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The Ed Show for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Ezra Klein, Debbie Stabenow, Jim McDermott, Eric Burns, Jonathan Alter, Michael Eric Dyson

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

House Republicans shot down a tax break for millions of Americans.
And they`re trying to pin the blame on everyone else in Washington.

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


Time is running out.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): John Boehner`s Tea Party tax hike is about to
go forward.

OBAMA: This is not poker. It`s not a game for the average family who
doesn`t have an extra thousand bucks to lose.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington and Senator Debbie
Stabenow of Michigan on what happens next. And Ezra Klein is here to break
down the politics.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: That`s my problem with the
president. He hasn`t stepped up and led.

SCHULTZ: Righties keep saying the president hasn`t led. They
couldn`t be more wrong. And tonight, I`ll prove it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can go right now to PolitiFact`s Web site, go
to the readers` choice and vote on the lie of the year.

SCHULTZ: The PolitiFact lie of the year is out and it isn`t a lie at
all. Tonight, the truth about the Republican vote to end Medicare.

And racism rears its ugly head once again in the Republican Party.
Michael Eric Dyson on why the Grand Old Party still can`t stand the first
black president.


SCHULTZ: Oh, we got a lot of correcting to do tonight, don`t we?

Americans, great to have you with us. Your taxes are going up in 11
days. How do you feel about that?

Well, here`s what happened. House Republicans killed a two-month
extension of the middle class tax cut and unemployment benefits for this
many people -- 160 million Americans will see less in their paycheck
starting January 1st -- happy New Year.

John Boehner and the Republicans are leaving Washington, D.C., going
home for the holidays. They don`t have a deal. Harry Reid has no plan to
bring the senate back for a conference committee. I know that`s a little
minutia, but that`s where we are right now.

The president, he took the offensive today. He hammered House
Republicans for comparing the negotiations to a game of high-stakes poker
that will affect the lives of 160 million Americans.


OBAMA: I saw today that one of the House Republicans referred to what
they`re doing as, quote, high-stakes poker. He`s right about the stakes,
but this is not poker. This is not a game.

It`s not a game for the average family who doesn`t have extra thousand
bucks to lose. It`s not a game for somebody who`s out there looking for
work right now and might lose his house if unemployment insurance doesn`t
come through. This is not a game for the millions of Americans who will
take a hit when the entire economy grows more slowly because these
proposals aren`t extended.


SCHULTZ: Now, I have to say this -- a thousand bucks. What`s a
thousand bucks? You know, if you`ve been around Washington long enough,
you can get four or five people, go out for cocktails, have lunch. A
thousand bucks is out the window.

I mean, that doesn`t sound like a lot to people in Washington, but it
means everything to people in the heartland who are struggling with kitchen
table bills. A thousand bucks is a lot of money to people.

John Boehner has completely lost control of the House to these radical
Tea Partiers who all they want to do is defeat President Obama.

Nancy Pelosi laid the blame squarely on the Tea Party.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: Maybe the principle at stake here
is the anti-government ideological warfare that the Tea Party Republicans
in the extreme have taken us to. They, alone, are standing in the way of
the tax cut for the middle class.


SCHULTZ: Yes, they are. John Boehner didn`t take any responsibility
for his failure of leadership. Instead, the speaker turned the tables on
the president of the United States.


president to show real leadership. He said that he won`t leave town for
the holidays until this bill is done. The next step is clear. I think
President Obama needs to call on Senate Democrats to go back into session,
move to go to conference and to sit down and resolve this bill as quickly
as possible.

We`ve done our work for the American people. Now, it`s up to the
president and Democrats in the Senate to do their job as well.


SCHULTZ: Remember that sound bite, folks. He says that it`s up to
the president to get the Senate Democrats to go back to work. OK. Just
hold that thought. But also remember that Boehner`s understudy Eric
Cantor, he`d pin the blame on Harry Reid.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MINORITY LEADER: So now it`s up to Harry
Reid, because the bill is back in the Senate. And so, if Harry Reid says
that he`s not going to appoint conferees, that he`s not going to go in and
do his job, then he`ll have to answer to the American people.


SCHULTZ: Really? Cantor and Boehner are complete frauds on this

Let me give you the number: 39 Senate Republicans. Wow. Thirty-nine
Senate Republicans -- remember that -- voted for the bill the House
Republicans killed today and Boehner wants them to go back to work and,
what, get more, get 100?

Harry Reid showed leadership by making the Senate passed the two-month
extension. President Obama -- you know what he`s faced? He has faced a
record obstruction game plan by the Republicans since day one. And today,
the president reminded the American people what he`s up against.


