Romney can`t afford to throw them
under the bus, so he`s stuck with Nugent. How do you see it?

PETERSON: I think you`re right, Ed. And thing that people don`t
understand is how powerful the NRA lobby is. Remember, the stand your
ground laws are largely a result of the NRA lobbying power. So, Ted
Nugent, he may not be a Romney surrogate, but he`s certainly an NRA
surrogate.

And this kind of language of violence -- here`s the thing, Ted Nugent
is a nut case, right? So, he`s going to say crazy things and maybe we`ll
pay attention and maybe we won`t but when you give him a platform, when the
NRA gives him the kind of platform that they`ve given him, then you have to
begin to worry about the kind of people he`s going to influence.

And God bless the Secret Service here because with this particular
president, they`ve had to field a lot of credible and less credible sort of
threats and different situations, much more than any president prior to
President Obama. And so, people may think that they`re overreacting, but
in actuality, this is their job. They actually have to address this guy
and figure out how serious he is about the things he`s said in the recent
past.

SCHULTZ: Well, I`m also curious about the report out of Texas, that
says that Romney talked to Nugent and wanted his support. Because it was
Tagg, the son of the candidate, who tweeted out something saying, hey,
that`s cool, Ted Nugent is supporting my dad.

PETERSON: Yes.

SCHULTZ: So -- and I also would like to know, as far as the
conversation is concerned, did he really ask for Ted Nugent to go to the
NRA and say some things and really gin up this crowd?

Suzi, I want to play some audio of Ted Nugent on the radio yesterday.
Here it is.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NUGENT: Wasserman-Schultz is such a brain-dead, soulless, heartless
idiot that I could not be more proud that this soulless, heartless idiot
feebly attempts to find fault with Ted Nugent. Listen to Nancy Pelosi,
this sub-human scoundrel.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

PARKER: Wow.

SCHULTZ: Now, Suzi, if Mitt Romney asked for this guy`s endorsement
based on what you just heard -- what does that tell women in this country?

PARKER: Well, I think it says that whether you`re, you know, whether
you`re pro-gun and pro-hunting, which Ted Nugent is very much a part of
that culture, what he has said about women is completely vile. It`s
horrible.

And I think Romney already has a problem with the women, with the
gender gap. And so, I think it only means that it gets worse here. I
mean, you could say that Ted Nugent`s just a washed up `70s wash star, but
he has power, he has Twitter followers, he`s all over the place with the
NRA.

And so I think it just says that -- it goes back to you -- men should
not get away -- politicians and people like Ted Nugent should not get away
saying these kind of things about women in America. It sets a very bad
precedent.

SCHULTZ: Professor Peterson, so do words matter? It certainly
mattered when Reverend Wright offered up a couple of problems to President
Obama to the point where he had to come out and give a speech on race and
distance himself from the preacher.

PETERSON: Absolutely. Or just think about Hilary Rosen last week.
You know, they wanted to crucify her for her -- even insinuating the fact
that maybe Mrs. Ann Romney had not -- not had the kind of work experience
that most American women have had.

And so, yes, words matter. And the thing is, again, I don`t want --
I`m not trying to deploy fear tactics here, but it`s not just about crazy
Ted Nugent. It`s about the people he`s listening to, his Twitter
followers. The NRA fanatics, there are people who listen to this kind of
language and it exhorts them and gets them all riled up.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

PETERSON: To speak that way about public figures is I think very,
very dangerous.

SCHULTZ: Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, has got a new
talk show out in the industry and he is promoting it as less confrontation
and more conversation. Huckabee said that there was nothing threatening
about Nugent`s comments --

(CROSSTALK)

PETERSON: Thank God the Secret Service does not agree with Mike
Huckabee here. Listen, Huckabee is, for all intents and purposes, washed
up as a presidential candidate. Whatever he`s trying to do in his new show
is to try to attach to what the media frenzy is around what Ted Nugent has
said. The reason why we`re going to crazy is because this kind of language
is dangerous. Violent language doesn`t always lead to violence, but
sometimes it does and that`s what we need to protect ourselves against.

