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The Ed Show for Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Howard Fineman, Wendell Potter, Heidi Heitkamp, David Cay Johnston, Susan Del Percio, Joy Reid, Catherine Crier, Michael Eric Dyson

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

Eighty-four days until the 2012 election. What`s happening?
Republicans are so scared of the Ryan/Romney plan, they`re literally
running to their mommies.

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


who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney/Ryan lies about Medicare have turned
into a full throttle campaign push. Tonight, we`ll show you the official
Republican playbook that instructs candidates to deceive voters by hiding
behind their mother`s skirts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rick would never do anything to harm Social
Security or Medicare.

SCHULTZ: Former health insurance executive Wendell Potter on the
campaign of lies. Howard Fineman on whether or not it will work. And
North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp who is fighting these lies on
the ground.

big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. He`s
going to put you all back in chains.

SCHULTZ: The Romney campaign claims the vice president is getting
racial with his newest attack. Michael Eric Dyson is here to set the
record straight.

And President Obama officially lets the dogs out.

The Romney camp is howling mad about the president`s dog on the roof



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

You just can`t sugar coat this. The Romney/Ryan ticket is executing a
plan to turn its greatest weakness into one of its biggest strengths on the
campaign trail. The way to make the plan work is to just lie.


ROMNEY: There`s only one president that I know of in history that
robbed Medicare $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that
we call Obamacare.


SCHULTZ: Of course, the president does nothing of the sort. That
simply is a lie, that`s not the truth. The nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office said $716 billion will be saved by eliminating subsidies to
the industry and also wasteful programs in Medicare.

Now, these changes are endorsed by the health care industry. The
money will be redistributed into the health care system to provide seniors
with better preventative care and prescription drug savings. The
Romney/Ryan plan requires $2 trillion in cuts to Medicare to provide tax
cuts for the wealthiest Americans. The cuts will increase premiums for
seniors by $1,200.

Now, folks, I don`t know how else to do this. Those are the facts.
Those are the absolute facts.

But today, Mitt Romney kept repeating the big lie.


ROMNEY: Did you know that he has taken $716 billion out of the
Medicare trust fund? He`s raided that trust fund. And you know what he
did with it? He`s using it to pay for Obamacare.


SCHULTZ: The lie is now a major part of the Romney campaign. Here`s
the latest television ad to spread the lie.


NARRATOR: You pay into Medicare for years. Every paycheck, now when
you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for


SCHULTZ: The Ryan plan expressed his confidence about the lie when he
was interviewed on FOX News today.


BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS: You and Governor Romney think that Medicare,
which has been a very difficult issue for Republicans for a very long time,
and polls suggest that people almost automatically think Republicans are
hostile to Medicare, can be a winning issue for you. How?

PAUL: Absolutely, because we`re the ones who are offering a plan to
save Medicare.


SCHULTZ: Really? Paul Ryan has a good reason to believe he can win
based on this lie. The GOP already tested the big Medicare lie in a
special congressional election.

Now, last year in Nevada, Republican Mark Amodei was neck and neck
with Democrat Kate Marshall for an open congressional seat. The National
Republican Congressional Committee wanted to protect Amodei from Medicare
attacks by going after Obamacare with the big lie.

They saw big time results, according to a video released by the NRCC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the issue of Medicare, which candidate would
better protect seniors on Medicare. Remember, we started down on this 39-
26, which was from the R versus D, just people signing a party position to
the issue of Medicare. By the time we`re done with the race, and again,
we`re only trying to play it to a draw, you can see that we actually held
an eight-point lead in this electorate amongst who will protect Medicare.


SCHULTZ: The next step was to convince voters the Republican
candidate would never cut Medicare, even though he supports the Ryan

So what do they do? They used his mother.


I approve this message, because while Kate Marshall and her friends have
already supported cuts to Medicare, you should know that I will work to
support and improve the program.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You had better, Mark. I`m counting on you.

AMODEI: OK, mom. I`ll do my best.


SCHULTZ: Pulls at the heart strings, doesn`t it?

Mark Amodei beat Kate Marshall to win the seat. Amodei still supports
the massive cuts to Medicare in the Ryan budget, but voters believe --
well, they believed his mom.

See, Republicans all over the country are now running to mom for help.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rick would never do anything to harm Social
Security or Medicare. In fact, it`s one of the main reasons he`s running.

ALICE WALBERG, TIM`S MOM: You wouldn`t do that to your mom, would
you, Tim?

TIM WALBERG: I wouldn`t do that to anyone. I have always supported
Social Security and I have worked to make it secure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark Amodei thinks a plan to end Medicare is,
quote, "excellent."



