updated 8/21/2012 11:58:50 AM ET 2012-08-21T15:58:50

Guests: Joan Walsh, Terry O`Neill, Sam Stein, Richard Wolffe, Ari Berman, Nina Turner,
Michael Eric Dyson

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW, live from Minneapolis.

Seventy-eight days until the 2012 election. A new front on the
Republican war on women has exposed the conservative right wing. Todd
Akin`s remarks about legitimate rape have Republicans in the crisis mode
tonight. This is a big deal and it could affect a lot of races.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: I had heard one time a medical report,
that said it`s hard to get, it`s harder for somebody to get pregnant under
those conditions.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): A Missouri lawmaker`s radical re rhetoric has
reignited the Republican war on women.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rape is rape.

SCHULTZ: The president is standing up for women.

Republicans are denouncing their own candidate. Super PACs are
pulling money, and the candidate refuses to quit.

AKIN: I`m not a quitter.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Terry O`Neill on Todd Akin`s ridiculous beliefs.
Joan Walsh and Sam Stein on the political impact in Missouri and beyond.

The Romney camp refuses to stop lying. And today, the president
called them out for it.

OBAMA: You can`t just make stuff up.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe on the president`s blistering press
conference.

In Ohio, a Republican says we should not contort the voting process to
accommodate African-American voters. State Senator Nina Turner and Ari
Berman have the latest on voter suppression in Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

A Senate candidate from Missouri forced Republicans into major damage
control tonight. Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri is trying to defeat
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in a heated battle in the November
election.

He started a firestorm when he answered this question about abortion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TV ANCHOR: What about in the case of rape? Should it be legal or
not?

AKIN: Well, you know, people always want to try and make that as one
of the things, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical
question. It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from
doctors, that`s really rare. If it`s a legitimate rape, the female body
has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let`s assume maybe that
didn`t work or something, you know, I think there should be some
punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking
the child.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Legitimate rape. The Republican Party now has introduced a
discussion in this country that is absolutely unbelievable.

Most people never heard of this guy, Todd Akin, before today. But his
comments changed everything politically for the Republicans.

Here`s some of the background on this guy from Missouri. He`s a
member of the House Science and Technology Committee. He believes climate
change science is highly suspect. He wants to get rid of the Environmental
Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

He`s also dead wrong about the rarity of pregnancy resulting from rape
in the country. According to the "Journal of American Obstetrics and
Gynecology," 32,101 pregnancies per year are the result of rape. Akin`s
comments were outrageous, enough for the president of the United States to
comment on them during a news conference today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Let me first of all say the views expressed were offensive.
Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and
slicing what types of rape we`re talking about doesn`t make sense to the
American people. And certainly doesn`t make sense to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama also pointed out how Akin`s remarks
highlight the continuing war on women`s health being waged by Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn`t
have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care
decisions on behalf of women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Later this afternoon, the congressman from Missouri, Todd
Akin, wrote this on his Twitter account. "I`m in the race to win. We need
a conservative Senate."

Akin linked his campaign Web site asking for donations to defeat
Senator McCaskill. Akin is trying to raise money off the incident, but he
insists he`s really sorry.

Here is Akin on Mike Huckabee`s radio show today.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

AKIN: Let me be clear, rape is never legitimate. It`s an evil act
and it`s committed by violent predators. I used the wrong words in the
wrong way.

MIKE HUCKABEE: What did you mean by legitimate rape? Were you
attempting to say forcible rape or was that just -- where did that come
from?

AKIN: Well, yes, I was talking about forcible rape.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, wait a minute here. This is Mike Huckabee giving this
congressman an alibi. Mike Huckabee was holding Todd Akin by the hand
right there in that interview. Huckabee introduced the words forcible rape
and Akin went right along with him.

Forcible rape was the language Republicans put in a House bill trying
to define the term rape to end health care funding for any abortions. A
member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told Congress
that the term forcible rape was an effort on the part of the sponsors to
prevent the opening of a very broad loophole for federally funded
abortions.

Two of the sponsors of the bill were Todd Akin and vice presidential
candidate Paul Ryan. NBC News confirmed Paul Ryan, the candidate called
Todd Akin today. But he wasn`t calling him to agree with him despite their
agreements in the past. In a campaign statement, the Romney camp wrote,
"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin`s statement
and a Romney/Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of
rape."

