updated 7/18/2012 9:44:26 AM ET 2012-07-18T13:44:26

Guests: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Shelly Griswold, Dot Turner, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michael Medved, Ari Melber, Howard Fineman


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

There are 112 days until the election and there`s breaking news on
Mitt Romney`s taxes. One of his former primary opponents is finally saying
enough is enough. Release the taxes.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN SUNUNU, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: He has no idea how the American system
functions because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney campaign goes into the sewer to
distract from Mitt Romney`s tax problem. But new polling proves the
American people aren`t buying it.

NARRATOR: Makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all.

SCHULTZ: Michael Steele and Katrina Vanden Heuvel on the unfolding
disaster for the Romney campaign.

John McCain goes rogue and says Sarah Palin was a better candidate
than Mitt Romney. How long until the Republicans reach full revolt? I`ll
Ask Howard Fineman.

And Bain Capital is about to outsource 170 jobs from a company in
Freeport, Illinois. But the town and the workers are fighting back.
They`re asking Mitt Romney to help save their jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I had anything to say to Mitt Romney, I would
ask him to please save my job.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, the woman who started the grassroots appeal makes
her case live on THE ED SHOW.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I found out that Sensata was owned by Bain
Capital and Mitt Romney helped start Bain Capital and still profits heavily
from Bain Capital, I got really upset with this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

The Romney campaign was in search of a narrative yet again today. But
they were stopped at every turn by Mitt Romney`s mysterious finances. The
day began with a brand new ad from the Obama campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Romney admits that over the last two years, he`s paid less
than 15 percent in taxes on $43 million in income. Makes you wonder if
some years he paid any taxes at all. We don`t know because he has released
just one full year of his tax returns and won`t release anything before
2010.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know what? I put out as
much as we`re going to put out.

NARRATOR: What is Mitt Romney hiding?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Since Mitt Romney still has no answer about his finances,
his campaign took a dart board me mentality to attack President Obama.
Romney tried the latest line of attack during a stop in Pennsylvania.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He said and I quote, and he`s speaking by the way of
businesses like this one, small businesses, big businesses, middle sized
businesses, mining businesses, manufacturing businesses, of all kinds, he
said this: "If you got a business, you didn`t build that. Somebody else
made that happen."

President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we
have less success and I will change that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course, President Obama never said people are not
responsible for building their own businesses. He said no individual is
responsible for the American system. But we already know where Romney got
his talking points for all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS: That man is a statist. He believes the only
reason America is where we are is because of government, and he is flat out
wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney camp also put attack dog John Sununu in front of the
cameras to make more outlandish attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUNUNU: He has no idea how the American system functions and we
shouldn`t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in
Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sununu went further during a conference call with reporters.
He questioned whether the president of the United States and says the
president behaves like an American, asking the question.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SUNUNU: The president in making that statement, doesn`t understand
how America works, doesn`t understand how business works, and I wish this
president would learn how to be an American.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And, of course, we all know where his attack came from.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think it can now be said
without equivocation, without equivocation, this man hates this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So, the Romney campaign decided to chase a new narrative
based on strategy from FOX News and Rush Limbaugh. How did that make out?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUNUNU: I made a mistake. I couldn`t have used those words and I
apologize for using those words, but I don`t apologize for the idea that
this president has demonstrated that he does not understand how jobs are
created in America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: John Sununu and the Romney campaign just couldn`t gain any
traction with their new attacks because there`s only one thing dominating
the campaign trail. It`s all about Romney`s taxes.

A new poll suggests Americans want to know what is in his taxes -- 56
percent of voters said he should release the last 12 years, 61 percent of
independents want to see the last 12 years.

And it doesn`t stop with voters. Tea Party icon Ron Paul told
"Politico": "In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like
releasing tax returns is what the people want."

Texas governor and alleged Romney supporter Rick Perry had this to
say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: No matter who you are or what office
you`re running for, you should be as transparent as you can be. With your
tax returns and other aspects of your life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And the editors of the conservative "National Review" wrote,
"Romney as a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his
current posture is probably unsustainable."

I would agree with that. Romney, this guy has really boxed himself
in. He told the country two years of tax returns, that`s all you`re going
to get. There`s an arrogance to that, don`t you think?

Just like Romney told Andrea Mitchell last year he wasn`t considering
releasing any returns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: And with regards to my tax returns, why, time will tell.
That`s not something I`m planning today, but never say never.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: But if you were president, it`s not that
hard to make a commitment, if you`re elected president of the United
States, you would release the tax returns. Every president does.

ROMNEY: You know, if I become president, then I`ll consider that.
It`s a little premature for me to be talking about that at this stage.