SCHULTZ: How long before we see Paul Ryan`s mom on the campaign
trail? The big Medicare lie and the mom strategy are now part of the
Republican playbook. The national Republican campaign committee is telling
other candidates: go out and use the same methods.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the lessons we learned, Republicans can win
the Medicare fight, and we have proven it. And finally, once Medicare is
litigated and the race refocuses on economic issues, we`ve now chased them
off the field of an issue they want to talk about and we`re back on
something we know we can win on.


SCHULTZ: Well, this is exactly why Mitt Romney -- or Mitt Romney and
Paul Ryan will keep lying about President Obama and Medicare and the total
program. But lies have a way of catching up with you.

Romney is trying to remain unified with Paul Ryan on Medicare. Here`s
what he told reporters about his plan compared to Ryan`s plan.


ROMNEY: My plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan for
Medicare. >


SCHULTZ: Very similar, but not the same.

But here`s what Romney`s surrogate, John Sununu, said when he was
pressed about the similarities between the two plans.


SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, CNN: This is from Mitt and it sounds
awfully like the Paul Ryan Medicare plan.

JOHN SUNUNU, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: But it`s very different.


SCHULTZ: Oh, it`s very different. You know, it`s hard for these
folks to get on the same page when they`re not telling the truth. I find
it amazing that Mitt Romney would go down to Florida and not have an answer
for Medicare when he knows he`s going to be asked about it. How could he
pick a candidate he`s not on the same page with? His answer to the
reporters was vague.

Just like his tax returns. I can`t believe that Paul Ryan would go to
Iowa when we`re in the midst of the worst drought in 50 years and not
expect some questions on -- well, what are you going to do? What kind of
support are you going to have out there? Oh, he just wants to enjoy the
state fair.

These guys are not on the same page. They can`t be trusted with
leadership. They`re winging it. It`s a dart board mentality.

I also think it`s going to be awfully hard for Romney and Ryan to tell
seniors across America that President Obama is slashing Medicare when there
have been no reductions in benefits whatsoever.

But a lie is a powerful thing. And for Mitt Romney, lying may be his
only hope at this point inside 90 days.

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

Tonight`s question: will the Romney/Ryan lie on Medicare work? Text A
for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can always going to our blog at We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Now, we know for years that the industry has lied to us. I`m joined
tonight by Wendell Potter, former communications director and vice
president of Cigna. And now, he`s with the Center for Public Integrity,
"Huffington Post" contributor and author of the book "Deadly Spin."

Wendell, great to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: This is -- I have laid it out, exactly what the Republicans
are doing. This is what they`re doing on the campaign trail. They`re out
there saying that President Obama and the word stolen was used by the RNC
chairman, that they have stolen $716 billion from Medicare for seniors to
pay for Obamacare. Is this true or false?

POTTER: Oh, it`s absolutely false. In fact, what the president is
doing is what needs to be done, is to reduce payments over the next several
years. But absolutely, he`s not cutting benefits.

So, this is a very big lie. And it`s very consistent, though, with
what the insurance industry is doing and has done for many years. I am
certain that my former colleagues in the insurance industry have been
helping with the talking points for the Romney campaign.

SCHULTZ: Well, the talking points are quite interesting. A
Republican leadership is telling the candidates not to use the word
"entitlement reform", "privatization," or "every option is on the table."

I mean, is this the strategy the insurance industry uses with their
playbook on how to message to the American people?

POTTER: It absolutely is. It`s almost out of the page out of the
playbook, because they spend a lot of our premium dollars on focus groups
and doing a lot of work with linguistics to determine what words work and
what words to avoid. So you can rest assured that this advice is coming
from the same people who have been doing a lot of work for the insurance
industry for many, many years.

You know, it`s -- we do need to strengthen Medicare. You`ll be
hearing that, too, from both sides. That`s a term that tests well.

But you have to look behind what exactly they`re trying to do to the
Medicare program to find out who really will be strengthening and improving
the Medicare program.

SCHULTZ: But what does it tell us about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,
that they would flat out distort to the American people what is happening
to seniors when right now seniors are not seeing any reduction in benefits?

POTTER: What it tells you is that they`ll stoop to lying. They`ll do
whatever it takes to try to deceive people. That`s why I wrote the book
"Deadly Spin." We`re not talking about benign spin. We`re talking about
spin that really is deadly.

And this will lead to people -- if we were to implement the Ryan plan,
you could rest assured that many, many senior citizens would die who
otherwise wouldn`t have to, because of the fact that benefits would be

Over the past ten years, premiums in this country have increased 113
percent. And that`s also at a time when insurance companies have been
transferring more of the cost of care to us. That`s what would happen if
we privatize Medicare.

SCHULTZ: You know, the Democrats are out there saying that, you know,
the Republicans, they don`t want any kind of program whatsoever when it
comes to health care as far as the government is involved. They really
want to get rid of Medicare.

