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The Ed Show for Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

August 15, 2012

Guests: Ari Berman, Howard Dean, Robert Reich, John McDonough, Jonathan Gruber, Terry O`Neill

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW, live from Minneapolis.

Eighty-three days until the 2012 election. While Mitt Romney is
whining about a hate campaign, his buddies are stealing your right to vote.

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president`s campaign is
all about division and attack and hatred.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney campaign is raging about chains, and
silent about voter suppression. Tonight, the Reverend Al Sharpton on the
Romney campaign to distract and conquer.

And "The Nation`s" Ari Berman on the surprise ruling that will help
Republicans steal the election.

be wonky on you, but we haven`t run the numbers on that specific plan.

SCHULTZ: The Republicans serious guy on budgets has no answers for
FOX News.

Robert Reich is here tonight to explain Paul Ryan, the fraud.

extended Medicare by nearly a decade. Their plan ends Medicare as we know

SCHULTZ: Howard Dean on today`s smackdown from the president on

And the architects of Romneycare and Obamacare say Paul Ryan is dead
wrong when it comes to rationing health care.

RYAN: We`re saying get rid of the health care law, stop putting this
rationing board in charge of current seniors` health care.

SCHULTZ: Jon Gruber and John McDonough join me tonight exclusively.


SCHULTZ: To have you with us. Thanks for watching.

If Mitt Romney gets his way, this is what we`re going to be talking
about for the next 83 days.


ROMNEY: The president`s campaign is all about division and attack and
hatred. I think unhinged would have to characterize what we have seen from
the president`s campaign. It`s designed to bring a sense of enmity and
jealousy and anger.


SCHULTZ: Yes. Mitt Romney says that Obama campaign is all about
anger and hate. He started this line of attack last night.


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


SCHULTZ: The way Romney is talking, it sounds like the Obama campaign
did something terrible to the Romneys. But it must be pretty bad if Romney
is throwing around words like hatred and jealousy.

But in reality, Vice President Joe Biden just made a simple point
about Republicans wanting to deregulate Wall Street.


They`re going to put y`all back in chains.


SCHULTZ: Vice President Biden`s metaphor is now the number one issue
for Republicans in the Romney campaign across America. Former speechwriter
for George W. Bush wrote in the "Daily Beast" today, "Joe Biden must step
down as vice president of the United States." Give me a break.

And Romney`s attack dog John Sununu says Biden was talking in racial


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


SCHULTZ: This has been the Romney camp`s message for the past 24
hours. It is a manufactured outrage is what it is. And the purpose is to
distract voters from the real outrageous like this one.


TV ANCHOR: We begin with breaking news on Pennsylvania`s
controversial voter identification law. Today, a Harrisburg judge refused
to block that law from taking effect.


SCHULTZ: Sure, let`s talk about Joe Biden saying the word "chains"
while Republicans block hundreds of thousands of voters in a swing state
which is crucial in this election. The Pennsylvania voter ID law was
written by Republicans and endorsed by Republican Governor Tom Corbett.

The judge`s ruling today lets this law stand. I can`t believe it, and
the implications, my friends, are absolutely huge. All voters must now
obtain a valid Pennsylvania photo ID in order to cast a ballot. It sounds
easy, but the judge said this. Judge Robert Simpson said, "The law was a
reasonable, nondiscriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the
widespread use of photo ID in daily life."

But Pennsylvania, my friends, is a case study of why not all burdens
are created equal. More than 9 percent of registered voters in the state
of Pennsylvania lack properly identification. For instance, in the city of
Philadelphia, the number at 18 percent, 44 percent of the city`s voters are
African-American. Minorities, the elderly, and the poor -- these are the
groups most likely to lack the proper documents need to vote this fall to
obtain a voter id.

This is the plan. This is the game plan that the Republicans are
using to steal states from President Obama so they can win the White House.

Hey, look, don`t take my word for it. The Republican leader in the
House in Pennsylvania said the same doggone thing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney
to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.



SCHULTZ: Judge Simpson said the House leader`s comments did not
factor into his decision because there was no proof of partisan motivation.

What did Judge Simpson think the House leader was talking about?

Let`s figure it out this way. In 2008, Barack Obama won the state of
Pennsylvania with 620,478 votes. Since 2004, the number of voter fraud
convictions in Pennsylvania is what? Four? These were all cases of
ineligible voters trying to vote. The number of cases of actual
impersonation fraud is zero. Those numbers aren`t going to help Mitt
Romney win Pennsylvania one bit.

