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The Ed Show for Thursday, July 26th, 2012

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Guests: Martin Lewis, Keith Boykin, Jimmy Williams, Ilyse Hogue, John
Fugelsang, Jonathan Alter

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.

Mitt Romney is having a bugger of a time in jolly old England. We`ll
break down Mitt`s royal pains here tonight.

This is THE ED SHOW -- and as Ed would say -- let`s get to work.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My experience with regards
to the Olympics is it is impossible for absolutely no mistakes to occur.

DYSON (voice-over): The British people have erupted in defiance at
Mitt Romney`s political insult.

BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON: I hear there`s a guy -- there`s a guy
called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we`re ready. He wants to know
whether we are ready. Are we ready? Are we ready?

DYSON: In one day, Mitt Romney`s European vacation went from foreign
policy listening tour to a Benny Hill chase scene.

Tonight, Mitt Romney is basically apologizing. The British press are
calling him another "W" and worse than Palin.

We`ll have all the latest from Mitt Romney`s European disaster.

The Romney camp tries to sweep their Anglo-Saxon remark under the rug.

ROMNEY: It`s a very strange and foreign to the American type of
experience type of philosophy.

DYSON: We`ll show you why it`s impossible to deny the Romney
campaign`s effort to portray the president as something other than

And the man who dominates cable news tells a third of Americans they
are weak because they use government assistance.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: We have become a society that tolerates
slackers and in some cases even rewards irresponsible behavior.

DYSON: Tonight, a substantive response to Bill O`Reilly`s weak
argument with Jonathan Alter.

O`REILLY: There are kids, because there are single moms churning out
three or four and they can`t support themselves.


DYSON: Governor Mitt Romney has made his debut on the world stage as
a presidential candidate and his act has been met with a collective groan.
It happened when NBC News` Brian Williams interviewing Romney in London
asked Romney if London looked it was ready for the games. Here`s what he


ROMNEY: Well, you know, it`s hard to know how well it will turn out.
There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the
private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the
immigration and customs officials. That, obviously, is not something which
is encouraging, because in the games, there are three parts that make games
successful. Number one, of course, are the athletes, that`s overwhelmingly
the games are about. Number two are the volunteers and they`ll have great
volunteers here.

But number three are the people of the country. Do they come together
and celebrate the Olympic moment and that`s something we only find out once
the games actually begin.


DYSON: In other words, Mr. Romney managed to insult the British on
their own turf about an event they have been planning for seven years.
Bear in mind, Mitt Romney`s European tour was designed to position him as
the president in waiting, the wise and graceful statesman, and his
appearance in London was supposed to remind people of how he supposedly
saved the salt lake city Winter Olympics in America.

Suffice it to say, the British were unimpressed. Here`s the British
Prime Minister David Cameron.


Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the
world. Of course, it`s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle
of nowhere.


DYSON: In the middle of nowhere.

Romney reportedly tried to put things right in his meeting with the
prime minister, particularly since Mr. Cameron had gone out of his way to
host the presidential candidate.

Later outside of 10 Downing Street, Romney began his long and winding
walk back.


ROMNEY: I also applaud the work of the organizing committee in
bringing the Olympic experience right into the heart of London.


DYSON: But that was not nearly enough for the British press, so
Romney added this.


ROMNEY: We talked about the great progress that has been made in
organizing the games. My experience as an Olympic organizer is that there
are always a few very small things that end up going not quite right in the
first day or so. Those get ironed out, then when the games themselves
begin and the athletes take over, all the mistakes that the organizing
committee, and I made a few, all of those are overwhelmed by the many
things that the athletes carry out that capture the spirit of the games.


DYSON: Still not quite there. Romney tried out this non-apology
apology this way.


ROMNEY: I`m very delighted with the prospects of a highly successful
Olympic Games. What I`ve seen shows imagination and forethought and a lot
of organization, and expect the games to be highly successful.


DYSON: Prime Minister Cameron then decided to throw Mr. Romney a


CAMERON: What Mitt Romney said to me is that he thought it looked
extremely well organized. The venues look good, the country is well
prepared. He ran a successful Olympic Games in his own country, and I
think he`s very much looking forward to going to see some of the events
here. So I felt a vote of confidence from what he said.


DYSON: That was hardly the end of it. Take a look at what London`s
mayor had to say in front of thousands in Hyde Park.


BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON: I hear there`s a guy -- there`s a guy
called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we`re ready. He wants to know
whether we are ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are!

The venues are ready. The stadium is ready. The aquatic center is
ready. The velodrome is ready.

The security is ready. The police are ready. The transport system is
ready. And our team athletes are ready, aren`t they?


DYSON: Sound pretty ready to me. "The Times" blared the headline "PM
Delivers Olympic Putdown to Romney."

