IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Ed Show for Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Bill Cunningham, Tina Turner, Chris Redfern, Stan Greenberg, Jim
Moore, David Cay Johnston, Mike Papantonio, Krystal Ball

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

Mitt Romney is getting hammered for his spineless performance in
Cincinnati today.

Two weeks from tonight, John Kasich`s anti-worker bill could be

And the 99 percent movement -- well, they could score a major victory.

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

The fight for Ohio has gone national.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not terribly familiar
with the two ballot initiatives, but I`m certainly supportive of the
Republican Party`s efforts here.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Tonight, Mitt Romney is in big trouble with his
party for refusing to endorse the Kasich union-busting bill -- even though
he endorsed it four months ago. We`ll get the latest from the Buckeye
State. And we`ll talk to a conservative radio host, Bill Cunningham, who
thinks Kasich`s bill should fail.

Rick Perry`s flat tax plan is out.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: For those at the top, it is hundreds of
thousands, maybe even millions of dollars.

about that. What I care about is them having the dollars to invest in
their companies.

SCHULTZ: We`ll see how he sells that to the 99 percenters.

The Republican blueprint for stopping the Obama jobs bill. We`ll show
you the document Karl Rove doesn`t want you to see.

And in "Psycho Talk" tonight, he lied to America which makes him
perfect to work at FOX News.


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

The state of Ohio has become ground zero for the ideological war in
America. Moments ago, NBC News` Chuck Todd moderated a debate on issue to
a hotly contested union-busting bill in Ohio, which is up for repeal two
weeks from tonight.

This attack on middle class public workers is the brain child of
freshman Republican Governor John Kasich. Ohio voters gathered 1.3 million
signatures to repeal the law earlier this year and they are gaining
momentum for a victory on November 8th.

In September, Quinnipiac polling showed a 13-point margin with 51
percent supporting repeal and 38 percent against it. Now, the supporters
of repeal have opened up a 25-point advantage on Ohioans who support
Kasich`s law. Kasich is on the ropes with this one. And reporters pressed
him on the issue in his sinking poll numbers earlier today.


REPORTER: Governor, the Quinnipiac poll has come out and it`s got SB-
5 down a lot further than it was. Your reaction?

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: You know, we`re going to keep working.
This is the right thing to create an environment for cities to be able to
be successful.

REPORTER: If it fails, do you have a backup plan?

KASICH: I never think -- I never think ahead.

REPORTER: You don`t typically comment on polls. But is this one

KASICH: Hey, you know, do I seem disheartened? I`m doing my job.

REPORTER: The poll is showing an increasing opposition with pretty
much every Democrat for group of pollers. How do you persuade minds or
change those numbers at this point?

KASICH: You just work as hard as you can, try to explain it. You
know, you don`t quit. I mean, if I`m, you know, if I`m in a golf game and
I`m down six holes with seven to play, I try to play harder.


SCHULTZ: Well, Governor, you`re not in the fairway on this one.

Kasich isn`t the only politician taking heat on issue two. It gets
even better. Enter Willard Mitt Romney.

Romney`s six-year campaign to become president of the United States
made a stop at a Republican pro-issue two propaganda call center in
Cincinnati this morning. Romney glad-handed the telemarketers and mugged
for the camera. After the planned photo op, Romney stopped to talk with
reporters on this.


ROMNEY: It`s great to be in Ohio today. I`m not speaking of the
particular ballot issues. Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I
certainly support the effort of the governor to rein in the scale of

I`m not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives, but I`m
certainly supportive of the Republican Party`s efforts here.


SCHULTZ: Hold it right there. You mean to tell me Mitt Romney goes
to Ohio, enters a yes on issue two call center and doesn`t have an opinion
on the most important issue facing Ohio voters?

This is another classic Romney flip-flop. Earlier this year, the
former governor of Massachusetts playing around on Twitter tweeted his
support for the Kasich law. Romney wrote "My friends in Ohio are fighting
to defend crucial reforms. The state has put in place to limit the power
of union bosses and keep taxes low. I stand with John Kasich."

You mean to tell me he couldn`t say that today? He went all the way
to Ohio to let people know he doesn`t have a spine?

I mean, think about this. He wants to be president of the United
States. "I`m not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives."
Wisconsin and Ohio have been all over the news, workers rights under attack
all over America, with the six radical governors that we pointed out night
after night on this program. But the Mittster, he just doesn`t quite have
an answer at that time.

Now, that`s a strong statement on Twitter, but face to face, Romney is
milquetoast. Right wing bloggers, they`re all over it. FreedomWorks
instantly jumped on Romney for not showing a spine today.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, like a shark, he smelled blood in the water
and released this statement. "As a true conservative, I stand with
Governor Kasich in promoting Senate Bill 5 for fiscal responsibility and
job creation in Ohio."

