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The Ed Show for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guests: Bob Shrum, James Hoffa, Kelli Goff, Susan Del Percio, Wayne Powell

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

One hundred and eleven days until the 2012 election, and Mitt Romney
is ready to dig up the dirt and go personal on the president. In the words
of a former president: bring it on.

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He tries to divide America,
tear America apart.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): They tested the waters yesterday. Today, the
Romney camp is diving in.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Light our hair on fire then.

SCHULTZ: They will step up their personal attacks on the president to
try to dodge the tax issue.

I`ll ask Bob Shrum and Richard Wolffe if it has any chance of working.

ROMNEY: To say that Steve Jobs didn`t build Apple Computer or that
Bill Gates didn`t build Microsoft, or the Henry Ford didn`t build Ford
Motor Company --

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney adopts the FOX News lie about the president`s
small business comment.

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS: A lot of people were waiting for that to come

SCHULTZ: And then agrees with the full context of the president`s
comment on small business.

ROMNEY: By the way, there are a lot of people in government who help

SCHULTZ: We`ll go inside the anatomy of a FOX News lie.

And the big panel weighs in on George W. Bush`s jaw-dropping new

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Eight years was awesome. And
you know, I was famous and I was powerful.


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

Another day, another new plan of attack for the Romney campaign.
Yesterday, it was the dart board mentality. Today, it`s the kitchen sink


ROMNEY: His priority is not creating jobs for you. His priority is
trying to keep his own job, and that`s why he`s going to lose it.

He`s out of touch, he`s out of ideas, he`s out of excuses. That`s why
in November, we`ve got to get him out of office.

He divides us. He tries to divide America, tear America apart. He
tries to diminish those who have been successful in one walk of life or
another. It`s simply wrong.


SCHULTZ: So, to recap, President Obama cares about his own job and
not yours. He`s out of touch and out of excuses. And he`s a president who
is just dividing America and tearing Americans apart. You know, gone are
the days when Mitt Romney would say something nice about President Obama,
that he`s a nice guy.


ROMNEY: I think he`s a nice person. I just don`t think we can afford
him any longer.


SCHULTZ: Conservative head shakers were screaming for Mitt Romney to
stop calling Obama nice. Romney is finally listening. It started last
week with an ad calling him a liar.

Today, Romney`s camp released a new ad attacking the president for
political payoffs.


NARRATOR: Where did all of the Obama stimulus money go?

Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups.


SCHULTZ: According to sources within the Romney campaign, every rumor
and myth about President Obama is now fair game. They`re going for it.

An anonymous campaign adviser told "BuzzFeed," "This is a guy who
admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago,
and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett
appointed to the Senate. The bottom line is, there will be counter

Now we understand why Romney attack dog John Sununu went on FOX News
and called President Obama a pot head from Hawaii.


JOHN SUNUNU, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: He has no idea how the American system
functions. And we shouldn`t be surprised about that, because he spent his
early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in


SCHULTZ: Drug use, allegations, and Tony Rezko, all that stuff,
they`re not the only old tricks pulls from the hat.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was putting birtherism back in the
news cycle.


certificate presented to the American public by the White House is a


SCHULTZ: Well, Sheriff Joe isn`t part of the Romney campaign, but
that didn`t stop Romney surrogate Donald Trump from pushing Arpaio`s agenda
today. The Trumpster tweeted, "As I always said, the birthers were after
the truth. Thanks to Sheriff Joe. Barack Obama can`t hide anymore."

The Romney campaign, you know what they`re banking on? They`re
banking on the American people that they`re just not going to believe or
they`re not going to know who the president of the United States is and
they`ve got some new guy out there. They`re taking advice from the head
shakers instead of the Republican Party.

Now, do you remember in the primaries, Republicans held a strategy
meeting and advised all of the candidates against attacking the president
personally? The GOP has good reasons to be nervous because when it comes
to likability, President Obama`s numbers, they are very high. Sixty
percent of Americans find him likable, compared to only 31 percent for Mitt

It doesn`t seem like a good strategy for the Romney campaign to
personally attack President Obama`s character. But right now, it is the
only and the latest attempt to avoid questions about Mitt Romney`s tax
returns. The campaign was on the defensive again today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Romney has gone above and beyond what
is required by him. He has voluntarily released over 500 pages of tax
return information.


SCHULTZ: Five hundred pages. That`s the big buzz phrase.

Those 500 pages come from only one set of tax returns, and that`s the
year 2010. And it turns out the 2010 returns, they`re not even complete.

"The Huffington Post" reported the documents do not fully disclose
Mitt Romney`s financial activities in offshore holding accounts. Romney is
still refusing to hand over any additional returns despite calls from
Republicans and conservatives for him to do so.