From "The Guardian": "Romney`s Olympic blunder".

And "The Daily Mail," "Cameron hits at Romney."

"The Daily Mail`s" political editor delivered frequent tweets,
"Another verdict from one Romney meeting, apparently devoid of charm,
warmth, humor, or sincerity."

"Serious dismay in Whitehall. Worse than Sarah Palin, total car

"Romney blunders again by revealing he`s had supposedly top-secret
briefing by MI-6 boss. Do we have a new "W" on our hands?"

Let`s not forget that Mitt Romney incessantly complaints about
President Obama apologizing for America, which President Obama has never
done. But let`s not forget that Mitt Romney got plenty of government aid
to bailout the Salt Lake City Olympics. He even registered as a lobbyist
to soak the government for as much as he could.

And by all means, let`s remember the commemorative Olympic pins from
Salt Lake City. There they are. They were made in China, according to BBC
News. And yes, the one in the middle is Mitt Romney, which if you think
about it, looks a bit like this guy. The egotistical dude from "Beauty and
the Beast." See the likeness? That`s awfully nice.

And one more thing, Mitt Romney`s wife has made it to the Olympics
with her horse, but Mitt Romney is so intent on not sounding like a rich
guy, he said this about his wife`s Olympic event.


ROMNEY: I have to tell you, this is Ann`s sport. I`m not even sure
which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it. I will
not be watching the event.

I hope her horse does well, but just the honor of being here and
representing our country and seeing the other Olympians is something which
I`m sure the people that are associated with this are looking forward to.


DYSON: Maybe he`s getting another briefing from MI-6.

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

Tonight`s question, did Mitt Romney fail his first international
audition? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639, or go to our blog at I`ll bring you the results later in the show.

Joining me now is political commentator and satirist Martin Lewis,
also a contributor to the "Huffington Post".

Welcome, my friend.


DYSON: Look, just how big of a mess has Mitt Romney gotten himself

LEWIS: Well, it`s a big pile of Mitt, frankly. It`s really
difficult, because I have to say, for the first time in his life
practically, on one level, Mitt Romney might actually be correct. The
British organization of the Olympics has not been that great and it`s
conceivable there will be some big blunders.

However, it is not the job of an American politician to come to
Britain and say that. That`s our job to criticize ourselves. We don`t
need an American.

It would be as though a British socialist politician would go to
America and say America`s economic woes were as a result of all the vulture
capitalists such as Mitt Romney and his cronies at Bain Capital that caused
the problems in America. That`s not a job for British socialists to say.
That`s a job for American socialists like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

So that`s not the right thing to be done.

DYSON: Surely. And we`ve certainly been trumpeting that line here on
the show.

Here`s, yet, more from Mitt Romney as he tried to walk back his


ROMNEY: I don`t know of any Olympics that`s been able to be run
without any mistakes whatsoever, but they are small, and I was encouraged,
for instance, to see that something that could have represented a real
challenge, which was immigration and customs officers on duty, that is
something which was resolved and people are all pulling together.


DYSON: Brother Martin, did his repeated attempts to correct himself
do any good at all?

LEWIS: Oh, no, no. He dug bigger and bigger holes. I love the one
where he talked to Brian Williams about the concern about the private
security firm that had been hired and problems there.

Hello, it used to be security done by federal workers, good union
workers, but now it`s outsourced. Does this ring a bell? This was what
Bain Capital`s philosophy is, and Mitt Romney`s is.

You know, if you go to the Acme night watchman company of Mumbai,
maybe security won`t be as good as good national federal workers. So, he`s
complaining -- speculating about a problem that would be mirroring his own

Another example of that is the fact that he said that he didn`t think
the British public might be supportive and the British public might not get
behind the Olympic Games.

Well, I got news for Mitt Romney, the British public has been
clinically depressed for the last two years because it has a government
practicing the very economic policies that Mitt Romney`s advocating. It`s
been big tax cuts for the wealthy and a big cut down on social services to
help the poor and underprivileged. So, no wonder the British public are a
little bit depressed at the moment.

DYSON: I`ll follow your advice and not chime in on that criticism,
you said it well enough.

Prime Minister Cameron seemed to go out of his way to be hospitable,
other than that one well-placed jab. But Romney didn`t do much for the
special relationship, did he?

LEWIS: Certainly not. Look, it`s not very hard. It`s not rocket
science to actually be -- to create a good relationship between an American
president and a British prime minister. I mean, George Bush just put out
some doggy treats and had Tony Blair acting like a French poodle. It`s not
hard to do. So to alienate your allies is not really good sense.

