The Ed Show for Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 10p

Guest: David Buscho, Brian Austin, Robert Reich, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steven Benen, Joe Madison, Bill Press

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

The pepper spraying of defenseless students at U.C.-Davis has some law
enforcement officials upset. I`ll talk to a police officer who has a
better way to handle the 99 percent movement.

And President Obama is thumping Republicans on taxes in New Hampshire.
I love it.

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


SCHULTZ (voice-over): Where is the line when it comes to policing the
99 percent movement? The national uproar over these images continues.
Tonight, we`ll talk to protesters, police and one of the most prominent
occupy voices around, U.C.-Berkeley Professor Robert Reich.

Don`t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays.

SCHULTZ: President Obama is in New Hampshire, hammering Republicans
to extend the payroll tax cuts.

OBAMA: For the average family, your taxes will go up $1,000 if
Congress does not act by the end of the month.

SCHULTZ: I`ll ask Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee if Republicans
will break their pledge to Grover Norquist just to spite the president.

Mitt Romney`s first TV ad is a big, fat lie. Steve Benen of the
"Washington Monthly" will help me debunk it.

And Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is spinning hard to his friends on

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I gave public employees the right
to choose whether or not they want to be a part of a union.

SCHULTZ: That little dandy lands Walker in the zone.


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

The shocking video that has gone viral of peaceful students being
pepper sprayed on the U.C.-Davis campus is raising the question: Is law
enforcement going over the top in America in dealing with protests?
Millions have seen this violent suppression of a relatively small protest,
compared to the larger Occupy movements across the country.

So far, two officers have been placed on paid leave, along with the
chief of police of the U.C.-Davis campus. The chancellor, Linda Katehi, is
the person who ordered the raid. By the way, she`s still on the job.
Katehi accepted our invitation to be on this program, but late yesterday,
she canceled.

And as our coverage was taking place last night, we were told that the
chancellor would not be able to join me on this program at any time in the

I understand why she wouldn`t want to. Because she can`t possibly
have any answers for this. Any sensible person would ask, what are the
boundaries for law enforcement on your campus? Are peaceful protests no
longer welcome in this country?

These students certainly have a legitimate gripe. They`re watching
the cost of education spiral out of control while salaries for the people
on campus and running these universities just seem to get higher and
higher. The University of California tuition has gone up more than 200
percent since 1997.

Last week, the board of trustees approved another 9 percent hike,
while cutting courses and services. So the numbers go up, the courses and
the services get cut. What do you think the students are going to do?
They`re going to do something to show an expression of discontent.

Students were protesting the inequality on campus of U.C.-Berkeley
last week. This is what happened to them.


SCHULTZ: America`s future being treated like that. The brutality in
this video is one of the reasons the U.C.-Davis students staged their own

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is a professor at U.C.-Berkeley.
He`ll join me in a few minutes.

And it doesn`t have to be this way. We have proof. There were no
riots in Wisconsin when thousands took to the streets over the attack on
workers` rights and collective bargaining. I was in Madison last weekend
and I spoke to a police officer who said other cities can follow Madison`s


reason that this example cannot be followed. People need to talk to each
other, Ed. The police need to talk to the protesters. The protesters need
to see the police as human beings, with families and who have a stake in
our future as well.

It works both ways. We need to come together. We need to talk.


SCHULTZ: Madison Police Officer Brian Austin will join me in a few
moments as well.

Everyone could learn something from the Madison Police Department in
its handling of protests, especially the folks on FOX News.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: First of all, pepper spray. That just burns
your eyes, right?

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Right. I mean, it`s like a derivative of
actual pepper. It`s a food product, essentially.


SCHULTZ: Food product? Pepper spray is a food product. Like mustard
gas and Agent Orange are food products, right?

The people at FOX want to dismiss this act of violence. They want to
pretend it`s blown out of proportion. Would they call pepper spray a food
product if it was their kid getting sprayed? Would Bill O`Reilly say this
if his son was on the ground?


KELLY: Does that mean they should have affected the arrests in this

O`REILLY: But I don`t think we have the right to Monday morning
quarterback the police, particularly at a place like U.C.-Davis, which is,
you know, a fairly liberal campus and they`re not, you know, running


SCHULTZ: What difference does it make if it`s a liberal or
conservative campus? The kids got sprayed like they were, you know, bugs
on flowers. You know? And in a flower pot. Just -- hey, look at me, kid.
I mean, come on.

