updated 8/10/2012 10:45:35 AM ET 2012-08-10T14:45:35

Guests: Michael Kinsley, Chris Kofinis, Jon Bramnick, John Hlinko, Michelle Goldberg, Simone Campbell, Ari Berman, Nina Turner

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

Eighty-nine days until the 2012 election. The Obama super PAC
commercial that everybody is talking about has Mitt Romney whining,
Republicans are on defense and Ann Coulter is calling for the head of
Romney`s spokesperson? Gosh, it`s getting interesting.

All that and Harry Reid is starting to reveal more information about
his source. I`m loving it. Hope you are too.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the past when people
pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns either pulled the
ad, they were embarrassed.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The debate over the Joe Soptic ad hits fever
pitch. Mitt Romney is crying foul in a stunning display of hypocrisy.

ROMNEY: Today, they just blast ahead.

SCHULTZ: Journalist Michael Kinsley says the ad is fair game and he
joins us tonight.

Newt Gingrich admits Romney`s welfare commercial is full of holes.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have no proof
today.

SCHULTZ: Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis agrees and he`s here to
set the Mittster straight tonight.

ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend.

SCHULTZ: Romney thinks (AUDIO GAP) when it comes to releasing his
tax returns, Mitt says he`s not a business. The big panel weighs in on the
Romney reverse.

And the Romney camp is out with yet another lie.

AD NARRATOR: President Obama used his health care plan to declare
war on religion.

SCHULTZ: Plus, the nuns on a bus challenge Mitt to spend a day on
tour.

Sister Simone Campbell tells us why Mitt Romney needs to be educated
on America`s poor.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Mitt Romney finally responded to a pro-Obama super PAC ad after
getting hammered by members of his own party. The ad features former
steelworker Joe Soptic. It tells Joe`s story after he was laid off from a
plant closed by Bain Capital.

Romney went on right wing radio today and called the ad inaccurate.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ROMNEY: You know, in the past when people pointed out that something
was inaccurate, why, campaigns either pulled the ad -- they were
embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Really? Mitt Romney wants campaigns to pull inaccurate
ads?

Someone should ask Mitt Romney why he didn`t pull this campaign ad.
President Obama is quoting John McCain, but the Romney camp edits it to
make it sound like the president is talking about himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s going to take a
new direction. If we keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Or what about -- what about the ad accusing President Obama
of not visiting Israel, even though only two presidents ever visited Israel
during his first term?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Over the past four years, President Obama has traveled all
over the world. He`s traveled all over the Middle East, yet he hasn`t
found time to visit our ally and friend, Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I don`t remember Mitt Romney asking Karl Rove`s super PAC
to pull this ad, which falsely edits President Obama`s comments about
businesses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: People who`ve worked hard started a business and created
jobs can`t believe what President Obama`s saying about them.

OBAMA: If you got a business, that -- you didn`t build that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, Mitt Romney wants candidates to ask super PACs to pull
ads? But not too long ago, Mitt Romney was singing a much different tune.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The super PACs that are out there running ads, Ron Paul`s,
mine, yours, as you know, that is not my ad. I don`t write that ad, I
can`t tell them not to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: No doubt, Mitt Romney has a double standard about campaign
ads, but what really bothers me and I think a lot of other Americans is
Romney calling Joe Soptic`s ad inaccurate. Here are the only things Joe
Soptic says about Mitt Romney in the super PAC ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SOPTIC, FORMER STEELWORKER: 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. 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: What was that? Those sentences are Joe Soptic`s opinions.
This ad is a testimonial from one worker. Joe Soptic formed opinions about
Mitt Romney based on his treatment as a worker under Romney`s firm.

Now, Mitt Romney wants the Obama campaign to denounce the ad because
Romney doesn`t like Joe Soptic`s opinions? Romney is stuck on defense,
while the Obama supporters are on offense. The right wing, really -- well,
they are not happy about it.

Here`s what Ann Coulter said about Romney`s spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN COULTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Anyone who donates to Mitt
Romney and I mean the big donors ought to call Mitt Romney and say if
Andrea Saul isn`t fired and off the campaign tomorrow, they are not giving
another dime, it is not worth fighting for this man if this is the kind of
spokesman he has.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What in the world did Andrea Saul to do to provoke the
wrath of Ann Coulter? Well, she told the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA SAUL, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: If people had been in Massachusetts
under Governor Romney`s health care plan, they would have had health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yes, universal coverage like the kind in Massachusetts and
the kind passed and signed by President Obama will help people in the
Soptic`s situation.

But conservatives, you see, they can`t handle the truth. They are
working too hard telling lies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: We`re watching and witnessing here --

COULTER: No, I`m serious about this.

HANNITY: I know you`re serious.

