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The Ed Show for Thursday, May 24, 2012

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Eugene Robinson, Sam Stein, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Tom Barrett; Ilyse Hogue; Michael
Medved; Jack Rice; Ted Deutch

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

Mitt Romney`s education tour hit a brick wall in the City of Brotherly
Love today. Parents and teachers rejecting his plans to privatize schools
and line the pockets of his fat cat friends.

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m told about the success
of these institutions and this institution in particular.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Mitt Romney`s make-believe world of education
that`s not succeeding. The teachers tell Romney he`s wrong on class sizes.
And the mayor tells him to get out.

MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER (D), PHILADELPHIA: I don`t understand why he`s
here today.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Eugene Robinson and Sam Stein on Mitt Romney`s ugly
day in West Philly.

Rick Scott is the new Katherine Harris. Democrats are mounting a new
defense against a massive voter suppression effort in Florida. I`ll talk
to the congressman leading the effort.

Congressman Mike Coffman is now changing his excuse for attacking the

REP. MIKE COFFMAN (D), COLORADO: I misspoke and apologize.

SCHULTZ: And Scott Walker is going national to survive his recall.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: If they affirm me on the vote on
June 5th, I think it sends a powerful message not only around Wisconsin but
around the country.

SCHULTZ: Walker`s reinforcements have arrived in Wisconsin. His
challenger Tom Barrett joins me tonight.


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

President Bush famously asked the question, "Is our children
learning?" Mitt Romney is asking, "Are we making enough money off them?"

The Republican candidate stopped in West Philadelphia today. He was
visiting an urban charter school to promote the success of for-profit


ROMNEY: I`m told about the success of these institutions you helped
found and this institution in particular, and would love to get your
perspective on what makes it work.


SCHULTZ: But there are real questions about whether charter schools
are working, including the one Romney visited today. The Universal Bluford
Charter School in West Philadelphia was put on warning status last year.
Only 27 percent of its student were proficient in math, only 22 percent
proficient in reading.

The education objectives of the state of Pennsylvania called for 67
proficiency in math and 72 percent in reading. So, they are behind.

Romney told the audience classroom size -- well, it has nothing to do
with school performance. But the teachers he spoke with today took issue
with Romney`s logic.


STEVEN MORRIS, TEACHER: I can`t think of any teacher in the whole
time I`ve been teach teaching 10 years, 13 years, who would say they would
-- more students would benefit them.

ROMNEY: Of course.

MORRIS: I can`t think of a parent that would say, I would like my
teacher to be in a room with a lot of kids and only one teacher.

RONALD BENNER, TEACHER: You can give more personalized attention to
each student if you have a smaller class size. So, I have to agree with
Mr. Morris.

DAVID HARDY, CHARTER SCHOOL CEO: In first through third grades, if
the class size is under 18, those kids stay ahead of everybody else all the
way through school, including classes where you might have 25 in the class
and co-teachers.


SCHULTZ: I mean, class size. This is basic stuff, basic
understanding how teachers achieve. Actual teachers and administrators
gave Romney real live input about the situation in their schools.

This was his response.


ROMNEY: A think tank type group went around the world and looked at
schools in Singapore and Finland and South Korea and the United States and
looked at the differences, and said, gosh, in the schools that the highest
performing in the world, their classroom sizes are about the same in the
United States.


SCHULTZ: Did he say around the world? You mean Mitt Romney has a
worldly view of education and not American? In other words, forget the
real life experiences of teachers in the classroom, Mitt Romney will listen
to what a think tank tells him?

He doesn`t have to do anything and he doesn`t know anything about
overcrowding or underfunding when it comes to schools and what it will do
to them. Romney doesn`t seem to care, just like he didn`t care when he was
the governor of Massachusetts.

In his first year, Romney cut education funding to close a $1.2
billion budget gap.

The cuts caused local taxes to go up.

They also caused layoffs of more than 14,000 teachers, police
officers, librarians and other public employees. In 1999, Mitt Romney
said, we don`t need to spend more on education. In his book titled "No
Apology", Romney wrote the effort to reduce classroom size may actually
hurt education more than it helps.

This is why there were protesters in the streets of west Philadelphia
today when Mitt Romney showed up to talk education.

Philadelphia Mayor Mike Nutter held Mitt Romney to his record on


NUTTER: Romney has always opposed investing in our children`s
education. Again, I don`t understand why he`s here today.


SCHULTZ: We know exactly why Mitt Romney was there. He wasn`t making
an appeal to students of parents of inner city. Romney was letting
Republicans know he`s committed to privatizing the education in America and
turning a profit on grade school students. It`s all about the money.

In his new education proposal, Romney promotes more direct funding,
federal funding for charter schools, more digital education, and more state
control over public education costs. "We must provide families with
abundant school choice among both traditional, public schools, and charter
and online alternatives."