We can`t second guess the cops, can we, Bill? The tape must lie,
right? You mean, you can`t make an educated judgment on what you`ve seen
on that videotape, Mr. O`Reilly?

O`Reilly, you see, he`s quick to defend police when they spray kids in
the face. But when police are threatened by legislation taking away their
rights, oh, Bill-O is nowhere to be seen, is he? Where was Bill O`Reilly
when John Kasich was putting police safety on the line? Why didn`t
O`Reilly go to Ohio to defend these police officers he doesn`t want to
second guess?

Police officers are part of the 99 percent in this country. I stand
with our nation`s police officers, but I don`t stand with violence against
defenseless people.

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

Tonight`s question: Should the right wing start defending police when
their livelihoods are attacked by radical governors?

Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no, to 622639. You can go to our blog
at and I`ll tweet about this later on in the show as well.

Joining me tonight, again, is David Buscho. He is a student at U.C.-
Davis and was involved in the protest. I want an update on some of the
students who were injured. Since pepper spray is just kind of like
vegetable stuff, you know?

David, good to have you with us again tonight. Are the injured
protesters recovering? Have you spoken to them?

DAVID BUSCHO, UC DAVIS STUDENT: Hey, Ed, yes, and I`m in ongoing
contact with the students that were pepper sprayed. It has taken a number
of days for the physical effects to ware off. At this point, they`ve
pretty much tapered off.

Right now, my vision is a little bit blurred but I can`t really
overstate the emotional and psychological trauma that we have really
experienced. I`m finding it extremely hard to sleep at night. I was
walking on campus earlier today and I saw someone sitting on a tree and saw
it was my friend who was pepper sprayed. When I walked up to her, I
realized there were tears streaming down her face.

SCHULTZ: Would you consider a lawsuit against the university because
of this?

BUSCHO: You know, we`re looking into the options. A lot of attorneys
have offered their services. And we`re just -- we`re looking at the

SCHULTZ: Now that it`s -- go ahead.

BUSCHO: If -- sorry. If I personally were to pursue a lawsuit, it
wouldn`t be for damages, it would be in order to set a legal precedent in
showing that this doesn`t happen again to anyone else. But, yes.

SCHULTZ: I want you to hear how the pepper spray was described on FOX
News. Here it is.


KELLY: A lot of experts are looking at that and saying, is that the
real deal or has it been diluted because --

O`REILLY: Yes. They should have had more of a reaction to that.



SCHULTZ: Well, David, I guess you should have had more of a reaction
to the pepper spray. It was probably diluted. How do you feel about that?

BUSCHO: It was probably diluted? This was a military-grade chemical
that is designed to put you through excruciating pain. Make no mistake
about it. I wasn`t moving because I was completely disoriented. All that
I had was my friends who I put my arms around. That`s it. It was --

SCHULTZ: What`s happening on campus now?

BUSCHO: I was no longer a human being.

SCHULTZ: David, what`s happening on campus right now?

BUSCHO: Well, the support from the rest of the community has been
unbelievably inspiring. If you can see behind me, there are over 80 tents.
At any point there are a few hundred occupiers and they`re really just
doing artwork, playing music and having some of the most important
discussions affecting our future right now.

SCHULTZ: David Buscho, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate
your time so much. We`ll stay in touch and follow the story.

Joining me now is Brian Austin, a detective with the Madison,
Wisconsin Police Department -- a representative of Madison Professional
Police Officers Association.

Brian, thanks for your time tonight.

Why haven`t we seen this kind of stuff in Madison? Is there some kind
of special formula to deal with protests? Take us down that road.

AUSTIN: Well, Ed, just to make it clear, I am speaking on behalf of
the Madison Professional Police Officers Association and not the Madison
Police Department. My association represents the rank-and-file of MPD.

Ed, all I can do is try to give your viewers a glimpse of what is
possible between the relationship, between police and protesters and do
that by telling a Wisconsin story.

Ed, back in February and March, as you`re well aware, we had hundreds
of thousands of people converge on our capitol to have their voices heard.
We had people from all personal persuasions, all walks of life, all
different backgrounds, coming together to express their views. At its
height, the largest protest was 150,000 strong, with people from both sides
of the issue.

Despite the scope of those protests, Ed, there were very few arrests
and no violence between the police and protesters.

SCHULTZ: So, what`s the formula here? I mean, we`re asking the
question tonight -- has law enforcement in some instances in this country
gone out of bounds? I mean, how -- is there a formula for really handling
this? I mean, I`ve noticed that there are some off duty police officers
that are marching alongside the protesters. Is that it?

