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The Ed Show for Monday, October 17th, 2011

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Van Jones, Joan Walsh, Mike Papantonio, Katrina Vanden Heuvel,
Steve Kornacki, Joe Watkins, Mahlon Mitchell

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

The 99 percent movement is officially one month old and it has caused
a massive shift in American politics. But it can`t stop now.

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


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: I, for one, am increasingly
concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The 99 percent movement has Republicans
changing their tune.

CANTOR: We agree that there is too much income disparity in this

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Van Jones, Joan Walsh, Mike Papantonio and Katrina
Vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" on the one-month anniversary of "Occupy Wall

liberals is to destroy this country.

SCHULTZ: Herman Cain isn`t backing off his claim that liberals are
out to destroy America.

Steve Kornacki and Joe Watkins are here.

And before there was Wall Street, there were the protests in Madison.
Is Scott Walker the man who started the 99 percent movement? We`ll ask the
head of the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters, Mahlon Mitchell.


SCHULTZ: Hope you had a great weekend, folks. Great to have you with
us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement captured the attention of America
one month ago tonight. Now, the global movement for economic justice has
Washington`s full attention, I`d say. This weekend the 99 percent
protesters filled the streets in over 800 American cities and over 82
different countries.

The Obama campaign says it will make the 99 percent platform a central
tenet of his re-election strategy. And Republicans are running scared.

For the last month, Republicans have vilified the 99 percent movement.
Exactly 10 days ago, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sounded the alarm at
the Value Voters Conference.


CANTOR: I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs
occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.


SCHULTZ: Now, is that what he`s saying today? Cantor has done a
complete 180 on the middle class mob. And now claims to have a plan to
solve the record income gap in America.


CANTOR: We agree that the economy is he woefully, woefully weak. We
agree that there is too much income disparity in this country. We believe
that everyone ought to be lifted up.


SCHULTZ: Have you heard any Republicans talk about income disparity?

I think that this Wall Street movement has got these folks on the run.
For Cantor to claim Republicans want to lift everyone up is a joke.
They`ve never offered any policy that would support that. In fact, the
last 10 years of Republican economic policy is exactly why the rich have
been richer and the other 99 percent is out the street demanding justice.

The Republican Party`s tax cut at all cost religion has destroyed the
American dream for millions of Americans. Eric Cantor`s prescription to
solve the income gap is just more of the same.


CANTOR: We know in this country right now that there is a complaint
about folks at the top end of the income scale. If they make too much and
too many, don`t make enough. Well, we need to vote and encourage those at
the top of the income scale to actually put their money to work to create
more jobs so that we can see a closing of the gap.

You know, we`re about income mobility. And that`s what we should be
focused on to take care of the income disparity.


SCHULTZ: You know, I thought the Bush tax cuts took care of all of
that, Mr. Cantor. I thought if you don`t raise taxes on the job creators,
you don`t have to worry about anything. Cantor wants to encourage the job
creators by lowering their taxes again, this time by 10 percent.

Tax hikes for the rich been on the slide on the last 50 years. The
middle class has been picking up the tab.

Eric Cantor`s income gap solution would make those numbers even worse.
Tonight, Cantor office announced that he will take an income gap, dog and
pony show, on the road.

The majority leader is planning a major speech at a Wharton School in
Philadelphia this Friday.

President Obama is already on the road pushing his jobs plan. The
president is on a three-day bus tour which will put him in Cantor`s home
state of Virginia later this week. Today, President Obama hammered the
Republicans, their plan down in North Carolina.


Republican plan boils down to a few basic ideas. They want to gut
regulations. They want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants. They want
to drill more and they want to repeal health care reform. That`s their
jobs plan.


SCHULTZ: President Obama is still pressuring the Republicans to pass
portions of his jobs bill that was blocked by Republicans in the Senate
last week.


OBAMA: Independent economists, not my economists, but independent
economists have said this jobs bill would create nearly two million jobs.
But, apparently, none of this matters to the Republican Republicans in the
Senate because last week they got together to block this bill.


SCHULTZ: And on Sunday, Cantor made it clear Republicans in the House
won`t compromise with the president`s economic approach.


CANTOR: Since the president has taken office, there`s been 1.6
million jobs lost in the private sector, net. We`ve also seen the fact
there are 4.5 million foreclosures during this president`s term.
Obviously, his economic plans are not working.


SCHULTZ: And that representative you just saw on the screen is
completely intellectually dishonest about President Obama`s record on
private sector growth. The 1.6 million private sector job loss happened in
the first 12 months of President Obama was digging us out of the ditch that
Bush created.