MITCHELL: Is there some secret? People know you`re wealthy?

ROMNEY: I understand.

MITCHELL: There`s nothing to hide.

ROMNEY: No, I agree, there`s nothing to hide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Nothing.

Will Romney give into the pressure again? It took boos from a
Republican debate crowd to change his mind before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MODERATOR: In 1967, your father set a groundbreaking -- what was then
a groundbreaking standard in American politics. He released his tax
returns. He released them for not one year but for 12 years. And when he
did that, he said this, one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.

When you release yours? Will you follow your father`s example?

ROMNEY: Maybe. You know, I don`t know how many years I`ll release.
I`ll take a look at what our documents are.

(BOOS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Republican Party should have listened to those boos.
They should have also listened to the guy with the big Tiffany`s bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If there`s anything
in there that is going to help us lose the election, we should know it
before the nomination. And if there`s nothing in there, if there`s nothing
in there, why not release it? It`s a very simple model.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney cannot survive on the losing end of this
argument for much longer. You know, this is all about, in my opinion,
2009. Think about it. The market went south in late `08 and early 2009.
Romney probably on paper took a big loss.

He may not have paid any tax in 2009, and yet still been worth
millions and millions of dollars. If he would have released that to the
American people, we got a big discussion in this country right now about
tax fairness.

Will the American people render judgment? Well, he`s worth millions
and not paying any tax? Basically, his return would be making the case
against the wealthy in this country, saying that yes they do need to pay
more taxes.

I think he`s hiding something. And he would also be making the case
against tax reform because the fact is people want the wealthy to pay more.
Every poll shows it in this country. Romney would really be presenting a
self-inflicted political wound if he allows the 2009 taxes to go out if he
never paid a dime.

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

Tonight`s question: Will Mitt Romney make it to the convention without
releasing his tax returns? Text A for yes, text B for now to 622639, and
you can go to our blog and leave a comment at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring
you the results later on in the show.

I`m joined by Katrina Vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" magazine tonight,
also, Michael Steele, MSNBC analyst and former RNC chairman.

Michael, I`ll go to you first.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Sure.

SCHULTZ: How does Mitt Romney navigate through all of this and come
out with a successful conclusion? How does he fix the mess?

STEELE: There`s only one successful conclusion. That is releasing
the returns at this point. The Obama team has been masterful in boxing
Mitt Romney into this corner.

But let me tell you straight up, this was so avoidable. I can`t even
begin to put it in words how avoidable this was. Remember, I was talking
to a reporter recently who said I covered Romney when he ran for governor.
This was an issue then, Bain and the tax returns were an issue then. You
would think by now they would have an answer to deal with these two
questions.

To allow this to become the central focus of this campaign at this
stage is just mindboggling to me. We should be talking about the economy,
the president`s record on jobs.

I mean, I have to give it to the team -- the Obama team. You know,
the jobs numbers come out for June, they suck, it`s bad news and what do
they do? Roll out this card and they play it and have been playing it well
with no adequate response in return.

So, going forward, the question is this, when you announce your vice
presidential nominee, do you want the first question asked, hey, should
Mitt Romney release his tax returns? What`s your position on Bain?

Or do you want it to be about the nation`s economy and what -- you
know, Romney fill in the blank ticket will do?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Romney`s lost control of the
debate and the dialogue. I mean, you have to ask, people say that a man or
a woman campaigns as they would govern. If this is how he campaigns,
you`re looking at secrecy, nondisclosure, dishonesty, and your point, Ed,
was really important about tax fairness.

This country is sick of a system rigged against the working poor, the
middle class.

SCHULT: Well, what if he paid --

VANDEN HEUVEL: What if he paid nothing? What if he paid 8 percent?
What if he paid 15 percent when working people in this country are paying
33 percent, 35 percent? And they don`t have an answer.

To Michael Steele`s point -- sure, this campaign should be about jobs.
It should be about how we rebuild the middle class. It should be about how
we rebuild the infrastructure of the country -- but Mitt Romney doesn`t
have answers on that, either. When you ask him which loopholes he would
close in order deal with tax plan he has, which would defund programs that
millions rely on for security and dignity, he won`t answer that. He won`t
answer a lot.

Is that how he would serve the country as president?

SCHULTZ: Well, we`re learning a lot about Mitt Romney`s lack of
transparency when it comes to his taxes.

But, Michael, you say the Obama campaign is doing a good job. I mean,
they`re getting walked right into this. Romney is his own worst enemy in
all of this. What if he didn`t pay taxes in 2009? How will that ply with
the American people?