Furthermore, he not only alienated David Cameron, but he alienated
what could be the next prime minister, Ed Miliband, by not even remembering
his name. At one point in a press conference today, he said, Mr. -- Mr. --
Mr. Leader.

This would be like if Ed Miliband said Mr. Candidate.

I mean, come on. How hard is it to remember the word Miliband? The
first part is Mili, like the millions Mitt Romney has in the Cayman
Islands. It shouldn`t be not hard for him to remember.

DYSON: If he had been listening to Lil Wayne, Milly, Milly, Milly.

Why wouldn`t he watch his wife`s Olympic event? Doesn`t that seem odd
to you that he went out of his way to discount the fact that he`d be
watching and said he really wouldn`t?

LEWIS: Well, he`s going to have problems to answer with Ann Romney.
I don`t how we`ll get on that. But I do wish to defend him on one point.
It`s been said he should not have divulged the fact he met the head of MI6,
which is a very secretive organization. In fairness to him, he met Judy
Dench, who plays "M" in the James Bond films, and he got a little confused.

DYSON: What about the -- what about the fundraiser he`s having with
people behind the LIBOR scandal. I mean, is this interesting? And the
Barclays and so on, I mean, what`s he over there doing?

LEWIS: Well, it`s very important for him to try and raise money from
Americans, rich Americans, in London and Britain. So he`s going out and
doing that.

But he`s put his foot in his mouth yet again, because it`s been
revealed some of the comments he`s made about Britain, he called it a
second-tier nation, he said it produced nothing that anyone wants. Hello,
Shakespeare, Dickens, the Beatles.

Tea. You know tea, Mitt Romney. The drink you`re not supposed to
have because it stimulates the brain, something the heart of thinking worry

DYSON: Ah, the thousand natural shocks that fleshes air to.

Martin Lewis, thanks so much for your time tonight.

LEWIS: My great pleasure. Thank you.

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

Coming up, his book is called "No Apology," yet Mitt Romney spent a
good part of today apologizing. Evan McMorris-Santoro of talking points
weighs in. We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Coming up, what does Mitt Romney`s series of gaffes in London
mean for him back here in the U.S.? I`ll ask Evan McMorris-Santoro of
"Talking Points Memo".

A Romney adviser says President Obama doesn`t understand the Anglo-
Saxon heritage of this country. Now both campaigns are responding. We`ll
have the details.

And later, Bill O`Reilly revives the lie about welfare programs in an
entitlement society. Jonathan Alter will join me to take down Bill`s weak

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.
We`ll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mitt Romney has turned on the charm during his
visit to Britain by questioning the country`s ability to host the Olympic

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a message he wanted to get out from this trip
has been obscured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he`s here to make friends, he`s got a funny way
of showing it.


DYSON: Oh, my goodness. I am even sorry for Mitt Romney.

His trip to Europe was designed to showcase his statesmanship, his
ability to command respect on the international stage, and then Mitt Romney
opened his mouth. I guess I really ain`t that sorry.

First, he insulted the British on their own turf, then he publicly
acknowledged meeting with the head of the MI6, the international arm of the
British secret service, something Romney was supposed to keep to himself.
Romney also managed to snub the American press corps and was publicly
mocked by the mayor of London in front of tens of thousands of people.

The gaffe-filled trip has prompted one conservative at home to compare
him to Mr. Bean.

And while one adviser says the presidential candidate intends to fully
honor the special relationship between the U.S. and U.K., you`d never guess
that by reading Romney`s book. Quote, "England is just a small island," he
wrote. "Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn`t
make things the rest of the world wants to buy, and if it hadn`t been
separated from the continent by water, it would have been lost to Hitler`s


Joining me now, Evan McMorris-Santoro.

Evan, his book is called "No Apology," yet he spent much of today
apologizing, then apologizing, then apologizing, so how bad is it?

you ask. I think that one thing is clear, though, Mitt Romney in England
was able to find gaffes where no one thought gaffes were possible. This
trip out to England, you know, it`s supposed to be a chance for Romney to
show off his ability, his past of running the Olympics, which was a great
part of his resume, if you ask him, and great part of his biography if you
ask him and his supporters.

And also going to England, it`s a big American ally, it`s a strong
American ally, it`s a place for him to show off his ability to talk to
world leaders. Obviously, run by conservatives who are more in line with
him. Those are some of the people that were calling him out today, Boris
Johnson that you showed and David Cameron specifically.

But in terms of the effects back here, the main effect so far today is
that he`s been able to, by gaffing the way he has and sort of stumbling
around the way he did in England, he was able to give Democrats a way in to
attack him, and attack him they did.

Foreign policy experts said, you know, if he can`t handle talking
about the Olympics, how can he handle talking to China?

