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The Ed Show for Monday, March 19, 2012

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Al Sharpton, Charles Blow, Dan Gross, Bill Burton, Mahlon Mitchell, Joan Walsh,
Bob Shrum

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

The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman
is shaking America to its very core. The fallout from this tragic event is
far from over.

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


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: We`ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and
there`s a suspicious guy.

OPERATOR: Are you following him?


OPERATOR: OK. We don`t need you to do that.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Almost three weeks after his death, the Trayvon
Marvin 911 tapes are out.

OPERATOR: Did you see what he was wearing?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, a dark hoodie, like a gray hoodie.

SCHULTZ: The audio was chilling. The fact that the killer hasn`t
been arrested defies justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was my baby and he was pleading for his
life. I just don`t understand how that`s self-defense.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, every angle of the Trayvon Martin case with "New
York Times" columnist, Charles Blow, and Reverend Al Sharpton.

More Republicans are scolding their own about the war on women.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think we ought to respect the right
of women to make choices in their life.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh and Bill Burton are here.

Democrats in Wisconsin are fighting fire with fire. We`ll have the
major announcement from a new candidate for high office in the Badger

Peyton Manning to Denver means Tebow mania could land anywhere. We`ll
tell you if Tim Tebow is coming to your city.


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

The death of a teenager in Florida has captured the attention o of the
nation. And it should.

The 911 tapes were released today and they are absolutely chilling.
This is a story of a 17-year-old African-American teenager with a bag of
Skittles and a can of ice tea shot dead by a 28-year-old neighborhood watch
volunteer with a .9 millimeter hand gun.

Trayvon Martin and his father were visiting friends in a gated
community in Sanford, Florida, the night of February 26th. Seventeen-year-
old Trayvon had gone to a 7-Eleven store during halftime of the NBA all-
star game. He was walking back when neighborhood watch volunteer George
Zimmerman spotted him.

Zimmerman was sitting inside his SUV and called 911.


ZIMMERMAN: Hey, we`ve had some break ins in my neighborhood and
there`s a real suspicious guy at (ADDRESS REDACTED).

This guy looks like he`s up to no good or he`s on drugs or something.
It`s raining and he`s walking around looking about.

DISPATCHER: OK. This guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

DISPATCHER: Did you see what he was wearing?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, dark hoodie like a gray hoodie and either jeans or
sweat pants and white tennis shoes. He`s (INAUDIBLE) around there, he`s
just staring.

DISPATCHER: Oh, he`s just walking around the area.

ZIMMERMAN: Looking at all the houses. Now, he is just staring at me.


SCHULTZ: Zimmerman was sitting in his SUV as the call continued.


SCHULTZ: Zimmerman then spent the next 30 seconds calmly giving
directions to police on how to enter the gated community and then this


ZIMMERMAN: Go straight in, turn in and make a left. He`s running.

DISPATCHER: He`s running? Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: He`s down towards the entrance of the neighborhood.

DISPATCHER: OK. Which entrance is that that he`s headed toward?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance.

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK. We don`t need you to do that.



SCHULTZ: So, the dispatcher says don`t follow him and Zimmerman says
OK. But Zimmerman followed him any way. There were half a dozen other 911
calls that night from neighbors, many of them saying they heard screams for
help followed by a shot. This is one of those calls.



DISPATCHER: So you think he`s yelling help?


DISPATCHER: All right. What is your --

CALLER: There`s gunshots.

There`s someone screaming. I just heard gunshots.

CALLER: There`s a black guy down. It looks like he`s been shot and
he`s dead.


SCHULTZ: Trayvon Martin died. Police did not arrest George Zimmerman
saying they didn`t have probable cause, but Zimmerman claimed self-defense.

Florida has a very lenient self-defense law and we`ll get to that a
little bit later on this show.

Since January of last year, George Zimmerman has called police 46
times. Back in 2005, he was charged with resisting arrest and battery of a
police officer. Neighbors said Zimmerman was fixated on crime and focused
on young black males. Zimmerman`s father says race was not an issue.
George Zimmerman, 28 years old and weighed 250 pounds.

Trayvon Martin was 17 and weighed 140 pounds. He has no criminal
record whatsoever.

Trayvon Martin`s mother says she thinks her son was the one who felt


was. He`s seen him as a stranger. He was trying to just get away from the


SCHULTZ: This is what she thought George Zimmerman was reacting to.


FULTON: He was reacting to the color of his skin. He committed no
crime. My son was doesn`t anything but walking on the sidewalk.