Perry not as dumb as some people think. Perry has Romney dead on the
rights on this issue. Romney is not a true conservative, or a true leader.

Romney has attacked President Obama for not showing leadership time
and time again, but when he gets a chance to stand up for the Republican
ideology, he takes a pass.

In the same interview, he told a reporter, you know, I really have to
win Ohio if we`re going to win the presidential election. Really? So,
let`s see.

What we have is no conviction, really across the board never
convincing on anything issue, and Romney waffles. And this is why
conservatives don`t like this guy. This is actually what makes I think the
Democrats a little bit nervous because he can confuse voters and he might
be the guy to trip up President Obama.

I believe that his campaign is running like a dart board. Dart board
mentality. Wherever it lands today -- well, that looks pretty good, what
do you say we try that?

I think this is a telling day for Mitt Romney and for his opponents.
They got to jump on this.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Since he
hasn`t made up his mind, maybe we should help Mitt Romney out a little bit.
Should Senate Bill 5 become the law of the land in Ohio? Text "A" for yes,
text "B" for no to 622639. You can always go to our blog at,
and we`ll bring you the results later in the show.

Now, Issue 2, I mean, this crosses all party lines in Ohio.
Cincinnati conservative radio and television talk show host Bill Cunningham
produced a video supporting a no vote on Issue 2. Let`s take a look.


BILL CUNNINGHAM, RADIO HOST: Many months ago, right there sat the
governor of Ohio, John Kasich. And John Kasich told me the rock-ribbed
Republican conservative governor of the state that he would not meet with
the labor unions. He was wrong in not meeting with state employees,
especially those in labor unions.

From my perspective, those affected by governmental decisions need to
have a place at the bargaining table to determine the outcome of what`s
being discussed. I urge you to vote no on state Issue 2.


SCHULTZ: Wow. Joining me tonight, Bill Cunningham, the conservative
radio and television talk show host, has a daytime TV syndicated program.


CUNNINGHAM: Ed, how are you?

SCHULTZ: I`m doing fine.

You and I don`t agree, but I think you`re a straight talker.

CUNNINGHAM: I think we`re Americans. And one thing that I told
Kasich in February and March is that sit down with those you disagree with,
does two things. It tests your own validity. You test what they have to
say against your beliefs. And secondly, you make them feel as they`re part
of the solution instead of part of the problem.

SCHULTZ: He didn`t do that?

CUNNINGHAM: Kasich told me no.

John`s my friend. He was my friend before Senate Bill 5. I`m going
to vote for him when he runs for office likely again.

I introduced him at election rallies in October. Before he was
elected, I was there for John. He`s a good man.

This is mistake he`s making. And the mistake is this -- the bill says
it`s collective begging, and not collective bargaining. Let`s say you and
your lovely wife or me and my lovely wife are in divorce court and we don`t
agree on the custody of the kids. How would you feel if your wife went up
the bench, put the robe on and ruled on your kids?

That is what Ohio is. At the end of the day, if there`s not an
agreement, the position of the management is imposed upon the workers,
irrespective of independent judgment.

SCHULTZ: Why is he picking on, of all people, public heroes,
firefighters, people who go into burning homes to save lives, yet he went
tax wealthiest Ohioans?

CUNNINGHAM: Ohioans who have money, if you lived in Ohio you`d be
with me, pay the bulk of the taxes. The top 1 percent pay 40 percent, and
make 25 percent of the money in this country. Taxpayers who are successful

SCHULTZ: That`s a great right wing bullet point. I give you credit
on that.

CUNNINGHAM: It`s also the truth.

SCHULTZ: It`s also the graph that`s out there. The red line, the
income of the top 2 percent across American has gone up 300 percent over
the last 30 years. The average wage earners are right down there. I mean,
outsourcing has a lot to do with it.

But Kasich is picking on the middle class, is he not?

CUNNINGHAM: He`s not picking on the middle class. He`s picking on
collective bargain employees because, let`s face it, they support Democrats
financially and otherwise. I would say to you, Ed Schultz, what if
Republicans like under Nixon, Teamsters voted Republican? Do you think
Kasich would be doing that?

SCHULTZ: So, this is as much going after the infrastructure as it is
anything else?

CUNNINGHAM: Sure it is.

SCHULTZ: If they can take down the unions, if they can bust the
unions, they can knock that --

CUNNINGHAM: Democrats.

SCHULTZ: Yes. They can knock that fundraising.

CUNNINGHAM: The game`s played that way. It`s about 70 percent of
this bill is good. I agree with it. Seventy percent of the bill is good.
Such as a union worker ought to be able to say in writing whether their
money goes to a PAC of a labor union; when you have collective bargaining
benefits to deal with public insurance benefits and this says the public
insurance benefits for the worker can`t be worse or better than management.

