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The Ed Show for Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guests: Charniele Herring, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Terry O`Neill, Karen Lewis, Bob Shrum, Dr. James Peterson, Mike Papantonio

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

The women of Virginia have stood up to Governor Bob McDonnell`s
radical anti-woman law. But the fight is far from over.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand the governor has distanced himself
from the bill.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The governor of Virginia has blinked. Now, Bob
McDonnell says mandating an invasive procedure is not a proper role for the
state. A big win for the women, and Democrats.

Delegate Charniele Herring is back tonight, so is Katrina Vanden
Heuvel of "The Nation" and the president of NOW, Terry O`Neill.

Radical Rick isn`t backing down from the Satan card.

opportunity to see what`s in here, what`s up here. And what`s burning down

SCHULTZ: Democratic strategist Bob Shrum and Professor James Peterson

In Chicago, public educators are under fire yet again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t want to you sabotage our communities.
No, you are not going to kick us out of our schools.

SCHULTZ: Seventeen schools in low income neighborhoods are slated to
close. Teachers and parents are fired up. We`re going to Chicago for the

And Sarah Palin is back at it again.

convention, I wouldn`t be afraid of that.

SCHULTZ: "Ring of Fire" radio host Mike Papantonio is here with the


SCHULTZ: Good do have you with us, folks. Thanks for watching.

Republicans in the state of Virginia, well, they have overreached and
they created a real problem for themselves. Virginia`s radical abortion
bill caused outrage across the country and Republican Governor Bob
McDonnell was forced to back down, although he didn`t want to.

Earlier this week, the legislation sparked protests at the state
capital. The bill forced women seeking an abortion to have an invasive
transvaginal ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. It made no
exceptions -- no exceptions in the cases of rape or incest. Very

A coalition of women`s organizations delivered more than 33,000 signed
petitions to McDonnell`s office today. The message? Very clear. The bill
was an invasion on women`s lives and attack on their health.

Governor McDonnell was a co-sponsor of legislation just like this back
in 1996 and he was supportive of the bill until today. McDonnell huddled
with his team and told Republican lawmakers to remove the internal
ultrasound requirement from the bill.

In a statement, the governor said, "Mandating an invasive procedure in
order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state."

What a difference a week makes. This is political pressure from the
public being put on lawmakers and they are reacting the way they don`t want
to. The Virginia House passed the bill with McDonnell`s amendments after
the afternoon.

But McDonnell didn`t back down all the way. He has no problem with
the government mandating other procedures. He wrote, "I`m asking the
general assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal or
external ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to
determine gestation age."

Well, Democrats in the general assembly are not pleased. They called
the bill sloppy and say it creates even more problems. Democratic State
Delegate Dave Englin said, "Governor McDonnell`s new bill bullies women
with medically unnecessary waiting periods and ultrasound requirements,
even requiring rape victims and women suffering miscarriages have
ultrasound images placed in their medical records."

This bill is still a problem for women`s rights. And women need to
stand up.

But McDonnell and Republicans are finding out what other radical
Republican governors across the country in other states have found out.
They found out in Wisconsin and Ohio, and Indiana and New Jersey. Now,
they are finding out in Virginia, that the American people will not sit
quietly why a political party tries to stomp all over their rights, taking
us backing to another century -- and beyond.

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

Tonight`s question: Should women trust Republicans to make decisions
about health care? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. And you can
always go to our blog at We`ll bring you the results later
on in the show.

I am joined tonight by Virginia House Delegate Charniele Herring.
She`s a Democratic minority whip and chair of the state`s Reproductive
Rights Caucus.

Charniele, thanks for your time again tonight. We can`t let there
story go because so much is riding on it. I appreciate you joining us
again tonight.

This is not a shift --


SCHULTZ: This is not a shift in an ideological belief. This is a
move --

HERRING: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: This is a move because there was political pressure put on
Republicans. What happened here today?

HERRING: Absolutely, it`s not a shift. I mean, still -- this is
still an improper bill that the governor has put forward, still forcing
women to go through an unnecessary medical procedure, there is still
waiting period on the bill. And it`s totally inappropriate. This is part
of an extreme agenda and still unacceptable.

SCHULTZ: So, what did the governor do, in your opinion, today? What
was his role in this move?

HERRING: Right. I think that today, the governor heard the voices of
the women of Virginia, but he didn`t hear them completely and that`s the
problem. He backed down from the invasive transvaginal ultrasound but we
still have the problem of requiring a procedure.