COULTER: You`re doing your show.

HANNITY: I agree with you.

COULTER: There`s no point in us going to a convention and pushing
for this man if he`s employing morons like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, I want everybody watching this broadcast to see her
words in writing just to make sure it sinks in, with all of us, including
me.

Ann Coulter said, "There`s no point in you, Sean Hannity, doing your
show. There`s no point in going for the convention and pushing for this
man," meaning Mitt Romney, "if he`s employing morons like this."

I guess morons tell the truth, right? But even Mitt Romney is
starting to talk up his health care record on the stump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: We`ve got to do some reforms in health care and I have some
experience doing that, as you know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, yes, this is why the Joe Soptic ad has Republicans
absolutely scrambling. It puts the GOP in unfamiliar territory and drives
home a very vital point about the middle class in this country.

Put yourself for a moment in Joe Soptic`s shoes, the Soptic family.
With affordable health care coverage, his wife would have had a fighting
chance.

This is a kitchen table issue that hits every American family --
health care. How much it costs, and just how good is it?

And guess who doesn`t have to deal with this, with that kind of a
worry -- the very people who are in Washington who vote on health care
legislation. Health care is dictated by the most secure members of
society. That`s right, three-term senators have it pretty damn good. The
politicians and Beltway types, they don`t experience the problems of people
like Joe Soptic and his family. Middle class workers get it.

I hear it from callers on my radio show every day about how Joe
Soptic`s situation is very relatable to them.

Here`s another thing the middle class workers, I believe, understand
in this country, the idea of workers not being recycled back into the
economy, you know, when Joe Soptic lost his job, well, he was making
$46,000 a year plus benefit at the mill. Six months later, he finally
found another job. It paid him around $15,000 a year as a janitor, no
benefits.

Republicans can whine and complain all they want about this
commercial. But you see, it does not hit below the belt. I think it hits
right in the heart of the problems facing the middle class in this country,
and just a reminder to Democrats out on the stump trying to get elected,
just remember to show your constituents or people you want to have vote for
you, show them the vulture chart. This plays right to the income gap in
this country. The people down on the blue line where their wages have been
for the last 30 years, when they lose their job, they can`t afford health
care -- they`re in the Soptic situation.

But you see, the red liners may get recycled back into the economy,
but they get a cushion, because that`s where their income has been, they
can afford that health care insurance.

I am so glad that this super PAC has done a favor to the American
people in the election cycle here in 2012. It`s about health care. It`s
about a priority. What do we want to do in this country when people get
sick and they can`t have insurance? Because they can`t afford it.

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

Tonight`s question, will Republicans keep lying to get Mitt Romney
elected? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can always go to
our blog and leave a comment at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring the results
later on in the show.

I am joined tonight by MSNBC political analyst, "Bloomberg View"
columnist, Jonathan Alter. Also with us, Michael Kinsley, who is also a
columnist for "Bloomberg View".

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

Michael, we`ll start with you.

Michael, you wrote today that the ad, it may be tough, but it`s not
dishonest. Do you agree that it really puts the focus on the serious
issues, generically speaking, overlooking this whole campaign?

MICHAEL KINSLEY, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Sure, but I think, Ed, we have to
concede that this ad did imply that Romney was in some way responsible for
this woman dying of cancer. But I think you have to say that`s fair, when
you lay off hundreds of people and they are not going to have health
insurance, statistically certain people with health insurance live longer
because they go to the doctor when they get sick. And people without
health insurance don`t.

So, think that conclusion is perfectly fair.

And let me go a little further. I don`t -- I mean, I believe in
capitalism. I believe in free markets. I would not even say for sure that
perhaps -- perhaps this guy -- laying off people in this factory was the
right thing to do, but Romney won`t defend it, like he never defends
anything he`s done that comes under criticism. Instead, he says the buck
doesn`t stop here.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan -- yes, Jonathan Alter, I want to ask you, did the
situation damage the Romney camp with conservatives?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I think it did,
because the conservatives want Romney to retreat all the way from what he
did in Massachusetts, which was the model for Obamacare. Remember, the
House of Representatives has repealed Obamacare 31 times.

If Mitt Romney is elected president, they will repeal it and he will
sign that repeal on the first day of his presidency, the first week of his
presidency, as he has pledged. And I wish the debate would move from this
ad and that ad and, you know, what did Stephanie Cutter know and when did
she know it about Joe Soptic and what was the timeline of when Bain --
Romney left Bain and all the idiotic questions that the press is obsessing
on, and instead what the press should be focused on is what are the
consequences of repeal of Obamacare.

And the consequences, as Mike just indicated, are death. Repeal
equals death. People will die in the United States if Obamacare is
repealed.

That is not an exaggeration. That is not crying fire. It`s a simple
fact.

