Guests: Leo Gerard, Sandra Fluke, E.J. Dionne, Susan Del Percio, Keith Boykin, Michael Murphy, John Boccieri
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from New York.
Ninety days before the 2012 election. And a hard-hitting commercial
has Mitt Romney`s campaign on the path towards self destruction. The facts
are getting in the way for Romney.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
JOE SOPTIC, FORMER STEELWORKER: She passed away in 22 days. I do not
think Mitt Romney realizes what he`s done to anyone.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): A hard-hitting ad on Mitt Romney has his
campaign in a tail spin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If people had been in Massachusetts under
Governor Romney`s health care plan, they would have had health care.
SCHULTZ: Republicans are jumping all over the Romney camp`s response.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: That`s the potential gold mine
for the Obamaites.
SCHULTZ: United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard weighs in on the
consequences of outsourcing, and NBC News political analyst Howard Fineman
is here with the politics.
President Obama arrives in Colorado to highlight Romney`s archaic
stance on women`s rights.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My opponent has a
different view. He said he would take the Affordable Care Act and kill it
SCHULTZ: Tonight, Sandra Fluke on the Republican-led war on women.
Mitt Romney has this guy hitting the president on welfare reform.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re calling Mitt Romney a liar?
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you seem
shocked by it, yes.
SCHULTZ: "The Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne is here with the latest.
And Republican golden boy Paul Ryan is on Mitt Romney`s short list.
I`ll tell you why Ryan would be a good pick for Romney, but a better pick
for the Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
A major conservative opinion maker says today is the moment Mitt
Romney lost the election? It all started with a television commercial, a
new ad by the pro Obama super PAC features the story of a former Missouri
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, POLITICAL AD)
SOPTIC: I don`t think Mitt Romney understands what he`s done to
people`s lives by closing the plant. I don`t think he realizes that
people`s lives completely changed.
When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care.
And my family lost their health care. And a short time after that, my wife
I don`t know how long she was sick. And I think maybe she didn`t say
anything because she knew that we couldn`t afford the insurance. And then
one day, she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County hospital
and admitted her for pneumonia. That`s when they found the cancer.
And by then, it was stage four. There was nothing they could do for
her. And she passed away in 22 days.
I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he`s done to anyone. And
furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Reaction from the right wing has been predictable. On FOX
News today, several personalities said the Democrats were accusing Mitt
Romney of murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
PETER JOHNSON, JR., FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: What we`re seeing is a
morally bankrupt charge of murder, and it really couldn`t be imagined or
envisioned in any free state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They actually with a straight face attempt to make
this argument which is beneath contempt and does not deserve a dignified
STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: The impression is after you watch it, Mitt
Romney kind of killed that guy`s wife.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: If you think this ad says Mitt Romney killed a woman, you`re
missing the point and the whole argument, the way this is being played out.
This ad is a testimonial from one individual. Joe Soptic believes his life
was affected negatively by Mitt Romney`s business activities. Right
wingers call the ad slanderous.
But here is what we know for sure. In 1993, Bain Capital became the
majority shareholder of GST Steel. By 1995, Bain added more than $100
million in debt to the company. Mitt Romney left to run the Olympics in
1999 but remained CEO and chairman of Bain. By 2001, GST Steel declared
bankruptcy. Its plant in Kansas City was closed.
From 1993 to 2001, Bain Capital made at least $9 million in profit
from GST steel. Bain lost nothing.
But Joe Soptic lost his job and his insurance. Joe`s wife had a job,
but she lost it a couple years later along with her insurance.
Now, we have no idea if Joe`s wife would be alive if Joe had kept his
job at GST Steel. But we do know this. We know how Joe feels.
And Joe Soptic is not backing down from his opinion, despite the
criticism from the right wing. He told CNN today, "That`s the way I feel.
Mitt Romney is a very rich man. I don`t think he has any concept as to how
when you close a big company, how it affects people. How it affects
families and communities. You know, it affects everyone."
We`re not going to deny this worker, this American worker, Joe Soptic,
his opinion. Voters should be able to make their own decision about Mitt
Romney`s business activities. And what they mean if he becomes president
of the United States.
I believe Mitt Romney`s business history cuts right to the heart of
what he brings to the table economically to this country if he`s president.
The Soptics got stuck in the backwash of an economic model where the rich
benefit at the expense of workers in this country and everyone else.