Now, you have been on record saying that the Romney/Ryan plan is a
potential nightmare for every American under 55. Now, I kind of know -- I
think I know why you`re saying this, but I`d like to know why you think
it`s a nightmare for people under 55.

POTTER: Because if you privatize it, if you give people a voucher,
it`s based on the rate of inflation. The cost of medical care has always
exceeded the rate of inflation., so that over time, the value of the
voucher would diminish to the point that seniors will be paying a lot more
out of their own pockets for the premiums and also out of their own pockets
for care.

SCHULTZ: So they couldn`t keep up?

POTTER: They couldn`t keep up.

SCHULTZ: You`re not going to be able to keep up. Also, they`re doing
the same thing to the postal service right now. So, if they set up a
system that they can`t keep up, eventually, they`ll make the case that we
might as well eliminate it. Am I off base on that?

POTTER: No, you`re not. It would be a system that would have to
fail. It could not be sustained.

SCHULTZ: OK. Wendell Potter, thanks for your honesty tonight here on

Now, let`s turn to Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and
editorial director for "The Huffington Post" Media Group.

Well, this is I find this rather amazing. Does the Romney camp,
Howard, really believe that it can win on Medicare?

trying to make a virtue of a necessity at all costs here, Ed. My sense
from talking to people in and around the camp is they settled on Paul Ryan
for a host of reasons, perhaps. The Catholic vote, the Midwest, et cetera.

I don`t think they chose him because they wanted to lead with this
issue. That just doesn`t make sense. But they`re trying to make a virtue
of it desperately.

I spoke with Ed Gillespie who is an adviser, former Republican Party
chairman, what he said to me is we want to deal with this issue now. We
know that Democrats are going to attack us on it. Let`s do it now. Let`s
try to neutralize it and then get back to the economy later.

But that doesn`t make sense to anybody who looks at any polling who
knows that the big issue in the campaign is what to do about the future of
the economy. I think they`re talking through their hat a little bit on
this one, but they`re desperate to try to neutralize what has been and
still is a Democratic advantage.

SCHULTZ: Paul Ryan did an interview with FOX News today. He
struggled to explain his Medicare cuts to FOX News. Here it is.


HUME: Doesn`t your budget contemplate major savings on Medicare on
something of the same amount?

RYAN: Only President Obama raids $716 billion from the Medicare
program. He cuts $716 billion from the Medicare program to pay for

HUME: Right.

RYAN: We don`t do that.

HUME: You make savings, how much?

RYAN: The point -- I joined the Romney ticket. And what Mitt Romney
is proposing to do is repeal all of Obamacare.

HUME: You`re not saying, though, you don`t contemplate in your budget
plan significant savings, upwards of $500 billion in Medicare, are you?

RYAN: No, what our -- we can get into the complicated baseline
issues, but that`s the current law. So, what we do is we keep with the
current law in our budget.

HUME: But it is the case that in the budget that you have passed
through the House of Representatives, significant savings of upwards of
$500 billion in Medicare?

RYAN: We do not add cuts to Medicare program in the House budget.


SCHULTZ: I mean, can he continue the dodge the question all the way
to November on this?

FINEMAN: No, and I think he`s a terrific questioner, by the way.
I`ll tip my hat to him there. Brit knew exactly what he was asking about,
and Paul Ryan was dodging and filling like crazy.

And the fact is that the Ryan/Romney budget proposal on health care
does the same thing. It contemplates about the same amount of savings in
more efficient programs and so forth that Obamacare does. It`s exactly the
same thing.

So they now have an ad -- the Republicans have an ad out attacking the
president for doing exactly what the Romney/Ryan budget does. And there`s
no other way around it, and Brit had him dead to right on that.

SCHULTZ: Howard Fineman, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much.

FINEMAN: Thanks, Ed.

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

Coming up next, when it comes to the Ryan budget, some Republicans are
running scared. They don`t want to warm up to this. Democrat Heidi
Heitkamp is running for the Senate seat in North Dakota. I`ll talk to her
about what the Ryan plan means for the November election.

Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW:

The Paul Ryan pick is already putting Senate seats in play for the

Later, Ronald Reagan`s budget director destroys Paul Ryan`s budget.
Interesting there.

And all of a sudden, Republicans care about offending minorities.
We`ll tell you about Joe Biden`s "chain" remarks ahead.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Conservatives say they`re just thrilled with Paul Ryan and having him
on the ticket. Best thing that can ever happen to them. But the Ryan
budget is proving to be a pretty tough sell for some Republicans in
competitive races around the country, and Democrats are jumping on the

For instance, in Upstate New York, Kathy Hochul won in a solid red
congressional district by basically tying the Ryan budget to her Republican
opponent. Well, she`s now facing a tough re-election campaign. Hochul is
attacking the Ryan plan one more time.