Romney doesn`t care if the class sizes are overcrowded. More students
means more money. To keep the schools in the blacks, students are just
another spot on the ledger, another number on the bottom line.

It`s the Romney family way, get a load of this. Take the private
equity firm Solamere Capital, for instance. Romney invested $10 million
into Solamere. The firm`s managing partner is Romney`s son, Tagg Romney.
Solamere has an investment stakes in TA Associates, which is the owner of
several for-profit schools.

How about that? Folks, it isn`t about education. It`s about making a

Privatizing education takes care of a lot of Republican problems.
Number one, it weakens and maybe kills the unions. It allows funding cuts
for public schools, so governors can run wild with the budget and hurt

Most importantly, it increases the profit margins of people like Mitt
Romney and his son. The education of future generations takes a back seat
to all of this. For-profit -- is that where we want to go in America?
There are instances where these charter schools are not performing as well
as the public schools.

So, how would you feel as a parent if you found out the school is
making money but your kid is behind? Why? Well, they had to make cuts
because they wanted to make some more money.

This is the not what the Founding Fathers had for this country. And
Mitt Romney all of a sudden has a worldly view of education? Gosh, I
remember the Republicans really going after John Kerry in 2004 because he
was kind of like the French. Maybe Romney picked that up on one of his

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: Do you trust Mitt Romney with public education? Text A for yes,
text B for no, to 622639. And you can always go to our blog at and leave a comment, we love that. We`ll bring you the
results later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Sam Stein, political reporter of "The Huffington
Post", and Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political analyst and associate editor
and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the "Washington Post."

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

Eugene, this system to me seems like it could be set up to short
change kids if somebody thinks we could make more money if we just did it a
different way at these charter schools. I know that you have researched
and written a lot about charter schools.

Would Romney`s world drastically change public education in this

You know, there are some good charter schools and there are some bad
charter schools. That`s kind of the issue.

Charter schools are not a panacea. And there`s no way education in
this country going to be fixed without primary focus on public schools.
Public schools educate the children of America. You`ve got to focus on
public schools if you`re really going to have impact.

So, let`s not pretend that we`re going to get anywhere if Romney, say,
Romney really wanted to go whole hog on privatization of education. Let`s
not pretend that he would get very far at all.

And some of the ideas he seems to have about class size are frankly
just ignorant. He doesn`t seem to be aware of the research.

SCHULTZ: They`re absolutely archaic. I mean, he is down to the
basics and fundamentals of, you know, teacher-student ratio in the
classroom and results. This guy wants to be president of the United

Sam, does Romney`s education record in Massachusetts pose a problem
for him?

SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, I think so, because, you know,
in concept, people will agree with -- OK, education department, education
funding could be trimmed, a lot of fat there, we can streamlined it. But
he did put it in practice in Massachusetts. He made some cuts. He tried
to merge several institutions and it was incredibly unpopular if not

I think what he`s trying to do now is very similar. I think when
people start asking, "What does it mean for me and my kid" -- that`s when
they have a problem with it.

With respect to class size thing, I mean, this all goes back into the
budget battles. Back in September, the president wanted $30 billion more
for express purposes of saving back 230,000 teacher jobs. If Romney were
to say, yes, we would like more teachers in the classroom, I agree with the
concept of smaller class sizes, he would then be asked the follow-up
question, well, what do you do -- how do you get that $30 billion passed?

SCHULTZ: Eugene, the conservatives love to talk about American
exceptionalism and now their candidate is around the country talking about
how they do it in other countries. And we ought to be doing like that.
What do you make of that?

ROBINSON: That is -- I call it situational exceptionalism. You know,
when it`s convenient, we`re for American exceptionalism. When it`s not
convenient, we want to look around the globe and look for best practices.

You know, the fascinating thing, though, getting back to the teacher`s
question, that`s something Romney wasn`t talking about. And what current
research does tell us is that having a great teacher in the classroom and
reasonable class size makes all the difference, makes a huge amount of
difference. And so, the real discussion is how do you get great teachers
in the classroom, how do you take experienced teachers and those who aren`t
performing, bring them along and bring in new teachers. That`s kind of the

But he doesn`t want to talk about teachers because he doesn`t want to
employ them.

STEIN: And because it means money. I mean, you have to pay these
people to be there. And I looked up to the statistics, in 2011, 68 percent
of schools said they had to eliminate teacher positions because they just
didn`t have the budget money. This is a problem that actually requires
checks. There`s just no money under Romney`s budget to do it.

SCHULTZ: Well, it seems to me that Romney doesn`t understand what
tutoring is all about. That one-on-one personal connection, that focus
that you can have on the student that needs to be catching up a little bit.
He`s making the case, heck, if you put more kids around this kid, he`s got
a better chance of learning.

Here`s one of Romney`s biggest solution for improving school


ROMNEY: Having two parents in the home makes an enormous difference.
Thinking of the kids of tomorrow, trying to help move people to understand,
you know, getting married and having families where there`s a mom and dad
together has a big impact. And that`s -- in my view, that`s critical down
the road.