But this number could -- 758,000, that`s right, that`s the number of
Pennsylvanians who don`t have a valid photo ID under this law.

Here`s what`s at stake, my friends: 20 electoral votes. In a close
election, 20 electoral votes could be the ball game. This is much more
offensive than someone saying the word "chains" in a speech.

The right to vote is granted by citizens, by the United States
Constitution, but the country is now much closer to the mindset of this FOX
News guest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, look, voting is a privilege. I mean, there
are things you have to do to vote.


SCHULTZ: Really? A privilege?

I guess we should change the name of the Voting Rights Act to the
voting privilege act.

If Mitt Romney wants to talk about hatred and anger and division --
that`s what he wants to talk about, we should be talking about this story
all across America.

I hate the thought that people are going to be denied the right to
vote in this country. And I`m angry that a political party would divide
Americans into two groups, those who can vote and those who cannot.

Get your cell phones. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, which is the bigger outrage, Joe Biden`s comments or suppressing
the minority vote? Text A for Biden`s comments, text B for suppressing the
vote, to 622639. You can always going to our blob at and
we`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICS NATION"
here on MSNBC and head of the National Action Network. And Ari Berman,
contributing writer for "The Nation" and "Rolling Stone" magazine, author
of "Herding Donkeys."

Gentlemen, great to have you with us.

Reverend, I`ll going to you first on this. The numbers clearly state
that Pennsylvania could now be in jeopardy. What`s the push back on this,
Reverend? What do we do? What do Democrats do? What options are
available at this point?

REP. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Well, two things. One, there will be
an appeal to this ruling, but at the same time, groups like ours, the
National Action Network have gone into Pennsylvania, have gone into other
states and actually organizing churches and people on the ground to get
people their voter photo ID.

We have a two-prong strategy because we must not while we wait on the
courts to go back and forth, not equip as many people as we can with their
IDs so they can vote.

This is clearly a problem when you`re dealing with seniors like the
lead plaintiff on the case who are on fixed incomes, they can`t afford $10
or $20 for a passport or a license. That`s why it`s been referred to a new
poll tax.

When you have the head of the state representatives there saying
blatantly this is about Romney winning, Romney can win because of this, we
are clearly being violated here, and we`re being clearly violated for this
election. We have always used ID. Why not have the ID we use when Nixon
was running and when Reagan was running and Clinton and the Bushes? Why
all of a sudden do we need new ID now?

He told us why, because that`s how they intend to win this election.

SCHULTZ: Reverend, how are you going to motivate and mobilize and get
people on the ground moving 82 days as of tomorrow, 750,000 people?
There`s never been a heavier lift in American politics to move people like
that. I mean, how is this going to happen?

SHARPTON: Well, I think we have got to -- we are already on the
ground before the 85 days, labor and others are coming. But we`ve got to
do what we can to mobilize people, and at the same time, continue to fight
in the courts.

But a lot of people that are beginning to understand this is even
bigger than this election. This is assault on voter rights.

This is saying this country last year, erected a statue of Martin
Luther King on the banks of the Potomac, but this year are trying to undue
and revoke what King and others did and some gave their lives for including
Viola Louisa, a lady from Michigan, where Mr. Romney`s father was
governor, went to Selma to get the Voting Rights Act, now it`s being
neutralized by these maneuvers.

SCHULTZ: Well, elections have consequences.

Ari Berman, I guess we can say we ran into an activist judge here.
This is really an out-of-the-bailiwick type of ruling. And you have been
covering this case. Why did the judge rule to uphold this law?

ARI BERMAN, AUTHOR, "HERDING DONKEYS": It really was a ruling, Ed,
that seemed pretty devoid from reality given that Pennsylvania admitted its
central rationale for the law didn`t exist because there was no voter fraud
in Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the trial, it looks like the deck was
going to be stacked against the state.

The judge basically said he was deferring to the state that the law
was constitutional, and he dismissed a lot of what the plaintiffs argued
which I thought was surprising because he said number one, the law is
nonpartisan even though voter ID laws in Pennsylvania and across the
country have been passed exclusively by Republicans, and then he said it
was nondiscriminatory even though blacks are twice as likely as whites to
not have these IDs and people of color are disproportionately effected --
not only in not having the IDs but not having access to things like birth
certificates needed to get the IDs.

