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

The Ed Show for Monday,December 19th, 2011

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: R.T. Rybak, Joan Walsh, Douglas Brinkley, Joe Cirincione>

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

All those Republicans, they`re at it again. They`re about to kill a
bill to prevent a tax increase on 160 million Americans. John Boehner has
lost control of the House and millions of Americans are about to be left
out in the cold.

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


kick the can down the road. Kick the can down the road. It`s time to stop
the nonsense.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Republican Party is in chaos. And your
taxes might go up because of it.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Trying to negotiate with Speaker
Boehner is like trying to nail jell-o to the wall.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, the latest on the Republican mess with DNC vice
chair R.T. Rybak and MSNBC`s Richard Wolffe.

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Would you send the Capitol police down to
arrest him?


SCHULTZ: Newt, the totalitarian, has a plan to arrest judges who rule
the wrong way. Historian Douglas Brinkley calls it a dictator mentality.
He`s here tonight.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The wealthy are doing just
fine. The people hurt are the people in the middle class.

SCHULTZ: Middle class Mitt is a fraud. And new reporting out today
proves it. My commentary ahead.

And it is opposite day for the Republicans` biggest mouthpiece.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The uninformed voter is a
Democrat target audience.

SCHULTZ: Rush is going in the zone.


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

At this hour, you can count on them again. House Republicans are
blotting to sabotage the economy one more time. Late tonight, John Boehner
and the Republican House, they planned to kill a two-month extension of the
middle class tax cut and extension of unemployment benefits. Now, this
comes, keep in mind, after 39 Senate Republicans voted for the extension on
Saturday morning. Oh, what the weekend brings us.

This extension was exactly what Senate Republicans pushed for on
Friday night. Republicans -- they were downright giddy to get this
Keystone pipeline jammed into a bill to help middle class Americans.

Here is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell high-fiving Wyoming
Senator John Barrasso on Friday night. Let`s go have a cool one. We got
her done, didn`t we? They`re going to pass this one in the House. Really?

John Boehner knew exactly what was in this bill and he was ready to
send the whole House of Representatives home. Then this group called the
Tea Party, are they still around? They don`t even have a candidate. But
they know how to get the dog by the tail.

Boehner had a conference call. We got to get together on Saturday
morning and figure this thing out. He had a conference call in his caucus
on Saturday and reportedly said, hey, look, this is a good deal. The
Senate package is good. We got to take it.

Tea Party members blasted Boehner for going along with the deal and
demanded a new vote. They want a new vote. We`re not going to take this.
The Tea Party was not happy with the two-month extension and they demanded
an entire year.

Well, Boehner, he went running with his tail between his legs over to
"Meet the Press" to change his tune. Today, Boehner claimed the two-month
extension would create this thing called uncertainty.


BOEHNER: We oppose the Senate bill because doing a two-month
extension instead of a full-year extension causes uncertainty for job

I used to run a small business. I met a payroll. I hired workers. A
two-month extension creates uncertainty and will cause problems for people
who are trying to create jobs in the private sector.

It`s time for Congress to do its work, no more kicking the can down
the road.


SCHULTZ: Boehner uses the same old garbage over and over again.

Let`s see, there was uncertainty on the health care. There was
uncertainty over the stimulus. Uncertainty over the Bush tax cuts. I
mean, it just never ends with this guy. It`s the same old jargon.

President Obama, the Democrats, have given the Republicans basically
everything they have asked for just to protect the middle class and the
unemployed. Chuck Schumer nailed it this morning.


SCHUMER: We tried for 3.1 percent for a year for both employers and
employees. Our Republican colleagues said, "That`s too much." We brought
it down to 2 percent. They then said, "The millionaires tax, take it out,
we don`t want to tax millionaires." We did.

They then said that the only way they would vote for a one-year
extension is by putting so many poison pills in there that they knew we
couldn`t vote for it because they couldn`t get the votes in the House. So
we said, go to two months.

And then on Friday, Speaker Boehner said, I can get this passed, all
you have to do is put the Keystone pipeline in. Guess what, we swallowed
hard and we did.

Trying to negotiate with Speaker Boehner is like trying to nail jell-o
to the wall.


SCHULTZ: House Republicans are complete frauds.

I want you to look at this. On January 6th of 2009, Michele Bachmann
and Louie Gohmert of Texas, they introduced a two-month extension on a
complete holiday tax. Take a look.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: It is the height of arrogance that in
this body we say, no, no, no, Gohmert`s got this bill, H.R. 143, that lets
the people that earned it have a two-month tax holiday. We can`t do that.
We can`t let that come to the floor for a vote.