Her opponent, Republican Chris Collins -- well, he refuses to talk
about it. As the "Buffalo News" reports, "Collins would not even when
asked again and again, indorse or even comment on Ryan`s budget."

In the state of Nevada, Democrats are hoping to Senator Dean Heller to
the Ryan budget. Heller voted for the Ryan plan last year but voted
against it this year.

In Montana, the Republican candidate for Senate, Congressman Denny
Rehberg, is also trying to distance himself from Paul Ryan and his budget.


NARRATOR: Rehberg refused to support a Republican budget plan that
could harm the Medicare program so many of Montana`s seniors rely on.


SCHULTZ: What does this all mean? Down in Florida, Congressman
Connie Mack, running for the Senate, called the Ryan budget a joke. He
missed the vote on it, in fact. Yet his office said he would have voted
for it if he had been present.

And in the state of North Dakota, one of the richest members of the
United States Congress, Republican Rick Berg, is embracing -- he is
embracing and standing with the Ryan plan whole heartedly. Interesting
move. Burg voted for the Ryan plan but Democrats believe most North
Dakotans don`t agree with Ryan`s vision for America. It is an aging
population in North Dakota, and Medicare means an awful lot to those folks.

Let`s turn to Heidi Heitkamp tonight, North Dakota Democratic
candidate for the United States Senate and former North Dakota attorney

Heidi, great to have you with us tonight.

You were -- you have been very involved in your entire career when it
comes to health care and the health care delivery system. And now, you are
faced battling against this lie that the Republicans are putting out there,
saying that President Obama has taken $716 billion away from Medicare.

We all know what the truth is. Now, the Ryan budget, is it a
political winner for Democrats and how will it play in your race?

I don`t look at it so much as a political winner or loser.

It`s just bad for the country, and it`s bad for seniors. It`s bad for
women. It`s bad for kids. It`s bad for students. It`s a bad plan for the

And it`s our obligation to talk about the Ryan budget, talk about what
this means for the future of our country. For the fabric of our safety
net, and spend a lot of time analyzing the specifics. They have a plan, we
have an obligation to talk about that plan and explain why it is that that
plan would be a disaster, especially for seniors.

SCHULTZ: The Affordable Care Act right now is delivering good things
for seniors in your state, prescription drug benefits. And if this plan
were to go through and we`ll document later on in this program, it will be
an increase in price for seniors.

Do your constituents get that?

HEITKAMP: Well, we talk a lot about the doughnut hole and what it
means to close the doughnut hole, and one of the things I talk about that a
lot of people don`t, I think, is that when you -- when prescription drugs
cost seniors too much, they don`t use them correctly, and that increases
the cost overall.

And so, it`s so important that we close the doughnut hole. We have
now today about over $500 of additional benefits to literally tens of
thousands of our seniors. And we have to continue those benefits. And you
know, to suggest that there has been any guaranteed benefit cut in Medicare
as a result of the Affordable Care Act is very dishonest. We`re in that
season where up is down and down is up, and if you have enough money, you
can continue to tell the lie. And maybe you can convince people it`s the

SCHULTZ: Well, Rick Berg does have a lot of money, your opponent. He
also is taking -- he also is taking the playbook right from the
Republicans. He`s actually using his mom to purport this lie on the
president`s record on Medicare.

What are your thoughts on that?

HEITKAMP: Well, for me, I think it`s more important that we educate.
I have asked Congressman Berg for a health care debate where we can spend
an hour actually talking about this. He won`t debate because the facts
aren`t on their side.

And so, they do anything to cover it up, do anything to convince
people that up is down and down is up, and that someone like me, who spent
my career protecting seniors and doing everything that I can to help, you
know, the elderly in my state, that I would ever do anything that would cut
their benefits, which is ridiculous.

Most people in North Dakota know me know I would never do it.

SCHULTZ: Do you wear it as a badge of honor that Karl Rove and his
group are going to spend over $1 million trying to defeat you?

HEITKAMP: A million dollars, Ed. That`s on the light side. I
checked the numbers today. We`re looking at $2 million in North Dakota,
which is a huge chunk of change. It may not sound like a lot to your
viewers in California, but in North Dakota, that`s saturation television.

SCHULTZ: All right. Now, the drought is big -- 81 percent of North
Dakota is in a drought, 50 percent of the country is in a drought. The
president talked about it yesterday in Iowa. And I understand the governor
of your state today is asking for federal help -- Republicans asking for
federal help.

Where does your opponent, Rick Berg, stand on the farm bill, which has
not been voted on in the House?