Mitt Romney delivered his own harsh criticism of Todd Akin later
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His comments about rape were
deeply offensive. And I can`t defend what he said. I can`t defend him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney did not defend Todd Akin. But he will defend
Paul Ryan, who sponsored the same forcible rape legislation as the
congressman from Missouri.

Furthermore, will Romney defend himself? Because back in 2007, Romney
called a bill to ban all abortions terrific, and said he would be delighted
to sign it. The same year, Romney told ABC News he supports human life
amendment to the Constitution. This amendment would outlaw abortions even
in the case of rape or incest.

If Romney can`t defend Todd Akin, he can`t defend his own record.
It`s no surprise Todd Akin doesn`t even want to defend the far right wing
platform of anti-choice anymore.

Here`s Akin on hard right wing radio today.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

AKIN: I heard one time a medical report that said it`s hard to get --
it`s harder to get pregnant under those conditions. I don`t believe that`s
true now. In fact, I have checked the facts and that`s wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He`s checked the facts. This guy isn`t about facts at all.
The junk science that Todd Akin is talking about has been pushed by
Republican congressional members for decades. It goes back to 1988 when a
Republican congressman from Delaware told a local paper, "During the trauma
of rape, a woman secretes a certain secretion which has the tendency to
kill sperm."

Then in 1999, Republicans circulated an essay by Dr. John Willke, the
former head of the National Right to Life Committee, it said, "To get and
stay pregnant, a woman`s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of
hormones. There`s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a
woman than an assault rape."

Now, we should point out that Dr. John Willke is an endorser of Mitt
Romney.

Todd Akin is not an exception to the rule in the Republican Party. He
is the rule. The only way Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can distance
themselves from Akin is to lie about their own records, which is exactly
what they`re doing. They can`t tell the truth about how they would govern
when it comes to women`s health.

And this is the big problem for the Republican Party tonight --
legitimate rape, the president was spot on today to hit this right on -- to
defend women in conversation in this country. But I think that this is a
cultural issue for the Republican Party as well. This war on women, if you
didn`t believe it was real before, you must believe it now.

This is how they think, the Republicans. They are archaic in their
view when it comes to women in our society.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, who is a better leader on women`s issues? Text A for President
Obama, text B for Mitt Romney, to 622639. You can always go to our blog at
Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women.

Terry, great to have you with us.

Well, the Republicans, they have -- they have done it again. But I
want to go to the apology, if I may, first.

This congressman says that he misspoke. Yet in the sound bite, he
talks about doctors he has had conversations with. Does this speak to the
heart and soul of the fundamental problems that the Republican Party has
with women or did he misspeak?

TERRY O`NEILL, PRESIDENT, N.O.W.: I don`t actually think he was
misspeaking at time. I would love to know who those doctors are. I would
like to have their names. I would like to have permission to have a
conversation with those doctors and find out what kind of science
background they have to make this outrageous claim.

But I think, you know, what you were saying earlier, Ed, is exactly
right. You have to separate out the justification from the policy. So
what Todd Akin was peddling was a justification for not allowing any rape
exception to abortion bans or abortion restrictions.

And the justification goes something like this -- if she got pregnant,
ergo, she was not raped, because a woman who is legitimately or forcibly or
really raped can`t get pregnant. Now, this is the justification for the
policy. The policy itself is outrageous and damaging.

The justification actually re-traumatizes victims of sexual assault
who are now being told that their own bodies have betrayed them, that their
bodies are telling the world they were not assaulted when in fact they
were, simply because they were unfortunate enough to get pregnant as a
result of the rape.

So what we`ve got is not only a war on women by refusing to allow rape
exceptions to restrictions on abortion, we also have a really demeaning and
damaging war on women by offering up this junk science justification for
harming women`s health care. It`s just absolutely outrageous.

SCHULTZ: Does it show that the Republican Party will go as far as
they have to go with junk science to make their point and to drive their
ideology on to the American society and women in this case?

O`NEILL: It sort of goes along with governor etch-a-sketch. Mitt
Romney has a reputation for simply saying anything depending on the
audience he`s talking to in order to justify getting himself elected. And
you know what? It actually looks like Paul Ryan is now becoming
representative etch-a-sketch as well.

They put out a statement that suddenly they don`t oppose a rape
exception for restrictions on abortion. But in fact, both men have vocally
supported a personhood amendment, a law that would decree that life begins
at conception which clearly criminalized all abortion, not only in the case
of rape but in the case of incest or to preserve a woman`s health or even
her life.