SCHULTZ: Oh, but that was a long time ago. You see, Republicans
wanted a zero tax rate for two months. Today, they say a 2 percent cut
causes too much uncertainty.

Who are these people? They don`t know who they are.

But here`s the bottom line. Have you ever -- let me ask you this --
have you ever gone out -- it happens in advertising quite a bit, I might
add -- you go out and you do a deal with somebody over lunch. In this
case, Boehner likes to play golf. He likes the whiskey, likes the cigars,
likes -- yes, I got a deal, I got a deal, yes.

He gets back to the office. Wait a minute, everything`s changed.
Something else happened. Has to call back. Say, you know, I can`t do the

Happens in business, doesn`t it? It really disappoints the heck out
of you.

Do you want to know why Washington has got a low approval rating? Is
because this Washington minutia is now not about you, the taxpayer, the
Americans. It`s about these personalities.

You see, the Tea Partiers can`t come up with a good candidate, but
they know Boehner. They know he caves.

I tell you what? They are riding him like a rented mule. He`s going
to do anything they want him to do and they`re going to beat the tar out of
him and they don`t care what the outcome is as long as they get what they
want for their money.

And their money is to defeat President Obama and the Democrats at all
costs. They`re not interested in helping the economy. They`re not
interested in helping middle class families when it comes to tax breaks.

And when I say personalities, the Tea Party, they know that Boehner
can`t stare them down the way Nancy Pelosi stares down her caucus at times
and has in the past. That`s why she was able to accomplish so much

But the Tea Partiers, they know Boehner. They know he caves. They
know they can take him on the golf course and do a deal and go back and
change it. In fact, they can get him to do the national shows and say
something totally different from what he said 48 hours earlier.

This is their guy. This is right what they want.

By the way, there`s not going to be any revenue. I`ve told you that
for weeks. There is no way that the Republicans are going to give up any
revenue whatsoever. So what are they going to cut? Who knows?

This voting won`t pass tonight and now there`s some friction between
the Senate Republicans and the House Republicans. We`ll see where it all
ends up.

Stick to your guns, Democrats. It`s your best, best move right now.

And keep in mind, unemployment`s going down. Retail sales are going
up. This is the nightmare that the Republicans just don`t want to wake up

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Will John Boehner ever have the guts to stand up to the Tea

Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no, to 622639. You can always go to
our blog at Results coming up later in the program.

Joining me now is R.T. Rybak, the mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and
vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

R.T., good to have you with us tonight.

R.T. RYBAK, VICE CHAIR, DNC: Good to be here.

SCHULTZ: You bet. I find it interesting that the Tea Party can`t
come up with a credible candidate but can raise hell on the House and stop
everything. Where does this all end in your opinion?

RYBAK: Well, you know, they sent poor Boehner out to try to dress
this thing up. But he talks about kicking the can down the road. The can
that`s getting kicked belongs to the American middle class. And the can
that should get kicked this November belongs to the Tea Party Republicans
who hold the entire country hostage.

They have had months, months, to be able to demonstrate to America
they actually do stand up for tax cuts for the middle class and they have
done everything humanly possible to find any way to stand in the way of a
tax cut for the American middle class. So, this January everybody`s taxes
are going to go up $1,000 a piece.

Talk to me about who believes in tax cuts. It sure isn`t the
Republican Party right now.

SCHULTZ: You know, I`m going down the road of personalities here.
Don`t the Tea Party members know that Boehner is gutless? And they can
just move him any way they want to move him? What do you think of that?

RYBAK: Yes, I think Boehner is being moved like a chess piece by the
Tea Partiers. And this is going to continue until moderate, realistic
Republicans stand up.

Now, where is Mitt Romney on this, OK? Mitt Romney said that the
$1,000 tax cut that the president was proposing here was a, quote/unquote,
"Band-Aid." All right. Maybe it`s a Band-Aid to Mitt Romney, but it`s a
big deal to the American people.

Why doesn`t he at this critical point show leadership and stand up?
If he`s not going to do it now, how in the world can he do it in the White

SCHULTZ: Well, it seems to me a friction starting now between the
Republicans in the Senate and the House.

Republican Scott Brown, senator of Massachusetts, blasted House
Republicans today. He said, "The House Republicans plan to scuttle the
deal to help middle class families is irresponsible and wrong."

Why do you think House Republicans are sabotaging the economy? What
do they have to gain at this point when the country wants to add jobs?