President Obama`s stimulus has led America to 19 straight months of
private sector job growth. So, once again, I ask the question tonight here
on THE ED SHOW, how much more evidence do you need? The obstruction

What we`re seeing a shift that I talked about at the top. President
Obama is ready to really embrace the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd and make
that the central part of his re-election campaign. That`s all good news
because a lot of them are disenchanted Obama supporter who are in the
street thinking he didn`t fight hard enough. So, he`s on the right track.

Off track is Eric Cantor. Cantor is saying, you know, I guess we`ve
got to go get the wealthy people and try to encourage them to create jobs.
After we`ve given them all the breaks, they just haven`t done it -- which
just goes to show that their trickle-down economic theory, it`s never
worked and it never will.

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

Tonight`s question: which movement is stronger, the 99 percent
movement on the Tea Party? Text A for 99 percent, text B for the Tea Party
to 622639. Our blog is there for you at We`ll bring you the
results later on.

Joining me now is Van Jones, president and co-founder of

Van, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: You bet.

Does Eric Cantor have a clue how close the income gap is?

JONES: He doesn`t. First of all, you said what`s bigger than the Tea
Party or "Occupy Wall Street"? Ninety-nine percent of the Tea Party base
should be on "Occupy Wall Street" as well because they`re getting just as
screwed over by Wall Street as anything else.

That sound you hear is the ice cracking all around the Republican
Party. This movement has shaken up politics. It is completely redrawing
the boundaries.

When you have somebody like Eric Cantor preventing that he cares about
income inequality, you know this movement has broken through in a big way
in one month`s time.

SCHULTZ: And what should the reaction of the Obama re-election
campaign be? How -- when they say they`re going to embrace this, what does
that mean?

JONES: Well, I mean, I think what you`re seeing right now, you now
have two big fights in the country. You have this big peaceful nonviolent
movement, that`s challenging Wall Street, saying, hey, you would get your
boot off the neck of the American people? Wall Street was responsible for
the recession, their recklessness.

Now, they`re holding up the recovery. They won`t give students a
break with their loans. They won`t give homeowners a break. They won`t
give small businesses and farmers loans.

Wall Street is the main culprit. You got a mass movement in the
streets trying to deal with that. And now, the president opened up a fight
in Congress over jobs.

The two big issues in America, you got a mass movement in the streets
trying to deal with the banks. You`ve got the president leading the charge
in Congress over jobs. And the Republicans are on the wrong side of both.
This is a big deal, a big deal.

I hope that the campaign pays attention to the fact that the most
popular thing in America is a bunch of young folks and struggling folks in
sleeping bags out there and that they speak for millions. They do
represent the 99 percent.

SCHULTZ: Well, they are the ones that are staying overnight. But the
ones I saw out there, it crosses all demographics and it`s pretty amazing
all the professions as well. But how does the Obama campaign in your
opinion capture, recapture this emotion and turn this into a political
victory? And do you think this 99 percent people are going to vote?

JONES: Listen, I think what`s happening right now is that for so long
progressives, liberals, we built the movement trying to chase the White
House, trying to chase Washington, D.C. -- please listen to us. We got
called retards. We got called all kinds of stuff.

Guess what? This movement is a movement that D.C. has to chase, the
White House has to chase. All the political folks like us have to chase
this movement. And it`s great.

I think that if the White House comes out and says, we hear the
students. They are not getting -- they`re graduating $100,000 worth of
debt, no jobs, praying to get an unpaid internship. We hear you. We got
to do something to help you. We hear you, homeowners.

If the administration starts taking on this cost, not just
rhetorically but putting forward real ideas that can make a difference, I
think you could completely redraw the map.

But I don`t think it`s about, you know, Democrats trying to co-op this
movement. We should let the spirit of the movement co-op the Democratic
Party, the Republican Party and the whole country. It`s the best thing in
America right now.

SCHULTZ: All right. Van Jones of -- appreciate
your time.

Let`s turn to Joan Walsh, editor at large for, and Mike
Papantonio, host of "The Ring of Fire" radio show.

Joan, it would seem to me that this really sets the table for
President Obama to run against Congress. I mean, there are so many avenues
he can follow right here. The angst in the country and he`s the one out
there advocating the very simple thing of jobs that he`s not getting
support on. What do you make of it?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Right. Yes, and I want to point to the
president taking a much more populist line even before Occupy Wall Street.
So he deserves some credit on that front for sure. At the same time, Ed,
"Occupy Wall Street" has done what we have not as progressives been able to
do for generations.

