THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
November 5, 2012
Guests: Nina Turner, Charlie Crist, Terry O`Neill, Fred Yang, Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe, Eugene Robinson
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
With less than four hours to Election Day, this thing is going down to
the wire. And the future of middle class is at stake.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
JAY-Z, RAPPER: If you`re having world problems, I feel bad for you
son. I got 99 problems but Mitt ain`t one.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Jay-Z and the Boss trying to slam the door shut
in Ohio. But the lines are long and the fight isn`t over.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That`s not a bad way to
bring it home.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and former Florida
Governor Charlie Crist on their states` manmade voting disasters.
The gender gap is widening for Republicans. Terry O`Neill and Joan
Walsh on tomorrow`s Republican casualties on the war on women.
Plus, the mega-ultra all-star panel of Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe
and Eugene Robinson on the final hours of the campaign.
And my final thoughts on why the future of the middle class is at
BARACK OBAMA: The future never has lobbyists, like the status quo
does. But the dreams of those children will be our saving grace. That`s
why I need you, Ohio.
SCHULTZ: It`s good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
After years of campaigning and billions of dollars spent, it all comes
down to this. Who wants it more?
President Obama kicked off a three-state barnstorm on the eve of the
election in Madison, Wisconsin. He brought along Bruce Springsteen to
rally the crowd and keep the Badger State blue.
Then it was off to Columbus, Ohio, where the president was joined by
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA: I told Jay-Z the other day, our lives are parallel a
little bit. Nobody, I think, would expect us to be where we are today when
they had met us as younger men. Both of us now have daughters. Both of us
have wives who are more popular than we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama was having fun on the last day of the
campaign. Bruce Springsteen drove home the point of tomorrow`s votes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MUSICIAN: The American dream, the American
reality. Our vote tomorrow is the one undeniable way we get to determine
the distance in that equation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama delivered his closing message to Ohio, the
state he`s visited more times than any other in 2012.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA: We`ve made real progress, Ohio, but the reason why
we`re here is because we`ve got more work to do. Our work is not yet done.
As long as there is a single American who wants a job and can`t find
one, our work is not yet done. As long as there are families anywhere in
Ohio, anywhere in the country working harder but falling behind, we`re not
finished. As long as there`s a child anywhere in this country who`s
languishing in poverty and barred from opportunity, our fight goes on.
Our fight goes on, Ohio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney held a pair of rallies in the state of Virginia.
He tried to downplay President Obama`s celebrity endorsers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I`m looking around -- I`m
looking around to see if we have the Beatles here or something. It looks
like you came just for the campaign and I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Romney`s campaign has only one more trick up its sleeve.
Romney and those close to him just keep saying, you know, that they are
winning despite all that the polls are saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: That`s the momentum we have been
feeling, it`s not just in Virginia. It`s all across this country.
ROMNEY: And that`s what leads me to believe that I am standing next
to the next president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The truth is momentum hasn`t been on Romney`s side for
weeks. Until a few days ago, Romney held a narrow lead in the national
polling average. Now President Obama has taken a slim lead.
In the so-called tossup states where the election will be decided,
President Obama leads in five of them. Only holds on an average lead in
This is why Mitt Romney will not give up on campaigning until the
bitter end. He`s back on the stump tomorrow in Cleveland in Ohio and also
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a last-ditch effort to pull off a shocker in
these two states.
It`s not surprising. There are efforts underway to make it harder for
people to vote.
You`re seeing the result of manmade voter suppression. Lines for
early voting stretched around corners in Ohio. Make no mistake: this is a
calculated decision by Republican lawmakers to limit access to polls.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, he has been the focal point of
much criticism. And he`s the former Republican speaker of the House in the
state of Ohio. He approved the restriction on early voting hours around
The same thing is happening in the state of Florida. Voters waited as
late as 2:30 a.m. in the morning to cast a ballot in Palm Beach County this
weekend. Voters reported wait times of up to -- I cannot believe this
number -- seven hours?
More people voting in Democratic-leaning areas is bad for the GOP.
Republican Governor Rick Scott reduced number of early voting days and was
able to defeat a court challenge to uphold his ruling in most of the state
Republicans, you see, folks, they want it this way. They want to make
it as hard as they possibly can and very complicated with ballots like this
one in Florida. They are openly deceitful, giving voters the wrong date
for the election in robocalls and mailings. They target -- who? Minority
voters, young people, and the elderly with voter ID laws.