If you have preexisting conditions and you are thrown off of health
insurance or if you get sick after you or your husband, spouse, loses the
job, you`re not going to go to the doctor as soon, your cancer or disease
is not going to be caught as quickly, and your odds of dying are much, much
increased.

So Obamacare will save, literally, thousands of lives.

SCHULTZ: No doubt.

ALTER: And this is what the debate should be about. Do we, as a
country, want to throw sick Americans to the wolves? People with
preexisting conditions.

SCHULTZ: But we get taken into the arena of political mess when you
have the people on the right saying -- well, they are accusing President
Obama, you know, of murder or accusing Romney of murder on this, and
throwing it back at the Obama people.

Here`s one conservative pundit saying the Romney campaign needs to
fight back harder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE MALKIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Guess what, you know who the
real murderers are in the White House if you want to talk about figurative
murder? How about the Obama jobs death toll?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Michael, who benefits from a debate over who the real
killers are?

KINSLEY: I don`t know who benefits, but the reference to the death
panels is pretty funny. I mean, if anything can be funny on this subject,
you know, the opponents of Obamacare, during the Obamacare debate, went on
and on about how if this happens and that happens, you`re going to have the
equivalent of death panels. Well, if we don`t go through with Obamacare,
there will be death without panels.

SCHULTZ: Well, Jonathan, this has got to renew the discussion about
repealing Obamacare, and you made a very direct point on all of this.

But where does this go from here in the campaign? What do you think
-- I mean, why aren`t the Obama people just embracing this super PAC,
because it tells the very truth about what happens to people when they lose
their jobs in this country.

ALTER: They don`t need to embrace this ad and get into a big fight
about whether they were calling Mitt Romney a murderer or whatever. They
need to move on to a debate about the main issue, which is Obamacare. And
they can bring death into the conversation and say, no, we`re not calling
Mitt Romney a murderer, what we are saying is that if he`s elected
president, a lot of people will die.

Those are two slightly different, but related issues. And to get off
of Bain, get off of the Bain timeline and all the questions surrounding
that, and get on to the main question.

Romney knows that ending discrimination against people with
preexisting conditions is very popular in this country. He`s already
backing away from his support for total repeal, even though he said 100
times during the primaries that he would repeal on day one. So, now as
Romney backs away, it`s up to the Obama campaign to say, hey, wait a
second. I`m sure the president will do this in the debates.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ALTER: Wait a second, you have said all along you want to repeal
this thing, now don`t start talking about how it`s OK if you get cancer in
Massachusetts but you`re on your own if you get cancer somewhere else.

SCHULTZ: Michael, I want to ask you. If health care becomes a main
issue down the stretch of the campaign, will Romney have to defend his
record in Massachusetts? According to his spokesperson, he probably would
have to. But what do you think?

KINSLEY: He seems to be able to getting away with not defending his
record on all sorts of things. As I was saying, the buck doesn`t stop
here. He had nothing to do with any decision at Bain to close a factory.
He has nothing to do with his wife`s horse hobby, he doesn`t even know when
her horse is performing in the Olympics.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

KINSLEY: And so on. I think that`s a tick of his and --

SCHULTZ: Michael Kinsley, Jonathan Alter, great to have you with us.
Thanks so much.

KINSLEY: Thanks.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom
of the screen, share your thoughts on twitter @EdShow and on Facebook. We
always want to know what you think.

Coming up next, another low level -- a new low for Newt Gingrich.
The former speaker is trying to defend Mitt Romney`s latest lie. See him
finally admit the truth when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Newt Gingrich admits the Romney camp has no
proof to back up their claim about President Obama`s new welfare policy,
but it isn`t stopping them from pushing their favorite lie. Republicans
aren`t even trying to hide their voter suppression efforts in the state of
Ohio. We`ll show you how they are rigging the vote ahead of the November
election.

And a group of Catholic nuns are questioning Mitt Romney`s morals
when it comes to policies for the poor. The leader of the nuns on the bus
tour will join me later.

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

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The Republicans favorite attack dog is having a tough time defending
Mitt Romney`s latest lie. It took less than nine hours, pretty comical
here, less than nine hours and two interviews for Newt Gingrich to break
down and admit that Romney`s new welfare ad is simply not true.

The Romney camp started running this ad on Monday, almost every major
news outlet debunked it. Here`s why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare
reform by dropping work requirements.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Totally untrue. In fact, we won`t even show the rest of
the ad, because it`s so packed with lies.

But here`s the truth -- states now do have the power to award
temporary assistance. Republican governors, they asked for this policy
change. Romney himself when he was governor asked for this change. States
still have to fulfill welfare for work requirements. There is no welfare
handout.

