The Ed Show for Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Guests: E.J. Dionne, Michael Eric Dyson, Howard Fineman, Catherine Crier, Joy-Ann Reid, David Cay Johnston
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
The Obama isn`t backing off of its focus on Bain Capital`s record.
One Romney supporter says looking at Bain`s record is fine. But you need
to look at the company as a whole.
And that`s exactly what we`re going to do tonight here on THE ED
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If your main argument
for how to grow the economy is, quote, "I know how to make a lot of money
for investors," then you`re missing the point of the job of president.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The White House is still on the offensive on
Bain Capital and Mitt Romney is nowhere to be found.
BIDEN: When they succeed and the company succeeds, they make money.
When the company they get involved with fails, they still make money.
"The Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne is here on Mitt`s attempt to ditch
his job-killing record at Bain.
The Birthers are back.
SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ: I cannot in good faith
report to you that these documents are authentic.
SCHULTZ: Arizona officials say they might not put President Obama on
And Iowa Republicans have adopted birtherism as part of the party
Professor Michael Eric Dyson is here.
School teachers in Wisconsin are being targeted in an unbelievable
way. Two weeks from the recall election, the stakes couldn`t be higher.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
The Obama campaign is pressing ahead with its Bain Capital strategy.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney`s Bain strategy is to basically scold people for
talking about Bain. Romney responded to President Obama`s remarks about
Bain Capital in a statement today, saying, "President Obama confirmed today
that he will continue his attacks on the free enterprise system." Really?
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, he`s singing
from the same hymnal. He said, "It`s sad to see the candidate of hope and
change descends into the president of dishonest attacks and dishonest cover
Cover ups? I`m not sure what dishonest attacks these folks are
talking about. I haven`t heard President Obama attack Mitt Romney for the
free enterprise system. I`ve only heard the president and other Democrats
question Mitt Romney`s actual record in the private sector.
Vice President Joe Biden also says there haven`t been any personal
attacks just questions about the facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: That doesn`t mean the private equity guys are bad guys --
they`re not. That no more qualifies do you be president than being a
plumber. It doesn`t -- and, by the way, a lot of awful smart plumbers.
All kidding aside, it`s not the same job requirement.
So, it`s totally legitimate for the president to point this out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Republicans want to have it both ways. They want to run on
the benefits of free enterprise and ignore the negatives go with it and
there are negatives when you let 350 employees go and take $100 million.
Romney`s surrogate John Sununu told reporters on a conference call to
focus on the positives of Bain Capital.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOHN SUNUNU, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: If you want to go and talk about Bain
as a whole, that is fair. If you want to talk about Bain on a cherry
picking basis, that`s a distortion.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right. We want to take the former Governor Sununu up on
his offer. We want to talk about Bain as a whole.
The problem is Romney keeps fudging the truth about his time at Bain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the business I had we
invested in over 100 different businesses and net-net, taking out the ones
that we lost jobs and we added, those businesses have added over 100,000
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Romney`s campaign has not been able to offer any proof about
the 100,000 jobs created by the candidate. In fact, an analysis by "The
Washington Post" said this tally does not include job losses from other
companies with which Bain Capital was involved and are based on current
employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain.
Back in 1994, when Romney was running for Senate in Massachusetts he
was bragging about smaller number. A campaign ad boasted 10,000 jobs
created at Bain Capital.
So, which is it, Mitt? Is it 100,000 or 10,000? We really want to be
able to talk about the Bain experience as a whole, especially because you
talk about your Bain experience all the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I`m convinced that my experience will help me get this
economy going and get people back to work and good jobs.
My experience in the economy came by actually living in the economy,
working at a job, working my way up, starting a business.
Conservative values were part of my business experience, because in
business you don`t have a choice about balancing your budget. You either
balance your budget or go bankrupt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Romney highlighted his business experience so much during
the primaries even his Republican opponents raised questions about his time
at Bain Capital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We find it hard to justify
rich people figuring out clever legal way to loot a company, leaving behind
1,700 families without a job.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: They sit there and wait until they see a
distress company. And they swoop in and kick the carcass clean and fly
GINGRICH: If Governor Romney would like to give back the money from
bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then
I would be glad to listen to him.
PERRY: Those people are out of work after Bain Capital gutted the
company, took $20 million of profit out of it and people lost their jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: When it comes to Bain Capital, Romney can run, but he can`t
Democrats are not backing down, despite Republicans telling them to
stop talking about Bain Capital. The pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA,
has a new ad out today about Bain Capital and results.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, PRIORITIES USA POLITICAL AD)
LORIS HUFFMAN: I worked at the plant going on 34 years. I thought
that I was going to retire from there. I had about two and a half years to
go. I was suddenly 60 years old. I had no health care and that`s scary.