Government has no business in the doctor`s office. When a doctor
meets with a patient it`s their decision what procedure is proper. It
should not come from a Republican governor who has an agenda on his mind
and that`s to advance his political career.

SCHULTZ: Well, we`ll get in that again in a moment. But first of
all, the medical community -- what kind of impact did they have on getting
this law changed? Getting this legislation -- getting the procedure and
the verbiage in all this changed, what did they do?

HERRING: All I do know the medical community organization
representing over 3,000 doctors sent a message to the governor saying that
it`s violating their relationship with their patients, as well as being

But, I think that the governor still is not listening.

Let me tell you, Ed, representations were made on the House floor that
the governor was in the room when this new bill was drafted, as well as
some Republican legislators. I don`t know if a physician was in the room
when it was drafted, I don`t know even if a woman was in the room when the
bill was drafted.

So what we have is a result -- is a piece of sloppy legislation that
still bad and still bad for Virginia.

SCHULTZ: State Senator Jill Vogel I understand introduced the
original bill. Today, she said that she wants it struck from the Senate.

Is there a chance that the amended bill will ultimately fail?

HERRING: I don`t know. I don`t know.

I do know one thing, that terrible bill that I talked to you about
tonight is still alive and well in the House and the Senate. It`s the
House bill sponsored by Delegate Byron, it`s still alive. So, we can`t
forget that, that we still have a mandated transvaginal probe still alive
in the Senate.

SCHULTZ: Virginia House Delegate Charniele Herring, thank you for
joining us tonight. Keep up the fight.

HERRING: Thank you so much.

SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and
publisher of "The Nation" magazine.

This is -- nobody wants abortions. OK? And nobody wants abortions.
No one wants to go down that road. But we`re having this discussion in
2012 which just underscores the radical agenda of what we have seen across
the country.

Is it going to stop?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: It`s going to stop if we see more
of what we saw in Virginia, Ed, where we see women, we see the medical
community, we see families, we see coalitions of people standing up and
saying "enough." You know, this is really about women`s health. It`s
about the economies of families. It`s about women`s right to control their
own bodies and individual liberty.

And think about this governor, who is vying, by the way, to be a vice

SCHULTZ: Do you think that had a lot to do with it?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think that had a lot to do with it. I think there
was an opportunistic political move here under pressure from women.

But excuse me, limited government? These people are for limited
government and they want to do these probes of the most private parts of
women`s bodies? It is hypocritical.

But we have to remember, Ed, as the good woman from Virginia said,
this is a victory for women who stood up but we still have the ultrasound.
Perhaps the transvaginal ultrasound in Virginia and this is happening in
other states.

So, we have to understand how far the climate of this country has
shifted to the right, but what we also know is this is a losing fight, in
my view, for the Republicans. They want to fight retro culture wars, when
the country seeks not a policing of women`s bodies in health but policy
about how to make this country recover from the greatest financial crisis.

SCHULTZ: Why do you think the Republicans are going down this road?
I mean, the president`s position on this has not changed. The country`s
position on this has not changed.

VANDEN HEUVEL: They don`t have -- they don`t have answers for the
economic problems of this country. So they are doing the classic -- let`s
divide, do the wedge issues.

And Rick Santorum is probably the first -- I believe he`s the first
major candidate of a party, he could be the nominee -- first to reject the
separation of church and state. That shows what an extremist time we`re in
and it`s moving the Republican Party. Think of what it says about the
Republican Party.

But I think it`s alienating not only independents and moderates, it
has built up the support for the Democratic Party among unmarried women a
broad coalition and pillar for the coalition. But you have to believe some
of the Republicans, Ed, have mothers, daughters, wives, who are saying,
what are you doing in the 21st century?

SCHULTZ: Well, back to the politics of it. Do you believe that the
governor of Virginia weighed his personal political future on this and saw
the backlash, saw the public reacting to this and said this is -- he
recognized the overreach?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I do. I do. I think his statement also recognizes
the overreach of a party that claims it`s for limited government yet is
going to go in people`s bedrooms. So, I think we`re going to see more of

And I think Governor Christie, who is a very controversial figure in
many ways, represents a part of the Republican Party which has spoken out
about the danger of using these issues in a political way.

And I also think it`s important today, major Christian leaders and
leaders of other denominational faiths spoke out about the political misuse
of faith. It`s one thing for Christians to engage in the political sphere.
But it`s another thing for Christians to bear false witness. As we have
seen again and again --


VANDEN HEUVEL: -- just the other day with Franklin Graham, implicitly
saying President Obama is a Muslim. Enough of this.