SCHULTZ: Trayvon`s father was on Al Sharpton`s show just hours ago.


justice. We don`t want our son to be -- we don`t want our son`s death to
be in vain. To call Mr. Zimmerman the victim is a slap in the face to me
and my family. It`s a slap in the face to our community.


SCHULTZ: Police have referred the case to the state attorney`s
office. The state attorney is reportedly considering a charge of
manslaughter but a decision could take weeks.

The Congressional Black Caucus in Congress has called on the United
States Justice Department to investigate this as a hate crime.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, if the shooter was black and the victim was white, would there
have been an arrest? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. And you
can leave a comment on our blog on We`ll bring the results
later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Charles Blow, columnist for "The New York

Mr. Blow, good to have you with us tonight.

Very compelling article and work you`ve done. You talk about your two
sons in your article. And as a parent myself, it`s absolutely gut
wrenching to see this story unfold.

What is the most startling piece of information that you`ve come
across in investigating this story?

CHARLES BLOW, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, what strikes me as a parent
is this way in which this family has been treated by the police because
what we don`t know is what the investigation of the police entails. So, we
don`t know all of the facts. We only know what has been released. We know
the 911 tapes which are horrifying to listen to.

And, in fact, I talked to Trayvon`s mother today and I want to make
sure that she could -- I asked, you know, are you absolutely sure as a
mother, that is the voice of your son? And she said I`m absolutely sure of
that. I can tell you as parent, even if my child was screaming on the mall
the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, I`d be able to pick him out. I mean,
there`s something that`s built into parent --

SCHULTZ: Absolutely.

BLOW: -- to pick out your child when they are screaming in

But what has really troubled me and the questions that really arise
from this case are how the investigation may or may not have been unfolded
with respect to this family. For instance, the fact that the father -- by
all accounts, the child left the house on his cell phone, we don`t know if
he had a wallet, we don`t know if he had it with him. But he had his cell
phone on him.

After he was killed, according to the attorney, he was taken to the
medical examiner`s office and he was held there for three days. Now, I
don`t know if that includes the day he was shot or not. But the family
attorney says three days.

The child has a cell phone on him. So, the father is calling the cell
phone to see where his son is. He calls missing persons as well after he
doesn`t get call.

I`m trying to figure out, are you telling me that the police did not
answer that phone when the father is calling that phone?

SCHULTZ: This is --

BLOW: Are you telling me the police did not pick up that phone and
call the last number that that child had dialed before he was killed, which
according to witnesses was his cousin?

SCHULTZ: So, does it look to you, Mr. Blow, there might have been
somebody covering up for Mr. Zimmerman here?

BLOW: I`m not -- I just don`t know that, but either there -- I need
to know -- there are a lot of questions I need to know the answers to the
questions from the police. If you -- when you took Zimmerman in for
questioning, what was the nature of the forensic recovery of evidence?
Where his hands swabbed so we`ll be able to know whether one shot was fired
or two.

SCHULTZ: And why wasn`t Mr. Zimmerman drug tested? Why didn`t they
do a breathalyzer or any kind of test on him at all?

BLOW: Ands I don`t know that that is the case. But if it`s not the
case, that`s a very important part of this investigation.

SCHULTZ: The audio tape there, or the 911 call, it doesn`t sound like
he has all his faculties, so to speak.

BLOW: That may be the case. But, you know, the National Crime
Prevention Council, which is, you know, remember (INAUDIBLE), well, that`s
the group that kind of sets out the guidelines for how you run a
neighborhood watch. One of their primary guidelines is you are not
supposed to be armed.

How is it that this guy gets out of a vehicle, armed, and that is OK
in the investigation?

SCHULTZ: What does it tell you about all these 911 calls that he`s
made since January 1st of 2011, some 46 calls?

BLOW: Listen, he may be aggressive and suspicious of everyone. And I
will give you that. I think that is actually a bit separate from this
case, because a neighborhood watch person, that is what you`re supposed to


BLOW: Watch and report.

SCHULTZ: All right.

BLOW: You`re not supposed to engage. Even people who are saying that
Florida law`s, the stand your ground law, somehow insulates Zimmerman in
this case, I cannot see how that`s true. I`m not a legal expert.

But that law has three separate parts. One is if someone enters your
car, dwelling or home.


BLOW: Zimmerman was in his car. If he stayed in that car --

SCHULTZ: Well, he left his vehicle and went after the kid.

BLOW: Exactly.

SCHULTZ: As if he was hunting that night, that`s what it appears to

Mr. Blow, we`re going to have you back. This story isn`t going to go
away any time soon. There has to be some justice here. And I appreciate
your work and your time.

Now, let`s turn to Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICS NATION"
here on MSNBC.