One lawmaker predicted these laws would win Pennsylvania for Mitt
The lines in Ohio and Florida are the culmination of Republican voter
suppression effort. In the effort of -- but in spite of all of their
efforts, people are still in line.
In Ohio, 537,000 early votes have been cast in person, 35 percent of
the state has already voted. President Obama leads among early voters, 62
percent to 36 percent. Among those who will vote on Election Day, Romney
leads 52 percent to 42 percent.
This is why early voting is so crucial for the president and his
campaign. Today, the first lady had a message for all of those waiting in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Once you`re in that line, do not get out.
The waits could be long. We need you to wait it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama was forceful about Ohio voters maintaining
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA: If you`re willing to work with me again, knock on some
doors with me and make some phone calls and turn out, we will win Ohio.
We`ll win this election. We`ll finish what we started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama in recent days has played with a lot of
heart, passion and desire, no question about it. He`s been very focused.
The heart and soul of this election can be found in those long lines:
are you willing to have your schedule disrupted to go stand in line for
three, four, five, six or maybe even seven hours? The question tonight for
Americans in those crucial states is: how bad do you want it? You know
what the Republicans have been up to, keep telling yourself that.
They want you to leave. They want you to drive by. They want you to
I know you picked the kids up at 3:15 from school and soccer practice
is at 4:30. Yao going to give yourself time in traffic, and then, of
course, maybe spend 20 minutes in line. It`s probably not going to work
like that anywhere in Ohio or in Florida.
So this comes down to you -- an American citizen who has had some road
blocks in front of you. But the Democrats have to have you stand in line.
President Obama has to have you stand in line if this country is going to
move forward. You can wear it as a badge of honor that you spent five
hours in line to make the correct decision tomorrow. Tomorrow, it`s all on
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s e question: who will win the 2012 presidential election?
Text A for President Obama, text B for Mitt Romney, the challenger, to
622639. You can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com, and leave a
comment. We`ll bring the result later on in the show.
I`m joined tonight by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.
And also, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, he joins us by phone
tonight from Tampa, Florida.
Great to have you with us. You`ve been right in the thick of this in
your respective states.
Nina, you first.
Are you feeling confident that everyone will be able to cast their
votes tomorrow? Is there going to be enough time available to do what you
got to do?
NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: Ed, I am confident. And despite
the secretary`s suppression, we are moving forward in the state of Ohio.
As you have just said, people are standing out in the cold. They`re
standing with babies in their arms, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles,
But they understand this is all or nothing. We are going blue or
going home. And since we are not going home, we are going blue.
And that momentum that the Romney campaign thinks they are feeling, it
has nothing but the force of the door closing behind them because they are
going to lose Ohio. He ought not even come to Ohio tomorrow because we`re
going to be with the president.
SCHULTZ: Do you think people in Ohio are mentally prepared for what
they went through in 2004? I mean, is the resolve of the people there for
multiple hours in line if that`s what it takes?
TURNER: I saw it yesterday, Ed. I mean, it was there. Absolutely.
People are coming from church, Hispanic brothers and sisters, white
brothers and sisters, black brothers and sisters standing in line side by
side, because they understand that the only race that matters is the human
And who has the best interest of the human race right here in the
United States of America? It is President Barack Obama. They know they
stand on the shoulders of our foreparents. They stand on the shoulders of
people like Fannie Lou Hamer who was jailed and beaten in 1962 not because
she had done anything wrong, only she wanted the right to vote.
People were there. Our resolve is strong in Ohio. We understand that
it is all or nothing. We are going blue in the state of Ohio.
SCHULTZ: Governor Crist, down in Florida, great to have you with us
What is going on in Palm Beach County? Why is this happening,
CHARLIE CRIST (I), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR (via telephone): Well, the
problem in Florida is that they have really constricted the amount of time
people can early vote, Ed. And it`s a real shame that that`s the case.