And just over in the car, I saw Harry Reid told "The Huffington Post"
Romney is in real trouble and he`s embarrassing himself. It shows he`s
listening to his staff too much and not listening to himself -- just kind
of attacking him over and over for this being a gaffe.

DYSON: Yes. Well, look, it`s not just the left or the liberals who
are getting on his gaffe-filled performance over in the U.K. Even
conservatives are in disbelief over Romney`s Olympic flub.

Here`s Charles Krauthammer.


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS: What Romney answered is unbelievable.
It`s beyond human understanding. It`s incomprehensible. I`m out of
adjectives. All the man has to do is say nothing.


DYSON: He`s exhausted the adjectival descriptions of Charles
Krauthammer. How does the Romney team spin that?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, today what they did was they had Bobby Jindal
and Bob McDonnell, two governors, two governors, Jindal from Louisiana,
McDonnell from Virginia, cue big Romney surrogates and potential vice
presidential choices. They had a press conference call today, and they
were asked, you know, what does this mean, what`s happening?

And their basic answer was, it doesn`t matter. The American people
don`t care about foreign press. They don`t care what people say and, you
know, the concerns of the United States are what`s more important and the
foreign stuff doesn`t matter.

What`s interesting about that, of course, is kind of undermines the
entire reason for Romney to go overseas. I mean, you mention that his trip
was a lot about bolstering himself up, but another part of his trip and a
key part of his trip was also showing where Republicans and Romney
specifically has said that Obama has failed in foreign policy, and they
definitely think that the way the foreign press and foreign leaders look at
the United States are important.

But they come back after some bad headlines for their guy and they
say, no, no, no, none of this is important, doesn`t matter, you know, it`s
the economy still, it`s the domestic issues that are important, pay no
attention to the trip.

DYSON: Yes, how convenient, and if the foreign press ain`t so
important, why do they give out the Golden Globes each year?

Look, is this a sneak peek at how Romney would handle foreign affairs?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, you know, like I said, I think that`s up to
experts to determine at this point.

I think if you asked those Democrats that were on that conference call
today, Wesley Clarke was one of them, Chris Murphy, who is one of the first
Iraq war veterans to serve in the Congress, Democrat in Congress, he
definitely said it was.

He said, look, this is predictable. This is what Romney is going to
be like. If he can`t handle the Olympics, he can`t handle China, he can`t
handle Iran. He can`t handle these big events.

This is a pretty easy -- you had Krauthammer on saying what he said
and Reid said the same thing, Harry Reid said the same thing. This is
generally a pretty easy idea, a pretty easy thing for a politician to do,
just sort of praise the Olympics and move on.

DYSON: Yes, got to be pretty smart to mess that up.

Evan McMorris-Santoro, thank you so much.


DYSON: Next, a Romney adviser says President Obama can`t fully
understand the special relationship between the United States and Britain
because he can`t appreciate the shared Anglo-Saxon heritage. Hear the
implications there? Keith Boykin will join me to discuss those comments.

And our panel weigh in on Mitt`s rainy London day. Stay tuned.


DYSON: Mitt Romney`s European vacation is not off to a good start,
Chevy Chase like. And the Republican candidate isn`t the only one to stick
his foot in his mouth. A Romney adviser tells the British newspaper "The
Telegraph" that President Obama can`t fully comprehend the special
relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. because Mr. Obama can`t
appreciate the shared Anglo-Saxon heritage.

The adviser praised Mr. Romney`s grasp of -- "We are part of an Anglo-
Saxon heritage and he feels that the special relationship is special. The
White House didn`t fully appreciate the shared history we have."

Romney press secretary Andrea Saul says the comments don`t represent
Romney`s beliefs.

The Obama campaign said it won`t characterize the comment as a form of
racial baiting.

Here`s what Romney himself had to say.


ROMNEY: So I`m not sure who this person is, but I can tell you we
have a very special relationship between the United States and Great
Britain. It goes back to our very beginnings, cultural and historical, but
I also believe that the president understands that. So I don`t agree with
whoever that adviser might be.


DYSON: Yet the Anglo-Saxon comments seem to be a pattern for team
Romney. Earlier this week, the presidential hopeful tried to paint the
president as other.


ROMNEY: This is a ideology which says, hey, we`re all the same here.
It`s a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience
type of philosophy. So his whole philosophy is an upside-down philosophy
that does not comport with the American experience.


DYSON: You know, a lot of us understand things differently, as author
Edward McClellan points out, President Obama`s mother is of English
descent, making the president more Anglo-Saxon than Ronald Reagan who is of
Irish descent.

Considering the president enjoys healthy approval ratings when it
comes to foreign affairs, how would a Romney White House handle U.K.
policy? According to "The Telegraph," the advisers could not give detailed
examples. When it comes to the European debt crisis, one adviser even
conceded, "I`m not sure what our policy response is."