Mitt Romney`s campaign knows how bad this is. Today, his spokeswoman
went on FOX News and tried to defend Romney`s policies by bringing up
health care reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA SAUL, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: To that point, you know, if people had
been in Massachusetts under Governor Romney`s health care plan, they would
have had health care. There are a lot of people losing their jobs and
losing their health care in President Obama`s economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right, now, let`s back up a second here. Joe Soptic`s
wife would have had health care if she lived in Massachusetts. Thanks to
The United States now has the same health care plan as the state of
Massachusetts. But here`s what Mitt Romney wants to do with the U.S.
health care plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What the court did not do on
its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of
the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, the true leader of the Republican Party was not happy
when he heard the comments from Romney`s spokeswoman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: Oh, there`s -- that`s the potential gold mine for the
Obamaites, because they can say, well, yeah, and Romneycare was the
foundation for our plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Right wingers across the Internet also freaked out about the
Romney camp`s statement, conservative blogger Erick Erickson wrote, "Oh, my
God, this might just be the moment Mitt Romney lost the election. Wow."
This is why the story of someone like Joe Soptic is so very powerful.
The conditions leading to his wife`s death were brought on by a system that
did not account for the most vulnerable among us in the society who lose
their jobs and don`t recycle back into the economy at the same level.
Barack Obama himself has told this story before from a very personal
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: When my mom got cancer, she wasn`t a wealthy woman, and it
pretty much drained all her resources.
MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: She developed ovarian cancer, never
really had good, consistent insurance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: As of 2014, all Americans will have access to affordable
health care in this country. Mitt Romney, he wants to get rid of that.
Joe Soptic`s story is not about character assassination. It`s a real
life story. Joe and his family, they`re not alone. There`s a lot of
Soptics out there across America and that`s what Republicans are in denial
about. This election will decide whether there will be more stories like
Joe and his family or fewer.
And I think for media people out there across the country to get on
their high horse and say, well, the Obama team, they need to disavow
themselves from this ad.
Really? No, they need to embrace it. This is what is happening
across America to workers who lose their jobs thanks to the vultures at the
top who want to make more profit.
We`ve got a culture in this country now that we treat workers like
furniture. We move them around and when we get rid of them, we get rid of
it. Let me tell you something, folks -- this is what this election is all
about. This is what Barack Obama`s presidency has been all about, to get
more people covered so the Soptic story isn`t commonplace in America.
What`s the plan for the Republicans? Well, you heard it today from
Romney`s spokeswoman. She said that that person would have health care if
she had lived in Massachusetts. Then Mitt Romney says he`s going to repeal
health care and strike it down. Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?
No, this is a perfect ad at the perfect time and this is exactly what
this election is all about. The haves and the have-nots, who calls the
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: Are Republican economic policies dangerous for
working class Americans? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can
leave a comment at our blog as well. We encourage that at Ed.MSNBC.com.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
I`m joined tonight by Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers
Mr. Gerard, great to have you with us tonight.
Is story common place? Does it ring true for a lot of people in this
country that work with their hands?
LEO GERARD, UNITED STEELWORKERS: It rings absolutely true, Ed. I
want to try to tie the two pieces together. The business model that Mitt
Romney has promoted is one where he makes a lot of wealth at the expense of
all the people.
As we talk about at G.S. Steel, Joe Septic was one of our members and
we tried like crazy to save the plant, but they were determined, that
model, the Bain model, the Romney model, they were determined to load this
company up with debt, put basically a noose around the corporation`s neck
so that when the economy started to go sideways, they put the company in
bankruptcy. They fired all the workers, similar to what they did to Ampad,
similar to what they did in facilities in Florida.
And in America, when you lose your job, you lose your health care.
That`s what President Obama is trying to fix.
SCHULTZ: Now, after hearing Joe`s story, Mr. Gerard, do you think
this is below the belt? I mean, the use of the story in an ad, how they
say it`s scurrilous, it`s slanderous?
GERARD: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I think this is a story
that Joe Soptic has about what it did to him and his family. And there`s
probably many, many other people like that who have had their lives
destroyed, had their families destroyed, had removed the inability to get
health care, remove the inability of able to send their kids to college
because we`ve outsourced and offshored literally millions of jobs in this
SCHULTZ: And what do you say to those right wingers who were saying,
well, she got sick three years after that plant was closed. My answer to
that is he didn`t work for the next 20 years if he`d been given a chance.
GERARD: Look, Joe and many others would have worked their 30, 35 and
40 years and they would have decent health care and they had decent
pensions and they would have a chance to send their kids to school. The
Bain Capital, Romney capital, the Romney economic model is one where they
get wealthy at the expense of everyday working folks.
And again, Ed, only in America of the major industrialized countries
when you lose your job, do you lose your health care. That`s what
President Obama has fixed, and that`s what`s making these guys apoplectic.
The fact is, the matter is, we`ve got to understand that the
Bain/Romney model of getting wealth, wealth accumulation, is one that
destroys other people`s lives. And if he was so sure of what he has done,
let him stand before those people. If he`s got so many millions of
dollars, why didn`t he leave those people with their health care? It
wouldn`t matter much to him, he was already a multimillionaire.