HEITKAMP: Well, it`s a confusing thing, Ed, because once again, we go
back to the Ryan budget, which said we`re going to take $180 billion out of
the farm program, reduce crop subsidies by 20 percent, then he says, I`m
for the Senate bill. Then he doesn`t know if he`s for the House or Senate
bill and can`t get it done in the House anyway.

And so, never mind what he`s for, he`s ineffective in promoting any

SCHULTZ: Heidi, would you go face to face with your opponent on THE
ED SHOW? I mean, you`re saying he won`t debate you. Let`s call him out
and let`s get the facts out on the table. Would you be willing to do that
here? We`ll bring you both in to New York.

HEITKAMP: I`d tell anyone I will do anything I can to actually sit
down and have a conversation about the issues. These 30-second commercials
do not inform the electorate. They give an opportunity for a lot of rich
people to spend a lot of many. And in the end, the voters are more cynical
and more confused than they have ever been. We need to have debates. Love
to do it, Ed. Love to do it.

SCHULTZ: The invitation is going to go out to Rick Berg`s office.
I`d like to have both of you here in New York. Let`s talk about Medicare,
and let`s talk about what the big lie is all about.

Heidi, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it very much.

Coming up, Republicans keep saying Paul Ryan is one of the smartest
guys in Washington, but he might actually need some help with his math.
Find out why Ronald Reagan`s budget director is giving Ryan a failing



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paul Ryan is a lot like Reagan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Ronald Reagan talks about God, when Paul Ryan
talks about God, he exists -- not that he doesn`t exist outside the middle
part of this country, but he is alive and well between New York and

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reagan-esque attributes.





SCHULTZ: I think he`s more like Barry Goldwater, but that`s another
story. Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Conservatives, they just love to
compare Paul Ryan to Ronald Reagan. Turns out they`re totally wrong. One
of Reagan`s own budget architects wrote a scathing critique of Ryan`s plan
in the "New York Times."

Here are some highlights. David Stockman says Ryan`s budget yields
only a rounding error`s worth of savings. And it boils down to a "fetish
for cutting the top marginal income tax rate for the super wealthy in

And Reagan`s budget director goes on to say he calls Ryan`s plan phony
and calls it devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. So we thought
tonight we would take a closer look just at the numbers.

Joining me is David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
and columnist for "Reuters." Medicare, the way they want to do this right
now, it`s -- Ryan wants to turn it into a voucher. This is what they want
to do. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher or what he calls --


SCHULTZ: It`s such a premium. He also wants to raise eligibility age
to 67. And seniors would pay 6,400 dollars more. House does the country
move ahead under this plan?

JOHNSTON: I don`t know how seniors pay 6,400 dollars. They don`t
have the income to do this to begin with. In the case of the eligibility,
so we have more and more people who should be getting health care in their
early 60s who are instead going to get sicker because they don`t have
health care until they`re 67.

SCHULTZ: What about the voucher program? This basically is taking
people and saying, we`re going to give you some money and you`re -- an
allotment of funds and you`re going to be able to go out into the private
sector and pick any insurance company you want.

JOHNSTON: That`s right. Well, the problem with it is what he`s
really doing is saying we`re going to make a fixed contribution to your
care rather than provide you with the care. And under the last iteration
of his plan, not the one he has right now, which is a little different, for
every tax dollar that he said he would save you, using the same math, he
costs you eight dollars out of pocket. You save a dollar and spend eight.
And this is good because -- I don`t know.

SCHULTZ: We don`t know why. Medicaid, this is going to be a real cut
to the poor in this country. Medicaid is going to cut 700 billion dollars
over the next 10 years. That`s the bottom line. It is an absolute cut.
The poor and the elderly are going to be hurt. Nursing home people, people
in wheelchairs, people with disabilities, that`s the bottom line. Fourteen
to 19 million people will be thrown off the program.

Now let`s get to the taxes end of it. If you are in the middle class
and if you are earning -- Americans earning between 50,000 and 100,000
dollars, you are going to get a tax hike of over 4,000 dollars. Is that

JOHNSTON: Well, it depends on how you measure the numbers. But under
every scenario of how you want to measure income, they all go up. And they
go up in the range of, depending on where you fall on this, 500 dollars to
5,000. It`s a lot of money for anybody making 50,000 to 100,000 dollars.

SCHULTZ: So where does the 4,479 come from?

JOHNSTON: This is one of the studies that has analyzed this based on
this thing called cash income, which is broader than the usual -- the
measure typically used.

SCHULTZ: But as you see the plan, David Cay, there is no way that the
middle class is going to get a break under the Ryan Budget?

JOHNSTON: Oh, no. That`s 350 dollars a month out of your pocket that
you`re going to have to pay in higher taxes, if you hit the high number
here. Even if it`s 2,000, that`s a terrible burden on people.

SCHULTZ: What about the millionaires? We keep hearing that they`re
going to get a big break. What kind of break are we talking about?