SCHULTZ: Do you think there`s a lot of conservatives in Ohio that
think the way you do on this issue?

CUNNINGHAM: Senator Bill Seitz is my buddy from western Hamilton
County, conservative, I spoke to him today. He laid out six or seven great
things in the bill that probably Democrats would agree to, but we can`t
agree to collective begging instead of collective bargaining. That`s the
heart and soul of the agreement.

SCHULTZ: So, Republicans are being in a sense fair minded in Ohio,
saying you can`t do this to public employees, you can`t do this to
collective bargaining. But they like the idea they`ve had a governor
that`s gone after the Republican -- or the Democratic establishment when it
comes to organizing, social networking, boots on the ground and raising
money for Democratic candidates. But he went too far this time.

CUNNINGHAM: He went -- this is more extreme than Wisconsin. I had a
Mark Moynihan today on my radio show. I`ve had on the FOP.

Cops and firefighters vote Republican in Ohio about 70 percent.
They`re never going to vote for another Republican. These are the people
that put Kasich in power. The NRA types put Kasich there.


CUNNINGHAM: And when people like me and Bill Seitz say a bridge too
far, that`s what -- it`s not going to be defeated because people like your
philosophy. It`s going to be defeated --

SCHULTZ: If he`s your friend, why did you weigh in on this?

CUNNINGHAM: I tell you why, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I mean, this is politically going to hurt him.

CUNNINGHAM: It hurts him a lot. I think why I did it, friends need
to tell friends when they`re wrong, hopefully my opinion has more value
because I was a Kasich supporter before and I`m going to vote for Kasich
the next time.

SCHULTZ: But you`re campaigning against him.

CUNNINGHAM: On this issue.

SCHULTZ: OK. One issue.

CUNNINGHAM: On this issue. Not on the rest of the stuff. Most of
what he does, with jobs -- another thing he did, $8 billion deficit, he
bridged it in July without affecting Senate Bill 5 at all.

SCHULTZ: He kicked the can down the road with tricky accounting.

CUNNINGHAM: Politicians do that.

SCHULTZ: He`s not a now pay for it guy. He`s not on that issue.

CUNNINGHAM: He`s a good man.

SCHULTZ: He may be a nice guy.

CUNNINGHAM: How about `96, `97, `98? He worked with the Newtster and
with Clinton, right? Balanced budget.

So, this guy is uniquely positioned. But on this one issue, I stand,
believe it or not, with Ed Schultz.

SCHULTZ: OK. Was he trying to outdo Scott Walker and some of these
other Republican governors out there? This is a one-up-manship kind of
deal, is it?

CUNNINGHAM: Well, police and fire are not exempt. They want to say
they`re exempt with safety. But that`s not true.

At the end of the day, if a management position is imposed without an
arbitrator, it`s collective begging and not collective bargaining, and my
friend John is wrong.

SCHULTZ: I`ve got some other guests I want to get in here. But I
want you to come back because you and I are going to have a discussion
about the jobs bill.

CUNNINGHAM: I hate the jobs bill.

SCHULTZ: I`m going to make you love the jobs bill because putting
people to work in this country is what it is all about.

CUNNINGHAM: If the jobs bill did that, I`d be in favor of it.

SCHULTZ: All right. We`ll come back and talk to you.

Bill Cunningham, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Now, let`s turn to Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, and Chris Redfern,
chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

Great to have both of you with us tonight. A debate just moments ago
concluded in Ohio on this issue, Issue number 2.

And State Senator Keith Faber said this about public employees. I
want your reaction. Here it is.


private sector employees don`t get a lifetime guaranteed mention that in
many cases has a value in excess of $1 million. It`s time to level the
playing field. It`s time to put the taxpayers at the table and that`s why
these discussions are important.


SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, what about that? Is that true?

ST. SEN. TINA TURNER (D), OHIO: Thank you, Ed.

It`s absolutely ridiculous that we would lower the bar and consider
that leveling the playing field. I mean, to send people to the poor house,
their families, not allow them to be able to support their families -- I
don`t know what the private sector equivalent is to a police officer or a
firefighter or a teacher. But what I do know is that our men and women,
whether they`re firefighters, police officers, social workers or teachers
and other public sector workers, they provide a needed service. They
deserve their benefits and they deserve their wages.

So, Senator Faber is delusional in that. You don`t lower the bar.
Private sector workers should question why they are treated so inadequately
and not question why we treat public sector workers fairly.

SCHULTZ: Let`s talk about the national scene. Here`s Mitt Romney in
Ohio today. And,. Chris, can President Obama beat Mitt Romney in Ohio?

CHRIS REDFERN, OH DEM. PARTY CHAIRMAN: Absolutely. And when Willie
Cunningham and I are agreeing on something, you know we`re right, Ed. The
fact of the matter is, I`m a proud Democrat. I`m proud to be chairman of
the Democratic Party in Ohio.