SCHULTZ: I didn`t know schools could get involved in social
engineering and control the home life of a lot of these kids. I mean,
Eugene, how is a two-parent home a valid education policy? I mean, how
would that work?

ROBINSON: Well, I don`t know. A whole lot of people are going to be
sent to the principal`s office, I guess.

I mean, this is -- you know, you talk to people who work in troubled
schools. Obviously, home life and family life, a variety of issues, not
just single parent families, but also housing and nutrition and other
health issues play a role in student performance and students` abilities to

That said, what are you going to do about it? If it affects education
from the standpoint of starting from the standpoint of the schools -- let`s
first work on the classroom. Let`s work on what happens in the classroom
because that`s what you can control.

SCHULTZ: Sam, why did he go to Philadelphia?

STEIN: I don`t know. I think part of it was that he just wanted to
show that even in these Democratic bastions, there are problems that a
Republican governor can deal with. But not a very smart choice of venue
because you had teachers speaking up against the proposal, you have the
statistics that you brought up early in the program.

It`s a curious choice for venue. Obviously, Philadelphia is not going
to go Republican, but I think he wanted to stick a thumb in the eye of the

SCHULTZ: Union teachers do not work in charter schools.

Same Stein, Eugene Robinson -- great to have you, gentlemen, with us
tonight. Thanks so much.

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

Congressman Mike Coffman is still trying to apologize for saying
President Obama is not an American. His apology, in my opinion, is still

Katrina Vanden Heuvel joins me for the discussion.

And Mitt Romney, he is siding with Rush Limbaugh, when it comes to
attacking President Obama?

Michael Medved, Jack Rice and Elise Hope (ph) will weigh on that, and
so much more. Coming up.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Congressman Kaufman has a brand new excuse for
his attack on President Obama. And it`s a dandy. "The Nation`s" Katrina
Vanden Heuvel on the right wing hatred of the president and how it has to

Governor Rick Scott wants to purge 180,000 voters off the roles in the
state of Florida. I`ll talk to a Florida congressman who was trying to
stop Scott`s voter suppression.

And Tom Barrett has some tough questions for Scott Walker about the
John Doe investigation and a new ad, and at a debate coming up tomorrow
night. Mayor Barrett joins me here on THE ED SHOW later on in this hour.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. We are coming right


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado is still trying to do a 180 from
his assertion that President Obama is just not an American. Today, he
wrote an opinion piece in the "Denver Post." He says, "Since 2008, I have
rejected the notion that he is anything other than American. Last
Saturday, I made an inappropriate and boneheaded comment. I should not
have questioned the president`s devotion to our country. I believe
President Obama love this country and wakes up every morning trying to do
what is best for our nation, even if I disagree with his approach."

That is what -- this is what Coffman said last Saturday.


REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: I don`t know whether Barack Obama
was born in this United States or not. I don`t know that. But I do know
this: that at his heart, he`s not an American. He`s just not an American.


SCHULTZ: He later apologized in a statement and on camera, he said


COFFMAN: I think that -- I stand by my statement that I misspoke and
I apologize.

REPORTER: OK. And who are you apologizing to?

COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement I misspoke and I

REPORTER: I apologize -- we talk to you all the time. You`re a very
forthcoming guy. Who`s telling you not to talk and to handle it like this?

COFFMAN: I stand by my statement that I wrote, that you have, and I
misspoke and I apologize.

REPORTER: Was it that you thought it would go over well in Elbert
County where folks are very conservative and you`d never say something like
that in the suburbs?

COFFMAN: I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.

REPORTER: Is there anything I can ask you that you`ll answer

COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I


SCHULTZ: His piece in "The Denver Post" is still not enough. He
needs to match sound for sound and apologize on America -- maybe a live
interview with that reporter at the TV station in Denver.

Here are Republicans who have recently questioned President Obama`s
citizenship. How about Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida, Congresswoman
Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who did
his own 180, and how about the Iowa Republican Party wanting to put it on
their platform.

This continues to fester because Republican leadership just will not
shut it down. Even the Republican candidate for president uses birther
Donald Trump as his biggest fund-raiser.

Here`s the latest example -- a chance to dine with Donald and Mitt.

Let`s bring in Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of "The
Nation" magazine.

Katrina, great to have you tonight.


SCHULTZ: Isn`t this an issue of leadership?

VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, I hate that we have to sit here tonight on
the people`s air waves and talk about it. But I think we do. because a
party like a fish rots from the top. And we have here something we`ve seen
through American history. Richard Hofstadter, the socialist, wrote a book,
"The Paranoid Style in American Politics."