SCHULTZ: Suzi, why did Hilary Rosen`s comments get -- about Ann
Romney get more attention than what Ted Nugent is getting criticism. I
mean, the right wing was all over Hilary Rosen. But now, they`re circling
the wagons and protecting Ted Nugent via, of course, Mr. Huckabee, who was
a man who was elected by the people of Arkansas, who is now saying that the
Secret Service has more important things to do. Really?!

PARKER: Yes, I think that the right wing is always very good at
circling the wagons. And, you know, it goes beyond just -- Huckabee is
good friends with Ted Nugent, they`re hunting buddies. They`ve been
hunting all over the country together.

And so this is what happens and the left just has to be louder than
the right when it comes to Ted Nugent. They have to keep up this war
against him now. They can`t let it -- they can`t let what he says slide,
whether it`s about the president or Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton or
whoever.

SCHULTZ: Well, it will be a story tomorrow. Let`s see how it all
turns out with the Secret Service.

Suzi Parker and Dr. James Peterson, great to have you with us tonight.
Thank you.

PETERSON: Thanks for having me.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of
the screen. Share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We always love to
have your comments.

Coming up, middle class Mitt is touring Middle America -- the people
he wants to connect with. He sits down with a bunch of folks from
Pennsylvania, middle classers, and he really doesn`t have much to say.
We`ll play you the awkward exchange tape coming up. Sam Stein of "the
Huffington Post" will be here for the conversation.

And new revelations about the John Doe investigation surrounding
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, John Nichols of "The Nation" will join me
here in New York for the inside scoop.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up: middle class Mitt, he sits down with regular
folks in Pennsylvania. This guy, he just can not connect with people.
We`ll play you the tape and you can decide.

President Obama was in Ohio, talking about the economy today. He
sounded a heck of a lot better than the Mittster, I`ll tell you that. Bob
Shrum will weigh in on that.

And the war on women rages in Ohio. Republicans add a last-minute
amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. State Senator Nina Turner will
join me.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow. We are right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

OK. Let`s have the conversation in this context -- 72 percent of the
American people think that the Buffett Rule is a good idea. In other
words, they like to see the Congress pass this. They`d like to see that
the wealthier Americans pay more.

Mitt Romney spent Tax Day trying to connect with regular folk in
Pennsylvania. Romney invited some middle classers in the state of
Pennsylvania to come in and let`s have a glass of lemonade together.

And what did they tell the candidate? Sometimes it`s OK to raise
taxes. Sometimes you have to raise taxes. And oh, by the way, the
stimulus package, Mitt, it worked! Here`s part of that conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And you`re working as well?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I`m employed as a school nurse and we`re
actually from Greensburg, Pennsylvania and I`m a school nurse at one of the
local districts in that area.

ROMNEY: Public school district?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Public school district.

ROMNEY: And how is the school district doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The school district is doing well, but like
every school district, this year, you`re looking at the budget, so this is
when things will have to cut here, cut there, cut that. You never know
when you`re on the chopping block. I hate to see any kind of cuts towards
education.

ROMNEY: And you`re seeing that in Pennsylvania. This is a tough
time, I presume, for state budgets and local budgets, in many cases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

ROMNEY: People really hurting and home values down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you`re reading in the paper, it`s like,
this school district is looking at, you know, raising their mils (ph) and
this school district is looking at raising -- you guys in Latrobe, you know
they`re looking at it. Every district is looking at having to raise taxes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the fat`s been trimmed from this budget,
so a lot of those costs are fixed that the districts have to pay to pay the
teachers enough to earn a decent wage and pay their benefits. And
unfortunately, now, beyond the fat, you`re getting the arts programs that
are starting to be cut, things of that nature. And I think those are
situations, again, where everybody`s going to have to have a seat at the
table. There are going to be painful choices all around.

