updated 5/9/2012 3:52:55 PM ET 2012-05-09T19:52:55

Guests: E.J. Dionne, Richard Wolffe, Ted Vick, Robert Lutz, Vicki Escarra


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

President Obama is schooling Mitt Romney on the necessity of college
loans for millions of Americans. And I`m schooling Sean Hannity on
America`s hunger crisis.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You share my faith in
America`s future, and that`s what drives me every single day, your hopes,
your dreams, and I`m not quitting now, because in America, we don`t quit.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The big man on campus took Republicans to
school today. Tonight, Gene Robinson and E.J. Dionne on the stark contrast
between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama`s vision for America`s youth.

John Boehner is fearmongering about an economic mushroom cloud.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: His policies will
turn America in a direction that we may never recover from.

SCHULTZ: The Republican leader is way out of line. We`ll set him
straight.

Now, legislators are running away from ALEC. Tonight, a defector
tells us everything we need to know about ALEC.

Sales of the Chevy Volt are way up and conservatives hate it.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: They catch fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They catch fire.

O`REILLY: Which would contribute, I think, to global warming, because
fire is hot.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Bob Lutz, the former G.M. executive behind the Volt
and conservative, responds to the haters.

BOB LUTZ, FORMER G.M. EXECUTIVE: The political right is constantly
talking about the flammability, overheating, fire hazard. Folks, it`s a
pure fiction. Please get it out of your heads.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

President Obama is passing the test on student debt. Republicans are
on the verge of flunking out of class. The president was at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today. He told students why he`s able to
relate with their own struggles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: This is something Michelle and I know about firsthand. I just
want everybody here to understand, this is not -- I didn`t just read about
this. I didn`t just --

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: You know, I didn`t just -- I didn`t just get some talking
points about this. I didn`t just get a policy briefing on this. Michelle
and I, we`ve been in your shoes. Like I said, we didn`t come from wealthy
families, so when we graduated from college and law school, we had a
mountain of debt. When we married, we got poorer together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: "We got poorer together." This is something Mitt Romney
cannot say. Heck, Mitt Romney didn`t even remember to talk about student
loan debt until he was already walking away from reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, thank you. How about
that -- there`s one thing I want to mention. I just -- by the way, there`s
one thing I wanted to mention that I forgot to mention at the very
beginning. And that was that particularly with a number of college
graduates that can`t find work or that can only find work well beneath
their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest
rate on student loans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So we have a reversal. Mitt Romney is taking President
Obama`s position on student loan rates, but he can`t take the position that
the president has, and that is personal experience.

President Obama was still paying off student loans while he was in the
Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We only finished paying off our student loans -- check this
out, all right? I`m the president of the United States.

(CHEERS)

OBAMA: We only finished paying off our student loans about eight
years ago. That wasn`t that long ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president took his message to a taping of "Late Night
with Jimmy Fallon." President Obama`s outreach to a youthful audience --
well, it is working.

A new Harvard University poll of 18 to 29-year-olds shows President
Obama with a 17-point lead over Mitt Romney. It`s a six-point gain since
the end of 2011. Unlike Romney, President Obama has been an honest broker
with the younger generation.

And so have the Democrats, if you look at it. In 2007, the new
Democratic Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. The
bill lowered subsidized interest rates to 3.4 percent. The Democrats
worked on behalf of low-income students and got President Bush to sign a
very helpful piece of legislation.

Now, Republicans, what do they want to do? They want to undo all of
that. Congressman Paul Ryan of the House Budget Committee. Well, they
want to lock in the loan rate, lock it in, at 6.8 percent. The budget
proposal calls on congress to roll back certain recent expansions.

It says, "These should be returned to the pre-CCRAA levels."

This marvelous budget, as Mitt Romney calls it, makes millions of low-
income college students pay double interest on their loan payments.

THE ED SHOW called Congressman Paul Ryan`s office today to find out if
the congressman stands by this proposal, and of course, we did not get a
response.

But the progressive PAC, American Bridge, has responded to Mitt
Romney`s new position on student loans. A web ad shows what Romney really
thinks about student debt.

(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just started law school, and they`re doing
away with unsubsidized loans for grad students, which makes it almost
impossible to pay off our debts, have a house, have a car, have a family
before we retire. What are you going to do for people like me?