So, you have a situation where the facts on the ground didn`t support
the conclusion that the judge in Pennsylvania reached in this case.

SCHULTZ: All right. Is there a chance that this ruling is still
going to be struck down in an appeal, Ari? What about that?

BERMAN: It`s possible. The state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania is
deadlocked 3-3 between Democrats and Republicans. So they need four votes
on that court to overturn this ruling. If the court deadlocks it goes back
to the lower court and the law is likely to stand.

So, my impression from talking to people on the ground today in
Pennsylvania, they`re preparing to go through with this law on the books,
try to get as many people IDs as possible, but there`s unlikely that this
law is going to be blocked before the election. That`s just the reality
right now based on this ruling.

SCHULTZ: You know, Reverend, there are people who have voted in
Pennsylvania for decades that have never had an id. That are economically
challenged, some of them don`t even have transportation. We`re talking
about people into the thousands, if you look at the margin of victory that
Barack Obama had in 2008 and also how close it was in 2004, I mean, is
August 15th, 2012, possibly the day Barack Obama lost the election?

SHARPTON: No, I think August 15th, 2012, may be the day that we lost
voting rights and the people of this country began to see a regression in
terms of our democratic principles.

It`s not just about the president`s election. And it`s not just
people that don`t have ID. They have ID. They have the ID they voted for
years with.

This is new ID. And I think that we`ve got to let the right wing have
to deal with the fact that they`re the ones changing id based on a non-
existing problem.

We`re not against ID. Let us use the ID we always had in

SCHULTZ: Well, it would seem to me it`s going to take a lot of people
coming into the state of Pennsylvania to help out with this. I mean, this
is going to take a mammoth effort to make this wrong a right between now
and November 6th. Reverend Al Sharpton and Ari Berman, great to have both
of you with us. Thanks so much.

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

Coming up in the program: Medicare misinformation. It is out there
big time. The Republicans double down on what really is their biggest lie
to date, running into this election. We`ll show you just how they`re
struggling to keep their story straight when we come back.

Stay with us. You`re watching THE ED SHOW live from Minneapolis.


SCHULTZ: Coming up on THE ED SHOW, former Vermont Governor Howard Dan
on the latest Romney lie on Medicare. And that`s exactly what it is, a

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Paul Ryan`s admission they
didn`t run the numbers on the Romney budget. Really?

And Minnesota Republicans have now nominated a candidate for Congress
who says women are genetically predisposed to being subservient to men. We
will introduce you to Michele Bachmann`s mentor, Allen Quist.

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


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

For the last couple nights here on THE ED SHOW, we have been debunking
Mitt Romney`s latest lie about Medicare. I mean, this is their campaign.
Today, it looks like the Romney campaign is really struggling to keep the
lie going. They have launched a slick new campaign ad to deliver the same
old misleading message.


NARRATOR: When you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare.


SCHULTZ: Republicans spent the day repeating that lie about the $716
billion. And they run into trouble when they`re confronted with the truth.
Remember President Obama`s Affordable Care Act saved $716 billion by
cutting overpayments to insurance industry experts and costs?

Ryan`s plan cuts $716 billion from Medicare all together. He repeals
the Affordable Care Act but does not replace it. The cost will shift to
seniors, you can count on it.

So, Mitt Romney really needs to pick a plan, doesn`t he?


ROMNEY: Congressman Ryan has joined my campaign. And his campaign is
my campaign now, and we`re on exactly the same page.


SCHULTZ: Romney still won`t clarify what his own plan for Medicare
is. So the former governor from Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, tried to keep the
focus on the big lie instead. Here is his attempt.


factual -- it is absolutely beyond factual dispute he has cut $716 billion
of money that was projected to be spent on Medicare over the next 10 years.

SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, CNN: It`s not a cut in Medicare, right? Let me read
from the CBO.

PAWLENTY: It`s a cut.


SCHULTZ: Obama says the Republicans just seem a little bit desperate
right now.


OBAMA: I think they know their plan is not very popular. You can
tell that because they`re being pretty dishonest about my plan, especially
by the way when it comes to Medicare. Now, this is something I have got to
point out here, because they are just throwing everything at the wall to
see if it sticks.


SCHULTZ: I am joined tonight by Howard Dean, former governor of
Vermont, and former chairman of the DNC.

Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight.

