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The Ed Show for Monday, May 21, 2012

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Guests: Frank Lautenberg, Randy Johnson, State Sen. Katherine Clark, Dr. James Peterson, Caroline Heldman, Jimmy Williams, Michael Harrison

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

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says President Obama`s attacks on private
equity make him sick. Tonight, I`ll give him a dose of his own medicine.

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


MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEWARK, NJ: This kind of stuff is nauseating
to me on both sides. It`s nauseating to the American public. Enough is
enough. Stop attacking private equity.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): President Obama is firing back at liberal
criticism of his Bain attacks.

quote, "distraction". This is part of the debate that we`re going to be
having in this election campaign.

SCHULTZ: Senator Frank Lautenberg is here with reaction.

Plus, a victim of Romney`s vulture capitalism will tell Mayor Booker
what`s really nauseating.

The fighting Irish are fighting the contraception mandate. The NAACP
says gay marriage is a civil right. Tonight, our panel will react.

Rush Limbaugh`s tanking in the ratings, thanks to the Sandra Fluke
fire storm.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What did I say? I said if we`re
paying for this it makes these women sluts.

SCHULTZ: Michael Harrison of "Talkers" magazine on what it means for

And Scott Walker might be headed back to Capitol Hill to explain his
divide and conquer bombshell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never had a conversation?


SCHULTZ: We`ll have the latest from Wisconsin.


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

The Obama campaign -- well, they were ready to take on Mitt Romney`s
record as CEO of Bain Capital this week. But Obama supporter, at least we
think he`s a supporter, Cory Booker, changed the game when he said this
about the campaign`s Bain strategy on "Meet the Press".


BOOKER: This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It`s
nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking
private equity. Stop attacking Jeremy Wright.

This stuff has got to stop because what it does is it undermines, to
me, what this country should be focused on. It`s a distraction from the
real issues. It`s either going to be a small campaign about this crap or
it`s going to be a big campaign in my opinion about the issues that
American public cares about.


SCHULTZ: President Obama responded to the mayor`s reaction in Chicago
this afternoon.


OBAMA: This issue is not a, quote, "distraction". This is part of
the debate that we`re going to be having in this election campaign about
how do we create an economy where everybody, from top to bottom, folks on
Wall Street and folks on Main Street have a shot at success.


SCHULTZ: Booker has tried to walk back his comments. He posted a
video on YouTube explaining what he really meant.


BOOKER: Mitt Romney has made his business record a centerpiece of his
campaign. He`s talked about himself as a job creator. And therefore, it`s
reasonable and I encourage it for the Obama campaign to examine that record
and discuss it.


SCHULTZ: But Booker`s reaction or should we say retraction didn`t
make it into the RNC fund raising Web site called "I Stand with Cory".
John McCain didn`t mention it on YouTube when he said, "Thank you, Mayor
Cory Booker, for the straight talk this morning."

Even Mitt Romney`s chief`s spokesman is still praising Mayor Booker`s
remarks today.


ERIC FEHRNSTROM, ROMNEY SR. ADVISOR: I agree with Mayor Booker who
said these attacks against Bain Capital and free enterprise are nauseating.


SCHULTZ: And Mayor Booker is also star in a new web ad put out by the
Romney campaign.


NARRATOR: Even Obama`s own supporters have had enough.

BOOKER: It`s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough.


SCHULTZ: The ad also features blue dog Democrat Harold Ford, Jr., and
President Obama`s former auto advisor, Steve Rattner. Both of them have
spoken out against attacks on Bain Capital.

Republicans are working overtime to make any attacks on Bain Capital
seem unreasonable because they know that the attacks are absolutely true.

An unnamed GOP aide "Huffington Post`s" Sam Stein, "Booker is a huge
plus for us. Ampad should have been a clean hit for them. Now, it`s
totally muddied."

Romney knew he had to do something about Bain Capital. Last week, he
was comparing the Reverend Wright attacks to the Obama ads about Bain.


president`s ads are not to describe success and failure, but somehow to
suggest that I`m not a good person or not a good guy. Having a campaign
focused on character assassination is one of the things I find offensive.


SCHULTZ: This is where Cory Booker took the bait. There is no
comparison between Reverend Wright attacks on the president and Mitt
Romney`s actual record at Bain Capital as an executive. Now, the Obama
advisor David Axelrod explained why Romney is running away from his past.


DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA ADVISOR: He never talks about his year as
Massachusetts governor, I think for good reason, because they weren`t
stellar years.


ROMNEY: Romney wants to run on his private equity record. Not on his
record in elected office.

It makes sense, because as governor of Massachusetts, the state was
47th in the nation in job creation. Local taxes went up in order to keep
state taxes down. State aid was cut to cities and towns, forcing higher
property taxes and fees. Funding for higher education was also slashed.

President Obama wants the country to get to know Mitt Romney`s record
in the public and private sectors.


OBAMA: His main calling card for why he thinks he should be president
is his business experience. He`s not going out there touting his
experience in Massachusetts. He`s saying, I`m a business guy. I know how
to fix it. And this is his business.

But that`s not what my job is as president. My job is to take into
account everybody, not just some. My job is to make sure that the country
is growing not just now but 10 years from now and 20 years from now.


SCHULTZ: And let`s not forget just how many times we have seen Mitt
Romney on the campaign trail saying that this president doesn`t know
anything about this economy. In fact, he doesn`t understand how it works.

President Obama is going after Mitt Romney`s record and it is the
right thing to do and it is fair game. He`s not attacked private equity
and private equity firms and the private sector. In fact, check it out.
Wall Street has done pretty well, don`t you think, under President Obama?

Take a look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past three
years. Remember these days, way back in early 2009 when everybody said he
doesn`t know what he`s doing. Look where we are now Wall Street. If you
invested right here, you`re in fat city right now.

Last year, we should point out that corporate profits were at a record
of nearly $2 trillion. That`s right, $1.97 trillion in 2011, back to the
pre-recession levels. How did that happen?

Let`s talk about those tax rates. Because, you see, the tax rates are
the lowest that they have been, the levels, since 1950. I thought
Republicans liked that.

This is what Cory Booker is talking about when he says enough is
enough. Booker says he`s nauseated by attacks on private equity. Hold the
phone right there. I have to ask Mr. Booker and we asked him to come on
the program. Early this morning, we contacted his office. No, he`s not
doing any media interviews.

But things changed during the day. So, he`s going to be with Rachel
Maddow tonight on her program, which is great.

But I would like to know if Mr. Booker has thought about what the
country would look like if Mitt Romney and these righties get control of
our government again. Mr. Mayor, have you read the Ryan plan? Do you know
what it says? Go read that, then you`re going to want to throw up.

I mean, I`m nauseated by people being laid off and losing their health
care, their pension, their jobs and these vulture capitalists who all they
care about is increasing profits for their shareholders.

Democrats -- don`t be surrogates like this, Mr. Mayor. If Mitt Romney
wants to be president of the United States, his record is the private
industry is not only fair game, it is the only game. This is what we have
to talk about because this is what he goes out on the campaign trail and
says President Obama doesn`t know anything about the economy.

Bottom line here is: we should all be throwing up if Mitt Romney gets
into the White House because the Ryan plan is a recipe for disaster.

And I think, Cory Booker, you owe the president of the United States
an apology. And if you can`t do it, maybe you were just on a big news show
and felt like you had to say something. Maybe that`s what it was. I don`t
know. But what you did was damage.

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

Tonight`s question: Does Mitt Romney care more about people or
profits? Text A for people, text B for profits to 622639. You can always
go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC and leave a comment. We`ll bring you the
results later on in the show.

Joining me is now Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

Senator, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: This is one of the strangest thing I think I`ve ever seen --
a Democratic mayor going out and ramrodding the president`s campaign in
such a crucial election.

How off the mark was Mayor Booker in your opinion?

LAUTENBERG: Well, unfortunately, the mayor was way off the mark.
I`ve agreed with him on many things, but this one he`s just absolutely
wrong about. And it`s too bad because the campaign I think was doing the
right thing in depending itself, defending the president`s record, which is
pretty good and highlighting the Bain capital record, which is -- buy a
company, lay off the employees, take the spoils, sell the company and be
done with it.

That`s not what we want -- that`s not what we would call job creation.
It`s job elimination. It shouldn`t be allowed to stand there.

SCHULTZ: Senator, I believe from your record, you do know what job
creation is. You worked in the private sector. You were the founder, I
believe, of a payroll company, ADP.

Is Mitt Romney`s private sector experience fair game here? You`ve had
to run for office numerous times and people have known your private sector

LAUTENBERG: Well, I have. And that private sector company now has
50,000 employees in 23 countries across America. And 5,000 are employed in
my home state in Jersey. So, it`s a record of job creation.