Newt Gingrich admits he`s just speculating on what the Obama
administration might do some day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: We have no proof today, but I would say to you under
Obama`s ideology, it is absolutely true that he would be comfortable
sending a lot of people checks for nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Gingrich is stuck defending Romney`s lie, so instead of
talking about the Romney welfare ad, Gingrich is going on the offensive.
Today, he called on President Obama to disavow the Priorities USA ad. We
told you at the top -- told you about it at the top of the show, Gingrich
actually said the candidate should be held accountable.

Here`s the problem, it`s not the president of the United States` ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Priorities USA Action is responsible for the contents of
this advertising.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But Mitt Romney is personally responsible for the welfare
ad. Romney says so himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Newt Gingrich is right about one thing, the candidate
should be held accountable. Let`s bring in Democratic strategist Chris
Kofinis tonight.

Chris, good to have you with us, you`ve been down this road many
times before, the mud slinging back and forth about what`s true and what
isn`t.

Is there a difference between these two political ads?

CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: There`s a huge difference,
legally if nothing else. I mean, legally, you cannot coordinate between an
independent group and a campaign, you`d be breaking the law if you did.
And so, right there, there`s a difference.

And then I would say, just in terms of the message, you know, the
Romney ad, that is their message. That is something that the Romney
campaign approved, that Governor Romney now owns.

The ad that was put out by Priorities USA is not an ad on behalf of
the Obama campaign. It wasn`t put out by the Obama campaign. It was not
funded by the Obama campaign, so there`s a fundamental difference.

But, you know, I find it somewhat ironic, to say the least, when you
think about the fact that -- you think about the fact that Newt Gingrich is
out there defending Governor Romney. What level of Dante`s political hell
has Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney entered?

SCHULTZ: This is what I find so confusing -- why would Newt Gingrich
go out there and talk about welfare when he knows he has to talk about an
ad that admittedly isn`t true? I mean, how stupid is that? Why would he
do that, what`s the upside of doing that?

KOFINIS: You know, this campaign, it is the most puzzling campaign,
to me, the Romney campaign. There`s no message. We`re now about what 90
days out, there`s still no focus. You could literally walk down the street
of any major city or any small town and no one can tell you what Governor
Romney is running for or about.

And so, what has happened is they have to distract. They have to
attack, and it is a puzzling strategy. It`s political malpractice, if
nothing else.

But you see their surrogates are left in this box, what do they tout
Romney`s vision is going to be for the country? They can`t say what it is,
so they have to attack President Obama and in a sense, attack him over
something that is not even true.

SCHULTZ: But it needs to be pointed out, I believe, over and over
again, that Romney endorsed an ad that was totally false about welfare. He
attacked the president. The ad attacked the president, made claims that
simply weren`t true, and then when his lead surrogate, one of his lead
surrogates, Newt Gingrich, goes out on the stump and has to defend it, he
finally breaks down and admits it`s really not true.

I mean, is Romney`s welfare ad trying to play into old racial stereo
politics about poverty?

KOFINIS: I mean, I think there`s definitely an element to that. I
think there`s an element to -- it`s playing into the anxiety people have
about the economy and where the country is going, and it`s just kind of the
lowest base politics.

I mean, politics is a tough business. I`ve engaged in it, you hit
back and you hit back hard. You get hit, and that`s part of the business.

But there`s also, I think, a positive part to it. You have to have a
vision in terms of where you want to take the country.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

KOFINIS: I think the best ad of this cycle has been President
Obama`s ad where he laid out the choices, the different visions that the
country has in terms of where you want to go.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

KOFINIS: One stands with the middle class and one does not. I
cannot tell you, nor can anyone else, what Governor Romney stands for.

SCHULTZ: Well, wouldn`t it help the Romney camp if they actually
came out with an ad that`s factually correct? I mean, could they not get
back and try to be brilliant on the basics to define who their candidate
is?

Chris Kofinis, always a pleasure, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

Next, the latest on the effort to block the vote in Ohio, Republicans
slash early voting time for Democratic-leaning areas? Yet expand the time
for Republican areas. Ari Berman of the nation, and Ohio State Senator
Nina Turner will join me next.

And Mitt Romney has said corporations are people, but now Mitt says,
well, he`s not a business. The panel will try to make sense of Romney`s
latest flip-flop.

Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

I don`t think we can talk about this story enough. The Republican
effort to suppress the vote in this country -- the disenfranchised
Democratic voting blocks and stack the deck against the poor in this
country, against minorities. I mean, this has been going on for years, but
now they are not even trying to hide it anymore, and it couldn`t be any
more obvious than the state of Ohio, which we`ve talked about the last few
nights.