We`ve seen this, but now we have FOX News an adjunct to the Tea Party.
And we are witnessing a Republican Party unwilling to fully, vigorously
repudiate these wing-nut crack nut theories and allow this to fester in a
way that brings out the worst bigotry and ugliness in --

SCHULTZ: How should Boehner handle it? How should Boehner handle it?
What should he do?

VANDEN HEUVEL: He should end -- but not just Boehner, I think Mitt
Romney and the entire Republican Party needs to say, we need to call a halt
to this.

But here`s the problem, Ed -- they have in the Republican Party a
small fringe base they`re afraid of not appeasing. But let`s not forget,
we`re living at a time when we have a media system with ideologically
driven misinformation over at FOX, which is not a news organization in my
view. You have a few days ago, one of their leading news anchors, report
the story of Arizona secretary of state suggesting that President Obama be
taken off the ballot because Hawaii could not confirm his birth
certificate, reporting that as a legitimate news story.

FOX News is owned by Robert Murdoch. Roger Ailes controls it. And
they are spreading this misinformation.

It is time, I believe, for journalists to call on this country, on the
Republican Party, on others, to say we cannot live in a moment when you can
have your opinions but you don`t have a right to your own facts. And truth
is not equal distant between Thomas Jefferson and say Joseph Stalin.

SCHULTZ: Speaker Boehner was asked by "The New York Times." He said
the speaker has told his members repeatedly that this year is going to be a
referendum on the president`s economic policies and that`s where our focus
should remain. They haven`t done that.

VANDEN HEUVEL: They haven`t done that, because listen, it goes back
again. President Obama arrives -- you`re dealing in a country, Ed, where I
do think the Tea Party, to be most benign about it is primarily white, it
is witnessing a country changing around it. It feels angry, feels --

SCHULTZ: The diversity.

VANDEN HEUVEL: The diversity. And let`s not mince words. You know,
President Franklin Roosevelt was called a socialist. The John Birch
Society wanted to attack Kennedy for being all kinds of things.

But President Barack Obama is the first African-American president in
our country`s history. This is an enormous step of progress, civilizing
events. And the Tea Party and these birthers hate it.

SCHULTZ: What should the congressman from Colorado do? I mean, he`s
getting the focus and the intention right now. I think --

VANDEN HEUVEL: I don`t think it should be focused on these people,
Ed. I really think it needs to be focused on the candidate of the
Republican Party and there must be a call on the Republican establishment
to disavow --

SCHULTZ: So, what do you think Mitt Romney should do?

VANDEN HEUVEL: He should make the equivalent. Let me -- I hate to
put the two together because President Obama`s race speech was so
important. But I think he must call on the birthers and those in this
movement to stop the disgrace that they are bringing on America and make an
important speech.

I don`t think so because I think they`re very worried --

SCHULTZ: But he`s fund-raising with them.

VANDEN HEUVEL: He`s in bed with them in many ways. They have
created, they let foster and fester something that is not new, I have to
admit. We have seen it. It`s a paranoid fringe, but it has given more


VANDEN HEUVEL: We should -- on some level I feel we shouldn`t be
talking about it, but we have to call it out for what it is.

SCHULTZ: There`s no doubt. Katrina Vanden Heuvel --


SCHULTZ: -- great to have you with us tonight. Thank you.

Next, Congressman Ted Deutsche says Florida Governor Rick Scott wants
to play the role of Katherine Harris in this election. Scott is pushing to
remove voters from voting rolls. Congressman Deutsche will join me next.

Later, 12 days until we go to the polls in Wisconsin, Scott Walker`s
recall election. And the governor`s association -- well, they`re just
jumping in big time and he`s bringing in the artillery.

My commentary is ahead. Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the key battleground of the state
of Florida by four points, according to the latest NBC/Marist poll. It`s
going to be a tight race.

But, luckily for Mitt Romney, Republican Governor Rick Scott is
lending a hand. Scott`s former secretary of state, Curt Browning, told
"The Associated Press," the governor had urged him to come up with a list
of people who are registered to vote in Florida but ineligible to do so.
Browning told the "Associated Press" that Scott specifically asked him
whether non-citizens were voting in elections. Browning reportedly told
him that non-citizens who voted risked being charged with a crime.

Scott told him, "Well, people lie." Browning responded, "Yes, people
do. But we have always had to err on the side of the voter."

Not anymore. After Browning resigned earlier this year, Scott went
ahead with his plan and now his current secretary of state, Ken Detzner,
claims 180,000 Florida voters may be ineligible because they are non-
citizens. Detzner has sent a letter to thousands of potentially ineligible
voter. A "Miami Herald" computer analysis of election records found that
Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters are the most likely to
be targeted by the state.

Now, Florida election officials are questioning the accuracy of the
database used to create this purged list.

Seminole County supervisor of elections, Mike Ertel, a Republican,
tweeted this picture,. That`s Ertel standing next to a voter falsely
identified as ineligible, holding up his passport.