SCHULTZ: So, what lessons are learned for women when it comes to
health care from what has unfolded in Virginia? I mean, they are not
going to stop. Every opening they get they will take politically and try
to get away with it.

As I said, I don`t think this was a move on the part of the governor
because there is some ideological shift here. He weighed his options.

VANDEN HEUVEL: He weighed his options.

SCHULTZ: He saw those 33,000 signatures. He saw those protesters and
made the move.

But the lesson here for the women`s movement of America is what?

VANDEN HEUVEL: It`s broader than the women`s movement. Again, I come
back to -- you had people from the medical community, you want to bring in
families of this country who are sick of having medical choices questioned
or their wives, their daughters.

And I think then you want to also point to the people in Congress, and
at the state level who are overreaching in extremist ways and make sure
women from all sectors begin to run from sheriff to Congress, have their
voices heard, and insure that this becomes a matter of control of your
rights, individual liberty and don`t let people take that away and don`t
let -- you know, this is a country that was founded on the value of freedom
of religion and freedom from religion, and the rights of individual
liberty. Don`t let the Rick Santorums of the world tell you otherwise and
claim that they are speaking for those values.

SCHULTZ: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, thank you so much for joining.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen, share your thoughts on Twitter. We always want to know what you
have to say.

An anti-choice Democrat in the state of Illinois thinks the ag
committee is the right place to debate the bill on women`s health. We`ll
have that story. Terry O`Neill, president of the National Organization for
Women, will join me on that discussion.

And later, Rick Santorum tries to explain comments he made back in
2008 about President Obama and Satan. Will voters buy his explanation?
Bob Shrum and Dr. James Peterson will weigh in tonight.

Stay tuned. And we`ve also got a blockbuster story out of Chicago.


SCHULTZ: Coming up: anti-abortion lawmakers in Illinois pass their
own ultrasound bill. Terry O`Neill of the National Organization for Women
joins me tonight.

A new policy in Chicago could close public schools in poor areas.
I`ll talk to the head of the Chicago Teachers Union. It`s not all about
unions. It`s about kids in the classroom and how they are being short-

And Sarah Palin says, a brokered convention? Well, it could be a good
thing. And she is not alone.

Mike Papantonio takes on the GOP circus later in the hour.

Share thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: The war on women`s health is, of course, not exclusive to
the state of Virginia. Seven states have already laws on the books
requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, mostly
in the southern portion of the United States. A similar mandatory
ultrasound bill was approved by a committee in the Illinois House this
week. The bill was introduced by an anti-abortion Democrat, Joseph Lyons.

He chose to send it to the House ag committee. That`s right.
Agriculture, the Agriculture Committee -- prompting this response from
Democratic Representative Debra Mell.


STATE REP. DEBORAH MELL (D), ILLINOIS: We`re not talking like
abortions for cows or pigs, right? We`re talking about women?


SCHULTZ: Yes, talking about women.

Lyons chose the ag committee because of its predominantly conservative
membership. His ultrasound bill passed the committee, 11 votes to two. It
now heads to the House floor where a similar bill died last year.

This is why Representative Lyons is so enthusiastic about his bill.
He said, "I think it gives the human face to the procedure, when women see
the heartbeat and see that it`s not just a procedure like getting your
tonsils taken out or having an appendectomy."

Representative Lyon`s condescending comment describes the attitude of
all state lawmakers supporting forced ultrasound legislation. They want to
shame women, who make it the difficult choice to get an abortion and have
that procedure. They think women are probably too stupid to make an
independent decision -- so the state, in their opinion, has to intervene.

I would say that`s a government takeover, wouldn`t you?

Joining me now is Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women.

Terry, thanks for your time tonight.

What is your reaction to State Representative Lyons comment about the
need for this ultrasound bill?

exactly -- I think he has exactly expressed what all of the supporters of
these ultrasound bills really intend. And that is they intend to humiliate
and shame women as those women make the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

In fact, I heard one of the best -- the best nicknames for these bills
really is the ritual humiliation law. And whether or not the bill says the
woman has a choice of viewing the ultrasound or whatever, she does not have
a choice under any of these laws. And the purpose of these laws is to do
two things, first to humiliate and shame her, and have the doctor give her
a lecture about how difficult a decision this is, and she really needs to
think it through, as if she hasn`t already.

