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The Ed Show for Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 11p show

Read the transcript to the Wednesday 11p show

Guests: Karen Finney, Jimmy Williams, Richard Wolffe, Terry O`Neill

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

Republicans have wrapped the 20th presidential debate. It was a
showdown in the Arizona desert and the fur was flying.

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason we have Obamacare
is because the senator you supported over Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Arlen
Specter, the pro-choice senator of Pennsylvania that you supported and
endorsed in the race over Pat Toomey, he voted for Obamacare. If you have
not supported him, if he had said no to Arlen Specter, we would not have

So, don`t look at me. Take a look at the mirror.

balanced the budget for four years. You have a constitutional requirement
to balance the budget in four years. No great shakes.

I`m all for it. I`d like to see it fairly. But don`t go around
bragging about something you have to do.

Michael Dukakis and balanced the budget for 10 years. Does that make
him qualified to be president of the United States? I don`t think so.


SCHULTZ: Tonight was the final debate before Tuesday, Michigan and
Arizona primaries. The tension between frontrunners Rick Santorum and Mitt
Romney showed how tight the race has become.

A new NBC News/Marist poll shows that Mitt Romney has just a two-point
lead over Rick Santorum in Michigan, 37 percent to 35 percent. And the
former Massachusetts governor has more breathing room in Arizona, where he
is ahead 43 percent to 27 percent.

The debate crowd was no doubt in the tank for Mitt Romney tonight.
Their cheers and boos helped all the candidates avoid answering topics
about hot social issues like birth control.

I am joined tonight by: Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women; Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and former
communications director for the Democratic National Convention; and Jimmy
Williams, MSNBC contributor and former Democratic Senate staffer.

Great to have all three of you with us tonight.

I want to get to an issue that has fallen by the wayside as of late.
It did come up tonight, and that is jobs and what do we do about putting
people to work.

The issue came up tonight in discussion in the form of the automobile
industry. And, of course, in Michigan, this is a big story because it
saved a lot of jobs. General Motors is number one. A lot of blue collars
are at work because of what the president has done.

Rick Santorum tonight and Mitt Romney got into it over the automobile
loan. Here it is.


SANTORUM: He supported the folks on Wall Street and bailed out Wall
Street, was all for it. When it came to the autoworkers and the folks in
Detroit, he said no. That to me is not a consistent principled position.

I had one. I believe in markets, not just when they are convenient
for me.

ROMNEY: Nice try. But now let`s look at the facts.

I wrote an op-ed in the paper and I said, absolutely not, don`t write
a check for $50 billion. These companies need to go through a managed
bankruptcy just like airlines have, just like other industries have. Go
through a managed bankruptcy.


SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, did I hear Rick Santorum defending President
Obama tonight in a roundabout way?

Rick Santorum was also oppose to the auto bailout.

You know, here is the thing, though, Ed -- they both used it as an
opportunity to what? Bash the unions, of course. When what we know is
that because of the deal that President Obama was able to do, he brought
the unions to the table, he brought management to the tables. Both sides
did the dirty little "C" word, compromise, and actually had to get
something done.

And look at where we are now. Now, we`ve got G.M. back on top making
cars, you know, some of the best in the world. So, they both were wrong
with their facts, and they both used it to bash the unions.

SCHULTZ: What do you think, Jimmy Williams? Who fared the best in
that portion of the debate?


Look, this is a remarkably simple thing that happened tonight. While
these four yahoos were sitting in Arizona debating each other, drinking,
you know, gallon after gallon of hate-orade towards each other and towards
the president, Barack Obama was in the White House signing yet another tax
cut that helps people in Arizona and in Michigan and in the state of Ohio,
where I`m sitting right now.

And they are sitting there and talking about birth control, Planned
Parenthood, my civil rights, or lack thereof, and the breakdown of the
family. Barack Obama signed a tax cut into law.

Get a grip, guys. You all have no clue how to even run your own

SCHULTZ: The CNN moderator asked the candidates about birth control,
and the crowd didn`t like it -- very favorable to help the candidates on a
controversial issue. Here it is.


JOHN KING, DEBATE MODERATOR/CNN: Since birth control is the latest
hot topic. Which candidate believes in birth control, and if not, why?


KING: As you can see --

ROMNEY: It`s a very popular question you have.

KING: It is a very popular question, in the audience, as we can see.
Look, we`re not going to spend a ton of time on this. But please --


KING: Sure.

ROMNEY: These guys are giving you some feedback, John.