This was the scene -- I want you to remember -- this was the scene on
election day 2004, you know, when Bush won reelection. I mean, folks were
waiting in line to vote for hours. A lot of folks got frustrated, they
just walked away.

Well, according to one tally, 174,000 people in the state of Ohio
walked away from the polls that day. George W. Bush won reelection, and
won the state by 118,000 votes.

Now, the 2004 disaster prompted the state to make some changes and add
early voting time to improve and to enhance the process. President Obama
won the state in 2008. Well, Republicans, they can`t let an Obama victory
happen again. So now, in heavily Democratic areas, you won`t believe this,
early voting hours, they have been slashed 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on week
days.

Now, if you`re a working person, do these hours seem very convenient to you
if you`re holding, maybe, one or two jobs? Democrats have tried to fight
this, but the Republican election commissioners in the state are blocking
it. The Republican secretary of state, John Husted, is siding with them,
but only when it comes to the Democratic-leaning areas. As Ari Berman of
"the Nation" reports, in solidly Republican counties, GOP election
commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on night and
weekends.

Now, just so we`re all on the same page here, in Republican areas, early
voting is convenient for working folks. In Democratic areas, well, not so
much. You got to do the 8:00 to 5:00 thing. Here`s how one Democratic
Party chair put it.

The Republicans remember those long lines outside board of elections last
time in evenings and on weekends. The lines were overwhelmingly African-
American, and it`s pretty obvious that the people were predominantly Obama
voters. The Republicans don`t want that to happen again. It`s that
simple.

Let`s turn to Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and also Ari Berman,
contributor for "the Nation" magazine and "Rolling Stone" magazine and
author of book, "Herding Donkeys."

Great to have both of you with us.

First of all Senator, I want to ask you. Are people in Ohio, are they on
this, and what`s their reaction?

STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: People are outraged, Ed. I mean, no one
should have to beg to vote, and that is exactly what is happening in Ohio
in the predominantly urban areas, as you have laid out, Ed.

And it is absolutely shameful that Jim Crow has been resurrected in this
country and particularly the state of Ohio. He`s packed his bags and he`s
moved north. He`s in Ohio, he`s in Pennsylvania, he`s making repeat
performances in Florida.

And we have to stand up and speak out against this, but it is absolutely
shameful. And as you pointed out, that working folks, some people were
piecing together two and three jobs. Early voting from 8:00 to 5:00 does
not make sense for them. We should be expanding the franchise and not
trying to take the right to vote away from poor and working class people
and urban people, Ed, and that is exactly what is happening in Ohio.

SCHULTZ: Ari, you dug into this quite a bit in "the Nation" magazine, how
are Republicans getting away with this?

ARI BERMAN, AUTHOR, HERDING DONKEYS: Well, they are getting away with it,
Ed, in the same way they are getting away with it all across the country
which is that they got power in 2010. The first thing they did is try to
restrict the right to vote of Obama voters who are so successful in 2008 to
make sure they didn`t turn out again in the same numbers in 2012.

And it`s interesting. In Ohio, there`s been a lot of pushback to voter
suppression efforts in the state by Republicans. Actually, Republicans had
to repeal their own legislation, but they`ve short circuited that now by
limiting these early voting hours by going to the ultra-local level and
using their power on the county board of elections, which in many Democrat
cities are split between Democrats and Republicans 3-3. And what happens
is when there`s a split, the Ohio secretary of state, John Husted who`s a
Republican, he has intervened on behalf of the Republicans to limit early
voting hours in places like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, and Toledo. And
that`s how they are getting away with this.

SCHULTZ: Senator, Republicans in the state say slashing the early voting
is all about cost. Why is that a lie?

TURNER: You know, never let the truth get in the way of a good story, Ed.
The Republicans have a lot of good stories but not a lot of truth.
Slashing those hours - the cost, what is the cost of the state of Ohio
returning to the debacle of 2004? Yes, there will be a cost to holding
clean and fair elections, but that is a cost worth paying.

It is absolutely outrageous that in the 21st century, 2008, that we would
have elected officials trying to suppress the vote in this state,
particularly of working class people. And Ed, I will tell you in Cuyahoga
county in 2008, 56 percent of the early in person voting were by African-
Americans. So, you tell me what is going on here. Call it what it is.

SCHULTZ: Well, you are doing just that, and it`s very interesting
statistic you point out there. But if it`s that intense and that severe,
could this not throw the state for Mitt Romney, could this have that big of
an impact, senator?

TURNER: It could have that kind of impact, Ed. But I want to encourage
folks in Ohio and your other viewers across this country not to be
sidelined and sidetracked by the foolishness.

You know, my Republican colleagues are stuck on stupid and dazzled by dumb.
But the people in this state and this country make sure to that they know
the rules of engagement in their state when it comes to voting and get out
and vote.