Last cycle four years ago, we had 14 days of early voting in the Sunshine
State. That`s been reduced to eight days of early voting without any good
And it`s unconsciousable that people in policy-making positions in our
state are of the mind that they want to reduce the amount of democracy we
exercise rather than encourage the amount that we get to exercise in our
state. And why there wouldn`t be an expansion of the voting hours for
early voting prior to today is inexplicable to me.
CRIST: I don`t understand the people would not respect that so many
have fought and died for the precious right for us to vote that they
contracted rather than expanded and encouraged it.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Governor --
CRIST: I agree with the senator. I think we`re going to be fine in
Florida. People are frustrated. It infuriates them that they are trying
to be suppressed in this way and I think as a result of it, you`ll see a
backlash in Florida.
People will stay in the lines. As the senator said in her state, they
will do that in Florida if they have to because they understand how
important this election is, how important it is to reelect President Obama,
the he does look out for the middle class, he does care about women`s
issues, he does care about health care, and all the things are really
important to my fellow Floridians this president stands for.
And they will wait in line as long as they have to. They will not be
deterred and they will get it done tomorrow.
SCHULTZ: Those are very confident words coming from Charlie Crist
tonight here on THE ED SHOW. Those are -- it`s music to the ears of a lot
of Americans around the county that know exactly how their state is going
to go. They are watching Ohio and Florida to see how these big swing
states are going to go.
But, Governor, are there enough ways for Florida voters to make sure
that their votes are going to be counted?
CRIST: Well, you can always have more. You know, when I first got
elected governor, at the urging of Congressman Robert Wexler, we passed a
paper trail so that you would be able to count the votes in the event there
was a problem after the election. As we all know, this is going to be
close. It`s going to be tight in Florida, I believe. I think the
president is going to win, but it`s going to be close.
SCHULTZ: You think the president will win Florida?
CRIST: I do. I do. I was at an event with him, Ed, yesterday in
Hollywood, Florida, in McArthur High School and there were 25,000 people
that turned out to that event. I mean, we didn`t have Bruce Springsteen as
CRIST: It was all for President Obama. And it was extraordinary. I
mean, the energy and the enthusiasm that we`re seeing throughout the
Sunshine State is wonderful for the president. It`s not without reason.
It`s because he`s been here for the oil spill and helped us during that
disaster. He came and helped us with the Recovery Act to help our
hardworking public school teachers, our law enforcements, our firefighters,
that are so critical to the well-being of my fellow Floridians.
President Obama has had our back. Tomorrow it`s our time to have his
and I believe we will.
SCHULTZ: All right. Nina, the Secretary of State Husted in the state
of Ohio said people complaining about voter suppression are trying to cause
a panic. Here it is. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUSTED (R), OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE: There are a lot of folks
trying to introduce chaos so that they can -- so that they can have a cause
for litigating post-election in case it`s close.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you say about that?
TURNER: My God, Ed, he caused the chaos. He`s going to have to live
with the fact that he appealed all the way to the United States Supreme
Court to take away the last three days of early voting for all Ohioans.
That early on in this process, he only allowed Republican counties to have
early voting, to extended voting hours.
We have less voting hours in 2012 than we do in 2008. He took away
the four weeks of early voting prior to the last three days he tried to
steal. Thank God the United States Supreme Court rejected him.
He is causing the chaos and confusion. We will not be removed. We
have resolve in the state of Ohio, Ed, and we are going to deliver for the
SCHULTZ: All right. Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and also with us,
former Florida Governor Charlie Crist from the state of Florida tonight --
great to have both of you with us.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. We love it when you share your thoughts with us on Twitter
@EdShow, and on Facebook. We always want to know what you think.
Coming up, the war on women. Will Republicans pay a price for it?
Terry O`Neill and Joan Walsh are here and they will weigh in on that.
Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. We`ll be right
SCHULTZ: Coming up, what effect will the GOP`s war on women have on
tomorrow`s election results? Terry O`Neill and Joan Walsh join me next.
Then a look at the electoral map. Democratic pollster Fred Yang joins
me to discuss what to look for as the results come in tomorrow night.
And tomorrow Americans have a choice of two paths for this country`s
future. My commentary on what the election could mean for the American
Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter using the #EdShow.
We`re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back.
We have been reporting on it for over a year. The GOP has been staging
a war on women. And tomorrow Republicans, I believe, will pay a price for
The final poll from Pew Research Center shows President Obama ahead by
three points, thanks in part of female voters. Just a month ago, the
president was tied with Mitt Romney among likely female voters. Now the
president has a 13-point lead over his opponent.