ROMNEY: I think people in my party to say look, this is a nonissue,
just release the returns and it will all go away. My experience is that
the Democratic Party these days has approached taxes in a very different
way than in the past. Their opposition people look for anything they can
find to distort, to twist, and try to make negative.


SCHULTZ: You got that? Romney admits details in his tax returns will
be used against him. What details? The Romney campaign will not say.

Romney`s spokesperson Andrea Saul was asked by "Politico" if there are
any years in which Romney paid zero dollars in taxes. She replied with two
words, not true.

Well, if it`s not true, why not release the tax returns? Mitt Romney
has, if you look at his career, he`s changed his mind in this campaign
alone on a lot of things. He changed his mind on health care. He changed
his mind on social issue. He changed his mind on how to attack the
president of the United States in the campaign.

But he won`t change his mind on releasing his tax returns even with
enormous pressure coming from his own party.

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

We decide to outsource tonight`s question. That`s even hard for me to
say. We`re outsourcing our work to the Trumpster?

This is courtesy of Donald Trump. He tweeted today, and sent it out
earlier so we`re going to use it.

What is more important for the American public to have? Text A for
Mitt Romney`s tax returns, text B for President Obama`s sealed records, to
622639, or you go to our blog at We`ll bring you the results
later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe and
Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

Richard, you first, in the Olympic season, we could say going for the
gold. But now we`re going for the dirt in the Romney campaign. Is this a
good strategy? What does this signal?

Look, Bob Shrum is on the other line here, so he can maybe speak to it.
But it`s the equivalent in 2004 of Democrats saying we`re going to bring up
George W. Bush`s alcoholism and the fact until the age of 40, he really
didn`t have any purpose in his life.

Well, that might have been relevant for some Democrats. You might
have wanted to dwell on that. But actually, by that point, he had invaded
two countries. He had a record as president.

If you want to go out and dislike this president, if you feel negative
about him, there are plenty of things to grab on to. You don`t need to go
back into the distant past.

And what does it do for people who are the gettable voters, the swing
voters, the independent voters? They think this is completely off topic.

So, by all means, go down this rabbit hole for the Republicans. It
won`t take them any closer to landing a blow on a president. It`s a
sitting president they`re going for, not a new guy running for nomination.

SCHULTZ: Yes, Bob Shrum, when a campaign decides to go heavily
negative in July, what does it tell you about the campaign?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, look, this is -- first, let
me say, this is, in 2004, we never brought up the fact that George W. Bush
had been an alcoholic until 40. It would have hurt us. We knew it would
have hurt us.

In fact, when the stuff about him and the DUI came out the weekend
before the election, we were actually quite upset by it because on a number
of issues like Social Security, we were gaining some ground back in 2000.

There`s no question here that what`s happened is that Bush -- excuse
me, Romney has a world of hurt right now. He`s got the Bain stuff. He`s
got outsourcing. He`s got Swiss bank accounts. He`s got offshore tax
havens. He`s got the whole tax question.

Now, I have been in campaigns. There is only one reason why you would
not release these tax returns, and take this kind of intense criticism.
And that reason is that there`s something fatal in the returns.

So what he`s now done, he started off lying for example about Kerry by
saying Kerry had only release said two years of tax returns. He had
released 20.

He`s now moved on and his campaign has moved on to the kind of smears
that didn`t work against Obama when they were tried in 2008. It won`t work
now. Richard is absolutely right, by the way.

People know this guy. They know him as president. This is only going
to work with the base.


SHRUM: They have only one purpose here. They want to distract the
media if they can from reporting on these tax issues.

SCHULTZ: Well, the Democrats in congress are going to jump on this.
Democratic Representative Sandy Levin of Michigan is introducing a bill to
require presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns.

Now, Richard, how much longer can Romney hold out? I mean, this is
going to force the Republicans to vote if they take it up in the House, on
exactly how many years should be released by candidates.

WOLFFE: You don`t defend the indefensible, right? This is about
disclosure. And who could be against disclosure?

It`s like when you find these banks shredding documents. What are you
trying to hide? It`s hard to get beyond that.

So, sooner or later, they`re going to have to do this. They can throw
up as much dust as they like. They can do as many head fakes as they like,
but they`re going to have to do this. And, you know, I guess maybe it`s a
good time to defer until they get to the Olympics and maybe people aren`t
paying attention.

But whether it`s votes or just the whole siren calls here, you have
got to release these things because as bad as they are, not releasing them
is actually worse.

SCHULTZ: I`ll ask both of you. Can he go to the convention with this
story still hanging out there? I mean, actually, Romney is showing more
resolve on this issue than anything else he has ever supported.

SHRUM: You mean, is he going to flip-flop on this? I kind of
disagree with Richard.

I think he`s not. I think this guy is smart. He has smart people
around him. I think they have sat down. They have looked at what would
come out if these returns were put out there and said we can`t possibly
afford to do it.