And, again, let me just say, he ought to show his taxes to see where
he made his money.
SCHULTZ: All right. Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
GERARD: My pleasure. I am ticked off about it.
SCHULTZ: Well, a lot of Americans are.
Now, let`s turn to Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and
editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group.
Howard, the politics of this -- was this a big misstep by the Romney
camp in their response to the ad to compare it to health care in
Massachusetts, the very health care plan that now if he`s president, he
wants to strike down, Mitt Romney?
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP: Well, I think it was a
telling response, a revealing one, and I think a problematic one for the
Romney campaign. Democrats and others who support President Obama are
asking -- well, wait a minute, do you, Mr. Romney, believe that everybody
should have access to health care, be guaranteed access to health care?
Because you`re sort of saying that this person would have had it in
Whereas on the right, as you pointed out, a lot of commentators and
people in the Tea Party are apoplectic saying, hey, wait a minute, the
Romney camp sounds like it secretly likes Romneycare. So which is it?
And I think the fact that Andrea Saul, who is pretty high up in the
hierarchy there in Boston, having been up there, I know how it operates.
She wasn`t free-lancing, I don`t think. I think she was giving a defense
that reveals the contradictions in Mitt Romney`s career and in his
SCHULTZ: But it seems like they were really caught flat-footed by
this and didn`t have the proper response for it because it`s such a true
story. I mean, this isn`t a political shot at somebody. This is exactly
what happened to a guy who lost his job and what happened to his family.
FINEMAN: Right, and it was an interesting response by the Romney
camp, because as I say, it reveals the contradictions in his candidacy and
in Mitt Romney`s career. Which is he? Is he the guy who at one point
essentially made a commitment to seeing that everybody in Massachusetts had
access to health care? Or is he the guy who wants to get rid of Obamacare,
which is essentially the same thing?
SCHULTZ: Howard Fineman --
FINEMAN: That`s why conservatives are upset and why the left is
SCHULTZ: All right. Howard Fineman, great to have you with us.
Thanks so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow and on Facebook. We want
to know what you think on this issue.
Sandra Fluke introduces the president today in Colorado. Next, Sandra
joins us to talk about the election, women voters, and Rush Limbaugh. Stay
SCHULTZ: Coming up, President Obama heads to Colorado and turns the
focus on women`s issues. Sandra Fluke, one of the women at the center of
the fight for women`s rights was with the president today and is my
exclusive guest next.
And Newt Gingrich defends Mitt Romney`s lie about the president`s new
welfare policy. I`ll ask E.J. Dionne of "The Washington Post" how far
Republicans can take the latest lie.
And Michigan is the latest state to block the vote. We`ll tell you
what caused some voters to be turned away from the polls last night in the
Share your thoughts on Twitter and on Facebook using #EdShow.
We`re coming right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIEEO CLI)
OBAMA: When it comes to a woman`s right to make her own health care
choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s
than the 21st century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama on the campaign trail today in Denver,
Colorado, hitting Republicans on their approach to women`s health care.
This comes just a week after expanded coverage for women took effect under
the Affordable Care Act -- preventive care, contraception, cancer
screenings and counseling are now more accessible for millions of women at
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I don`t think your boss should get to control the health care
that you get. I don`t think insurance companies should control the care
that you get. I don`t think politicians should control the care that you
get. I think there`s one person to make these decisions on health care,
and that is you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president was introduced by Georgetown law school
graduate Sandra Fluke. Congressional Republicans blocked Fluke from
testifying about contraception coverage earlier this year. After giving
her testimony before a House Democratic panel, Rush Limbaugh attacked this
American, calling her a prostitute.
Now, Limbaugh wants credit for his insults.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: When I say the name Sandra Fluke, what`s the first thing
that pops out of your mind? When you mention her name, my name is what
most people think of. I should be getting a finder`s fee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Today, Ms. Fluke welcomed the president`s support after she
was smeared by Limbaugh and had words for Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA FLUKE, WOMEN`S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Mr. Romney could only say that
those weren`t the words he would have chosen. Well, Mr. Romney, you`re not
going to be the candidate we choose. Because if Mr. Romney can`t stand up
to extreme voices in his own party, then we know he`ll never stand up for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Sandra Fluke tonight, attorney and women`s
rights activist who hit the campaign trail earlier today with President
Sandra, nice to have you with us tonight. You`re in the mix of it
right now, there`s no doubt.
Krista Kafer, the director of Colorado`s Future Project, which is a
conservative group, says that President Obama`s approach to women voters is
insulting. And she called your presence at today`s event a side show.
What is your reaction to that?