It`s easy to see why. Mitt Romney has towed the party line on issues
that matter to women. And these aren`t just social issues. These are
economic issues impacting women financially.
Mitt Romney has vowed to get rid of Planned Parenthood. He has yet to
take a stand on equal pay for equal work. He says he will repeal
Obamacare, which gives women greater access to health services at no
additional cost. He embraces the Ryan budget, which would gut the social
safety net for millions of women and their families across this country.
One Virginia voter telling "The Washington Post" the GOP`s war on
women helped her to decide to vote for President Obama. She said, I don`t
think I could vote Republican no matter how much I liked Mitt Romney. The
party seems so anti-woman they are trying to take birth control away. I
can`t go there. I think abortion should always be available to women who
So what we have reported on in the last year it all boils down to
tomorrow. Where will the women vote in this country? Which will they go?
Will they go with President Obama or will they go with the radical agenda
that will take us back decades with Mitt Romney?
Let`s bring in Joan Walsh, editor at large for Salon.com, and author
of "What`s the Matter with White People".
Also with us tonight, Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women.
Great to have you with us.
Joan, you first.
Will the Republicans pay a price for what they have done when it comes
to women`s issues and their stand over the last year?
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Oh, they will absolutely pay a price, Ed. I
think one of the more interesting things, though, in the polls is really
looking at the break down state by state.
We think of women`s issues sometimes people can think about them only
in terms of contraception or choice. There are also, as you said, economic
And assuming the president wins tomorrow night, I hope so, that`s what
I want, he`s going to really owe it to white working class women in Ohio.
He`s losing that group nationwide, but in Ohio and Wisconsin and Iowa, he`s
winning white working class women.
They are helping him keep that edge. He`s doing a little better with
white men nationwide, but the real gap is with women. So women understand
this in terms of health, in terms of contraception, in terms of the icky
things we heard said about rape. But they also understand that it`s a
pocketbook issue. And I think we`re going to have a lot to talk about
tomorrow night, and it`s going to be good.
SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, has the challenger, Congressman Akin from
Missouri and also Mourdock who won in a Tea Party run off against a long-
time senator, have these two gentlemen really helped the women`s movement
in a sense that they have gotten so much publicity and conversation, it
really gave a rebirth to the war on women in this country late in this
Your thoughts on that.
TERRY O`NEILL, PRESIDENT, NOW: I think they took the mask off of
what`s going on in the Republican Party. Look, the radical right wing has
seized the levers of control in the entire Republican Party.
The head of the ticket, Mitt Romney, is adamantly opposed to abortion
without exceptions frankly. This is a man who urged a woman whose life was
threatened by pregnancy. He didn`t want her to terminate that pregnancy
and here`s what he said. And this is what women know and this is where
when I talk to women about this, they are shocked.
He said to her, why should you get off easy? Other women have their
That was his attempt to stop a woman whose life is at stake. She had
blood clots and she needed to terminate that pregnancy. That`s the head of
The vice presidential candidate is already on record trying to convert
Medicare to a private voucher system. Mitt Romney agrees with that. Paul
Ryan crafted it. Women are very much aware of that and they know how much
that hurts not only themselves, it hurts their moms, it hurts their
This is a thing where as you said, the war against women is a war on
women`s economic security as well as women`s access to health care.
Well, speaking of the economics of it, the Service Employees
International Union has a calculator that tabulates birth control costs. I
found this very interesting. If Romney wins this election, an 18-year-old
uninsured woman would pay just over $99,000 over the course of her child
bearing years for birth control. A 30-year-old uninsured woman on the pill
would pay over $57,000. An insured 25-year-old on the patch would pay
Joan, why don`t the Republicans admit that this is an economic issue
WALSH: They have really gotten away with portraying this as a kind of
lifestyle issue, Ed, that it`s something that only pertains to, I don`t
know, affluent women, that it`s merely a matter of freedom. I say merely.
But I think one of the things that`s happened in this election cycle
that`s very good for Democrats and good for women is that we have started
to talk about this economic issue. I think we realize that it`s not just
the price of contraception, but when women have control over their
fertility and decide when they`re going to have to start their families,
they stay in the workforce longer, their families are stronger, they make
more money, they raise stronger kids.