STEELE: Well, you know, I put that all in the appropriate context.
Unless there was criminal behavior there, unless there was ill-gotten gains
that show up in that tax return, or lead to some ill gotten gains, he did
it by the books. He played by the rules in place.

So I think that`s the narrative that is puzzling to me. Get out in
front of that, to you know, the point that was made.

SCHULTZ: Well, if he didn`t pay any taxes and he so-called gets out
in front of it, the American people are going to be seeing a tax return,
hey, this guy is still worth millions and millions of dollars and he pays
nothing. He would be making the case the Democrats have been trying to
make for a long time.

VANDEN HEUVEL: That`s right. Making the case for tax fairness.

STEELE: But that`s the argument he could make and say, look, you
know, I benefited from this system. The system is imbalanced, it`s not
fair, and as president of the United States, I want to make sure it`s fair
for everyone.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But, Michael, he doesn`t do that. The plan he has --

STEELE: I`m just saying that`s what he should do.

VANDEN HEUVEL: He wants to gut the right kind of taxation. I mean,
to rebuild the middle class in this country, you need a jobs program. Mitt
Romney doesn`t have one.

You need a plan to change the trade policy of this party, which in
some ways both parties have bought into. You need to rebuild labor in this
country.

Bain was not about job creation. It was about wealth creation, and
you see it in the arrogance of Mitt Romney.

STEELE: Yes. But there`s nothing wrong with that. But that`s my
point. Everyone is criminalizing offshoring and the tax system unless
again, there was something that was done that was wrong or illegal, he
played by the books.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Then why doesn`t he release the tax returns? You
called for those, too.

STEELE: There you go. That`s the question.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: So I`ve got Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor, part owner of
"The Nation" magazine and the former RNC chairman here on THE ED SHOW
agreeing that Mitt Romney should come clean on his taxes?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I mean --

SCHULTZ: There`s a bipartisan effort, is there not?

STEELE: Well, because the political narrative in the optics aren`t
good for the Romney campaign right now. We`re talking about this when we
could talk about something else.

SCHULTZ: Michael, can he go to the convention with this hanging over
his head?

STEELE: No, I don`t think so. Maybe there are people out here who
are better and smarter at this game than I am.

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: But I have been in it a long time and I don`t see how you
have that hanging over your head and have that not be a part of the
conversation for five days.

VANDEN HEUVEL: You have to wonder why -- I mean, he`s campaigned for
so many years. How is it that he has just failed to deal with this? This
came up in the primaries. It may be that his opponents were weak.

STEELE: Well, even before that, Katrina.

VANDEN HEUVEL: It may be the hubris of thinking the money would get
him through or vote suppression would get him through. But now the
narrative is such and deeper than just releasing. It`s about the system.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: When does Newt Gingrich engage? I mean, his spokes guy was
on the program last night, Rick Tyler. But when does he get in the game
and say this is something I brought up a long time ago. We`ve got to
revisit the issue. It`s about transparency. There could be problems here.

How could the Republicans turn to the American people and say we have
been calling for transparency or leadership in Washington, but we don`t
have it in our own convention? When do they start getting into this?

STEELE: I think you have begun to see a little bit of this past
Sunday with the likes of a George Will and others, and you know, who are
beginning to frame this thing in the right way and say, look, get it done.

SCHULTZ: Got to go.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Michael Steele -- great to have you with us.
Thanks so much.

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

This lady has worked at the same plant for 43 years. Now, her job is
being shipped overseas to communist China by Bain Capital. You won`t want
to miss her story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Bain Capital is about to sent 170 jobs from
Freeport, Illinois, to communist China. The people of that two are asking
Mitt Romney to step up and do something about it. Two of them will join me
next.

Republicans, you can`t say raise taxes on the job creators, so why are
they blocking a bill that would lower taxes for businesses that bring jobs
back to the United States? I`ll ask Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

And will Mitt Romney make to the convention without releasing more tax
returns? Howard Fineman has the latest on the Republican revolt.

Share your thoughts on Twitter with us, on Facebook, and on Twitter
using the #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK0

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Joanne Coniston (ph). I`m 35 years
old. And I`m a single mother of two girls.

I work six years at Sensata Technologies and I recently found my job
was going overseas, I`m worried that I won`t be able to feed or clothe or
pay for schooling for my daughters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The company Mitt Romney built is still outsourcing jobs.
Bain Capital`s latest target is a plant of 170 workers in Freeport,
Illinois.

Sensata Technologies is a car sensor manufacturing company. At the
end of this year, the company, which is owned by Bain Capital, will close
its Freeport plant and send those jobs to communist China.