And, you know, one of the things that is so odd about this is he knew
he was running for president from 2002 on. I mean, how could he have these
offshore accounts? How could he have years in which he paid 1 percent or 2
percent or nothing at all, which is what I think happened?

I think they`ll stand their ground because I think if he didn`t pay
taxes in a year, that`s pretty much fatal to his candidacy.

SCHULTZ: Here is Republican pollster Frank Luntz on the state of the


FRANK LUNTZ, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: if I had to say right now on July,
whatever date it is.


LUNTZ: July 18th, I would give the edge to Obama. And there was one
point for about two weeks when I said I couldn`t choose.


LUNTZ: I hate doing that because I`m a pollster, I`m supposed to give
a projection. Now, I think Obama has taken the edge again.


SCHULTZ: So, how does Romney get out of this hole? He shows his
cards today that he wants to go dirty. He wants to go negative. There`s a
divided camp right now on how to handle all this. I mean, he has got a lot
of problems.

In the meantime, gentlemen, he`s not making any headway on
immigration. He`s not making any headway on the economy, because of this
outsourcing story that is right in front of the American people in
Freeport, Illinois, and he`s been challenged by the people there to go to
Freeport and tell them about the jobs.

I mean, there`s a mountain of stuff on this guy right now.

Bob, how is the Romney campaign going to react to the prediction of
the Republican pollster saying, Buddy, you`re not going to win if it were

SHRUM: Well, they`re just going to go straight ahead.

Look, they have a theory of the case. Their theory was this is a
referendum. If you feel kind of bad about the economy, then give us a
chance because maybe we won`t do worse. Meantime, a forest fire started
behind them, started by the Obama campaign, started with Bain, went through
his record as governor, went to this issues like outsourcing and the tax
havens and taxes, and suddenly, they find themselves fighting on multiple

Last week -- last week, they had to argue when he left Bain. This
week, they`re having to argue about tax returns. I think it`s going to go
on and on and on.

SCHULTZ: Richard, let`s say that they do release the returns and he
did not pay any tax in one of those years. How tough a sell would that be
to the American people?

WOLFFE: You know, the problem here is that they have sold themselves
as the alternative. Not saying what that alternative is.

SHRUM: Right.

WOLFFE: So, if you`re a blank page and someone else is filling it up,
you need to fill it up faster. He`s got to say what he stands for, and
right now, their strategy is: don`t give any details. Not just the tax
returns. Don`t give policy details.

Don`t give a bigger vision. Don`t try to inspire people. It`s good
enough to be the alternative.

What we`re seeing now is the alternative is a guy who doesn`t want to
give you the tax returns, a guy who keeps his money secret and offshore.
That`s not an alternative people like. They have time, but it`s going
away, and it`s going away very quickly.

SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe, Bob Shrum, great to have you with us.
Thanks so much.

SHRUM: Thank you.

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

Coming up, the right wing distortion machine is out in full force, and
Mitt Romney has jumped onboard. E.J. Dionne will join me for the

Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, FOX News, they`re absolutely thrilled that Mitt
Romney picked up on the lie that they have been pushing about President
Obama and small business. Except Mitt Romney, he screwed it up. We`ll
explain next.

The people of Freeport, Illinois, are asking Mitt Romney to step on
by, and you know what, stop Bain Capital from outsourcing their jobs.
We`ll update the story with James Hoffa of the Teamsters Union.

And Eric Cantor is the face of obstruction in Congress. Now, he`s
facing his constituents and they`re not happy. His Democratic challenger,
Wayne Powell -- I mean, a solid American, will join me later in the show.

Share you thoughts on Twitter and on Facebook using the #EdShow.
We`re right back.



BOLLING: A huge day for Mitt Romney. He`s finally fired up and he`s
on offense. This is the Mitt we have been waiting for.

ANDREA TANTAROS, FOX NEWS: This is the one we have been waiting for,
right? We`ve talked about punch back, finally punch back.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS: They`re like, finally, OK, a lot of
people have been waiting for Mitt Romney to fight back.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: There you have it. He found his message,


SCHULTZ: What do you think the memo said over at FOX News? Say that
he`s really found his voice and he`s finally fighting back. They just all
happen to be saying the same thing.

The Republican rapid response team over at FOX News, they`re trying
their absolute best that it`s created a controversy over the remarks made
by President Obama. And now, they couldn`t be happier than Mitt Romney is
on board and finally taking their points to the campaign trail.

Last week, President Obama suggested that infrastructure and
opportunity from public investments have helped build businesses in
America. Today, Romney took those remarks totally out of context.


ROMNEY: I just want to say it exactly as he said it, speaking about
small business and businesses of all kind. He said this: if you have got a
business, you didn`t build that. Somebody else made that happen.