ROMNEY: You know, I wish I could tell you that there`s a place to
find really cheap money or free money and we could pay for everyone`s
education. That`s just not going to happen.

I would like to have more competition between schools. I hope you
shopped around and tried to find a school that has the lowest possible
tuition.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s see here, he said, cheap money, not going to happen,
in front of the crowd. Sorry, struggling students. In Mitt Romney`s
world, you`re on your own.

Romney doesn`t sound too different from Congresswoman Virginia Foxx,
who has no sympathy for anyone with student debt.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I have very little tolerance
for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even
$80,000 of debt, because there`s no reason for that.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama was quick to remark on Foxx`s comments
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Can you imagine saying something like that? Those of you who
have had to take out student loans, you didn`t do it because you`re lazy.
You didn`t do it lightly. You don`t like debt.

I mean, a lot of you, your parents are helping out, but it`s tough on
them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney just can`t find the pulse of everyday Americans,
can he? Not everyone is going to go to college and come away with a high-
paying job, like a doctor or a banker. There are teachers and social
workers. There are people with different dreams, career wise, and they`re
not going to be make big bucks, but they`re going to be doing a lot of good
work for the public good.

Don`t you think they should be allowed to have a fair shot at a low-
interest loan, a reasonable rate, without Republicans changing the rules on
them all of a sudden?

The president gets it, because he`s lived it. And he`s winning over
young Americans with common sense. Now, think about this. If you`re a
student and you`re sitting at home tonight in your apartment or your dorm
room, you have to ask yourself the question, what did I do? What are the
Republicans want to make money on me for?

Well, you see, you`re banking on your future. And anytime there`s a
bank involved or the word "banking" involved, Republicans see dollar signs
and that`s all they want to do is make money, because they`re about profit,
they`re not about people.

President Obama is clearly about opportunity. He`s lived it. He
wants you to live it.

Clearly, there is one candidate and one party that understands your
world. And there is one candidate and one party that doesn`t give a damn
and has no clue.

Just remember, in the Ryan bill, what they want to do is make that
higher interest rate permanent. They want to fix it in. That means no
breaks. You just heard Mitt Romney on the campaign trail say, and I don`t
know where you`re going to get cheap money. He`s not about cheap money.
He`s not about giving you the 20-somethings a break to get through college.

Now, I understand interest rates, obviously, 3.4 percent. That`s a
good, low rate. What`s wrong with 2 percent?

The Democrats need to start changing their thinking here, because an
educated student is an investment in this country. It`s an investment in
America. It`s not a dollar sign. It`s an opportunity to make the country
better.

But Romney, who hasn`t lived it, just doesn`t see it that way.

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

Tonight`s question: do college-aged voters have any reason to trust
Mitt Romney? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. And you can always
go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in
the program.

I also want to point out that students, it`s fair to say, I think,
they`re the working poor. You ever come across a rich student who might be
working one or two jobs to get through school? But for some reason, the
Republicans just have it out for the poor and the downtrodden or anybody
who`s trying to get ahead in this country.

I`m joined tonight by E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, "Washington
Post" columnist, and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

E.J., when you look at this and you see what the Republicans are
advocating, how in the world do they expect to win over younger voters?
You just heard Mitt Romney say, I don`t know where you`re going to get
cheap money. They don`t believe in it, do they?

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think what you saw is
the reason why Romney sort of shook the etch-a-sketch on this one, because
when -- and I think there`s something important here, that we should
appreciate, which is this is the first election where both sides are
actually fighting for the votes of young people. And I think that`s a
product of the Obama revolution in the last election, and in 10 years of
change, when young people really started coming to the polls.

And so, this is a big deal. And I think Mitt Romney realized that the
Republican position in the House is totally unsustainable, politically. I
also think he sees both that Harvard Institute of Politics poll and another
poll released last week of young people by Georgetown, at the Berkeley
Center there, shows that Obama isn`t quite where he was in 2008.

Obama was on that campus, because he knows he`s got some work to do.
He carried the youth vote by 2-1. But I think Romney has to distance
himself from the Republicans in Congress. And I think he`s going to have
to pressure them to vote for this change, but I don`t think they`re going
to do it, or vote to avoid the change. So people`s interest rates don`t go
up.