People who have devoted their life to this company and community are
devastated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a second time, I will lose my job to China.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finding a job at 57 is going to be difficult, let
alone something you can live on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I face the real possibility of bankruptcy and
losing my home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I found out it was owned by Bain Capital
and Mitt Romney helped start Bain Capital, and still profits heavily from
Bain Capital, I got really upset with this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So last night, Freeport City Council unanimously approved a
resolution organized by the workers saying Mitt Romney, asking Mitt Romney
to save their jobs. The resolution called on Romney to come to Freeport,
Illinois, to meet the people directly affected by Bain Capital`s
outsourcing and step in and stop the outsourcing of these jobs from
Freeport to China.

A Romney spokesperson told "The Huffington Post" Romney left Bain in
1999 and has no knowledge of the situation in Freeport. Romney surrogates
appear to be just as clueless as the former governor. When asked by a
local reporter if Mitt Romney should intervene, Congressman Allen
Kinzinger, a Romney supporter, ignored the question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: When you talk about Bain Capital,
it`s just an attempt by this administration to not talk about their record,
which is really what the American voters are going to vote on.

REPORTER: I`m not talking about the administration. I`m talking
ability real people who are losing their jobs.

KINZINGER: The reality is when you talk about Bain Capital and Mitt
Romney, it`s an attempt to take the focus off what`s going on and where the
economy is at for November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Those folks are in your district, buddy. What is happening
in Freeport, Illinois, that is the economy.

Joining me tonight is Shelly Griswold, the director of community
development for the city of Freeport, Illinois. And Dot Turner, she`s been
worker at the Sensata plant for 43 years.

I want to thank both of you for joining us tonight and telling the
American people what it`s like on the verge of being outsourced.

Dot, I want to ask you first, if you lose your job, what are you going
do?

DOT TURNER, SENSATA PLANT WORKER: Well, I`m going to have to try to
retrain myself at my age and do something different.

SCHULTZ: What kind of impact will that -- this loss have on you and
your family?

TURNER: Well, I`ll be losing a real good income, and I`ll be going on
unemployment. And it`s going to really, really be really difficult for me
to try to think about going back to school at my age and being retrained.

SCHULTZ: I can imagine this is a tremendous shock to a lot of the
employees there at Sensata. Your colleagues are training Chinese workers
who have been taking your jobs. That`s got to be tough.

But, Shelly, what do you expect Mitt Romney to do? What would you
want Mitt Romney to do?

SHELLY GRISWOLD, DIR. OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, FREEPORT, IL: Well,
we certainly know his history with Bain Capital, and we understand, well,
we don`t understand fully what his relationship with Bain Capital is now,
but we certainly believe he has some influence and the workers here really
would love for Mitt Romney to come to our community and talk to the people
who are losing their jobs.

Actually, what we would really love to see is the mayor, and I talked
this afternoon, would be for Governor Romney and President Obama to hold a
debate in the city of Freeport to talk about how to make America more
competitive. Companies like Bain Capital are in the business of creating
wealth. In the local level, in economic development, we`re in the business
of creating jobs. Those two things don`t have to be mutually exclusive.

But it`s difficult to handle those on a local level because it`s
federal policies that make the difference. So, we would love to see a
debate held in Freeport, which is home of one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas
debates, and see those gentlemen come and talk about how to make America
more competitive and how we can keep our jobs here at home.

SCHULTZ: How are you going to follow up on that? Are you going to
ask the Obama team and Romney team to do just that or is this community
talk right now? I mean, you`re on a national show saying you want this to
happen. Who`s going to follow up on that? I think it`s a heck of an idea.

GRISWOLD: Well, the mayor is on the case, and he is determined to
make it happen.

SCHULTZ: OK, Shelly, why is the plant being shut down? Are the
workers not as good as the Chinese workers? What was the reason given from
Bain Capital for this action?

GRISWOLD: Well, the reason that I understand is because it`s a
business decision based on revenues and profits. However, we would stake
our northern Illinois workers, our productive workers, our well-trained
workers, our workers with a great Midwestern work ethic against any worker,
and we find it hard to believe they`ll find people of the same caliber that
our folks in Freeport do right now.

SCHULTZ: Dot, who do you blame for this situation?

TURNER: I blame the politicians, and the government for allowing
these big corporations to take our jobs and send them overseas. I call it
just corporate greed.

SCHULTZ: Shelly, what would you like to say to Mitt Romney?

GRISWOLD: Well, I guess I would like to tell Governor Romney that
it`s really easy to stand on the stage and talk in abstract, but it`s not
abstract on a local level. We`ve got 170 families in Freeport that are
going to be impacted. They`re going to lose their jobs. Some like Dot
have worked there their whole careers and now they`re faced in middle age -
- they`re going to have a very difficult time in this economy finding jobs.