FLUKE: That`s just completely incorrect. President Obama was in
Colorado today and I was there to try to talk to the women of Colorado
about the important choice that we have in this election -- a choice
between a president who has already helped to move us forward on women`s
access to preventive care and to health care and making sure that`s
affordable for all of us, versus a candidate who is absolutely promised to
take us backward, to kill Obamacare dead, to defund Planned Parenthood.
And that`s why we were there, to make sure that it was clear that this
Affordable Care Act has economic consequences for women and is so vital to
both our health security and our economic security as well.
SCHULTZ: There`s a misconception out there, I believe, that women`s
health care is just about contraception and reproductive rights. How do
you change that point of view? How do you change that thinking?
FLUKE: I think we all have to talk to those women that we know and
all of the voters we know to make sure they understand that the Affordable
Care Act has delivered so many services for women, well women visits,
screening for gestational diabetes when we`re pregnant, you know, cancer
screenings, HIV screenings, all of the essential Affordable Health Care
that we need.
And I think it`s also important we begin to talk about it not just as
an issue for women but as an issue for all of us, because women`s health
affects the health of the children they bear and it affects the economic
security of the entire family when a woman is able to afford the care she
SCHULTZ: Sandra, a new poll out shows President Obama is trailing
Mitt Romney in Colorado, but he`s still ahead with women voters. How
confident are you that the swing state women are going to be coming out,
supporting this president in November, which many people, analysts are
saying this could be a huge factor in the election.
FLUKE: Yes. I have to say that after today, I`m feeling very
confident. You can tell from some of the footage that you played that that
was a packed auditorium and those people were fired up.
And you know, the biggest applause and the biggest cheers were when I
talked about what the Affordable Care Act does. When I talked about that
women will not be required to pay more for the same insurance just because
they`re a woman, and the auditorium goes crazy -- those are people who
really understand what a difference these policies make in their lives and
they`re ready to fight for a president who has fought for them.
SCHULTZ: Side show of all this, Rush Limbaugh wants a finder`s fee
for putting you in the limelight. I think he`s probably mixing up his
facts when it comes to just exactly how you splashed on the national scene.
It was the Democrats, if I recall, who asked you to testify in front of a
committee and you were denied by Darrell Issa.
But Limbaugh wants a finder`s fee because his name is associated with
you. Any words for him? What are you thoughts?
FLUKE: I really think it`s an interesting request to ask to take
credit for the voice of a woman you tried to silence. I don`t think that`s
going to work out well. The women of America are speaking out about these
policies, not because of anything that Mr. Limbaugh has done but because
they really care about access to the health care they need and they care
about all of us having that health care.
SCHULTZ: Sandra Fluke, good to have you with us tonight on THE ED
SHOW. Thanks so much.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, this could be a new low -- if there is one. A
new low for Newt Gingrich. He used to be one of Romney`s biggest critics.
Now, he`s become Romney`s biggest fan. Find out why.
Then, Congressman Paul Ryan and his immoral budget are at the top of
Romney`s V.P. short list. Both Democrats and Republicans are saying go,
baby, go. We like this one. Our panel will weigh in on that.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching.
The Romney campaign is standing by its welfare whopper. In fact, Mitt
Romney is unleashing the perfect political junk yard dog to defend his
latest big lie.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has suddenly become a Romney
spokesperson. Gingrich is defending Romney`s claim that President Obama is
relaxing welfare to work requirements. The Romney campaign, camp, has
started running this ad in heavy rotation nationwide. The ad which we
won`t show because, you know, look, it`s blatantly untrue. Why do it?
It claims President Obama is gutting welfare and handing out checks to
people who don`t want to work.
Almost every major news outlet debunked the ad within hours of its
Here are the facts: Republican governors have asked for more
flexibility and power in handing out temporary assistance money in their
states. Romney was one of the governors who was asked for the reform.
Now, governors in Utah and Nevada plan to use this new waiver being
offered by the Obama administration. Both governors told Greg Sargent of
"The Washington Post" that they would not reduce the welfare to work
requirements in their states. The Republicans are left with no substance
to make the argument.
So they are just relying on pure politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: Unless you made it a mandatory work requirement, it would
get waived to a point where it became a joke. And I think this is a very
real issue. The American people overwhelmingly believe in the work ethic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, there you have the real argument. If Republicans can
give the waivers to Republican governors and destroy the safety net, it`s
OK. But if President Obama requires states to prove they are moving people
from welfare to work, that`s not good enough.
Let`s turn to MSNBC contributor and "Washington Post" columnist E.J.
Dionne, author of the book, "Our Divided Political Heart."