When Mitt Romney did that, he made -- he made me sick.
ANNOUNCER: Priorities USA Action is responsible for the content of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, who`s side are you on? Bain Capital walked away with
$100 million return on investment from Ampad. Meanwhile, workers, whatever
to them? They`re laid off. They are kicked to the side of the road like
road kill and they`re moved around like furniture. Pensions were deleted
and health care was cut.
None of the $100 million in profit went to helping out any of those
workers who were laid off because that`s just not Bain`s priority.
The American people I think are starting to get it. A new poll by
public policy polling asked, what was Mitt Romney`s primary concern at Bain
Capital? Fifty-seven percent said making a profit. I think Americans
understand that. Twelve percent said creating jobs.
Oh, wait a minute. They`re figuring this out. This is about profit.
It`s not about people.
And 25 percent said both equally.
Now, voters are taking Mitt Romney`s business experience seriously.
And you know what? They should.
This priority, his priority, all along was profit and policies as
president -- if he becomes president of the United States, this is what
it`s going to look like. Mitt Romney wants tax cuts for the wealthiest
In other words, the income separation that we show on this chart from
time to time, Romney wants the red line to go up further. He thinks they
don`t have enough money. He wants tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
He wants to make it better than what they`ve got right knew.
He wants to cap government spending. Good-bye to the public sector
Now, think about this -- capping government spending. Later in this
broadcast I`m going to show you just exactly how President Obama has done
that better than Republican presidents.
Romney wants to eliminate regulations on Wall Street. Now, Wall
Street has been in the news business quite a bit lately, hasn`t it? Get
rid of Dodd-Frank.
He wants no oversight. He wants no controls. He wants the gambling
to continue. He wants people on Wall Street to be able to play with your
money any way they want to.
He wants to cut social services like kicking people off of food
stamps. Food stamps. That would be the poor. In other words, Romney
wants to kick these people to the road, but he wants these people to go
back to the penthouse.
The more we look at Bain as a whole, Governor Sununu, the more we
understand exactly what kind of president Mitt Romney would actually be if
this country is stupid enough to put him in the White House.
Think about this: $100 million taken from company, profit; 350
employees cut. Have you ever fired anybody in business? It`s kind of a
gut wrenching thing to do. It really is.
Some people just can`t handle it. They don`t do it very well. But
you know what? We`re finding out, Mitt Romney, hell, he was an expert at
that. He knew how to take the money and run and walk all over those
Just think of that lady that you saw, that 60-year-old who didn`t have
any health insurance. Oh that`s OK. It`s free market. She`s just recycle
back into the economy and everything is going to be OK.
Is this the president that you want?
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Is it fair to ask if Mitt Romney`s experience as a vulture
capitalist makes him fit to be president? Text A for yes, text B for no,
to 622639. You can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave a
comment. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
I`m joined by E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, "Washington Post"
columnist, and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute.
E.J., great to have you with us tonight.
E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You have been on this story about the poor. You`ve been on
this story about Bain and the separation of wealth in this country and what
The debate over Bain Capital is -- this isn`t going to go away. This
isn`t going to go away until election day. I mean, this is a big part of
where we are in America, the culture of vulture capitalism.
Why is it so important in your opinion that the Obama team is going to
stay on this as long as this campaign goes? Why is this important?
DIONNE: Well, I think it`s important for two big reasons. Reason one
is, who is Mitt Romney and what did he do? He in his early part of the
campaign -- especially, in a sense all the way the way through, up to now,
says, "I`ve been in business. I know how to create jobs. That`s why you
should make me president."
And so, that invites an inquiry as to: was Bain primarily about
creating jobs? And the answer to that is no.
But how many jobs did create? We don`t have good numbers on that.
And what was the mix of activities? Yes, Romney can legitimately claim
that with companies like Domino`s and Sports Authority, private equity
helped build those companies. But there are cases like Ampad where it does
sound like vulture capitalism.
And that`s the other big debate. What kind of capitalism do we want
to have in America? There`s different kind of capitalism. I think in a
way, to understand this campaign, you just have to watch the movie, "It`s A
Wonderful Life" for a while and several times.
I think the Romney wants to say he`s George Bailey and the Obama
campaign is going to argue that he`s Mr. Potter. I think that some of this
financial engineering that people engage in sounds more Potter-like than
Bailey-like to me.
SCHULTZ: You know, Romney wants everybody to talk about the positives
of Bain Capital and that`s what his surrogates are saying. But is he able
to answer for the pain and suffering that his businesses caused?