But it`s not about me, and it`s not about Democrats. It`s about
Democrats, Republicans. It`s about moms and dads. It`s about your
neighbors. It`s about the people you sit next to at a basketball game.

And it`s about the call that`s made at 2:00 morning on a cold February
night and the deputy that goes out in that car to make our neighborhoods
safe. How much is that deputy worth? What is the salary we should pay
that deputy?


REDFERN: I expect my local elected officials to have a say when
sitting at the table bargaining with that deputy, collectively,
transparently, in front of the public. That`s the law today, and under
Senate Bill 5, as you just heard from Bill Cunningham, those kinds of
protections would be stripped away in lieu of backroom deals. It wouldn`t
be what you knew. It would be who you knew to get the job.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Senator --

REDFERN: That`s not what Ohio has been about for the last 30 years.


REDFERN: And to suggest balancing the budget on the back of the
middle class is somehow going to make Ohio stronger, we`ve seen that in
other states. It has not worked.

SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, do you want to see President Obama get
involved in this? There you see Mitt Romney was there today, although he
waffled on the issue.

Is it important for President Obama to be involved in this?

TURNER: Well, Ed, we`re saying he`s waffling. Maybe Governor Romney
is considering coming to the righteous side. How about that?

In regards to our president, he certainly has his hands full with the
jobs bill. You know, the unemployment rate here in Ohio is 9.1 percent.
We have got to put people to work.

So, I think the president can certainly do both. He was just here in
Ohio a few weeks ago on a bridge, talking about a bridge too far, and
talking about how not only that bridge needed to be repaired, but also the
numbers of folks that will be put to work.


TURNER: So the president is right on the mark right now, Ed. He
needs to continue to hammer home for all Americans, all Ohioans -- putting
folks back to work in this country is the greatest need of this hour.

SCHULTZ: And Issue 2wo is all about that, and more in Ohio. We`ll
continue to cover it.

Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and Chris Redfern -- thanks for your
time tonight.

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

Coming up:

How Karl Rove and his super PAC are trying to win the fight on the
American Jobs Act by fooling the public.

Rick Perry has jumped onboard with a flat tax bandwagon and won`t
dismiss the birther issue because he likes poking fun on the president?
More on that coming up.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama will appear on the "Tonight Show" this evening with
Jay Leno.

Here`s the president`s view of the Republican presidential field.


JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: Now, have you been watching the GOP debates?

everybody`s voted off the island.


OBAMA: Once they narrow it down to one or two, I`ll start paying


SCHULTZ: Jay Leno asked about Republican reaction to the president
keeping his promise to pull American troops out of Iraq.


SCHULTZ: The GOP opposed withdrawing from Iraq.

OBAMA: That`s shocking that they oppose something I proposed.


SCHULTZ: Leno also asked the president about Mitch McConnell wanting
to make him a one-term president. Mr. Obama said the American people are
fed up with anyone putting party ahead of country -- whether you`re a
Democrat, Republican or independent.

When we come back, the Republican blueprint for America, straight from
Karl Rove`s super PAC. It`s all about putting party before country.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Let`s go inside the GOP talking points and how they fool the American
public on the big issues of the day. Now, you have -- if you have any
doubt, all you have to do is read a memo from Karl Rove`s super PAC
Crossroads GPS.

Here`s the gist of it. Instead of talking about cops, firefighters
and teachers, they talk about union members. They do this because they can
demonize unions. They can make union just a real dirty word politically.

Then they reframe the question and disseminate misinformation. For
example, 70 percent favor President Obama`s proposal to give billions of
dollars to states to stop layoffs of teachers and firefighters. That`s
straight from the Crossroads GPS memo.

Seventy percent -- pretty doggone big number, isn`t it?

So, they reframe the question to change everybody`s mind. Fifty-two
percent oppose giving billions of dollars to states that keep government,
union workers, on the payroll. That`s straight from the Crossroads memo.

The mission is to vilify union workers at all costs to change the
thinking of the public. They reframe the question, disseminate
misinformation, all in the process.

Take, for instance, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. His budget
costs caused 4,000 police officers to lose their jobs over the past two
years. According to the president of the Policemen`s Benevolent
Association, Christie did it by declaring a budget crisis and then
demonizing unions.

Joining many now is Stan Greenberg, Democratic pollster with the firm
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

The memo shows -- great to have you with us, Mr. Greenberg.
Appreciate your time tonight.


SCHULTZ: This really is the key to --

GREENBERG: This is a great public service.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Pardon me?

GREENBERG: I said, this is a great public service. This memo and
you`re airing it and your show tonight.

SCHULTZ: Well, I mean, this is a classic, is it not? It`s a Karl
Rove classic, a playbook on how they are going to turn these numbers around
by vilifying workers. Am I wrong on that?