OBAMA: Nearly the entire Senate, including almost all of the
Republicans, voted to prevent 160 million working Americans from receiving
a tax increase on January 1st. Nearly the entire Senate voted to make sure
that nearly 2.5 million Americans who are out there looking for a job don`t
lose their unemployment insurance in the first two months of next year.


SCHULTZ: Yes. Real stuff to folks that have to pay bills.

Now, let`s put it in context here, folks. The Republicans, you know
what they`ve done? They rejected a 1.9 percent increase on 345,000
millionaires in this country -- 345,000 millionaires. The Republicans
said, no, we can`t get 1.9 percent revenue out of them.

But they have absolutely no problem taking money out of the pockets of
160 million middle class Americans. They don`t have any problem doing
that, because they protected the country clubbers.

What is John Boehner doing? Well, he`s treating this like a damn


BOEHNER: Or 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.


SCHULTZ: Did he say punt? OK. Let`s play football, Speaker Boehner.
What the hell?

Eighty-nine. That`s the key number. This is how many senators have
voted for the two-month extension. All Democrats, 50. And I guess you
could say 39 turncoats decided to go with that socialist, communist,
Marxist pinko in the White House and say, yes, let`s go another two months.

Thirty-nine Republicans. They want you to punt. That`s what you want
you to do, Mr. Boehner. They want you to punt.

You see, when you punt in football, you get the ball back. You`re
going to have your chance, Mr. Boehner, after the New Year in the next 60
days to make your case to the American people that these 39 people are
wrong on your side. And you`ve got a better plan.

But instead, you are stuck in this Tea Party philosophy. They`ve got
you in the huddle in this game if you want to play a game. And this
philosophy that these Tea Partiers have is, what, three yards in a cloud of
dust, beat Obama, this is what we`re going to do, we ain`t punting.

We`re not going to punt. We don`t want the ball back. We want just
to drive it home and run over the American middle class.

And we don`t even care what 39 of our brethren in the Republican Party
did in the Senate. To the hell with them, they`re stupid, because we`re
Tea Partiers and stuck in our philosophy.

In the meantime, who gets hurt? Give me the 160 million number up one
more time, fellows. That`s how many people you`re effecting in this

Eighty-nine senators said, no, we can`t do that. We really don`t want
to do that. We`ve got to punt and we`ve got to help these people out.

But, no, Boehner says, whoa, to hell with the 160 million of these
folks. They`ll just have to suck it up. That`s why the Republicans are
going to lose huge in November. They are out of touch with the American

I saw an interview with Cantor today here on MSNBC. He talks about
uncertainty. There`s a lot of uncertainty.

Uncertainty. Uncertainty in business? Because you`re going to help
people out on unemployment? There`s uncertainty with business owners
because you`re going to extend this for two months so you can go back and
fight for another day?

Do you really think that in an economy that is slowly growing and
going in the right direction that this is the best move to do this to the
American people? You have no favorable argument on this. None of the
Republicans do.

And this is why you`re out of touch with the American people. It`s
easy to go to lunch in Washington and spend a thousand bucks, but a
thousand bucks to these people means a hell of a lot.

All right. Democrats, it`s the campaign season. Let`s just stop them
when they try to go up the middle and kick their ass our way.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Can you afford the Republican tax hike?

Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. You can go to our blog
at We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me now, Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan, and also,
Congressman Jim McDermott from over on the House side.

Great to have both of you with us tonight, from both chambers tonight
for perspective.



SCHULTZ: Senator, is this fight over for 2011? Are we all going home
now for the holidays? What`s happening?

STABENOW: Well, Ed, we have already voted, as you said, 89 members in
the United States Senate on a bipartisan basis, to make sure people get a
tax cut starting in January, that it continues.

So it`s up to the House. I mean, the only thing they gave us was a
bill that was basically an attack on the middle class. They said that in
order to get a tax cut for the middle class, they wanted to lay off over
200,000 workers, attack people`s pensions, their health care, have Medicare
costs go up for seniors. We said, no.

And so, the alternative that we gave them is one that will keep that
tax cut. And I just also want to say, Ed, when you talk about $1,000 being
important, you know, when I think about the mom or dad right now that`s got
the Christmas toys on layaway and they`ve been paying that $20, $30, $40
every week so they can get the toys for Christmas for their kids, you
better believe that thousand dollars is a lot of money to families.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, obviously John Boehner is tap dancing to the
tune that the Tea Party wants to play anytime they want to play it. Is
this over in your opinion for 2011? What do you think?

MCDERMOTT: Well, I can`t really tell, ed. What you`re watching is
John Boehner be a puppet for the Tea Party people. He had the votes on the
floor to pass it today, if he was willing to take a risk. He had 185 or 90
Democrats who would have gone with him. All he would have needed was 25
sane members of the Republican caucus.