Now, this is a story that is all too familiar. As Think Progress
points out, in 1998, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris ordered a
similar purge list. That list was also full of errors.

By one estimate, 7,000 Florida voters were wrongly removed from the
voter rolls for the 2000 presidential election 13 times George W. Bush`s
margin of victory in that state after the Supreme Court halted the post
election recount.

Joining me tonight with us here in New York is Congressman Ted Deutch
of Florida.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. This could be a game
changer if they follow through on that or am I wrong on that ?

REP. TED DEUTCH (D), FLORIDA: You are absolutely right, Ed.

Look. There is a concerted effort nationwide to disenfranchise
voters. And if you look on what`s happening in Florida is the best
example. We have seen new laws passed it, make it harder to vote. Cut
down the number of early voting sites and make it harder for people to
register to vote.

Now comes this, the governor of Florida putting together a list of
180,000 people and going in to say, if you`re on this list, you lose the
right to vote. We need to address this.

SCHULTZ: This is all about swing in Florida to the Republicans?

DEUTCH: I don`t think there`s any question.

SCHULTZ: Ok. Now, you say that he`s playing the role of Katherine


SCHULTZ: They`re playing out of the old playbook.

DEUTCH: I do. Look. We are less than 90 days until a primary
election. The governor now has this list of 180,000. They sent out
notices to the first 2600 voters because they are the ones they were
certain would be ineligible. And we have already found - we found
veterans. We found retirees. People you showed that tweet earlier, people
eligible to vote, they are getting notices to say, you know what, if you
don`t respond to this notice and send in eligibility proof that you are a
citizen, then your name is going to be removed from the polls.

SCHULTZ: Your constituents are being targeted What do you tell them
to do? What do they have to do?

DEUTCH: Well, we`re doing - what we are doing first and foremost is
telling the governor he has to stop this. He has got to put a hole --

SCHULTZ: He isn`t going to stop, is he?

DEUTCH: I don`t know if he is. This is an issue that is not a
partisan issue. This is a matter of preserving the right to vote, that`s
what`s at stake here. That`s why we are going to ask the governor to put a
halt to this.

In the meantime, we are getting phone calls from constituents who
point out that they don`t understand why they receive this notice. That
they are eligible to vote. We are telling them that they should go ahead
and comply even as we continue to fight this effort to disenfranchise
Florida`s voters.

SCHULTZ: What should Obama for America do about this? They have the
infrastructure to contact these folks, I`m sure.


SCHULTZ: This is a big national story here.

DEUTCH: It is. And it`s important for the people in Florida who
received these notices to understand what`s at stake if this governor
succeeds. They have to complete this form and send it out. the form says,
if you don`t respond, your name will be taken off the voting rolls.
Imagine if you misplace it, imagine if you show up to vote and suddenly
your name has been scrubbed from the voting rolls. We got to take this

SCHULTZ: And the process to identify these voters is considered
flawed, no question about that?

DEUTCH: Ed, there`s no transparency. We don`t know where this idea
came from. We don`t know if the governor is working with outside groups.
All we know is that there are 180,000 names and they tend to be named from
that independent analysis to vote democrat.

SCHULTZ: And you have communicated to the governor`s office via
letter. Have you got any response yet?

DEUTCH: I tell you what we do. We circulated a letter among all of
my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans in Florida to ask them to sign on.
I have a sneaking suspicion that my Republicans may not be - my Republican
colleagues may not be interested. We are going to send it to the governor
and demand he stop this.

SCHULTZ: We will do this story again and again. This is a big deal.
And now, it`s really information getting your constituents to understand on
what they have to do next but also, not to get discouraged. I mean, this
is how these Republicans play the game.

DEUTCH: The whole plan here is to suppress voter turnout whether by
scrubbing the roles or whether by convincing people that it`s just so
difficult. That`s what we have to keep reminding them. They can`t give

SCHULTZ: Congressman Ted Deutch, great to have you with us. Thanks
so much.

DEUTCH: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Lots more coming up in the next half hour of "the Ed Show."
Stay with us. We are right back.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There`s no question but them
he`s attacking capitalism. He doesn`t understand how free economy works.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney doesn`t have the spine to disagree with Rush
Limbaugh. The big panel is here to discuss it tonight.

Another union busting Republican showing up in Wisconsin to defend
Scott Walker.

GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We will fight the unions and I
will keep being a union buster.

SCHULTZ: There`s a big debate tomorrow night. Mayor Tom Barrett is
here. And I will ask him if the John Doe investigation surrounding Scott
Walker is fair game. And is Walker telling the truth on job numbers.




RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO SHOW HOST: I can`t think of another presidential
candidate in history who has ever tried to win the presidency by running
against capitalism.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show." Of course, that was Limbaugh
attacking President Obama`s record. Now, Mitt Romney, well, he is siding
with Limbaugh. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST: Governor, would you go as far as Rush
Limbaugh did yesterday in saying this is the first president in modern time
who is going to run a campaign against capitalism?