They are off-message, they are off-point. They`re not on the same
page when it comes to a vital issue. And they have spent so much time
talking about repealing Obamacare, they have no plan for themselves. How
much damage are the Republicans doing to themselves right now?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: They`re starting to do a lot. What
they`re using is old propaganda techniques that were actually used by the
Soviets years ago. They say something that`s not true and they`re going to
spend $200 million saying it again and again, hoping someone believes it.

Here`s the problem they have, very few people in America believe that
Republicans care about Medicare, because they have tried to hurt it so many
ways. Nor do they believe they care about middle class people.

They do believe that whatever the faults of the Democrats, they have
stood up for Social Security and Medicare. So it`s propaganda generally,
and it didn`t work in Russia and it`s not going to work here, it generally
does not work when people know that it`s a lie. And that is the problem
the Republicans have.

People know it`s not true. They don`t believe that President Obama is
going to cut Medicare. They do believe that the Republicans don`t like
Medicare and Social Security. That`s the uphill fight the Republicans have

SCHULTZ: I mean, I just find it amazing, 79 percent of the American
people don`t want a voucher system, they don`t want to change anything when
it comes to Medicare. They want to leave it alone. That`s eight in 10

Yet they continue to send surrogates out in front of television
cameras and doing interviews saying, no, President Obama, and they use the
word "stole", stole the money to pay for Obama care. And this continues.

This is Paul Ryan. He insists on telling this Medicare lie. Here he
is on Sean Hannity`s radio show today. Listen to this.


RYAN: I am eager to have this debate. We`re going to have this
debate and we`re going to win this debate. The reason you`re hearing these
kinds of things is because the president knows he is so vulnerable on this
issue. It`s the president who took $716 billion from the Medicare program
to spend on Obamacare. That`s cuts to current seniors that will lead to
less services for current seniors.


SCHULTZ: Governor Dean, they lied about you back in 2004, but they`re
really lying now.

DEAN: Few people in politics lie all the time. His last phrase was
where the lie was. It does not cut services to seniors. That`s just a
fact. It does not.

It takes -- it does take money away from insurance companies and some
providers. But the other thing it does is strengthen the Medicare trust
fund. Now, when Ryan cut Medicare in his budget, he got rid of President
Obama`s health care bill. So all that money he cut was taken directly out
of Medicare, away from seniors, away from programs and given actually, I
hate to say this, was given for tax cuts for people who made $1 million a
year and more. What they`re trying to do is ridiculous and nobody is going
to believe it.

The thing is they have hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to our
pal John Roberts` Citizens United case, which basically sold America to the
highest bidder, and they`re going to put hundreds of millions of dollars
behind these ads. I don`t think they`re going to win. I really don`t
think so.

People know the Republicans don`t like ordinary Americans, and that`s
what their problem is.

SCHULTZ: You know, I hope you`re right on that, I really do.

But I`m going to beg to defer with you a little bit here. I believe
this misinformation campaign that they`ve got going on right now is very --
is very organized. They`re very disciplined about it. They`re not going
to give up on it. I think it`s going to affect a lot of people, and don`t
you think the Obama team is going to have to stay on point because they`re
not going to stop lying over on the other side?

DEAN: No, that`s right. They`re going to have to fight and fight and
fight. At the end of the day, the problem is the ordinary people of this
country, the average working people, they know the Republicans are not on
their side because the Republicans actually cause this horrible recession
we`re in, by their giveaways to the banks and giveaways to people who have
lots of money.

That`s what George Bush did for eight years. He cut taxes and
wouldn`t pay for it by cutting programs. That`s why we are where we are.

So, you know, yes, they`re going to get barraged by hundreds of
millions of dollars of corporations` money paying for these kinds of ads.
There are not going to be a lot of people who believe them at the end of
the day, but the president has to stay on message, he has to be tough about
it. This is going to be the toughest election of my lifetime.

SCHULTZ: Well, I`ll tell you, there`s no question. Mitt Romney hired
one hell of a liar because that`s about as good of a lie sound bite I have
heard in a long time.

Howard Dean, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, Mitt Romney is trashing an independent study of his tax
plan. And GOP budget expert Paul Ryan, well, he really hasn`t crunched the
numbers yet. Robert Reich is here to set the Republican ticket straight.