SCHULTZ: I mean, the crowd was helping them out tonight avoid a very
controversial issue. And I have to play this sound bite as well. Newt
Gingrich and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum on the record, here it is all
avoided the birth control question and we`ll get back to y8ou.


GINGRICH: But I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008
campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama
voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. OK? So let`s be clear here.


GINGRICH: If we`re going to have a debate about who the extremist is
on these issues, it is President Obama who, as a state senator, voted to
protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion. It is not the

ROMNEY: I don`t think we`ve seen the history of this country, the
kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious
tolerance that we have seen in Barack Obama.

SANTORUM: The bottom line is that we have a problem in this country.
And the family is fracturing. Over 40 percent of children born in America
are born out of wedlock. How can a country survive if children are being
raised in homes where it is so much harder to succeed economically?


SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, is President Obama that extremists on this
issue? What do you think?

TERRY O`NEILL, PRESIDENT, N.O.W.: I think the crowd did not want to
talk about birth control because a loser issue for all of the men on that

You know, one of the things that really irks me, I guess, about this
claim that the birth control issue is really not about women, it`s really
not about birth control, it`s really about the religious freedom of
religious institutions. Let`s be clear, 98 percent of Catholic women who
are sexually active use birth control at some point.

The bishops and evangelicals too are not able to sell their dogma to
their women. So, what they are insisting is that the government should
help them do what they can do. The government should prevent women from
accessing birth control because these priests and these evangelical
preachers can`t convince their own women to stop using birth control.
They`re demanding the government do it.

That is a violation of the wall between church and state.

And for Mitt Romney and the other Republicans to say that somehow what
a mandate that birth control simply be covered as a part of an ordinary
part of woman`s preventive health care, somehow that is a violation of the
bishop`s right to religious freedom is absolutely backward and upside down.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, I thought they were likely to skirt the issue
tonight. They did not want to talk about it. It seems to be the soft
underbelly of the Republicans right now that they have drifted off into
this. And I think Terry is right about the religious aspect of this.

How do you feel about how it played out?

FINNEY: Well, you know, I mean, I should also disclose, I`m a board
member for NARAL. And so, watching that, I was really not surprised but
disappointed just in the cowardice that we saw. Not one -- all those men
sat there and puffed up their chests and attacked Barack Obama about this
and that.

But none of them had the courage to answer the questionnaire`s
question. That wasn`t even a question from John King. That was a question
that someone e-mailed. That was a question that a voter actually asked

None of them had the guts to actually answer truthfully. Instead, we
heard, you know, all the usual rhetoric attacking Barack Obama, going on to
the church and state. I mean, these guys are such cowards. I`m just sick
of it.

SCHULTZ: Well, in Michigan, the polling shows that Rick Santorum is
really dropping with women -- and, of course, it can be contributed to this
issue. Romney leads with 37-35.

And, Jimmy, it seems to me he has slipped in the polls because he has
gone off on these issues instead of talking about jobs and manufacturing --
I`m talking about Santorum. What are you thinking?

WILLIAMS: Well, listen, I spent almost seven years in the Senate as a
staffer. And the only thing -- and Rick Santorum was there pretty much I
think the entire time. The only thing, Ed, that he was ever known for,
ever known for, was coming down to the Senate floor with big, huge poster
showing partial birth abortions. That`s it. That was his legacy after two
terms in the Senate.

And I just think when -- listen, when men run around this country,
running for president, trying to tell women what to do with their bodies
and they`re not even married to them, I just think that`s crazy talk. I
just can`t imagine the theory of any man telling a woman that`s not his
wife or his girlfriend or his lover, what she should be doing in the
privacy of her own home. And that`s what`s happening here.

FINNEY: You know --

WILLIAMS: It`s just stupid politics.

FINNEY: You know, Ed, it was interesting that Santorum at the end
tried to say, well, I come from a really key state of Pennsylvania. Well,
guess what? He lost that state by huge margins on these issues.

He tried to run --

WILLIAMS: Eighteen points.

FINNEY: -- on these social issues and got killed.

SCHULTZ: Here is Rick Santorum explaining his vote in favor of No
Child Left Behind.

I want to point out here -- I thought he made a strategic error here
tonight. He -- when he was asked about the policy of No Child Left Behind,
he offered up the fact that he voted for it. Make somebody else do that.

Where do you stand on education now and where are you going to take
the country forward? I thought he made a tactical mistake there and left
himself open on that.

Here`s his answer.