AUSTIN: Well, Ed, first and foremost, from the perspective of our
union, we were very proud of the leadership from our chief, from the
commanders of the Madison Police Department and the leadership from other
police agencies involved. They set the tone very early, establishing a
cooperative relationship with the protesters and establishing an open
dialogue, an open line of communication. And I think that`s very key.
Having an open line of communication really creates a feeling of mutual

That line of communication, from what I can tell as an observer,
started at the very top of the police agencies and the top of the protest
organizations and extended all the way down to the line officers and the
protesters out on the streets. That`s very crucial.

SCHULTZ: So I guess it`s -- I guess -- every community is different.
I guess. I mean, there`s -- there`s really no uniformed way to make sure
that things like this don`t happen at U.C.-Davis.

AUSTIN: Every community is different. I think communication is key.
A unique factor in our protests was the fact that we did have a large
number of off duty police officers participating in the protests. And I
think that kind of change the dynamics a little bit as well. I can`t tell
you how many times we`re in the capitol, protesting, my membership and law
enforcement officers off duty, from throughout the state, when we have
teachers, and nurses, snowplow drivers come up to us and say, we really
take comfort in you being here.

Ed, the evening that the governor threatened to forcibly clear the
capitol building, I and other off duty officers were there with off duty
firefighters to try to keep the people`s house open. I had a nurse come up
to me in tears and this woman said to me, I`ve never protested anything
before in my life and I was terrified to come here, but when I saw you guys
here, I understood nothing terrible was going to happen to me tonight.

And I can tell you, that sentiment was also expressed by the on-duty
officers, seeing their co-workers, their friends among the protesters
really kind of set some boundaries and people knew that things were going
to be OK.

It`s a very complicated issue, Ed, but I know -- I can only speak to
Wisconsin, and here it was a really remarkable time in Wisconsin`s history.
And a time I think we should be very proud of.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think the country should be proud of the way you
folks have handled it there and it certainly doesn`t have to spiral out of
control the way it did in this instance in California.

Detective Brian Austin, thanks for your time tonight.

I want to turn now to Robert Reich, former labor secretary, now
professor of public policy at U.C.-Berkeley, and author of the book

Mr. Reich, this is happening on your campus at Berkeley. What was
your reaction when you saw that video?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, I was sick to my stomach,
Ed. I`m sure everybody was.

I mean, there`s absolutely no excuse for police to use billy clubs and
pepper spray and other violent techniques, particularly on students,
particularly in a nonviolent protest on a campus where, you know, our
universities are the centers of freedom of speech in this country. And,
frankly, what we`re seeing around the country, I want to also include a lot
of police -- unfortunately police brutality with regard to taking down
Occupy encampments around the country as well.

What we`re seeing, Ed, is the First Amendment being turned completely
upside down. You know, you`ve got right now a Supreme Court that says
money is speech and corporations are people, and right now, Washington is
absolutely flooded with money from the rich and the powerful. And at the
same time, when people are students or average working people want to get
together and protest, this concentration of income and wealth -- well, what
happens to them?

They`re told they can`t. They`re clubbed. They`re pulled out of
wherever they are. Their tents are taken down. They are subjected to
pepper spray.

I mean, what`s going on? This is exactly the opposite of what a
democracy is supposed to be.

SCHULTZ: It`s also embarrassing for the country, in my opinion, and
the students --

REICH: Of course.

SCHULTZ: -- the students are out there with a legitimate concern
about rising tuition, but then this kind of stuff just fuels more protests
and brings everybody`s temperature up. How is Berkeley handling it right
now? What`s the next move, you think?

REICH: Well, I think the temperature has come down. I think the
students -- again, I`m so proud of our students. They have behaved so
responsibly through all of this. I think the administration is now trying
to reach out to the students.

You know, obviously, the police need to be better trained. There`s an
inquiry going on about all of this.

But the background condition, Ed, that is, how we ever got to this
kind of position at Berkeley, which was the cradle for the free speech
movement in the 1960s, but around the country with regards to the police
brutality we`re seeing.

Again, we have to have a national conversation about all of this and
also about the underlying, the underlying issue of power in this society.
In terms of wealth and income and political power concentrated more and
more in fewer and fewer people`s hands. This is the underlying condition
behind all of this.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Reich, great to have you with us tonight. You`ve said a
lot in a very short period of time. I appreciate it.