And then the Mitt Romney interview wishes that we would not do. We`ll
talk to the architects of Romneycare, the guys who put it together. They
stick it to the governor, former governor of Massachusetts, about the facts
and about Medicare. You`re not going to want to miss this one.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Mitt Romney, he is whining
about a recent analysis of his tax plan. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center
says the Romney tax plan would do this -- provide large tax cuts to high-
income households and increase the tax burdens on middle or lower income
taxpayers. That`s what they said.

Today, Romney responded by saying, they made garbage assumptions and
they reached a garbage conclusion.

All right. Somebody has to take out the trash.

Romney could end the speculation by telling the American people what
assumptions he`s willing to put forward, but he refuses to say what he
would actually cut.

Today, Romney, he did shed a little birth of light on this plan. You
know what he`s going to cut? He`s going to cut Amtrak, PBS, the national
endowment for the arts, the national endowment for humanities. Really,
really big stuff, right? Important stuff is what it is.

This is what Mitt Romney considers a serious proposal, ending funding
for Big Bird and Elmo?

Romney`s budget is so full of holes, even the GOP budget genius Paul
Ryan can`t explain it.


RYAN: We want to reduce the size of government so we can have more
economic freedom.

HUME: Get that. But what about balance?

RYAN: Well, I don`t know exactly when it balances, because we haven`t
-- I don`t want to get wonky on you, but we haven`t run the numbers on that
specific plan.


SCHULTZ: Think about that. The question was, what about balance?
Well, you know, we`re deficit hawks and budget hawks, but we really haven`t
run the numbers yet. We haven`t run the numbers because there are no

This is the way Mitt Romney plays the game, whether he`s running the
Olympics or whether he`s running for president. His books always seem
shrouded in secrecy, don`t they? By the way, where are those taxes? We`re
not going to get those, either.

That`s later in the show. For more, let`s bring in Robert Reich,
former labor secretary under President Clinton, and now a professor at UC
Berkeley, cNBC contributor and author of the book "Beyond Outrage."

Lord forbid if the American people ask for some detail, Mr. Reich, on
this. Robert, will cutting things like PBS balance the budget?

ROBERT REICH, FMR. LABOR SECRETARY: No, Ed, they will not. I mean,
look it, Romney has studiously avoided any details with regard to how he`s
going to pay for these gigantic tax gives ways to the very rich or how he`s
going to cut the budget. That`s why Paul Ryan`s budget, the budget that he
has come up with for the Republicans in Congress, has taken center stage,
because it must be that Ryan`s budget fills in the details of Romney`s lack
of detail.

Particularly when Romney says that Ryan`s budget is a marvelous
budget; it`s a wonderful budget, couldn`t have come up with a better budget
himself. Well, it is his budget now.

SCHULTZ: Isn`t it a moment of embarrassment on the part of the Romney
campaign that they`ve got the vice presidential candidate saying that they
haven`t run the numbers, yet he is the chairman of the House Budget
Committee? Do you think the American people are going to put that
connection together?

REICH: I don`t think the American people are going to pay a lot of
attention to specific numbers. When it comes to numbers, particularly
numbers that are obfuscated by Republicans over and over again, what the
Republicans are counting on is that people`s eyes glaze over, and they
begin to say, well, we just don`t know what the truth is; we can`t tell
what the truth is from the Democrats or the Republicans, so we`re not going
to pay attention.

But it`s very important that people do pay attention. That
nonpartisan Tax Policy Center Mitt Romney called garbage, it is largely
respected. It`s respected by all partisans, by al sides, because it is so
vigorous with regard to numbers. It`s been careful. And it has looked at
what Romney has said, the little bit Romney has said about what he wants to
do the tax code. And they, the Tax Policy Center, has concluded that every
millionaire, on average, people earning over a million dollars, will get
from Romney`s proposal at least 295,000 dollars a year less in taxes than
they are paying now.

Ryan`s tax -- tax benefits to the rich are even bigger than that. And
where are these going to come from? Romney says they`re going to come from
closing tax loopholes, but he refuses to say what tax loopholes he`s going
to close. And he`s not going to close any of the tax loopholes that he
himself has benefited from, such as the carried interest loophole that
allows private equity managers to treat their incomes as capital gains.

SCHULTZ: Yeah, well, you know, they`re like an engine that`s not
running very well right now. When something goes bad, the problems begin
to multiply. This is a day after Ryan said that he hasn`t run the numbers.
This is Romney adviser Ed Gillespie. He had a very similar problem.
Here`s the multiplication.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: How many years would it take for the Romney
budget to result in a balanced budget?