RYBAK: Because they`re betting on a very cynical idea, that somehow
if this doesn`t work, people will again say, quote/unquote, "Washington
doesn`t work."

Washington isn`t broken. The Republican Party is broken. It`s
fractured and it`s being held hostage by a few extremists.

Now, some have guts, like you just said, will stand up and say that.
But the fact of the matter is they`re banking on the fact people will say,
oh, it`s just, quote/unquote, "Washington again."


RYBAK: And if all of us buy into that, that`s the problem. So, the
reality is you have a president who stood up with a Recovery Act, who laid
out all sorts of things that the Republicans had been for before.

Now, they`ve all voted against him. We know exactly where they stand.
They would rather put politics ahead of the economy.

SCHULTZ: R.T. Rybak, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us
tonight. Thanks so much.

RYBAK: Good to see you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst, Richard Wolffe.

Richard, good to have you on with us tonight. Another vulnerable
Senate Republican went after House Republicans today. Nevada Republican
Dean Heller said, "There is no reason to hold up the short-term extension
while a more comprehensive deal is being worked out. What is playing out
in Washington, D.C., this week is about political leverage, not about
what`s good for the American people."

This is the divide that many of the Democrats have been waiting for.
What do you think?

holding it up is a full blown leadership crisis among the Republican House
leaders here. What we`re seeing tonight, the breaking news is that what
started out as a routine meeting where John Boehner was going to reconvene
with his members has dragged on for almost two hours.

And NBC`s Luke Russert is saying that`s because people are --
everyone`s getting their say there tonight. There`s a lot of venting going
on about Boehner`s leadership, about the way forward.

But make no mistake here: what they`re looking at now is a situation
where the speaker isn`t sure whether he can hold his caucus together.
Remember, if he loses enough Republicans and they vote with the Democrats
on this, the Senate version will pass through. You can actually govern in
the House with a majority of the House. Boehner`s problem is he`s trying
to take along a majority of just the Republicans and that means he`s in the
troll of these Tea Party Republicans.

SCHULTZ: Well, do you think that this tactic is going to hurt
Republicans in 2012?

WOLFFE: Well, for sure. The politics -- everyone understands that a
two-month extension is bad politics. But the Tea Party has managed inside
the Republican caucus to undermine the very premise of what binds most
Republicans together which is that they`re for every tax cut that passes on
the face of the earth.

So they`ve given up their major pitch to the American people. They`re
always for tax cuts, handed it to the president. As well as the big goal
which is, who represents the middle class here?

So, you know, it`s not good politics. They recognize it as such but
just cannot help themselves. This is bad internally among Republicans.
It`s certainly bad externally from anyone watching from the outside.

SCHULTZ: What -- I don`t think it would hurt President Obama to veto
the House bill at all. I don`t think. I think that he can continue to
whip Boehner with his own people and probably hold out for better deal. I
could be wrong on that, but the think that would be a good play.

What do you think?

WOLFFE: Scott Brown is looking at the same polls and understands the
same kind of politics. The reason these Republican senators are speaking
out against Boehner and the Tea Party right now is because they know the
House Republican position right now is a losing proposition.

So, you know, they have done -- the Tea Party Republicans have done
what this president has struggled to do for three years, which is to create
bipartisanship. They`re bipartisan against the Tea Party.

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight, Richard -- MSNBC
political analyst, Richard Wolffe, here on THE ED SHOW. Thank you so much.

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, with the Republican candidates jockeying for positions in
the polls, right wing pundits wonder if Jeb Bush might throw his hat in the
race. Joan Walsh joins me on that conversation.

And later, Newt Gingrich continues his war on the judicial branch.
Now he says activist judges should be arrested. Presidential historian
Douglas Brinkley will join me.

Stay with us. We`re right back on THE ED SHOW.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: two weeks until the Iowa caucuses
and Republicans aren`t even close to picking the winner. Joan Walsh with
that discussion, as they are in disarray. That`s next.

Rush Limbaugh lands in "Psychotalk" for saying that Democratic voters
are uninformed?

And the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il leaves questions
about the future of the country`s nuclear program. I`ll talk with nuclear
weapons expert Joe Cirincione.

And you can tweet us your thoughts using #EdShow.

Stay tuned. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We`re going to go now live to Capitol Hill. John Boehner is speaking
right after the Republican caucus meeting. Here it is.

BOEHNER: Would take care of those doctors who treat Medicare
patients, the reduction in their payments. Solve that problem for the next
two years. And extend unemployment benefits with reforms for a year.
Exactly what the president asked us to do.