SCHULTZ: The Stafford loans in this country have helped 35 million
Americans get educated. And it just seems to me that the Ryan and Romney
plan on student loans is just a handout to the banks. They view these
students as a commodity and not an investment. You agree with that?

DIONNE: Well, yes. In fact, what the Democrats did, I think a few
Republicans voted for it, but basically what liberals say is this is not
something where the making a profit by a bank is the highest priority. The
highest priority is to help students go to college.

And so, when government took over this program, it wasn`t that they
were still administering it, basically, when the banks did it, but they`re
saying, let`s cut that profit out so we can share it with the students.
There really are times when government programs can actually make things
cheaper, even though no one on the Republican side and a lot of Americans
actually don`t believe that.

SCHULTZ: You just made an interesting comment, that you think that
President Obama has some work to do. And he`s hitting the late-night TV
circuit. Here`s President Obama slow jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon.
Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Now is not the time to make school more expensive for our
young people.

JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: Oh, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Is that a good example of why President Obama is winning
over young people? There`s just that connection there, and is this
politically a smart move, to run that late-night circuit?

DIONNE: I think it is. I think that you know it worked for Bill
Clinton, it`s worked for Obama before. And I think that Obama got some
extra votes last time, because he was the cool candidate. And being for
Obama was the cool thing to be.

That`s not quite the same now, because you can`t run as quite the same
kind of hero after you`ve had a rough time for four years ago. But I think
compared to Mitt Romney, he can probably pull it off again.

SCHULTZ: Well, with the way this is breaking down, I think you have
to view the youth vote in America, going to be a make or break demographic
in this election. E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much.

DIONNE: Great to be with you. Thank you.

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

John Boehner, speaker of the House, says if President Obama is re-
elected, the economy may never recover. The scare tactics won`t work,
Speaker Boehner.

Richard Wolffe joins me for the discussion.

And, of course, the Chevy Volt is a great American success story,
built by American workers. So why do conservatives hate it? What is it
about electric cars they just don`t get?

Former G.M. executive Robert Lutz joins me later in the program.

Stay with us. Lots more coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, how Speaker John Boehner channels Dick Cheney
with his dire warning about the president`s economic policies. Richard
Wolffe joins me for the discussion.

The ALEC fallout continues after more than a dozen companies cut ties
with the organization. Lawmakers on a state level are now starting to do
the same thing. I`ll have one of the lawmakers resigning from the
organization with me tonight.

And Sean Hannity says, "Let them eat rice." We`ll play you the radio
host`s outrageous claim about America`s poor later in the hour.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Absolutely essential that
eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice. Because
if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we`ll get hit again,
that we`ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of
the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, yeah, an oldie but goldie. That was Vice President Dick
Cheney back in the day, September of 2004, warning of dire consequences if
John Kerry were to become president of the United States.

The scare tactics are being rolled out once again, this time about the
economy. Here`s House Speaker John Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: America can`t live for four more years with Barack Obama as
president. His policies will turn America in a direction that we may never
recover from.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Really? Looks like Boehner is the new Cheney. Of course,
President Obama has a record to run on. It isn`t perfect, but let`s see
which part of John Boehner, what he really objects to. Let`s go back, do a
little history lesson here.

On inauguration day, I was there, it was cold. January 20th, 2009,
the stock market was where? About 7,900, not real good. A lot of people
nervous. Today, the closing bell at 13,000.

You know what this means? This means if you had the guts to put your
money in the market now, look where you`d be today.

What does Boehner not like about that?

It looks like the job creators are doing pretty well. General Motors,
which was about to bite the dust, became the number one car manufacturer in
the world under President Obama in January of this year.

Now, you can`t build Rome in a day, but in 2012, this is pretty good
news. Who would have ever thought that G.M., left for dead by the
Republicans, would have been able to do this?

So, Mr. Boehner, which cities do you think would be better off without
the resurgence of the American automobile industry? When President Obama
took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. You remember January of
2009?

There has now been 25 months, look at this, lots of purple, lots of
good stuff -- 25 months of private sector job growth. The unemployment
rate has been dropping under President Obama. True, it`s not where we want
it, but it`s obviously moving in the right direction.

Now, two years ago, President Obama called on the United States of
America to double exports over a five-year period. That affects the
manufacturing sector.