SCHULTZ: Well, Air --

BERMAN: I got to mention.

SCHULTZ: Go ahead.

BERMAN: It`s funny that Republicans are saying they don`t have the money
to expand early voting when they spent millions and millions and millions
of dollars on necessary and costly voter I.D. laws. So it`s OK to pass a
voter I.D. law to make it harder for Democrats to vote but not OK to spend
money on early voting. And it is worth noting, the Democrats were willing
to pick up the tab in these counties to pay for early voting and
Republicans didn`t even give them the option to have early voting. So,
it`s an incredible double standard and example of hypocrisy by Republicans
in Ohio and cutting early voting and saying it`s because of financial
reasons.

TURNER: That`s right. In Cuyahoga county, it certainly one of the
counties that was willing to pick up the tab. So, Ari hit it on the head.

SCHULTZ: State Senator Nina Turner and Air Berman of `the Nation," thanks
so much for joining us, appreciate it.

There`s a lot more coming up on the next half hour of "the Ed Show," stay
with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama used his health care plan to declare
war on religion.

SCHULTZ: A fantasy commercial from Romney is putting the campaign in a
tough spot.

Plus, sister Simone Campbell wants Romney to join her bus tour. She thinks
Mitt needs a lesson on America`s poor. And she joins us tonight.

Mitt Romney thinks corporations are people, but not when it could hurt Mitt
Romney. The big panel weighs in on more hypocrisy from the middle class
millionaire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporations are people, my
friend. We can raise taxes -- of course, they are. Everything
corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes to your pockets?

ROMNEY: What? Whose pockets? People`s pockets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

Almost one year ago today, Mitt Romney stung the crowd at the Iowa state
fair when he said corporations are people. Well, a year`s a long time and
Mitt`s changing his tune to avoid answering hard questions.

In a recent interview, Romney was pressed on releasing only two years of
tax returns. Bloomberg asked Romney if he was investing in a company,
wouldn`t he want to see more than just two years of financial reports.
Romney stood by his decision saying, I`m not a business. We have a process
in this country which was established by law which provides for the
transparency which candidates are required to meet. I have met that
requirement.

It`s another shocking double standard from Mitt Romney. He wants to give
benefits and tax breaks to corporations, claiming that they are people.
However, he says he`s not a business when it keeps his tax returns hidden.
Go figure.

Let`s turn to New Jersey Republican assembly leader Jon Bramnick, also with
us tonight, Michelle Goldberg of "News Week" and "the Daily Beast" and
Democratic strategist John Hlinko.

Great to have you with us tonight.

Leader Bramnick, is there a double standard here? On the stomp he says
people are corporations, but then when he is asked to release his tax
returns, he can`t go down that road.

JON BRAMNICK (R-NJ), ASSEMBLY LEADER: First, he`s released 2010, he`s
released an estimate for 2011. He`s filled out every financial form when
he ran for governor, when he`s run for president in the primary campaigns,
so he`s met every requirement under the law.

This is a distraction, because what we should be talking about is how to
lower taxes, not how to look at taxes, and that`s what the people in
America are really aching for.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEWSWEEK, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, you know, I actually
think that, in a way, you have a point that because they are talking about
how to lower taxes, that`s the center of his campaign, we should know how
much taxes people like him pay. I mean, he`s running on the idea people
like him need a big tax break, and so if he`s paying, well, we already know
he paid 13.9 percent, which is a lot less than I pay and a lot less, I`m
guessing, than most viewers pay and the other years are almost certainly
less than that. And so how is that not germane to the kind of central
issue in this campaign?

BRAMNICK: Well, Congress passed the law that created these incentives, so
if it`s 13 percent or 20 percent, like President Obama paid during one
year, that`s what Congress and the prior president signed so we would
stimulate certain areas of the economy or certain investments. That`s what
makes America grow.

JOHN HLINKO, HLINKO CONSULTING: But - I mean, the thing is, people are
talking about this and they are going to keep on talking about this,
because it`s like a horror movie where a person goes into a hotel, and a
man just said hey, welcome, welcome, don`t go in room 23. I mean, You`re
wondering, what the heck`s in room 23. So now, everybody`s wondering
what`s in it.

I mean, he is already - we already know he had a $77,000 deduction for a
dancing horse. I mean, what can be more embarrassing?

BRAMNICK: The horror movie is when you don`t have a good job and you want
this economy to start to be stimulated. That`s the real horror.

SCHULTZ: But the focus --

GOLDBERG: And you think to stimulate the economy to give people like Mitt
Romney his tax breaks?

HLINKO: More dancing horse credits.