Our members do not want to just punt and do a two-month short-term fix
where we have to come back and do this again. We`re here. We`re willing
to work. We will appoint conferees and we hope the Senate will appoint
conferees, because we`re willing to get the work done now and do it the
right way.

Lastly, it`s become clear that what the Senate did pass is going to
cause job creators all kinds of problems. As we saw a report that came out
today by those who actually run payroll systems, that there is great
confusion about the way the Senate bill`s put together.

I think it`s time to just do the right thing for the American people.
Let`s solve this problem now. We`ll have plenty of time to deal with other
issues next year.


The message coming out of our conference tonight is our members want
to make sure that we`re here to continue to work until Congress passes a
year-long extension of the payroll tax holiday. And we outright reject the
attempt by the Senate to kick the can down for 60 days. It`s an unworkable
solution demonstrated by the report out today by people who are in the
business that say it will cause increased expense and confusion and will
actually hurt not only small businesses but their workers.

So, we are going to ask our rules committee to go to meeting tonight.
I expect them to report out a rule for tomorrow. And tomorrow, we will
come in and not only move to pass that rule. We will also then take up a
motion to reject the Senate amendment and to go to conference so that we
can actually work the differences out, so we can resolve the situation and
the people of this country get what they deserve is some certainty as far
as tax policy and health care policy going forward.

SCHULTZ: Well, there you have it. The Speaker of the House John
Boehner and also the Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying tonight
they`re going to go to conference, that they are not going to go along with
the two-month deal. They want the year extension of the payroll tax cut.
It`s very clear that the Tea Party is swinging a big stick behind closed
doors with Speaker John Boehner.

For more on this, let`s go to Joan Walsh, editor at large of

Joan, what do you make of this development live here on THE ED SHOW

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Well, it`s obvious that John Boehner is being
held hostage by his Tea Party members and that they`re more important to
him than the American people, Ed.

And, I mean, clearly everybody wanted an extension of the deal.
Everybody wanted an extension of the tax breaks. Everybody would like
certainty, but there was no agreement on how to pay for it. And so, they
did kick it down the road for a couple of months.

I mean, I think that these costs to the job creators and these costs
in terms of payroll tax changes would only kick in if they did not find a
way to extend them past that two-month period, which everybody is
optimistic that they would be able to do.

So, you know, he`s trying to hold himself up as the person who would
like to do the extension for the whole year, while basically lying about
what has held up the agreement to do that. The president obviously wants
that, too. So do the Democrats.

SCHULTZ: I think the Democrats at this point can go ahead and do a
year deal. I mean, it`s going to help middle class families. And we have
added in our economy 1.5 million jobs since this payroll tax holiday went
into effect. I mean, I think the Democrats could say, OK, we`ll go a year.
Obviously the election is going to be in November. They could come back
and do a better job on the economy.

So, I do see upside if they can get a good deal with the Republicans
on this. What do you think?

WALSH: Well, that`s the if. Exactly. That`s the if. Of course,
we`d all be thrilled if they came up and were suddenly reasonable.

But I think that the -- you know, the stumbling block will be what
they propose to pay for it and they haven`t really come out and said that
yet. If they`re willing to punt on how it gets paid for or, you know, take
the advice we`ve been giving them and say that the deficit is not as big a
deal in the midst of this kind of ongoing recession. We can worry about
that later.

But I don`t see them being sudden converts to that point of view. So,
I assume that there will be some, you know, not so wonderful cuts proposed.

SCHULTZ: This, I think, is going to make the Democrats come up with
more cuts and that`s exactly what the Republicans want, because Republicans
are not going to give up any revenue. They`ve made that very clear.

WALSH: Ever. Right.

SCHULTZ: And the Democrats pretty much have given up trying to get
any revenue out of them on this deal.

WALSH: Right.

SCHULTZ: So, the question now for the Democrats, you correct me if
I`m wrong on this take. I think they have to go behind closed doors and
say, well, how deep of cuts do we want to go here? What programs can we go
to? Isn`t that where the Democrats are right now?

WALSH: Or say no and put the blame on them. I mean, you know,
frankly what they always do is go back and look for more cuts, which hurt
the economy, which cost us jobs. So, you know, they`re really in a very
untenable position if that`s what the House Republicans are going to do and
simply say, you`ve got to find cuts to pay for this for a year.

SCHULTZ: Here`s the one thing. As Chuck Schumer said this morning --
you know, you can`t negotiate with Boehner. I mean, he`s all over the map.
He goes back behind closed doors, he gets whipped pretty hard by the Tea

And the Tea Partiers, all they want to defeat President Obama. The
only way they`re going to walk out of the room is if they know absolutely
they got the deal and the American people know they drove that deal home.