But Amanda and I both got public school educations that were topnotch
and we would want our kids to have the same thing. None of us like to pay
more taxes, but sometimes that`s necessary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a necessary evil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Part of the problem was going years back,
when the stimulus money came out, that was integrated into and the budgets
and when it was gone, it was considered a shortfall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that`s one of the questions, like I said, we
had stimulus money from last year, that money`s not there this year, so now
we have this deficit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They pulled from the budget a little bit last year
to make things -- ends meet.

ROMNEY: Yes, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Nearly $34 billion of stimulus money went to the state of
Pennsylvania. It helped keep the state alive. The people sitting at the
table understand that, yet Mitt Romney is running around the country
telling folks that the stimulus didn`t work.

Behind closed doors, he`s telling wealthy donors that he`s going to
make major cuts to the Department of Education, but on the road, that`s
what he hears from the folks. He didn`t say any of that to the people
sitting at the picnic table, did he? He couldn`t even tell them that
public education is important, because he doesn`t think it is.

Mitt Romney has been running for president for the last six years and
he doesn`t know what to say to these folks. He doesn`t have any answers.
Worse yet, he doesn`t have any solutions.

Let`s bring in Sam Stein, political reporter, "Huffington Post."

Sam, good to have you with us tonight.

SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: OK, I`m partisan, I`m a liberal, I`m a Democrat. The tape
doesn`t look good, Sam.

STEIN: Yes. I thought it was actually a very telling moment. One of
the, you know, more important early campaign telling moments, because it
got to this distinction in the campaign where, you know, Mitt Romney has
been talking a lot about the need to scale back, the need to scale back
government, the need to keep tax rates low.

But when you actually distill, when you sort of needle down to the
basics, people are willing to pay more money for government services. And
people recognizing importance of government services.

Now, we had this debate last summer over whether or not the government
should pay more money to retain teachers and to repair schools. Every
Republican in Congress voted against it. And for a while, you saw the poll
numbers reflect anger with that. It`s going to be interesting to see
whether Mitt Romney will, you know, adapt to these settings that he`s
having or to the poll numbers that he`s confronting and sort of soften this
stuff.

Because what you noted, rightfully, was that only Sunday night where
he was in a private fund-raising event and he was talking about using the
Department of Education solely for the purposes of going after teacher
unions.

SCHULTZ: Exactly. And he didn`t say that to the folks in
Pennsylvania. And that is what is so telling about Mitt Romney. What he
says to your face and what he says behind closed doors to the people he`s
shaking down for campaign cash, it`s a totally different world.

I mean, those people, at that picnic table, were giving the candidate
a slice of life. They were saying, hey, look, this is what it`s like in
our district, this is what we want, and he sat there and had no solution,
made no commitment. So I ask in the total picture, where is Mitt Romney
gaining? Who is starting to jump on the bandwagon for this guy? What am I
missing?

STEIN: You`re not missing much. I mean, let`s go back to George W.
Bush, when he ran in 2000. It was on a platform of using compassionate
conservatism to revamp the way the Republicans approached education, what
ended up being No Child Left Behind. But it was a proactive, positive
message about what the government could do with respect to education
reform.

The Republican Party has moved very far away from that, into the point
where they no longer see the government as useful for any social function,
save defense. And so, Mitt Romney has a real challenge on his hand,
because I tend to believe and I think the polling numbers back this up,
that people, voters specifically, want to know what a candidate is for.
Not just what he`s against. And Mitt Romney has to outline exactly what
platforms he`s for.

SCHULTZ: I will make the case that Mitt Romney doesn`t understand
their world. He hasn`t lived in their world. He doesn`t know their world,
and he doesn`t have any solution whatsoever.

You put President Obama in that position, he has got an answer for
those folks. He, at least, gives them a game plan on what he is going to
do to try to make it better, to alleviate things in that community.

STEIN: One quick thing --

SCHULTZ: And he would make a commitment to public education.