No arrest. What do you make of it?

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Absolutely horrific. I mean, we can all
have different opinions. We can`t have different facts.

Fact, this young man was unarmed. Fact, he was not engaging any
criminal behavior. Fact, he had every right to be there in that gated
community. He was there with a resident of the community, visiting a

So, how is he killed and police decide that they`re the judge and jury
and let Zimmerman go. Zimmerman was told not to follow him. He followed
him any way, he ends up killing him.

That is probable cause to make an arrest. It`s up later to grand jury
and a prosecutor presenting the case in front of a judge and jury whether
he`s convicted. To not arrest him, to let the young man lay there three
days dead shows real, real concern about how the police handled this matter
and it`s something that warrants national attention, which is why we`re
going to Florida to rally for this family.

SCHULTZ: Where does this story go, Reverend?

SHARPTON: I think the Justice Department is going to have to come in.
I think there`s going to be pressure. As I said, we`re having a national
rally there Thursday night.

Our group, National Action Networks, and other civil rights groups,
Congressional Black Caucus and others, are coming in.

You are really saying to us, that a civilian, not even a policeman and
I`ve fought many police cases, a civilian has the right to use deadly force
based on their perceived threat of somebody that`s not coming after them,
that is not doing anything illegal. And the only thing he had was a bag of
Skittles, some candy?

SCHULTZ: Now, the dispatcher saying, don`t follow him. What kind of
authority does a dispatcher have? Is that just a suggestion or is that an
order to someone who is a neighborhood watch guy?

SHARPTON: One can debate how much authority the dispatcher had, but
you can`t debate that the neighborhood watchman had no authority to follow
him. If you walk over to me, I don`t know who you are, you don`t have the
right to tell me to freeze, question me or anything.

SCHULTZ: I want to know who the officers were that were first on the


SCHULTZ: I mean, I think you really got to get down to who
interviewed Zimmerman right when they got there. And what was said. How
do we get tot that point? How do you unfold this whole thing?

SHARPTON: I think we get if the Justice Department review and the
state attorney reviews it properly. And I also think you have to know who
the superior was that these officers were came to the scene reported to and
who decided to let Zimmerman go based on his saying, it was self-defense,
when there was no evidence of anything that he would be defending himself
from. Defending himself from what?

SCHULTZ: And what Charles Blow just told us a moment ago -- about the
cell phone not being followed up by police.

SHARPTON: Who made that decision? Who decided not follow up the
phone call that was made to the cell phone as Charles Blow just said?

These decisions all stink but we can all have theories. The facts are
there was no threat that one can see and if there was a threat, what could
it have been when this young man was unarmed.

SCHULTZ: Does this go all the way to the top to Eric Holder in your

SHARPTON: I think it can go there unless the state attorney there in
Florida does what is proper here and that is bring case and let us have
hearing in front of a jury, and let the facts be weighed based on the
evidence that is presented to a jury, not based in some police station
where they decide to become the judge and jury.

SCHULTZ: And on Thursday, you`re going to be down in Sanford,

SHARTPON: Thursday, we`re joining the family and attorney Crump, who
is on my show tonight with the father. We`re having a national rally and
Michael Baisden, Joe Madison, many from national radio, are joining
national civil rights groups to call for justice for this family.

SCHULTZ: Reverend Al Sharpton, thanks for being here.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Appreciate it so much.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We certainly want to
know what you think.

Up next, will the case against George Zimmerman be dismissed? Dan
Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence tells me whether the
Florida law gives citizens the right to commit murder.

And a major announcement in Wisconsin in the recall election. Madison
firefighter Mahlon Mitchell will join me with be big news.

You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, we`ll look at Florida`s controversial stand your
ground law with Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign. John McCain says
Republicans should drop their war on women`s health while Tennessee pushes
a new bill that would ID abortion providers. Bill Burton and Joan Walsh
are here with reaction.

And Mitt Romney can`t make a decision on his Afghanistan policies but
he says the president`s thoughts have failed. Bob Shrum weighs in later in
the hour.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow.

We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Florida is one of 17 states with a so called "Stand Your
Ground" law. It`s possible this law set the stage for Trayvon Martin`s
shooter to walk away from this killing without ever being charged. The law
was put on the books in 2005 and says, "A person is justified in the use of
deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if he or she reasonably
believes that such force is necessary to prevent eminent death or great
bodily hard."

In other words, Ed Speak, that would -- be you can play judge, jury
and executioner if you want to and skirt the law. In the five months after
this law was passed, there were at least 13 shootings in central Florida
where self-defense was claimed. Six men were killed, four were wounded.
Only one was armed.