WALSH: Right.

SCHULTZ: So, it might be a good strategy for the Democrats to walk
from it. But I don`t think so. I think a couple months into paying a
little bit more out of your paycheck, it`s going to hit a lot of Americans.

Now, let`s turn to the conversation of Jeb Bush. There`s no question
about it that there are some Republicans out there who are floating the
trial balloon about Jeb Bush, maybe trying to entice him to get into this
thing because they`re not happy with all of the above.

What do you make of it? Do you think that Jeb Bush would actually
jump into this thing?

WALSH: I don`t. I mean, if Jeb Bush is going to do it, he`s going to
wait until 2016. Right now, it`s just too soon. There`s still Bush
fatigue. There`s such a hangover from the awful, awful eight years.

He has some of his own problems. You know, when he went to work for
Lehman Brothers, the now bankrupt part of Lehman Brothers, part of bringing
down our economy. He went there, got rich. He was involved in trying to
get Florida involved in some pension deals.


WALSH: And, you know, all that stuff is going to come up and it`s --
in another four or five years, maybe it wouldn`t sting as much and maybe he
could do good works and erase that part of his resume. But, right now,
with a brother who`s still one of the most unpopular people in the world
and his Lehman Brothers stint and some other issues in Florida, you know, I
don`t see it. I don`t see him being that stupid, frankly.

SCHULTZ: "The New York Times" columnist David Brooks believes a Bush
candidacy is still a remote possibility. Also, Byron York of "The
Washington Examiner" columnist, he wonders if the Bush op-ed that was
recently in "The Wall Street Journal" is a trial balloon.

So, we shall see.

Joan Walsh, we do know one thing, Mitt is not satisfying the
conservatives. And it looks like Newt Gingrich is exploding and nobody
believes that Ron Paul can run the table. So, we`ll see.

WALSH: And we were right. You know, last week we were talking to
ourselves, gee, we know he`s going to fall, but when is he going to fall?
He`s falling, Ed. We were right.

SCHULTZ: That`s right. Thanks, Joan. Appreciate your time tonight.

WALSH: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Rush Limbaugh is back in "Psychotalk" tonight.
This time, he`s saying Democrats are the ones who are uninformed? I`ll
bring out my favorite study about FOX News viewers. You won`t want to miss

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Rush Limbaugh shares his
expertise on being ignorant and uninformed.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Isn`t it due to ignorant and
uninformed voters that we got Obama? Aren`t the Democrats trying to dumb
down everybody in our schools? For what purpose? Brainwashing them.

But somebody who genuinely cares about the country would -- and is
informed -- would not vote for Obama. The uninformed voter is a Democrat
target audience.


SCHULTZ: All right. Let me straighten this out. First of all,
Democrats aren`t the ones brainwashing students. It`s a fact. It was
Texas Republicans who fought to make social studies textbooks more
conservative last year. Also, misinformation is the cornerstone of the
Republican election strategy.

Democrats, they didn`t come up with death panels. Last month, a
Fairleigh Dickinson University poll showed, "some media outlets,
especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who
say they don`t watch any news at all."

Of course, it`s no secret why.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Pepper spray, that just burns your
eyes, right?

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

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

administration is actually pressuring certain disabled veterans to, quote,
"hurry up and die."

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

CARLSON: If we don`t reduce our carbon emissions, aliens might come
and kill us.


SCHULTZ: So Fox News viewers are the most uninformed, and most Fox
News viewers are Republicans. Last year, a poll showed 78 percent of them
support Republican candidates.

So for Rush Limbaugh to say Democrats are dumbing everybody down is
uninformed Psycho Talk.

Newt Gingrich wants to overhaul the judicial system. Wait until you
hear what he`s proposing. Historian Douglas Brinkley joins me on that.

And we`ll look at whether any of the Republican presidential
candidates are ready for their 3:00 a.m. phone call. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: As president, Newt Gingrich promises to overhaul the
judicial branch. First order of business would be arrest any judge who
gives a decision Gingrich disagrees with. Over the past several days, the
former speaker has ramped up his criticism of the federal judiciary.

Gingrich explained on "Face the Nation" that judges who make
controversial rulings should be forced to explain their decision before
Congress. Gingrich cited a specific example with a federal judge, and
argued that any judge who refuses to comply should be rounded up by federal
law enforcement.