E.J., great to have you with us tonight. I do want to point out that
the vast majority of states in this country are running deficits. And if
you turn money over to governors with a waiver, the last thing they want to
do is hand it out to people who don`t want to work. So I don`t understand
the conservative argument on this at all. Maybe you can shed some light on
E.J. DIONNE, AUTHOR, "OUR DIVIDED POLITICAL HEART": I wish I could
understand the argument, Ed. First, it`s great to have you back, and love
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
DIONNE: You`re welcome. You know, there are three big problems with
what Romney did. As you pointed out, the ad itself is based on a lie.
This does not get rid of the work requirement. Ron Haskins, my Brookings
Institution colleague, who`s a Republican architect of this plan, we`ve
been arguing about this stuff for years, says waivers have always been part
of making welfare reform work.
So that`s the first problem. The second is states` rights. I mean
you have two Republican governors out of the five who asked for this,
Governors Reed and Sandoval, and they`re not about to gut welfare rules.
These are not some left-wing folks.
The third problem with the ad is that he uses Bill Clinton. Now, if
you quote and try to identify with a Democratic president who is no longer
around, like FDR or Harry Truman or JFK --
SCHULTZ: You can get away with it.
DIONNE: Yes. But Bill Clinton happens to be around which is
inconvenient for the Romney campaign and he`s come along and said wait a
minute, this isn`t true. Don`t try to identify yourself with me. So I
don`t -- I mean I get what they`re trying to do. They`re trying to suggest
that Obama wants to give money away to people who don`t work. And you
know, that`s a political argument, but it has nothing to do with what Obama
SCHULTZ: Is Newt Gingrich the best spokesperson for Romney? It seems
like Newt is taking on this assignment so he can get back in good if
somehow Romney wins the White House because he was the one that was
trashing him the most during the primaries.
What do you make of this?
DIONNE: Well, I think it is smart. Newt can come back in because he
was the speaker when welfare reform passed. So that theoretically gives
him some standing to enter into this argument. And we haven`t heard much
from Newt lately, so it`s a kind of natural issue for him to jump in on.
And he`d love nothing better. He called President Obama the food -- the
best food stamp president that we ever had.
DIONNE: So this is a continuation of the same last fall`s argument.
SCHULTZ: But this really plays into old racial politics about
poverty, doesn`t it?
DIONNE: Right. Well, you know, this is really surprising because one
of the things -- I had my own qualms about this welfare reform bill. I
would have voted against it and passed something that was more generous to
the poor, but one of the advantages of it is it really did get rid of that
stigma of welfare that you were giving away money to people who didn`t
work. And I think for a long time, welfare has really not been an issue in
our politics, and the Republicans clearly miss it as an issue and so Romney
is trying to use these new HHS rules to act as if it`s revived as an issue.
But the fact is we still have a welfare to work system, and Obama
isn`t about to get rid of it.
SCHULTZ: And finally, have we ever seen a campaign lie this much?
DIONNE: You know, I was thinking about that, Ed. And I`ve covered a
lot of campaigns and a lot of pretty vicious campaigns, but it does seem, I
mean, the way Romney kind of takes Obama`s statements and clips out the
heart of them and strings together sentences --
SCHULTZ: They`ve taken it to a new level?
DIONNE: Yes, I think this -- It think really this is a new level.
And I`m not giving to saying stuff like that.
SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
DIONNE: Great to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: A lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If Mitt Romney asks you to run as his vice
president, would you agree to do so?
SCHULTZ: Everyone loves Paul Ryan for vice president. Coming up, the
panel weighs in on why Ryan is a good choice for Republicans and Democrats.
And the goals of Republicans are clear.
MIKE TURZAI, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER: Voter I.D. which
is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.
SCHULTZ: They will do whatever it takes to suppress the Democratic
vote. Former Ohio Congressman John Boccieri on how to stop voter
suppression in its tracks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. With only 90 days to go until
the election, both Democrats and Republicans seem to be warming up to the
thought of Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin as Romney`s vice
Republicans love Ryan because he`s young, popular, hard-line
conservative. Picking him would show Romney is serious about making
conservative choices when he`s often viewed as a moderate. Meanwhile,
Democrats are jumping to the myth, jumping on the Paul Ryan bandwagon for
the same reasons. His budget is so controversial, the Ryan plan, that the
Catholic bishops described it as immoral.
It completely guts Medicaid and dismantles the -- the social safety
net. And as we`ve reported here on THE ED SHOW time and time again,
Americans don`t like Republicans gutting their social safety net. Paul
Ryan is a good choice for Republicans, but I think he is a great choice for
For more let`s turn to Democratic strategist Keith Boykin. Also with
us tonight, Republican strategist Susan Del Percio and Democratic
strategist Michael Murphy.
Great to have all of you with us tonight.
I`ll start with you, Susan. Would this be risky business for Mitt
Romney if he were to pick Paul Ryan based on the reaction that was out
there when the Ryan plan was presented and the way it is just so out of the
main stream from what Americans are used to when you start talking about
vouchers on health care?