ED GILLESPIE, ROMNEY ADVISER: Wolf, I`m not sure of that myself
actually. I`ll get that to you, though. And I`m sure it`s on our website.
I should know it. I`m embarrassed on your air that I don`t have that
number at the top of my head.


SCHULTZ: Robert, I don`t think there`s anything you and I can say
after that sound bite. It just doesn`t sound like anybody knows what the
heck is going on.

REICH: Ed, look, the fact of the matter is they haven`t run the
numbers because there are no numbers to run. And there will not be any
Romney numbers to run as long as Romney is running.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Robert Reich, great to have you with us. Thanks so

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


ROMNEY: My campaign has made it very clear, the president`s cuts of
716 billion dollars to Medicare, those cuts are going to be restored if I
become president and Paul Ryan becomes vice president.


SCHULTZ: Up next, the architects of Romneycare and Obamacare will
tell you who is really lying about Medicare.

Mitt Romney uses a secret weapon to combat Harry Reid on his tax


ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: The only reason we don`t disclose
any more is, you know, we`d just become a bigger target.


SCHULTZ: And Michele Bachmann`s mentor might be headed to Congress.
I`ll show you why he might be more radical than she is.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. This will probably be Mitt
Romney`s least favorite part of the show tonight here on THE ED SHOW and
his campaign. But if you`re a conservative and you`re watching tonight, I
want you to set aside all partisanship for just a moment, and be a fair-
minded American about this.

We`re about to set aside politics for a minute and get to the truth of
what is going on in this country. You see, back in 2006, Mitt Romney
signed sweeping health care reform into law in the state of Massachusetts.
I mean, there`s Ted Kennedy. It was celebrated by a lot of people. It was
landmark legislation that all sides could agree on, because it was going to
help people in the state of Massachusetts.

But Mitt Romney, you see, right now, he doesn`t like to talk about the
success of his signature achievement as governor. In fact, his running
mate hates it.


RYAN: I`m not a fan of the system, but they say the system bursting
by the seams. They see premium increases, rationing and benefit cuts. So
they`re frustrated with this system.


SCHULTZ: Paul Ryan says Romneycare is rationing. If that`s true,
then Mitt Romney, I guess, is going to be the rationer in chief if he gets
elected. But tonight, the men who helped create both Romneycare in the
state of Massachusetts and the Affordable Health Care Act are here tonight
to set the record straight.

We`re going right to the source, the two gentlemen that were right at
the heart of putting these bills together.

Joining us tonight are Jonathan Gruber, who is a professor of
economics at MIT, and John McDonough, professor at Harvard School of Public
Health. Gentlemen, it`s great to have you both on THE ED SHOW tonight. I
appreciate it so much. I will go so far as to say that both of you, you
are the sources. You can put this to rest tonight I think for a lot of

Professor McDonough, let me ask you, Romney claims your health care
plan raids 716 billion dollars from Medicare. Is that true?

Care Act reduces the rate of growth of Medicare spending by reducing
payments to hospitals and insurance companies as a way to pay for part of
the expansions in the law. But those are reductions that were, for the
most part, agreed to by the hospital industry, by the home health care

What they would not agree to, and what would deeply unsettle them and
make their operations very difficult, would be to repeal the expansions in
the law because they are suffering right now very greatly under the weight
of all of the uninsured and uncompensated care across America.

SCHULTZ: And that really was the concept of this health care bill, is
to get more people covered. Number one, to get more people into the
system, to get more money into the system, but also to get better outcomes.
I think the American people do get that.

Professor Gruber, what is the difference between the Affordable Care
Act and Paul Ryan`s plan for Medicare?

PROFESSOR JONATHAN GRUBER, MIT: Well, the Affordable Care Act and
Paul Ryan`s plan for Medicare have at their core a similar concept, which
is the concept of the exchange, of individual choice across private health
insurance plans. The difference is the Affordable Care Act is applying to
a population where the system is broken, where they have no access, and the
exchange provides a lifeline to them for getting insurance that is now not

Paul Ryan`s plan takes a system that fundamentally works, which is the
Medicare system, rips it up, and replaces it with a new system. It makes
no sense to do that first. We should try it first for the non-elderly,
where the system is broken. If that works, as an economist, I`m happy to
consider that for seniors. But let`s first try it where we need to. Let`s
not rip up a system that works and start there.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gruber, let me ask you, was Romneycare a model for the
Affordable Health Care Act? Was it -- what was going on in Massachusetts,
was it a model for the national act?