STEIN: Sure. One quick thing to note, when you look at these early
general election campaign polling numbers, people trust Mitt Romney
actually to handle the economy. But when you ask them, which candidate do
you like more -- they are siding heavily with Barack Obama over Mitt
Romney. And that`s sort of an empathy gap I think you saw reflected at
that picnic table and gets to the point you`re making -- which is that Mitt
Romney has yet to figure out how to be relatable to people.

And I think, you know, photo-ops at picnics is fine, but if you`re not
addressing the fundamental concerns, that`s more problematic.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think maybe the Romney campaign maybe learned
something from this, if you`re going to sit down to people and listen to
the problems, at least give them an idea of where you`re going to go. But,
of course, when you`ve already told donors that you`re going to butcher the
Department of Education, on and on, it doesn`t give you a whole lot of
room, does it?

Sam Stein, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.

STEIN: Thanks, Ed. Take care.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

President Obama led the charge today in Ohio, painting a stark
contrast with Republicans and meeting with some regular folk. Mitt Romney
might want to take some notes on this one.

And Scott Walker is in quicksand with the John Doe investigation
surrounding his time as Milwaukee County executive. Last year, he racked
up tens of thousands of dollars in debt with criminal defense attorneys.
The story with John Nichols.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Republicans love to accuse President Obama of redistributing the
wealth. We all remember Joe the Plumber. But here`s the president in Ohio
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Investing in a community college, just like investing in a new
road or a new highway or broadband lines that go into rural communities --
these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth.
Understand, this is not a redistribution argument. This is not about
taking from rich people to give to poor people. This is about us together
making investments in our country so everybody`s got a fair shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama was at a community college with a job
training program. Ninety percent of the people who graduate have a job
within three months, according to the president.

And he talked about the importance of investing in education.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We created a foundation for those of us to prosper. Somebody
gave me an education. I wasn`t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Before the speech, the president met with four of the
students, one of them, David Palmer (ph), a Vietnam veteran, who worked as
a truck driver for 23 years before they phased him out. Thanks to a
government-funded job training initiative, David is learning a brand-new
trade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID PALMER, VIETNAM VETERAN: Sixty years old and starting a new
career.

OBAMA: That`s very exciting.

PALMER: It is very exciting to me.

OBAMA: Let me tell you, once somebody`s been a Marine, they can
handle just about anything.

(CROSS TALK)

PALMER: That`s what they tried to drum into my head at boot camp, so
I guess that`s right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You kind of get the feeling President Obama is just a heck
of a lot better at this than Mitt Romney. Let`s turn to Bob Shrum,
Democratic strategist and professor at NYU. And I want to preface my
comments to you, Bob, in the last segment that we ran, showing Mitt Romney
with those folks from Pennsylvania, they were hand-picked Republicans
sitting at the picnic table with Mitt Romney.

And I think we just saw a real contrast here. Do you think the Obama
team is hoping that Mitt goes out and does more of that stuff?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, he`s going to have to try,
because he has to find some way to connect with people. But he`s very bad
when he`s spontaneous. You know, I watched that segment and he looked like
a man who was visiting another planet, say one where there was no General
Motors, which of course there wouldn`t have been if he`d had his way.

He couldn`t even empathize with those people, let alone give them
answer. Somebody would say, well, the arts budget is being cut in school,
and he`d say, yeah, and then he`d scratch his arm or scratch his face. He
just doesn`t relate to real people. And it`s a fundamental problem for
him.

You look at the president, he`s in his groove. He`s out there
campaigning. He knows what he wants to say. He knows what his fundamental
message is. Who`s going to stand up and fight for you and who`s on the
other side?

SCHULTZ: What`s that story about FDR when he was, you know, going
around, after he had passed away and they had a procession, and someone
asked the man standing in the crowd, did you know the president? And he
said, no, but he knew me.

What about that? Is that what we`re kind of looking at right now?

SHRUM: Well, sure, and it`s actually -- it isn`t a matter of Romney`s
wealth, because Franklin Roosevelt was wealthy. John Kennedy was wealthy.
And people all over the world, when John Kennedy was killed, put his
picture up. And it stayed there for years in their homes.