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, to back it up, your
promo was right. I think that there`s a lot of conservatives out there
that like Paul Ryan, that would like to see him. However, politically
speaking, he will not be -- I cannot see how he can possibly be on the
SCHULTZ: Why not?
DEL PERCIO: Because he`s too divisive. And this is not -- this
should not be an election about Paul Ryan or any of the -- frankly some of
the other high-profile people that were mentioned as a possible VP. If
Romney is going to be successful, it`s got to be a referendum on Barack
Obama and he cannot get into a back and forth with people on his own
ticket. They should not be deciding how they get along or disagree if they
really need to be united against President Obama, if they`re going to win.
SCHULTZ: But he may have a hard time coalescing the conservative
base. Ryan would take care of all that.
DEL PERCIO: And also cause other issues where no one is going to
question Rob Portman`s credentials.
SCHULTZ: Mike, what do you think?
MICHAEL MURPHY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, four years ago, it
was all Sarah Palin from September into Election Day. The best you can say
about Paul Ryan is he`s not a hockey mom. Democrats are dying for Ryan
because this is -- we talk about his business experience, which is the --
which is the mantra of the Romney campaign.
His business experience as I understand it is a paper route and he
worked for the family company. He`s always been on the public payroll,
albeit Congress then and in other positions, but this is not somebody who I
really think complements the Romney theme and message.
KEITH BOYKIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I mean, Newt Gingrich, I
think, was the one who said that Paul Ryan`s budget was the equivalent of
right-wing social engineering. You know, this is -- Newt Gingrich, one of
your chief conservatives, saying this. You have a guy who proposes this
budget which basically eviscerates Medicare, turns it into a voucher
program. Tells senior citizens you`re on your own, and this is the guy
that the Republicans want to put up against Barack Obama and Joe Biden? I
think it`s a wonderful idea for Democrats.
DEL PERCIO: I don`t think you`re seeing many Republican strategist or
people out there involved in politics saying this is a very good idea. I
mean he --
BOYKIN: "The Weekly Standard" said that.
DEL PERCIO: But you know what, I will say -- although I will tell you
this, at least he put forward a budget unlike our Democratic counterparts
in the Senate who haven`t been able to vote on a budget in over 1,000 days.
BOYKIN: Well --
DEL PERCIO: At least he puts something, and that`s the debate. But
here`s the point, and here`s the exact point, my forewarning should not be
on it. This conversation, that should not be what we`re going to talk
about in this presidential race because if that`s the case, Romney will
lose. So I understand why Democrats want him on the ticket, but that`s why
I think it won`t happen.
MURPHY: There`s a lot of bad ideas coming out of the Romney campaign,
one of which was to go to London and trash the Olympics. You know so that
-- I don`t know what to expect, frankly, but as I said, we`re dying for
BOYKIN: Romney`s problem is bigger than any vice presidential nominee
is going to be able to solve. So whether it`s Paul Ryan or Tim Pawlenty,
he`s going to pick somebody who`s safe and boring, I assume. But if he
picks Paul Ryan, maybe it shows a little bit courage in his part, that he`s
willing to try to do that, but the reality is the Republican Party is
beholden to the conservatives, the Tea Party group, the people who want to
move our country into this radical right-wing direction.
So at some point, Romney is going to suck up to that group and do
something to give them something. And whether it`s at the convention or
before the convention of the nominee -- nomination, Romney is beholden to
the GOP right-wing. He`s got to --
SCHULTZ: Susan, you`ve got a lefty just selling you on this. Why
can`t you buy it?
DEL PERCIO: I just can`t. I mean the fact is, well, someone argued
that Romney moved to the right and did all that to win the nomination, and
that he`s supposed to tack back like Democrats did in 2008. They had to go
left to win the nomination and tack back to the center to win the election.
SCHULTZ: Well, who`s putting his name up on the short list then?
DEL PERCIO: I don`t know.
SCHULTZ: I mean, the hard right-wing loves the guy.
DEL PERCIO: It`s a great conversation.
SCHULTZ: They want to fundamentally change the big three. Social
security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And this guy has put forth a -- this guy
has put forth a budget that would take us down that road.
DEL PERCIO: Is there anyone out there who doesn`t say that we need to
make reforms at some level to those three things?
SCHULTZ: Not those radical reforms, to privatize.
DEL PERCIO: No, but I mean --
SCHULTZ: And that`s what they don`t want to do.
DEL PERCIO: But that`s a conversation to be had. Now if you -- you
know, some people don`t want Paul Ryan`s plan, that`s all right, but again
bringing it back to what we were talking about about why he does not belong
on the --
SCHULTZ: Keith, wouldn`t the money people who are supporting Romney
want somebody that`s going to take them down this road?