BOB SCHIEFFER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Let me just ask you this. We talk
about enforcing it. Because one of the things you say is that if you don`t
like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and
bring him before Congress and hold a congressional hearing.

Some people say that`s unconstitutional. But I`ll let that go for a
minute. I want to ask you from a practical standpoint, how would you
enforce that? Would you send the Capitol Police down to arrest him?

instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. marshal. Let`s take the
case of Judge Beary. I think he should explain a position that radical.

How could he say he`s going to jail the superintendent over the word
benediction and invocation? Because before you could -- I would then
encourage impeachment.

But before you move to impeach him, you`d like to know why he said it.
Now, clearly, since the Congress has the power to impeach --

SCHIEFFER: What if he didn`t come? What if h e said, no thank you,
I`m not coming?

GINGRICH: Well, that is what happens in impeachment cases. In an
impeachment case, the House studies whether or not -- the House brings them
in. The House subpoenas them. As a general rule, they show up.

But you`re raising the core question. Are judges above the rest of
the Constitution? Or are judges one of the three co-equal branches?


SCHULTZ: Joining me now, professor at Rice University, presidential
historian and author, Douglas Brinkley. Mr. Brinkley, good to have you
with us tonight.

This is the most radical thing I think we`ve heard on the campaign
trail so far this season. Gingrich used the Dred Scott decision and
Abraham Lincoln`s response as a good analogy, what -- as a good example.
What do you make of that?

Amendment, not Abraham Lincoln, that rid of us Dred Scott. Newt Gingrich
has just done an awful job of explaining his history. He`s basically
declaring war on the judicial system.

I mean, he`s using a kind of Al Capone gangster language that I`m
going to do round ups of judging if I don`t like what they say. He`s now -
- I mean, in his entire political career, which has been quite long, I
think this has to be the sorriest moment for Newt Gingrich, because, you
know, what you`ve got here is Democrats, Republicans, all federal judges in
the United States, are just aghast that he has so little love of American
democracy that he would want to see -- be able to be president and
basically say, I`ll disregard the Constitution.

It`s mind-boggling.

SCHULTZ: Shouldn`t Republicans distance themselves from this kind of
rhetoric and this kind of theory? I mean, if they are strict
Constitutionalists, it would seem to me that the Republicans would say,
Newt, you`re definitely not our guy on this one.

BRINKLEY: Well, I think you see them doing that. This is great news,
I believe, for Mitt Romney in the long haul. If Gingrich somehow got the
Republican nomination, he`d become a pariah for all conservative judges in
the United States.

Go to any law school, whether it`s Stanford or Duke, Harvard, today,
people are just laughing at how dangerous what Gingrich is suggesting is.
That means any president could come in and just say, I don`t need to listen
to the Constitution. If I don`t like part of the Constitution, forget it
and I`ll disregard the Supreme Court.

Imagine if Al Gore, in the 2000 election, just said, well, I`m not
going to listen to what the Supreme Court says. So we would be in for a
year or two of just utter chaos in this country. It just -- the lack of
respect that Gingrich shows to federal judges, who are some of our most
learned Americans and great people, both conservative and liberals,
moderates -- but our judges are -- as a class of people, do an excellent

To see him scapegoat them in this way, to somehow stimulate the
Evangelical vote in Iowa -- I`ve never met a born again Christian -- I
consider myself a Christian -- who wants to see Capital Police and U.S.
Marshals subpoena then march judges into Congress, when Congress, itself,
is broken right now. It makes no sense.

SCHULTZ: I don`t mean to get off track in this interview with you,
professor, but I get a lot of e-mail on this and a lot communication from
my radio show on this. The defense authorization bill, there`s some stuff
in there about rounding up people and holding them without due process.

Then you have Newt Gingrich come along and suggest this with judges.
I mean, this really is threatening the very stability of our system of
government in this country. And it`s so off the wall. Should the
Democrats even respond to this at all, in your opinion?

BRINKLEY: I think every judge in the United States should write a
protest letter to the newspapers in Iowa against Newt Gingrich for uttering
this. I think it was one thing during the debate when he said it, because
it was a moment. We all know what he`s trying to do, who he`s trying to
score votes with, trying to promote God and the Pledge of Allegiance or be
against gay marriage, et cetera.

But I think there has to be a consequence for somebody that`s running
for office that`s willing to just put this kind of vile historical
confusion out there.

Again, there`s no way now, for example, even if Gingrich does well and
Mitt Romney gets the nomination, he could be considered a VP candidate,
because in the general election, this attack on the judicial system will
just be just slammed from the right, from conservatives.