But it`s not just them because there`s a ripple effect. I mean, they
are -- it`s not just the people who work at Sensata and Freeport. It`s the
people that -- the mechanics who fix their cars, the barbers who cut their
hair. It`s a ripple effect through our economy. We already had a not
strong housing economy in Freeport before the recession. And it`s even
worse now.

If we have families leaving Freeport, we can`t afford to have more
empty houses in the community.

So, it really has a huge impact on the community and I would really
like Governor Romney to realize that and really look at the individuals
that are impacted.

SCHULTZ: A town of 25,000, Freeport going to lose 170 jobs and I
guess this is the economy that Mitt Romney is talking about, the company he
started is getting rid of those jobs and sending them to China. It`s a
quite a challenge you put out to the candidate and president. I hope they
follow up on it.

Shelly Griswold and Dot Turner, great to have you with us tonight.
All the best to you. I know the times aren`t easy.

Coming up, it`s the common sense answer to bring jobs back to the
United States, just what we`re talking about.

But the Republicans, where are they? Well, they`re not going to let
it happen. Find out why they want to reward companies like Bain Capital
for laying off American workers and shipping jobs overseas, and Mitt Romney
says the rich are doing just fine and the middle class needs help?

Our panel will weigh in why job creators aren`t creating jobs.

Stay tuned. We`re right back on THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I want to end tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs
overseas. Let`s give tax breaks to companies that are investing right here
in Texas, right here in the United States of America. Let`s put American
workers back to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was President Obama this
afternoon talking about getting Americans back to work. This week, Senate
Democrats are offering a plan to do just that. Right now, companies get
rewarded for sending jobs overseas. The cost of moving your company
overseas is considered a business expense. It`s tax deductible.

So if you lay off Americans, hell, you get a tax break. The Bring
Jobs Home Act would change all of that. It would end the tax break for
moving jobs overseas. Instead, you get a 20 percent tax credit for
bringing them back to America. Right now, we`re actually paying companies
to lay off Americans and leave the United States.

And look at what it costs this country. Over the past decade, the
biggest companies have cut their work forces by almost three million
workers, but they have hired 2.4 million overseas. Laid off Americans are
rallying to change the tax law. Workers from Washington to Georgia to
Maine are asking their senators to bring the jobs home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of our jobs are going overseas and we need
to bring them back to the United States, so that our grandchildren and
their children will have jobs in the future instead of sending them
overseas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those doing well in America ought to do right by
America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walking out of here when we didn`t need to was a
crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our government is allowing them to go away.
They`re paying them to go away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Those workers simply want Congress to reward companies that
hire Americans. Republicans keep claiming that they want to improve the
economy, but tonight, they`re getting ready to kill this jobs bill.

Let`s turn to the sponsor of the bill, Bring Jobs Home Act, Michigan
Senator Debbie Stabenow. Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks for joining us.

And thanks for doing this. I think this is really what is infuriating
a lot of Americans, as you saw in our last segment. This seems like a
pretty reasonable proposal to create jobs in this country. Will any of
your Republican colleagues in the Senate support this?

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: Well, Ed, first of all, it`s
always great to be with us you. We don`t know what they are going to do.
But I know what they should do. They should be able to tell the 170
families that you were just talking about in the Freeport, Illinois that
not only will they not lose their jobs, but as taxpayers, they won`t pay
for it. They pay for the move.

Right now, they, to add insult to injury, lose their job, then they
get the privilege of helping to pay for the move overseas. And so people
in Michigan, I can tell you, look at this and say, are you kidding me? Or
they say other things, you know, unbelievable. And so this simply says
we`re not going to pay for that anymore.

SCHULTZ: Why won`t the Republicans support it? Why won`t they
support it.

STABENOW: You, I don`t know, Ed. I honestly don`t know. They talk
about, well, we need comprehensive tax reform. OK, fine. Let`s start with
closing this loophole first. You want to bring your jobs back, happy to
let you write it off as a business expense. We`ll even give you an
additional 20 percent credit, but we`re not paying for you shipping jobs
overseas.

SCHULTZ: Well, it just seems like the Republicans are on the side of
foreign countries right now, that they won`t amend something. They run
around talking about creating jobs. They have blocked everything. Is this
political theater, or do you think that this will really work?

STABENOW: Well, first of all, we`re going to put everybody on record.
And there`s not one Republican that should be voting against this. They
should be joining every Democrat in voting for this. And frankly, Governor
Romney should be standing up and urging them to do that right now. It`s
very simple.