So I think we`re learning to talk about this better. And I also think
that we`re closing what`s kind of been a racial and glass gap around these
issues by really making clear the ways in which these policies affect
everyone and that poor women will be hurt the worst.
SCHULTZ: What about the vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Terry
O`Neill? I mean, the budget that he has presented -- I mean, the fact that
Mitt Romney chose him to be a running mate took the scab off a budget that
was very detrimental to women in this country. I mean, in a sense that
selection did a women a favor, didn`t it, to get these issues out.
O`NEILL: Yes. Again, really, really rips the mask off of what`s
going on in the Republican Party. The Romney/Ryan budget that`s drafted by
Paul Ryan, not only does it convert Medicare to a private voucher system,
it decimates Medicaid. And by the way, half of Medicaid dollars go to
support nursing homes, vast majority of residents are women.
And the vast majority of people who work in nursing homes are women.
And when the thousands of nursing homes shut down if Romney and Ryan get in
there, where are the women going to go? And where are the women workers
going to go?
So, it`s Medicare, it`s Medicaid, it`s a whole swath of social
programs that also disproportionately serve women and disproportionately
employ women. So, Pell Grants and after-school programs and Head Start and
So, absolutely, this is -- this is a war on women. And that`s why
women are going to elect Barack Obama, re-elect Barack Obama president.
SCHULTZ: Well, tomorrow is the election. And women in this country
make 77 cents on a dollar compared to men. And not one time throughout
this entire campaign has either one of the candidates, Mitt Romney or Paul
Ryan, ever addressed that number and specifically said we`ve got to do
something about that. I find that just amazing.
Joan Walsh, Terry O`Neill -- great to have you with us tonight.
Up next, the narrow road to victory. Find out exactly what to watch
for when the election results start coming in tomorrow night. We`ll show
why Mitt Romney -- he may have a math problem.
And later, our mega power panel. Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe, and
Eugene Robinson join me.
Stay with us. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: And we are back. Thanks for staying with us tonight. The
Romney campaign is promising its supporters they will have a victory
tomorrow night. But his road to victory is narrow, no matter how you look
Let`s take a look at the states Romney needs to win to become
president of the United States. Joining me now is Democratic pollster Fred
Mr. Yang, good to have you with us tonight. What`s the most likely
scenario for both candidates tomorrow?
FRED YANG, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: I think the most likely scenario, Ed
-- and good evening, by the way -- is that Barack Obama will be reelected
president of the United States. I think all analysts and pundits from both
parties are looking at eight or nine key battleground states.
And I think, Ed, in addition to looking at the national polls, the
exit polls and the state polls, I think we should know by about 8:00
whether this is going to be a long night and a good night for President
Obama. I think we have Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, three mega
battleground states, all that will have poll closing times by 8:00.
SCHULTZ: OK. What are the early indicators Mitt Romney has a shot at
YANG: Well, I think he needs to win Virginia. If we go through the
night, Ed, by time, Virginia closes at 7:00. If the exit polls and the
voter totals show Mitt Romney will win Virginia, then he sort of stays in
the game. Then the big battleground state, a lot of pundits have said this
is a state that will make or break the election, is Ohio. If Mitt Romney
can`t carry Ohio, that`s a very good sign for President Obama.
SCHULTZ: If President Obama wins Virginia, the state you`re talking
about, or Ohio, can Romney still win the election?
YANG: He can. You know, politics is a very funny business, as you
know. That`s why we hold elections. Look, he can still win, but the path
for him gets very hard if he can`t win Virginia. As you said, Ed, Mitt
Romney can win the presidency. He`s not likely to, because the
battleground states and the arithmetic there is so hard for him.
SCHULTZ: So here we are, we`re looking at three states to watch
tomorrow, Ohio, Virginia and Florida. Which counties are critical for
President Obama in the state of Ohio?
YANG: I think in the state of Ohio, probably we`ll be looking at
Hamilton County, which is a Cincinnati suburb. Barack Obama was the first
Democrat to carry Hamilton County since 1964. He doesn`t need to win
Hamilton County by the margin he won in 2008. Again, Barack Obama was the
first Democrat since `64 to carry Hamilton County. But if the president
gets close to his margin in 2008, even if he carries Hamilton narrowly,
that will be a good sign for the president`s prospects in Ohio.