ROMNEY: Well, it certainly sounds like that`s what he`s doing.
There`s no question but that he`s attacking capitalism. In part, I think,
because he doesn`t understand how the free economy works. He `s never had
a job in the free economy. Either has vice president Biden. They spent
their lives as either community organizers or members of the political


SCHULTZ: All right. The big panel tonight.

Let`s turn to Jack Rice, Ilyse Hogue, Michael Medved. We have a
conservative, liberal and middle of the road for you tonight folks.

Michael, let`s start with you. Can you give us - maybe I`m missing
something here. Can you give us some concrete examples of President Obama
running against capitalism?

what Mitt Romney is responding to is all the attacks on his success in Bain
Capital. And part of what he means here, is what he did in Bain Capital is
basically take over a lot of companies when he was running the company and
in 80 percent of those occasions, they transitioned and they actually
helped those companies become more profitable.

There is a great deal in the Obama campaign that seems to suggest that
there is something obscene or wrong or dubious about seeking to turn
companies around and make a profit. And the fact is that I wouldn`t use
the term he`s running against capitalism. I think that`s a stupid term. I
would say that this has been a president who has been distinctly anti-
business because people in America know --

SCHULTZ: How has he been anti-business? He`s given all kinds of tax
breaks to business. He has put all kinds of incentives on the table. He
has given wall street just about everything they want.

Jack Rice, your thoughts.

JACK RICE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I absolutely agree. He`s gone over
and over again at this issue. It`s another example with no matter what he
says, it doesn`t fit the paradigm the GOP is trying to argue. I think the
fact President Obama is willing to stand up and support all Americans
including working Americans, including the poor, that just mean he`s
actually being responsive. It doesn`t mean that he is being anti anti-

SCHULTZ: Ilyse, does this mean that whatever Rush Limbaugh says, Mitt
Romney is going to get along with it. First, he was hesitant to answer
that, then he jumped right in.

ILYSE HOGUE, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Yes. I mean, this is really
putting a challenge up for old etch-a-sketch Romney, isn`t it, Ed? I mean,
this is a trick for Republicans, on one hand, they want to paint he`s too
close to wall street with bailouts and the other hand, he is running
against capitalism.

Look. I think the bottom line is most Americans can tell the
difference between vulture capitalism as Governor Perry said in the primary
and good old-fashioned American pre-market economy that offers everyone
equal opportunity. And that`s what President Obama is trying to bring the
economy back to after it was driven into a ditch by eight years as George

SCHULTZ: Michael, would you admit Romney went in to businesses to get
money. He didn`t go in to create jobs. There`s a difference here.

MEDVED: Absolutely right, Ed. But, there is no way to create jobs
unless you have corporations that are making money. Unless you have
corporation that are actually profitable and you have an economy that is

SCHULTZ: He was going after companies that had big pensions and had
war chests. They went in, paid themselves big fee, gutted the place,
bankrupted and walked with, you know, $100 million in one case of Ampad.

MEDVED: OK. But you see, the problem with what you`re saying, Ed, is
you are assuming that the people on wall street supposed to be so cunning
and so conniving they would somehow not get the idea that this was the
means of procedure of Bain Capital.

The truth is it wasn`t. Most of the times they went in and bought
companies, they put money into those companies and they turned them around
and sold them for a profit. Look.

SCHULTZ: Turn them around. Their issue was not to turn them around.
They only bought companies that were good in making money so they could
raid them. They didn`t buy companies that were losing money.

MEDVED: Incorrect. The GST company - this GST company, the steel
company in Kansas city that Obama featured in his ads was losing money big

SCHULTZ: That`s a cyclical business. You know that.

MEDVED: The president of the company said that had Bain not come in,
that they would have closed eight years before they did.

SCHULTZ: Michael, what about the stories these people are telling?
this guy has gone in and ruined the lives to take profit.

Jack, your thoughts on that.

RICE: Absolutely. That is exactly we have seen. We have seen the
hacking and raiding of companies not for the benefit. This wasn`t for the
benefit of America, the benefit of Mitt Romney. And the problem is that
cyclical difference and ramifications were massive for America. It was
very negative but he never cared particularly about that.

SCHULTZ: Hold on, hold on. Here is Romney defending his record at
Bain. Here it is.


ROMNEY: With regards to Bain Capital, they just put a report out
about their record, the Bain Capital guys did. They noted they made about
350 investments since the beginning of the firm. And of those investments,
80 percent of them grew their revenues. So, I`m pretty confident the
overall record of the enterprise I helped begin is one that`s pretty solid.


SCHULTZ: And the other 20 percent, the hell with them, right, Ilyse?
I mean, what do you think?