And so, I love hearing Van say that, you know, "Occupy Wall Street"
should co-opt the Democrats rather than the Democrats co-opting "Occupy
Wall Street," because I know there is a lot of fear about just becoming
another appendage of a Democratic Party that really doesn`t listen to its

So I think that role for a lot of us right now should be listening and
paying attention and dialogue rather than saying, you guys have to vote.
And you have to vote for Obama.

I`m taking a kind of curious wait and see posture.

But I also think the things that happened, you know, in 10 days really
is that Eric Cantor now sees that "Occupy Wall Street" is more popular with
the American people than the Tea Party.


WALSH: We have poll data now that say that.

So, this man who is Mr. Tea Party is running away from the Tea Party
and running to "Occupy Wall Street." You cannot call them an angry mob

SCHULTZ: Mike, what does this mean? Everybody`s going to get thrown
out in November the way it stands right now. Everybody has got problems --
Democrats, Republicans.

MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, "RING OF FIRE": You know, the good thing for
the Democrats though is when you take Republicans, it equates with Wall
Street more than it does the Democrats equating to Wall Street, that`s a
huge advantage for the Democrats. They need to play that out.

Obama has been given a free shot here, Ed. He`s been given a free
shot to rail against the Republicans. And every time an irrelevant
lightweight Republican type like Eric Cantor starts talking stupid talk
about this trickle-down economics that has failed us for two decades now,
Americans are gagging on this ridiculous, laughable Republican talking
point that billionaires or patriots who care about job creation, that if we
let them get away with their tax scams, if we let them get away with their
tax shelters, that they`re going to take that money and give it to the
American working public.

We`ve seen that`s a lie. We`ve seen it to the point that there are 14
million Americans out of work under the old Republican program. The old
Bush cut the tax, cut the regulation program. We`ve seen it.

But Eric Cantor is such a cartoon character but he can`t help prepare
the stupid talking points while we speak. While that`s going on, his job
creators, Ed, are sitting there with $3 trillion in cash that they refuse
to give to the American economy to put people back to work. They have
billions off shore that they now want to negotiate with the American
taxpayer to get --

SCHULTZ: Well, this all leads into it. Yes, there`s no doubt they`re
all into it.

But this seems to be territory, Joan, where politicians aren`t welcome
no matter who they are. Yet, you could find Democrats in Congress who are
for universal health care, who didn`t want the Wall Street bailout, who
want jobs, who hit the majority of the bull`s eye that these people are
protesting for. Yet, I don`t see any of the Democrats down there really
embracing this crowd other than doing interviews every now and then.

What about that?

WALSH: Yes. You know, I would like to see more Democrats
approaching and they would have to approach in the spirit of humility
really and a spirit of learning and curiosity.

You know, as Mike says, there`s a lot more commonality between what at
least progressive Democrats want and what "Occupy Wall Street" wants.
There are areas of overlap.

But I think there are a lot of people down there who feel burned. You
know, we had a lot of young people come out and vote in 2008 who really
voted for change. And they didn`t see change.


WALSH: Instead, they`ve got unbelievable debt.

So, I think -- I`d like to see more politicians down there.

I love what the unions have been doing. They`re going down there.
They`re asking questions. They`re helping. They`re not giving orders.

That`s what`s going to happen in the next few months. And the
Democrats have 13 months to learn from this movement, to figure out how to
work with this movement and begin to champion some of the causes like
student debt relief and homeowner relief.

There are really practical things we could be doing, Ed, that will
stimulate the economy, but also liberate the 99 percent from the shackles
of debt. And that`s what this is about.

SCHULTZ: And, quickly, Mike, if we`re at 4.5 percent, 5 percent
unemployment, does that mean that this protest isn`t taking place? I mean,
everything changes when you got a job.

PAPANTONIO: I think this takes place for a lot of different reasons.
They want money out of politics. That`s what it really comes down to.

SCHULTZ: That`s one of them.

PAPANTONIO: Money out of politics is number one on their list.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Joan Walsh, Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure. Good
to have you with us.

WALSH: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of
the screen. We want to know what you think.

Coming up, Katrina Vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" on the explosion of
the "Occupy Wall Street" movement around the country and around the world.
We`ll also go back to Madison, Wisconsin, where many believe the 99 percent
movement started.

And later, Herman Cain destroys a John Lennon song but he says
liberals are out to destroy America.