SANTORUM: Politics is a team sport, folks. Sometimes you have to
rally together and do something. In this case, I thought testing and
finding out how bad the problem was wasn`t a bad idea. What was a bad idea
was all the money that was put out there, and that, in fact, was a huge

I admit the mistake, and I will not make that mistake again.

Not only do I believe the federal government should get out of the
education business, I think the state government should start to get of the
education business and put it back to the state -- to the local and into
the community.


SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, it seems like Rick Santorum is in denial that
we do have successful single moms in our society. But if you were to take
funding out of public education, where does that leave America? Where does
that leave America`s families?

O`NEILL: Well, Rick Santorum has said that he likes home schooling.
He home schooled his kids. Sure, and he charged the people of Pennsylvania
$55,000 to home school his children when he was a senator in Washington.

So, of course, if you were able to make that kind of money while you
are home schooling, who wouldn`t?

The reality is, he doesn`t have that in mind for the rest of this,
right? It`s very offensive the way that both Rick Santorum and other
Republican candidates have talked about how the privileged family that is a
heterosexual family, a mom and a dad --


O`NEILL: That is the first class family. All the other families, the
single-mom families are second-class citizens or second class families.
That`s offensive.

And, clearly, if you shut them public schools, that makes it all the
much harder for those families that are struggling.

SCHULTZ: Quickly, Karen --

O`NEILL: Rick Santorum should be talking about getting money.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

SCHULTZ: Quickly, Karen, who won tonight? I mean, Mitt Romney now
leads in Michigan and in Arizona. Did he hurt himself tonight?

FINNEY: I don`t think he did hurt himself. And you know what, Ed?
It sounded like his answers were also tailored.

Remember that Michigan is an open primary, so he`s also trying to --
which is part of the reason why I think he didn`t try to, you know, take
the bait on some of the social issues and he went to the religious freedom
piece of that because he is trying to get those independent voters. So,
he`s -- it seemed to me that`s who he was speaking to in Michigan, knowing
that he`s already hurt himself on the auto bailout issue and the economic

SCHULTZ: I do think he hurt himself on one answer tonight, the last
answer, on what`s the biggest misconception about you as a candidate. And
he was arrogant enough, Jimmy, to say I`ll answer it the way I want to.


WILLIAMS: Actually, no, in November, the American people well.

Well, again, I just feel -- you asked who won the debate tonight, for
the 20th debate in a row, Barack Obama won.


WILLIAMS: And he wasn`t even there. And he didn`t have to show up.
It was a great debate tonight.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney and Terry O`Neill, and Jimmy Williams, great to
have you with us. Thank you so much.

Share your thoughts about tonight`s debate on Twitter @EdShow. We want
to know what you think.

Coming up: MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe on tonight`s debate.

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

Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: the candidates attack the
president on foreign policy at tonight`s debate. I`ll have more analysis
with MSNBC`s Richard Wolffe coming up next.

Still ahead, a new policy in Chicago could close public schools in
poor areas. I`ll talk to the head of the Chicago Teachers Union about what
this means for students.

And Sarah Palin says a brokered convention would be a good thing, and
she is not alone. Mike Papantonio takes on the GOP circus later in the

Share your thoughts on Twitter with us using #EdShow.

We are right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The 20th Republican presidential debate just wrapped up a short time
ago in Mesa, Arizona. The candidates were unified in their position to
President Obama`s foreign policy. It`s almost like they had cut a deal.
Apparently, the guy who kills terrorists isn`t hawkish enough for this


GINGRICH: All of us are more at risk today, men and women, boys and
girls, than at any time in the history of this country. I think this is a
very sober period and I believe this is the most dangerous president on
national security grounds in American history.

SANTORUM: If you want to know what foreign policy position to take,
find out what Joe Biden`s position is and take the opposite of him, and
you`ll be right 100 percent of the time.

ROMNEY: We must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. If they do,
the world changes, America will be at risk, and some day, nuclear weaponry
will be used. If I`m president, that will not happen. If we reelect
Barack Obama, it will happen.


SCHULTZ: And to help me mop up all of that garbage, let`s turn to
MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe.

I`ll tell you what? It`s almost as if they made a deal between one
another tonight. We`re going to be unified on this issue and go after
President Obama.

President Obama ends two wars. He takes out the number one terrorist
in the world, but that`s just not good enough for the Republicans. What do
you make of this radical talk about the president?

is not big enough to clean this up.