SCHULTZ: Here are the president`s remarks in context.


create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to
thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you`ve got a business,
you didn`t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

The Internet didn`t get invented on its own. Government research
created the Internet so that all of the companies could make money off the

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our
individual initiative but also because we do things together.


SCHULTZ: You know, amazingly, one Republican politician came out in
the president`s defense earlier. His name, Mitt Romney.


ROMNEY: I know that you recognize a lot of people help you in a
business, that perhaps the banks, the investors, there`s no question your
mom and dad, your school teachers. The people that provide roads, the
fire, the police, a lot of people help.

There are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to
have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders the
various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that.
That`s an important thing.


SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, "Washington
Post" columnist and author of "Our Divided Political Heart."

E.J., does Mitt Romney know this is a lie and yet he continues to use

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think he`s got to know he`s
making stuff up at some level. You saw the sound bite from Obama. And
another point Obama said, "The point is that when we succeed, we succeed
because of individual initiative," he said that, Obama did, "but also
because we do things together." Only the most extreme libertarian would
disagree with that.

And Mitt number two, that you showed, said much the same thing, which
kind of contradicts what Mitt number one said. I think that Romney knows
that he`s got a problem on releasing tax returns, so he wants to argue that
the demand for tax returns is because Obama is against success. He knows
he`s got a problem on Bain and outsourcing and those offshore accounts.
So, he wants to say, well, that means Obama is against capitalism if he`s
raising those questions. It`s just kind of made up.

SCHULTZ: So where is the FOX News out pm rage over the latest
comments by Romney which, of course, parallel what the president said?

DIONNE: Right. No, that`s exactly right. There`s something about
what this debate is about a lot of what Obama said, kind of reflected what
Elizabeth Warren said in that famous sound bite, the Senate candidate up in
Massachusetts four months ago where the point is we`re very lucky to live
in the United States of America. A lot of us would not be as successful as
we are, would not have the opportunities we have, if we didn`t live in the
United States of America.

SCHULTZ: We`ve all benefited from the system if we`re in business.
That is clearly what the president was talking about.

And "Media Matters" reports that FOX News has aired over 42 segments
on this subject matter. I mean, they`re pushing it hard. I mean, is this
nothing more than an effort to distract people from the tax returns and the
Bain Capital issue and get everybody thinking about business that President
Obama doesn`t know anything about the jobs and the economy? Which of
course is what Romney talks about.

I mean, it`s a major distraction and the network has said, he`s got
his voice right now.

How does Obama -- how does the president`s team respond to this?

DIONNE: I think the president`s team responds to this much as you
did, by showing the two Romneys. I do think they need to argue, to say
we`re lucky to live in the United States is not socialism, it`s patriotism.
And that`s what`s at the heart of this.

But I think that they don`t really have to do much of anything that
they`re not doing right now because all of this in the end as your segment
suggested is a reflection of the fact that Romney knows he`s got big
problems on the tax returns and Bain. And soon he`s going to have to
answer the question when he picks a V.P., how many tax returns did you ask
your V.P. candidate to give you?

And if it`s more than what Romney has released, then the question is
why won`t you release that many?

SCHULTZ: But it also underscores how good the president has been on
the campaign trail and how solid he has been with his message. Because the
only way they can distort him or his position, this is their latest big
thing, is to edit the tape.

I mean, the president must be spot on with what he has done and where
he is going with his message if that`s the best thing they have to do is
they have to manufacture the controversy by doctoring the tape. I mean, I
think it speaks volumes about how on message the Obama team is, don`t you

DIONNE: I think that`s true. I think they have by sheer force of
repetition on this seemed to have had some effect on independent voters who
still somehow get the sense that Barack Obama, the guy under whom Wall
Street has gone, the Dow Jones has gone up, rich people are doing just
fine, they seem to have had some success persuading them that Obama is a
really big government guy.

So, I still think that the sheer force of repetition may have an
effect even if they largely make it up.

SCHULTZ: Actually, Obama`s policies have helped Mitt Romney make a
help hell of a lot more money if you look at it.

E.J. Dionne, always great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

Mitt Romney is no stranger to outsourcing American jobs, and yet he
claims he is for the middle class? James Hoffa joins me next.

Then, George W. Bush talks about his awesome life and his awesome
presidency, but he won`t be using his awesome legacy to help Mitt Romney
get elected. Find out why. Just ahead on THE ED SHOW.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Every wage earner in America should be paying attention to this story
and what`s happening in the heartland. Freeport, Illinois -- this is the
perfect storm for the Mitt Romney campaign.

This is how he wants to run the economy. This is the model he
created. This is the model he believes in. This is the model that he got
rich off of.

Romney says he really cares about the middle class. But the very
company he started is now shipping even more jobs overseas.