And he could have passed it. We could have been over it. We could
have taken care of the unemployed, could have taken care of the middle
class, we could have taken care of the doctors and the seniors` health

SCHULTZ: That is the big thing, too -- the doctors and the seniors.

And this bill the Republicans passed in the House is a joke. It`s
going to nail the seniors big-time and it`s going to cut it back the
unemployment benefits to 59 weeks. I mean, they`re horribly unreasonable
and out of touch with the economy.

Senator, when was the last time the Senate got 89 votes on anything?
It`s pretty rare, isn`t it?

STABENOW: You know, it`s pretty rare. In fact, the last time we got
close to it was a bill I authored last spring to eliminate another
provision against small business on 1099 forms. We got 81 votes. I don`t
remember too many other times this year we`ve done that.

And the reality is that we`ve got to get through into the New Year,
protect that tax cut and then go back to work to convince the Republicans
in Congress that multimillionaires really ought to pay their fair share.


Congressman, don`t you think that -- let`s say everybody goes home for
the holidays, we got no deal. And, of course, the tax holiday is over
with. And the 2 percent kicks in and then at the end of January, wouldn`t
this put the Democrats in a good position when people really see their
checks smaller in a very tough time of year, in the dead heat of the
winter? What do you think?

MCDERMOTT: Well, of course, it would do good for us bill politically.
But, Ed, it is a disaster for human beings.


MCDERMOTT: If you are expecting a tax cut or you`re expecting 160
bucks more in your paycheck and it`s not there, for people who are living
hand to mouth, it is really, really, really tough.

The same is true for people looking for that unemployment check. If
that check is not there, how do they pay their rent, how do they keep from
being thrown out of their housing and wind up living in their car?

I mean, you see the stories on TV about people living in their cars.
That`s the result of people who`ve run out of unemployment, don`t have the
wherewithal to keep their house together, and they`re simply not willing to
think about the human beings involved here. All they talk about is --
well, this is going to be tough on the job creators.

I don`t care about them. They get by.

SCHULTZ: What the Republicans have said today, it`s OK to raise taxes
on the workers, but it`s not okay to raise taxes on what they claim are the
job creators. That`s where we are right now.

Senator Deb Stabenow and Congressman Jim McDermott, great to have you
with us tonight. I appreciate your time.

Now let`s turn to Ezra Klein, MSNBC political analyst and columnist
for the "Washington Post."

All right. Let`s say they don`t do a deal, Ezra. What`s it do to the

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Hurts it. The economists say it
will take about a half percentage point off growth next year. If you say
growth, it`s going to be, say, 2 to 3 percentage points. Two is I think we
can sense the estimate about now. That brings it down to 1.5 percent.
That`s a quarter of all the recovery we were going to have gone.

SCHULTZ: I never thought we`d see a Republicans raise taxes. It`s a
religion to them. Here we are. Apparently they`re going to do it.

Can they politically get away with it, do you think? What kind of
favor would they be in with the American people?

KLEIN: Not much favor.

But I think something that`s important to remember is that folks don`t
pay much attention to the ins and outs of the debates. If you`re reading
the coverage in papers, if you`re listening to the coverage on most
stations right now, it seems complicated, right? Boehner wants everybody
to go to a conference. He wants them a year long. The Democrats wanted
two-month long. It gets very complicated very quick.

Three or four months from now people forget why it happened.
Republicans said they wanted a payroll tax. Democrats wouldn`t deal.
Democrats say they want, Republicans wouldn`t deal.

What they know is the economy got worse. What they know is they have
less money on their paychecks. And they take that out against incumbents,
both incumbents among the House Republicans and incumbents in the White
House. So, it will be bad to the president but probably not great for
Boehner and his party either.

SCHULTZ: I have never seen so few in a caucus force a speaker to do
so much obstruction. I think that`s where we are. I mean, this is really
a remarkable time in American history that you`ve got a few Tea Partiers in
there who are really choking the chain of the speaker of the House.

What do you think? Is the president playing it the right way, Ezra?

KLEIN: I don`t think the president has a ton of control over it at
this point. I think he`s playing it right to stay out of the fray, to stay
above it.

SCHULTZ: He got into it today.

KLEIN: He got into it a little bit today. But in general, he`s made
a very conscious decision. The White House has for months to not be part
of congressional negotiations, not be part of the bickering.

They did that in the debt ceiling deal. It worked out poorly for

I think right now, though, what`s important for people to understand
is Congress is not in some basic sense arguing over the payroll tax. The
Republicans say we support it. Democrats say we support it.