I don`t know any other country that would be -- would stand for this
kind of tax policy. You know, in China, they say, come on over, we`ll
build the plant for you. Of course, then they steal your patents, but the
reality is that they are aggressively trying to take our jobs. Every other
country is. They know that to have a middle class, you have to make
things.

And so the first step in making sure that we`re making things in
America is to make sure we`re not paying for shipping the jobs overseas.
So everybody ought to be on the sage wavelength on this one.

SCHULTZ: Did I hear you call out the Romney campaign, that they
should take a stand on this bill?

STABENOW: I would sure like to know, wouldn`t you? I would sure like
to know where they are. They could sure help me. As a sponsor of this
bill, I would love to have Governor Romney step up and reach out to his
Republican colleagues in the Senate. We`ll be voting on Thursday. I would
welcome his help.

SCHULTZ: Do you think the majority of people from your state in
Michigan would support this?

STABENOW: No question.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney, from Michigan, with his father having quite a
manufacturing tradition, won`t support it now. What does that say?

STABENOW: I don`t know, but I can tell you this. Doesn`t matter if
you`re a Democrat or a Republican in Michigan. We want jobs in Michigan.
And we don`t want to have the insult of helping to pay for jobs that are
packed up and sent overseas. So this is very simple.

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight. Makes sense to me and I
think a lot of Americans. We`ll see where it goes. We`ll score this to
see what Republicans side with workers in this country.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He`s speaking, by the way, of businesses, like this one. If
you have got a business, you didn`t build that. Somebody else made that
happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Middle class Mitt Romney takes another swipe at trying to
help workers and totally misses. We`ll explain with the big panel next.

How long can Mitt Romney`s tax disaster go until the Republicans start
thinking about going to the bench? Howard Fineman weighs in.

And labor leaders begin a new fight to raise the federal minimum wage.
We`ll tell you why a living wage needs to become a reality.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This campaign is about the middle class and about the poor.
It`s not about the rich. The rich are going to do fine whoever is elected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was Mitt Romney at a town
hall meeting, telling the audience poor and middle class Americans, well,
they need help while the wealthy are doing just fine. He seems to be
arguing against his own proposed policies. He said it again last night at
a Mississippi fundraiser filled with wealthy Republicans.

The quote was this, "I know that people in this room are probably
doing relatively well, relative to folks across this country. But not
everyone in America is doing so well right now. It`s tough being middle
class in America right now. The waiters and waitresses that come in and
out of this room and offer us refreshments, they`re not having a good year.
The people of the middle class of America are really struggling."

Now, if Mitt Romney believes that the job creators are doing well, why
aren`t the job creators creating the jobs? So what Mitt`s prescription is
for all of this, what is it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: What I would like to see in tax code is to bring down the top
rates, all of the rates, and get rid of a lot of deductions and exemptions
to make it more clear who is paying what.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And the rest of the story is he wants to tax the low income
people. Romney`s tax plan also increases taxes on people making less than
40,000 dollars a year, half of middle class families with children. The
top two percent of taxpayers have really gotten the lion`s share of the
Bush tax cuts for the last 11 years and made good of it.

Romney or other Republicans can`t make the case that these tax cuts
have created jobs. Look at the numbers.

Let`s bring in Ari Melber of "The Nation" magazine, MSNBC host Alex
Wagner, and syndicated radio talk show host Michael Medved. Great panel
coming up. Stay with us. Obviously especially you, Michael, because you
have to tell me, right off the bat, how does Romney`s tax plan hurt waiters
and waitresses? Go figure.

MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It doesn`t hurt waiters and
waitresses.

SCHULTZ: He wants to raise the taxes on them.

MEDVED: It helps -- it does not. That`s simply not true, Ed. Mitt
Romney`s tax plan calls for a 20 percent across the board cut in all tax
rates. And that`s accomplished without reducing revenue by getting rid of
exemptions and deductions particularly for the wealthy. He has
acknowledged many times there are a lot of wealthy Americans, presumably
him too, who would end up paying more because you get fewer deductions and
exemptions.

SCHULTZ: So you`re telling me tonight that I`m wrong when I hear and
read in the tax plan that Mitt Romney wants to raise the taxes on people
making under 30,000 dollars a year?

MEDVED: You are absolutely wrong.

SCHULTZ: I am not wrong. Ari?

(CROSS TALK)

SCHULTZ: I`m not wrong.

MEDVED: It`s a smear.

SCHULTZ: It`s no smear. It`s the truth.

MEDVED: Take a look at the tax plan as it`s laid out in Mitt Romney`s
website or anyplace where it`s laid out in a fair and open way.

MEDVED: I will do that. But I will tell you what, you`re wrong.