SCHULTZ: What about Virginia? What`s the hot county in Virginia to
YANG: I think the hot counties are probably -- everyone knows the
inner D.C. suburbs, Alexandria, Arlington. But I think it`s the next ring
of counties beyond those D.C. metro areas, Loudon and Prince William, again
counties that George W. Bush carried against John Kerry in 2004, but
counties that Barack Obama won pretty much close to his statewide margin in
Virginia in 2008.
Again, if the president gets close to his 2008 margins in Loudon and
Prince William or wins those counties even narrowly, that`s a good sign for
the president winning Virginia.
SCHULTZ: And Hillsborough County in the Tampa area of Florida, how
pivotal is this and a good indicator for the state?
YANG: Again, you know, funny enough, Ed, we`re picking counties that
pretty much comport to the statewide vote. Hillsborough County, again, is
in the Tampa area. It`s not quite a microcosm of Florida. For example,
you`re missing the Hispanics from South Florida.
But again, the margin in Hillsborough pretty much comports with the
statewide vote. And look, in all intents and purposes, of the three states
we have mentioned, Florida is probably the toughest reach for the
president. If he can do well in Hillsborough, that means it will be a long
night. And a long night in Florida is a good night for President Obama.
SCHULTZ: Fred Yang, great to have you with us tonight. We obviously
will be here covering all of it. It`s going to be a heck of a thing.
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)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you`re tired of being
tired, then I ask you to vote for change. Help us win this.
OBAMA: You may be frustrated sometimes by the pace of change. Guess
what, so am I. But you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You
know I tell the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The closing arguments have been made. Tonight, final
thoughts from our mega ultra all-star panel of Richard Wolffe, Howard
Fineman and Eugene Robinson on just how all of this is going to turn out.
And later, I`ll tell you why I think the future of the middle class is
literally at stake in this election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: What do I think is going to
happen tomorrow? I think Romney`s going to be elected president tomorrow.
Whatever, listen, he asked. My guess is as good as yours. You know,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was Governor Chris
Christie predicting who will win the election tomorrow. Didn`t seem too
convincing right there. You think?
According to "the Huffington Post," Governor Christie turned down a
request to appear with Mitt Romney at a Sunday night rally in Morrisville,
Pennsylvania, just 20 minutes from Trenton, the capital of New Jersey. The
effect of the Superstorm Sandy on this campaign is still evident.
Here`s President Obama today talking about the recovery effort and
what it means to Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We will help them rebuild. And we will carry on with the
spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough times
may get, we`re all in this together. We rise and fall as one nation and as
(END VIDEO CLIP0
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in our mega power panel tonight. I`m joined
with Richard Wolff, vice president and executive director, editor of
MSNBC.com. Also Howard Fineman, editorial director of Huffington Post
Media Group, and Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political analyst and "Washington
Post" columnist --
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP: And Pulitzer Prize
SCHULTZ. I am a man of truth. I admit that the knowledge weighs
heavy on this side of the table tonight. All right, gentlemen, everybody
wants to know what`s going to happen. But I want to go back to what Chris
Christie was saying just a moment -- he goes, I don`t know. I guess it`s
going to be -- Richard, what -- how much has this storm played into the
decision-making factor for voters, do you think?
RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MSNBC.COM: I think it has had a
significant impact in the -- for that sliver that needs to break late in
the election. In a one or two-point race, that can make a difference just
as much as the ground game can. Is it close enough that any side can be
The problem there have been two, three, four dozen polls in the last
couple of weeks that all point to one result. Still a close election, but
if you had to bet your money, it seems that at least the electoral college
looks like it`s pretty clear.
SCHULTZ: Howard, what do you think?
FINEMAN: I think Richard is right about the effects of the hurricane.
And I think it`s especially true because Mitt Romney had been hoping that
his closing argument -- and he`s making it again today, made it yesterday -
- is all about how he`s the only guy who can bring bipartisanship back to
And the president`s relationship with Governor Christie, who after all
is the guy who gave the keynote address at the Republican Convention,
undercuts that. And I think it`s undercut it all week. And I think to the
extent there`s been a sliver of movement in the president`s direction in
some places, in some states, I think it`s partly due to that.