Law enforcement officials overwhelmingly opposed the law in 2005, but
the National Rifle Association helped get it passed. On the NRA Web site,
former NRA president Marianne Hammer (ph) is identified as the primary
lobbyist behind the "Stand Your Ground" bill in Florida.

Florida law enforcement virtually has its hands tied when it comes to
prosecuting these cases. A spokesman at the Sanford Police Department told
"The New York Times," quote, "If we arrest, we open ourselves to a

Joining us tonight is Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to
Prevent Gun Violence.

Mr. Gross, good to have you with us tonight.

Did this law set the table in some way for George Zimmerman to go
hunting for Trayvon Martin?

exactly what it did. It`s at the table. I mean, this is dangerous as a
law. It`s a bad law if it lets murderers walk away uncharged.

But as bad as it is a law, it`s just as dangerous as a state of mind,
and it`s a state of mind that permits things like this, encourages things
like this to happen.

And when you combine that state of mind with Florida`s incredibly weak
gun laws in general, it`s a recipe for tragedies like this to happen.

SCHULTZ: Now, you have said in this case that the NRA -- this is the
NRA`s vision for America. What did you mean by that?

GROSS: That`s precisely it is. You know, the NRA`s utopia is a place
where people -- anybody can get a gun and carry it virtually anywhere. And
this is -- and what we`re seeing in Florida, tragedies like there are the
manifestation of what happens in the NRA`s utopia.

It`s two different visions of America. There`s the vision that the
people have that want to protect themselves, that want to live in safety.
As parents, we want to raise our children in safety, and there`s the vision
of the gun lobby representing an industry that wants to make carrying guns
more permissible and envisions a society where people like Zimmerman are
walking around with guns.

SCHULTZ: What in Florida took place that led to the passing of the
"Stand Your Ground" law? Or is this just some stuff coming from gun
enthusiasts, that think that they have to protect themselves or give them
license maybe even go and to do something like this?

GROSS: It`s lobbying. It`s good old fashioned lobbying. It`s
lobbying of an industry that at this point has out shouted the will and
even more importantly undermine the safety of the American people.

SCHULTZ: So we`re not a series of news events that transpire, that
brought it to the point where this law just had to be implemented? Were
there people that campaigned on this?

GROSS: I`m sure there were. I would imagine if it was the NRA up to
their usual tricks, they misrepresented some news events to get people all
stirred up under this misguided notion of self-defense to accomplish their

SCHULTZ: So, you`re clearly putting this at the doorstep of the NRA?

GROSS: Clearly.

SCHULTZ: OK. Now, the director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun
Violence said, "I predict this case is not going to be charged. It`s going
to be dismissed. Almost every case between two individuals where one was
armed and the other was not is dismissed."

Do you think his prediction will be correct?

GROSS: You know, I`m not in the business of making predictions,
except for the fact that ultimately, the will and safety of the American
people have to come to bear, to hold our elected leaders to hold
accountable for passing laws that undermine the safety of the people that
they have been elected to represent.

SCHULTZ: From the facts of what has been reported, what hits you
about this story? What do you say to the family? I know you`ve been
through a personal tragedy yourself.

GROSS: I have.

SCHULTZ: What do you say to the family at this hour?

GROSS: And I`ve been through a personal tragedy where the imagine
bought his gun in Florida because of their weak gun laws. You know, I can
uniquely empathize with what they are going through. You know, nothing can
describe the horror of losing a child and our heart goes out to this family
for what they`re going through.

But we can say while we`re all incredibly heartbroken over what`s
happened, we`re not surprised because Florida has created climate where
these things happen. We have to do something about it.

And if we`re going to make some good come of this extraordinary
tragedy, we shouldn`t just look at all the dynamics that we`ve been talking
about so far. We also have to look at how people like this get guns.

The guy had been arrested before and he has a license to carry a
concealed weapon. I mean, it`s just insanity. I think that what we need
to do as the American people is we need to take incidents like this to
strengthen our resolve to prevent more tragedies like what happened to my
brother, like what happened to Trayvon from happening to others.

SCHULTZ: I think it`s up to us in the media to make sure that social
justice is done here. I`m remiss that we`re getting to the story a little
bit late. It happened on February 26th. I`m sure there`s other stories
that have taken place all over the country.

But this is one that`s so gross in its nature. A terrible injustice
has been done. I think justice has to be done.

GROSS: You got it. Part of that justice is asking how they get the

SCHULTZ: Dan Gross, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate
your time.

GROSS: Thanks for having me, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Another member of the GOP establishment calls out
Republicans for waging a war on women. Joan Walsh and Bill Burton will
weigh in.