But secondly, the other part of the bill is intended to drive up the
costs dramatically. The vast majority, over 90 percent of abortions are
performed well early in the first trimester. And when you add over $500
for an ultrasound procedure as a mandatory non-medically indicated
procedure, you are dramatically driving up the cost, and the intention
there is simply to take women`s choice away -- to make it impossible for
them to make that decision whether to continue the pregnancy or have an

SCHULTZ: And there is a political component to this. Does it worry
you to see bills like this making some headway even in Democratic states?

O`NEILL: Oh, absolutely. But I have to tell you -- women are waking
up. If you look at what happened in Virginia, where the governor --
frankly, the governor did a head fake. He -- I don`t think he has really,
I think Delegate Herring, and I`m so glad she`s there in Virginia
legislature, I think she`s absolutely right, women are still very much at
risk in Virginia.

But the rising up of the women forced Governor McDonnell to do that
head fake. And that is -- that is a real signal of what is happening.
Women around the country are waking up to exactly what these men, and they
are almost all men, are trying to do to us and we are rising up to say,
"enough is enough." And we will only accept you guys backing off and
leaving our health decisions to us.

SCHULTZ: There are anti-choice Democrats out there. And I think the
political argument could be that President Obama in the wake of what was a
terrible economy, what he was handed has had an excellent three years going
into year number four, that this is the only thing the Republicans have,
now women`s health is the target to drive the wedge in the social issues.
What`s your thoughts on that?

O`NEILL: Sure. I think it is a distraction. Unfortunately for the
Republican leadership, the economy is getting better. From my point of
view it`s not getting better fast enough.

SCHULTZ: So, that makes women the target in the election year?

O`NEILL: I think that`s absolutely right. And I think the more they
make women a target, the more they will lose. I think also that Democrats,
like the gentleman in Illinois who put that -- who put an ultrasound bill
in the ag committee will lose.

The politicians who try to politicize women`s health are increasingly
going to be politicians who no longer have a job. They really are.


O`NEILL: There is a huge awakening.

And as I said before, it`s men who care about the women in their lives
that are waking up to this, too. And they are just about as angry as the

SCHULTZ: How the Republican Party views the role of women I think is
also going to be a big part of the discussion, because they are attacking
women`s health care when they have really nothing else on the table, in my

But before you go, I want to get your reaction to this clip of
Callista Gingrich. A reporter asked her what she was giving up for Lent.


REPORTER: What are you giving up?




SCHULTZ: She is giving up her opinion and Newt says, "That doesn`t

What does that tell you? What do we read in that, if anything?

O`NEILL: Honestly, when I was a kid, what you gave up for Lent, it
didn`t count if you wouldn`t miss it. So I hear that and I hear Newt
Gingrich saying to his wife, "You don`t really miss your opinions."

You know, it`s that same, "Oh gosh, I was just joking about the fact
women are second class citizens or that subordinated to men."

"I was joking about the aspirin between the knees," says Rick
Santorum`s biggest funder.

And the Gingriches -- well, we were just joking about the fact women
don`t have opinions, or at least wouldn`t miss their opinions.

It`s very telling. And frankly, as long as these are the best that
the Republican Party has to offer, the Republican Party will lose.

SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, appreciate your time tonight, thank you so

O`NEILL: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Survival of the fittest is no way to run a public school
system. This story really burns me. The crisis in Chicago, I think, has
national implications. This is the model, folks. The president of the
Chicago teachers union sticking up for the kids, next.

And later, David Letterman breaks through Donald Trump`s thin skin by
telling jokes about Mitt Romney`s dog?

Stay with us.



SANTORUM: I think public education should be a dynamic process that`s
locally run, that works with parents to provide the optimal opportunity for
each child in America to get the education that they need, not what the
federal government or the state government says that you should have.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

There is a survival of the fittest, rich versus the poor mentally
threatening to destroy the Chicago public schools system. It`s a dynamic
threatening school systems all across the country. Teachers and parents
are protesting a Chicago school board decision to close or overhaul 17

The plan shuts down underperforming schools, which were already under-
funded, under-resourced, leaving many poor communities without a
neighborhood school.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson says it`s a two-tiered school system
benefits certain schools over others.


REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: There`s segregation within
our school system that undermines the law.


SCHULTZ: Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed plan and he`s
defending it.


MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: The schools, turnaround schools, and
neighborhood turnaround schools have seen double the improvements in math
and reading that the CPS system as a whole has. I want that for more kids.
If I give them the chance of a good teacher and accountable principal and
encourage the parental involvement, our kids have a chance at a future.


SCHULTZ: Really good sales pitch.

Let`s turn to Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union.
This is not about a teachers union. This is about the kids in the
classroom, poor neighborhoods in Chicago that are being targeted for
closure because they haven`t been given resources to survive and to achieve
in their test scores.