That`s because they felt he cared about them. He knew them. He knew
what they were going through. You know, Romney`s problem is he can`t
answer those people`s questions. The president was talking about
retraining today and about jobs.

Romney`s endorsed a budget that would shred retraining and destroy 4.1
million jobs in the next two years, while also shredding Medicare. So he
can`t really answer the questions.

He wants to take the Department of Education and reduce it to, I
guess, nothing more than a kind of inquisition against teachers` unions. I
mean, this guy can`t answer the concerns of ordinary people. That`s going
to become clearer and clearer as this campaign goes on.

SCHULTZ: Here`s the president on the Republican budget proposals
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: They decided to double down. Instead of moderating their
views even slightly, you now have Republicans in Washington, the ones
running for president, proposing budgets that shower the wealthiest
Americans with even more tax cuts. Folks like me don`t need them.

It`s one thing to deal with the deficit in a way that is fair and asks
everybody to do their fair share, and dealing with a deficit as an excuse
to do what you wanted to do anyway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He is really hitting this point home. It`s almost daily,
that the president is making sure that his message is, I`m with you and
they aren`t.

SHRUM: Right. And he`s speaking in a great Democratic tradition that
goes back to Franklin Roosevelt, to Truman, to Kennedy. I mean, he`s out
there talking about the fundamental values of the Democratic Party, but in
a 21st century context.

And he connects, I think, remarkably well with people. You know, for
a long time, people complained that the Barack Obama of 2008 wasn`t around.
He was awfully busy on substance, not paying enough attention to speeches.

Well, I think the Barack Obama of 2008`s back in 2012. He`s fighting
on the substance. He and the Labor Department have done a remarkable job
on this retraining and community college initiative.

But he`s also out there, I think, beginning to speak to people in a
way that moves their minds and their hearts at the same time.

SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us.

SHRUM: Thanks, Ed.

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

Scott Walker`s legal troubles are worse than anyone knew. John
Nichols of "the Nation" has the latest.

And Ohio Republicans are trying to pull a sneak attack on women.
Democrats are fighting a stunt that would defund Planned Parenthood. We`ll
take you to the Buckeye State for the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: The plot thickens in the John Doe investigation surrounding
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Back in February, Walker announced that
he had hired two criminal defense attorneys to assist him in the case. In
March, the governor set up a defense fund.

But it turns out Walker actually hired the lawyers much earlier, some
time last year. By the end of 2011, Walker already owed his attorney law
firms at least 55,000 dollars, according to his recently filed financial
disclosure statement.

The John Doe investigation was launched almost two years ago.
Criminal charges have been filed against three aides to Scott Walker from
his time as Waukee (ph) County executive.

The charges involve doing campaign work on government time.
Meanwhile, Scott Walker is out traveling around the country, state to
state, trying to rock star his way to a defense fund. He spent yesterday
at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and another Republican event in
Michigan.

Walker is selling himself as a guy who stood up to the big government
union bosses. And the righties, well, they`re out there at these state
events basically eating it up, giving him standing ovations.

But it was a different story outside. Thousands of pro-union
protesters showed up outside Walker`s event in Illinois. Hundreds more
greeted Walker in Michigan, protesting his assault on public education.

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

John, what does this mean? OK, he`s got attorney bills, but what does
it really mean?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": Well, he`s got a lot of attorney bills.
And that means a lot. You just mentioned 55,000 dollars. But that`s not
the whole of it. This is the important thing. The financial disclosure
forms give you wide range. So he`s confirmed he spent -- or he owes 50,000
to one firm.

He owes between 5,000 and 50,000 to another firm. So it could be as
much as 100,000 right there. And now today we find out that his campaign
has spent 115,000 more dollars hiring two additional firms.

SCHULTZ: What kind of work are they doing? What are they, answering
all the questions for him?