Exports, where are they? They`re up 34 percent over the last two
years. So President Obama has his plan on track to meet his goal. That is
a hell of an increase.

Despite constant Republican obstructionism, they haven`t helped him do
anything. President Obama kept the economy from falling off a cliff, and
it`s now coming back.

On January 20th of 2008, President Obama moved away from the policies
of George W. Bush and the Republicans. That must be part of what John
Boehner is really objecting to.

Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us tonight for the discussion.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: My pleasure.

SCHULTZ: Facts are facts. Will it stick with the American people?
What do you think?

WOLFFE: Well, I think it`s very hard for the Republicans to do what
they`re doing right now, which is to say, who are you going to believe? Me
or your lying eyes?

You know, the economy is moving in a very different direction from
where they want it to be. So they have two choices. They can try and say,
the economy could`ve, should`ve, would`ve better if a Republican would have
been there. It`s kind of what Mitt Romney is trying to say. That kind of
conditional argument is very hard to pull off.

Or they can do what John Boehner is doing and say, you know what, it`s
actually terrible. No matter what you`re hearing in the news, no matter
what you`re seeing, it`s all bad.

You know, you can fool some of the people all the time, and some of
the people are not ever going to vote for this president. So, it will work
with them. It won`t work with all the people.

SCHULTZ: You know, you`ve got 450 right-wing talkers across America
who are hammering this stuff every day. You`ve the folks across the street
giving Boehner the platform.

I mean, basically, it seems to me that he`s going to the Karl Rove
school and playbook, attack where you`re weak. These are facts, but maybe
we can get that head-shaking crowd, standing in front of Ted Nugent,
believing something different.

WOLFFE: Well, it`s true that 76 percent of the country believe we`re
still in a recession. And frankly we in the media have got some blame for
that. You know, people used the language of recession long after it ended,
and that`s just wrong. I mean, it was sloppy talk from a lot of people in
the media and in the public debate there.

But you`re also flattering. This is not Karl Rove sophistication. As
fiendish as he was, this is much simpler. They`re not talking about what
they have done.

You heard Dick Cheney, at least they were being selective about
President Bush`s policies. These Republicans in the House are not saying,
we did this so go vote for us. We created the jobs we promised. We
challenged the debt ceiling and took us to the brink of default. They
cannot make that case.

So they have to go the other way and say the stuff that`s happening in
the economy, it`s not really there.

SCHULTZ: Here`s John Boehner talking about the deal with President
Obama during the debt ceiling debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: When you look at this final agreement that we came to with
the White House, you know, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I`m pretty
happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He says he was pretty happy. Why isn`t he happy anymore?

WOLFFE: Why didn`t he take the deal? You get 98 percent of what you
want in politics, you don`t take it? That`s a tough sell for the American
people. It really is. If you think it`s country first and not caucus
first, you take 98 percent.

SCHULTZ: Should President Obama run on his record? All the things
that I just listed out, it`s a lot. What do you focus in on that`s really
going to drive home with the American people?

WOLFFE: Well, where -- part of what the Obama campaign has to do is
remind people just where we`ve been. I think there`s selective memory for
people about how --

SCHULTZ: Generically speaking --

WOLFFE: How bad things have gotten. And I understand why. You want
to have some amnesia here, because it was so awful.

We didn`t know where the bottom was going to be, whether our coworkers
would be laid off, whether you`d ever get a job again, whether the stock
market could come back.

So without scaring people how bad it was, we`ve got to remind
ourselves what the journey has been like and remind ourselves how much
farther there is to go. That`s not that easy either, because you`ve got to
believe this president is going to keep things on the track it`s been. But
you`ve got to speak to where people want to go, not their fears about where
they`ve been.

SCHULTZ: Well, he says they`ll never recover. That`s what Boehner`s
saying. I mean, it`s a page out of Cheney`s, you know, negative talk, no
doubt.

Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us. Thank you.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Coke and Pepsi were the first to go. Now, lawmakers are
starting to question ALEC`s right wing agenda. Next, I will talk to one
lawmaker who`s leaving the group, South Carolina State Representative Ted
Vick. ALEC whistle-blower joins me next.