SCHULTZ: But this is, in a very strong manner, exposed the vice
presidential candidate for the Republicans because of course it`s
documented he was an original cosponsor when it came to redefining rape in
this country. How scary is that?

O`NEILL: Well, it`s very scary. A man who would be vice president of
the United States of America believes that women are liars and cheats when
they claim to have been sexually assaulted. That was the whole purpose of
having an exception only for forcible rape, not for any other kind of rape.

So this is a man who distrusts women, who as I`ve said before, is
fiercely and harshly anti-woman in his policy and I don`t think he has said
or done anything that dissuades me from that.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Terry O`Neill, National Organization for Women, great
to have you with us. Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Coming up, the Akin mess, this isn`t going away. This is who the
Republicans are. How it will affect Republicans in other competitive
races. Why they`re trying to throw him under the bus so fast? Because
they have to, politically.

Joan Walsh and Sam Stein weigh in. My commentary coming up.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, and Senate Republicans are ganging
up to get Todd Akin out of the race in Missouri. Sam Stein and Joan Walsh
have all of the political impact from Todd Akin`s legitimate rape remarks.

President Obama sets the record straight on Romney`s lies in a
blistering press conference today. Richard Wolffe will help us break it
all down.

And Hank Williams Jr. has become a national hero for Obama haters.
We`ll bring you his latest hateful remarks and commentary with Michael Eric
Dyson.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

I think it needs to be pointed out in this Todd Akin story that this
has been kind of a slow turn and a slow burn all day long for the
Republicans. You know, they didn`t roll out of bed this morning and say,
you know what, we got to get rid of this Todd Akin down in Missouri.

No, they had to see which way the wind was going to blow. They had to
see what kind of velocity was going to be in this storm. We`re seeing
right now, folks, a full-throated Republican effort to deep-six one of
their own. It`s kind of politically amazing.

Congressman Todd Akin has created the biggest nightmare this party has
had for a long time. Most of all, it illustrates their archaic view
towards women and women`s issues and women`s health care. RNC chairman
Reince Priebus, he had this to say earlier.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Victory centers and volunteers that do
work and phone scripts in and around Missouri and I told them to take
Congressman Akin off the script today.

You know, I think he`s got to think long and hard about this. I can
tell you that if it was me, I wouldn`t have said anything that dumb to
begin with, but if it was me, I would definitely end my run for Senate, and
I would allow someone else to run that had a better chance of winning.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Karl Rove would not publicly criticize Akin`s comments on
FOX.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS: Well, let`s see how it plays out here. I mean,
he`s got some real explaining to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yes, let`s just see how it plays out here. He`s got some
real explaining to do. You think so, Karl?

And of course, hours later, Karl Rove`s super PAC, Crossroads GPS,
pulled its resources out of Missouri. The National Republican Senatorial
Campaign also told Akin they were withdrawing funding, and prominent
Republicans are condemning Akin`s comments, as the day goes on, of course.

Mitch McConnell said Akin needs to weigh his options.

George Allen, the guy who referred to his opponent`s campaign
volunteer as macaca, says he strongly disapproves of Akin`s rhetoric.

Scott Brown, he`s the dandy. He says that Akin should drop out of the
race.

Sean Hannity actually tried to coach Akin out of the race. But Akin,
he wasn`t having it.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW: To me, I`m very concerned and I
know many other conservatives are as well, because they have all written me
today, that if you stay in this race and this becomes the defining issue of
the race, and there is a timeline now in play here, that this could then
put the entire state of Missouri, this Senate seat, and even the top of the
ticket in jeopardy in Missouri.

Have you thought this could be the defining issue in the campaign
which would serve as, you know, a potential loss for a Senate seat?

AKIN: My sense is people will understand when you tell them, look,
I`m not perfect.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We`ll see if that`s strong enough. Let`s bring in Sam
Stein, political reporter for "The Huffington Post" and Joan Walsh with us,
editor at large for Salon.com and author of the book "What`s the Matter
with White People?"

Great to have both of you with us.

Joan, you first. You know, Hannity is trying to get Akin to drop out
of the race. In fact, I have never seen this kind of push by Republicans
to get rid of a candidate ever, seriously.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Yes.

SCHULTZ: How big a problem is this for the Republicans, you think?