I`m joined now by Keith Boykin, Democratic strategist and CNBC

Thanks for coming on to the show.


DYSON: Hey. Keith, David Axelrod called the quotes stunningly
offensive on Twitter. Vice President Biden says, "This assertion beneath a
presidential campaign."

I mean, look, we`ve seen all of this. You`re good at parsing the
implications of these comments and the nuances and the suggestions, the
hints and the allegations. You`re a lawyer. What are we to make of these

BOYKIN: You know, I`m not quite sure whether this was an intentional
statement or not, but I do think it`s characteristic of a problem you have
with Mitt Romney`s campaign. A, does we have control over the people who
are around him? B, what type of values does he actually believe in? What
is his core?

I think that`s really the issue here. There`s been a lot of talk
about Mitt Romney`s flip-flops and Mitt Romney making mistakes in England
this year -- or this week. But the real issues is does he believe in what
he`s saying? Does he even have a foreign policy to articulate? He doesn`t
even have an economic policy to articulate.

So when you have all these different confusing -- different statements
out there, how do you expect your advisers to respond to that? Clearly,
there`s a racial undertone that people will pick up when they hear those
words, whether or not they are intended. That`s something he has to take
responsibility for. I don`t think he`s done that.

DYSON: Yeah, you know, my late pastor who came up with the term "the
audacity of hope" also said to me that, look, a mosquito doesn`t have to
intend harm to you. It just wants blood, but it can give you malaria.
Intentionality does not embrace consequence. So even if his intentions are
not such of a racial nature but the consequence, of course, are, do you buy
Romney`s walk back, because he doesn`t appear to be conscience of what you
just said.

BOYKIN: I don`t know if I can buy the walk back only because I don`t
even know what he believes. Again, you can`t walk something back if you`re
not willing to express what your values are. So what is it that he`s
walking back in the first place?

This adviser, who he -- he kind of denied there was an adviser, then
he kind of said, well, he doesn`t know who that person is. So we don`t
really know what he`s saying on this. But why isn`t he rooting this out?
Why isn`t Mitt Romney going to lead some sort of internal investigation to
find out why people were saying this? And I don`t know that Mitt Romney
has, again, this kind of conviction about any of his beliefs on foreign
policy issues or even on domestic policy issues to be able to effectively
communicate what he stands for.

That, to me, Michael, is the real problem. It`s not just this one
statement. It`s the larger context of who Mitt Romney is and what he

DYSON: Do you think it puts the Obama campaign in a very difficult
situation, because they don`t want to be looked at as trying to complain
about racial animosity, because they don`t want to be seen in that way.
And I don`t blame them. But at the same time, the racial consequences here
are pretty apparent to the rest of us.

So what do you make of the Obama campaign? They`re in a difficult
situation. They say it`s not race baiting, but don`t you see the racial
subtext and doesn`t the rest of America see that?

BOYKIN: They don`t have to say that, because everybody else can see
it. You and I can see it, I assume. They were smart. They sent out Joe
Biden to make a statement about it. David Axelrod makes a statement about
it. The president doesn`t have to say a word about this, because everybody
who has any understanding of American racial history, and you have a better
understanding of that than almost anybody -- everybody who has an
understanding of that can clearly -- can clearly see what`s going on here.

So all they have to do is put those words out there, let people
interpret that as they will, and force the Romney campaign to explain or
defend what they are doing. This has been a horrible week for Mitt Romney
to go overseas, to try to showcase his knowledge of foreign policy, his
knowledge -- his ability to be a commander in chief or his ability to
create relationships with other nations.

If this is what he`s giving us, I don`t understand how he expects the
American people to buy into that. He has got to better job in order to
convince people that he has something realistic that we should be willing
to accept.

DYSON: Yes. Maybe he better play down that Anglo-Saxon heritage and
play up that Afro-Saxon heritage that he need to tap into with President
Obama. Keith Boykin, thank you so very much.

BOYKIN: Thank you, Michael.

DYSON: Still to come on THE ED SHOW, Mitt Romney says President Obama
has been apologizing for America. But after Mitt`s bad day in England, he
might need his own apology tour. Our panel will weigh in next.

And later, Bill O`Reilly`s weak argument about the good old days.
Find out why he thinks we were better off back in the `60s, and why he
thinks you are a serious slacker. Stay with us.



ROMNEY: This president, in his first days in office, began going
around the world apologizing for America.

He went around the world apologizing for America.

The president apologized for America.



Remember, he went around the Middle East and apologized for America.