This is a vital part of the campaign. When you kick 350 people to the
road and you take $100 million, the American people, I don`t think they --
I don`t think they are compassionate to that kind of business. Is the
Romney campaign worried this Bain thing is not going to go away?
DIONNE: I think so because obviously the Obama people want to turn it
into a character issue and people tend not to like the boss who has fired
The other issue is what do these guys do with pension funds? You
know, a lot of -- some of these deals, the pension funds get looted and
people who were promised a pension can`t collect it. Sometimes retirees
who have health care promised to them, they lose that promise.
I think this will be a challenge for journalism because not all of
these details are public. I think -- you know, in a way, I agree with John
Sununu. I think that you need a really detail look at Bain because Romney
started out making it a big deal in the campaign. And we need to know,
what did they do, what was constructive and what was not so constructive
for a larger economy.
SCHULTZ: Romney has been criticized in this campaign season for not
being able to connect with people. That he`s not the regular guy. That he
just go on with the crowd. He`s awkward and he says goofy things to people
in awkward moments. It`s been pretty well-documented.
There`s a heartless sense about this guy`s business make up, that he
has no problem going into a resourceful company, taking everything or the
people he`s representing and to hell with the workers and crapping all over
Now, in this of austerity in this, if this country elects this man,
how can it get any better for workers? It can`t, because his philosophy
pretty much is to be heartless and cut right to the bottom line. You`re
just going to have to run over some people to get there.
I mean, that`s the Mitt Romney that I think this country is getting to
know. Your thoughts.
DIONNE: Well, I got to decide which of my two Cadillacs I`m going to
drive home in tonight. He`s had a history of saying things. Whenever he
talks about money, he seems very, very uneasy about it. I do think that
there is this reserve about him in general that plays into an image of the
guy who simply looked at the numbers on a piece of paper about how much
money he was going to earn, and I think he`s got to humanize himself if he
has any chance of winning this election.
I don`t think this Bain dialogue is helpful to him even if some
Democrats get out through and say this isn`t what we should be talking
about. I think we`re going to be talking about it.
SCHULTZ: I don`t think Romney has the capability of understanding
that everybody likes profit, but not everybody likes greed.
E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.
Remember to answer tonight`s question and share your thoughts on
Twitter @EdShow. We want to know what you think.
Republicans won`t let go of the Birther nonsense. This is the real
character assassination that`s taking place in this campaign season.
Michael Eric Dyson joins me for that.
And the Republican women in the House say they are the party that`s
focused on helping women. Really? Their policies tell a different story.
Our panel is going to weigh on that tonight.
Lots coming up. Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up: the birthers back. Right wingers in Arizona and
Iowa now continue to question the president`s citizenship. Michael Eric
Dyson joins me to talk about the real personal attacks in this campaign,
And President Obama has a commanding lead over Mitt Romney when it
comes to Latino voters. It`s easy to see why, when you hear what
Congressman Steve King compares immigrants to.
John Boehner becomes a surprising ally with Democrats when it comes to
making the wealthy pay their fair share. I`ll ask David Cay Johnston just
how that will play with Republicans and they are really attacking teachers
in Wisconsin. I`ll have the latest with commentary.
Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. We`re coming right
SCHULTZ: Welcome back.
Republicans just can`t let the Birther nonsense go, can they?
In Iowa, the proposed Republican Party platform asked for proof of
U.S. citizenship and the chairman is fully on board. "There are many
Republicans who feel that Barack Obama is not natural born citizen and
should not be allowed to be elected by the Electoral College or even
nominated by the Democratic Party in 2008. It`s a shot at him."
In Arizona, the secretary of state wanted confirmation from Hawaii on
President Obama`s birth certificate.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KEN BENNETT, ARIZONA SEC. OF STATE: But if Hawaii can`t or won`t
verify a very simple request, which is contemplated in their own state laws
that for other government officials and other states who have a need to
know just answer the question, yes, do you have a birth certificate for
If they`re not willing or can`t do that, we might have some other
thinking to do.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: In statement by the secretary of state of that state he
added, "I believe that the president was born in Hawaii. I`m not a
The Hawaii attorney general`s office responded to Arizona secretary of
state saying that he must prove he legitimately needs to see confirmation.
Well, now, Bennett has pretty much backed off. He says, "If I
embarrassed the state, I apologize but that certainly wasn`t my intent.
He`ll be on the ballot as long as he fills out the same paper work and does
the same thing that everybody else does." Talk about a 180.