And that`s what we ought to be looking at. Why should Romney be able
to escape responsibility when he talks about judge me on my business record
and it stinks? That`s what we`re looking at.

That`s not for America. That`s not what America needs right now.
America needs real job creation and real uplifting for people`s
opportunities in the future to get their kids an education and be able to
get on with life.

SCHULTZ: So. Senator, do you think it`s vital that the Obama campaign
continues to highlight the kind of private sector experience that Mitt
Romney is talking about? I mean, if he goes in and takes people`s pensions
and bankrupts the company and then a few people walk with a ton of money,
that is important, is it not?

LAUTENBERG: It`s important to know. It`s a terrible thing to do.

The president is absolutely right in asking Mitt Romney, what was his
record like. We don`t want that kind of a record to occupy the creator to
Occupy the White House. We`ll lose more jobs that President Obama has
worked so hard to create.

SCHULTZ: Here is more today from the president today responding.


OBAMA: Mr. Romney is responsible for the proposal`s he`s putting
forward for how he says he`s going to fix the economy, and if the main
basis for him suggesting he is do a better job is his track record as the
head of a private equity firm, then both the upsides and the downsides are
worth examining.


SCHULTZ: Senator, do you think the president is taking the right
approach here?

LAUTENBERG: I think the president is taking absolutely the principal
avenue left for him. And that is describe the falsehoods that are being
perpetrated around something that would not be good for America or American

And go, Mr. President, stick with this. Don`t be swayed by anybody,
friend or foe.

SCHULTZ: How can Cory Booker be trusted as a surrogate from this
point on?

LAUTENBERG: Well, Mayor Booker will have to discuss that himself. I
saw him attempt to do it. It`s not quite clear what was intended but what
came out is quite clear.

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

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

Coming up, the real story of what Mitt Romney`s priorities would do to
the American economy. This is why Romney and Republicans desperately
needed a distraction.

And the Obama administration was slapped with a lawsuit today and the
war on women is not over. Our political panel will join me on that and so
much more. Stay with us. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up: the Obama campaign keeps the heat on Mitt Romney
with a new ad detailing Bain Capital`s vulture capitalism. And I`m going
to talk to a former employee who knows first hand what it`s like to do
business with Mitt Romney. That`s coming up next.

Scott Brown is using a trivial issue to attack Elizabeth Warren in
Massachusetts. Her credibility is steady, but he`s going after it. By
ignoring the issue, she`s only making it worse. My commentary on how
Elizabeth Warren has got to fight back on this real issue in their eyes.
That`s coming up.

And, of course, Rush Limbaugh`s ratings -- well, they have been taking
a dive across the country after his sexist comments about Sandra fluke. Is
he still too big to fail?

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


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama made it clear today that he was not attacking free
enterprise. Mitt Romney was the one who made Bain Capital relevant to the


OBAMA: But understand that their priority is to maximize profits.
That`s not always going to be good for communities or businesses or
workers. He`s saying I`m a business guy, and I know how to fix it, and
this is his business.


SCHULTZ: If it wasn`t for the distraction of Cory Booker, this would
be headlining political news today. The Obama`s campaign focus of what
happened to a company called Ampad under Mitt Romney`s leadership.


REPORTER: Then the company was sold to Ampad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day we had a job, the next day we do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were bought and sold in the past. We never had
a problem. We were a business that had value.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Bain Capital bought up and Ampad come in,
that was a whole different story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were a nice, strong, healthy company who were
making money, and for them to just come out from nowhere and shut the place
down, it was devastating.

REPORTER: When Ampad bought the former SCM plant, it abruptly fired
all 350 workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Took our benefits. We didn`t have anymore
retirement. And Bain, Mitt Romney, they did not care about us as workers.


SCHULTZ: So, here is the story. In 1994, Ampad under Bain capital`s
leadership purchased a factory in Marion, Indiana, and laid off all of the
workers, 250 workers. Bain Capital loaded Ampad with crippling debt and in
2000, Ampad went into bankruptcy.

Bain Capital made $100 million from its $5 million investment. But
creditors got two-tenths of one cent for every dollar they were owed.
These creditors included pension funds.

I`m joined tonight by Randy Johnson who worked at an Ampad there in
Indiana that was bought by Bain Capital.