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, don`t be a Grinch. That`s the message President Obama is
sending to Republicans who want to raise taxes on the middle class.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee will join me later tonight.

And later, Mitt Romney releases his first TV ad. Let me tell you,
it`s an absolute doozy. His campaign is defending its deceptive tactics.
Steve Benen of "Washington Monthly" is outraged by it and he`ll weigh.

You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Lots more coming up.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: the president is making
Republicans choose between supporting his jobs plan or raising taxes.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is going to be joining me on that.

Newt Gingrich leads the GOP in the polls, but Mitt Romney is trying to
appeal to the fringe by releasing a bogus attack ad on President Obama.

Scott Walker tries to spin his union-busting bill as a worker`s right
to choose.

And after hearing Megyn Kelly describe pepper spray as a food product,
it`s no surprise that FOX News viewers are less informed than others. And
there`s a survey to prove it.

Stay with us.



OBAMA: If your members of Congress aren`t delivering, you`ve got to
send them a message. Make sure they`re listening. Tell them, don`t be a
Grinch. Don`t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the


SCHULTZ: President Obama in New Hampshire earlier today. He was
urging Republican members of Congress to support an extension of the
payroll tax cut. Now, if Republicans allow it to expire next month, middle
classers all across the country will see their taxes go up.

It`s a tough pill to swallow during the holidays, but since
Republicans hate taxes, they should have no problem supporting this tax
cut. Correct?

Well, the problem is the tax cut is part of the president`s job plan,
which, of course, Republicans oppose. They oppose everything.

President Obama used the GOP`s own rhetoric against them and needled
them on their tax pledge to the almighty Grover Norquist.


OBAMA: Now, I know Republicans like to talk about, you know, we`re
the party of tax cuts. A lot of them have sworn an oath, we`re never going
to raise taxes on anybody for as long as we live. Are they really willing
to break their oath to never raise taxes and raise taxes on the middle
class just to play politics? I sure -- I sure hope not.


SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of
Texas. Congresswoman, good to have you with us again.

Are Republicans --

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Are Republicans willing to break their tax pledge
to Grover Norquist just to score political points? What do you think?

LEE: You know, we`re not near water right now, Ed, but I frankly
believe there`s a whole group of them trying to walk the plank. I really
can`t understand it. It is baffling to, as the president said, to the
president, to members of Congress, Democratic members of Congress. And I
would venture to say Republican members of Congress who are too frightened
to say anything.

You`ve heard me say this. I am a citizen of the United States of
America. Not the United States of Norquist. I cannot fathom the signing
of a pledge that would in essence jeopardize the quality of life for
working Americans, middle class Americans.

The payroll tax, which will expire in a couple of weeks, will in
essence take $1,000 to $1,500 out of the pockets of working Americans. It
will impact businesses. It will impact small businesses.

And the president is right, we had an opportunity to pass the jobs
bill, to be prepared for the returning veterans, to help with
infrastructure and, yes, to eliminate taxes on the middle class. By the
way, the president has not raised any taxes on working Americans --

SCHULTZ: No, he hasn`t. Not at all.

LEE: -- since coming into office. Do the Republicans know that?

SCHULTZ: Well, here`s -- it`s their mantra. This is what they are
staking their future on that they will never raise taxes on the 1 percent.
They are protecting the wealthy.

Here`s what Mitt Romney had to say about the payroll tax cut last


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that
would mean a tax increase for all Americans. What would be the
consequences of that?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What it takes to create jobs
is more than just a temporary shift in a tax stimulus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`d be OK with seeing the payroll tax cut?

ROMNEY: Look, I don`t like temporary little Band-Aids.


SCHULTZ: The average American family would save $1,500 with this tax
cut. Is it a Band-Aid or is it absolutely vital for Americans to be in
this situation?

LEE: You know, for those of us who put on our pants every day and
count our pennies, I`m insulted by that comment -- pants or our skirts.
And get up and get on buses and trains and try to go to work and provide
for our families. I`m insulted by that charge -- $1,500, $100, going in
the pockets of Americans, just go out in the public.

I`ve been out today visiting with constituents. Every penny for them
is one that is valuable. I`ve had some people say that some of the charity
they`ve gotten over this recent holiday has helped them make ends meet.
Some people are still struggling to refinance their homes.