You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama`s big push for American jobs has really gotten the
attention of former presidential opponent, Senator John McCain. Today on
the Senate floor, McCain said that president had unfairly criticized the
Republicans job plan.

But what bothered McCain the most was the bus the president was riding


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The president`s made these remarks on
a taxpayer paid for, riding in a Canadian bus, visit. And I must say
again, I`ve never seen an uglier bus than a Canadian one. He`s traveling
around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs.


SCHULTZ: Senator McCain, you`re a little late to the party. Your
fellow Republicans were whining about the Canadian bus two months ago. And
as we said then, the Secret Service chooses the manufacturer, not the
president of the United States.

President Bush rode on a bus made by the same Canadian manufacturer in
2004 on a tour called, "Yes, America Can."

Senator McCain, it must be tough defending the party so incredibly
lacking in good ideas. Get an idea, dude, will you? It ain`t the bus.

When we come back, occupy the world. The movement goes global, next.


SCHULTZ: And thanks for watching tonight.

Make no mistake: "Occupy Wall Street" has already dwarfed the Tea
Party. It`s not a bit close. The 99 percent movement now spans 82
countries over five continents, according to organizers. Protesters in
London are settling in after the third day. There are demonstrations in
France, Italy and Germany.

And we over here, what does all this mean?

In Sydney, the banners look very familiar. "We are the 99 percent."

There were protests in Asia and Latin America this weekend.

Here in New York, thousands of protesters flooded Times Square.

And in Washington, at the dedication of Dr. Martin Luther King
monument, King`s daughter said her father stood for racial and economic


REV. BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MLK, JR: When he was galvanizing poor
people from all walks of life to converge on this nation`s capital and stay
here and occupy this place until there was change in the economic system
and a better distribution of wealth. We should never adjust to the 1
percent controlling more than 40 percent of the wealth.


SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in the editor and publisher of "The Nation"
magazine, Katrina Vanden Heuvel. This week`s issue of "The Nation" takes a
special look at the movement.

Tell us about that.

Bloomington, Indiana, Ed, this past weekend. And to sit there and watch
what was happening around the globe and around this country gives a sense
of the scale and scope of what`s going on. We are no longer the Tea Party
nation. We`re no longer a Tea Party world.

And I was reminded of something that in -- on the eve of the run-up to
the war in Iraq, there was a sense of the other superpower. Millions of
people in this country and around the world saying they wanted a different

And "Occupy Wall Street" across this country, across the world
captured the imagination, and in coalition with other groups, it is super
charging. What you know, what you think has been happening in this last
year from Tahrir Square to Madison to Ohio to Washington to Spain, we`re
seeing a world that understands there is -- the real deficit is not with
the austerity class is telling us. It`s a democracy deficit. It`s a
deficit of jobs. It`s a deficit of dignity for working people and it`s a
deficit when 99 percent of the people in this world in this country are not
getting what they rightly work for and need.

SCHULTZ: It`s been a month. How long will it go? I mean, is this
going to go through the election? Is this going to go until there`s real

I mean, there are some things coming up. You got Senate Bill 5.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: You`ve got the recall of the governor in Wisconsin. You`ve
got the tax issue here in New York, which is going to be in front of the
assembly coming up in December.

But -- I mean, what is this?

VANDEN HEUVEL: "Occupy Wall Street," a protest is powerful because of
the moral demands, the moral issues. Not these specifics of the agenda.

But what it`s doing as I said, super charging the work that hundreds
of other groups, whether it`s fighting for mortgage relief or student debt,
or Medicare for all, other groups in arduous turmoil in this country doing
this for months if not years. And it`s giving them the lift. It`s that
coalition, Ed.

"Occupy Wall Street" may not issue demands. So, I believe that power
does not conceive without demands. But other groups, and now entering, you
know, the political gravity, the political landscape has been reshaped. We
were talking about President Obama. Elizabeth Warren running in
Massachusetts is channeling in ways this language.

SCHULTZ: Is she the model right now on how to capture on this because

VANDEN HEUVEL: As a candidate.

SCHULTZ: Yes. But I mean, OK, let`s take someone who wants to lead,
who wants to be in public service -- someone who wants to do the work of
the people, the populist. How do you gather these folks to say you`re the
one we want?

VANDEN HEUVEL: But, you know, change in this country, Ed, has come
about to back through energized people from below, fused with people inside
like an Elizabeth Warren, like those in the progressive caucus who have a
people`s budget. Those -- that is when change comes about.