WALSH: Oh, it`s huge. I mean, I don`t think I have ever said these
four words, but Sean Hannity is right. I mean, the way he described the
stakes here, Ed, it really is dire for the Republicans.

But you`ve done a great job already of showing there`s not a whole lot
of daylight between Todd Akin and the rest of his party. This notion that
he just misspoke -- he gave us a window onto the way they think and talk
about women and particularly the horrible issue of rape.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

WALSH: I mean, listening to the way he described it, who goes around
thinking about things like that? I mean, it sounds kind of perverted.

SCHULTZ: Ideologues who --

WALSH: Ideologues and weirdoes.

SCHULTZ: -- want to see it their way

You know what? Joan, what gets me about the conversation by
Republicans is they`re so concerned about the political fallout, they`re
not so concerned about women`s health and where the party really stands on
women`s health on this.

WALSH: No, they`re not. There`s no sense of this is just a
despicable thing to say about a woman in this crisis. There was no talk
about it, the way the president talked about it. It`s all political
calculus.

And you know, the war on women rhetoric was starting to quiet down a
little bit. We weren`t talking about transvaginal ultrasounds as much
anymore. I don`t remember the last time I said the word vagina. It`s been
a while.

And he came along -- he came along and opened up this whole sick
debate again. And I think they`re going to be very sorry.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

NBC News reports that Paul Ryan, vice presidential candidate for the
Republicans, has called the congressman and urged him to rethink the race.
Sam, what do we know about this? I mean, this is about as serious as it
gets because, of course, Ryan co-sponsored legislation with him that would
redefine rape. Where are the Republicans on this?

SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: It seems clear that the elected
Republican, the Republican establishment is all for Todd Akin leaving this
race. There has been some pushback among social conservatives who urged
Republicans, including Scott Brown to watch the rhetoric. I think they`re
very upset with how the party has reacted to that.

SCHULTZ: That was Tony Perkins from the family research counsel who
tweeted that out today. He suggested that Scott Brown should be careful in
what he is saying. I read that, I said, holy smokes. I mean, these folks,
they don`t get it at all. They`re all about ideology and making sure they
get the conservatives in office.

Sam, do you think this will affect the race to the point where Claire
McCaskill would retain her seat?

STEIN: Well, I mean, sure. Already, Todd Akin was the least
formidable of the three candidates who`ve run in Missouri primary. She won
out largely by him winning. That being said, she desperately wants him to
stay in the race. There`s no other way around it.

We did an interview with the senator this morning. She talked about
how it would be terrible if the national Republican Party would meddle in
the Missouri Senate race and pick a candidate. You can read in between the
lines, she wants Todd Akin in there.

You know, to the larger point, you know, this is opening up a real
divide within the Republican ranks. And I think you and Joan hit the point
really on the head, which is that people look at this debate from a
distance and say, well, they`re not really condemning necessarily the
policy that he`s espousing. They`re condemning the dumbness of the
language. I think that more than anything else has a chance to turn off
voters or drive them towards McCaskill in the fall.

SCHULTZ: Sam, you were in that room today. Did you think that the
president was going to address this issue?

STEIN: Well, I wasn`t in the room, sadly, but I did watch it online.
You made me -- you have exposed me as a poor White House correspondent.
Thank you, Ed.

Did I think he was going to address the issue? Of course, it was the
big issue of the day. But it`s not just this was a day-long topic. This
has been sort of the under-riding theme of this election in some respects.
This whole notion that female voters don`t have a home in the Republican
Party is exhibited in a lot of these opinion polls. And I think this just
exacerbates the issue.

Listen, Todd Akin just send out a fund-raising e-mail about 15 minutes
ago saying he`s in this until the end. I think he`s going to call Karl
Rove`s bluff and say, hey, I`m going to stick in this. If I`m three points
down in October, you guy are clearly going to support me because the Senate
matters more to you than the issue of forcible or legitimate rape.

SCHULTZ: Legitimate rape.

The president was right when he used the word offensive today, Joan.
I just quickly want to bring up that obviously the president is leading in
double digits when it comes to polling in women who are going to support
him. Do you think this gap is going to widen because of the whole thing?

WALSH: Oh, I think so. It`s clear the Republican Party can`t keep
their laws out of our lady parts, and women are getting the picture so
clearly, too clearly, more clearly than we wanted to see it, Ed. It`s
terrible.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Sam Stein, Joan Walsh, great to have you with us.
Thank you.