Let`s not forget one Arizona`s favorite characters, Sheriff Joe
Arpaio. He has actually sent a deputy from his threat unit to get official
confirmation of the president`s birth certificate. When he was asked about
using taxpayer money, he said, it`s one deputy, so what?
Sheriff, we have a suggestion. Now, Dog the Bounty Hunter show has
been cancelled maybe there`s some economic development opportunity or maybe
there`s an opening for you. What do you think?
Let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst and Georgetown University
professor, Michael Eric Dyson.
On a serious, very serious side of this, Michael -- look, we all know
the president was born in the United States. He has all the documentation,
is this just another form of racism being played out in a different form?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: From your mouth to the
Americans ears, Ed. I mean, what else do are we to conclude? The man has
shown every documentation of his legitimate birth in Hawaii. He`s been
clear about it. He`s been consistent about it.
The officials in Hawaii are satisfied that this is the case. They
have stood behind the president.
The president has reiterated the fact that his document is legitimate
and gave the long form for us to see. What in the world do these people
want except to raise the dander of unbeknownst or unbeknowing Americans and
ignorant Americans who maybe victims of their kind of racial dog whistle
here. They`re really raising questions again about his legitimacy and
fitness as an American. And it`s just another way to chip away at his
SCHULTZ: It`s just this narrative that President Obama is the other
in all of this.
DYSON: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: And they`re trying to justify it any way they can. The
secretary of state of Arizona just a few days ago -- he was talking about
all these e-mail he`s been getting and he`s got to do his job and follow up
on this. Now we got a little 180 going on here.
What do you make of that? What`s the proper response to that? To
keep calling these people out for what they are and their methods are?
DYSON: Unfortunately, we`ve got to spend the time doing so, Ed,
because you got to match that kind of rhetorical fire with responses that
are coolheaded, that are evenhanded, that are logical, that speak to the
issue, that push away all of the mess and madness of the emotional and get
to the central issue here. You just don`t like this man. You`re
disrespectful toward him. You`re condescending toward him. Oh, if he
fills out the form like everybody else does.
He`s already done so. He`s the president of the United States of
America. Respect the office. Of course, also, respect the man.
There`s a kind of besmirching of this man`s character by inference and
implication that is quite extraordinary here and I don`t think it`s
anything else but a racist assault upon Mr. Obama`s -- President Obama`s
SCHULTZ: You know, you were spot on. What is this teaching our young
kids in our country? I mean, it`s just amazing. I mean, these people who
are elected in a leadership position to go down this road is totally
This isn`t the only attack on President Obama. Sarah Palin says that
Jeremiah Wright, that this should still be fair game. She says Obama was
an empty vessel.
DYSON: You know what? Empty vessel, Sarah Palin articulating a
notion that somebody lacks substance? My God, that`s the rice calling the
What`s interesting here is these are the Keystone cops. This is the
This secretary of state, Arpaio and Sarah Palin -- these are people
that lack serious credentials, at least in Palin`s case and in Arpaio`s
case, and of course, the official from Arizona. You`d be ashamed of
yourself. Why are you being moved by 1,200 e-mail?
I bet 1,200 people e-mail you about wanting to win the lottery or
having a fence around their neighbor`s dog. So, don`t respond to this in
an arbitrary fashion. It feeds into the perception, Ed, in America, to
answer your question, that we will not tolerate nor accept an African-
American or a person of color who falls outside the pale of what we
consider to be a legitimate American.
Obviously, only white men of a certain order and white women fill the
bill -- those who don`t fill it, need not apply. We have to fight this
tooth and nail time again and be vigilant and be in amended in our
SCHULTZ: Yes. Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us. Thanks
DYSON: Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, it`s a new low for Steve King of Iowa. The
congressman compares immigrants to dogs at a town hall. Howard Fineman
will weigh in.
And we`re two weeks way from the Walker recall election and the stakes
couldn`t be higher. It`s big money versus be people. My commentary is
ahead. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: If Republicans are still wondering why they aren`t doing
well with Latino voters, here`s a clue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: And you put out a beacon like the Statue
of Liberty and who comes here? The most vigorous from every country that
has donated legal immigrant to the United States of America. We have the
cream of the crop. We always had bird dogs around our place and right now,
in our family, there`s a black lab, a while lab, yellow lab, and my brother
has a chocolate lab.
You go in and you look at a litter of `em, a litter of pups, and you
watch `em. You watch how they play and run around a bit. You want a good
bird dog, and you want one that`s going to be aggressive? Pick the one
that`s the friskiest, the one that`s in games the most, and not the one
that`s over there sleeping in the corner.