Nobody can join what he`s saying, except a very small fringe group of
people. And it`s a desperate act to try to get Tea Party people and, you
know, some last-minute voters, I think, in the Iowa caucus, to come on his
side. He`s worried that Romney and Paul are ahead of him. And this is a
way to get the Perry vote or the Bachmann vote, he thinks.

But it`s a sad moment for a person as -- with the former Speaker of
the House to talk like this.

SCHULTZ: Seems to me like he`s winging it. But I think you`ve put it
all in a bottle for us tonight. No question about it. Presidential
historian Douglas Brinkley, thanks for joining us. I appreciate your take
on it. Thank you.

Mitt Romney told Chris Wallace the middle class is hurting, but he
didn`t talk about his role in hurting the middle class while making boat
loads of money off their pain. He did it. We`ll document it. Stay with


SCHULTZ: Well, this weekend, we saw the return of an imaginary
presidential candidate, middle class Mitt Romney.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people that have been
hurt in the Obama economy are not the wealthy. The wealthy are doing just
fine. The people that have been hurt are people in the middle class.


SCHULTZ: This isn`t the first time we`ve seen middle class Mitt at
work. The defender of American workers has been making his way around the
country for the past several months.


ROMNEY: 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.

Frankly, I should tell my story. I`m also unemployed.


SCHULTZ: Did he say he was in the middle class? What country club
does he hang out at? It`s pretty unusual for a guy worth upwards of 200
million dollars to call himself part of the great American middle class,
especially when he still rakes in big bucks for putting people out of work.

Here`s the story. "New York Times" reported Romney`s retirement
package from Bain Capital continues to pay a share of Bain`s profits,
giving him millions every year, although he`s unemployed.

Many of Bain`s investments, results, well, they`re in bankruptcy,
bankrupted companies and loss of jobs. But middle class Mitt, well, he
doesn`t see it that way.


ROMNEY: In my experience in the private sector, in the investments
that I made, in the businesses I helped to build, our intent in every case
was to either help people realize their dreams by starting a business, or
taking a business that was failing or under performing and making it more


SCHULTZ: Ah, the keyword there is content. In reality, Bain turns a
profit on its investments at any cost. Ask the employees of KB Toys or how
about Clear Channel Communications or Sensata Technologies, about the
success they had under Bain. Thousands were laid off from the companies
after being acquired by Bain.

Middle class Mitt wants these workers to know he feels their pain.


ROMNEY: I understand the impact of what happens globally in trade.
And businesses lose and go out of business. In some cases, lose jobs. It
breaks your heart when that happens. It also loses investment.


SCHULTZ: Just breaks your heart. You know, the guys in this photo
look really worried and really heartbroken about losing money on their
investments. In fact, a company like KB Toys cost Bain about 18 million
dollars. Bain got a 370 percent return on investment before abandoning the
company to debt and bankruptcy.

Mitt Romney, warrior for the working class, also has a lower tax rate
than the rest of the middle class in this country. His multi-million
dollar retirement income is only taxed at a 15 percent rate, a rate he will
protect as president.

But middle class Mitt wants -- he wants -- you know, he wants -- he
wants you to see him eating Subway sandwiches. I mean, he`s just regular
dude. And posing with the flight crew of Southwest Airlines. Just, you
know, with the regular folk. Flies coach. Yeah right.

He doesn`t want you to think about his 12 million dollar beach house
in San Diego, which he recently quadrupled in size. Needed a little more
room. This is the Mitt Romney, the guy who thinks corporations are people.


ROMNEY: We have to make sure that the promises we make in Social
Security, Medicaid and Medicare are promises we can keep. And there are
various ways of doing that. One is we could raise taxes on people. That`s
not the right --


CROWD: Corporations.

ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes on --
of course, they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to


SCHULTZ: You want to know why he`s behind in Iowa? And how much do
you want to bet that Mitt Romney doesn`t spend any time thinking about
middle class problems?


ROMNEY: Rick, I`ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks? Ten thousand dollar



SCHULTZ: One thing is certain. Betting on Mitt Romney to win the
White House is a gamble none of us can afford. Mitt Romney, he isn`t part
of the middle class. Mitt Romney is the guy who looks like the guy who
fired you.

It was another 3:00 a.m. phone call for the Obama administration when
North Korea`s dictator died of a heart attack. But are any of the
Republican candidates ready to pick up the phone? Stay us with.


SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked, will John Boehner ever have
the guts to stand up to the Tea Party? Two percent of you said yes; 98
percent of you said no.