JOHNSTON: Enormous, 23.5 times for the richest Americans, over the
top tenth of one percent, compared to the poorest Americans; 331,000
dollars of tax savings. The average American worker works 10 years to make
-- because the median wage in this country is about 33,000 dollars -- is
less than 33,000. That`s 10 years of work.

SCHULTZ: So he wants to bring the rate down further?


SCHULTZ: Thirty percent?

JOHNSTON: He wants to bring it down about a third, almost a third.

SCHULTZ: Almost a third from where it is right now for the upper
income people in America.

JOHNSTON: That`s right. And you have to make that up either by more
borrowing, higher taxes, or less services.

SCHULTZ: So how is more money going to be coming into the Treasury?
It`s a theory that more people are going to get employed because the
wealthy people get more money to take home. And they`re going to be the
job creators. So it`s a theory that we`re going to grow the Treasury.


SCHULTZ: But we know for sure that the only people that are going to
be paying in are going to be the middle class.

JOHNSTON: And we know for 12 years we have tried this and where are
the jobs?

SCHULTZ: David Cay Johnston, thanks for your time tonight.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the matter with being an ideologue? I
mean, an ideologue means you stand for something.


SCHULTZ: The Paul Ryan honeymoon is over. Republicans in Washington
are comparing the Paul Ryan VP pick to "The Day The Music Died." The Big
Panel weighs in next.

The vice president hammers Republicans on their ties to Wall Street
and righties are crying foul. Michael Eric Dyson weighs in on Joe Biden`s
chains comment. >

And President Obama makes a joke about the dog Mitt Romney put on the
roof of his car. Tonight, the Romney camp is responding.


ROMNEY: Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?



SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Now, in public, Republicans
are out there saying Paul Ryan, oh, what a bold choice. He`s an exciting
guy. Good looking dude, good in front of a crowd. He`s a visionary.

But wait a minute, behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, it`s a little
different story. In a series of off the record interviews with "Politico,"
several Republicans expressed their concerns with Vice Presidential
Candidate Paul Ryan.

They don`t want to debate Medicare. That`s the bottom line. And they
don`t think that Paul Ryan is ready to be president of the United States.
They`re even coming up with clever ways to talk about the Ryan disaster.

One GOP operative is referencing Buddy Holly. "This is the day the
music died." That`s pretty innovative. Former Bush senior adviser Mark
McKinnon was one of the few willing to go on record about Ryan. He says "I
think it`s a very bold choice. It means Romney/Ryan can run on principles
and provide some real direction and vision for the Republican party. And
probably lose."

Certainly not a vote of confidence. Let`s bring in Joy Reid tonight,
of, Republican strategist Susan Del Percio, and attorney and
author Catherine Crier. Great to have all of you with us tonight. I don`t
know where any of you stand on this.

I have to ask you Susan, because you were on the program the other
night. You thought it would be somewhat disastrous if it was going to be a
Paul Ryan decision. That`s where it is. What is your opinion after the
first 72 hours?

going to be a tough -- if it was going to be Ryan, which I really didn`t
think it was, because politically it doesn`t really make sense. And we`re
hearing some of that play out now. I guess I probably should have done it
off the record like some of these other folks who did it for the "Politico"

But the truth of the matter is this is going to be tough in a lot of
Congressional races. And that`s what happens when you have a surprise.
And I think that`s part of the backlash that you`re seeing.

It also put a lot of political advisers on their heels, because they
don`t have the answers that they, you know, laid out for a lot of --
especially first-time candidates who may be running for Congress.

SCHULTZ: Joy, how big of a gamble is this for the Republicans, to put
a guy on the ticket who has got a radical budget? I mean, a lot of the
stuff that he wants to do just does not poll well in this country.

JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: Yes. And I was one of those people who said
that he should pick Paul Ryan, because I thought he`s running on Ryan`s
ideology anyway. He might as well put him on the ticket, because that`s
the -- that`s sort of what he`s running on.

But now I`m starting to wonder if maybe it was sort of me trying to
work secret mind control and get him to do it for my side. It`s incredible
because the problem is, as Susan said, it`s down ticket. You have races,
particularly in Florida, where there`s Congressional races -- even Allen
West, somebody who won on a Tea Party ballot, his new Congressional
district, the 18th district in Florida, is a much more -- it`s a Republican
leaning district, but it`s a more elderly district.

He`s got a lot of people over 55 in that district. People, whether
they`re over 55 or under, don`t like the idea of Medicare vouchers. It`s a
really tough sell.

SCHULTZ: Catherine, what about all this back chatter? That can`t

CATHERINE CRIER, AUTHOR: I think it`s very difficult. I have read
several articles where they`re saying that the Romney advisory team as a
whole was saying no, no, no. And Romney came out and insisted. And once
you have now made your announcement and you`re out there, not only is it
the Medicare dilemma, but this afternoon, they were being pressed by their
own constituents about tax policy.