What`s really going on here, Ms. Lewis?

KAREN LEWIS, CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION: Well, what`s really going on is
a planned, very-well orchestrated attack on public education in Chicago.
So we have seen that the third in charge at Chicago Public Schools has said
clearly, we`re not going to finance schools; we`re not going to fund
schools that we plan on closing down.

So this has been something that has been going on for quite some time.
It is the status quo in Chicago, by the way. We had some Earth-shaking,
breaking reform in the late `90s, where we had local school councils have
control over hiring and evaluation of principals, and also evaluating and
looking at discretionary funds in the budgets for those schools.

Well, once you put a school on probation, you take away the power of
the local school council. So there has been this stealth attack on
democratically-controlled schools for 15 years. So now it`s just top-down.

SCHULTZ: All right, but the schools that are being closed are in
impoverished neighborhoods, is that correct?

LEWIS: Absolutely. Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: How many schools have been closed in of affluent
neighborhoods in Chicago or middle class neighborhoods?

LEWIS: Ed, you know how many, zero. So let`s talk about this.

SCHULTZ: So you`re saying that this is about resource? This is about
giving up on school districts and schools in impoverished neighborhoods.
And you have had an official tell you -- please reiterate what that
official told you about funding to those schools.

LEWIS: They said they weren`t going to fund them. But we`ve also had
the same mayor say to me personally that 25 percent of the kids are never
going to amount to anything. They are never going to be anything. And I`m
not throwing money at it.


SCHULTZ: Wait, wait, Rahm Emanuel said to you that 25 percent of the
kids aren`t going to make it?

LEWIS: Yes. The first time I ever met him and we had dinner, and he
told me this, and I was stunned. I said, even if you believe that, you
cannot say that to me. But then you go out --

SCHULTZ: So he`s accepting failure is what he is? He`s pushing --

LEWIS: No, he`s saying he`s not going to fund it. So what do you do?
You take places that on their way up, you take them over, and then you
start touting these numbers that aren`t true. Twice as much support -- at
best, the turnaround schools give three months of extra support, three
months of growth, at best.

SCHULTZ: Here is more from former chief of staff of President Obama,
Rahm Emanuel.


MAY. RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: Change is hard. But watching, year
in and year out, kids captured in a system that is failing is harder.


SCHULTZ: What is your response to that?

LEWIS: He`s absolutely right. But this is not change. This is the
same old status quo policy that we have been under for the last 15 years.
And it doesn`t work. It is a failed policy. It`s Chicago Public Schools`
failed policy. And they have exhorted this madness to the rest of the

SCHULTZ: So what happens to these kids in these poor neighborhoods
where the schools are shut down? And we should point out that they give
millions of dollars to the charter schools. What happens to the kids?
Where do they go? They just get bussed to another school?

LEWIS: Some do, some don`t. Some stay in the same school and they
bring in new staff. That is the turnaround model. But what is interesting
about the turnaround --

SCHULTZ: -- bring in new staff. Wait a minute now. They bring in
new staff? They get rid of teachers? They deem them --

LEWIS: Teachers, principal, lunch room ladies, security guards,
everybody. Everybody goes. All the adults go.

SCHULTZ: What do you say to Rahm Emanuel? He says the test scores
are better?

LEWIS: OK, I`m going to tell you again, three months of growth at
best. So this is their talking point. It`s a talking point. Don`t buy
the hype.

SCHULTZ: So Rahm Emanuel is lying, is what he`s doing?

LEWIS: He`s doing something.

SCHULTZ: Is he lying? Is he telling the truth to the public when he
stands in front of the microphone and says that scores are better, and that
this is the way to go and it`s better for the system?

LEWIS: It depends on the school. But I will tell you, in many of the
schools, the scores are not better. They are not better.

SCHULTZ: Karen Lewis --

LEWIS: So you can spin it.

SCHULTZ: I don`t want to spin it. I want the truth and I think it`s
wrong that we are picking and choosing is what we`re doing. We`re picking
and choosing the poor versus the rich in this country, and hiding behind
saying public education doesn`t make it. How many teachers are going to
lose their jobs because of this?

LEWIS: Anywhere up to 800.

SCHULTZ: There just -- there just happens to be 800 lousy teachers in
Chicago, so let`s just get rid of them all. This is all about the money.
And this is all about the wealthy and the charter schools. I`m not going
to let this story go.

Karen, I`m out of time. I got to run.