Sensata Technologies, owned by Bain Capital, will close its Freeport
Plant and then they`re going to send 170 jobs to communist China. I will
not get off the story.

Amazingly, the Romney campaign pretends he`s for the middle class.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re talking about jobs and the economy and
what Governor Romney will do to help the middle class. We need someone who
is actually, you know, hired people, made a payroll, understands why jobs
come and why they go. And that person is Mitt Romney.


SCHULTZ: Absolutely. Why jobs come and go.

And that`s why Mitt Romney needs to go to Freeport, Illinois, and
explain to these workers why their job is going somewhere else. Did they
do something wrong? Or are they just getting paid too damn much money?

Maybe they have health care. Maybe they have other benefits. Maybe
they even have training. Maybe they have some safety in the workplace.
But you know what, the business model just doesn`t fit, so Freeport, you
have to pay the price.

Mitt Romney should understand why jobs go, since many of the companies
acquired by Bain Capital outsourced American jobs. Now, in real time, it`s
happening again. And Romney`s former company is responsible. It`s a
perfect opportunity -- I mean, a perfect opportunity for Romney to show
real support for the middle class.

Go to Freeport, Mitt. But he won`t. Because his business model is
responsible for the heartbreak and the strife that has taken place in that
community. When people talk about losing their homes, does Mitt Romney
care? Does he have a plan to put these 170 people back to work? Or are
they just like furniture? They just get moved around in the economy and we
just sit on them?

Yet today, he once again blamed the president for the economy.


ROMNEY: His priority is not creating jobs for you. His priority is
trying to keep his own job and that`s why he`s going to lose it.


SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney`s priority is certain not creating American
jobs. Last night, Dot Turner was on this show. She`s been working for
Sensata Technologies for 43 years. Mitt Romney doesn`t care about people
like Dot Turner. If he becomes president of the United States, he`s even
going to care less. It will be the model on steroids. He`ll pave the way
for more companies to do this kind of stuff to hard working Americans.

Joining me tonight is James Hoffa, general president of the Teamsters.
Mr. Hoffa, good to have you with us tonight. This model, I mean, it`s
dangerous for American workers, isn`t it? This climate that would be
created and developed under Mitt Romney`s leadership in this country, what
would it mean for the country?

JAMES HOFFA, PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS: This could be another disaster.
This is exactly what we have been seeing. And now we have a presidential
candidate that says there`s nothing long with sending American jobs
overseas, to laying people off. We have lost millions and millions of jobs
to anywhere you can say, whether it`s communist China, or whether it`s
India, whether it`s Mexico. Haven`t we seen enough of this?

And the answer is he doesn`t see anything wrong with that. If this
doesn`t make this election a very clear choice about whether we`re going to
have jobs in America, whether we`re going to bring those jobs back from
overseas, that`s what this is about. What`s happening and what you`re
articulating here with regard to Freeport, Illinois, that`s a good example
that he doesn`t see anything wrong with that.

That`s what`s wrong with this whole idea of this vulture capitalism,
where they`re out to destroy jobs, to make a few stinking dollars. And
they`re going to destroy the lives of a million Americans. That`s wrong.

SCHULTZ: So this election, Mr. Hoffa, is as much about philosophy of
how we should run our economy and run America. Do we care about our
neighbor? do we care about opportunities created in neighborhoods in
America and in communities? The factories -- are they a good place for
workers anymore?

I mean, the Romney campaign, they have done their best to distance,
you know, Mitt Romney from this kind of cut-throat business practices of
his old firm. Do you think Romney is going to be able to run from his

HOFFA: I don`t think he can run. I think that`s something to do with
these income tax returns. I think there`s something in here that he
benefited from the offshoring. Why isn`t he turning these things over?
There`s something going on here that`s all related to the offshoring. And
the answer is, if it comes out, it`s going to destroy his presidency.

The problem is he doesn`t see anything wrong with it. You turn on
some of these business programs, they see nothing wrong with closing down a
plant, 1,000 people lose their jobs and they move it to Mexico. And they
say so what? The answer is that`s wrong in America. And we`ve got to do
something about it.

And finally, we have a president that`s speaking out on that. That`s
our Barack Obama.

SCHULTZ: You have a Senate trying to do something, too. Tomorrow,
the Senate is going to vote on the Bring the Jobs Home Act, to eliminate
the tax deductions for offshoring and to encourage insourcing, meaning
where they would bring jobs back to America, they get a 20 percent tax
credit. Where are the Republicans and Mitt Romney on this one?

HOFFA: I guarantee they`re against it. They want to bring the money
back. This has come up with the Bush administration. They tried to do it
where they just bring it back and it went into all kinds of buying stock
and giving big bonuses to executives. That`s not what it`s about. If they
want to bring the money back that`s offshore -- and there`s billions of
dollars, by the way, over there with Pfizer and General Electric, offshore.
They can bring it back, but they have got to create jobs here in this

Build a factory, put people to work. Then we can bring the money
back. We`ll give them a deal on the rate, but you have to build and put
people to work here in America.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Hoffa, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so

HOFFA: Good to be here.