BOYKIN: Of course, but Romney has got all the money in the world.
BOYKIN: He doesn`t really need any money right now. So -- you know,
the bigger problem, though, with Paul Ryan is that he represents everything
that was bad about the Bush administration. Paul Ryan was there in
Congress when they voted for the two wars. They voted for the prescription
drug program that wasn`t funded. They voted for the -- all the different
expenses that came on the Bush administration.
And he voted for the TARP program which was started in the Bush
administration. He voted for the auto bailout --
DEL PERCIO: Are we really go to going there?
BOYKIN: Yes. No --
DEL PERCIO: That`s where you want to take this? That`s all that
Barack Obama has done? Are you telling me that --
BOYKIN: No, no, no. Let me -- let me just say this --
DEL PERCIO: Go back to Bush?
BOYKIN: He voted for 94 percent of the Bush administration agenda.
So in addition to -- in addition to his pivot to the right where now he`s
got this right-wing agenda in terms of the Ryan budget plan, he`s also got
this legacy in the white -- in the Congress as this Bush administration
basically flack. And I think that`s going to hurt him, too. I don`t think
MURPHY: Ed, Ed, if I may, Susan is suggesting, say, Romney/Portman,
and that`s the equivalent of dull and duller. Why not Chris Christie? If
you want some personality in the ticket, you know, Chris Christie is one of
the great --
BOYKIN: Ann Coulter said if you -- if you don`t run Chris Christie,
we`ll end up with Mitt Romney as a nominee and we`ll lose. That`s what Ann
Coulter predicted and that`s the situation we`re in right now.
SCHULTZ: Susan, do you -- let`s just say that Romney does pick Paul
Ryan. Do you think -- you won`t buy it, but let`s just say he does. Do
you think that that could cost the Republicans the House and the Senate?
DEL PERCIO: I think it`d be very problematic, absolutely, in both the
House and the Senate, and that perhaps could be another reason why they
don`t choose him. You know --
SCHULTZ: Who would be your pick?
DEL PERCIO: Portman. I think mostly because --
SCHULTZ: Bush baggage?
DEL PERCIO: The reason -- what Romney needs now mostly is someone who
he`s going to be perceived as being comfortable with. There`s a lot of,
you know, stuff being said about him that he doesn`t seem comfortable in
his own skin, and to some degree that is true. So he`s -- the most
important credential he has is making sure that the person he picks is
DEL PERCIO: And then also who he is comfortable with, who could be a
SCHULTZ: I`m going to sell Ryan to you one more time. Didn`t Mitt
Romney sign off on the Ryan plan, saying that he would endorse it?
DEL PERCIO: OK. Let -- I`ll respond to it. If you`re saying that
Paul Ryan is probably the best thing for the Republicans, I`m saying that`s
probably not a good thing for Republicans.
BOYKIN: Twenty-six congressional district in New York because of Paul
Ryan. Cathy Hochul won that race because of Paul Ryan --
SCHULTZ: That was a hot news story at the time.
SCHULTZ: I like that a lot of exposure, no doubt.
SCHULTZ: Keith Boykin, Susan Del Percio, Michael Murphy, great to
have you with us. Thanks so much.
Coming up, Republicans aren`t letting up when it comes to voter
suppression. Michigan is just the latest state trying to block the vote.
I`ll explain, stay with us.
SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked, are Republican economic
policies dangerous for the working class Americans? Ninety-eight percent
of you said yes, 2 percent of you said no.
Still to come, Republicans are pulling out all the stops to block the
vote. Former Ohio Congressman John Boccieri weighs in on the fight for
early voting rights for all residents in his state coming up.
And don`t forget, you can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio
Chanel 1227, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. and on progressive
talk stations around the country, follow me on Twitter @Edshow, then like
the ED SHOW on Facebook. We`re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Breaking news at this hour. A major leadership shakeup with
the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Founder Nancy Brinker will step down as CEO
but stay with the group in another management role.
Komen`s president two board members will leave the organization.
Brinker founded the organization in 1992 after sister Susan G. Komen died
of breast cancer. Controversy surrounded the group earlier this year after
it announced it would pull funds from Planned Parenthood.
After public outrage Komen reinstated those funds but the damage had
already been done. We will continue to follow the story and bring you the
Coming up, the GOP goes all out to try and block the vote. I`ll ask
former congressman John Boccieri what can be done to stop it. Stay with
SCHULTZ: And to the big finish tonight. The Republican effort to
block the vote, it just continues. It`s their top priority. We have seen
the GOP legislative efforts to suppress the Democratic voting blocks in a
numbers of states this season. We`ve told you about Florida, Pennsylvania,
Now it`s Michigan where there are reports of voters being turned away
because they refuse to check a box asking them about their citizenship on
the ballot. The Republican-led state legislature passed a bill requiring
voters to affirm citizenship. But Governor Rick Snyder, he vetoed it. A
rare good thing for him. Citing potential confusion among voters. Well,
that confusion was evident at the polls last night.