ARI MELBER, "THE NATION": Look, Michael is speaking only about the
marginal rates, which is a piece of this. It`s not the whole piece. The
Romney plan also knocks down the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent,
a huge cut only for corporations, not for working people. And the Tax
Policy Center`s analysis shows that the majority of people, because as Mitt
Romney said, the people are corporations -- the majority of people who
benefit from that kind of cut in the corporate tax rate by that big 10
percent are people in the top one percent.

It also goes after -- hold on, Michael. You spoke for a while. I`m
just responding to some of the things you said.

Number two, it goes after the 3.8 percent taxes on capital gains that
are in the health care plan. Now most people in the bottom rungs that Mitt
was talking about, the waitresses don`t have the capital gains, so they
don`t get that. OK, that`s a cut for only people in the top bracket.

Number three, I just want to run through a couple things. Number
three, 900 billion dollar overall cut in revenue. I just want to finish
number three. Number three, a 900 billion dollar overall cut in the
government revenue. That`s one out of four government dollars. That`s one
out of four cops. That`s one out of four soldiers. A big cut --

MEDVED: That is absolutely not part of the Romney tax plan. That`s
part of what Democrats charge against it. Look, we may disagree about
where to go with taxes, but let`s be honest. When you talk about a
corporate tax reduction, President Obama favors lowering the top corporate
tax rate, because we have to be competitive with other countries.

Right now, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. How
does that help those people who are losing their jobs in Freeport,
Illinois. One of the reasons that companies are moving their operations
abroad is because they pay less taxes. When Canada has half the tax rate,
corporate tax rate that we do in the United States, it`s an invitation for
companies to move across the border.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: We can talk a lot about the smoke and
mirrors of Mitt Romney`s quote/unquote tax plan. The reality is that we
don`t have the answers that we need. We know that he`s called the Paul
Ryan plan marvelous, that will uninsure 57 million Americans. Certainly
some of those 57 million Americans are waiters and waitresses. The rest of
the sentence that Ed quoted was Mitt Romney`s party knows about the poor
and wants to help Americans from becoming poor.

Nothing that Mitt Romney has said or done or proposed will benefit the
poor or even take into consideration the struggles of the poor and the
working class in this country.

MEDVED: If I can suggest, I think the best way to help the poor --
and I think we would all agree on this -- is for the private sector to
create more jobs.

SCHULTZ: Why haven`t they done it? A new poll shows that 44 percent
of people think that raises taxes on incomes above 250,000 dollars a year
would help the economy. And 44 percent say raising taxes on income about
250,000 dollars would make the system more fair.

Michael, you`re presenting a losing argument here. The people aren`t
with you.

MEDVED: Ed, I am not because there was a McClatchy/Marist poll taken
at the same time as this other one that showed that people, by a
substantial margin, favored a -- maintaining the tax rates we have now and
not raising them on anybody.

Look, the president of the United States had the ability to raise
these tax rates anytime in his first two years, when he had 60 votes in the
Senate and he had big majorities in the House.

SCHULTZ: He didn`t have it for two years and you know that. He had
it for about a year, but that`s OK. Ari Melber, Alex Wagner, and Michael
Medved, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.

Coming up, the current federal minimum wage is 7 dollars and 25 cents
an hour. People who work hard deserve a livable wage. I`m taking their
case to you right now, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARD KENNEDY, FORMER SENATOR: What is the price that you want from
these working men and women? What cost? How much more do we have to give
to the private sector and to business? How many billion dollars more are
you asking? Are you requiring? When does the greed stop?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, the greed hasn`t stopped yet. That was the late,
great Senator Ted Kennedy fighting for an increase in the minimum wage over
five years ago. The battle was won in 2009 and the minimum wage was
increased from 5.25 an hour to 7.25 an hour. Now there`s a new fight to
increase the minimum wage for working men and women around the country;
7.25 an hour can`t support our families.

Do the math for a year, and the minimum wage amounts to only 15,000
dollars a year. That`s almost 8,000 dollars below the federal poverty line
for a family of four. Workers in America desperately need a raise in this
struggling economy. People who work hard should be able to live off their
wages and support their families.

Republicans are generally opposed to raising the minimum wage. Take a
look at what Mitt Romney said recently.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Certainly, the level of inflation is something you should
look at and you should identify what`s the right way to keep Americans --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least very minimal inflation so far.

ROMNEY: So that would tell you that right now, there`s probably not a
need to raise the minimum wage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, there you have it. There`s a tremendous difference
between the way the Republicans and the Democrats look at fairness. The
Republican unwillingness to help working men and women rains through our
society. There`s minimum wage legislation currently being discussed in
Congress. And the Service Employees International Union sent out an e-mail
this morning to rally support.