BRAMNICK: Everybody needs to be --

GOLDBERG: But can we be clear, Romney`s tax plan, as we know from a tax
policies under the Brookings Institute while giving massive tax breaks to
people like Mitt Romney, involves by closing various loopholes, involves
actual tax increases on the middle class. So again, we need to be clear
about the implications of the policies that he, himself, is promoting.

BRAMNICK: I don`t think there`s any doubt that Mitt Romney doesn`t want to
raise taxes on anyone, including middle income earners.

GOLDBERG: The policy he`s put forward will do.

SCHULTZ: Let`s get back to the fundamental point here. Mitt Romney on the
stump says corporations are people, but then when asked about his taxes, he
says he`s not a business. I mean, how can he have it both ways?

HLINKO: He`s flip-flopped on so many things, why not this? I`m just
waiting for him to come out against Mitt Romney and do the ultimate flip-
flop. This is going to be a distraction. And frankly, people are
wondering did he honest to god pay zero in taxes for any of those years?
If we did and we gave him a tax cut, we`d actually have to pay him to earn
money.

GOLDBERG: But to be fair, I bet Mitt Romney also supports greater secrecy
for corporate earnings as well.

SCHULTZ: Nobody`s asked him that. Leader, is he?

BRAMNICK: In secrecy, no. What he really wants is to turn around America,
and I think there`s a real desire for that. And I think people want that
change. So, when they go in the voting booth, they are not going to say
well, did he release a return in 2006, that`s not going --

SCHULTZ: A new CNN poll shows 67 percent of independent voters think
Romney should release more than two years of tax returns. I mean, he`s
swimming up against stream on this.

BRAMNICK: Most people want to see more tax returns?

SCHULTZ: Absolutely. The independent voters, I mean, they want to see,
they want full disclosure. They want to know what happens when the market
went south in `08 and `09, because there`s a chance some journalist out
there have pointed out there`s a chance of maybe he didn`t pay any tax.
How would that fly with the American people?

BRAMNICK: I don`t think, though, the majority of people are going to vote
based on how many years of tax returns he releases. And I think, in
essence, when they go into that voting booth, they want to vote for the
person who`s going to be the real person of change.

SCHULTZ: Wait a minute. It would open up a whole Pandora`s box of tax
fairness discussion in this country, and exactly what President Obama`s
been talking about, about paying your fair share. If he paid zero tax and
he`s a multimillionaire because of the market went down a little bit and
still made a ton of money. I mean, the fact is that would walk them right
into the discussion of tax fairness, which would put him behind the eight
ball, wouldn`t it?

GOLDBERG: I mean, that`s one of the central issues in this campaign.
That`s why I think you can`t get around by saying that this is a
distraction or this is just personal. I mean, the central issue in the
campaign is --

SCHULTZ: Zero percent doesn`t sound like fair share.

GOLDBERG: And we also know that he has a history of kind of being
incredibly aggressive within the law of seeking tax shelters and all of
these tax breaks that are available to corporations and available to
corporation people like Mitt Romney but are not available to the vast
majority of Americans.

BRAMNICK: Do you think people really want to tax success? Do you think
that`s what Americans --

SCHULTZ: No, they just don`t want millionaires getting away with not
paying anything, and I think politically it`s a tough place for Mitt Romney
if he were to release tax returns that showed he paid no tax in any of the
last ten years which he`s trying to hide from, because that walks him right
into a discussion he`s going to have to defend it. He`s going to have to
defend it when we`re showing this vulture chart about where the top two
percent had gone with our income over the last 30 years and where the
middle class has gone. The fairness argument would really work for the
Obama team. They would have more evidence.

HLINKO: Sure, I mean, you think about Mitt Romney`s dad ran American
motors and I believe paid 37 percent federal tax. People understood what
he did. He built a company. He paid tax. Mitt Romney, on the other hand,
is downsizing, outsourcing, doing all kinds of things that are not growing
this economy, and yet he`s paying a lower tax rate, it just makes no sense.

BRAMNICK: But it does show, regardless of what these tax returns
demonstrate, that this is a very smart businessman, someone who you want at
the helm of the economy.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: Sixty seven percent of independent voters just want to know how
smart he actually is.

(CROSSTALK)

BRAMNICK: And he probably did what was legal, which we all should do.

GOLDBERG: But how do you argue simultaneously that the fact that he has
paid a very low tax rate would indicate that he`s smart enough to lead the
country, but we don`t have the right to actually see the machinations that
went into that?

SCHULTZ: And we will leave it there. Jon Bramnick, Michelle Goldberg,
John Hlinko.

HLINKO: Hlinko, very close.

SCHULTZ: Your first time on the show, I`ll get it right next time.