During the Michigan primary, as poll workers actually argued with
voters who refused to check a box that they are not legally required to do.
All these efforts are aimed at suppressing the vote in order to stop the
so-called voter fraud. The problem is voter fraud doesn`t exist.
Republicans can`t get elected on their agenda of slashing Medicare,
Medicaid and Social Security. They can`t get elected on advocating for tax
cuts for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class.
So what do they do? Well, they resort to voter suppression through
the legislative process at the state level. The Romney campaign has signed
on to the strategy as we have told you. They have been spreading the lie
that the Obama campaign is trying to deny the right of active military
service men and women in Ohio from early voting.
The exact opposite is the truth. The Obama campaign is trying to
expand early voting for all registered voters, including military
personnel. I`m joined tonight by John Boccieri, former Ohio congressman,
lieutenant colonel and instructor pilot in the Air Force reserve. He also
worked with the Obama re-election campaign.
John, good to see you again. Good to have you with us. I am --
JOHN BOCCIERI, FORMER CONGRESSMAN (D), OHIO: Thanks, Ed, for having
SCHULTZ: You bet. I`m really surprised that there are 15 military
groups that are intervening in this lawsuit in Ohio, which the Obama
campaign has filed. And they`re siding with Mitt Romney. What`s the
disconnect here? Are they misguided?
BOCCIERI: Well, it`s a shame that the Republicans are using our
veterans groups as cover fire for their true mission, which I believe is to
roll back early voting in Ohio. And the irony of this whole thing, Ed, is
that those same veterans, nearly a million of them, and military members`
families, those who are currently serving on active duty or in the reserves
are not going to be able to early vote because of the efforts of the
Republicans in the state legislature.
They essentially rolled back what was in place in the 2008 election
because of the success of the program.
SCHULTZ: You think that this is a hang[over from measure two, because
the get out to vote effort was so strong, and then the Republican
legislature in Ohio went to work to try to suppress the vote?
BOCCIERI: No question. In fact, one third of all the votes that were
cast in 2008 were by in-person early voting. And in two of the largest
counties in Ohio, Cuyahoga County and Franklin County, in the last three
days of the election, nearly 20 percent of all the votes that were cast
were early votes.
So it`s very clear that this has been a coordinated, precise action by
the Republicans as if it was a joint military effort across the country to
try to roll back voting rights. Whether you`re in Florida, whether you`re
in Michigan or Pennsylvania, we have seen this act before. In Ohio, let me
add this one point, Ed, they even tried to pass a bill that suggested if
you showed up at the wrong precinct, you couldn`t be told which was the
right precinct to go to involved. It`s outrageous.
SCHULTZ: Why are Republicans attacking these labor-rich states? I
have a theory that of course the labor movement in this country has got
tremendous infrastructure. They could get boots on the ground, so they`ve
got to put strength again strength to try to suppress the vote where the
labor rich states workers are. What do you think of that?
BOCCIERI: Well, I think it`s an outrage. And for someone like myself
who`s actually flown ballots into Baghdad and watched the Iraqis perform
their own Democracy and elections by dipping a finger in ink. And that was
how they, you know, discounted fraud. We see this coordinated effort to
try to push people away from the polls. The facts are that it was a razor
thin election in 2004. Nearly 100,000 votes separated John Kerry from
becoming president and President Bush being re-elected. And that`s about
ironically how many votes would be counted in the last three days of
election if they roll back early in-person voting. We have to support the
president`s -- his lawsuit here that is going to restore early voting for
everybody, including the military families, for the million veterans in
Ohio and restore some sanity in our election process back in the state.
SCHULTZ: Obviously, there`s going to be a court ruling probably next
week, we`re told, August 15th. But what can be done to stop all of this
outside of that?
BOCCIERI: Well, if you believe in what we`ve been talking about, is
that everybody who is a registered voter in Ohio and has the ability to
vote early should be able to do that all the way up until the election. It
worked in 2008. There was no reason why the legislature took this action
to roll it back other than to suppress the vote.
So if you can go online, go to votevets.org and sign our petition, and
help us support veterans restoring their right to exercise early voting
privileges in the state, and hopefully follow this some track this as the
president`s lawsuit is heard in the courts.
SCHULTZ: John Boccieri, good to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight.
Thanks so much. Keep up the fight. Thank you.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. The "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, and that story that you
were just covering there with the former congressman, we got more on that
ahead this hour. It`s really important stuff. Thanks, man.
SCHULTZ: It`s a big one. Thank you, Rachel.
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