Peyton Manning, he is joining the Denver Broncos. Now everyone is
asking the big question, what will Tebow do?

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Yet another member of the Republican establishment admits
the party is waging a war on women and believes the GOP has gotten an image
problem when it comes to female voters in America. Senator John McCain who
knows a thing or two about losing campaigns hinted that if Republicans
don`t stop targeting women, they risk handing the selection over to the


is something of a war on women among Republicans?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think we have to fix that. I think
that there is a perception out there, because of the way that this whole
contraception issue played out. We need to get off of that issue, in my
view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in
their lives and make that clear, and get back on to what the American
people really care about: jobs and the economy.


SCHULTZ: But Republican state legislators, well, they must not be
getting the memo. Lawmakers in Tennessee are considering a measure that
would require the Department of Health to publish the names of abortion
providers on its website. It would also require the patient`s background
data to be published, posting key details such as age, race, marital status
and the number of prior pregnancies and abortions.

Patient data would be broken down by county, putting women living in
rural communities at the risk op being unintentionally identified. State
Representative Gary Odom, a Democrat, is worried the bill will encourage
violence. He`s says, "it puts a target of women`s and physicians` backs.
I think it`s a very dangerous piece of legislation and serves no purpose I
can tell other than trying to intimidate women and physicians."

I`m joined tonight by Bill Burton, former White House deputy secretary
under President Obama and co-founder and senior strategist at Priorities
USA, and Joan Walsh, editor at large of

Great to have bot of you with us tonight. Joan, you first. Now the
Republicans are going after privacy. Is this a new war on privacy? What
do you make of this? This is happening at state levels, as if there is
just this concerted effort to go after women across America.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: All over -- all over the country, we have all
these personhood Amendments, which the to GOP candidates for president have
signed onto as well, that would outlaw certain forms of birth control, Ed.

So I hear this whining from the right. In fact, Rick Santorum today
accused our friend Joe Scarborough of making too much of the contraception
issue. And usually they`re saying it`s people like Bill Burton and
Democrats, people you and me who are making too much of the contraception
issue. But they are the ones who have made this an issue from the very

I just have to say something about Senator McCain, because I know all
of us in the mainstream love to talk about what a statesman he is. And
it`s great that he spoke out against this war on women. However, he voted
for the Blunt Amendment several weeks ago, that would have made it possible
for employers to not cover any medical care that they -- that they
disapproved of.

So what hypocrisy to say I`m the man standing up on the war against
women, but you have that vote in your back pocket. What was he thinking
when he took that vote? It`s really disturbing.

SCHULTZ: It is puzzling, no doubt. Bill, last week, Lisa Murkowski
spoke out against the GOP`s war on women after she too voted for the Blunt
Amendment. What are we seeing? Is this damage control now that you`ve
seen two prominent senators come out and say we`ve got to fix this?

BILL BURTON, PRIORITIES USA SUPER PAC: Well, for starters, what does
it say when John McCain is the voice of reason on anything in the
Republican party? But, you know, the fact that Senator Murkowski, Senator
McCain are starting to see that the politics for this are so bad, it`s
surprising that more Republicans aren`t seeing it faster.

SCHULTZ: Why aren`t we hearing more from Rick Santorum, from Mitt
Romney and from Newt Gingrich on this? I mean, this is --

BURTON: I think that they are just fundamentally different from where
the American people are on very mainstream issues like contraception, like
choice, and where they that think this country ought to go.

There`s a huge choice in this election. I think that when people
really take a look at what the records and the visions that Santorum and
Romney have for this country, it`s going to be frightening.

SCHULTZ: Here is John McCain on Arizona`s bill that would force women
to talk to their boss about birth control.


GREGORY: In your state of Arizona, there`s this contraception that
even the governor has said would put women in an uncomfortable position
where they would have to say to their employers why they wanted
contraception and why it should be covered. Is that a bad road?

MCCAIN: I`m confident that that legislation will not reach the
governor`s desk. And if it did, it would be vetoed.

GREGORY: It`s the wrong legislation?

MCCAIN: Well, I mean, look, it certainly doesn`t reflect, in my view,
the majority view of the people of Arizona.


SCHULTZ: Joan, your response to that? That`s the cop out, isn`t it?
These bills should never even be introduced.

WALSH: No, he could have spoken out against it. I mean, I should be
careful. Maybe he did. But I`m not aware that he ever did. He could have
been speaking out about all this wave of crazy legislation a long time ago.
You know, they are -- they go along with it when they want the appease
their ultra right, crazy base.