But it`s also when you have a country in desperate need. And you have
to find ways to channel the issues that you know have been subsumed to talk
of deficits and debt, manufacture crises.

So, I think the political space is now open. The media is finally
paying attention to other movements. It was all Tea Party until now. It
did a disservice to people in this country.

You travel this country. There are people -- good, decent people who
are trying to find a way in this country and aren`t getting represented.
Working America, you know, Working America is the AFL affiliate, which
organizes nonunion workers in more places. It recruited 25,000 people in
the last week because of the visibility of "Occupy Wall Street."

This is interesting because it`s white working class, moderate people
-- Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin -- they`re looking at the issues. And the
right-wing is going to focus, the backlash will be ferocious. They`re
going to fix on people`s clothes and their music, and this and that.

What we need to focus on is the real deficit in this country of jobs
and democracy. And stay focused and fuse it.

This is where my colleagues will disagree. You got to have the
movement energy. You got to have the electoral energy.

And you got to have the short term and you got to have the long term.

And the short term, we need to do deep reform. In the long term,
what`s really broken in this country is the system but not in the way the
media tells us.

SCHULTZ: Let me -- I bet in Bloomington, Indiana, you ran into the
attitude of it`s about time.

VANDEN HEUVEL: It`s about time.

SCHULTZ: I mean, that`s what I`m hearing. It`s about time somebody
stand up and do something, and people are amazing that this is continuing
to grow.

It`s exciting times. You know, I was 14, 15 years old when all the
demonstrations were going on with the Vietnam War. And you think OK,
they`re over with. And then there will be another one next week. And
there will be another massive one three days later. I mean, it just -- and
it shaped policy.

VANDEN HEUVEL: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: It shaped policy in this country.

VANDEN HEUVEL: That`s right. And what has shaped our history. But
it`s movements to find their time and their place. And how it evolves will
be -- it`s unknown. But it is reshaping the pull of gravity of our
political landscape.

SCHULTZ: Look forward to your work in the future. Thanks, Katrina.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

Up next in "Psycho Talk": Mike Huckabee says voter suppression is the
way for Republicans to win in Ohio. He might be joking but a lot of his
buddies are dead serious.

And this is a photo Mitt Romney would rather you didn`t see. It helps
explain why Wall Street is giving him five time as much more money for his
campaign than President Obama.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Fox News host and former
presidential candidate Mike Huckabee thinks it`s hilarious to deceive
voters. During a speech in Ohio, the former Arkansas governor offered
advice on how to prevent the repeal of the anti-union Senate Bill Five.


MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Make a list. Make a list of 10
family members, 10 friends, 10 neighbors, 10 folks you work with or have
worked with in the past. And call up and ask them, are you going to vote
on Issue Two and are you going to vote for it?

If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don`t go vote. Let
the air out of their tires on election. Tell them the election has been
moved to a different date. That`s up to you, how you creatively get the
job done.


SCHULTZ: Huckabee`s followers think voter suppression is a joke. But
a lot of Republicans are serious about it. This year, the Ohio legislature
passed a law reducing the number of days for early voting. The pro-Issue
Two group, Building a Better Ohio, deceptively edited a television
commercial of a great mother distorting her position.

Fair election groups have fought back, preventing the early voting law
from taking effect this year, and forcing the anti-union folks to pull the
deceiving commercial.

But Ohio isn`t the only place where Republicans are playing dirty.
Twenty one other states have introduced or passed legislation making it
harder for people to vote. And these laws disproportionately target
traditional Democratic voters.

Republicans aren`t confident about the issues. So they`re trying to
suppress the vote. That`s what it looks like to me. And for Mike Huckabee
to joke about voter suppression when his party is actively trying to
prevent people from voting is sleazy Psycho Talk.

Herman Cain says liberals are on a mission to destroy America. Steve
Kornacki and Joe Watkins weigh in on that. And I`ll have commentary, next.

And months before the 99 percenters occupied Wall Street, there was
this thing happening with the middle class in Wisconsin that was
surrounding Governor Scott Walker`s anti-union bill. :Now unions are using
the Occupy Movement`s momentum to get rid of Walker for good. We`ll talk
about it.



liberals is to destroy this country.


SCHULTZ: That was Herman Cain. He needs no introduction, just
tossing out, red meat out of a crowd of right-wingers back in February.
But now that Cain is a GOP front-runner, I`m sure he`s adopting a more
reasonable and responsible tone. Here he is on "Meet the Press."


actually seek to do that, that that is their mission, to destroy the

CAIN: That`s the conclusion that I have drawn.