GRUBER: It was a model in a couple different ways. One is John and I
and other experts were constantly shuttling back and forth, and were asked
how did you do it in Massachusetts? How did it work in Massachusetts? My
favorite quote of John`s is he once said the Affordable Care act is the
Massachusetts bill with three more zeroes. It really is a similar

It`s also -- it`s very similar in the sense that the success we had in
Massachusetts was so instrumental towards making politicians feel
comfortable with what they were about to undertake. This is a real --


GRUBER: -- new step in health insurance reform. And Massachusetts
made them feel more comfortable with that.

SCHULTZ: Professor McDonough, Paul Ryan is out there saying that
Romneycare in Massachusetts is failing. Is that true? Or is it

MCDONOUGH: Well, it`s actually proven right now to be quite
successful. More than 98 percent of everyone in Massachusetts has health
insurance. About 99.8 percent of children have health insurance.

But I think that the real litmus test is to do some political
shorthand. So Senator Scott Brown, our Republican U.S. senator, strongly
opposes the Affordable Care Act, and strongly supports Massachusetts health
reform. In 2006 and 2010, we had two hotly contested gubernatorial
elections with well financed Republican contenders. In both of those
elections, those candidates supported Massachusetts health reform.

There was a group in Massachusetts last year that tried to gather
signatures to put on the ballot a question to repeal the individual mandate
in the Massachusetts health reform law. They had to abandon their effort
because they couldn`t get the signatures.

More than two thirds of people in Massachusetts support this law and
want to see it continue. And there`s no credible group in Massachusetts
that is advocating repeal or scaling it back in any significant way. You
know, we`re on the other side. The rest of the country is looking toward
implementation of the Affordable Care Act, whether they like it or they
dislike it. We`re on the other side of that. We`re about eight years
ahead of the rest of the country.

And what we can say very clearly in Massachusetts is it`s working and
it`s working well.

SCHULTZ: OK. So what we conclude tonight from you two gentlemen, the
source, who were very involved in writing these bills both in Massachusetts
and on the national level, the Affordable Care Act, that number one, Paul
Ryan and the Republicans are lying about the 716 billion dollars that`s
been taken away from seniors, and also that Romney care in Massachusetts is
failing, when both of you tell us tonight that it is not failing. It is

Let`s make sure I`ve got that correct. Is that correct? Do both of
you agree on that?

GRUBER: Yes, absolutely. Romneycare had two goals. They wanted to
cover the uninsured. We have covered almost all of the uninsured. And
they wanted to fix a broken nongroup market. Here`s where Paul Ryan just
lied in that clip you showed. The premiums in our nongroup market have
fallen by more than 50 percent.

SCHULTZ: All right --

MCDONOUGH: I would add just one other thing very quickly. On
Medicare, Governor Romney has said that he wants to repeal the entire
Affordable Care Act. If you do that, then you repeal the shrinking of the
Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole. And you take away a host of
benefits that Medicare enrollees are getting right now.

So the only person who is really advocating cutting benefits to
current Medicare enrollees is Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan Gruber, John McDonough, great to have you with us
tonight. We`ll have you back. This story isn`t going away. Thanks so

Coming up, it`s the story that just will not go away. Ann Romney says
her husband has nothing to hide when it comes to his taxes. But she says
they`re not going to be releasing any more returns. I`ll show you what she
said when we come back. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Mitt Romney`s tax issue is
still on the table. And the campaign`s so-called secret weapon to deal
with it, Ann Romney, she isn`t helping matters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not be transparent and release more than the
2010 and the estimates for 2011?

A. ROMNEY: Have you seen how we`re attacked? Have you seen what has

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been in the press quite a bit. Are you
angry that it`s been in the press? Should you not be questioned about your

A. ROMNEY: We have been very transparent to what`s legally required
of us. But the more we release, the more we get attacked, the more we get
questioned, the more we get pushed. And so we have done what is legally
required and there`s going to be no more tax releases given.

Mitt is as honest. His integrity is just golden. We pay our taxes.
We are absolutely -- beyond paying our taxes, we also give 10 percent of
our income to charity. So we have no issues that way. The only reason we
don`t disclose more is we just become a bigger target.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it`s because you`ll just continue to face
more questions.