LEWIS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Appreciate your time. Please come back with us. Karen
Lewis, thanks for joining us this evening.


opportunity to see what`s in here, what`s up here, and what`s burning down


SCHULTZ: Rick Santorum`s fire is burning. And he`s defending his
Satan comments.

Bob Shrum and James Peterson on the politics of the cloth, next.

The Donald Trump-David Letterman feud is spilling over into the
campaign. Now Mitt Romney`s dog is involved. We`ll bring you up to speed.


DAVID LETTERMAN, "THE LATE SHOW": There used to be a time when people
say, you know what, I`m think about running for president. Somebody else
would say Mitt, remember the time you tied the dog to the roof of the car?


SCHULTZ: And Democrats dreaming of a brokered convention have reason
to believe.


SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: However a brokered convention,
I wouldn`t be afraid of that.


SCHULTZ: "Ring of Fire" radio host Mike Papantonio is ahead.



SANTORUM: No teleprompters, no written speeches, the opportunity to
see what`s in here. What`s up here. And what`s burning down here.


SCHULTZ: Believe it or not, Rick Santorum does not need to call a
doctor. That was his explanation of why his candidacy is resonating with
voters. But now Santorum is getting hit for remarks he made back in 2008
at a Catholic university in Florida, speaking about then candidate Barack
Obama`s position on abortion.

Here`s part of what Santorum had to say.


SANTORUM: This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural
war at all. This is a spiritual war. And the father of lies has his
sights on what you would think the father of lies, Satan, would have his
sights on, a good, decent, powerful, influential country: the United States
of America.

If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is
no one else to go after other than the United States. That has been the
case for now almost 200 years. Once Americans preeminence was sown by our
great founding fathers.


SCHULTZ: Last night, Santorum defended his comments, calling the
entire matter a joke.


SANTORUM: It`s absurd. If a person -- I`m a person of faith. I
believe in good and evil. I think if somehow or another, because you`re
person of faith and you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for
president, we`re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run
for president.


SCHULTZ: I`m joined by Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist and professor
at NYU, and Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana Studies and associate
professor of English at Lehigh University.

Gentlemen, let`s see. We`re talking contraception. We`re talking
faith. We`re talking abortion. Bob, what is going on here? Why are they
continually going down this road? And what about Santorum?

BOB SHRUM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Santorum reminds me of something Pope
John XXIII said at the opening of the Vatican Council, when he denounced
the prophets of doom and gloom, who see nothing but evil in modern life.
He said, "they burn with zeal" -- that`s what Santorum just said about
himself -- "but they lack common sense."

He`s wrong on the theology and he`s wrong on the politics. You can`t
turn America into a sort of special precinct of heaven under attack by
Satan. This is a country, not a church. You can`t confuse the secular
with the sacred.

Politically, if you want to measure the impact of this, all you have
to do is listen to those commentators who are going crazy today. They`re
is much or more against Santorum now as they were against Newt Gingrich.
They think he`s a deadweight loser.

Finally, the irony is, I think, Romney, to compete with Santorum, has
taken many of the same positions, just without the white hot rhetoric. And
what he thinks will redeem him is, in a general election -- is that people
he`s not telling the truth. In other words, the fact that he lies all the
time becomes a defense mechanism for him.

SCHULTZ: Dr. Peterson, your take on Santorum`s talk about Satan and
putting it into current terms, that he wouldn`t back away from anything he

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Well, that`s -- there`s a
couple things here. One, doesn`t he sound a lot like Reverend Wright in
those comments, right? He`s very consistent with that. Also, I think this
is micro-partisanship, right.

So he has to speak to a very specific religious right. And that is
where he gets trapped. Now he can`t back off of that, because those are
the folk who are voting for him. So until Newt Gingrich gets out of the
race, he has to keep pandering to the right in those very, very strong,
very religious terms.

Now I would argue that -- agree with Bob, but also argue that this is
really problematic for American politics going forward, because we don`t
want to have religion in our politics in this way.

SCHULTZ: The politics of it right now for Rick Santorum, when he won
Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, leading up to that, he was talking about
manufacturing. He was talking about jobs and the economy. He was talking
about being the most conservative one of the bunch. But he has turned to
the president`s faith. He has turned to the social issues beyond.

This is really what is starting to deep-six him in the polls or am I
wrong on that?

SHRUM: I think you`re right. Maybe he ought to have some speeches
written out or use that teleprompter. Because when he gets out there and
he just starts talking from inside what is burning and sort of lets that
fire out, he moves the whole process to the right. He makes the Republican
party look extreme. He makes himself look absurd.