Today, President Obama said Mitt Romney is making a falsehood the
centerpiece of his campaign. Richard Wolffe will join me.

And then new efforts in the Republican effort to block the vote. An
Ohio election official makes a shocking admission. Find out who`s really
getting targeted in America`s heartland.

Stay tuned. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Today, President Obama laid out some facts. Something the Romney camp
has a hard time with. When he was asked about his campaign tactics, number
one on Romney`s tax returns, the president said that his campaign was
simply and has been asking for basic transparency from Governor Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m not asking to disclose every detail of, you know, his
medical records, although, we normally do that as well. But, you know? I
mean, this isn`t sort of overly personal here, guys. This is pretty
standard stuff. I don`t think we`re being mean by asking you to do what
every other presidential candidate has done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: When the president was asked about a Priorities USA ad, he
was perfectly clear about which campaign was putting out the lies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I don`t think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for
the death of the woman that was portrayed in the ad. But keep in mind,
this is an ad that I didn`t approve. I did not produce. And as far as I
can tell, has barely run. I think it ran once.

Now, in contrast, you`ve got Governor Romney creating as a centerpiece
of his campaign this notion that we`re taking the work requirement out of
welfare, which every single person here who has looked at it says is
patently false.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: In fact today, Mitt Romney released his third lying ad about
President Obama`s welfare policy. The ad cites an editorial from the
"Richmond Times Dispatch" newspaper, even though the "Richmond Times
Dispatch" now admits its claims have been debunked.

So I thought it would be good to once again -- it`s time to bring out
the Big Eddie Board of Truth. Just focusing on Romney`s welfare claims and
lies, what are they? They`re adding up.

The work requirement, Romney is still lying about that, saying that
President Obama gutted it.

Here`s another one, that Romney cites a newspaper that has since
admitted it was wrong. The newspaper admitted they were wrong. Romney
still on the wrong side of that.

And keep in mind, this is Romney`s third untruthful ad about President
Obama`s welfare policy. Now on Friday, what we did was we added up the
lies for the week. It was 11. Well, we`re off to a pretty good start this
week. We`re up three more. That`s 14 lies documented. And even the
president of the United States is at the podium today saying, you know
what, they are lying over there.

Let`s bring in MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe. Richard, great
to have you with us tonight.

You know, this is like fishing in a barrel. It`s kind of fishing in a
barrel. you can limit out pretty fast. It`s kind of easy to define your
opponent when all they do is lie.

I want to play more of the press conference. Here is more from
President Obama today on Romney`s welfare claims. I want you to respond to
it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Everybody who has looked at this says what Governor Romney is
saying is absolutely wrong. Not only are his super PACs running millions
of dollars worth of ads making this claim. Governor Romney himself is
approving this and saying it on the stump.

They can run the campaign that they want. But the truth of the matter
is, you can`t just make stuff up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Richard, sort it out for us.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I want to flip
this on its head just for a second, because the Romney campaign keeps
saying that all this discussion of tax returns are just a diversion. You
know, the Obama campaign doesn`t want to talk about jobs and the economy,
so they`re creating these other things to talk about.

Well, what is the Romney campaign doing talking about Welfare to Work?
Not only is it patently false. Not only does everyone think it`s wrong.
But they`re spending their money and their time talking about stuff that
really isn`t to do with jobs and the economy.

Yes, I guess it`s to do with work and welfare. And I guess there`s
some tangential relationship. But we`re not really talking about the
underlying premise that any opponent, any sane opponent to this president
would try to dig up, which is an alternative economic policy.

So why are they doing it? They`re doing it because this is the me too
campaign. Every time they get some kind of attack from the other side that
works, they`ve got to come up with one of their own. And this stuff -- you
know, this stuff is just -- doesn`t stand up to scrutiny. I don`t think it
stands up to political rationale as well.

I just don`t think it works. It`s off topic like pretty much
everything else the Romney campaign is doing right now.

SCHULTZ: This weekend, Paul Ryan appeared with his mother at a
campaign stop in Florida. This, of course, is one of the big lies out
there, that they`re going to protect Medicare. Here`s what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And Medicare is
there for my mom while she needs it now. And we have to keep that
guarantee. She planned her retirement around this promise that the
government made her, because she paid her pay roll taxes into this program,
which she made this -- which she had this promise with.