Conservatives have spent 10 years vilifying all things French. Will
they be able to handle Mitt Romney`s French connection?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The American Legislative Exchange Counsel, or ALEC, as we`ve been
reporting on, has been responsible for some of the most anti-union, anti-
immigrant, anti-Democratic and pro-gun measures in this country. From
voter suppression to stand your ground, ALEC drafts right-wing legislation
to better serve its corporate members. And it pushes it on state
legislators.

But now, folks are waking up to what`s really going on. Progressive
groups are putting pressure on ALEC`s corporate members as well as
lawmakers.

Some of the most recognized brands in America from Coca-Cola to Kraft
Foods have left this organization ALEC. Sixteen of ALEC`s 76 Democratic
state legislators have now cut ties with the group. Tonight, number 17. A
Democrat joins me on the program.

South Carolina State Representative Ted Vick is currently a Democratic
candidate for the United States Congress. He has been a member of ALEC
since 2004, but is resigning from the group.

Mr. Vick, thanks for joining us tonight

Why have you decided to the leave ALEC after eight years? And I guess
I should say -- why did you join?

STATE REP. TED VICK (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, I`ll tell you, Ed.
ALEC was a group that offered a place for Democrats and Republicans come
together and the private sector to come together, to actually talk about
real issues facing our country, to talk about policy issues that can
actually move our country forward, and make the economy better and make
businesses work better and make government more efficient.

Unfortunately, ALEC, over the last few years, have gone more and more
to the right and not done what its original intent was to do, which is
Jeffersonian politics, less government, but more effective government.

SCHULTZ: So you consider yourself, I understand, a conservative
Democrat. At what point did you serve notice that there was a shift in
ideology? And was it a particular issue that moved you? I keep thinking
about voter I.D. Why would ALEC ever get involved in that? But what was
the lynch pin for you?

VICK: The thing for me -- it started about three years ago, Ed. I
noticed the trend. I don`t know if it was the Tea Party movement that was
taking over ALEC or what the right wing agenda was. But I can tell you
this, it started moving to the right and getting very extreme.

You know, we`re running for Congress because we`re tired of the
extremes. The American people are tired of the extremes on both sides, and
they want to see this country move forward. They want to see a Congress
that can work together.

What did it for me is I was at a speech, a luncheon that Governor
Jindal was up speaking. And I actually got up and walked out last year in
response to he was bashing the president, bashing Democrats. And I went
and talked to the executive director, as well as the president of our state
here, and said, you know, I`m not going to stand for this.

We can`t continue to do this. If ALEC doesn`t change, I`m going to be
leaving this group and I`m going to be encouraging other Democrats to do so
as well.

SCHULTZ: What do you think the future of ALEC is at this point, Mr.
Vick?

VICK: You know, ALEC was, as I said, a very good tool where folks
from opposing sides could come together and actually talk about the issues
outside of the boxing ring of politics and work actually on things in a
bipartisan manner, in a statesmanship manner.

If ALEC would get back to its founding principles, which is
Jeffersonian principles, those principles where folks from both sides of
the aisle work together trying to find real solution, then it`s got place
in this society. Right now, if they continue to do the right wing thing
that they are doing and pushing the agendas that have nothing to do with
more efficient and more effective government, then it doesn`t have a place
in politics in my opinion. And that`s why I`m resigning.

SCHULTZ: Do you think that some of the sponsors, the contributors,
didn`t know how active they were in the right wing agenda until the social
media got after it? Obviously, the Stand Your Ground Law got a lot of
attention with the death of Trayvon Martin. Then upon further review, they
have been very involved in voter suppression. What in the hell does that
have to do with business in America?

VICK: Thank you very much. That`s what the private sector`s figured
out. Because, you know, they are a big part of ALEC as well. The private
sector actually had an opportunity to come sit down with legislatures from
all over the country. This was the largest legislative exchange in the
nation. They had an opportunity to come.

They -- we started having conversations with them as well. They were
concerned about the direction that ALEC was going. And they have re-voted
now by pulling their sponsorship and support. I think they rightly have
done so.

SCHULTZ: You think ALEC has done damage to the country with some of
the radical legislation they have pushed and gotten through, like Stand
Your Ground?