How would the trigger happy Republican presidential candidates react
to North Korea`s missile tests after the death of Kim Jong-il? Joe
Cirincione of the Ploughshare Fund is next.






SCHULTZ: North Koreans cried for the cameras this weekend after the
death of their leader, brutal dictator Kim Jong-il. The country is now in
the hands of Kim Jong-il`s 20-something-year-old son.

Meanwhile, North Korea`s military reportedly conducted a short-range
missile test, all of which meant the Obama administration was in for a --
one of those, I guess you could say, 3:00 a.m. phone calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s 3:00 a.m. and your children are safe and
asleep. But there`s a phone in the White House and it`s ringing.
Something`s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that


SCHULTZ: Next year, voters will again decide who will answer those
calls. Either President Obama or one of the jokers on the Republican side.
Most of them slammed President Obama for ending the war in Iraq. And
several sound like they are ready to bomb Iran.

Rick Perry says Herman Cain would make a good secretary of defense.
Plus Perry`s press release following the death of Kim Jong-il referred to
the dictator as Kim Jong II, which it turns out is a common mistake among
Texas governors running for president.

George W. Bush once called the North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Two.
Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich would have started a laser war with North Korea
back in 2009.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: If you were president, what
would you do about this North Korea problem?

GINGRICH: I would use whatever methods are necessary for the missile
never to be launched.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you saying military?

GINGRICH: If necessary. If I can`t find a way to bribe somebody to
blow it up, I`d find a way to have either a small team go in or a way to
deliver either a laser or another kind of device.


SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Joe Cirincione, president of the
Ploughshare Fund and an expert on the history and future of nuclear
weapons. Joe, nice to see you tonight. Thanks so much.

JOE CIRINCIONE, PLOUGHSHARE FUND: Pleasure to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: How dangerous would it be to have a president like Newt
Gingrich, based on that comment?

CIRINCIONE: What you don`t want to do is provoke any rash action on
the Korean Peninsula. This is the most heavily militarized area on Earth.
North Korea has about a million men under arms. It`s not just a small
nuclear weapons that you`re worried about.

It`s all the artillery and rockets they have within range of Seoul.
Experts believe that within the first few hours of a war, 100,000 South
Koreans would die. This is what you don`t want to do, be rattling their

Be patient. Be calm. Be, in fact, like the Obama administration is.
They`re handling this very maturely, very soberly. Racking up more, I
think, impressive national security credentials here.

SCHULTZ: How much do we really know about his 20-something-year-old

CIRINCIONE: Just about nothing. We don`t even know how old he really
is. We call him 20-something. We don`t know that for sure. He`s been
groomed for power only for the last two years. Compared to the 20 years
that Kim Jong-il had preparing for his takeover from his father, Kim Il-

What we do know is that a transition has been put in place. A power
sharing arrangement has been worked out. So we`re not looking for a lot of
instability in North Korea right now. All signs are that this is going to
be a steady as she goes transition. It will take a few months to shake

SCHULTZ: During several recent GOP debates, there was a lot, I guess
you could say, fear mongering, is what I call it, about Iran getting
nuclear weapons. Here it is.


nuclear weapon. They will use it to wipe our ally, Israel, off the face of
the map. And they`ve stated they will use it against the United States of

a missile -- a strike against their facilities and say, if you do not open
up those facilities and not close them down, we will close them down for

GINGRICH: If, in the end, despite all of those things, the
dictatorship persists, you have to take whatever steps are necessary to
break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon.

ROMNEY: If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.


SCHULTZ: Have at it, Joe. What do you think?

CIRINCIONE: Well, North Korea got a nuclear weapon during the
presidency of George W. Bush. Iran`s program made more progress during the
Bush administration than it had made in the 16 years previous. The
policies that you hear these candidates advocating have been proven to be

Their policies have actually led to both North Korea and Iran
accelerating their nuclear programs, not stopping them. The only way to
get -- go ahead.

SCHULTZ: Rick Santorum made me feel like we were going to get hit in
ten minutes.

CIRINCIONE: Yeah. You have to calm down here. You know, I
understand it`s a political season. I understand this is red meat for the
base. What you`re doing actually harms our national security.

You don`t get people to give up these weapons by continually
threatening them. It`s OK to back them into a corner. And the U.S. has
done a very good job in both these cases.

But eventually you have to open a door and give them a way out.

SCHULTZ: Joe, good to see you. Joe Cirincione, thanks so much.

CIRINCIONE: My pleasure, Ed.

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

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


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.>