You get the pick of the litter and you have yourself a pretty good
bird dog. Well, we got to pick of every darn civilization on the planet
because it`s hard to get here, they have to be inspired to come. We got
the vigor from the planet to come to America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Iowa Congressman Steve King at a town hall in Iowa comparing
immigrants to dogs. This is the same guy who lobbied for an electrified
fence along the U.S.-Mexican border because the same tactics help control
Yet Senator Marco Rubio of Florida insists his party is welcoming to
all. In fact he told a group of conservatives over the weekend the GOP is
a more diverse party than the Democratic Party is. If we take Marco Rubio
at his word, then that`s great news for Mitt Romney. But the latest NBC
News/"Wall Street Journal" poll tells a much different story. President
Obama tops Mitt Romney with Hispanic voters by a 34-point margin.
And voters overwhelmingly choose the Democratic Party as the party
most attuned and sensitive to Hispanics and Latino issues.
Let`s turn to Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst with us here
Howard, great to have you on with us. How does the Republican Party
go around and hold town halls like that and make statements and be so wide
in their perspective when it comes to what to do about illegal immigration
in this country, and then look at a poll that has them so separated away
from President Obama and who Latinos are going to support? How do they
make that up when they make comments like that?
HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all,
they`re not going to get anywhere with Latinos allowing Steve King the
platform. You`re not going to see him on the stage in Tampa. That`s for
sure. He`s the very embodiment of the kind of xenophobia that Latinos and
many other immigrant group and many other Americans fear and despise.
But really in talking to people who understand the Latino vote, who
study it, on both sides of the aisle, it`s not only immigration or even
primarily immigration. It`s the question of what government can and should
be responsible for to help people who need help. That means health care.
That means education. Talking to Sergio Bendixen who does the lead polling
for Democrats on the Hispanic vote.
He says what they care about, and especially coming from the cultures
that they come from and the kinds of governments that they come from, they
expect government to take an important role in providing health care and
guaranteeing health care and guaranteeing education. And it`s that kind of
world view that makes the Democratic Party, generally speaking, more
And that`s what the Republicans have to worry about. George W. Bush
and his people were always obsessed with trying to get north of 40 percent
of the Hispanic vote. They got it in 2004 when George W. Bush went in for
reelection. A 27 percent Hispanic support for Republican Party is going to
make sure that the Republicans lose the election.
SCHULTZ: Romney says self-deportation is a good way to solve
immigration. He`s speaking with a conservative Hispanic business group
tomorrow, I understand, and the group once slammed right-wing extremists on
immigration, so how does he navigate through that crowd?
FINEMAN: Well, he`s got to do it very -- how does Rubio do it or how
does Romney do it?
SCHULTZ: How does Romney do it?
FINEMAN: Romney has got to be very, very careful. And he caused
himself a world of hurt with the Hispanic community when he tacked as far
as the right as he did in Iowa essentially to try to outflank Rick Perry.
And to some extent Newt Gingrich, but mostly Rick Perry. So in the process
of destroying Rick Perry in Iowa, Rick Perry brought to Iowa his rather
more broadminded view being from Texas. That dug a big hole for Mitt
Romney that he`s tried to get out of since and he`s got a lot of work to do
to do it.
It can`t just be Marco Rubio doing it. It can`t just be other
surrogates doing it. It can`t be reciting the history of George W. Bush
and the Republican Party in Texas. It`s got to be Mitt Romney. This is
one he`s going to have to sell by himself. You can`t do it with
surrogates. That he`s so far shown the ability -- inability to do that
kind of thing with any group really.
SCHULTZ: He sure has. Howard Fineman, always great to have with us
on THE ED SHOW. Thank you.
FINEMAN: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED
SHOW. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R), NORTH CAROLINA: And I`m fighting to get the
federal government off your back and out of your checkbook.
SCHULTZ: Republican women in Congress are pushing back in the war on
women. TheGrio`s Joy-Ann Reid, "NOW`s" Alex Wagner, and author, Catherine
Crier are all here to respond.
I have a message to President Obama about the battle for Wisconsin.
And tonight, I`ll expose one of the biggest lies of the Republican
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If President Obama and his congressional allies
remain committed to a policy of tax and spend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
All right. They voted against Lilly Ledbetter. They voted against
paycheck fairness. They`re for keeping student loan rates really low
because they care about students but only if they can gut women`s health
care fund to pay for it.
Yet this week the House GOP, well, they just tried to make it all
better by launching the Women`s Policy Committee. The committee is
comprised of all 24 female House Republicans who say that they want to make
America great again.
Here`s just one problem. The group isn`t offering any concrete
solutions to issues or policy initiatives. Instead they`ve released this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: I`m a wife, mother,
grandmother, small business owner and now a member of the Congress.