That`s a promise we have to keep.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: This promise is not in their budget in the future. So how
are they going to navigate around this?

WOLFFE: Well, it`s endearing. I`m glad that he feels so passionately
about what his mother and her generation will get. But if it`s right for
her, of course, it`s also right for the next generation of seniors.
There`s a debate obviously that both parties need to have about what is
affordable, how do you extend the lifetime of Medicare.

But if you think the guarantee is right, not just because it was a
promise made but because it`s the right policy, then you need to discuss
how to control costs. And you know, this is where Republicans, people like
Karl Rove say this is a great opportunity for us to go out and talk about
Medicare. It`s also a great opportunity, as we saw today, for the
president to say what he is doing about Medicare and what was in the
Affordable Care Act, because that way you end up talking about what is the
fair way to deal with Medicare and costs.

Is it about fraud and waste and abuse? Or is to turn it into a
voucher? That`s where these two parties are so radically different.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: Jim Crow has been resurrected,
making repeat performances in the south, and has packed his bags and moved
north in Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The voter suppression in Ohio is officially out of control.
Democrat election officials are suspended for defying Republican
restrictions. And a Republican official says the state should not
accommodate African-American voters.

State Senator Nina Turner and Ari Berman have the latest.

And Hank Williams Jr. is at it again, telling a crowd at the Iowa
State Fair he hates our Muslim president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANK WILLIAMS JR., SINGER: Oh, yeah.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Michael Eric Dyson on the never ending Republican
hate machine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the enemy?

WILLIAMS JR.: Obama and Biden. Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. There are new developments
tonight in the Republicans effort to stop Americans from voting in the next
election in November.

Now, this weekend, Ohio secretary of state decided to shorten --
shorten voting hours in all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. Now, one of
his fellow Republicans is coming clean about the real reason they`re
suppressing the vote.

It`s in Franklin County. Franklin County`s Republican election
commissioner, Doug Price, wrote this in an e-mail to the newspaper, "The
Columbus Dispatch." He wrote, "we shouldn`t contort the voting process to
accommodate the urban -- read African-American -- voter turnout machine."

Those are his words, according to "The Columbus Dispatch," "urban --
read African-American."

When the reporter asked the Commissioner Price if that`s unfair, he
used a word we can`t say on the air or broadcast. Price told the paper,
"quote me. You can quote me on that."

Cursing doesn`t change the fact that cutting poll hours is unfair to
working families and working Americans. Here`s why: there`s new research
out this weekend that shows just how many people depend on expanded voting
hours. For instance, in the last election, 47 percent of Ohioans cast
ballots during non-business hours.

Voters cast almost 200,000 ballots during the exact days and hours the
Republicans are eliminating this year. That`s more than three percent in a
state where elections get decided by a two percent margin of victory.

Well, two Democrats who voted for early hours, they have been
suspended from the election board. Supporters held a rally today for Tom
Richie and senior Dennis Lieberman. Well, Secretary of State John Husted
ordered them to rescind their support for early voting. They refused.
They have an attorney. And they`ll find out later this week if they`re
going to be able to keep their jobs.

Meanwhile, African-Americans in Ohio, I guess you could say, have been
put on notice. The Republican machine in your state, they just don`t want
you to vote. And they`re going to make it really hard for you to do it.
I`m joined tonight by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and also Ari Berman,
contributing writer for "The Nation" magazine and author of the book
"Herding Donkeys."

Great to have both of you with us. Ari, you have been on this story
from the start, but I want to start with Nina tonight. Nina, is there a
racial component here? I have to ask that question. They did cut the
hours in all 88 counties, but when you look at the hours that they are
shortening, it goes right to working families and right to people who are
of low income, maybe working two jobs. Your thoughts on this.

TURNER: That`s right, Ed. This is as much about race as it is about
class. The maelstrom of bigotry and foolishness going on in the state of
Ohio -- the state of Ohio has become the new south and not a good way.
This post Reconstruction type of antics that Republicans are using is
absolutely wrong.

And just because some of my Republican colleagues have chosen to wear
a blue suit over a white sheet in the 21st century does not change the fact
that these rulings, this directive that has come down from the secretary of
state, has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans. We have the
data. He knows what the facts are.