Coming up, nuns on the bus are back and this time they are inviting Mitt
Romney along for the ride. Sister Simone Campbell joins us to explain.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Still to come on "the Ed Show." A group of catholic nuns is
questioning Mitt Romney`s morals when it comes to his policies for the
poor. Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the nuns on the bus has a
challenge for the Republican nominee. She joins us next.

Don`t forget, you can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM radio channel
127, Monday through Friday noon to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Follow me on
twitter @edshow and like "the Ed Show" on facebook. We`re coming right
back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Ed show survey tonight, I asked you, will Republicans keep lying
to get Mitt Romney elected? Ninety nine percent of you said yes, one
percent of you said no.

Coming up, a group of nuns who call the Ryan budget immoral are calling out
Mitt Romney for supporting it. Sister Simone Campbell will join me next.
Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the big finish tonight, Mitt Romney`s embrace of Paul
Ryan`s budget has a group of catholic nuns calling him out. The nuns on
the bus tour has traveled across nine states protesting the Ryan budget
plan. The plan would slash programs that help low-income Americans. The
sisters have called the proposed budget cuts immoral and inconsistent with
the catholic social teachings. The group has now invited Mitt Romney to
join them for a day and give him the opportunity to meet some of the people
who depend on the programs that he wants to cut. The Romney camp has yet
to respond to the invitation.

Joining me tonight is sister Simone Campbell, leader of nuns on the bus and
executive director of network, a national catholic social justice lobby.

Sister, nice to have you with us on the program tonight.

SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL, NUNS ON THE BUS: Great.

SCHULTZ: You bet. What would you like from Mitt Romney, what does he have
to know that he may not know?

CAMPBELL: Well, I think he doesn`t know how those at the lowest 20 percent
of income in our society live. He doesn`t know how hard they work, how
they struggle every day, and he`s making some gross generalizations about
them being lazy or not working. And that`s just plain wrong. We found on
our bus trip over and over that people who are the working poor, working at
low-wage jobs, are using our social safety net to keep their families
alive, to keep a roof over their head or food on the table. And governor
Romney doesn`t appear to know this at all. We would like to introduce him
to the reality of our nation.

SCHULTZ: You don`t think he knows this, and you think it would be an
educational experience for him if he did join you on the bus tour?

CAMPBELL: That would be our goal, because he can`t make the kinds of
statements that he just made in this ad about -- that infers that people
who are in poverty are lazy. He has no idea how hard it is to keep a
family together when you have low income, how hard people work every day
just to make the basic necessities for their family, and how little wages
employers actually pay.

On the bus trip, we found that many of the people using the social safety
net were working at low-wage jobs, and what we discovered was the employers
were benefitting because their employs could eat with these programs. But
so it was an employer benefit as well as an employee benefit. We have to
see we`re all in this together, and I don`t think governor Romney knows
that.

SCHULTZ: Now, you have called the cuts in Ryan budget immoral and
inconsistent with the catholic social teachings. Now, it`s been rumored
Paul Ryan might be on the Republican ticket. What kind of message do you
think this would send to the poor in this country, if he is on the ticket
with Mitt Romney? If he is on the ticket with governor Romney

CAMPBELL: Well, if he is on the ticket with Governor Romney, I think it
would indicate a strong preference for those at the top. The fact that we
are not going to be the nation that we have always been of we, all the
people, as the constitution says, it`s we the people together. And it also
says that this individualistic isolationist approach of congressman Ryan is
being endorsed by governor Romney. That`s a very scary thought for who we
are as community in our nation.

SCHULTZ: Well, Paul Ryan cites his catholic faith, in your opinion, why is
he going wrong?

CAMPBELL: Well, what he totally misses, he speaks about the individual
responsibility where he`s correct. Where he`s wrong is that he totally
misses the idea of solidarity, the fact we`re in this together. Part of
our responsibility individually is to be responsible for community
together. He misses that part entirely. And our bishops, the catholic
bishops in the United States actually first said it was an immoral budget.
We`re just standing with our bishops echoing that reality.

SCHULTZ: Are you expecting Mitt Romney to take you up on your invitation?

CAMPBELL: I sincerely hope that he will. We delivered the invitation to
his campaign folks, and we`re trying to encourage them to come along. I
would love to show him what we saw, because when you meet people like Billy
and Margaret`s family and Shiesha and all these people that we met along
the road, he couldn`t continue to say they are lazy or that they not
working. It`s wrong.

SCHULTZ: Well then, and I want to drive that point home quickly, if I may.
Sister Simone Campbell, the people that you run into, are they looking for
a handout, or do they want to work?

CAMPBELL: They are working, and they want to work. They are working very
hard to care for their families, and that`s what he needs to know.

SCHULTZ: All right, Sister Simone Campbell, thank you for your time
tonight on "the Ed Show."

And that is "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "The Rachel Maddow Show"
starts right now.

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

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