SCHULTZ: Well --

LEE: Don`t give me that, Mr. Romney, it is not a Band-Aid and we need
to build on the cure, not the Band-Aid. The payroll is part of the cure,
but we`ve got to build on it to provide an absolute cure for America. That
is passing the jobs act -- building more jobs, putting dollars out into the
economy, such as what I`ve asked her over and over for my banks.


LEE: When I say that American banks for the flush of money in large
corporations, they can do things to help build jobs.

SCHULTZ: Let`s talk about the supercommittee. Clearly the
Republicans are protecting the wealthiest Americans. They won`t serve up
any revenue whatsoever. So where does that leave us? What happens next?

LEE: Well, I will say, I will track the words of President Obama that
says, I don`t want to live in a country when only the sliver of the
population has opportunity. And frankly, the debate fell just on those two
issues or that issue, is that whether you wanted just a sliver of those
living in America to be successful versus the majority.

What we can do now, Ed, is to go to regular order. We have passed a
continuing resolution until December 16th. That means it keeps the
government open.


LEE: As you well know, we defeated the balanced budget amendment,
that was one of the hostages, elements that was holding us hostage as it
relates to debt ceiling increase. We have to go to the drawing word.

You know what is the best way of doing this? Let the ways & means
committee come together and present its package for tax reform, present
that to the Congress.


LEE: Let the appropriations committee begin to look closely at what
are the sensible cuts, Ed, that would make sense to impact the quality, not
to impact the quality of life. I just want to hold up a graph. This is a
graph of Republicans, it`s maybe hard to see, Republicans and Democrat who
are saying no cuts to Medicare and Social Security.


LEE: It means that the Democrats are not, if you will, speaking in
the dark. We can two through the process of appropriations. We can avoid
sequestration. I`d like to talk to the president by allowing that to go
forward. I don`t think that`s the most constructive way to go forward,
because those across-the-board cuts --

SCHULTZ: But, Congresswoman, the bottom line in all of this, whether
the Democrats are going to serve up the big three any kind of cuts
whatsoever or any kinds of adjustments or reductions, you can`t get -- the
Democrats can`t get a dime worth of revenue out of the Republicans. And
that`s where we are right now. And it is their party and the actions of
their party that has put us to where we are right now when it comes to
fiscal irresponsibility in this country.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, thanks for joining us tonight.

LEE: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: I just want Americans to grab a simple concept here. You
may ask, how in the hell did we get here? I`ll tell you how we got here.
We got here with two wars, big pharma and the Bush tax cuts.

Nobody had any idea how the heck we were going to pay for this when it
all started back in March of 2003. Nobody ever thought that the Bush tax
cuts were going to have the kind of doom and gloom it has given our

And big pharma -- the corporations are controlling the Congress. And
now, you`ve got the Republicans saying, well, you`re not going to get none
out of us, but oh, by the way, we want Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security, we want to privatize it all.

They act as if they are the only ones with the answers. Well, when
they had the power, these are the answers they gave us. This is what the
Republican Party did to America and this is why we are in this financial
stalemate right now.

Scott Walker is in big trouble. The recall effort against him is
heating up. He`s battling back by going on FOX and lying through his
teeth. That puts him in the zone.

And later, new evidence that FOX News viewers -- I`m not making stuff
up now -- FOX News viewers are dumber than everybody else.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Scott Walker media campaign
continues across the street. The Wisconsin governor went on "Fox and
Friends" today and was welcomed with open arms by a brown nosing Brian


BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: He took on the unions, as we
mentioned, overturned collective bargaining and is helping to fix the
state`s budget. And because of all that, the opponents of Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker, hence the unions, are trying to force a recall

How disappointing is it that you have to worry about a recall and not
just worry about the state`s business?

Governor Walker, we always enjoy talking to you. It`s not an easy
thing you did, but you did -- no one can question your leadership.


SCHULTZ: With those softball questions, Walker felt more than
comfortable lying through his teeth about why he`s being recalled.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: You`ve got a core group who are
pushing a recall largely -- let`s be clear about it, largely it is these
national unions are funding it because they don`t like the fact that I gave
public employees the right to choose whether or not they want to be part of
a union. That`s really what this all boils down to.


SCHULTZ: That talking head right there, that governor from Wisconsin
is flat-out factually wrong. The reason he`s been recalled is not because
he gave employees the right to choose whether to join a union or not.
Walker is being recalled because he`s more interested in his friendship
with the Koch Brothers than helping the people of the state.

Walker destroyed collective bargaining rights for public employees,
ignoring the massive public outcry against the bill. Walker continued his
attack on the middle class by cutting 1.6 B -- billion dollars from public
education in the state.