He forces Romney to compete with him. And you know Ed, this is all
part of a pattern. These guys got elected in 2010 saying they were going
to focus on jobs.

PETERSON: That lane is closed to them now because the economy is
improving, right? So that is not open for them to be able to make those
kind of attacks. Let`s be clear here: the president doesn`t support
abortion. He supports a woman`s right to choose.

So there -- the political rhetoric here is more than white hot. It`s
actually ignorant.

SCHULTZ: Doctor, what about Franklin Graham`s comments about
President Obama and then going on another network the next day and
clarifying what he really meant? What is going on here? We are
questioning the faith of the president of the United States. Political
motives there?

PETERSON: Absolutely. We`re not questioning it. But those on the
right have to. Again, certain lanes are closed down do them now. They
don`t have the economy lane. They can`t really win against this president
in certain areas that they think they want to, like Michigan, because of GM
and because of what he has done with the car industry.

So, in those situations, the tactics become really, really dramatic.
So you roll out a Graham to say the things that they can`t say. Best
believe that is coming from the right.

SCHULTZ: As disgruntled as Republicans are with Romney, he`s starting
to get some help from Santorum.

SHRUM: No, no, I think that is absolutely right. The Republican
establishment is determined to nominate Romney. He`s coming back a little
bit in Michigan. He looks like he may win it. He is well ahead in
Arizona. He may be behind in the national polls.

But what they are hoping is he gets through Michigan, he gets through
Arizona, they con nominate him, because, frankly, they don`t have anybody
else to nominate.

SCHULTZ: Very conservative voters in Michigan prefer Santorum over
Romney by a wide margin. But former Senator Alan Simpson, a Romney
surrogate, says that Rick Santorum is homophobic, and believes social
issues will lead to the defeat of not only Santorum but the GOP.


ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER SENATOR: Here`s a party that believes in
government out of your life, the precious right of privacy and the right to
be left alone. How then can they be the hypocrisy of fiddling around in
these social issues. We won`t have a prayer.


SCHULTZ: What do you think, Bob?

SHRUM: I think he`s a Republican in name only. They (INAUDIBLE) out
of the party. Look, it`s not just Santorum. You talked earlier on the
show about what`s happening in Virginia, forcing women to have trans-
vaginal sonograms. You have a Republican in the House of Representatives
that is crusading against birth control. That is the spectacle that`s
being given to the country.

SCHULTZ: Your thoughts on Simpson?

PETERSON: Senator Simpson is one of the smartest politicians I`ve
ever had a chance to talk to. He actually is the real Republican here.
It`s just that they have moved so far to the right, and become so drastic
on their policies that they sound like -- I don`t know.

SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson and Bob Shrum, great to have both of you
with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Donald Trump gets his feelings hurt by David Letterman. He retaliates
on Twitter. We`ll break down the Trump-Letterman feud next.


SCHULTZ: Well, this morning, Donald Trump took a break from recording
robo calls for Mitt Romney to take a cheap shot at David Letterman with
this Tweet. "David Letterman`s show has become boring and mundane.
Somehow every time I look, I can`t help thinking of the world shattering
poor performance at the Academy Awards a number of years ago. Anyway, I
hope he gets it together."

What is going on here? Well, Trump`s problem with Letterman is
personal. It goes back to last April, when Trump started conspiracy
theories about President Obama`s grades. Here is what Letterman had to say
about it.


LETTERMAN: My point is it`s all fun. It`s all a circus. It`s all a
rodeo until it starts to smack of racism. Then it`s no longer fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you thought it was racist?

LETTERMAN: Well, yes.


SCHULTZ: Letterman did more damage to Trump`s delicate ego after
Donald endorsed Mitt Romney.


LETTERMAN: Mitt Romney is sinking in the polls. Sinking in the
polls; you know what that is? That is the magic of a Donald Trump
endorsement right there, ladies and gentlemen.

Missouri, Minnesota and another state. I think it was Colorado. Mitt
Romney lost all three of those primaries. Yep, yep. Today, he begged
Donald Trump to take back his endorsement. Please.


SCHULTZ: But the final straw for Trump may have been Letterman`s
opening monologue last night. It had a very specific anti-Romney theme.


LETTERMAN: There used to be a time when people said, you know what,
I`m thinking about running for president. And somebody else would say,
"Mitt, remember the time you tied the dog to the roof of the car."

You want that guy in the Oval Office? Tied his dog to the roof of a
car? That is the guy? Really? George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. I
cut down the cherry tree. Abe Lincoln freed the slaves. Mitt Romney, I
tied my dog to the station wagon!