NICHOLS: Well, this is what the governor tried to suggest back in
February. He said, oh, I needed somebody to help with the paperwork and
that. But these two firms that we`re talking about, the core two firms
with the 50,000 and at least 5,000, these are criminal defense lawyers that
he has hired. He has hired lawyers who list on their website that they
deal with murders, major drug cases, with Grand Jury investigations and
John Doe investigations, where you really -- you know, this is the big-deal
stuff, where people go to jail.

And so I want to emphasize, these are good lawyers. These are
outstanding lawyers. But they`re not election lawyers. They`re not
government lawyers.

SCHULTZ: Is there a chance that the shoe would drop before the
election, before the recall election, on this John Doe investigation, where
he could be indicted?

NICHOLS: That`s clearly a huge fear of the Republicans. Last week,
one of the most prominent Republican lawyers in the state, a former
candidate for attorney general, wrote a letter to John Chisholm, the
district attorney running this prosecution, this John Doe, basically
attacking him, suggesting that his staff was partisan, that he --
suggesting that John Chisholm was really doing something that was untoward.

SCHULTZ: I understand they`re beating him up on talk radio too.

NICHOLS: Oh, Milwaukee talk radio, it`s daily.

SCHULTZ: So they`re trying to intimidate the prosecutor?

NICHOLS: Exactly. They want to -- at the very least, they would like
to make sure that no charges -- no more charges are brought between now and
June 5th.

SCHULTZ: So these out of state events, basically, it`s trying to be a
rock star tour and take credit for going after organized labor and going
after public sector jobs. And he`s trying to gin up as much visibility as
he possibly can. Is it working?

NICHOLS: Well, it`s not just visibility, Ed. This is money. He goes
to these other states because this is where he raises, you know, dramatic
amounts of additional money. Remember that in his last filing, campaign
filing, 61 percent of the money came from out of state.

So he`s going to these other places, yes, to do some rock star turns.
But remember, he`s in the fight of his political life. He wouldn`t leave
Wisconsin just to appear before the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

SCHULTZ: He`s leading in the polls. Public Policy Polling has Walker
at 50 percent, Mayor Tom Barrett, who many people think that he`s going to
get it, at 45 percent. And there`s also a fight starting to break out in
the Democratic party somewhat.

NICHOLS: They`re wrestling for it.

SCHULTZ: OK, they`re wrestling for it. Why is Walker ahead, if he`s
gotten all this negative publicity?

NICHOLS: Ed, 12 million dollars worth of spending over the last year.
And the Democrats have not begun to counter that. Governor Walker keeps
saying that he is the subject of a huge negative ad campaign by the,
quote/unquote, big labor bosses, but that has not been there. That`s not
reality.

SCHULTZ: So he`s lying?

NICHOLS: Well, let`s just say he`s not -- well, let me put it this
way. John Dean, the Watergate figure, said the other day that Walker is
more Nixonian than Nixon.

SCHULTZ: The founder of the United Wisconsin, the group that led the
movement for the Recall Walker, has endorsed Tom Barrett. What`s that
mean?

NICHOLS: I think all this is a big deal. Tom Barrett`s had a very,
very good week. He was endorsed by former Lieutenant governor Barbara
Lotten (ph), by Congresswoman Gwenn Moore, by State Senator Lena Taylor.

So he`s getting a lot of useful endorsements. And the United
Wisconsin Movement is a very grassroots movement. But Kathleen Falk, his
opponent, still has some significant labor support. It`s a real primary.

NICHOLS: It is a real primary. And it`s coming up within the month.
Now, the next thing is, and I keep saying this -- I sense this on the road,
that people around the country get this, as the template, and the vice
president told me this when I interviewed him last week. He thinks this is
the template to defeat Citizens United.

You`ve got to have the boots on the ground. You`ve got to have the
social networking. You`ve got to get your next-door neighbor out there.
Is this going to happen?

NICHOLS: You just mentioned the key group, United Wisconsin. That
group, grassroots group, hardly any paid staff, they put 30,000 people on
the street to gather the petitions to put this recall into play. If those
30,000 people go back out in May, once they`ve got a candidate, they can
have a huge impact. That`s real grassroots.