Republicans actually don`t. Republicans want some set of alternative
policy concessions and then they will release the payroll tax to the
Democrats. They want the Keystone pipeline/ They want discretionary
spending cuts.


KLEIN: That`s what the Republican argument is about. It`s not about
two sides supporting the same tax cut.

SCHULTZ: They want to get something that they don`t have. They`re
going to use this to do it.

Ezra Klein, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.

KLEIN: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: 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, the knives are out in the state of Iowa after another
shakeup in the polls. Eric Burns joins me to talk about that, the
Republican desperation move.

And later, a look at some of President Obama`s biggest accomplishments
even though the governor across the river here says he`s not a leader.
I`ve got facts that maybe Governor Christie doesn`t have.

We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Ron Paul has the Republican establishment very

Eric Burns on the GOP`s attempts to discredit the congressman from
Texas. That`s coming up next.

Pat Robertson thinks this "Saturday Night Live" sketch is a display of
anti-Christian bigotry. His own religious bigotry lands him in the zone.

A tweet from the president of college Republicans of University of
Texas is the latest in a pattern of race-related attacks on the president
from the right wing. Michael Eric Dyson joins me later in the hour.

And you can tweet us your thoughts using #EdShow.

Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Another shakeup in Iowa. And establishments Republicans
aren`t real happy with this one.

A new poll shows Ron Paul on top with 23 percent. Mitt Romney is
three points behind him at 20 percent. Newt Gingrich has dropped to the
third after losing 13 points in two weeks -- the Newtster on the slide.

Republicans are getting nervous and they`re pulling out all stops to
prevent a Ron Paul victory. Chris Wallace kicked things off last week on
FOX saying if Ron Paul won, it would discredit the caucuses? Iowa
Republicans are echoing those remarks.

And the knives are coming out. The co-chair of Michele Bachmann`s
Iowa campaign said this about a Ron Paul victory. "To see the process
hijacked would be a concern for those who consider the honor we have of
being first in the nation."

Well, the Republican establishment sees Ron Paul, I guess you could
say, as some kid in the back of the classroom with a smaller desk making a
lot of noise and they have to deal with him so they can move on. They
don`t like Ron Paul. They don`t want him. And they`re afraid he`ll run as
a third party candidate if he just gets enough support around the country.

They`re trying to shut him up, discredit him any way they can. And it
sounds pretty familiar, doesn`t it?

Republicans don`t like democracy unless their guy wins. They`re
trying to shut Democrats up with voter suppression laws in states across
this country.

But the thing about democracy is sometimes your candidate loses. I
didn`t hear Republicans complaining about anybody hijacking the 2000
election back down in Florida. Remember those days?

Ron Paul is the only candidate on the Republican side who has been
consistently rising in the polls since day one. He hasn`t had the big dip,
the big gaffe. His values have been in line with the Tea Party since --
well, since before there was a Tea Party.

Establishment Republicans riled up the Tea Party last year to win back
the House and it worked. Now, they have to deal with the beast they
created, which may be a Ron Paul victory in Iowa.

For more, I`m joined by Eric Burns, Democratic strategist and founder
of Bull Fight Strategies.

Great to have you with us, Eric.

ERIC BURNS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks for having me back, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Why -- what`s the big deal, you know? Why are they trashing
Ron Paul? Do they not want him part of the flock? What`s going on here?
What do you make of it?

BURNS: Of course, they don`t want him as part of the flock. They see
him as kind of an interloper from the far right. You know, I would say, in
past years he was considered the Lyndon LaRouche of the right wing with a
much more serious following. But what changed this year, unlike past years
when Ron Paul has run, I talk to some Republican consultants about this, is
that he actually has an organized ground game in Iowa and other states
which he`s never really done before.

And I think with all the topsy-turvy nature of this primary, people
didn`t realize that this guy could have a ground swell and an organization
on the ground to win.

SCHULTZ: One of his big qualities what I`m hearing from my sources in
Iowa is that he`s so nonthreatening. I mean, when you meet Ron Paul, he`s
good at retail politics. He`s just one of the nicest guys in the room.
You can`t hold a grudge against the guy.

Although Iowa Governor Terry Branstad had this to say about the Iowa
caucuses. "People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes
in third."

I mean, is this strategy of pretending Ron Paul doesn`t exist, is this
going to work for the Republicans?

BURNS: I don`t know that it will. I feel like, you know, Ron Paul
might be unique in this situation. Historically, the only person that`s
ever won the Iowa caucus and then gone on to win the presidency is George
W. Bush.