SCHULTZ: James Hoffa of the Teamsters. There`s a lot more coming up
in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.


with 9/11 and the financial meltdown. But people will all forget what 43
was like.


SCHULTZ: We promise never to forget. The big panel weighs in on W`s
big comeback interview.

Delusional Tea Partiers are trying to force gays and Muslims out of
the government. You won`t believe what is going on in Tennessee.

And meet the retired Army colonel who says he can defeat the face of
one of the worst Congresses in history. Wayne Powell is taking on House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia. And he`s here on THE ED SHOW



BUSH: I crawled out of the swamp, and I`m not crawling back in.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Former President George W.
Bush says he supports Mitt Romney. But he`s going to keep away from the
campaign. Bush gave an hour-long interview with the Hoover Institution.
He says life after the White House is awesome. He also says Texas is
awesome. Biking across the country, it`s awesome.

And his presidency was, well, that was awesome, too.


BUSH: Eight years was awesome. And I was famous and I was powerful,
but I have -- I have no desire for fame and power anymore.


SCHULTZ: All right, but hold the phone. Most Americans do not think
the Bush years were awesome. CBS News just released this new poll tonight;
48 percent of registered voters think George W. Bush should take most of
the blame for the economist downturn; 33 percent think he`s at least
partially to blame.

Bush says he won`t get involved in Mitt Romney`s campaign. Mitt
Romney probably thinks, that`s pretty awesome.

Let`s turn to Krystal Ball, host of MSNBC`s "THE CYCLE," Republican
strategist Susan Del Percio, and also Kelly Goff, author of "The GQ
Candidate." Ladies, thanks for coming in on this rainy night in New York


SCHULTZ: Did any of you swim here tonight? This is teed up to have
too much fun. Susan, it was an awesome interview.

in all fairness, he did say it was awesome being president. He wasn`t
saying he was awesome, but rather it was awesome to be president, which who
wouldn`t think it`s a great job? It`s awesome.

SCHULTZ: Why wouldn`t he help out Mitt Romney?

DEL PERCIO: Actually, what he was also saying is that he`s staying
out of politics. He has not come out against President Obama in any shape
or form. As a matter of fact, they had a gracious back and forth when they
did the unveiling of his portrait at the White House. And he`s been very
careful in what he says when it comes to that, including when President
Obama got bin Laden.

KELLI GOFF, AUTHOR, "THE GQ CANDIDATE": In his defense, Ed, Texas is
really awesome. I`m from there, so I`m a little biased. So he got that
one thing right. But listening to him talk about how awesome his eight
years were, I have to say, it sort of reminds me a little bit of when you
break up with someone and then down the road, you both have very different
recollections of A, how awesome the relationship was, and B, why you
actually broke up. Like one of you says he cheated; the other says, we
grew apart.

It was just sort of like a different recollection that he had going
here about how awesome those eight years were. Because I think a lot of
Americans disagree.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: I have to say, after listening to Mitt
Romney`s very robotic, stilted, inauthentic stuff for the past year, it was
kind of nice to hear a real authentic answer. And I also have to say,
thinking back over the Bush years in preparation for the segment, it was a
little bit traumatic. But as Bill Clinton says, Romney wants to do Bush on

You know, at least Bush worked with Democrats on education reform, on
immigration reform as well. Really worked on humanitarian aid in Africa.
Also was very good about trying to tamp down anti-Muslim sentiment after
9/11. So if given the choice between Romney and another Bush
administration, I have to tell you, I would take Bush.

SCHULTZ: Well --


BALL: It shocked me when I realized that.

SCHULTZ: This whole thing is an admission that Bush is a liability
right now.

BALL: Yes.

SCHULTZ: And he knows it, Susan.

DEL PERCIO: Absolutely. It`s also an admission of you stay out of
politics as an ex-president unless you`re Bill Clinton. He is the
exception to the rule.

SCHULTZ: OK. Dick Cheney is not staying out of anything. Neither is
Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton is not staying out of anything. This guy had a
rough eight years.

DEL PERCIO: Dick Cheney, vice president, different story. But Jimmy
Carter, Ronald Reagan --


DEL PERCIO: They have been active, but they have not been critiquing
a current president. They have not critiqued -- none of them have gone
after a current administration, and that`s what the presidents do for one
another. They respect the presidency. If you want to talk about should he
campaign and do sometimes former presidents campaign with others,
absolutely. But there`s no --

GOFF: But they don`t when they`re Kryptonite. I would like to ask
all of you, how many times has Mitt Romney said the name George W. Bush on
the campaign trail?