HOGUE: Well, I also I think that Mitt Romney is trying to distract
from his record as governor of Massachusetts where the deficit went up and
the job creation went down. Look. I think all of this is a way to keep
the focus off of him and throw attacks at the president to put him on the
defense. Because Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican party knows
that he can`t stand on his record whether it is at Bain or whether as
governor of Massachusetts.

SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Mike.

MEDVED: The basic question the American people are going to ask right
now is do we want to continue the country in the direction it`s been going
in the last 3 1/2 years.


MEDVED: And it has nothing to do -- Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in
1993. And I honestly believe that if you take a look at the percentage of
successful ventures that he had and this is the point about running against
capitalism or running against business.

SCHULTZ: Nobody is running against capitalism, Mike, I want, you
know, just to clarify here. It is Mitt Romney who is citing his experience
at Bain Capital that makes him qualified to be president of the United

MEDVED: I understand. But if -- would you agree that somebody said
earlier just a moment ago, that what about the 20 percent of businesses
that failed? The truth is that capitalism means sometimes you win,
sometimes you lose.

If you succeed 80 percent of the time, then you`re one of the most
successful business men in American history which Mitt Romney is.

RICE: The problem we have in the end, this is not about job creation.
This was about profit for Bain and for Romney. And that`s the real problem
that Americans are looking at.

MEDVED: Profit and job creation are not contradictory.

SCHULTZ: Ilyse, go ahead.

HOGUE: And what Michael is ignoring is the fact that sometimes people
lose. But the way that Mitt Romney ran Bain, he never lost. His million
dollar investors never lost. The people who always who are on the losing
end of the stick were middle class Americans who were just trying to do
their jobs and get ahead.

SCHULTZ: All right, Jack Rice, Ilyse Hogue and Michael Medved. We
will have you back. Great to have you with us. Thanks for joining the

Union bussing governor Nikki Haley is campaigning for Scott Walker in
Wisconsin. She says if Walker loses, it will be a major hit for
Republicans everywhere. Democrats, not all the motivation. The latest on
the Walker recall, next.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Republican governors come out in support of Scott
Walker, find out what the recall elections means to them, next.

And to the big finish, Walker`s challenger Tom Barrett, Milwaukee
mayor joins me ahead of this first debate with the governor tomorrow night.

You can listen me to my radio show on Sirius XM radio channel 127,
Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. Follow me on twitter @edshow and
like "the Ed Show" on facebook.

We are coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Well, Republican support is pouring in for Scott Walker with
only 12 days to go before the Louisiana election. Louisiana Governor Bobby
Jindal appeared at a fund-raiser with Walker today, South Carolina
governor, Nikki Haley is set campaign with Walker next week. Haley is a
fierce opponent of unions and affirmed that view on FOX News last night.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We are going to keep fighting
the unions. I`m going to keep being a union buster. We are going to keep
talking about tax relief and we are going to keep bringing jobs to South
Carolina. There is a reason South Carolina is the new "it" states and it`s
because we`re a union buster and it`s because we continue to be fiscally
responsible and business friendly.


SCHULTZ: What do they have against people making a living? Then she
went on to explain why she is helping Walker.


HALEY: If he loses this, it will take the spine out of ever governor
across this country. If he wins it, we will see more power and strength
the cause of the governors in this country than we have ever seen before.
I`m going in there to help him win.


SCHULTZ: They are desperate. Governor Walker also stressed the
importance of winning his recall on the national level.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: It`s about ultimately our state, if
they affirm me on the vote on June 5th, I think, sends a powerful message
not only around Wisconsin but the country.


SCHULTZ: That is exactly why Republicans are all in on this one.
They know if Walker loses, Republican governors across the country will
take a major hit. Their template for union busting will be destroyed and
they will lose power.

But, there is another reason why Walker is calling in reinforcements.
The Barrett campaign released a new poll today from GarinHartYang. It
shows Scott Walker with only two points on Tom Barrett. Barrett has only
been campaigning for a month, and how much money has Walker spent, almost
$20 million. Well within the margin of error, this poll is.

It also has them in a dead heat among people who are certain to vote.
Beyond polling, the DNC is also finally getting involved. They sent an e-
mail to supporters asking them to contribute to Barrett. It`s up to
Democrats across the country to help win this thing. The outcome is
important to anyone who supports Democratic values no matter where you
live. The e-mail went out to millions nationwide and expected to be a
boost to their campaign.

Survey tonight, I ask, do you trust Mitt Romney with public education,
2 percent of you said yes, 98 percent said no.
A day before the big debate, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett releases a new ad
slamming Scott Walker on his John Doe investigation. The Democratic recall
challenger joins me next.

Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An important message to the people of Wisconsin,
tomorrow`s debate between Tom Barrett and Scott Walker is an opportunity
for Governor Walker to tell the truth about the John Doe criminal

Governor Walker, will you release all e-mails sent and received
between you and the people in your office who have been charged and pled
guilty to criminal wrongdoing?