And the answer was, we will tell you our tax policy in the light of
day after the elections. They have now several times in the last 48 hours
refused, in their own meetings, their own town hall meetings, to respond to
direct questions from constituents and saying, we haven`t figured it out.
I don`t know, Romney says, how much my plans overlap.

Excuse me, you vetted this guy. You have selected him. And you don`t
have a coordinated policy response.

DEL PERCIO: That`s what`s really amazing, is the rollout, the first
day was so great. It was a surprise. They did a great job rolling him
out. For everything they did, the counter measures so no one would
discover it, they should have prepared for day two and three. That`s
really where they don`t seem in sync yet. These answers should have been
out there. I think Catherine`s 100 percent right.

REID: Not only being in sync but being together. I think a mistake
was to separate them. If you`re going to pick someone, the first images
that you want to see in the media is the two of them together, running
together. But I think that the calculation was Romney doesn`t want to try
to explain the Medicare thing.

I think you`re right, on taxes at least, Republicans are usually on
firm ground when it comes to taxes. They have never won an election on
Medicare. The problem is they`re now fighting this election on ground
they`re not comfortable on.

CRIER: When you say zero cap gains rate, where your president,
Romney, would be paying no taxes, when Ronald Reagan in 1986 said wages and
capital gains should be taxed the same.


DEL PERCIO: Going back to they should be together. I think also in
this roll out, you have to keep in mind, they rolled it out probably a week
earlier so they could get all of the bugs out of this.


DEL PERCIO: And he has to take the hits, but hopefully by next week,
rolling into the convention, they will have done this. If not, it will be
extremely problematic for a lot of Republicans running across the country.

SCHULTZ: They want this Medicare story to go away, do you agree?

REID: It won`t. You picked Mr. Medicare. It`s not going away. This
election is now about Medicare. I agree with Catherine.


SCHULTZ: His budget keeps it alive. His very own budget keeps the
discussion about health care and Medicare alive. They can`t get away from
it. If they want to redo the tax situation --


CRIER: The Medicare is an easy issue for us to wrap our arms around.
We understand --

DEL PERCIO: It`s also easy to demagogue.

SCHULTZ: But eight In 10 Americans don`t want it changed, eight in 10
Americans -- 79 percent don`t want a voucher.

REID: Without Medicare, what`s the purpose of Paul Ryan? That`s all
he`s known for, right? There`s no other reason to pick him.

CRIER: But that`s just one. There are multiple issues that are going
to give the Republican constituency a big problem if they stick to the
positions, certainly Paul Ryan has presented, but even Mitt Romney.

SCHULTZ: So who stands with Paul Ryan on the stump? You have these
moderate Republicans out there who want the independent voters in their
district to vote for them. All of a sudden, this guy shows up with a
radical budget. It`s out of the mainstream. I`ll give you, granted, it is
change. But it`s radical change and people aren`t ready for it.

Who stands with him? Who doesn`t stand with him? Big call for the

DEL PERCIO: No, I think you`re going to see a lot of the top names
who were thrown out as possible VP choices out there. The Romney campaign
also did something very well the last few months, is that they do have
great surrogates out there.

SCHULTZ: Sununu, he made a mistake today.

REID: Big mistake.

DEL PERCIO: They have Rubio out there. They have Chris Christie out
there. They have a lot of people who they have kind of walked through the
process. So I think that`s going to help. And I think that`s probably who
you`ll see out there.

REID: Rubio who walked away from privatizing Social Security, which
he used to believe in.

SCHULTZ: Joy Reid, Susan Del Percio, Catherine Crier, great to have
you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, President Obama brings up the tale of Seamus the dog. And
the Romney campaign, they`re crying foul. We knew we would get to the dog
sooner or later. We`ll bring you the latest next. It`s a good one.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Well, it`s official. The tale
of Seamus the dog is now fair game on the campaign trail. President Obama
was in the works today on the road in Iowa and he was talking about an
imaginary energy policy, and really hitting Mitt Romney on that.

But during the speech, he managed to slip in the wise crack everyone
has been waiting for.


sources of energy like wind are imaginary. Governor Romney even explained
his energy policy this way. I`m quoting here, "you can`t drive a car with
a wind mill on it."

That`s what he said about wind power. "You can`t drive a car with a
wind mill on it."

Now, I don`t know if he`s actually tried that. I know he`s had other
things on his car.


SCHULTZ: The president was referring to the story of Seamus Romney
back in 1983. Mitt kenneled his Irish setter and strapped it to the roof
of his car during a road trip. The story has caused outrage among dog
lovers. It`s just another example of Romney being out of touch. And it
really hits home with voters.