SCHULTZ: Well, let`s say that Walker wins the recall and gets
indicted. I mean, this prosecutor can`t win. He`s going to be viewed as a
partisan player no matter what happens, if he pulls -- drops the shoe
before the election or after the election. And let`s say that Walker does
become successful and hold on to a seat and then he gets indicted, what
good does that do Wisconsin?

I mean, Walker knows whether he`s guilty or not. That`s the point I`m
making.

NICHOLS: He`s hiring a lot of top lawyers.

SCHULTZ: The lawyers aren`t going to get him out of this. I mean,
the evidence is either there or it isn`t.

NICHOLS: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: I mean, he -- Walker, this is where -- he knows whether he`s
guilty or not. Is there a chance that he would resign before the recall?

NICHOLS: No. This guy`s going to hang on to the very end. That
comparison, more Nixonian than Nixon is important. But one thing I will
tell you, this is vital. You`re going to elect a governor and a lieutenant
governor. That firefighter, Mahlon Mitchell, is running for lieutenant
governor. If he got lieutenant governor, Walker`s governor, Walker steps
down, Mahlon`s the governor.

SCHULTZ: John Nichols, great to have you with us. Thanks you.

Right-wingers have dominated talk radio in this country for decades.
But there`s new hope for lefties. Holy smoke, there`s three in the top
ten. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in this great country of the United States of America,
between 50 and 75 million people today listen to radio for at least five
minutes. Radio remains a persuasive part of life in America. And talk
radio is still overwhelmingly dominated by right wingers.

But tonight, I can report a small victory of sorts. The editors of
"Talkers Magazine" are out with their latest heavy hundred, which they do
every year, most important radio talk show hosts in America. Yours truly,
well, I`m not only in the top ten, I`m in at number four.

How in the heck did a lefty get up to number four? Holy smokes. Of
course behind Limbaugh, who is at number one. And we have found out that
he certainly is too big to fail. He can say anything with no repercussion
whatsoever.

Sean Hannity proving in at number two that lies go a long way in this
business. And Michael Savage, well, we all know his history and what
happened here on MSNBC.

And I`m right ahead of my good friend, Laura Ingraham, who cracked the
top five this year. Rounding out the top ten are number six, Dave Ramsey,
some guy named Mark -- oh, look at this, number eight, Thom Hartmann, a
great leftie talker in America. Glenn Beck slips to number nine. His
visibility is way down now that he`s not on Fox. People can hardly find
him.

And number 10 is the Black Eagle, Joe Madison.

Can you believe that? Three lefties in the top ten! Feel good about
it, listeners. Don`t forget to listen to me on Sirius XM Radio, channel
127, Monday through Friday. And I will speak for Thom and also speak for
Joe, if I may. The three of us thank you for listening to our progressive
talk radio shows across America.

You can follow me on Twitter @EdShow and like THE ED SHOW on Facebook.

Coming up, the war on women heads to John Kasich`s Ohio. State
Senator Nina Turner is on the front lines. She`ll join me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked it does Mitt Romney have the
political courage to publicly denounce Ted Nugent? Three percent of you
said yes; 97 percent of you said no.

Coming up, Ohio Republicans continue the war on women by going after
Planned Parenthood. I`ll ask State Senator Nina Turner what this could
mean for women in her state. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: We are not children. Women do
not need a permission slip from government to decide what is in the best
interest of their bodies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was Ohio State Senator
Nina Turner talking about the GOP`s latest attack on women`s health care.
In a moment, she will join me again. Mitt Romney vows he`ll get rid of
Planned Parenthood if he becomes president of the United States.

But Governor John Kasich in Ohio might beat him to the punch in that
state. Ohio Republicans have unveiled a new plan that would strip Planned
Parenthood of nearly two million dollars in federal funding.

The proposal, part of a budget bill, would block federal funding from
being administered by the state to Ohio`s 37 family planning centers. Ohio
law already prohibits public money from being spent on abortion services.
So what Republicans are doing is going after women who use Planned
Parenthood for checkups, cancer screenings, and other preventative care.