DYSON: I know you are, but what am I? Welcome back. Mitt Romney`s
been traveling around the country for the past year falsely claiming
President Obama has been apologizing for America. But Romney might need to
go on an apology tour of his own after insulting London`s Olympic


ROMNEY: You know, it`s hard to know just how well it will turn out.
There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the
private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the
immigration and customs officials. That, obviously, is not something which
is encouraging.

Because in the games, there are three parts that make games
successful. Number one, of course, are the athletes. That`s what
overwhelmingly the games are about. Number two are the volunteers.
They`ll have great volunteers here. But number three are the people of the
country. Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? And
that`s something which we only find out once the games actually begin.


DYSON: For more, let`s bring in MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams,
"The Nation" magazine columnist Ilyse Hogue, and political comedian John
Fugelsang, who`s co-heading Stephanie Miller`s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour
this Saturday night at the -- what is that? OK -- at the Pantagious
Theater in Hollywood. I wanted to get that right.

John, if you are visiting a foreign country, is it a good idea to
insult them?

JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Generally, no. I haven`t read a
lot of etiquette books, Michael, but I don`t think it`s a good idea. He
did succeed in making Prince Philip look like Lil Wayne. But I`m really
scared he`s going to go over to Israel next week and say the Whaling Wall
is meshugena (ph). Mitt Romney`s been going around for a year lying about
the president and saying he`s apologized for America. Now America has to
apologize for Mitt Romney.

DYSON: So Romney`s campaign was hoping his opening at the opening
ceremony Friday would spark warm and fuzzy memories of his time running the
Salt Lake Games in 2002. I don`t know, Jimmy. Is that idea done for him?

the Olympics, he would know a little bit better. Listen, I have read
etiquette books. I can tell you that the U.K. has, what, 63 million
people, of which I think 92 percent are white. So for the first time in
Mitt Romney`s life, he`s managed to do something very bad in the etiquette
book. He has ticked off 63 million white people.

That`s not a smart thing for someone to do, especially when he`s in
their country visiting them and meeting with their leadership. This is not
a very good way for him to begin his overseas trip. I`m a little bit
terrified as to what he`s going to do when he hits Israel. And I`m even
more terrified what happens when he hits Poland.

DYSON: Be careful of the Whaling Wall, sir. Mitt publicly said he
met with the head of MI6, the international -- M16, the international arm
of the British Secret Service. Romney was supposed to keep quiet about
this. Ilyse, does that sound like a presidential move just outing

ILYSE HOGUE, "THE NATION":: You know, what I think we`ve learned
about Mitt Romney today is at least he`s an equal opportunity offender,
right? He can clearly offend the guys in the Nascar park wearing their,
you know, Wal-Mart hoods, but he can also offend leaders of state and
secret security.

Look, Michael, I think this is a real problem for the guy. He`s got
three things going for him, right? He`s got Massachusetts governor, which
he can`t talk about because it goes to Obamacare. He`s got Bain, which is
the bane of his existence and he`s on the run from.

The Olympics was supposed to be his safety school. It was supposed to
be his easy one. First thing out of the gates, he screwed it up. What`s
he got to fall back on?

DYSON: Yeah, he ain`t getting no gold medal here, is he, Jimmy? So
how bad is it? Could it be the worst day of Romney`s campaign?

WILLIAMS: No, no, no, no, no. That would be like the weather outside
right now here in New York, which would be like a down pour. What we are
seeing with Mitt Romney is a steady trickle of gaffe after gaffe after
gaffe, which is also known as flip-flop after flip-flop after flip-flop.

I hope he`s not meeting the Queen or Prince Philip. That would
somewhat devastating. He`d probably might giver her a bear hug or
something, which by the way, just to give you some advice, Mitt Romney,
don`t touch the queen unless she extends her hand. Just not a good thing
to do.

FUGELSANG: I want to interject for a second, Jimmy, and point out
that Mitt Romney didn`t build these gaffes on his own. OK? He had a
staff. He had advisers. They all helped him create these gaffes. He
didn`t do it by himself.

WILLIAMS: From birth, these things came from birth. He`s had a
number of years to develop these with his family, friends, teachers, and

DYSON: Besides his congenital political deformations. John, what
impact do you think this will have here at home?

FUGELSANG: I don`t think it will have that much, and especially
because he`s going to meet with the Barclays criminals who ripped us off
with the LIBOR scandal. I hope the Kardashians will go visit so the
American media will cover that. That`s exactly who he`s going to go visit.

I`m like Anglo-Saxon, please. I don`t really think it`s going to play
that much, but it is, certainly, another link in the chain of Mitt gaffes.
And eventually there will be enough embarrassed Republicans it might make a

DYSON: Let me ask all of you this question, Mitt Romney went out of
his way to, I think diss his wife. Look, I guess she`s got a horse. I
don`t know. It`s a horse of a different color. It`s a horse of a
different character. I`m not concerned. I`m making this up, but it was
really pretty bad that he was trying to feign a lack of investment.