REP. VICKY HARTZLER (R), MISSOURI: Lifelong farmer, public
schoolteacher, business owner, public servant.
REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R), WASHINGTON: I am fighting for the
values of freedom, opportunity and responsibility to keep the American
dream alive for my children and yours.
REP. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R), WEST VIRGINIA: And I`m fighting to
restore common sense and stability to the halls of Congress.
REP, DIANE BLACK (R), TENNESSEE: To provide certainty to our job
REP. JO ANN EMERSON (R), MISSOURI: Giving families the freedom to
REP. CANDICE MILLER (R), MICHIGAN: And I`m fighting for the safety
and security of every American.
FOXX: And I`m fighting to get the federal government off your back
and out of your checkbook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right, folks. The show is going to get a lot smarter
right now. Here are the experts.
Let`s turn to Alex Wagner, Joy-Ann Reid and also Catherine Crier.
First of all, can we comment on the music first?
CATHERINE CRIER, ATTORNEY: I feel a "Saturday Night Live" skit coming
on. You know, I can`t be sure but I think they might have written the
opening skit --
JOY-ANN REID, THEGRIOS.COM MANAGING EDITOR: I`m in trouble for that.
SCHULTZ: Do I sense that you don`t think this is going to work?
ALEX WAGNER, ANCHOR, "NOW": Just by virtue of the fact that they are
women, that they`re in this. You know the subtitle could be on two of
those women, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Judy Biggert, and we voted against the
Republican caucus on pieces of legislation because it`s draconian and
punishes women. I mean these are not women that are standing necessarily
on party lines.
SCHULTZ: And I think, you know, that`s the key point right there,
Alex. This is not about diversity in Congress. This is all about
policies. It`s been a rough six months for the Republicans. Hasn`t it?
How do they fix it, Catherine?
CRIER: Well, it`s been a rough six months, but they are still doing
pretty well. Now that doesn`t mean they`re going to get the votes, but
we`ve noticed that the polls seem to be closing between Romney and Obama
among women. It`s way too early. I don`t think they are going to fix it.
I think that they are going to stand by the legislation they are
proposing and they`re going to, you know, get hoisted on their own. I
don`t think that the women in this country can possibly support these
policies unless they fall for what I`m now calling propaganda that somehow
they`re related to jobs and an improved economy and there is no correlation
SCHULTZ: The latest NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows
President Obama with a big advantage with women, 53 percent to 38 percent.
Does this have to hold for him to win? What do you think, Joy-Ann?
REID: Well, I think it will hold. Because I think the issue -- I
mean, Catherine is right there. It`s some part of the female vote that is
closing for Romney, but it`s precisely the part of the vote Republicans
usually always have, married suburban women who tend to lean just a little
bit further to the right. So the problem that I have with strategy that
Republicans are employing which could also be tagged as look, here`s some
women. We`ve got them, too.
REID: I mean it doesn`t tell you anything.
CRIER: And I have a black friend.
REID: And I have a -- I was just going to say, it`s just like their
ethnic strategy. Rather than saying here are some policies you might like,
they say, look, here`s a black guy. Look at him. And that doesn`t really
CRIER: But Herman was so cute.
WAGNER: I mean it bears mentioning in that same NBC News/"Wall Street
Journal" poll President Obama`s beating Romney 88 to 2, which is I think
what we call a whomping officially in the pundit world. And you know to
the question of Republican women and the position they take, the issue here
is that the Democrats -- sorry, the Republicans have said, Democrats keep
bringing up these social issues. It`s a distraction from the economy.
You know who`s bringing up the social issues? Republicans. On a
state level, on a congressional level. When you look at what`s happening
in Texas. We`re stripping Planned Parenthood funding. We look at what`s
happening wit the Violence against Women Act.
These are issues that the Republicans keep having to do that`s very
difficult dance and the seven veils on, and put the women in Congress in a
very difficult position.
CRIER: Where are the -- where are the pieces of legislation. I don`t
care whether it`s health care, whether it`s jobs, anything else from the
Republican who are dominating so many of the state Houses and certainly the
House of Representatives, and yet they`re screaming the reverse. They`re
passing this kind of social legislation.
SCHULTZ: How does a party get around voting against equal pay? I
just can`t -- I can`t believe that one.
REID: Well, especially since they want to talk about the economy and
jobs. And they`re saying that women run the households therefore these
bread and butter issues should matter to you. But I think that they -- you
know, my esteemed colleagues on the panel are right. The Republicans have
shown an obsession almost with issues like abortion and birth control.