A. ROMNEY: Well, it will just give them more ammunition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To American people, though, when they hear
about, you know, perhaps accounts with your name on it overseas in tax
shelters, they feel like you may be hiding something.

A. ROMNEY: There`s nothing we`re hiding. You know, we have had a
blind trust for how many years. We don`t even know what`s in there.


SCHULTZ: That`s their story and they`re sticking to it. Meanwhile,
just days into his campaign for the vice presidency, Paul Ryan is already
taking closed door meetings with the billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson in
Las Vegas. Adelson is the guy who has pledged 100 million dollars to
defeat President Obama, all to insure that his own taxes are lowered under
a Romney administration.

According to the "New York Times," Ryan met with Adelson and three
dozen wealthy donors in Vegas in a luxury suite, with a guarded elevator at
Adelson`s Venetian Hotel. As the meeting went on, hundreds of union
protesters lined up outside, calling out the Ryan budget. A budget Paul
Ryan will talk about with billionaire donors, but not with average middle
class working Americans.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you which is the bigger outrage, Joe
Biden`s comments or suppressing the minority vote. Three percent of you
say Biden`s comments, you`re really worried about that; 97 percent of you
say suppressing the vote.

Up next, he helped make Michele Bachmann into a right-wing star, and
now he wants to join her in Congress. We`ll introduce you to a Republican
congressional candidate Allen Quist. Stay tuned. He`s a dandy.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, where do all these radicals
come from? Michele Bachmann`s mentor here in Minnesota wants to join her
in Congress. And you know what, he just might get his wish. This is going
to be a tough fight.

Last night, former State Representative turns soybean farmer Allen
Quist -- take a look at this guy. He won the Republican primary in
Minnesota`s first congressional district.

Quist will face Democratic Congressman Tim Waltz in November. And
Quist has Bachmann`s full support. As "Mother Jones" reports, Quist worked
with Bachmann in the late `90s to fight Minnesota`s state education
standards. With Quist`s help, Bachmann won a seat in the State Senate a
short time later.

Now Bachmann is returning the favor and fund raising for this guy.
Who is this candidate? Who is he? Quist, let me tell you, at one time
believed dinosaurs co-existed with man. He once compared a university`s
gay counseling clinic to the Ku Klux Klan.

He called for mandatory AIDS testing to obtain a marriage license.
And now he`s having to explain an interview he gave back in 1994. Here`s
what Quist had to say about the roll of women in society.


arrangement in marriage, similar to any other political arrangement. And
that political arrangement is that when push comes to shove, the higher
level of political authority normally -- I think there are exceptions, but
normally should be in the hands of the husband, because --


SCHULTZ: OK, I`m joined by Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women. Terry, who knows what happens in the Heartland,
but this is a dandy. I want to say that this guy is radical. But I think
the first thing I need to say, the comments are disgusting. What do you
make of this kind of candidate?

outrageous and it`s really astonishing that this man has gotten so far in
his efforts to become member of the House of Representatives of the United
States of America, a man who thinks that women are predisposed for

He`s also a man who is really deeply and in a very ugly way
homophobic. He has no place in the House of Representatives. Although I
agree with you, Ed, I think it`s going to be a very tough race. I think
there`s going to be lots of right-wing money pouring into this race. And
it`s going to be very important for everyone to -- I think to rally around
Tim Waltz. He`s a good person and a good candidate, and has served his
district well.

And the good news is that he is well liked and very popular in his

SCHULTZ: Does this highlight the GOP`s war on women?

O`NEILL: Oh, absolutely. If you go to Allen Quist`s own website, he
is calling for abolishing the Department of Education. He`s calling for
repeal of Obamacare. And by the way, it`s only because of Obamacare that
14 million women who would have had health insurance all this time if only
they could afford it, they`re now going to have access to affordable
quality health insurance.

And tens of millions more women are going to have access to preventive
care, contraception and mammogram and so forth.

SCHULTZ: Is your organization here in Minnesota strong enough to
defeat this guy?

O`NEILL: You know, absolutely. And our organization in Minnesota is
working very hard on a number of campaigns. And I think that they will
defeat him. I think certainly we`re going to be working with them and
helping them. And I think we can defeat him.

But it is going to be tough. But he is completely so far out of
bounds. He has no place in the House of Representatives.

SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, great to have you with us tonight on THE ED
SHOW. Thanks so much. It is amazing what some people will say and what
candidates are popping up here in 2012.

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

Good evening, Rachel.


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