Was that a good move, to suggest that he`s not even concerned about
his wife having a tremendous accomplishment of making it to the Olympics?
Ilyse, why don`t you answer that?

HOGUE: Look, I think his wife has stood by him and he should stand by
her. Most women are going to feel that way. But I think it`s a bigger
problem for him, that he does not know how to deal with the fact that he
comes off as so completely out of touch for most common American
experience. And he`s bumbling and bumbling.

It`s just like John says, he has a team that`s supposed to help him
deal with this. And they`re flailing all over the place.

DYSON: I want to ask you guys a very quick question. What about if
Mitt had chosen to go to Africa? If he`s messing up with the Anglos, what
is he going to do with the African folk? My point is -- you don`t have to
literally answer that. What happens when he gets into the broader world or
foreign policy, where it`s even more foreign than the U.K., which is pretty

WILLIAMS: Let me say this about Governor Romney, if he does go to
Africa. He has the same advisers that President Bush had, especially in
the foreign policy realm. If he does that, I hope that they have learned
at this point, after a number of years, that Africa is not a country. It
is, indeed, a continent. It is made up of lots of countries. If that`s
the case, then he should probably just go see one or two of them, so he
doesn`t get it wrong.

DYSON: We have to end it right there. John Fugelsang, I know you
have something great to say. We`ll postpone it for your next appearance.
Jimmy Williams, Ilyse Hogue and John Fugelsang, thank you so very much.

Coming up, the Twitter-verse was not happy with our viewer`s gentle
criticism of President Obama last night. Up next, I`ll give you a little
history on my background with the president and who the real haters out
there are. Stay tuned.


DYSON: Welcome back. Last night when I was discussing President
Obama`s speech before the National Urban League with Karen Finney,
particularly as we addressed some gentle criticism of the president by
black observers, the black Twitter verse -- the Blitter-verse -- went
straight bananas. Folk for calling me a hater for just broaching the
subject at all.

Mind you, it wasn`t even my viewpoint, but the very act of me asking a
commentator a legitimate question seemed to send some of the president`s
other supporters into an irrational frenzy, because yes, I`m one of his
biggest boosters.

Make no mistake, I`m riding hard on the Obama bandwagon. I`ve been on
that journey a lot longer than the Black Willy come latelies who voted
overwhelmingly against Obama when he ran for Congress and who initially
spurned him when he asked for their votes for the presidency because they
were beholden to Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Back then, most black folk were stumped that I was supporting a
relatively unknown junior senator they referred to as Barack Obama. So
please don`t lecture me about the right way to show my loyalty and love to
a man I`ve known and supported for 20 years.

Don`t get me wrong. Don`t get it twisted. I understand the
hypersensitivity that black folk display when it comes to Obama. There is
real hate out there, unprincipled right wing politicians who call him every
horrible name besides a child of God. Rude journalists who interrupt his
press conferences with belligerent retorts, hateful wannabes who try to
trump his legitimate citizenship, and presidential campaigns that try to
portray him as the ultimate other.

That`s hate. But what is not hate is an honest difference of opinion
that is framed in respectful fashion. The president not only doesn`t have
a problem with that, he encourages it.

How do I know? Because I`ve been in his presence too many times when
he`s invited that criticism. He is humble enough to understand that
sometimes constructive criticism can lead to deeper insight and better
policy. And trust me when I tell you, he can give as good as he gets.

A couple of years ago when he and I were in the Oval Office talking,
he told me point blank, after listening to me expound on an issue that he
had to pass legislation with opponents who didn`t listen to Michael Eric
Dyson. I ain`t mad. I understand his belief and respect his position.

And if someone respectfully disagrees with him, he ain`t mad either.
Hear me, black folk. Save your exasperation and your indignation for the
president`s real haters. I ain`t one of them.

How do I know? He told me so at the Olympic warm up game the other
day in D.C. when he hugged me and thanked me for my love and support. When
you get at that level, holler back at me.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you did Mitt Romney fail his first
international audition? Ninety eight percent say yes, two percent say no.

Coming up, Bill O`Reilly says Americans are weak because we help the
poor. The bizarre criticism about welfare and your work ethic when we come



BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Competition and a desire to succeed
in the marketplace have made America great. But that ethic is being eroded
by a culture of where`s mine?


DYSON: In the Big Finish tonight, it`s the right wing`s weak
argument. Tuesday night, Fox News`s Bill O`Reilly spouted some interesting
statistics about welfare. He waxed poetic about life in 1962 and wrongly
boasted that only six percent of Americans were on welfare.