VICK: I think extremism on the right side has definitely done damage.
We have seen that in our economy. The gridlock that`s going on in
Washington, D.C., right now. As you said, I`m running for congress. Folks
are sick and tired of the gridlock. The folks in Dillon and Marlboro and
Marion Counties are starved for jobs. And they`re starved for real
leadership to move this country forward. That`s what we plan on providing
when we get to Congress.

SCHULTZ: How many more of your colleagues do you think will distance
themselves from ALEC? You`ve been very graphic about what you think the
problem is and what the issues are. Do you think all Democrats are
eventually going to leave?

VICK: Well, I think it would be a good stand that Democrats as well
as moderate Republicans ought to come out and take a stands and say, look,
we`re interested in solving the real problems of this country. We`re not
interested in taking up right wing agendas and right wing issues. I
encourage my Democrat colleagues as well as my Republican colleagues to do
the right thing and to make ALEC either change dramatically or not join
ALEC again.

SCHULTZ: Well, I don`t think they will ever be trusted again. South
Carolina State Representative Ted Vick, good luck to you. Thanks for your
time tonight. I appreciate it.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We got a car for you. It`s a Volt.
You`re going to puke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A conservative former GM executive is calling out his fellow
conservatives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT LUTZ, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF GENERAL MOTORS: Those of you
who listen to conservative radio will believe that the Chevrolet Volt
catches fire and was a product of the Obama administration, when, in fact,
it`s none of those things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You don`t want to miss my interview with the man behind the
Chevy Volt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Walking around the city of
Paris, not just on the Champs Elysee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: How can righties stomach Mitt Romney French connection?
Commentary ahead.

And Sean Hannity reaches a new low. The right wing media is going all
in on the Republican war on the poor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Most Americans, even in poverty, have
a basic level of living.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I got to get inside a
brand new Chevy Volt, fresh off the line. And five years from now, when
I`m not president anymore, I`ll buy one and drive it myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was President Obama
praising the Chevy Volt back in February. Sales of the car surged soon
after that. The Chevy Volt really is an American success story. Nearly
2,300 units sold in March.

The car is on the leading edge and it`s now being copied by other car
companies around the world. It was named 2011 "Motor Trend" Car of the
Year and 2012 European Car of the Year.

But back in December, Mitt Romney said that the Volt was "an idea
whose time has not come," whatever that meant. Here is a small sampling of
how conservative pundits treated the Chevy Volt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Does it have a floor or is like a Flinstone thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s loaded with taxpayer subsidies and offered
with a taxpayer bailout.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`d have to give that to me for free and I`d
rather roller skate backwards in the Lincoln Tunnel than drive that thing
and break down.

CAVUTO: It`s not just me. It is now official. The Volt is a dolt.
You hearing me, all you bloggers? It stinks. The car you have to plug in
ain`t exactly selling out. Not even close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here it is, another Obama proposal, another plan.
Give money to people without any strings attached.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Robert Lutz. He is the former vice
president, chairman of General Motors and former executive vice president
of Ford, now a CNBC contributor.

Mr. Lutz, great to have you with us tonight. "It stinks" was the
comment that one commentator said. What was your response to that montage
of sound we just played?

LUTZ: Well, that`s why I`m so exercised about this, because, as you
correctly said, I`m a conservative and it bothers me when conservative
commentators who -- I think conservatism can stand on its own merit without
telling, frankly, falsehoods about the technologically most advanced car on
the planet.

As you correctly pointed out, car of the year both in the United
States and in Europe, a vehicle where the average owner gets over 250 miles
per gallon. Then the electric vehicle credit, 7,500 dollars, is described
as another subsidy that the Obama administration puts on the car in order
to -- everybody fails to mention that the 7,500 dollar tax credit for
electric vehicles was enacted under the Bush administration and so forth
and so on.

You heard many conservative commentators, from Bill O`Reilly to Neil
Cavuto, et cetera, et cetera, talk about Chevy Volt fires. You had Lou
Dobbs saying, yes, they all catch fire. Patently ridiculous. One Volt
caught fire after a highly destructive government crash test. It caught
fire three weeks later, which should be enough time for people to get out.
So -- go ahead, Ed.

SCHULTZ: What was your role with the Chevy Volt? How involved were
you with the design and the manufacturing of this vehicle?