The governor promised his union busting actions would create jobs.
You hear that? He promised that these actions would create jobs. But last
month, Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in union. We got
that? They lost more jobs than any other state in the union.

Of course, I`m sure Kilmeade asked Walker about that during the
interview. Gretchen Carlson wanted him to.


KILMEADE: The recall effort doesn`t surprise Governor Walker. He
feels as though people`s lives are getting better in Wisconsin and the
economy is looking solvent.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: One thing I hope you ask him is
how many jobs have been created in that state.


SCHULTZ: Yeah. How many jobs have been created in that state?
Especially last month. See that? Kilmeade did not bring up the 9,700 jobs
Wisconsin lost in October. So who is Fox News shilling for?

With his record, Governor Walker`s only shot at surviving a recall is
to keep coming up with this sleazy, desperate Psycho Talk.

Mitt Romney is so boring, his campaign releases a deceptive and
misleading ad. I think it was just to get attention. Will it backfire?
Steve Benen of "the Washington Monthly" will join me to talk about that.

Republican voters think Newt Gingrich lacks strong moral character.
Now, why in the hell did they ever think that? But they`re giving him a
pass. He`s at the top of six national polls. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
All right, let`s face it. Mitt Romney is boring. I mean, the guy is wall
paper. I mean, his campaign is like watching paint dry. He`s behind in
the polls, losing to a series of fringe candidates.

He needs to develop some, I guess you could say, reckless street cred
to earn the respect of far right wing. They don`t like him. Low and
behold, here`s his first campaign ad.


Hampshire. I am confident we can stir ourselves out of this crisis. Who`s
been charge of the economy? We need a rescue plan for the middle class.
We need to provide relief for homeowners. It`s going to take a new
direction. If we keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose.


SCHULTZ: Well, here`s the problem with the last sound bite you just
heard right there. It was deliberately taken out of context by the Romney
campaign. Barack Obama was, in fact, quoting a strategist from Senator
John McCain`s campaign.


OBAMA: Senator McCain`s campaign actually said, and I quote, "if we
keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose."


SCHULTZ: Well, that ad earned a Pants-On-Fire rating from Politifact.
Romney`s campaign is now scrambling to defend it. A senior adviser says
the ad is fair to President Obama. "He did say the words. That`s his

Applying that same standard of accuracy, Think Progress put together a
tape of the Mittster`s greatest hits. A reminder to viewers here, Mitt
Romney did say the following words and that is his voice.


SCHULTZ: We should just raise everybody`s taxes. There`s nothing
unique about the United States. Government knows better than a free people
how to guide an economy. Fiscal responsibility is heartless and immoral.
Let us just raise your taxes some more. We just need a little bit more.
America is just another nation with a flag.


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Steve Benen. He is the writer for "the
Washington Monthly." Steve, good to have you with us tonight. This is
really low rent, is it not? That`s my term. What would you call it?

STEVE BENEN, "THE WASHINGTON MONTHLY": Well, I think it`s important
for Romney -- it was important for Romney to try to get his campaign off on
a good start. This is his first campaign ad of the entire year. And he
wanted to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

If he was hoping to go for an honest campaign or a decent campaign or
even an honorable campaign, then this is a huge mistake. Because obviously
it was a blatant lie. He got caught in his blatant lie. He had this
defense which was really just blisteringly stupid. As a result, we have
something of a scandal on our hands.

SCHULTZ: Is there a chance that the candidate didn`t know this ad was
going to be produced like this? Oh, and if not, what does it say about
Mitt Romney`s character?

BENEN: Well, you know, there`s that line in the ad, you know, "I`m
Mitt Romney, I approve this message." The importance of that line tells us
that Romney has certain ownership over this. He can`t just wash his hands
of it or distance himself. He owns the campaign. It`s his message. It`s
his ad.

And so the fact that he got caught blatantly lying in his first
campaign commercial, it reflects poorly on him, his integrity and his

SCHULTZ: I would imagine that this might be an admirable thing by
some of the fringe voters out there who just cannot stand President Obama
and want to defeat him at all costs, politically. Would he get some kind
of strange support from running an ad like this?

BENEN: Well, I find it hard to believe that anybody, any kind of
decent voter would want to say, I`ll support the candidate who`s lying to
the public. I don`t imagine that will happen, at least not much. At least
let`s hope not.