But with Ron Paul, if he were to actually pull this off and win this
caucus, it would force the media to take him seriously and it would put a
damper on the plans of folks like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann
especially whose campaign will essentially be over. She`s put everything
she has into Iowa. Considering he`s running in the top three going into
New Hampshire and South Carolina, you know, it creates a real wrench in the

SCHULTZ: Ron Paul still trails Newt and Mitt Romney nationally, but
he`s the only other really candidate that`s in double digits. "Washington
Post"/ABC News poll, Newt at 30 percent, Romney at 30 percent, Ron Paul at
15 percent.

Does he have a chance beyond Iowa? What do you think?

BURNS: I think it`s tough, you know. I think, look, this is a
different Republican Party than we`ve dealt with five years ago. All the
establishment folks I talk to say Romney, Romney, Romney. But, you know,
that`s what you were talking about earlier, Ed, trying to put the fix in.

And, you know, I`ve been saying for a long time that they may -- this
Republican Party may be surprised at what the grassroots do.

SCHULTZ: You know, the people that are being attracted to Ron Paul
are, I think, obviously greater in numbers than the last time that he`s run
for president. But there`s this 20-something and 30-something movement
that is out there in this country that they`re socially liberal, they`re
fiscally responsible, and they think that they can take care of themselves
down the road and don`t need any, any, any help at all or any kind of
program at all or, you know what I mean?


SCHULTZ: He`s tapping into something new. Isn`t he?

BURNS: Well, no, he absolutely is. A lot of his, you know, a lot of
his critics will say, his vote really depends on the youth vote. But if
you look at what he did, you know, in the straw poll in Iowa in August, you
know, he did very, very well there. I think coming in second to Bachmann
if I`m not mistaken.


BURNS: And he did that without any college students and schools. So,
I think these college kids have proven, these young people have proven they
will turn out for Ron Paul. He`s got a very, very serious following. I
think that could really prove a factor in this.

SCHULTZ: Well, they defeated Hillary Clinton in Iowa. I mean, the
young kids got out for Barack Obama. I think there`s a real parallel
between the two candidates as far as demographics are concerned.

The question is: Ron Paul now, is his ego big enough? You don`t see
the ego when he`s out working with people. But is his ego big enough to
fuel a third party candidacy?

BURNS: I think it might be. And I`ll tell you, the reason why, Ed,
is because he`s never put together a serious field operation before.
Clearly, he made a decision with his campaign he was going to do that.
It`s been working for him.

I think if he can really come out, you know, and win this thing, and
then show in New Hampshire, then I think you could possibly have a serious

SCHULTZ: How long is it going to take for the Republicans to start
trashing his son in the Senate, Rand Paul? You know, not only is Ron
wrong, but Rand we have to take care of him, too, even though he`s in the

I mean, this is -- they are out to get this guy off the map and out of
the way and move somebody in from the establishment.

Eric Burns, great to have you with us tonight. Good to have you back
with us.

BURNS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Next in "Psychotalk": Pat Robertson is up in arms about a
"Saturday Night Live" sketch. He thinks there`s a vast anti-Christian
bigotry thing going on. Well, Robertson`s going in the zone for that.

Paul Ryan`s plan for Medicare would end it. So why is PolitiFact
calling it a lie? I`ll explain.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in "Psycho Talk" tonight, Pat Robertson, he`s all riled
up about a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. The clip pokes fun at Broncos
quarterback Tim Tebow by bringing Jesus into the team`s locker room.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I, Jesus Christ, am indeed the reason you`ve
won your past six football games.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, Tim, easy. Easy. Hey, buddy. Leave a
little room for the Holy Ghost, OK?


SCHULTZ: Pat Robertson was not amused. In fact, he saw sketch as
evidence of a greater problem.


PAT ROBERTSON, TELEVANGELIST: There`s an anti-Christian bigotry that
is just disgusting, and I think, you know, I think "Saturday Night Live"
did a parody of that and had Jesus come in and say he`s getting, you know -
- if this had been a Muslim country and they had done that and had Muhammad
doing that stuff, you would have found bombs being blown off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bodies on the street.

ROBERTSON: And bodies on the street. But we think it`s OK.


SCHULTZ: Well, we do think it`s okay because we have this thing
called the first amendment which gives us freedom of speech and religion.
There`s no widespread anti-Christian bigotry in this country except for the
one manufactured by FOX News.

But there is a significant anti-Muslim bigotry. And one of the
biggest offenders is, you got it, Pat Robertson.


ROBERTSON: Islam is a violent religion. It`s not a religion of
peace. You`re in a country where Muhammad is not too -- go and get your
name changed. Get it like Mo or something.

Islam is not a religion. It is a political system bent on world

And I think we should treat it as such and treat its adherence as we
would members of the communist party or members of some fascist group.


SCHULTZ: For Pat Robertson to complain about Christianity being under
attack in this country is ungodly "Psycho Talk."