DEL PERCIO: Obama is still blaming Bush. He`s afraid to take


SCHULTZ: Former President Bush says America wouldn`t remember much
about his presidency. Here it is.


BUSH: 20 Years from now, I`m going to be just a name. And a number,
43. I`ll have had a record. I will have had to deal with 9/11 and the
financial meltdown. But people will all forget, you know, what old 43 was


SCHULTZ: What about that bush legacy, Krystal?

BALL: I think he`s a little bit deluding himself there. I think
we`re going to remember.

SCHULTZ: Two tax cuts that put us in a financial hole. The list goes

BALL: The fiscal situation that we`re in right now is because of
Bush, because of Medicare Part D, because of the tax cuts, because of the

DEL PERCIO: If nothing else, he would be remembered as the president
at the time of 9/11. So I don`t understand where that was coming from.
That alone is such an important part of our history.

SCHULTZ: Well, August 6th Presidential Briefing, people that study
history will look at that as he just didn`t respond to what people around
him were telling him about what was going to happen to the country. He did
not get bin Laden. In fact, he disbanded the unit that was looking for
him. The tax cuts have hurt us big time. Big Pharma. The list goes on,
Katrina. I think there`s going to be a lot of things that people are going
to remember.


SCHULTZ: He wants everybody to just be a number, at 43.

GOFF: I actually think his mother might end up being more memorable
than he was, because she`s one of the only people who has actually been
related to two presidents who are ranked among the 10 worst, Franklin
Pearce and her son.

SCHULTZ: Let me ask you this, do the Republicans benefit from being
associated to Dick Cheney? Cheney up on the Hill. He`s still involved.
Some say he`s pushing his daughter for a VP selection. I heard that, I
said what?

BALL: Which one.

SCHULTZ: Would you campaign with Dick Cheney?

DEL PERCIO: No, he doesn`t work for campaigning, being out on the
hustings. What he does work with very well is fund-raising. He is
valuable when it comes to tapping into a certain amount of money. But you
want it to be a closed event.


SCHULTZ: Krystal Ball, Susan Del Percio and Kelli Goff, great to have
you with us. Thank you.

Coming up, Tea Party bigotry, well, it`s on full display in Tennessee.
Local governments are slamming the governor for employing gay people,
Muslims. Hey, there`s more to the story. I`m calling them out next. Stay
with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The big question tonight, how
radical will the Republican National Convention actually be this year? In
Tennessee, if that`s any indication what`s happening down there, folks, you
better fasten your seat belts.

Tea Party bigots in Tennessee are taking action against Republican
Governor Bill Haslam for employing Democrats, gay people and Muslims. A
Tea Party supported resolution from Stewart County reads, "the action or
actions of the Republican elected governor of the great state of Tennessee
and his administration have demonstrated a consistent lack of conservative

It specifically targets a Muslim American employee, saying she is an
expert on Shariah compliant finance, which is one of the many ways Islamic
terrorism is funded. Give me a break.

Now the resolution also criticized gay workers in the state
government. These workers are being discriminated against because of their
political affiliation, their faith and sexual orientation. Stewart County
is one of several counties in Tennessee with similar resolutions.

You know, all of this garbage started with a blog post by the Center
for Security Policy. The organization is run by a radical neocon, Frank
Gaffney, who has a long history of fear mongering against Muslims. He
planted the seed in local government in hopes of taking his anti-Muslim
agenda all the way to the state in Nashville. And it seems to be working.

We should also point out that this is happening in Congresswoman
Marsha Blackburn`s backyard, and she has remained silent on the issue. The
Tea Party is criticizing the governor of Tennessee for having a lack of
conservative values. Is it a conservative value to promote and advocate
institutional bigotry?

Tonight in our survey, we had a celebrity guest question. Donald
Trump -- yes, Donald Trump -- we asked -- well, he asked, we used his
material. Is it -- what is more important for the American public to have?
What is more important for the American public to have? Ninety four
percent say Mitt Romney`s tax returns; six percent say President Obama`s
sealed records.

Coming up, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is in deep trouble in his
district. His Democratic opponent is a 30-year Army veteran who could pull
off one of the biggest upsets of the year. He joins me next. Stay with


SCHULTZ: To the Big Finish tonight, there is a chance for a major
political upset, because the second most powerful House Republican is in
serious trouble. I`m talking about the Republican Majority Leader Eric
Cantor, the congressman from Virginia. He is viewed as a hard right wing
Republican who is a classic obstructionist in Congress that has a seven
percent approval rating.

In a recent poll of Congressional districts, only 41 percent think
Cantor should be re-elected; 43 percent say that he should be replaced; 59
percent, they want a candidate who will work with the president of the
United States.