I don`t know why this isn`t a bigger issue. He tied his damn dog to
the roof of his car.


SCHULTZ: If anyone thinks Donald Trumps endorsement will make a bit
of difference, I have one thing to say, that dog don`t hunt.

Sarah Palin cheers the idea of a brokered convention, and Buddy Roemer
leaves the GOP to run as an independent. Mike Papantonio checks in next
with all of that.


SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked should women trust
Republicans to make decisions about health care? Two percent of you said
yes; 98 percent of you said no.

Coming up, Sarah Palin says a brokered convention might be good for
the GOP and the country. Mike Papantonio is next.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Big Finish tonight, more
headaches for the Republican party. One candidate declares a third party
run, while Republicans on the sidelines say a brokered convention could be
a good idea. Sarah Palin was asked if she would be open to the Republican
party came to her.


SCHULTZ: Well, the establishment will never come to me. I know that
for a fact. However, a brokered convention, I won`t be afraid of that.
The electorate shouldn`t be afraid of that. That is a continuation of a
process and competition that perhaps would be, in the end, very good for
our party and good for the cause of defending our republic.


SCHULTZ: Little too much caffeine there. Anyway, Rick Perry,
governor of Texas, endorsed Newt Gingrich when he dropped out of the race.
But now he says "this may go all the way to the convention. It may be a
brokered convention." What insight.

One more thing, here comes Buddy Roemer. Maybe you have never heard
of Buddy Roemer, but he`s a former Louisiana congressman and governor. And
he`s ending his run for the GOP nomination and he`s going to run as an
independent on the Americans Elect ticket. He`s also seeking the
nomination of the Reform Party.

Let`s bring in Mike Papantonio, host "the Ring of Fire" radio show,
which you hear on progressive talk radio stations across America on the

Mike, OK, sort out the possible from the crazy here. What is

really does see herself as a candidate. She wants a brokered convention
because, in her crazy, delusional mind, she sees herself at the top of the
ticket, maybe Santorum running as a VP.

Palin is shameless, manipulative opportunist, who has never stopped
trying to run for president. Look, she destroyed the Republican ticket in
2008. You are going to see her unleash her flying monkey type of campaign
more and more as we get closer to the convention. Remember this --

SCHULTZ: You think she is serious? Or is she just talking smack
right now for the TV camera? What do you think?

PAPANTONIO: No, listen, she is always serious. Her -- she is
delusional, Ed. In her mind, she still thinks there is a possibility.
This is the woman that Mike Murphy, the big dog campaign guy for the GOP,
called her a train wreck in 2008, Ed. He said she was a stone-cold loser.

She has been criticized from virtually everybody in the organized GOP.
It doesn`t stop her. She is shameless. She`s manipulative. In the back
of her mind, she really believes there is a possibility if things shake up
at that convention.

SCHULTZ: What about Rick Perry? He has added his voice into this
conversation of a brokered convention. Is he just kind of bitter about the
whole deal?

PAPANTONIO: I think a guy like Rick Perry sees the same thing. They
think a shake-up works for them. Look, that`s why you hear these names
like Jeb Bush knocked around and Daniels knocked around. A guy like Perry
thinks that there might be something that comes out of this if there is a
brokered convention.

He`s just like Sarah Palin. He is not a realist. He`s delusional
most of the time. But he sees this as an opportunity. And so the more
shake up, the better for people like Perry and Palin.

SCHULTZ: Let`s talk about Buddy Roemer. Could a Roemer candidacy
shave a point or two from the GOP candidate in a general election? I don`t
think he would be a real strong third party. But he might peel a few
people off. What do you think? Because his big thing is for election
finance reform. What do you think?

PAPANTONIO: Well, he could be. Listen, he is the closest thing to a
moderate GOP candidate that has existed since George Bush number one. He
truly is a moderate. He was a Democrat, changed to the Republican party as
governor in Louisiana. They loved him down there.

He was in favor of campaign reform. He gave teachers a big pay. He
was considered a middle class governor. Once he gets in front of the
camera, Ed, he is very effective. People relate to him. They want to hear
his message.

It`s what the Republicans have lacked. They haven`t been able to put
the kind of message out that he does. He`s a very viable candidate.

SCHULTZ: We`re going to talk to him in the near future. Mike
Papantonio, thanks for your time tonight.

That is THE ED SHOW, I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on the
radio, Sirius XM, Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00, and on
progressive talk stations around the country. Follow me on Twitter and
like THE ED SHOW on Facebook.


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