GREENBERG: They don`t usually get it laid out the way it`s here, you
know? And the number you didn`t cite after all this, is they said the
president`s class war arguments are working. So, whatever you do, don`t
talk about that issue.

So, it`s a very -- it`s a very revealing document. A lot of honesty -
- and the honesty, you know, shows how above all, you know, with the
popularity of each of these items in the jobs bill, you know, how they have
to take it down, you know, by a whole range of distortions that you

And so, it`s using their own data to prove the point, but it`s a big -
- I think it`s a big red flag for people to pay attention, you know, and
the union worker piece is particularly revealing. Look what`s happening in
Ohio. Look at the real poll numbers, you know, when you actually have a
debate on the issue.

You know, and even here, when they say, look, we can`t talk about this
-- about the layoff of the public sector workers, let`s talk about unions.
Even when they take it to unions, it`s evenly split, even when they try to
tilt the argument.

So, they`re pushing against the country wanting to move ahead on jobs
and using this kind of memo to mobilize their side.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Greenberg, every host, radio host, television host, has
to know the audience. I would imagine tonight that there are some people
watching who are saying, how come the Democrats aren`t good at this?

We always seem to lose the Super Bowl when it comes to wordsmithing to
the American people to change minds. What about that?

GREENBERG: Well, you know what? Thank God, this is a jobs bill. You
know, it`s, you know, it isn`t rocket science. You don`t need a pollster.
I would fire all the pollsters.

You know, this is a jobs bill. People want jobs. People think the
big structural problems facing country is we`ve lost American jobs, lost
the middle class. You don`t need a lot of research to gather.

I tell you, if you look at "Occupy Wall Street," you know, 99-1 is a
very simple notion. The American Dream is a simple notion.


GREENBERG: I think -- you know, I think progressives and Democrats
are starting to get there. But it`s been a long time.


GREENBERG: People watched the Recovery Act and had no idea what it
was. And I think now, it`s getting a lot clearer.

SCHULTZ: The same memo warns so-called class warfare works well for
Democrats. Sixty-four percent favor raising taxes on people with incomes
above $200,000.


SCHULTZ: So, how are they going to turn this?

GREENBERG: Well, you know what, they can`t turn it. The fact that
they have put it out in their memo saying, a warning, you know, Democrats
are winning the argument here. The country -- by the way, over 60 percent
in their survey on raising taxes over $200,000, this is a consensus
bipartisan issue. That`s one of the distortions in their memo, by the way.
They constantly pick out a Democrat and say, ah, there`s bipartisan
opposition to the jobs bill.

Well, you know what? There`s a consensus. There`s bipartisan support
for raising taxes on the wealthy. That`s where the country wants to go.
It was 80 percent, as you know, for raising revenue during the debt

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s pretty clear -- it`s pretty clear if the
Democrats stand with workers, they`ll have a big year in 2012. I mean,
it`s very clear. This is an admission from Karl Rove and his GPS group.

Stan Greenberg, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

A Republican jobs program -- you better believe it -- FOX News adds
former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to its payroll. They`re going
"In the Zone," next.

You may not recognize this man now, but if you own a computer, you`ll
probably know him by the end of the week. The interim mayor of San
Francisco is becoming the latest Internet sensation. We`ll tell you about


SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, there`s new evidence out there
that Republicans do have a jobs plan. It`s called Fox News. It appears
that the disgraced former governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford,
followed the Appalachian Trail all the way to Roger Ailes office. How
about that.

The network has confirmed that the Love Gov will serve as a political
commentator through the 2012 election. Who would have ever thought that?
Judging by what his new colleagues have said about him in the past, the
next company picnic, well, it might be a tad uncomfortable.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: But the guy lied. He lied to
his constituents. He lied to his staff. He lied to his wife. Not on just
one occasion, it`s multiple. He`s a serial liar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you have to tell your husband to not go do
something that will destroy lives, you have someone who apparently is an
early brain donor as a husband.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: He`s a laughing stock. That`s the
problem for him. He`s a laughing stock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s clearly a narcissist. He can`t shut up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entertainment media promote this kind of
behavior and lifestyle. Then when somebody follows it, there are plenty of
cluck cluckers around saying, shouldn`t do that. Hypocrites.


SCHULTZ: Ah, shucks. Put him on the payroll. Seems like Fox is
playing the role of a hypocrite now. Then again, with nicknames like
Laughing Stalk and Serial Liar, Sanford might feel right at home with the
likes of Sarah Palin and Karl Rove.

Hiring a guy who left his wife for an Argentinean lover might be good
for ratings. But asking him for honest political analyst after he lied to
his constituents, well, that`s some honky-tonk Psycho Talk.

Rick Perry is the latest Republican presidential candidate to embrace
the flat tax. I`ll talk with Jim Moore and David Cay Johnston about why
Perry`s plan actually makes the tax process more complicated.