But it doesn`t matter. And Mr. Price, who is an adviser of our
governor, had the pure unadulterated gall to say that they`re not going to
contort. I guess me believes that the Voting Rights Act was a contortion
for African-Americans, that the Civil Rights Act was a contortion, and my
God, that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was a contortion.

Ed, we are going back to some terrible times in this country. And
everybody should be up in arms.

SCHULTZ: Well, he says "we shouldn`t contort the voting process to
accommodate the urban -- read African-American -- voter turnout machine."

Isn`t that a racist comment? I mean, isn`t he saying we`re going to
do this because we don`t want blacks to vote? I mean, how else do you take
it?

TURNER: It`s blatantly racist, Ed. I guess the good thing about this
sad chapter in Ohio`s history is that he`s laid it out on the line. He`s
proven the fears that we have had in the state of Ohio all along, that
there are Republicans in this state that if their candidate can`t win
because he may have better ideas or a better way, they are going to make
the fix. The fix is in the state of Ohio. And the way that they`re doing
it is suppressing the vote of African-Americans, other people of color, and
poor folks in the state of Ohio.

It is undemocratic. It is un-American. And it is wrong.

SCHULTZ: Ari, how accurate are the Republicans and these election
commissioners in knowing just how many people they`re going to affect at
the polls? It`s almost as if social engineering, they have it down to a
science.

ARI BERMAN, "THE NATION": We have seen the data from 2008, Ed. We
know that 197,000 voters, as you mentioned earlier, voted during hours that
have now been cut by Ohio Republicans. We know that African-Americans
outnumbered whites in terms of early voting by nearly two to one in the
most populous counties in Ohio.

And it`s no coincidence that Republicans are cutting early voting now.
They were for early voting in 2004 and 2008. They`re only against it now
because it`s something that Democrats used so successfully. Obama used
early voting to help mobilize his base and maximize turnout in the 2008
election. And that`s why early voting has been cut, not just in Ohio, but
also in battleground states like Florida in the 2012 election.

SCHULTZ: Well, we know what they`re doing in Pennsylvania. And we`re
going to continue to cover that. But Nina, in your state, what do you do
to mobilize at this point? The hours are shorter. The days are shorter.

TURNER: Continuing to make sure that the voters in the state
understand the rules of engagement. We`re not going to let the
intimidation and fear tactics and commitment to all things wrong stop us
from getting folks to vote. We are engaging ministers, other policy
makers, activist groups to make sure that voters get to the polls, despite
this -- this mockery of democracy that the Republicans are making.

And you know, Ed, this will be the 49th anniversary of Dr. King`s
speech that he gave in front of the Lincoln Memorial, "I Have a Dream,"
fighting for jobs and for freedoms. And here we are in the state of Ohio
in the 21st century fighting for voters rights. It`s wrong.

SCHULTZ: Let me ask you quickly, where is Governor Kasich on this?
Does he -- does he support this trimming of the days and the hours?

BERMAN: Yeah. I mean, this is something that the entire Republican
party in Ohio supported. It first came from the legislature. It was so
unpopular that the legislature had to repeal their own bill. Then it went
to the secretary of state. He started doing it.

The chair of the Republican party in Franklin County who made those
outrageous comments about trying to suppress the black vote, he`s a top
adviser to Governor Kasich. So this goes all the way to the top. This is
not one fringe Republican speaking out. This is the policy of the
Republican party in Ohio to make it harder for people to vote in the next
election.

SCHULTZ: So Kasich is trying to deliver Ohio for Romney. And he`ll
do anything to do it. Great to have both of you with us tonight. Ohio
State Senator Nina Turner and Ari Berman of "The Nation," thank you so
much.

Coming up, Augusta national makes history by admitting two female
members. They have come a long way, but I think that they could even do a
little bit better. In fact, they should probably round out the foursome,
don`t you think? We`re right back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Is this really change they can
believe in? For the first time in its 80-year history, the Augusta
National Golf Club has female members. The private club, which of course
hosts one of the Majors, the Masters Golf Tournament, has come under heavy
pressure over the past decade to allow women members.

Today, well, they made a reversal and they announced that former
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla
Moore are going to be receiving green jackets this fall. Augusta National
Chairman Billy Payne called the move a significant and positive time in our
club`s history.

Mitt Romney is also applauding the decision. Earlier today, he
Tweeted, "congrats to my friend Condoleezza Rice for joining Augusta
National and congrats to Augusta National for admitting its first female
members."