SCHULTZ: We`re talking about Mitt Romney. Not many people are
talking about Mitt Romney. Not many people have talked about Mitt Romney.
This is what Mitt Romney`s campaign wants, isn`t it? You and I talking
about him. Just talk about him, you know? What do you think?

BENEN: I think there might be something to that in terms of the
strategy. Now everyone has seen the ad that they`ve released. It`s been
played over and over again, not only in terms of paid broadcast, in terms
of ad time, but now the news stations broadcasting it.

But it`s important to realize that the public is being told throughout
the day that Mitt Romney has been caught blatantly lying. That`s not
necessarily something that a campaign wants to be associated with,
especially when we realize that looking back over the last several weeks,
Romney has been caught in a series of lies.

Once a campaign develops a reputation for dishonesty, that`s something
that sticks with a campaign for months if not indefinitely. And it`s hard
to shake that once your integrity is undermined.

SCHULTZ: Speaking of integrity, all of them have denounced the
stimulus package. The CBO says the economy would be in worse shape without
the stimulus package that was passed early in the Obama administration. It
has added as many as three million jobs in the third quarter of this year.
Will that make a difference to republicans? Will they pay attention to
that kind of number at all?

BENEN: We would like to think so. We would like to think that
evidence has some kind of bearing on the Republican debate. But at this
point, I think Republicans are so invested in the notion that the economy
is now worse than it was in 2008, even though we know it`s obviously not
the case. Given the fact that they`re so invested in this, I find it hard
to imagine that evidence and reason and facts will have any bearing on
debate whatsoever unfortunately.

SCHULTZ: Steve Benen, this is your graph that we use quite often on
THE ED SHOW. It shows exactly where President Obama -- what he inherited,
what he has turned around and the number of consecutive months of private
sector job growth. And now the Congressional Budget Office comes out and
says the economy would be in worse shape without the stimulus, and they`ve
added three million jobs. It pretty much says it all.

Steve Benen, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your
time. Thank you.

Bill O`Reilly thinks Fox hosts are always factually accurate. Hmm.
Well, he`s wrong. Fox News viewers are more misinformed than people who
don`t watch news at all. I`m not kidding you. There is a survey that
backs this up. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s hear it for Fairleigh Dickinson
University, the Knights. With great alumni like Peggy Noonen and Christine
O`Donnell, they`ve done it. They have proven what Americans know all
along, watching Fox News makes you dumber. No kidding.

Surveys shows people who have no exposure to news media are better
informed than people who actually watch Fox News. A new study from the
university say the folks in Chris Christie`s state of New Jersey found
"some media outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be less informed
than those who say they don`t watch any news at all."

For example, the study found Fox viewers were 18 points less likely to
know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news
at all, after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education
and other demographic factors.

The study is just the latest in a series of surveys all showing Fox
News viewers are significantly less informed than others on just about
every topic, including global warming, health care, the Islamic cultural
center near Ground Zero -- now, how could that be -- the Iraq War, and, of
course, the 2010 election.

And it`s no secret why Fox News hosts spew misinformation on a daily
basis. Here`s just a sample.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like a derivative of actual pepper. It`s a
food product essentially.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Muffin-gate, 16 bucks per muffin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Obama administration adding a Christmas tree

O`REILLY: The 16 dollar muffin. The 16 dollar muffin.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHORS: Guess what, the death panels are

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics now claim the administration is actually
pressuring certain disabled veterans to, quote, hurry up and die.

O`REILLY: More muffin scandal? For 16 dollar muffins.

Global warming, where are you? We want you back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t reduce our carbon emissions, aliens
might come and kill us.

O`REILLY: Sixteen dollar muffin. I want to taste that muffin.

I want to remind you not to make statements you can`t back up on this
network. We don`t do that on this network.


SCHULTZ: And you might be wondering, Fairleigh Dickinson University,
where do they get all that money to commission that study? Not state
money. It`s a private school. And they love privatization. Don`t they?
Let`s hear it for the Knights.

Coming up, everything old is new again. Newt Gingrich tops the polls
even though Republicans think he lacks strong moral character. It shows
you what Republicans really care about. Bill Press and Joe Madison join me


SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, the latest poll says it all.
Republicans think Newt Gingrich lacks moral character. Wait a minute,
strong moral character. They don`t care. He`s the new favorite, the new
flavor of the month. Gingrich leads the pack ahead of Romney.