And will this ad make Herman Cain president? Probably not. But a new
poll puts him ahead of Mitt Romney. Mike Papantonio and Krystal Ball
joining me on those subjects. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: The new Republican saying, how about that flat tax? The
flat tax is the new flavor of the month, the new gimmick of the Republican
candidates. Let`s see, Herman Cain, he`s got a flat tax plan. Newt
Gingrich, he is coming out with one, has always loved it.

Now Rick Perry, who is polling in single digits, has unveiled his own
20 percent flat tax proposal. CNBC`s John Harwood correctly pointed out to
Perry his plan would be great for the super rich, which is fine with Rick


JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC ANCHOR: For those at the top, it is hundreds of
thousands, maybe even millions of dollars for them.

that. What I care about is them having the dollars to invest in their
companies, to go out and maybe start a business, because they`ve got the
confidence again that they actually get to keep more of what they work for.


SCHULTZ: Perry also told Harwood the real reason he`s been indulging
in Birther conspiracies with Donald Trump.


PERRY: It`s a good issue to keep alive. Donald`s got to have some

I`m really not worried about the president`s birth certificate. It`s
fun to poke at him a little bit and say, hey, how about, let`s see your
grades and your birth certificate.


SCHULTZ: So a conversation piece. But at a news conference in South
Carolina this afternoon, Perry pretended the Birther talk is beneath him.


PERRY: I`ll cut you off right there. That is one of the biggest
distractions that there is going. We need to be talking about jobs.


SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in MSNBC contributor Jim Moore, author of the
upcoming book "Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W.
Bush," and David Cay Johnston, columnist for Reuters and author of the book
"Free Lunch."

Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight. Jim, you first. A
coupled of questions; which is the real Rick Perry in those two clips?

JIM MOORE, AUTHOR, "ADIOS MOFO": Well, he likes the Birther thing,
Ed, because primarily it`s going -- it`s going to motivate the far right
and it`s going to get more and more people to come in his direction from
the very conservative types, the social value types.

I thought it was interesting the way he hid behind Donald Trump and
said, oh, Donald Trump doesn`t think it`s real, but it`s beneath me to
really confront it. Well, he`s basically bringing it up and trying to use
it and raise it again and agitate the right and bring them in his
direction, and let them know he`s going to do and say anything necessary to

SCHULTZ: And have the Republicans, Jim, successfully put the flat tax
on the table for all candidates for 2012, that this is something that is
going to be a part of what they want to do for America?

MOORE: I think it`s going to gain traction within the Republican
primary process. It doesn`t look like it`s going to go away. One of the
things that Perry did, Ed, today, when he announced this, was hold up that
little single card and suggest simplicity. And people are not paying close
attention right now. And they`re seeing that single card and they`re
thinking, you mean I can file my taxes on something that simple?

What they`re failing to realize is that most people who are low income
earners are below 20 percent right now. And the whole idea that he`s
releasing millions of dollars and is going to motivate them to create jobs
is nonsense. It`s not trickle down. It`s nonsense that won`t ever happen.

SCHULTZ: David Cay Johnston, you know it better than anybody. Is
Perry`s flat tax in any way, shape or form realistic?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, REUTERES: No. And when the "National Review"
says it`s not a serious plan, it tells you that a lot of people on the
right understand this. This plan is even worse than Harwood`s question,
however, suggested, because by eliminating estate tax, it would mean that
huge generations that had never been taxed would be passed on to future
generations without ever having been taxed.

You want to set up a dynasty and destroy the work ethic and the
success ethic in America, boy, this plan would really further that idea.

SCHULTZ: Well, it would also rob the Treasury. I mean, it would seem
to me that these candidates would make sure that there would be enough
money in the Treasury so we can run what government we have left after they
want to butcher all of it. But how can you tell people they can opt in or
opt out of the current system, but then go flax tax, and calculate exactly
how much money the government is going to take in to operate?

JOHNSTON: You know, just a little while ago, Republicans were telling
us that deficits were the biggest problem around. Now we have a series of
plans you`re going to see come forward. I agree with Jim. The flat tax is
on the agenda now. All of which inherently are going to mean bigger
deficits, because they`re going to discover that a lot of commerce in
America depends on government spending.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. And David, how would this graph look with a flat tax
over the last 30 years? This is my favorite. I show it. There`s the red
line going up, the top two percent over the last 30 years. There`s the
average wages for the working folk of America, where the wages have gone
for the middle class in this country.

If we had a flat tax, say, ten years ago, what would that graph look
like today?

JOHNSTON: This way. Straight up. Just straight up.

SCHULTZ: And Jim, is this going to resurrect Perry`s stock in any
way, shape or form? I mean, he`s speaking the language. I mean, if you go
down the issues, he is the true conservative. The only place where he`s
really stumbled is on immigration issues, which he does have experience on,
being the governor of Texas.