Republicans love to say President Obama is not a leader, but his
actual records of leadership puts them to shame.

And the right wing says racism in America is dead? So, why is a young
Republican leader tweeting a racist joke about the president of the United
States? Michael Eric Dyson will join me.

Stay with us.



GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: My quarrel with the president is
that he has not stepped up and led. He has not stepped up and led. He
hasn`t done the things you need to do. The difficult things you need to do
to lead.

And that`s my problem with the president. I mean, of course, I have
philosophical differences with him, but in the end, he hasn`t stepped up
and led.


SCHULTZ: Good old generic pabulum from our friend from New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie, heckling from the stands again today.

He`s the latest Republican to say that President Obama is a bad


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve had the experience of
leadership. This president hasn`t.

of the United States, you got to lead. And this president has not led on
this issue.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The president as far as I`m
concerned has been AWOL in providing leadership on something as important
as this.


SCHULTZ: Ah, let`s just let them say it, right? No. Not on this

This is one of the most dishonest and fraudulent lines of attack since
the Republicans have had in the long time.

And they`re consistent with it. I want you to take a look at just a
few things President Obama has accomplished through his leadership. You
know what he`s done? He has presided over 21 months of private sector job

Now, it`s interesting, Governor Christie, I did a little checking
today. You have been governor in New Jersey for the last 22 months.
You`ve only had 12 months of private sector job growth. You`ve got some
catching up to do with the guy who you say is not a leader.

And, of course, the president saved the automobile industry in this
country from collapse which would have had a trickle-down effect. A domino
effect that would have killed hundreds of thousands of jobs had he have not
done it. Republicans didn`t help him out. He did it anyway. It takes
guts to lead to do something.

And, by the way, Mr. Christie, why don`t you call Bob King who is the
head of the United Autoworkers and let him school you up on exactly how
many middle class families are still working because of President Obama?

He also signed health care reform. You know what that is? Well,
that`s kids under 26 years old can still be there with their parents on
their insurance policy. Why would you want to deny that from young kids?

Also, you can`t get dropped by your insurance company. And, of
course, when you get sick, they can`t dump you and you can`t be denied.

It takes leadership to do all that. That`s not enough. We`ll have
the president of the United States remind us of his leadership on foreign


to the American people and to the world that the United States has
conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda.

Today, we can definitively say the Gadhafi regime has come to an end.

I`m proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families
agree -- welcome home. Welcome home.


SCHULTZ: Oh, it must have been just an easy lift to end the war in
Iraq, huh? Last week, the Republican candidates stood on stage in Iowa and
they talked about really tough stuff, about illegal immigration. Guess who
took a real role in leadership when it came to immigration? It was a guy
named Barack Obama.

Customs and border patrol agents have been added to the tune of 886
this year. Arrests along the borders were down 53 percent because of a
more secure border.

The president`s accomplishments happened in spite of a Congress with
the worst filibuster record in history. And, of course, with the
Republican leader in the Senate saying his number one goal was to defeat
Barack Obama and make him a one-term president.

But right wingers still say he`s not a leader. If you doubt President
Obama`s leadership, he has an answer for you right here.


OBAMA: Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders
who`ve been taken off the field, whether I engage in appeasement. Or
whoever`s left out there.


SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in MSNBC analyst Jonathan Alter.

You`ve written a book on the president. You`ve seen him in action.
His legislative accomplishments are better than any other Democratic
president since Lyndon Johnson. Is that correct?

at the actual bills that have gone through Congress which is one way of
measuring leadership -- mostly in the first couple of years. But the key
thing is what you put your finger on a few minutes ago -- guts. Leadership
-- according to Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, any of them -- is doing
something that`s unpopular but in the interest of the country.

Nobody in the military wanted him to get involved with Libya. They
didn`t want him to deescalate from Afghanistan. The Pentagon did not want
him to go after Osama bin Laden. They wanted to bomb that compound, which
may have had disastrous results. He took, made risky choices. And they
paid off for him.

Health care -- he rolled the dice on his whole presidency, put all his
chips on getting that through at the beginning of 2010. And it worked for

That is the definition of leadership. It`s not about whether you
agree with him or not.

George W. Bush was a leader, Ed. People who say, might not like
George W. Bush, it`s not about whether you like what he did or not --


ALTER: -- he was a leader for his views of what this country --

SCHULTZ: Are Republicans afraid -- are they afraid of his actual
accomplishments so the only thing they can do is generically speak about
what a failure he is?

ALTER: Well, they`re trying to have it both ways. They say he`s a
socialist and danger to the country because, you know, he`s trying to turn
us into Europe and he`s a disastrous president because he`s taking us off
course. And then they`re saying he`s not doing anything. He`s not a

Which is it? It can`t be both.