Mr. Johnson, good to have you with us tonight. I guess the word this
evening is nauseated.

How nauseated were you when you got the news you were losing your job
and so were your friends and family and everybody else who worked at that

nauseating but it was devastating. What happened to the families -- people
can`t start to imagine unless they have been through it. I know a lot of
folks have.

But bottom line is when you find out that you`re plant that was making
money, was successful and going forward and making quality products
suddenly had your world turned upside down. Romney called it his real
world. We have to understand that.

I don`t get it. Why would you such a thing, that this is the real
world? That you have to destroy companies to call it profits for the rich,
this type of thing?

I mean, he doesn`t get it, and he doesn`t understand the average
person. And I know we`re going to hear that many times.

SCHULTZ: One of the headlines is how Romney wouldn`t meet with
workers. Was there any attempt to include actual workers in the decision
making process?

JOHNSON: What happened is that was early on that headline run. We
were consistently trying to get him to talk with us. And actually, a group
of six people was able to get him basically cornered at the Columbus Day
parade and insisted he did meet with them. He did meet with them that
night -- in the evening, without fanfare, and said he would look into it
and get back to them. We`re still waiting on that to happen.

The only time he got back to us is when he sent a letter the day the
plant closed.

SCHULTZ: The thing that`s striking about this story is that I think
most Americans understand when a new company comes in, there`s going to be
some changes -- everything from equipment to desks to a few personnel, but
to fire everybody. What was happening?

JOHNSON: Well, they called it an asset sale. We`re only buying the

And what happened was and I`ve repeated this many times, is not only
did they tell you you`re fired is they brought in guards and walked you out
of the building. They said here is an application, if we want you, we`ll
hire you back.

And when they do, it`s reduced wages, reduced benefits. You no longer
have a retirement plan.


JOHNSON: I mean, this is really hard stuff for the people that worked

SCHULTZ: No doubt. Here is more from President Obama today
responding to this.


OBAMA: When you`re president, as opposed to the head of a private
equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to
figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to
think about those workers who get laid off and how are we paying for their


SCHULTZ: What do you think of Romney pointing to his business
experience as proof he can create jobs as president and compare that to
what President Obama said this afternoon?

JOHNSON: Well, I think we need to really look at this very closely.
Mitt Romney`s style and his philosophy and business, we wall know is about
creating wealth. What he doesn`t seem to understand is by creating good
jobs -- and I agree that sometimes we don`t always be able to employ the
whole work force, but try to work with the workers to create a good product
which in turn more middle class people get jobs.


JOHNSON: And you see the cycle starts over and over again. That`s
what creates jobs. Whenever he takes that away, it loses jobs.

SCHULTZ: Do you think President Obama`s campaign should keep hitting
on this story, and keep hitting on the whole business experience after what
Cory Booker said? What do you think?

JOHNSON: I think we`re going to have to, because that`s his only
record. He doesn`t have anything else to fall back on except being
governor and we know what that is.

And we shouldn`t leave that, you know, he did do the Olympics and he
had a lot of help to get that accomplished. But the record is the record.
The facts speak for themselves.

This is not just Ampad, but you had many companies the same thing
happened to. They draw the same kind of profits. They didn`t create jobs
that in turn more create more jobs. That`s what the president is doing
right knew. He`s doing with G.M., companies like that.

SCHULTZ: These not personal attacks. These are the record.

Randy Johnson, good to have you with us tonight. Thank you for
joining us on THE ED SHOW.

Questions about Elizabeth Warren`s ancestry are still dogging her
campaign. I have some advice for her, next.

And 15 days before the biggest election in America, Scott Walker is in
hot water with the feds? You won`t want to miss this one.

Stay with us.



SCHULTZ: This campaign right now seems to be focusing on one issue,
claims about your heritage. Your response to that.

think it`s clear that Scott Brown and the Republican Party would rather
talk about anything than real issues that are going on in this country.


SCHULTZ: That was Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts,
Elizabeth Warren, speaking with us just last week.

She`s right. Her opponent, Scott Brown, the senator from
Massachusetts, and the Republican Party don`t want to talk about the
issues. They never do. Instead, they have successfully created a
distraction and it seems it won`t go away.

Now, at issue is Warren`s ancestry. Warren, a native of Oklahoma, has
said she has Native American roots according to family lore.