This is the sixth national poll over the last two weeks to put
Gingrich in the lead. But on the issue of having strong moral character,
well, Newt Gingrich musters only nine percent, well behind Mitt Romney.

Five months ago, we were all writing off Newt. I mean, he went to
Greece. His campaign staff, they were so upset, they quit, went over to
some guy from Texas named Rick Perry.

But he`s back on top. You want to talk about a political reclamation
project, there it is. Republicans are starved for someone other than Mitt
Romney. They can`t stand the guy. First it was Donald Trump. Then it was
Michele Bachmann. Then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain. Now it`s Newt`s

Republicans don`t care about his three marriages, do they? They
probably love it when he says they wants to get rid of child labor laws so
he can put poor kids to work. Newt Gingrich says the 99 percenters should
also get a job right after they take a bath. Classy guy.

This is apparently the strong moral character Republicans are looking
for. Let`s bring in nationally syndicated radio talkers Bill Press, on
Sirius XM, and also a radio talk show host with Sirius XM, Joe Madison.
Gentlemen, good to have you with us.

Oh my gosh. It`s like a kid in the candy store for us. Where do we
start? Bill, is it possible that Newt Gingrich could really win this

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, first off, Ed, I have to say
there`s a connection between this conversation and the last story you did,
right? Because I think it`s pretty clear that one of the reasons Fox
viewers were so badly misinformed is for the last five years, Newt Gingrich
has been a commentator on Fox, right?

So they`ve been listening to this. But, Ed, I thing you`re absolutely
right. This is the most morally challenged candidate out there, the most
ethically challenged candidate out there, the biggest flip-flopper of them
all. And these Republicans, they put all of that aside because, number
one, they can`t stand Mitt Romney. And number two, they`ll take anybody,
the biggest sinner in the world, rather than Barack Obama.

It`s pretty sick.

SCHULTZ: Joe Madison, what`s it say? Where`s the Christian right
going to stand on all this? Aren`t they concerned about personal moral

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: As a matter of fact, they are.
I`ve been interviewing them and watching interviews of him. And he is not
one of their favorites. And he certainly will not be getting their
endorsement. You can count on that.

I guess I`m kind of ahead of a lot of people, because can you imagine
the comparison between Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich when it comes to the
same kind of poll? It just -- I mean, I`m absolutely flabbergasted. I
mean, the new "Muppets" movie is coming out, but, you know, quite honestly,
it`s been out ever since these debates have taken place.

SCHULTZ: Joe, look, not to pass judgment on anybody else`s personal
life --

MADISON: Oh, no.

SCHULTZ: But in the political arena, is being married three times
going to be relevant or irrelevant to voters in your opinion?

MADISON: I think it`s going to be relevant, particularly since the
right has used it as an issue. Should it be irrelevant? I think it should
be. But remember, they made their own bed hard with the Moral Majority.
They made their own bed hard with these social issues involving gay
marriages. So the reality is, it`s their problem, not ours.

SCHULTZ: Bill Press, how`s the child labor law comment going to go
over? I think it was a brilliant -- I thought it was a brilliant move by
Newt Gingrich to pretty much switch the subject off Freddie Mac and get the
kids involved in labor. There you go.

PRESS: Yeah, look, you know, I think the moral thing with the three
marriages may come into play. I think, more importantly, you`re right on
it, Ed. The idea that we`re going to get rid of child labor laws? I mean,
what`s next?

MADISON: That`s the bigger issue.

PRESS: They clean the schools, so next they`re going to go back to
the shoe factories and the assembly lines and you don`t have to pay them a
minimum wage. This is a guy, remember, who said he wanted to bring back
orphanages. That was the answer.

This is a guy who said this year that we should have a citizenship
test before people are allowed to vote. Hey, Joe, that`s a dog whistle
issue. Right? These are the things -- the more that you look at Newt
Gingrich -- and then all the flip-flops on the issue, where he used to be
for global warming, now he`s against it, all that stuff.

SCHULTZ: Joe, does he beat Mitt Romney?

MADISON: Oh, no, he`s not going to beat Mitt Romney in this. He`s
the latest flavor of the month. And I look for Ron Paul probably after
Iowa to be up there. I mean, Santorum is probably slapping himself right
now, wondering when it`s his turn.

SCHULTZ: Gentlemen. We have to run. You know how it goes. Bill
Press, Joe Madison, great to have you with us tonight.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on Sirius
XM radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon at 3:00 p.m. Follow me
on Twitter @EdShow and @WeGotEd.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.


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