But the fact is, you know, pro life, his tax situation, all of the
privatization that he wants to do -- I mean, isn`t he really what the
conservatives want?

MOORE: I think that they very much want this guy, as I`ve suggested
before. He kind of has run Texas as a cash and carry operation for
corporate America. They know that. They like even further this business
with the flat tax and removing it for the wealthy and getting more money,
taxing work and not taxing wealth.

I think that`s something that`s very appealing. He`s trying to look
like he`s popping out some big ideas. And he`s never been guilty of
generating anything original. But he`s grabbing Steve Forbes` old idea of
hope, growth and opportunity, turning it into cut, grow and balance and
hoping that it gets some traction this time.

And the Republicans and the social conservatives within the primary
process are still drawn to this guy. They haven`t gotten over him yet.
Even though he`s low in the polls. I look for this to help him.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s going to be interesting to see if it does help
him. But what we`ve seen evolve here over the last six months, nobody was
really talking about a flat tax. But the guy who`s propelled himself out
in front of the polls is Herman Cain. He did it with 9-9-9 because it was
a conversation piece.

Now, all of a sudden, what Steve Forbes has wanted all along, David
Cay, he`s going to get in the platform of the Republican party. It`s going
to be some kind of a flat tax proposal to the American people. And they
might buy the simplicity of it. What do you think?

JOHNSTON: Well, I think there`s a very good chance that the
Republicans will adopt a platform that includes this, what I call the Steve
Forbes never has to pay taxes again tax, because remember, the flat tax
applies to wages. Capital incomes would be tax free.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, David Cay Johnston, always a pleasure. Great to
have you gentlemen with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, it`s the weirdest, wildest campaign ad of the week. And
it`s not from Herman Cain. We`ll show you why M.C. Hammer is jumping into
the political arena.


SCHULTZ: And THE ED SHOW continues. And we have a very important
update from presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Yesterday, we showed you
this video. The former senator from Pennsylvania is sitting in the
audience of the Faith and Freedom Forum in Iowa on Saturday.

Newt Gingrich at the podium speaking. It looks like Santorum is
sneaking a peek at a football game. Not paying attention. Senator
Santorum has responded via Twitter. He says "guilty, but not watching the
game, just checking score of Penn State game. Go Lions. By the way,
unlike other candidates, I was there for all speeches."

Fair enough, senator. I like it. We`d love to have you on the
program here in the big city, on set with your old buddy, Ed. Or wait a
minute, should I say your new buddy, Ed? Thanks for the Tweet. Look
forward to hearing from you.

Next, up of the most bizarre campaign ads you will ever see. Stay
with us.


SCHULTZ: In my Playbook tonight, San Francisco has an interim mayor.
He`s now an Internet star. You see, Gavin Newsom has gone on to be the
lieutenant governor. So Ed Lee was appointed mayor in January and said he
wasn`t going to run for a full term. Recently, he changed his mind.

And a group called San Franciscans For Jobs and Good Government
support Lee for his record. The independent group funded a celebrity
filled campaign ad to help re-elect Ed Lee. According to them, he`s too
legit too quit.




SCHULTZ: Dianne Feinstein, you`re going to try that? Let the record
show the wildest campaign ad of the week didn`t come from one of the
candidates running for president. It came from supporters of the interim
San Francisco mayor.

Coming up, Herman Cain can`t top that ad, but he`s certainly going to
try. So how weird is his latest campaign video? Democratic strategist
Krystal Ball and radio talk show host Mike Papantonio to join me. Stay
with us.


SCHULTZ: In survey tonight, I asked you to help Mitt Romney decide,
because he couldn`t make a decision today, should Senate Bill Five become
the law of the land in Ohio? Five percent of you said yes; 95 percent of
you said no.

Coming up, Krystal Ball and Mike Papantonio will help me figure out
Herman Cain`s latest campaign ad and how Michele Bachmann`s campaign
recovers after a staff defection of sorts in New Hampshire.


SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, well, it`s good to be Herman Cain, at least
for now. The former pizza man now tops Mitt Romney in the latest CBS
News/"New York Times" poll. Just a few weeks ago. the two candidates were

Then there`s Cain`s latest web ad. It`s gone viral thanks to a
bizarre performance by Cain`s previous unknown chief of staff, Mark Block.
Block first praises his candidate, then takes a drag of a cigarette. You
got to see it to believe it.


We`ve run a campaign like nobody`s ever seen. But then America`s never
seen a candidate like Herman Cain.

We need you to get involved because together we can do this. We can
take this country back.


SCHULTZ: Unconventional to say the least. Joining me now, Krystal
Ball, Democratic strategist and former candidate for Congress, and Mike
Papantonio, host of "The Ring of Fire" radio show. Great to have both of
you with us tonight.