Well, Warren is not enrolled in a tribe nor is there documentation
proving her heritage as the "Kansas City Star" put it, "It seems warren may
be guilty of a crime millions of American routinely commit: claiming with
no actual proof that some ancestor back in the misty past was a Cherokee."

Warren has really not managed to stop the distraction or put an end to
the questions. And now, Scott Brown is accusing warren of claiming
minority status in order to advance her career as a law professor at
Harvard and at the University of Pennsylvania. He`s going full birther and
demanding she release her personal records from those schools to prove he
did not fudge her resume nor benefit from affirmative action.

The whole thing is insulting and it is demeaning. I think Elizabeth
Warren needs to come out and put this thing to rest once and first of all.
She ought to be holding a press conference and don`t take any questions
about anything else.

Come out and say, "I`m going to talk about who I am, where I`m from,
who my parents are, who my grandparents are" and just be done with this
thing. You know what`s going to happen? It`s all going to blow over and
Scott Brown will be forced to do, what, defend his record.

He`ll have to explain, let`s see, why he voted against health care
reform at the expense of the middle class in the country. He`ll have to
explain why he`s against insurance coverage for contraception at the
expense of women. He`ll have to explain why he doesn`t want to raise taxes
on corporations or on millionaires and billionaires.

Warren, on the other hand, has called out the Wall Street fat cats and
she`s been very consistent there. That`s I think really what most people
are concerned about. What kind of a Senate are we going to have when it
comes to dealing with Wall Street. She created the Consumer Financial
Production Bureau, giving the middle class a fighting chance against these
big banks.

The middle class needs Elizabeth Warren in the Senate. And Scott
Brown absolutely knows it, and that`s why he is playing this card. And as
one op-ed pointed out, "That`s why Brown is calling for Warren to release
her Harvard personnel records. As a candidate, he`s out-classed. As a
politician, he`s got a chance, and this is it."

Well put. Let`s turn to Massachusetts State Senator Katherine Clark.
Kathryn, great to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. Thanks for joining us.

me, Ed. It`s great to be here.

SCHULTZ: Why doesn`t Elizabeth Warren just come out, hold a press
conference, focus right in on this issue and be done with it?

CLARK: I think it`s just what you were saying, Ed, because the issues
that I hear about from my constituents, the issues in Massachusetts have
nothing to do with Elizabeth Warren`s heritage. Elizabeth Warren achieved
her success as a professor and a scholar, and as someone who fights and
really wants to be a voice for middle class families.

SCHULTZ: But this issue seems to be dogging her. I mean, this issue
won`t go away. I understand the papers there in Massachusetts are all over
it. Why doesn`t she just come out, call a press conference and explain her
whole family heritage? And if she made a mistake, just admit it and life
goes on.

CLARK: She achieved her success the old fashioned way. She earned
it. And both Harvard, Penn have all agreed that some fictitious minority
status made up by the Brown campaign had nothing to do with her success as
a professor at those institutions.

And this has created a media flurry. But it is not resonating with
the voters in Massachusetts. Just this past weekend, we graduated
thousands of students from our higher ed institutions. And you know what
those families care about, and those students? Scott Brown`s vote on
financial aid. He doubled what our students are going to have to pay in

SCHULTZ: I don`t disagree with that. But the fact is that she is I
guess trailing a little bit in the polls. It`s very close, within the
margin. But this is the issue that they continue to push. And this is the
issue that the Brown campaign puts out on TV.

The point I`m making is that, you know, Senator Richard Blumenthal of
Connecticut made misstatements about his service in Vietnam. He came out,
had a press conference with the veterans. He cleared the air. He won the

CLARK: That`s a very different situation than what happened with
Blumenthal. Elizabeth Warren has been very clear. This is what she was
taught from the time she was a small girl, that she has Native American
relatives. And it`s been demonstrated by some of the research that`s been
done, that, in fact, there are records that support that claim.

But it`s a waste of our time as taxpayers, as voters in Massachusetts
to be focused on the generations past in Elizabeth Warren`s family. The
issues that matter to us here in Massachusetts are primarily economic.
Those are the issues this discussion needs to come around to.

I think that it`s very hard when you have the Brown campaign trying to
make a big deal politically out of a recipe book, to hold a press
conference and to really give any sort of credibility to that argument
really takes us away from the issues that matter.