And then when it starts to catch up with them and it starts to hurt
them in a more general election, then they start to have second thoughts
and then they start to speak up. But this has already passed the House.
There is a -- a far right constituency for it in his own state of Arizona.

What happened to Republicans being people who believed in liberty and
the right to privacy? Those days are gone.

SCHULTZ: Bill, what does this signal in this election cycle? Is this
a big winner politically for the Democrats and President Obama?

BURTON: Absolutely. What it signals I think primarily, though, is
that Mitt Romney, even though he gets attacked every day for being too
moderate for Rick Santorum, actually goes into the general election as one
of the most conservative nominees the Republican party has ever put
forward, and on issues you would have never seen coming, like
contraception, like all these things that are happening all across the
country, these laws against women.

So I think the signal here is that the party is moving way further to
the right than the country is.

SCHULTZ: So should this be something everybody running for Congress
and Senate should be talking about on the campaign trail.

BURTON: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: And is there any rectifying that can be done by the
Republicans? Or have they been damaged so bad through this already that
they can`t turn back?

BURTON: I think they have done a lot of long lasting damage. But I
will tell you, they will have hundreds of millions of dollars that they
spend to try to fix their record and whitewash it.

SCHULTZ: And Joan, how much should President Obama play this up?

WALSH: Well, I don`t think he needs to play it up in a political
sense, Ed. He just needs to do what he`s been doing. This contraception
coverage mandate is a wonderful thing for women. It`s a wonderful health
reform. He did it for the right reasons.

You know, I think that he`s playing it exactly right, as in he`s doing
the right thing for the right reasons. They happen to be great things
politically. But every time I hear a Republican act like oh, that
President Obama tricked them into this, it`s quite preposterous because
they walked into this mess with their eyes open.

They have been happy to be behind the trans-vaginal ultrasounds and
the -- making contraception in some places illegal. They are down with it.
And they need to live with it.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, Bill Burton, thank you for your time tonight.
Appreciate it so much.

A brand new Democratic challenger is throwing his hat into the ring in
Wisconsin. We`ll have the exclusive announcement, next.

Mitt Romney is pumping out lies on Barack Obama in gas prices.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When he ran for office, he
said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up. He said that energy prices
would skyrocket under his views.


SCHULTZ: Tonight, Democratic strategist Bob Shrum is here to set him

And Peyton Manning is headed to Denver, meaning Tebow-mania is looking
for a job. We`ll tell you where he might be going, next.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Eleven weeks from tomorrow,
Wisconsin voters will decide whether or not to recall Governor Scott
Walker. But it`s not the only union busting Republican on the ballot.
Four state senators and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are also
facing recall elections.

The whole reason for these recalls is the Republicans` attack on union
workers and collective bargaining. And their blatant government overreach
is encouraging people who have never run for office to step forward.

Today, the president of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin,
Mahlon Mitchell, announced he`s running for the democratic nomination to
challenge Walker`s lieutenant governor. Mahlon Mitchell joins us tonight
here on THE ED SHOW.

Mahlon, good to have you with us. I know this is a big decision for
you. You`ve been weighing it for some time. But why are you going to do
this? What has motivated you to take this step to try to go to public
service and be the lieutenant governor?

Well, Ed, first of all, thanks for having me on. The reason that I decided
to throw my hat in the ring was because I can sit around and give rally
speeches as much as I want. I can be at a protest as much as I want. I
can have my bag pipers follow me all day long at the Capital Hill.

But at tend of the day, real change happens when we work from the
inside out. So I couldn`t just sit on the sideline and just keep throwing
rocks without actually being part of the solution. I didn`t want to just
be part of the problem. I wanted to come in and respond.

Just like we did back last year around this time, firefighters
respond. I`m a lieutenant here within the city of Madison Fire Department.
And that`s the level of service -- I look at lieutenant governor of our
state being a level of service. I`ve got to go in there. And we`ve got to
win this thing and do what`s right for the Wisconsinites of our state.

SCHULTZ: They`re already going after you. Republicans are already
going after you in the sense that a spokesman for the Republican Party in
Wisconsin called you "a hand picked union candidate who`s only objective is
to score political points." What`s your response?

MITCHELL: Well, first of all, I don`t need political points. Like a
lot of people always say, I`m not a career politician. But I really mean
that. I didn`t move to the city of Madison to become a politician. I
moved here to become a firefighter.

I didn`t see myself sitting here in front of you talking about
possibly running for lieutenant governor of the state of Wisconsin. I
actually though I would retire from the City of Madison Fire Department.