Census data shows it was actually closer to 12 percent. But
O`Reilly`s said families lived modestly, had fun, and appreciated what they
had. He says America was stronger back then. O`Reilly`s just one of a
crowd of Republicans, including Mitt Romney, who repeatedly claim President
Obama is weakening America or worse.


ROMNEY: Instead, he`s making us an entitlement society, where people
think they are entitled to what other people have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s systemically destroying the work ethic. How?
By the narcotic of government dependency.

a society where we don`t encourage the work ethic. We explain why
dependency`s just fine.

REP. ALLEN WEST (R), FLORIDA: We`re creating this sense of economic
dependence, which, to me, is a form of modern 21st century slavery.


DYSON: We call this a zombie lie, because it keeps coming back to
life. We`ve found versions of this same rhetoric about dependency dating
back to the 1800s. But O`Reilly`s not wrong that more people have enrolled
in government assistance since the `60s.

He claims 35 percent of households are now on federal aid. That`s
wrong. It`s closer to 19 percent, according to the latest census. Here`s
the real lie, the system doesn`t make people dependent. Enrollment goes up
during recessions when people need it. Enrollment goes back down after the

And what they don`t tell you is 65 percent of recipients take
assistance for only a few months or a year. I know. I was on assistance.
What they don`t tell you is that there`s at least one working adult in 48
percent of households with children on Food Stamps. Only 13 percent don`t
have jobs.

At a time of national economic crisis, when so many people are
struggling to find a job, Republicans are calling the country weak,
Americans dependent and repeatedly criticizing millions for their work

Let`s bring in Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and columnist
for "Bloomberg View." Let me get right to the point, Jonathan, does
welfare make Americans dependent?

JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": First of all, we don`t have welfare
anymore. We got rid of welfare in 1996 with welfare reform. Up to that
point, there was an argument, that was a pretty persuasive one, that Aid to
Families With Dependent Children, AFDC, did create some dependency. But
then we moved under the Clinton administration to a welfare to work

And now what our system does is it rewards work with the earned income
tax credit, which you get if you work. And it helps the working poor come
up to a reasonable standard of living, because this economy is no longer
providing a middle class standard of living without some help.

So the idea that these are deadbeats who are getting money from the
government and sitting on the couch, it`s not factually true.

DYSON: Absolutely. You know, remember that Peter Edelman (ph), a
noted liberal, left the Clinton administration because he had arguments.
So we know that there were arguments about what the Clinton administration
was going to do to poor people by severing the ties with the aid to
families with dependent children.

But here`s the point. The point you made so powerfully is the fact
that there has not been a dependence established in the last several years,
but there`s been an escalation of numbers of people on the rolls because
there`s been downgrade in the economy. And a lot of non-black and Latino
people are on welfare.

ALTER: What they are talking about is Food Stamps. We really
shouldn`t call it welfare. It`s, you know, basically Food Stamps. Because
the economy, even if you`re working, you`re not making enough to feed a
family. And so Democrats and Republicans -- by the way, Bob Dole was one
of the biggest backers of the Food Stamp program. They were the ones who
got this through, just to give people a little bit of a break, a little bit
of help.

So that`s what`s surging right now. And on the other dependency
issues, what they are talking about, and looking back to 1962, that was
before Medicare and Medicaid. If you got sick and you didn`t have money,
you died. If you were old, you were poor.

Now, we fixed some of those things. Is O`Reilly saying that`s a bad
thing we`ve done as a country?

DYSON: Of course, it`s ludicrous.

ALTER: Of course, none of it has to do with Barack Obama, because he
hasn`t put in new entitlement programs.

DYSON: This is what I want to ask you, because we have about a minute
left. Look, all of these programs that the Republicans are espousing, that
make people need to go to get Food Stamps and other forms of help, then
they deny the people or at least denigrate the people who have to have
support because of their policies. There`s a relationship that they don`t
want to deal with.

DYSON: What they don`t like is Obamacare, right? So you could argue
that is, in some ways, a new entitlement, that people are entitled --

DYSON: But that hasn`t led to the rolls being swollen.

ALTER: Is this somehow some notion that, what, if you get sick,
that`s your fault, that you`re weak of character because, you know, you`re
in a culture of dependency, because you want to have some insurance if you
get sick? What they are trying to do is just create another argument,
which I think has a racial dimension to it. Because when Ronald Reagan
talked about welfare queens, that had a racial dimension.

They are trying to tag Obama with this notion of he`s the welfare
president, the Food Stamp president. And it`s got to end at the polls this

DYSON: There it is, Jonathan Alter, thank you so very much. That`s
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Ezra Klein is filling in
for Rachel tonight. Always good to see you, Ezra.


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