LUTZ: Well, I led the team that did it. I`ll tell you quite frankly,
I was very annoyed with the fact that Toyota seemed to become the darling
of the environmental movement. It was lauded to the skies because of the
Toyota Prius. The thing was, well, American car companies are brain dead.
They could never do anything like that.

I said, you know what, let`s do the Moon shot. Let`s do something
that`s way beyond what anybody else in the world has done. Let`s use
lithium ion batteries. And then one of my executives said, let`s not make
it all electric, because it will get too expensive. Let`s use a smallish
battery to give us 40 miles of electric range, and then a small gasoline
powered generator will kick in case people want to go an additional 300
miles.

That`s the concept that we worked out, showed it at the Detroit show
in 2007, almost year and a half before Obama was elected president, by the
way. And it was a smash hit.

Everybody said, oh, they will never build it. No, General Motors
would never do that. The Japanese said they can`t do it. Lithium ion
batteries won`t work. So we had torrents of negativism.

But you know what? It was a highly motivated, highly inspired team.
And as "Motor Trend" said, a bunch of Michigan engineers in cheap suits
just out engineered the best engineers in Germany. It`s the truth.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s also been a political football. Here is Darrell
Issa from the Congress. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Do the American people really
think that we should have put 375 million in subsidies into GE buying these
electric cars, so that everyone could make a statement about the future
with a really bad car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: To me, that`s archaic thinking. Your thoughts on what -- if
we had listened to Darrell Issa, we would still be in cart wheels, the way
he`s talking.

LUTZ: It`s highly unfair. It`s wrong. My problem with it is it`s so
patently untrue and so patently wrong that everybody can see through it.
That harms the conservative cause, which other than the Chevy Volt I deeply
believe in.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Lutz, great to have you with us tonight. Good work.
Thank you so much.

The right wing smear machine spent the last two presidential elections
slamming Democrats for being elitists. But now the Republican nominee is
the one with the fond memories of vacations in Paris, France. What will
the conservatives do?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SCHULTZ: More evidence Mitt Romney has no connection with the middle
class families in this country. At a press conference yesterday, a member
of the foreign press -- foreign press asked Romney what he remembered about
his time in France. Well, really it was an easy lay up, don`t you think.
Romney could have talked about being a missionary in France.

Instead, he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I have a lot of memories of France. I think the best
memories were with my wife on vacations from time to time in France. The
last vacation we had there walking around the city of Paris, and walking
not just on the Champs Elysee, but also over to the Jarden of Luxembourg
and around the city. It`s one of the most magnificent cities in the world.
I look forward to occasional vacations again in such a beautiful place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney decided to talk about his much fun as he had
vacations in Paris with his wife. Well, less than a week ago, Mitt was
complaining about President Obama`s, quote, elaborate vacations. But the
funny thing is the Republican party is about to nominate exactly the type
of candidate that they have spent the last eight years trashing.

President Obama was an arugula eating, Harvard snob who put fancy
mustard on his cheese burger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Plain old ketchup, well, it didn`t quite cut it for the
president.

OBAMA: You got a spicy mustard or something like that, or a Dijon
mustard, something like that?

HANNITY: I hope you enjoyed that fancy burger, Mr. President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, when Michelle Obama took a trip to Spain, right
wingers like Michelle Malkin, they just had a fit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE MALKIN, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: There she is in her one
shoulder, Gautier (ph), haut culture (ph), clomping around the beach side
in her designer shoes, at a time when so many people, as you mentioned, are
feeling the pain that obviously Michelle Obama is not in touch with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It`s not just the Obamas. In 2004, Fox News was relentless
against John Kerry for his Frenchness, as the film "Out-Foxed" makes clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are saying John Kerry looks French.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Kerry looks French.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kerry, the man who would be America`s first French
president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are the Republicans going to effectively be able
to make Kerry French? Good afternoon, everybody. Or as John Kerry would
say, Bon Jour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So much for the conservative`s Freedom Fries and Liberty
Toast. Time to break out the Bordeaux. The Republicans have a French
speaking nominee with two Harvard degrees, who is worth a quarter of a
billion dollars. Plus, he has zero ability to connect to anyone who
doesn`t routinely stroll around the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

Bon chance, Mitt. You`re going to need it, dude.