Look at what they`re doing in D.C. This idea that the first thing
they`ve got to do, their top priority has got to be to limit access to
birth control. It shows an almost obsessiveness that just creeps women
out. It just seems odd and it`s discordant with their own message which is
supposed to be --
WAGNER: Can I say one thing, though? I feel like this ad is evidence
of them sort of tuning in and understanding we may have a problem and you
look at that, you look at what, you know, Representative Bob Dold in
Illinois has done trying to walk back his position on Title -- stripping
Title 10 Planned Parenthood funding from Title 10. They know that they --
this is kind of an untenable position. They`re just not ready to put their
money where their mouth is in any way, shape or form.
SCHULTZ: You know and you look at the Ryan plan which hurts a lot of
poor people, or hurts -- you know, they want to go after food stamps.
President Obama is very strong with single moms. Is that an area that the
Republicans just are never going to be able to get? I mean they are out
there saying this is the plan that they want to run this country with. I
mean it just seems like their policy are shoving a lot of Americans right
into the Democratic camp. But they`re never going to come back.
CRIER: And at a time, at a time, when we`re proposing a military
budget, we know, you know, five times greater than China and greater it --
you know, greater than what, 1014 of the next top military countries, and
the Republicans are now walking back on the deal they made about cutting
the defense budget. They want more than the Pentagon. You know the
Pentagon is going don`t give us this and yet they`re keeping a straight
face going we have to do this while we`re going to decimate very critical
social policies in this country.
SCHULTZ: And with the contraception issue and health care, how are
they ever going to fix that?
CRIER: I don`t think --
REID: I don`t think they can. I think this shows you the extent to
which the Tea Party had in a lot of ways damaged and overtaken, really
consumed the Republican brand. They have to keep pleasing the base even
though the primary is over. They are supposed to be now tacking to the
middle to try to attract independents. But they`re still trying to appease
a base that is uncompromising and that is prioritizing things like cutting
health care, getting rid of so-called Obamacare, and giving tax cuts to the
wealthy. They can`t get off that message and neither can Mitt Romney.
WAGNER: Well, and the contraception debate is basically an intra-
Catholic debate. I mean this is about two different wings of the Catholic
Church taking semiconservative position and very conservative position.
But the Republicans are unwilling to put the flag in the ground and say
look, this is untenable, this isn`t right. This isn`t good.
WAGNER: This isn`t fair. And it doesn`t serve our party in the long
CRIER: It`s -- it`s because they are riding the tiger and the tiger
is starting to eat them, the Tea Party is --
SCHULTZ: There`s no doubt. They can`t stand up to them.
Alex, Joy-Ann, Catherine, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate
it so much. We got to do this again.
Governor Scott Walker`s recall election is just a couple of weeks away
Now it`s the Citizens United ruling versus the will of the people.
I`ll break it down. Commentary next, stay with us.
SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight I asked, is it fair to ask if Mitt
Romney`s experience as a vulture capitalist makes him fit to president.
Eighty-two percent of you said yes, 18 percent of you said no.
Next week until Wisconsin voters head to the polls. And you won`t
believe the latest attack conservatives are launching on teachers in the
Into the big finish, I`m taking one of the biggest myths Republicans are
pushing when it comes to the economy to task. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Two weeks from tonight, only the third gubernatorial recall
election in American history will take place. In 1921 it was North Dakota.
2003 it was California, in 2012, it`s the Badger state, Wisconsin. But
unlike those recall elections Wisconsin has developed into a real political
test for the citizens of this state. Big money versus the people. Who`s
going to win?
Embattled Governor Scott Walker has out spent his challenger 25 to 1.
And the majority of that money has come from out-of-state interests and
super PAC money. No gubernatorial election has been so lopsided in
American political history when it comes to finance. This is the country`s
first real test and measurement against the unlimited donations via the
Supreme Court ruling Citizens United.
But this recall is about much more than a governor or a control of the
Wisconsin state Senate. It`s about the future face and landscape of
elections all across this country.
Can the people, the ground game, the get-out-to-vote effort, overcome
the bought media influence? There are so many dynamics that come into play
in Wisconsin. The avalanche of ads against your opponent. Well, it can
shake your confidence as a voter. Wear you down. You get down on the
dumps thinking you can`t win and you feel like there is no hope.
And the stakes just couldn`t be any higher. A conservative
organization is now targeting teachers in Janesville, Wisconsin. The
citizens for responsible government made flyers with names and salaries of
325 highest paid teachers in the city that they were then distributed
throughout the community.
It tells parents to find out if these highly paid teachers actually
sign the recall petition. At the bottom of the flyer is a parent`s right
protection form. It urges parents to request that their child be placed
with a non-radical teacher next year.