It`s part of a nationwide effort by Republicans to roll back the clock
on women`s health care. Senator Barbara Boxer explains.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: You have Mitt Romney saying he
wants to, quote, "get rid of," unquote, Planned Parenthood. He wants to
get rid of Planned Parenthood that serves three million Americans and gives
them basic health care, prevention, breast screenings, other kinds of
cancer screenings, STD screenings.

I will tell you this. It hurts the American people, that type of
policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight. In your words, what is
happening in Ohio?

TURNER: Well, like thieves in the night, my Republican colleagues in
the Ohio House tucked into our mid-biennial budget an amendment that would
effectively defund Planned Parenthood by about 1.7 million dollars.

But what that means, more than the dollar amount, is the impact that
this right-wing public policy is going to have on everyday women. This is
a social and economic battle that we`re fighting in the state of Ohio that
you can no longer be poor, that it is a crime to be poor in the state of
Ohio, to be a poor woman.

You won`t have access to screenings, like cancer screenings,
mammograms. You know, 96 percent of what the Planned Parenthood provides
is for preventative health care. Ed, this is an absolute shame and people
should be outraged.

SCHULTZ: Well, Planned Parenthood serves, as I understand, over
100,000 women in the state of Ohio. Is that number correct?

TURNER: Yes, that number is correct.

SCHULTZ: OK. So if the GOP kills Planned Parenthood, where are these
women going to go for health care services, such as cancer screenings, such
as other health care procedures that are provided by Planned Parenthood?

TURNER: Well, Ed, obviously, they don`t care. You know, one of our
colleagues talked about how they can just get on a bus. You know, this
total disregard for women in the state of Ohio, but also poor women in the
state of Ohio, again, in urban areas and rural areas.

And it`s not just the women, Ed. These women have families. A lot of
these women are mothers. What if they are sick? What happens to their
children? This is a heartless bill. You talk about a heart beat bill.
Let`s talk about heart beats.

They do not care about women in the state of Ohio. And I`m going to
tell you something, Ed, we`re not going to take it. The Ohio Democrats, we
have lost a petition drive. And Ed, I would love all of your viewers to go
to the OhioDems.org/Planned Parenthood, sign our petition. And we are
going to deliver those petitions to Governor John Kasich, and tell him and
the Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly to keep their hands off of
women`s bodies and their access to health care.

SCHULTZ: Well, is the governor -- has he indicated whether he`s going
to sign this and support it? What`s happening?

TURNER: Well, Ed, it`s his mid-biennial budget. He has not said
anything as far as I know. But these are his counterparts in the Ohio
House that put this provision in the mid-biennium budget. But hopefully
our petition drive will send a strong message to the governor that we`re
not going to accept this in the state of Ohio. And hopefully he will have
the opportunity to line item veto that section of the mid-biennium budget.

SCHULTZ: Finally, senator, what do you make of these folks across
America, especially Republicans, who believe that the war on women is made
up? I mean, it certainly seems that there is a legislative agenda to
discriminate against women. OK, if you don`t want to call it war on women,
what is happening in your state? We`ve got discrimination on the books and
in the budget.

TURNER: Oh, it`s a war on women. And Ed, they declared the war. It
is not a figment of our imagination. Anytime you have policy makers using
the power of the people to disenfranchise folks through voter suppression,
to take away preventative health care for women in this state -- women are
about 5.8 million, we`re 51 percent of this state.

And to have folks who don`t care whether or not women, particularly
poor women, have access to health care. Ed, it is a war on women. And
see, Republicans never let the truth get in the way of a good story. The
truth of the matter is, they have declared a war on women. And we`re not
going to take it. So OhioDems.org, Ed, we need your viewers to sign our
petition.

SCHULTZ: State Senator Nina Turner, always keep up the fight. Thank
you so much.

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

Good evening, Rachel

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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.>