SCHULTZ: Wait a minute. Did she ever put down on an application that
she was Native American? I mean, it`s fair question. If she did, so what.
It was years ago or whatever. But what they are trying to do is they`re
trying to paint her out to be someone who is not credible, not telling the
truth, hiding something, maybe took an advantage when she didn`t deserve

I just think that needs to be addressed. I think she can get beyond
this. When you pick up the largest newspapers in the country and they are
writing about this, it would seem to me that it is disfocusing the campaign

CLARK: I think that that issue has been addressed. Both Harvard and
Penn have come out and said minority status had nothing to do with this.
And this is really -- to keep coming back to this issue is a distraction
that just isn`t appealing to the voters and to the families here.

We`re concerned about jobs. We`re concerned about the breaks for big
oil that Scott Brown voted for. The most profitable companies on the
planet --

SCHULTZ: He`s definitely been a country clubber for Wall Streeters.
There`s two clear different directions between Scott Brown and where
Elizabeth Warren would take the citizens of Massachusetts.

Great to have you with us tonight, Massachusetts State Senator
Katherine Clark. I appreciate your time here on THE ED SHOW.

Lots more coming up in the next half hour of the program. Stay with
us. We`re right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Felonies, guilty pleas and over a thousands e-
mails showing taxpayer dollars used for Walker`s campaign.


SCHULTZ: Tom Barrett hits Scott Walker on his John Doe investigation.
Plus, House Democrats want Walker to explain the divide and conquer video.
We`ll have the latest from the Badger State.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What does that make her? It
makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.


SCHULTZ: And Limbaugh`s disturbing comments about Sandra Fluke are
coming back to haunt him. Michael Harrison of "Talkers Magazine" on Rush`s
ratings plunge.



OBAMA: If your main argument for how to grow the economy is I knew
how to make a lot of money for investors, then you`re missing what this job
is about.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. President Obama this afternoon
explaining to Mitt Romney the difference between making money for his
investors and being president of the United States, and what you have to do
to be responsible. We`ll get to more of that with our panel in just a

Today, the Obama administration was slapped with a lawsuit by 40
Catholic institutions, including Notre Dame, over an issue that should be a
standard component of women`s health care. Twelve lawsuits filed in courts
across the country representing 40 institutions challenging the Obama
administration`s policy to ensure contraception in employee health care

I`m joined tonight by the great lefty panel. Here we go. I`m joined
by Jimmy Williams, James Peterson and Caroline Heldman.

But first, we have got to talk about the Booker Bain story. Corey
Booker goes on "Meet the Press" and causes quite a stir. Caroline, how
does he fix this? He`s going to be on with Rachel after this show tonight.
How does he come out and fix this? What does he say? He avoided
interviews all day long, but apparently made the decision to go on with
Rachel tonight in front of a big audience and explain it. How does he fix

CAROLINE HELDMAN, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: I think the only way he fixes
it, Ed, is to say that he was out of line. I think it`s pretty clear that
he was. The president has come out and made a good case that if Romney is
basing his presidential appeal on his experience at Bain Capital, then it
needs to be scrutinized.

Frankly, I think everyone was surprised that Mayor Booker would think
that that`s not something appropriate to bring up. We`re talking about
making money on the backs of working class people by shutting down
factories and offshore tax havens. So these are things that the American
public should know about.

SCHULTZ: James Peterson, he says he is nauseated about the Obama
campaign pointing out the record about what Mitt Romney did in the private
sector? He`s nauseated by that. What about that?

Jersey, Ed. I think if you`re from Newark, and the people of Newark are
actually not surprised by Mayor Booker`s comments here. I think if you
look at his political career over the long ark of that career, you consider
the fact that he moved to Newark, New Jersey in his late 20s to really
become mayor of Newark, and that his entire political career has, in many
ways, been supported by private equity.

And so he`s got a partnership with the Wall Street folk and the
private equity firms that I think goes back deep into his career. And I`m
just simply not surprised by Mayor Booker`s position here.

SCHULTZ: I think he thought he could pacify that by throwing in the
Reverend Wright comment in his answer.

PETERSON: No equivalency.

SCHULTZ: Exactly. Here is more from the president this afternoon.


OBAMA: This is not a distraction. This is what this campaign`s going
to be about, is what is a strategy for us to move this country forward in
way where everybody can succeed? That means I`ve got to think about those
workers in that video just as much as I`m thinking about folks who have
been much more successful.