You know what? Mitt Romney has finally found a women`s right issue
that he can stand up for and support. Augusta National letting two rich
women in to play, I think. The boys down at Augusta could really break the
ceiling -- glass ceiling a little better if they were to, say, bring in
Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton. We know that Bill plays golf. I`m sure
that Hillary, if she had the green jacket, she would get Bill on the golf
course, no problem at all.

There`s no doubt that Augusta National did the right thing by
admitting women members, but we all know that the club has a long way to
go. Is it change they can believe in? I hope so.

Tonight, in our survey, I asked you, who is better -- who is a better
leader on women`s issues. Ninety five percent of you say President Obama;
five percent of you say Mitt Romney.

Coming up, Hank Williams Jr. is attacking the president again.
Michael Eric Dyson will weigh in. Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW
on MSNBC. The haters are out and about.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In the Big Finish tonight, I
would like you to read this comment with me As we close our show tonight
with this segment. "We`ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates
the military, hates the U.S., and we hate him."

Those are the words of Hank Williams Jr., the country entertainer. He
said this on stage Friday night at the Iowa State Fair. Now let`s keep in
mind that the president went to the Iowa State Fair last week and he was
really well received. They were yelling four more beers. The crowd loved
the president.

But there`s another element out there. And the crowd, of course,
reportedly went wild when Hank Williams Jr. said this. First of all, as we
have been reported the lies that these people say -- but there`s a culture
of hate that`s out there with the Republicans and with the hate merchants
and the peddlers out there.

First of all, the president is not Muslim. He does not hate farming.
He does not hate the military. And he does not hate the United States of
America. But this part is true. Hank Williams Jr., he says we hate him.
They do.

Let`s bring in MSNBC political analyst and Georgetown University
Professor Michael Eric Dyson. There just is a culture that permeates
through the countryside by these hate merchants who peddle it onstage, Hank
Williams Jr. And I just don`t think it`s ever going to quit, professor. I
don`t think it`s ever going to quit.

What`s the best way to comment -- what`s the best way to combat this
head-shaking crowd out there?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: I think the president has
brilliantly ignored the most egregious examples of this hatred, not because
he`s namby-pamby but because he`s a true Christian. All of these people in
the name of Christ who are assaulting the personhood and the stature of the
president of the United States of America are being met with a man who
believes in Jesus, who said treat them with love; it will heap coals of
fire upon their head.

I think look, we can`t be stupid about this. We have to be strategic
about it. We have to say to people who are the merchants of hate and the
peddlers of bigotry, like Mr. Williams, which is tragic because he comes
from such a vaunted -- a valued pedigree of music in this country, with his
father one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. To descend into the
pit and pathology of hatred the way he has done, I think we have to pray
for him. We have to -- and say to him that your way will not win, that
ultimately the good Americans out here, many more believe in the president,
that is to say believe in his humanity, believe in the fact that we should
not hate people even if we oppose them.

I don`t agree with Paul Ryan. I don`t agree with Mitt Romney. I
don`t hate them. I love them as fellow human beings. I think that way
will prevail. And I think we have to say -- we have to emphasize and focus
on those who uplift the values and virtues of this democracy, and not those
who put it into the pit as it seems Hank Williams wants to do.

SCHULTZ: What motivates people to peddle hate like that? Does it
make them feel better? What he said is absolutely false. The president`s
not -- he -- you know -- and of course, in that part of the country,
farming is kind of important. But yet, he says that the president hates
farming.

DYSON: I mean, that`s ridiculous.

SCHULTZ: It is ridiculous, but aren`t we teaching younger people that
it`s OK to hate in some sort?

DYSON: Yeah, well, you know what? We are, but we have to resist
that, Ed. I think you bring up a very important point. So I don`t want to
overlook that. I don`t want to not be valiant here. And to be valiant is
to say look, we have to stand up to this tooth and nail. The facts are the
president just under his administration gave billions of dollars to those
farmers who had been treated unfairly, especially African-American ones,
unless Mr. Williams doesn`t think black farmers are equally deserving of
the respect that all farmers are due.

The military, the budget under Mr. Obama certainly has not been
defense centric, but he has certainly perpetuated a legacy that some have
found problematic even on the left.

So the point is we have to talk about love. We have to talk about
justice and democracy. And we will not give into those who are the hate
mongers.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us tonight.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.

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

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