Will you tell us who is funding on your legal defense which has
already paid more than $100,000 to criminal lawyers?

Two simple questions to get the answers we deserved.


SCHULTZ: That was the new campaign commercial for Tom Barrett hitting
Scott Walker on his John Doe investigation. Barrett has been targeted by
the Republican Governors Association on jobs and national rifle association
with false commercials. Barrett told me today on my radio show that the
NRA is lying about his gun record. And we will get to that.

I`m joined tonight by Milwaukee mayor, Tom Barrett. Tom, good to have
you with us.


SCHULTZ: You bet. You have a debate tomorrow night with Walker.
This is the first of two and you have obviously taken out that commercial
wanting him to release the e-mails that could be between him and those who
have already admitted to felonies. Why is this important?

BARRETT: Scott Walker is the one person of the state who can tell the
people of the state whether or not he was involved in this secret e-mail
system, the secret computer network set up in his office, 25 feet from his
own personal office, three people from his staff have been charged with
felonies already. And he has not answered any questions. And he`s tried
to Bob and weave and duck and run every time he`s been asked by reporters
in this state. It`s time for him to answer this question.

SCHULTZ: Do you think this is an issue for the people of Wisconsin?
Are they concerned about this?

BARRETT: I think the people of the state of Wisconsin are concerned
Scott Walker is the only governor in this country who has criminal defense
fund, the only one. And he`s been preoccupied by this. And part of the
reason that his job numbers have been so poor, Wisconsin ranks dead last in
increasing jobs in this nation, is because he spent so much time touring
the country giving speeches to the far right and being the rock star for
the tea party and because he is being preoccupied with this scandal that
has engulfed, his administration in particular, those people who had worked
for him while he was county executive. Very, very, very distracting.

SCHULTZ: So, I take it you are going to hit this John Doe
investigation pretty hard tomorrow night in the debate. What about jobs?
There have been a couple of commercials out, in fact the department -
bureau of labor statistics says the state has over 30,000 jobs under
Walker. He is claiming he has added 30,000. Whose numbers do we believe?

BARRETT: Well, 20 days before the election, and embattled governor
comes out tries out a new set of numbers that has not been traditionally
used in this state. The numbers that I used are the bureau of labor
statistic numbers, those are used by every state, by the federal governor,
by media and even by Scott Walker himself last year when he liked those

SCHULTZ: So, is he lying about these numbers?

BARRETT: These numbers cannot be verified. We don`t know. We don`t
know whether he is or not. But I tell you this. I`m not going to not
trust those numbers until they are verified by the federal government.
That`s what I want to see. And he knew they could not be verified prior to
this election.

SCHULTZ: All right. The National Rifle Association, and it is deer
hunting is a religion, no question about that. The National Rifle
Association says that you`re a gun grabber, that you are someone that will
take away firearms of sportsmen. This is the commercial they`re playing
right now and shows the gun vanish. That`s what is going to happen if
you`re a governor. I want you to respond to that.

BARRETT: Well, I can tell you it`s a lie. Ed, it`s a lie. Because I
support the second amendment. I support hunters. I support sports people
in this state. Because I know that hunting is an important part of the
economy, of the culture, of the history of this state. And if you are a
hunter in this state, you have nothing to worry about with me. I support
your constitutional right to bear arms. I support your right to hunt.

What I`m concerned about, Scott Walker brought in a guy from Texas, a
Texas guy to deal with the deer herd in the state of Wisconsin. We don`t
need someone from Texas to deal with the deer herd in Wisconsin. And my
concern is in Wisconsin, we have always had a tradition people of all
incomes can find land where they can hunt.

I do not want to see the areas of this state constricted so that fewer
people, fewer middle class people, fewer working people in this state can
hunt. That`s how important hunting is to this state.

SCHULTZ: It has to be the first state of the union to bring in a deer
czar. I guess that would be a deer czar for the state of Wisconsin.

BARRETT: It`s a deer czar who wasn`t even here for the deer hunting

SCHULTZ: So, Walker, he can`t verify his job numbers. And if you
take his numbers and bureau of labor statistics, it would be the biggest
mistake ever I understand made by the bureau of labor statistics. It`s
over 60,000 in difference there and you`re saying the NRA is lying.

So, what is this election going to come down to?

BARRETT: It will come down first of all to trust. And whether it`s
job numbers, whether it`s a John Doe criminal proceedings, people in this
state are questioning whether they can trust this governor. Is he telling
the truth when it comes to John Doe? Why won`t he say who`s paying his
criminal defense funds? Is he telling the truth when it comes to these

As you pointed out, this would be the biggest error by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics.


BARRETT: And we`re asking people to visit our Web site to see at
Barrett for Wisconsin so they can see what the real story is.

SCHULTZ: Tom Barrett, thanks for your time tonight. We`ll obviously
follow the story.

That`s "THE ED SHOW". I`m Ed Schultz.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.


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