GREGORY: Not mismanagement, but it is their mission.

CAIN: It is their mission, because they do not believe in a stronger
America, in my opinion. Yes.


SCHULTZ: Yes. The GOP front-runner believes that liberals are
purposely destroying the economy because we do not believe any stronger
America. And it just doesn`t end there. According to an op-ed Cain wrote
last December, liberals are also to blame for the death of Jesus Christ.

You see, until recently, Cain`s polling numbers allowed the pizza man
to get a pass on all of his positions and all of his opinions. Here`s Cain
talking immigration last summer.


CAIN: There could be a 20 foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on top.
And on this side of the fence, I`d have that mote that President Obama
talked about. And I would put those alligators in that mote.


SCHULTZ: Cain later claimed that using alligators to protect America
for undocumented workers, well, it was just a joke. Well, over the
weekend, Cain proved that he has a bunch more serious plan for border
security. No alligators this time around.


CAIN: Part of it will have a real fence. It will be 20 feet high
with barbed wire, electrified, with a sign on the other side that says it
can kill you. It will be in English and Spanish.


SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Steve Kornacki, political columnist for, and MSNBC political analyst, Republican strategist Joe Watkins
with us here tonight. Good to have both of you with us.

I want to play this. Once again, Cain claimed he was just joking.
Here`s his response.


CAIN: That`s a joke, David. It`s a joke. That`s a joke.

GREGORY: That`s not a serious plan?

CAIN: That`s not a serious plan. No, it`s not.


SCHULTZ: And today Cain met with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has
advocated for harsh immigration measures. Steve, is this a joke or is it
not a joke? Will the real Herman Cain stand up on how to protect the
country`s borders.

STEVE KORNACKI, SALON.COM: I`ll tell you, when you get to its core, I
think it`s a really shrewd campaign strategy. Whether he`s joking deep
inside or whether this is getting at some underlying truth about what he
really thinks, it`s a really good strategy. I`ll tell you why.

The whole story of the Republican race has come down to can the
conservatives find that one candidate who they can kind of rally behind,
the conservative activist and the conservative base, to go after mitt

One of the things that sort of distinguishes the Mitt Romney that`s
running this year from the Mitt Romney that ran four years ago is that this
year`s Mitt Romney is taking sort of a front-runner strategy. He`s very
conservative on paper still. But he`s refusing to sort of throw all the
red meat out there like he was four years ago.

He`s afraid it`s going to come back to haunt him in the general
election. There is an opening for that conservative who is willing to say
all the things that Romney said four years ago, times 100. Cain`s
certainly living up to that.

SCHULTZ: Joe Watkins, do you agree with Republican front-runner when
he says that liberals are on a mission to destroy this country? I mean, I
know a lot of elected officials. And they are absolutely in a gut
wrenching position right now with our unemployment, the way it is, trying
to create jobs. And then here comes this guy on a platform, on national
television quite often, saying that liberals want to destroy the economy.

Where are the Republicans on this guy and that comment?

smart candidate. There`s no mistake that he is leading the field right now
or at least tied for first place among the contenders for the Republican
nomination. He realizes where he is. He`s in a Republican primary. Most
of those primaries around the country are closed primaries. That means
only Republicans can vote in those primaries.

He has really carved out a place for himself with his plain speaking.
Some of what he says is very controversial, of course. Not every
Republican agrees with every statement that he makes. Clearly I have
friends who are both liberals and Democrats and conservatives and
Republicans and people who are everything in between. I have love in my
heart for everybody.

I know that a lot of the elected officials who are Democrats, along
with the Republicans, care about the country and want to move the country
forward. They have, indeed, very, very difficult decisions to make in the
weeks going forward. So my heart goes out to them all and my hope is that
they`ll do the right thing.

SCHULTZ: Joe, liberals on a mission to destroy the country, the
country`s economy? Isn`t that over the top rhetoric?

WATKINS: Well, it`s strong rhetoric coming from a plain spoken man
who doesn`t shy away from controversial statements. He doesn`t want to
offend people. He went so far to say recently that he was sorry if he had
offended some people with his statement about the fence, and that he really
is sensitive to that, because he knows what it is to have people speak in
an unflattering way toward him.

But at the same time, he is very plain spoken. He realizes that not
everything he says is popular, that everybody`s not going to jump up and --

SCHULTZ: He`s throwing raw meat out there. He`s throwing the red
meat out there. He knows that it`s going to play well. He knows what`s
going to poll well.