Krystal, you know, I`ll start with you. It seems like the weirder
Cain`s campaign gets, the better known he becomes and he polls better.
What`s happening here?

KRYSTAL BALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It`s a really unusual dynamic
playing out in the Republican primary right now. It`s almost like a
reality show. I do think the timing of this is going to be very bad for
Cain, because he has this moment. He has a lot of energy, a lot of
enthusiasm behind him. But he really has to still work to get the
political class behind him, the donors, the activist, the local elected
official, the pundits.

They all play a very important role in actually building out an
organization that can win. When you see an ad like this, that looks kind
of like a Marlboro ad or something, it really undermines his seriousness
and his credibility of a candidate.

SCHULTZ: But I look at this guy before, never seen him before. He
looks like some hard working dude from the Midwest. He smokes a cigarette.
These are the kind of folks that Herman Cain and the Republican party needs
to swing. He`s of a demographic where he`s a little older, OK. He`s seen
a lot of life. What`s the message here, Mike Papantonio? What do you make
of this?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, listen, you can bet on
this, Ed, this has been focused. All of these candidates` handlers have
figured out how to get the fringe vote in the primaries. They`re not
thinking about the general election here, Ed.

What they`ve figured out -- the handlers have figured out is the
traditional Republican party disappeared. And you`re left with this
Frankenstein monster called the Tea Party/Republican party. You know, it`s
a political farce. There`s no more -- you know, there`s no more Goldwater
or Reagan conservative left.

Look, even Pat Robertson -- think about this, Ed. Even Pat Robertson,
the TV Evangelist from "The 700 Club," said, look, he`s creeped out by how
bad all these candidates look. He`s saying the same thing I`m saying.

They`re all running the primaries. They`ve forgotten there`s a
general election ahead. This kind of character does have appeal, this
character you saw puffing on the -- he has appeal to those fringe nuts, but
not the general population.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Cain`s chief of staff went on Fox today and here`s
what he had to say about the ad.


BLOCK: I tell you, you walk into a veterans bar in Iowa and they`re
sitting around smoking. And you know, we are resonating with them.


SCHULTZ: Krystal, what about there? Is there a measure of truth
there? It looks to me like he`s going after blue collar independent

BALL: Well, this is another piece of their, we`re the real, we`re
authentic, we`re real, we`re like you. It`s also this little slap at the
nanny state, that, you know, we don`t want the government to tell us what
to do. Cain actually had a hand in helping the tobacco lobbyists in the
`90s. So this isn`t totally removed from what he`s done in his past.

You know, I don`t know. Maybe it will play well with a certain
element of the Republican primary electorate. I don`t think that it adds
to his seriousness and credibility ultimately as a presidential candidate.

SCHULTZ: Michele Bachmann`s entire New Hampshire staff quit last
week. And they have now come out with a statement calling Bachmann`s
national campaign advisers, quote, "rude, unprofessional, dishonest and
cruel at times."

What do you make of this, Mike? How does she recover from that?

PAPANTONIO: Well, she doesn`t. Look, Michele Bachmann has been a
political zombie now for months. The only thing they can get out of
Bachmann is you have the neocon nuts that have her out there talking their
fringe politics. They`re funding her only for that, Ed. They don`t expect
her to do anything in the primaries. They certainly don`t expect her to
win a general election.

But if you put a woman like Bachmann out there, she`ll say anything
that the money people want her to say. So all she`s doing is she`s a
delivery system, Ed. She`s simply delivering the message of the far right

SCHULTZ: Of the anti-Obama. Of the anti-Obama.

PAPANTONIO: Keep her out.

SCHULTZ: Mike, what do you make of Rick Perry? Does he go full
Birther here? Is this just part of the show?

PAPANTONIO: You know, right now he`s backing up from it, because he
realizes how crazy he looked. Look, everybody is counting Rick Perry out,
Ed. I am not.

SCHULTZ: I`m not either.

PAPANTONIO: This could be a run down to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
The point is he has great appeal to most Republican conservatives. And
that`s what he understands.

SCHULTZ: And Krystal, he has a bunch of money, too, doesn`t he?

BALL: He has a bunch of money. We`re move into the segment where
paid communications are really going to be important. I think he`s
assembled a team that knows how to go for the jugular of Mitt Romney.

I will submit to you, Ed, that Governor Perry said it was fun to poke
at the president. I think he has a very strange definition of what is fun.

SCHULTZ: Krystal, great to have you with us tonight. Mike, you as
always. Thank you for joining us. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.

You can listen to me on Sirius XM radio channel 127, Monday through
Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. Follow me on Twitter @EdShow and @WeGotEd.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Rachel, great to see you
again tonight. It gets a whole lot smarter right now. I`m watching.


Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>