You can petition Congress to raise the minimum wage at 99Uniting.com -
- dot org, excuse me. Because everyone who works for a living deserves a
livable wage.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you, will Mitt Romney make it to the
convention without releasing his tax returns? Thirty nine percent of you
said yes; 61 percent of you said no.

Coming up, what will Republicans do if Mitt Romney can`t take control
of his tax return problems? And would they possibly consider getting
behind somebody else? Howard Fineman joins me for the discussion.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, you know, you have to answer
whether the unthinkable could possibly happen. Republicans, you know, they
have to be asking themselves, is Mitt Romney just too damaged to be the
Republican nominee? No matter what, Romney may have provided a moment that
will dog him and his campaign forever.

You know it has happened before. We will never forget Democratic
presidential nominee Michael Dukakis riding in a tank in 1988. Same year,
Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush won the election, but he
also said something at his convention that would come back to haunt him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Read my lips, no new taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oops, this time around, we have Mitt Romney in a fix over
his tax returns. And this is what he had to say about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: You know what, I put out as much as we`re going to put out,
once I have added the year, this year. And that`s the information. It
gives people more information than is required by law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course it`s already been packages into an Obama ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: You know what, I put out as much as we`re going to put out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Howard Fineman, NBC political news
analyst and editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group. Howard,
great to have you with us.

What are you hearing from Republicans? Because the dam seems to have
already broken with conservatives calling on him to release more returns.
This is just a continual drip.

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP: Ed, I was laughing when
you introduced me because I was talking to your producer. And you and I
and he all had the same idea at the same time earlier today, which is, is
there any conceivable way that the Republicans, looking at this situation,
would say, you know what, we don`t really want Mitt Romney anyway. Why not
put him out on the ice flow.

Now I talked to some key people in the party, including a campaign
manager from one of the other campaigns in this race in the Republican side
earlier this year. And I said, is there any way that the Republicans would
just say, you know what, let`s get rid of this guy? The reason I said that
and asked that is because you have had an amazing murderers row of
conservatives and Republicans demanding or suggesting that Mitt Romney
release many years of his tax returns, which is obviously something Mitt
Romney doesn`t want to do, for whatever reason.

You`ve had Bill Kristol, who is a king maker in the party. You`ve had
Michael Steele, the former chairman of the party. You`ve had Rick Perry,
one of the candidates, sort of saying it obliquely today. And of course
Rick Santorum said it during the campaign. And then the "National Review,"
which is a very important organization on the conservative side and
Republican side, said release your tax returns.

"The Wall Street Journal" has sort of said it. And of course Rupert
Murdoch has done nothing but criticize the Romney campaign for what he sees
as their ineptitude. So I asked this guy who had been a campaign manager
of one of these campaigns, could they get rid of Romney? Could you guys
get rid of Romney? He said, no, that`s crazy, but nobody likes Mitt
Romney.

He said in 2008, the other Republican candidates, the one they didn`t
like was Mitt Romney. In 2012, the one they didn`t like was Mitt Romney.
Now, Mitt Romney used his money and his muscle to get the nomination
against essentially inferior competition. Now, he`s up against President
Obama, who`s got probably equal money, lots of clout, and a great opp-o
research department. And Mitt Romney is looking like a deer in the
headlights right now on this tax issue.

SCHULTZ: How does it -- could he go to the convention -- in your
opinion, can he go to the convention with this still lingering out there?

FINEMAN: Well, Michael Steele, the former chairman, who, by the way,
is no fan of Mitt Romney`s, let`s be blunt here, said no. He said no, I
think, on our air, or if he didn`t say --

SCHULTZ: He said it earlier tonight on this program, first guest.

FINEMAN: There you go.

SCHULTZ: What do you think? Do you think he could navigate through
this and go to the convention with these tax returns, minimal information
to the American people?

FINEMAN: No, I don`t. First of all, I don`t think the president can
win the election just based on this. Let`s say that, Ed. As James
Carville was telling me, he has to make the case to middle class
independents. He`s got to.

But on Mitt Romney`s side, there`s no way he can go from here to late
August without answering more about his business record. And of course,
the Rosetta`s Stone of any businessman`s business record is their tax
returns. I don`t see how he gets from here to there without doing more,
especially with a whole conservative movement in the Republican
establishment lined up against him.

SCHULTZ: What if he picks somebody that`s a VP candidate who says,
you know, I think I`m going to release the last 10 years. This kind of
boxes in his selection as well. Howard, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

FINEMAN: Take care.

SCHULTZ: That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW
SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

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

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