Next up, Sean Hannity is challenging Mitt Romney for the title of the
most out of touch person in America. I think Sean may have the edge
tonight. You won`t believe what he had to say. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked do college age voters have
any reason to trust Mitt Romney. Four percent of you said yes; 96 percent
of you said no. Coming up, Sean Hannity doesn`t think there`s a hunger
problem in this country. I`ll have reaction from the president of Feeding
America, next.

Don`t forget to listen to my radio show on Sirius XM radio, Channel
127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 PM Eastern time. And follow me on
Twitter @EdShow and like THE ED SHOW on Facebook. We are coming right
back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: In the Big Finish tonight, part of the war on the poor is
being in denial. Sean Hannity has proven that he`s the most out of touch
man in America. On Hannity`s radio show this week, a caller questioned
Mitt Romney`s ability to relate to voters who were forced to go to bed
hungry.

Well, the 20 million dollar a year radio host responded by denying the
existence of hunger in America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I have friends of mine that eat rice and beans all the time.
Beans protein, rice inexpensive. It`s -- you can make a big pot of this
for a week for relatively negligible amounts of money for your whole
family, and feed your family. Look, you should have vegetables and fruit
in there as well.

But if you need to survive, you can survive off it. It`s not ideal.
You can get some cheap meat too and throw in there as well for protein.
There are ways to live really, really cheaply.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It`s that entertaining conservative talk, isn`t it? Sean
Hannity has no clue, has no concept of reality. But this is the Republican
teleology, denial.

Under President George W. Bush, the United States government
officially eliminated the word hunger. In 2006, the Department of
Agriculture legally changed the term for people who can`t afford to put
food on the table to very low food security.

So the Republicans eliminated the word hunger. But pretending hunger
doesn`t exist doesn`t change the facts; 6.7 million households suffer from
President Bush`s very low food security; 16.2 million children live in
households that struggle to put food on the table.

That`s one in five kids in America going hungry. I want Sean Hannity
to look at those kids in the eye and say, you`re not hungry. Or go to a
soup kitchen and tell those people to go buy a bag of rice and a can of
beans. Heck, his friends do it, according to him.

I`m joined tonight by Vicki Escarra. She is the president and CEO of
Feeding America. Vicki, great to have you with us tonight. What is your
reaction to this conversation, to what Sean Hannity is saying about hunger
in America?

VICKI ESCARRA, FEEDING AMERICA: So, Ed, it`s good to be with you. My
reaction is that hunger is a serious and a very critical problem right now.
You cited the statistics. We know that it has doubled since the recession
began.

We also know that it affects every county in this country. We have
done a lot of research. Just because people think it`s invisible and they
don`t know someone who is struggling with hunger, we know it exists across
America.

SCHULTZ: What does Hannity fail to understand about the problem of
hunger in this country when you hear that?

ESCARRA: So I think he and a lot of people fail to understand that,
first and foremost, it`s not a political issue. Hunger has always been
supported by both Republicans and Democrats. Making this a partisan issue
is not what we`re all about.

I think he fails to understand that this recession, which has been the
most impactful downturn since the Great Depression, has affected millions
of people, 49 million people. That`s almost a sixth of the American
population.

We`re not talking politics. We`re not talking a partisan issue here.
We`re talking about American people.

SCHULTZ: How has changing the term or word hunger to very low food
security affected the perception of hunger in this country? I mean,
Hannity thinks there`s no hunger. Heck, you just got to go get a bag of
rice and a can of beans and everything is going to be just fine.

ESCARRA: You know, Joe, actually it really doesn`t matter what you
call it. Hunger or food insecurity are one in the same. It is not
something that people want to talk about.

I`ve traveled across the United States and met with thousands of
people, thousands of mothers, children, senior citizens that are not going
to run out in the street and tell everyone I can`t provide enough food for
my child to eat a decent meal tonight. That is not something that most
people are proud of.

We work very hard to get people to open up and feel that they are
welcome and that there`s an understanding place around a recovery.

SCHULTZ: More kids go to bed hungry in this country today than they
did last year. Is that correct?

ESCARRA: Than ever before. So one in five children -- than ever
before. One in five children are at risk of not learning or at risk of
serious medical issues or at risk of not being ready for the future. This
is an American crisis that we have one in five kids in this country going
to bed hungry.

SCHULTZ: Vicki Escarra, thank you for your time tonight. I
appreciate it.

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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