A recent poll shows that 68 percent of voters think it`s inhumane to
kennel a dog on the roof of your car. And only 20 percent have a favorable
opinion of Romney`s treatment of dogs.

Meanwhile 44 percent have a favorable view of the president`s
treatment of dogs.

The Romney camp responded today, saying the president continued to
embarrass himself and diminish his office with his unpresidential behavior.

The good news is Romney hasn`t strapped a dog to the roof of his car
since 1983.

Tonight in our survey, I asked will the Romney/Ryan rule -- will the
Romney/Ryan lie about Medicare work? Eighteen percent of you said yes; 82
percent of you said no.

Up next, Joe Biden and the so-called racist code word. Find out why
Republicans claim the vice president has gone too far, and they want an
apology. We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: In tonight`s Big Finish, the Republicans must be desperate.
They`re now accusing Vice President Joe Biden of using racist code to
attack Mitt Romney today.


They`re going to put you back in chains.


SCHULTZ: The Romney campaign is actually calling Biden`s comment a
new low in the campaign. And Romney surrogate John Sununu told Andrea
Mitchell he`s outraged.


JOHN SUNUNU, ROMNEY SURROGATE: There`s going to be folks across the
country that are going to try and take that as some kind of code word that
is going to suggest that the Republicans are trying to be racial in their
programs. That`s ridiculous.


SCHULTZ: But hold the phone. There was no Republican outrage when
former presidential candidate Rick Santorum used the same code almost one
year ago today.


put you in chains called Obamacare. And you will be dependent upon
government. and you will never break away.


SCHULTZ: So it`s OK for the Republicans to talk about President
Obama`s policies enslaving Americans, but it`s not OK for the Democrats to
say the word chains?

Joining me tonight, MSNBC political analyst and Georgetown University
Professor Michael Eric Dyson. Michael, before I ask you a question, I want
to go to this. Campaigning in Ohio tonight, the candidate, Mitt Romney,
said the following in a response to Joe Biden`s comments. Here it is.


ROMNEY: So Mr. President, take your campaign division and anger and
hate back to Chicago, and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting


SCHULTZ: So now Mitt Romney is accusing President Obama of running a
campaign of hate. What is your response? And where does this take the

Ed, just like the over-response, the exaggerated response to the chains.
We already saw that Vice President Biden said, look, they have you chained
up here in terms of Wall Street. Let`s unchain you.

So it was a metaphor that was linked directly to what his statement
before that had been. So if anybody was listening, they would see chained
by Wall Street, unchained. And they`re going to put you back in chains.

Secondly, how can a Republican party that has plagued dog whistle
politics and has been -- whose expertise is in racial codes, calling
President Obama a monkey, an ape, un-American, a Kenyan, someone who wasn`t
born in America, a Communist, and on and on and on. He doesn`t share the
Anglo-Saxon heritage from Mitt Romney`s own campaign.

So thirdly, I think what is important here is for us to understand
this is the politics of distraction. The Republican party, especially with
Mitt Romney`s leadership, has done nothing to not only reach out to
African-American people and other people of color, but its policies have
been detrimental in both theory and practice to the very strength and
stability of these people.

But to call President Obama a man full of -- who is angry and who has
hate is not only ridiculous, but it appeals to, again, those racial
politics that says any African-American person who expresses himself with
vigor automatically must be angry, which is quite ridiculous when it comes
to President Obama.

SCHULTZ: Senator Rob Portman was on that platform tonight. So was
Governor John Kasich. To characterize President Obama`s campaign saying
"take your anger and your campaign of hate back to Chicago," does this
elevate the rhetoric in the campaign? And where does it end? Where is the
civility in all of this?

DYSON: It is escalating the racial rhetoric here. You go from
accusing the Obama Campaign of itself racial manipulation through Vice
President Biden`s remarks. But you then up the ante of what you think is a
racialized remark.

You say take your campaign of hate back to Chicago. That has a lot of
meanings. Chicago, a city that features prominently African-American
middle class leaders and other prominent spokespeople like Reverend Jesse
Jackson and the like. They`re suffering from extraordinary economic but
also social devastation right now, with high rates of murder and the like.

It rings in a very nasty way. And it suggests that the escalation of
the rhetoric here is going to get quite nasty, and that Mitt Romney, unlike
John McCain four years ago, is willing to do whatever he has to do in order
to win. That means even stirring up the pot of racial animus in code

SCHULTZ: Well, it certainly is stirring the pot and it`s also having
the candidate himself buy into this kind of rhetoric with a low-rent
accusation. No question about it.

We`ll see what the response is from the White House and the Obama
campaign. Michael Eric Dyson, thank you for your time tonight.

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


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