SCHULTZ: New poll shows from CNN, shows that Americans have more
confidence in President Obama`s leadership than they do in the
congressional Republicans, at 50 percent to 31 percent. Earlier this year
was much closer.

Doesn`t this mean Americans are seeing President Obama as a good
leader despite what the Republicans are saying?

ALTER: Look, he has a big hill to climb. He is really going to have
a challenge to get re-elected.

SCHULTZ: Because of the economy.

ALTER: Because of the economy. But that -- that is a -- to say that
he hasn`t solved all our economic problems is not to say he`s not a leader.
The problem that I have with this formulation, it`s become what they call a
meme, m-e-m-e -- I kind of like that Internet word, you know -- on the
Republican side.


ALTER: Something that they`re just repeating it so often they hope it
sinks in. The problem with it is, it is -- as you indicated, totally at
odds with the record. This is not about whether you agree with him or not.
It`s about whether he has made tough decisions over the last three years.
He has.

SCHULTZ: Here`s another attack from Chris Christie this morning.
Here it is.


CHRISTIE: Your definition recently of compromise is everybody agree
with what the president wants so we can compromise. And that`s not what
compromise is.


SCHULTZ: Compromise is 39 Republicans in the Senate voting just as
they did with 50 Republicans, the number`s 89, to go ahead and give a two-
month extension. Isn`t that leadership?

ALTER: Yes. By the way, Chris Christie might have taken note that
right after the 2010 midterms, John Boehner went on "60 Minutes" and he
said we don`t believe in compromise, we don`t like that word.

He was reflecting the views of his radical Republican extremist caucus
who have time after time after time rejected compromise even when the
country was risking default last summer. They wouldn`t compromise.

The presidential candidates, they were asked, could you take 10-1
ratio of spending cuts to tax increases? That`s a fabulous compromise for
the Republicans. They all raised their hands and said, no.

SCHULTZ: Just for the numbers, the president has been able to put
together 21 months of private sector job growth. The guy heckling from the
stands, Governor Christie, has been the governor since January of 2010, 22
months -- 12 months of private sector job growth. He has some catching up
to do and his state also took stimulus money from the feds to create jobs.

Jonathan Alter, good to have you with us tonight.

ALTER: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: PolitiFact names its lie of the year? Well, I`ve got a
problem here, folks. It`s not actually a lie. Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Next up, will fact check PolitiFact`s lie of the year.

Don`t forget to tweet us using #EdShow. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: PolitiFact announces its lie of the year. The only problem
is the so-called lie is actually true. The fact checking Web site named
the claim that Republicans voted to end Medicare, as 2011`s biggest
whopper. Odd, considering that`s exactly what the Republicans did.

Here are the facts, my friends. Medicare is a single-payer system.
It guarantees benefits to seniors. Guarantees.

House Republicans voted for a plan introduced by Congressman Paul Ryan
of Wisconsin that would get rid of the current system and replace it with a
voucher system. The Ryan plan would cost more and no longer guarantee
benefits. That`s a change.

In other words, it would be nothing like Medicare. The trouble is, it
would still be called Medicare, which is apparently enough reason for
PolitiFact to call it, they claim it a lie.

Well, PolitiFact does admit that the Ryan plan is a huge change to the
current program.

But as Think Progress points out, it`s more than that. Capping cost
to beneficiaries, closing the traditional fee for service program, and
forcing seniors to enroll in new private coverage, ends Medicare by
eliminating everything that has defined the program for the last 46 years.

PolitiFact`s own readers, their own readers, picked the GOP`s bogus
claim as the economic stimulus failed to create a single job as the lie of
the year.

So, why did PolitiFact`s editors choose differently? As Paul Krugman
writes, interesting here, "The people at PolitiFact are terrified of being
considered partisan. So they have bent over backwards to appear balanced,
and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant. Way to go,

The president of the University of Texas college Republicans tweets
racist comments about President Obama. Michael Eric Dyson will weigh in on
race in today`s Republican Party. And they say there`s no problem.

We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: THE ED SHOW survey tonight I asked you, can you afford the
Republican tax hike? Four percent of you said yes, 96 percent of you said

Coming up, MSNBC political analyst Michael Dyson on the GOP`s racial
rhetoric. Stay with us.



BILL BENNETT: Is there occasional racism? Of course, but this
country`s been transformed on the issue of race. You talk to young people,
they don`t understand how people could have judged people by race. They
just don`t even, it doesn`t even parse.


SCHULTZ: Oh, he`s got a pulse, doesn`t he?