Because undecided voters and independent voters care a lot about that
process argument. That`s helped the president make it.
SCHULTZ: He`s shown leadership. It gives him an opportunity to show
leadership, doesn`t it, Eugene?
EUGENE ROBINSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It does. I think it`s been a
good couple weeks for the president. Clearly, if you were, again, a
betting person, that`s the way you would bet your money. You wouldn`t
necessarily sleep all that soundly tonight. But the other side is not
going to sleep soundly at all.
And if you`d ask, which hand would you rather play going into
tomorrow, you`d rather have the president`s hand. You`ve got a lot more
paths to your 270 electoral votes. If you`re Mitt Romney, you have to fill
the inside straight flush.
FINEMAN: And it`s basically impossible for Mitt Romney without Ohio
and/or Pennsylvania, and maybe both. And if the president can steal
something in one of these other states like Virginia, if he can hold
Virginia, then it`s curtains.
SCHULTZ: Curtains. That`s something we haven`t heard. Curtains.
This has been a long process.
FINEMAN: I`ll tell you this, if we know fairly early in the evening
that the president has held Virginia, then I think that would be curtains.
ROBINSON: Polls close at 7:00 in Virginia.
FINEMAN: There`s no accident why Mitt Romney has been there multiple
times, multiple events. The president has been there. I`ve looked at the
ground game there. It`s incredibly intense in that state, as much as Ohio
SCHULTZ: All right, all three of you journalists for decades, wealth
of experience and honored in your profession.
SCHULTZ: We all know that Mitt Romney`s campaign has not been
truthful on a number of different issues. What if he wins? What does it
say about our American political system, Eugene, if a man -- and I`ll use
the term lies his way to the Oval Office?
ROBINSON: I`ve been saying for some time that the technology of
obfuscation has outpaced the technology of interrogation. We`re not
keeping up in this sort of arm`s race of holding office holders and office
seekers accountable for what they say.
And so we -- our kind of old ways of doing that don`t seem adequate
for the times. And so we invented this new sort of fact checker
profession, which I used to call journalism. I thought that was what we
did. But so now we have fact checkers. We have to go another step, I
think, in order to -- for accountability.
SCHULTZ: Richard, what do you think?
WOLFFE: Well, we have not seen a candidate try and reinvent himself
at such a late stage. I think there are a couple reasons for that. One is
a sense of shame, right? People like to hold themselves true to what they
have said before. It takes a certain shamelessness to go out and reinvent
yourself in the first debate.
Generally, people try and build up to the kind of tacking back to the
center and being moderate. That`s where you end up with a candidate who
isn`t true to himself, never mind true to other facts that might be out
there. That is the extraordinary thing. No candidate in recent times has
tried to do that.
If it works, it means you can reinvent yourself any number of times.
It means that consistency, some kind of ideological harmony, in terms of
policy coherence, is out the window. The next candidate running for
president will have no budget details, no proposals. You`re into a pure
All due respect to my marketing friends, but it`s an advertising-
FINEMAN: And I think Gene is right about the fact that we just can`t
rely on the campaign mechanisms themselves. Because a lot of the fact
checking and accusation by the other side is discounted as politics. It
has to be journalism. He`s right about that.
The other thing is, if it works for Mitt Romney, if this rather
cynical strategy works for Mitt Romney, it will also show that the depth of
antagonism toward the president and toward his handling of the economy was
deeper than the polls measured in the run up to the election, both personal
SCHULTZ: Early days of reporting for all of you, when you were going
to those city commission meetings at midnight, if someone said something on
tape that wasn`t true, you could just feel the community outrage. But I
just don`t sense that outrage across America when there`s a half truth
pulled out. I just -- what`s happening to the country?
FINEMAN: One of the things that`s happening is that people have their
own spheres of facts and fact checkers and realities. The even more
dangerous thing, in addition to what Richard was saying about the cynicism
of the strategy, is the -- is the idea that we don`t share an agreement on
Pat Moynihan famously said you`re entitled to your own opinion, but
not your own facts. Now everybody has his or her own facts.