If Scott Walker gets re-elected dirty intimidation tactics by the
Republicans will continue because they will have found way to win. Every
American should pay very close attention to what unfolds two weeks from
tonight in Wisconsin.
I think this is the tip of the ice berg. It could set the template
for defeating democracy and destroying our political system as we know it.
The hard right-wing in America is all in to save a governor who has
attacked the middle class, taken from citizens and delivered the country,
the play book for dismantling unions.
The determination of the residents of Wisconsin could turn back the
tide and also show the country how to defeat Citizens United with heart,
soul, sticktoitiveness, love of neighbors and just getting it done on the
ground. All the intangibles that just cannot be purchased. You got to
The integrity of one`s political beliefs and hope for the future is
the only remedy available to save a system of a true representative
government. Wisconsin know this two weeks out, the eyes of America are
upon you, June 5th.
SCHULTZ: And in the "Big Finish" tonight, the big myth about
President Obama`s spending is exposed again. This chart, the truth, very
clearly shows the truth undoubtedly. The growth in spending under
President Obama is the slowest out of the last five presidents. The part
of the chart representing President Obama`s term includes a stimulus
package, too. Believe that? The GOP can`t get their act together on taxes
either. House Speaker John Boehner was asked about legislation proposed by
two Democratic senators to punish Americans who renounced their citizenship
to avoid paying taxes like Facebook`s co-founder did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: This is outrageous. This is
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What`s outrageous?
BOEHNER: That somebody would renounce their citizenship to avoid
paying taxes. It`s already against the law.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you don`t think you need this new
BOEHNER: No, I`m not sure it`s necessary. But --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would you support it if it is?
BOEHNER: If it`s necessary, sure, I would support it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Well, the co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Bob Casey of
Pennsylvania rote a letter to the speaker saying he was encouraged by
Boehner`s support. He speaker may be in the tight spot here, he better
check with his boss Grover Norquist who was opposed to the bill, co-
sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer in New York.
Norquist said, "I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to
do this. It exists in Germany in the 1930s. He probably just plagiarized
it and translated it from the original German.
Joining me now is David Cay Johnson, columnist for Reuters and author
of the book, "Free Lunch."
David Cay, the narrative that the Republicans have doesn`t match the
chart that I just showed. How do you break it down?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, REUTERS COLUMNIST: Well, this is one of the great
lies that`s being told if we`re going to use Grover`s approaches to thing.
And clearly, Obama has been incredibly tight fisted as a president. The
president who had the fastest growth in the discretionary area of the
budget wasn`t even LBJ. it was George W. Bush. But the Democrats have
done a very poor job of selling this and explaining it because they posed
as sort of Republican light. And I don`t think the voters get the
SCHULTZ: This bill to punish people who renounce their citizenship to
avoid paying taxes, is it fair?
JOHNSTON: Sure it is, It is. Here`re a guy who comes to the United
States. Why? His wealthy family in Brazil is targeted for kidnapping. He
comes to the U.S. where he has a safe place. He goes to our most
prestigious college, Harvard. He gets involved in the business here with
Zuckerberg and makes billions of dollars.
And when he leaves the country, he renounces his citizenship, he
doesn`t actually have to pay any tax so long as he doesn`t sell the shares.
The government just has a record if he sells the shares, how much tax he
Talk about defriending a society and in fact ripping it off. It`s
SCHULTZ: I find it interesting that Speaker Boehner suggested that he
may support this, although he wasn`t sure if it`s necessary. He`s so
outraged by this butt hen he doesn`t seem to say too much about companies
that put their profits offshore and don`t pay taxes. What about that?
JOHNSTON: Well, I think it`s politically smart for Boehner to say
that he`s outraged about it but I`ll be absolutely floored if he does
anything about it. And by the way, this guy who -- Saverin, who`s moving
JOHNSTON: In Singapore, expatriates like him live tax free because
the locals pay a tax of 80 percent on their forced retirement savings. A
little fact that the right -- that goes around promoting low-tech Singapore
keeps not telling people.
SCHULTZ: Most people don`t believe this chart because of the stimulus
package that was --
SCHULTZ: You know, earlier in President Obama`s tenure, but there it
is, 8.1 percent under the Bush years from `06 to `09, and then of course
from 10 to 13, that`s the number, 1.4. It`s pretty amazing.
David Cay Johnston, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. You know, Ed, I`m up
in Boston. I was at the cable show over here today and I signed copies of
my new book. And I got lots and lots of greetings to Ed Schultz from
everybody up here in Boston. You`re a hero up here, man.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. That`s -- I appreciate that, it`s nice to hear.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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