But to sit back on the sideline and see what`s happening and not be
involved, that`s not what we do as firefighters and that`s not what we do
as first responders. We`re responding to an emergency now. And we`re
going to keep doing it.

SCHULTZ: What about the money? You know what the Koch Brothers are
doing. You know what all these PACs are doing as they are showering the
state. And it`s going to be hard for the Democrats no matter who runs
against this wave of money. What do you make of it?

MITCHELL: Well, we`ll never get as much money as Walker or Lieutenant
Governor Becca Kleefisch. We`ll never do it.

But we don`t need the money. Not that we don`t need it, but we have
the people behind us. You saw last year, we have the people behind us.
This is a movement that cannot be stopped. This is not about money. This
is about working for the people.

We need jobs in this state. We need to work like hell to get jobs in
the state. I hate to curse and my campaign staff is going to say you
shouldn`t curse. But you know what, Ed, revolution is not always PG. But
we got to work like heck to get our jobs back. We have education problems.

We`re taking over 1.6 billion dollars from education, but they say
education is important. We have cuts in tech college systems, and of
course collective bargaining.

I mean, I`m proud to be a union member. I am proud to work for
workers` rights. I am going to continue that message and go around the
state and talk about all the Draconian measures that Scott Walker has done
to our state.

SCHULTZ: Something is happening out there. No doubt about it. We`re
seeing a wave of things happening . For instance, these ten teachers in
the state of Ohio who have decided to run for state office. And I know
there`s a lot of bubbling out there about people getting engaged that have
never been engaged politically before.

But let me ask you the 64 dollar question here, play Devil`s Advocate,
what if the Democrats aren`t successful. What does that say to the rest of
country, if anything?

MITCHELL: Well, I think it would have grand ramification against our
fight. But you know what, at the end of the day, the people have spoken.
I can tell you I go all around this state and I talk to all kinds of
people. And I hate to air our dirty laundry out nationwide, but we had
39.6 percent of union members in our state vote for Scott Walker and this
current administration.

That`s sad. That`s a problem that we have as union leaders and a
problem that we have as middle class citizens in our state. So we have to
get back to educating our members about the issues. And instead of just
servicing our members as unions, we have to actually mobilize and galvanize
our members and educate them on issues that directly affect their

We`re going to do that. And I`m going to take this message all across
the state. If you want to come to be part of this fight, go to and we will continue this fight. We`re working for
middle class citizens. That`s what we`re going to continue to do, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Mahlon Mitchell, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks
for jumping in the fight. Appreciate it so much. Good to see Americans do
what they`ve got to do.

Before there was Lin-sanity, there was Tebow-mania. What will happen
to Tim Tebow with Payton Manning joining the Denver Broncos? Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: It hasn`t been too long since Tebow mania was running wild
in America. The popular Broncos quarterback was such a sensation, his name
was even working its way into the presidential campaign.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: There are a lot of folks that said Tim
Tebow wasn`t going to be a very good NFL quarterback. Let me tell you, I
hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.


SCHULTZ: Rick Perry, it turns out, you were right. You`re gone from
the presidential campaign and Tim Tebow is soon to be gone from the Denver
Broncos. Peyton Manning is reportedly ironing out the final details of a
deal to bring the four time MVP quarterback and Super Bowl champion to the
team that John Elway built.

Look, this is a great move. You`ve got to see this one coming, folks.
I mean, they got a great defense. Manning want to be a star, obviously.
He wants to got to a team with a great defense.

This, of course, leaves Tim Tebow as the odd man out. Not really. He
may be listed as trade bait right now, and they may be able to make a deal
for him, but this guy has a lot of football left in him. He won a bunch of
games for the Broncos and has a lot of room to improve in his play.

ESPN reported Jacksonville and Miami are the top targets for Tebow`s
services, but plenty of cities would welcome Tebow mania. I mean, in
Denver, what are they going to do with all those Tebow jerseys?

Tebow didn`t even play a full season with the Denver Broncos, but his
jersey was number two best selling jersey in the entire NFL. So we know
one thing, it was right behind Aaron Rogers, who was the top selling jersey
and league MVP.

So what does it say about Tebow`s football skills? Well, he`ll only
get better, but there`s no denying that the guy is good for the economy.
Hey, Vikings, figure it out. He`s pretty good.

The polls are looking good for Mitt Romney in Illinois ahead of
tomorrow`s primary. But his winning strategy, it is full of lies, again.
Bob Shrum sets him straight next.


SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked you if the shooter was black
and the victim was white, would there have been an arrest? Ninety eight
percent of you say yes; two percent of you say no.

Coming up, Mitt Romney pumps out more lies about the president`s
control over gas prices. I`ll talk to Bob Shrum next about that.