SCHULTZ: Jimmy Williams, that sounds like a full throttle defense of
his campaign and his focus. I don`t think he`s going to be changing. How
did the president handle it?

perfectly. He`s completely on message. Mr. Booker unfortunately was not.
Listen, what`s interesting about this is the great dirty little secret is
out. Private equity, venture capital is not about jobs. It`s about wealth
creation and extraction of wealth. That`s it.

By the way, there`s nothing wrong with that. My problem with this
entire argument, this discussion that we`re having all over the airwaves
right now, is that once again -- and this seems to be lost on folks. Once
again, Mitt Romney is incredible on an issue. He`s running around saying
he created hundreds of thousands of jobs.

His campaign then changed that 10,000 jobs. Now it`s just thousands
of jobs. He`s incredible and he has a lack of credibility. If I were the
Obama campaign, I would hark on this all day long, that you have someone
that`s running against the president of the United States who you cannot
believe anything that he says.

SCHULTZ: All right, I want to get to the Notre Dame lawsuit.
Caroline, the fight over basic health care for women apparently is not
over. How do you read today`s lawsuit and the move by Notre Dame?

HELDMAN: Frankly, not surprised that these Catholic institutions are
getting together and suing over this. Kicking and dragging, bringing them
into the 21st century. This is a classic case of religious traditionalism
clashing with what is best for women and what`s best for the country.

The fact that 99 percent of Catholic women use contraception or have
at some point in their life means that the church is way out of line even
with their own constituency. So not surprised, but it`s a little
disappointing that they are playing hardball politics.

SCHULTZ: James, these suits have been filed even though the
administration gave religious affiliated institutions like Notre Dame a one
year reprieve from the policy while compromise was reached. But they come
out pretty dog gone aggressive.

PETERSON: Also, there are options on the table for them to use
private firms to actually administer and supply the contraception here.
But here is the thing. I want institutions, especially churches, to make
sure their own house is in order before they try to pass judgment on other

We have to also keep bringing this up. Contraception does not just
have to do with conception. Contraception for women sometimes is a life
and death health issue that is not related at all to sex or to sexual

So I mean, the issues here are not just clear because we have
institution coming out in this kind of conservative, reactionary way
without all the facts being on the table.

SCHULTZ: Jimmy, there you have the employer making the decision on
the health care.

WILLIAMS: Well, you have basically, for all intents and purposes,
churches that are run by men telling women what to do with their bodies.
I`m sorry, but I know -- I don`t date women. I`m a gay American. But I
got to tell you, that sounds like a really stupid way to get people to be
on your side. >

SCHULTZ: Jimmy Williams, James Peterson, Caroline Heldman, thanks for
joining us tonight. Appreciate it.

Mitt Romney`s campaign co-chair makes a trip to Wisconsin to help
Scott Walker. I got some advice for the president later in the show. Stay
with us.


SCHULTZ: Mark the calendar, Wisconsin Democrats have got 15 days to
rally the troops and end Scott Walker`s stranglehold on the governor`s
office in the state. Absentee voting in the recall election started today.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is trailing in the polls. But many insiders
are telling me that the race is closer than the polls indicates.

Barrett is doing his best to fight back, despite being out spent 25 to
one. Barrett`s new commercial hits Walker where it hurts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scott Walker is playing tricks with job numbers,
because he didn`t like the real ones, just like the trick he`s playing with
the John Doe scandals, felonies, guilty pleas, and over a thousand emails
showing taxpayer dollars used for Walker`s campaign.

If Walker received or sent any of these e-mails, he`s in deep trouble.
He`s hired criminal attorneys. And Walker refuses to tell us what he said
to the prosecutors.

Doesn`t Wisconsin deserve the truth before the election?


SCHULTZ: Beyond the John Doe investigation, Walker is in hot water
with the United States Congress. Back in April of 2011, Walker told the
House Overnight Committee his attack on collective bargaining was all about
the budget. Earlier this month, a new video surfaced from January of 2011
showing Walker telling billionaire donor that he wanted to divide and
conquer the unions and turn Wisconsin into a completely red state.

Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and two other House Democrats have sent
a letter to Darrell Issa requesting a clarification from Walker over his
sworn testimony. Walker`s trying to change the subject by touring the
Badger State. Today, Walker toured an agricultural equipment company in
Lacrosse, Wisconsin. He was joined by a failed presidential candidate who
left his state billions of dollars in debt.