SCHULTZ: All right, Richard Wolffe, Howard Fineman, Eugene Robinson,
great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, tomorrow is a huge day for the country and the future of
the American middle class. My commentary on just how important it is.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked you who will win the 2012
presidential election. Ninety six percent of you say Barack Obama; four
percent of you say Mitt Romney.
Coming up, your vote tomorrow is hugely important for the future of
the great American middle class. We can continue on the path of progress
with President Obama or we can take a hard right turn and go back to the
policies that didn`t work. My commentary. Stay with us. We`re right
SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish, if you have watched this program over
the last several years, you know that this is what we call the Vulture
Chart. It represents the massive income inequality in this country that
really has been growing over the last 30 years and, should I say,
It`s called the Vulture Chart because the people on the top, like Mitt
Romney, are on top of it. They are the vultures. They practice vulture
capitalism, which has absolutely no regard for American workers or the
great American middle class.
This chart is what THE ED SHOW is all about. And it is what THE ED
SHOW is about moving forward.
For three years on this program, we have talked about the American
middle class and the pressures on the American middle class. It`s the
backbone of our economy.
Here`s the middle class. You`ll see them down on the blue line there.
That`s where they`ve been. That`s their income.
This is it. Tomorrow is your last chance to make that blue line go up
and level the playing field a little bit for all Americans in our economy.
Mitt Romney sees that red line that you`re looking at the top. He believes
that that`s not steep enough. He wants it to go off the chart. He sees
the blue line and he wants to lower it.
Just look at his policies. He wants a national right to work law, to
take away your voice in the workplace. He doesn`t believe in equal pay for
equal work. He wants to abolish minimum wage. Get rid of minimum wage?
What did those folks do wrong?
You know what this is? This is radical. And this is radical to the
American middle class in this country. People who are on minimum wage,
they are not in the middle class, but they want to get there. Mitt Romney
wants to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
See those people at the very top of that chart, they are the ones who
have benefited and will benefit no matter what happens tomorrow. For 30
years, they have gotten all the breaks. They have gotten all the tax cuts.
They have gotten trade deals that they have wanted. They have kept the
middle class from growing. They have kept the working man down.
That`s what Mitt Romney wants to continue to do. He`s the chief of
outsourcing. Mitt Romney wants to go back to failed policies of the Bush
administration. This is what got us in this mess in the first place.
Every economic indicator, every single one -- and to some conservative
friends that I have, this is what I say. Every economic indicator is up
since the day President Obama took office.
GDP, the stock market, jobs, consumer confidence, housing starts,
corporate profits. They ought to be loving this guy. Manufacturing is up,
unemployment is down. Yes, we are better off today than we were four years
Tomorrow, we`re going to have a chance to make sure that the great
American middle class of this country will have a chance to recover and
grow. Nobody is claiming in this country that we are where we are because
of just one person. We are a great country. We`re going to recover.
But policies make a difference. President Obama is not satisfied. He
declares that often. Liberals, progressives, independents, conservatives,
nobody is satisfied with the pace of the recovery.
However, Mitt Romney is the return to the policies that ran us right
into the ditch in the first place. Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
have not created the jobs that we were sold they were going to create. And
they have done no good for this country except for a very few, because 98
percent of Americans did not benefit from the Bush tax cuts.
This country needs investment, investment in education, in teachers
and schools, in science and math and reading, the basics. We have to be
brilliant on the basics again. Infrastructure, we have to build roads,
bridges. And we have to believe in people, those cops, those firefighters,
Mitt Romney, you know what he thinks? He thinks that`s just all big
government. It`s not. It`s America. We need to reinvest in our country.
We have already done all that nation building in Baghdad and Kandahar. We
have enough investment for the top one percent in this country.
It`s time to invest in the middle class. This show has been all
around the country in recent years. We have spoken to people in Madison,
Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Freeport, Illinois, Newton, Iowa,
Denver, Colorado, Moorehead, Minnesota, Norfolk, Virginia, Miami, Florida.
We have been everywhere.
And you know what? Americans everywhere feel the pulse of this
country. We can do better. This is an election about the hard working
people that I have met all over this country.
So tomorrow, we can take a hard right turn and go back to the policies
that hurt the middle class or we can continue down the path of progress
with President Obama.
I ask you to do one thing tomorrow, get out and vote.
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