You know, this is -- just when think, after 20 debates, you`ve heard
it all, they come out with stuff that is plainly wrong, factually
incorrect, misguided, and as if the war in Iraq never happened, the Bush
presidency never happened.

To say America is facing its biggest threats, when for all those
years, al Qaeda`s leadership was on the loose, when civil war in Iraq was
mortal threat to American troops, thousands of American troops in Iraq, you
know, it just begs this belief that people who claimed to be smart and
informed, who wants to lead the free world, could get this so wrong.

And frankly, any voters listening to this, who are not hardcore
Republican partisans, will say, what are they talking about? Where`s
Gadhafi? Where`s bin Laden?

If this president is so weak on foreign policy, how come two of the
worst enemies of this country, with American blood on their hands, are no
longer with us?

SCHULTZ: Well, I find it interesting the debate was held in Arizona,
which is the state where President Obama`s policy has brought that state
more resources, more border protection, more surveillance and a tougher
border to cross than it was during the previous administration. I hope
that they figure that out.

But it just seemed to me tonight that they had come together and said,
we`re really going to hit President Obama on this and show some unity. We
can go at it on other sides. I don`t know if that happened but it seemed
that way because we haven`t seen this kind of unity.

But they are just absolutely bent that this president is doing the
wrong thing in dealing with Iran. Your thoughts on that.

WOLFFE: Right. Well, again, they can only make that case by entirely
misstating his position.

So his actual rhetorical position is no different from President Bush,
that he will not tolerate Iran having a nuclear weapon. But look at the
sanctions regime.

Rick Santorum went out there and said this president opposed
sanctions. This is the toughest sanctions regime ever in Iran`s history,
and it is hurting Iran, and we`re seeing them taking all sorts of
retaliatory action against our European allies. So Europe`s allies are
standing with America against Iran and its plans on nuclear weapons.

We didn`t see that through the Bush years. This is something this
administration has been fully behind, has been leading.

So, I don`t see how any of this stacks up. But in a Republican
debate, apparently, anything goes.

SCHULTZ: And, Richard, what did you think of the Monday morning
quarterbacking about how the president is handling the Syria situation? I
mean, it was almost as if we need to invade them right now to straighten
this out and make sure there`s freedom on the march. What do you think?

WOLFFE: Well, this was obviously an extremely distressing situation.
You heard from U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in the strongest terms about how
outrageous this is. But part of the problem America faces is what happened
in Libya was successful. And Russia and China are determined not to let
that happen anywhere else again.

So, even with Arab League support, it is extremely difficult for
America, for NATO to do what it did in Syria. There has to be some kind of

We`re not actually used to Republicans saying that America has to
intervene in any humanitarian situation. Is it just because it`s Syria?
Is it all humanitarian situations?

I didn`t hear a credible, coherent approach from these Republican
candidates about when it`s right and wrong to intervene.

SCHULTZ: And they always try to out-tax cut on one another. Here`s
Santorum on Romney`s tax plan. Take a look.


SANTORUM: Governor Romney today suggested raising taxes on the top 1
percent, adopting the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric.

I`m not going to adopt that rhetoric. I`m going to represent 100
percent of Americans. We`re not raising taxes on anybody.

KING: Governor, quickly, I want to bring the speaker into the
conversation. Respond.

ROMNEY: There were so many misrepresentations there it`s going to
take me a little while. Number one, I say today that we`re going to cut
taxes on everybody across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1


SCHULTZ: What did you make of that exchange, and did Mitt Romney
leading in the polls hurt himself tonight at all?

WOLFFE: No, I don`t think he did hurt himself. But, look, this is
not the party of Ronald Reagan anymore. If they`re serious about deficits,
they cannot take taxes completely off the table. They know that. Mitt
Romney is smart enough to know that.

You cannot apparently raise that at all in the Republican debate, that
makes you wonder how they take it to the public in a general election and
how they would have a governor as president, the next successful Republican
candidate for president is going to have to deal with taxes and, yes, that
includes raising taxes if they ever want to deal with deficits.

SCHULTZ: And they all had the same position on education tonight.
They all want to get the government out of it and they don`t want any
intervention whatsoever or any government control. That seemed to be
another theme that all of them were going with tonight.

Richard Wolffe, always great to have you with us. Thank you.
Appreciate your time joining us on THE ED SHOW tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe here on THE ED SHOW.

Up next, the survival of the fittest mentality in the Chicago school
system. They`re shutting down schools. And the circus -- or should I say
this crisis has national implications. The president of the Chicago
Teachers Union joins me.

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



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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