Yes, there he is, Romney campaign co-chair Tim Pawlenty, former
governor of Minnesota. The Romney campaign obviously knows how big the
Walker-Barrett election is. My question tonight, does the Obama campaign
know how big it is? I`ll have much more on this topic tomorrow night.

Tonight, in our survey, I asked does Mitt Romney care more about
people or profits? Four percent of you said people; 96 percent of you said

Rush Limbaugh may be too big to fail, but after his violent offensive
remarks about Sandra Fluke, well, his ratings have slipped a little bit.
Well, actually more than a little bit. In fact big time. See how bad it
is for the Drugster next.



LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke who
goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be
paid to have sex? What does that maker her?

It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to
be paid to have sex.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. At the time of the Sandra
Fluke controversy, I said that Rush Limbaugh was just too big to fail. He
is a force in the industry. He is an industry. He`s the number one talker
in America. You can`t deny it.

Yet all across America, stations that carry his program are taking a
hit. Listeners are tuning Rush Limbaugh out in blue states and red states.
In New York, ratings fell 27 percent for Limbaugh last month in the key 25
to 54 demographic.

In Houston, Texas, not exactly blue territory, he`s down 31 percent.
In Jacksonville, down 35 percent.

Let`s go out on the West Coast. In Seattle, down a whopping 40
percent. So that`s four different parts of the country, isn`t it.

As for advertiser boycott, the head that Cumulus Media, a company that
carries Limbaugh on 38 stations -- 38 markets around the country, says that
Rush`s remarks about Sandra Fluke cost the company millions.

Let`s turn to Michael Harrison tonight, publisher of "Talker`s
Magazine" and an expert in the industry. Michael, good to have you with us
tonight. I`ll let you do the talking on this. Obviously I`m a radio
talker. But what do these numbers mean not only for Limbaugh, but for the
stations that carry him?

MICHAEL HARRISON, "TALKER`S MAGAZINE": As a radio talker, Ed, you
know what the numbers mean, so you know what I`m about to say is true.
Judging Rush Limbaugh`s career and the political implications of it and
what it means to the industry, based on four markets and four million
dollars lost by Cumulus, would be like judging the presidential election by
the first precincts to report in the New Hampshire primary.

It`s way too soon. Radio ratings go up. They go down. They
fluctuate. The whole state of radio ratings is in flux right now with this
new thing called the PPM that we could talk about for hours. Even people
in the industry don`t understand it.

So I think that much of this discussion is inspired by politics, as
opposed to broadcasting or advertising agency concerns. As long as Rush
Limbaugh is a major political figure, considered by many to be a force, and
that talk radio is caught in the cross fire between the left, the right,
the Democrats and the Republicans, no matter what happens, no matter what
the percentage is, it`s going to be shown as a sign that somehow there`s
this great shift in the political landscape.

I find it hard, Ed, to believe that the American public would be so
outraged by one statement or one -- even if it`s the most horrendous
statement, when you see the kind of things that pass for entertainment in
our culture today. I see the whole thing as being nothing but a political

SCHULTZ: OK. Has all of this damaged the industry or damaged his
brand at all?

HARRISON: Well, I don`t know if it`s damaged his brand because the
month before the ratings that you`ve cited as going down, they went up.
Perhaps this is nothing more than an adjustment. You know that`s true.

Damaged the industry? Yes. Because for the first time in modern
history, people have gone after talk show hosts or radio performers with
whom they disagree by going after their sponsors and harassing the very
life blood of how this industry operates, which may not infringe upon the
letter of the First Amendment, but it certainly does infringe upon the
spirit of it.

And it`s the kind of practice -- it`s hitting below the belt that
could work against the left and the right, depending on who is in power and
who wants to use it. The very same things that are being used against Rush
Limbaugh could be used against you. I would be here defending you if you
were in the hot seat.

SCHULTZ: Absolutely. Well, I mean, we`re all in the fish bowl. But
Limbaugh is the biggest cheese out there. There`s no doubt. Quickly, has
he changed his tone at all?

HARRISON: He hasn`t called anybody a slut lately, so I guess he has.
But I think that deep in his heart, Rush plays this from the perspective of
what he really is. And that is an entertainer who`s well-being is based
upon his popularity and fame.

SCHULTZ: Michael Harrison, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much. That THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW"
starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

I`m looking forward to the Corey Booker interview. That is the
interview in politics, in the world right now.


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