I`m joined tonight by his challenger, Wayne Powell, a veteran and
community lawyer, and a Democrat who is running for Congress in Virginia`s
Seventh Congressional District.

I have to say, Mr. Powell, I have seen your resume. It is rock solid.
Thirty years in the military, Army intel, you`re a practicing attorney.
You`ve been a judge. Why are you getting into politics? This is your
first run at this?

love my country. My country is in trouble. And Mr. Cantor, who is the
representative for my district -- I was born and raised in Richmond -- is
primarily the reason for it. He`s dysfunctional. He has caused a
dysfunctional Congress. He`s the problem. He has caused the seven percent
rating for the Congress at this point.

And he does not, I don`t believe, represent the best values of both
the Seventh District, Virginia, and the United States. I believe in
economic fairness and social justice. These are things that were taught to
me as a kid in a working class neighborhood, Highland Park, Churchill and
of course, ultimately, short pub when I raised my own kids.

SCHULTZ: One of the biggest issues in Virginia has been the war on
women. Is this really an opportunity for a Democrat to get this seat in
the Seventh District, based on all of the issues and all of the aggressive
policies that the Republicans have put forward in Virginia?

POWELL: Absolutely. They just won`t stop. And Eric Cantor supports
their efforts, for example, this last session to have ultrasound -- well, a
transvaginal ultrasound performed. And just because these women, about
1,000 women who went up to protest back on March 3rd, I believe the
governor changed his mind and at least took out the transvaginal part, but
still the ultrasound is forced by the state, not paid for by the state.
And I pro bono represented 15 of the people who were arrested for

SCHULTZ: Direct question.

POWELL: Yes, sir.

SCHULTZ: Would you have voted for the Affordable Care Act? Would you
have supported the president?

POWELL: Yes, sir, I would.

SCHULTZ: You would have voted yes?


SCHULTZ: Would you vote yes on his tax policy as he wants the
wealthiest Americans to pay more?

POWELL: Yes. But let me just say, though, that as to the Affordable
Care Act, there are things that should be changed. There`s a lack of
controlling the costs. Nobody likes the mandate. I don`t like the

SCHULTZ: But it`s a start you would have voted for.

POWELL: Absolutely. But we do is we modify things in the Congress.
Nothing is in cement. That`s what democracy is.

SCHULTZ: Well, you have a son that has served in Iraq and

POWELL: He`s in Afghanistan right now, Shawn.

SCHULTZ: And you were mobilized after 9/11, correct?

POWELL: Yes, sir.

SCHULTZ: What about those confrontations? Would you have supported


SCHULTZ: You would not have supported going into Iraq and


SCHULTZ: What should we have done for the security of the country?

POWELL: First of all, Iraq was not a war begun for the security of
the country. Iraq was a war begun because someone fixed the books on
intel. I`m an intel officer. I know something about what happened the
year before the Iraqi invasion. There was no national security risk with
the Iraqi invasion.

Most people with knowledge knew that. I can`t comment on the past
administration. However, there was no reason to invade Iraq. There was a
reason to initially invade Afghanistan. That was to eliminate al Qaeda and
their allies, the Taliban, which we did successfully within two or three

SCHULTZ: Do you support the president on the way he`s operating the
fight against the terrorist world right now?

POWELL: I think first of all, first and foremost, he deserves a lot
of credit. He completed the job that those of us in intel started back in
2001. He had Osama bin Laden eliminated. So he did -- that`s a very
courageous thing he did. However, to continue the war in Afghanistan
beyond that time, it`s simply ill-advised.

SCHULTZ: Voters in your district seem to be sick and tired off a
congressman who blocks President Obama on everything. Is it the angst of
the people that is going to be in your favor?

POWELL: To a certain degree. Obviously there`s some hostility toward
the president. But to me, it`s being an honorable person. Regardless of
who the president is, no one walks out on the vice president. No one is
impolite to the president, whoever he is.

I come from a military background where you obey your commanders. In
this case, the commander in chief. I think certainly there`s some --
there`s a mixed bag with regard to the president, but with regard to Eric
Cantor, you have got to be honorable. You have to be an honorable person.
You`ve got to believe in the chain of command.

SCHULTZ: He has not been honorable?

POWELL: He has not. In this case, no. He wasn`t even honorable to
John Boehner. John Boehner and the president were about to have the great
compromise in order to pay down the debt. And yes, I think that our debt
is extraordinarily high. We need to pay it down. But what did he do? He
went behind John Boehner`s back and the president, who had the grand
agreement, and he undercut his own party member.

So how is that helping America? He`s more connected to Sheldon
Adelson and this money from the Young Guns PAC than I believe he lets on.
I think there`s smoke there and they need to look into it.

SCHULTZ: Wayne Powell, thanks for joining us on "THE ED SHOW.

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

POWELL: Thanks for having me.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

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


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