And don`t forget to listen to me on Sirius XM Radio, channel 127,
Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 PM. Follow me on Twitter @EdShow, and
like THE ED SHOW on Facebook. We`re right back. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, Mitt Romney spent the weekend
trying to fool the American people again. First he said President Obama
campaigned on raising gas prices and his policies have pushed up the cost.
But gas prices have fluctuated significantly due to market forces. It`s an
out right lie to say President Obama has been deliberately increasing the
cost of gas.

Second, Romney said his victory in the Puerto Rico primary proves that
the GOP can win the Latino vote. In reality, the only thing it proves is
conservative Puerto Rican voters chose Mitt Romney over Rick Santorum, the
guy who told them to go learn English.

Finally, Mitt Romney delivered this whopper about the war in


ROMNEY: What`s happening right now is an example of failed
leadership. The president needs to be more engaged and interacting with
not only our commanders there, but also with leadership in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But would you accelerate the withdrawal?

ROMNEY: Well, the timing of withdrawal is going to be dependent upon
what you hear from the conditions on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you taking a stand here while much of your
party is souring on Afghanistan?

ROMNEY: Well, before I take a stand on a particular course of action,
I want to get the input from the people who are there.


SCHULTZ: So Mitt Romney has enough information to accuse the
president of the United States of having failed leadership, but he doesn`t
have enough information to come up with an alternative policy. We have
been in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, billions of dollars weekly
spent. Mitt Romney has been running for president for how long? Six

How can he not know enough to take a stand? Let`s turn to Bob Shrum,
Democratic strategist, professor at NYU. Bob, great to have you with us.
Those are three examples right there. How does this play, do you think?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, of course, he
doesn`t take a stand until he consults his political advantage. That`s
what has really happened on the Afghanistan question. He knows where the
public is, but he also knows where a lot of the forces in his party are.

The statement about the president saying that he wanted higher gas
prices when he was campaigning in 2008 is an outright law. The fact
checkers have called it that. Romney doesn`t really care about whether his
hair is on fire, though, as long as he`s pleasing the fire brands in his
own party.

The fact is what`s happened to gas prices is rising international
powers like China and India are upping their demand. We`re having an
economic recovery, which increases demand. Finally, and this is the thing
the Republicans can`t deal with, the president has opened up more domestic
reserves to -- to drilling than were ever opened up under President Bush.

We now have a glut of natural gas. We`re less dependent on foreign
oil than we were a few years ago. But these other economic forces are
pushing the prices up.

SCHULTZ: Well, the Republicans are clearly developing this narrative
that it`s all President Obama`s fault. How do they fight it back? And do
you think it`s hurting them in the polls?

SHRUM: So far, I think the Republicans look absurd on a lot of this
stuff. I think Romney`s looked absurd. I mean, he began that statement,
by the way, that you had on earlier by saying president ought fire his
advisors. Romney always wants to fire everybody. It`s the way he made his

And if you implemented his economic policies, a lot of people would be

So no, I don`t think it has a lot of bite to it. Today, he went even
further, Ed. He said that President Obama has outlawed Thomas Edison`s
light bulb. First of all, the light bulb efficiency legislation was signed
by President Bush. And secondly, it doesn`t outlaw the incandescent bulb.
It just sets better energy standards for it. He just makes stuff up.

SCHULTZ: Yes, no doubt. Well, he`s also making up the fact that he
thinks the Latino vote is going to go to the Republicans

SHRUM: Well, look, he`s getting one out of six Latino votes. As Karl
Rove said some years ago, it`s very hard for a Republican to get elected
president without getting about 40 percent of the Latino vote. Bush got 44
percent. I painfully remember that in 2004.

But you`re not going to get the Latino vote. Romney`s not. The
Republicans aren`t when they talk the way they do about immigration,
immigrants and Hispanics. It`s just not going to happen. They`re the
anti-Hispanic party in this country right now.

SCHULTZ: And what about tomorrow night, Illinois? Romney is up by
15. If he wins that, is that somewhat of a turning point? What do you
think? He would have won Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. It`s a big part of
the country.

SHRUM: He`s going to win tomorrow night. He`s going to win by a
substantial margin. And he is going to win because Republicans are
resigning themselves to him. Look, the people running against him are
absurd. He`s running up against a hot air balloon named Newt Gingrich, who
isn`t even on the campaign trail -- he`s in an expensive restaurant in
Washington. And he`s running against the anti-contraception candidate,
Rick Santorum.

He`s barely going to make it through competing against two guys who
seem to come from Monty Python.

SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now.


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