Gentlemen, there is a new study out that shows that under Cain`s 9-9-9
plan, Warren Buffett would very likely play no income taxes. Wouldn`t that
destroy the economy, Steve? What do you think?

KORNACKI: Yes. And I think what`s interesting here with this plan
is, first of all, if he ever got the nomination, if Herman Cain was ever
the Republican nominee running in the Fall, I can`t imagine a plan that
Obama and the Democrats would rather run against than what Herman Cain has
put on the table, because this thing is really the definition of

You are talking about implementing a nine percent sales tax. And
you`re telling every working class person in the country, every middle
class person in the country, you know, you`re now responsible for paying
this brand new tax.

The other thing that I`m picking up on in the last few days is even I
think some Republicans or some conservatives sort of get the political
danger here. What I have noticed is even on the right, there is a lot of
talk now that hey, maybe we shouldn`t go quite this far.


WATKINS: What you have to consider is that this is a plan. Plans can
be unchanged. They can be improved upon, as well, because most plans are
not perfect. This one is not perfect. But it`s a good idea to think about
having a flat tax, a simplified tax code. Others have thought about
simplifying the tax code.

SCHULTZ: He denies -- I mean he`s trying to say that math works out.
He`s trying to say the math works out and it simply doesn`t.

WATKINS: You need some work on the plan to make the math work the way
you want it to for everybody. Obviously, it`s a federal plan. It would
impact different states differently, because some states have no sales tax
and other states do. But this is a plan that could be amended, that could
be put together to work for America.

It needs some work. We know that no plan that`s introduced by a
president goes forward as it is. It`s amended by members of Congress, who
add and detract from it.

SCHULTZ: Mission accomplished for his campaign. He has people
talking about 9-9-9. That`s really what it`s all about.

WATKINS: He does.

SCHULTZ: I also think his relationship with the Koch Brothers is
something we have to bring you back and talk about. It`s very interesting.
Steve Kornacki, Joe Watkins, good to have you with us tonight.

Mitt Romney claims he`s looking out for the middle class. But Wall
Street millionaires think he`s looking out for them and are rewarding him
for it. I`ll have that next. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, here he is, the president
of Godfather`s Pizza, Herman Cain.


SCHULTZ: Welcome to the top of the Republican field, Herman Cain.
Nothing from you past is safe anymore. Like this performance at the Omaha
Press Club in 1991, featuring Cain`s rendition of "Imagine There`s No




SCHULTZ: Herman Cain may not know the first thing about tax policy,
but I guess you can say he can pretty much carry a tune. He`s a real crowd
pleaser as well. Isn`t he? Just look at how he brought everyone to their
feet in Omaha that night.

And wait a minute! That`s Ben Nelson, the governor of Nebraska at the
time. He`s now in the Senate. The same Democratic Senator Ben Nelson who
just voted against the president`s jobs bill.

Maybe Herman Cain inspired Ben Nelson to think it is OK to vote down
7,400 new jobs for the state of Nebraska. As long as Nebraska has pizza, I
guess everything is just going to be fine.

Coming up, Mitt Romney`s latest flip-flop involves his entire net
worth. That`s next.


SCHULTZ: In my Playbook tonight, I`m telling Mitt Romney to knock off
the talk about being a middle classer. For months, Mitt has tried to
convince campaign crowds he`s an average American.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t worry about the top
one percent. I don`t stay up nights worrying about gee, we need to help
them. I don`t think about that. I`m not worried about that. They`re
doing just fine by themselves.

I worry about the 99 percent in America.

It`s not those at the very low end. It`s certainly not those at the
very high end. It`s for the great middle class, the 80 to 90 percent of us
in this country.

Well, maybe I should also tell my story. I`m also unemployed.


SCHULTZ: Us. Did he say us? Yes, middle class Mitt is just your
regular unemployed worker. He likes to take pictures of himself with
Subway sandwiches just like the regular folk do. And he poses with flight
crews of discount airlines like Southwest, where everyone flies coach.

But this is the photo Romney probably regrets taking. Here`s
millionaire Mitt with his buddies at Bain Capital in the early `90s. They
group would buy companies like American Pad and Pen, and then pocket more
than 100 million dollars from the investment. To turn a profit, they would
put hundreds out of work and drove the stock price so low the company went

This is one reason why Wall Street donors gave Romney five times as
much campaign money as President Obama since this spring. Wall Streeters
know a guy who looks out for them when they see one, even if the guy
pretends he`s just an average Joe with a net worth of 250 million dollars.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker`s anti-union law sparked middle class
protests last Winter. Now the middle class is fighting back across the
globe. And the momentum from the 99 percent movement could help remove
Walker from office. Stay with us. That`s next.


SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, the enthusiasm behind the Occupy Movement
could help recall the guy who inspired the middle class protests in 2011,
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Long before the 99 percenter marched on
Wall Street, over 100,000 public employees and their supporters braved the
snow in the winter in Madison, Wisconsin, to fight for the middle class.

And now Wisconsin union leaders are making the connection between this
fall`s 99 percent movement and last winter`s anti-Walker protests. The
head of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO said "walker has divided Wisconsin. He is
attacking the rights of working people and the middle class in order to
advance his corporate agenda and pay back his wealthy friends. We can`t
afford to continue to put the super rich above the 99 percent."

And the president of the Service Employees International Union Health
Care Wisconsin said "Walker`s policies add to the real cause of our revenue
problem, the global economic crisis caused by Wall Street and the failure
of corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share."

Joining me now is Mahlon Mitchell. He is the, president of the
Professional Firefighters in Wisconsin. Mr. Mitchell, good to have you
with us tonight.

Do you see a connection between the 99 percent move and the anti-
Walker movement to recall him? Is there going to be some energy captured
there? What do you think?

MAHLON MITCHELL, PPFW PRESIDENT: Well, Ed, thanks for having me on
again. There is a definite connection. What we saw in between February
and still currently to this day in state of Wisconsin is basically 50 years
-- 55 years -- over 55 years of labor peace being taken away with one fell
swoop of the pen.

And right here in the state of Wisconsin, we said no. Not only no, we
said hell no, because we`re not going to sit, idly by, and let this happen
to us. The middle class are standing up.

And what you`re seeing, if you correlate that with Occupy Wall Street,
people are not going to sit by and let this happen to us. The middle class
has to stand up. We`re rising again. Right now, we`re seeing the
communism of millionaires, as we like to call it here in the state of

We can`t take it. I mean, you`re seeing corporate greed outweigh
decent American values. All we ask for, a decent wage, decent hours,
decent working conditions, and a living wage that people can live. Right
now, you have Wall Street sitting at 1.4 million dollars. That is just not
acceptable to the American people.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Governor Walker says his union busting bill would
create jobs. But the unemployment rate in Wisconsin has gone up to six
percent over the last six months. Does that prove that he is way off base?
And will it fuel the recall?

MITCHELL: He`s way off base. The Draconian measures that we had in
February showed that. Governor Walkers also promised 250,000 jobs in his
four-year tenure. We haven`t had any job increase. We have a special
session coming up at the end of October that`s called a job session now.
We didn`t need jobs in January I guess. But now all of a sudden, we need

And this is just wrong. And you talk about Occupy Wall Street. We
live in the United States of America, where everybody should have a decent
chance at the American dream. It doesn`t feel like the United States of
America. It feels like United Corporations of America. And we`ve got to
change it.

That`s what you`re seeing right now. People are speaking out. We
didn`t start this fight. But it`s the fight they want. It`s the fight
they`re going to get. That`s what they`re seeing right now all across the

SCHULTZ: I mean, it just continues to follow this guy. He promised
to pay for a state pension as soon as he took office, since he wanted
workers, of course, to do the same. It turns out he didn`t start paying it
until August after the law went into effect. What does it tell you about
this guy?

MITCHELL: It tells you that`s another campaign promise that has gone
by the wayside. There are many campaign prices that people voted for. I
have to tell you, unfortunately 39.6 members of union members in our state
voted for Governor Walker.

So we have to look in the mirror as well. It`s our fault. But now we
have woken up. It took him to galvanize our membership, to mobilize our
membership. But now we are armed and we are ready for the battle.

SCHULTZ: Well, you have 39 percent of the union folk in Wisconsin
voted for this guy. I hope the light bulb has finally gone on with them.
He has a lot of money. When are the commercials going to start showing up
in Wisconsin?

MITCHELL: We`ll see. Unfortunately, with the recall elections, he
can garnish an insurmountable amount of money. We can`t really out-fund
raise him. But we have the people. That`s one thing we have. We have the

And the people right now are united. The people are ready to take
back their government here in our state.

SCHULTZ: Mahlon Mitchell, always a pleasure. Good to have you with
us tonight. Thanks so much.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on Sirius
XM Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 pm, and follow me on
Twitter @EdShow, and also @WeGotEd.

"THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell starts right now. We`ll see
you back here tomorrow night. Thanks for watching.


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