That was conservative talker Bill Bennett proclaiming last year that
racism in America is essentially dead. It`s been a familiar right wing
talking point ever since the nation elected its first African-American

Yet, here`s the latest example of why it just isn`t true.


REPORTER: Another president of the U.T. college Republicans is in hot
water after sending out this tweet Sunday. It reads, "My president is
black. He snorts a lot of crack. Holla."

Cassandra Wright, who goes by Cass, she was just elected president of
U.T. college Republicans. She replaced Lauren Pierce (ph) who stepped down
in November after sending out her own controversial tweet which said,
quote, "as tempting as it may be, don`t shoot Obama" -- a statement for
which she later apologized.


SCHULTZ: Is that like the Ann Coulter farm team at work or what?

Time and time again, conservative thought leaders, Republican
candidates and elected officials have been caught using racist rhetoric.

Here`s a picture sent out by an Orange County Republican official.
The caption, "Now you know why no birth certificate."

This picture of watermelons on the White House lawn was sent around by
a Republican mayor in California.

Down in South Carolina, Republican politico was forced to apologize to
posting racist jokes.

And New York`s Republican gubernatorial nominee got caught sending a
series of racist and pornographic e-mails as a joke.

A Republican lawmaker in New Jersey had to quit after his wife sent a
racist e-mail to her husband`s Democratic opponent.

And earlier this year, the Republican leadership conference invited an
Obama imposter to perform. Here`s a few of his jokes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite month is February, Black History
Month. Michelle celebrates the full month, and, you know, I celebrate

My father is a black man from Kenya, and my mother was a white woman
from Kansas. So, yes, my mother loved a black man and, no, she was not a


SCHULTZ: The organizer of the event went on to say the group has zero
tolerance for racially insensitive jokes.

Joining me now is Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst,
Georgetown University professor, and author of the book "Can You Hear Me

Professor, does this speak to where the Republican Party is right now?

can try to deny it, but these things keep cropping up. It is not simply
the serial character of it, one thing after another. We didn`t even add in
that a Ron Paul supporter is talking about assassinating the president.

This is a vicious denial of the land of opportunity that ostensibly
we`re supposed do be. We`re supposed to be the land of the free and the
home of the brave by everybody by dent of his or her courage and the talent
is able to rise up.

The president has done so. Now that he`s done so, there`s a backlash
in this refusal to acknowledge his humanity and it`s pretty vicious.

SCHULTZ: Well, it seems like the GOP continues to say racism in this
country is dead. Their talkers are out there saying it. We played an
example of it.

When do these examples, you know, when do they stop? When does
somebody call them out on it and when does somebody in their own party do

DYSON: That`s the important point you`re raising. You and I sitting
here is predictable talking about this. You have been vigilant and
courageous in resisting this racist folly. But when are people within the
Republican Party who say, look, we`re not about that, we`re beyond that.
Why don`t they come out?

You know, Ed, when some black leader or other makes a comment that is
unsavory or impolitic, I`m called upon to denounce him or renounce that
statement. But I don`t see many white Americans within the GOP saying,
look, this is wrong, rude and ridiculous and we have to resist this.

That`s the measure of maturity. The ability to criticize from within
and to suggest that these kinds of comments will not be tolerated and the
kind of sentiments that they put forth are not representative of the entire
Republican Party.

SCHULTZ: Of course, we had the controversy with Rick Perry`s family
ranch. And now Ron Paul is distancing himself from a series of racist
newsletters that apparently appeared under his name in the `80s and `90s.

These people are running for the office of the presidency of the
United States. Do they need to come out and speak to these constant things
that come up? Do you think they have an obligation to set the record
straight? Now, of all the debates, unless I have missed it, they haven`t
talked about race, have they?

DYSON: They haven`t answered it at all. And yes, to answer your
question, yes, they do have an obligation, Ed.

Look, what happened to President Obama, then-Senator Obama when he was
running for the presidency and he had to make a powerful, insightful,
intelligent comment and speech on race?

Why doesn`t the Republican Party address this issue? Put forth its
platform. Talk about its ideas. Talk about its understanding of the
evolution of racial consciousness and racial progress and speak about the
persistence of malignant racism that has to be removed from the body of

When they do that, then they`ll begin to catch up with the rest of us
who understands that this is a central problem defining America.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think you`re talking about when obviously President
Obama came out and made his speech on race in this country after the
Jeremiah Wright situation was pushed big-time by one particular over at FOX

The fact is that the Republicans have never really done a speech like
this. They have never come out and taken the lead, or even suggested what
we have to do in this country to make race relations better. And I think
it is dually noted by minorities in this country.

DYSON: Absolutely, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us.

DYSON: Thank you, sir.

SCHULTZ: That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.

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

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


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