IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Ed Show for Friday, August 17, 2012

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Richard Wolffe, Gwen Moore, Mike Papantonio, Mitch Ceasar, Stephanie Singer, Daniel Burger, Jim Graves

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

Eighty-one days until the 2012 election. Mitt Romney actually picked
the perfect running mate. Paul Ryan lies almost as much as Mitt does.
Does any more truth returns tonight?

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


was shut down in 2009. I remember President Obama visiting it when he was
first running, saying he`ll keep that plant open.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney campaign rolls on, and the lies keep
on flowing.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president`s plan, this
goes bankrupt.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, we`ll dig deep on Paul Ryan`s stimulus lie.

RYAN: I don`t recall.

SCHULTZ: And we`ll relive a week`s worth of deception from the
Republican ticket with Big Eddy`s board of truth.

Paul Ryan gets ready for some assisted lying in Florida.

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

SCHULTZ: We`ll show you the stakes for ending Medicare in the
Sunshine State.

The Obama campaign keeps taxes on the table with a creative offer.

ROMNEY: I never paid less than 13 percent.

SCHULTZ: And the creator of "The Wire" drops the hammer on Mitt
Romney`s ridiculous tax rate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This game is rigged.

SCHULTZ: And could new poll numbers in Minnesota mean Michele
Bachmann could be out of a job?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The news media should do a
penetrating expose and take a look.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, an ED SHOW penetrating expose.

BACHMANN: This is it for freedom.


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

It`s been seven days since Mitt Romney had a slip of tongue when
introducing his running mate.


ROMNEY: Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States,
Paul Ryan.



SCHULTZ: Well, that was a mistake. But over the past week, Mitt
Romney and Paul Ryan have repeated lie after lie after lie. So I thought
it would be good if we should just pick up the Big Eddy board of truth
tonight and keep track of the lies from the GOP ticket just this week.


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: Ooh, the Medicare lie, that is a big one. And it helped
create more lies to benefit Paul Ryan.


ROMNEY: This man said, I`m going to find Democrats to work with,
found a Democrat to co-lead a piece of legislation to make sure we can save


SCHULTZ: Simply not true, says the very Democrat Mitt Romney is
talking about. Senator Mitt -- Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon said, "Governor
Romney is talking nonsense. I did not co-lead a piece of legislation."

Now, let`s see. That`s two lies so far. What else is there?


ROMNEY: Bob played me a tape of one of the ads that President Obama
has out there. And I just scratch my head. He talks about how wonderful
it is and how we`re adding jobs in the coal industry and producing more
coal. And I thought, you know, how in the world can you go out and tell
people things that aren`t true?


SCHULTZ: But the president is telling the truth. Since 2008, there
are more coal jobs, and there is more coal production in the United States.
Well, the lies just keep on coming. Remember this one?


ROMNEY: Going out and saying he`s going to take the welfare -- excuse
me, the work requirement out of welfare. How in the world could he not
understand the power of work?


SCHULTZ: The work requirement for welfare isn`t going anywhere. This
is an outright lie. Romney`s television ads are lying also.


NARRATOR: So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care
is going to a massive new government program that`s not for you.


SCHULTZ: It is for seniors. Obamacare helps seniors pay for medicine
and preventive care.


ROMNEY: Today`s seniors, if you will, my plan presents no change.
The plan stays the same.


SCHULTZ: Romney`s plan causes Medicare premiums to rise in order to
pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. So that`s another lie.

So let`s see now, if you`re scoring at home, we`re now up to six so

ROMNEY: The generation after today`s seniors, generations after
today`s seniors, and the president`s plan, this goes bankrupt. Under the
plan that I proposed, it is solvent.


SCHULTZ: Ooh, now, this one is a double lie. The Medicare trustees
say that President Obama`s plan extends a6 Medicare`s solvency like eight
years. Meanwhile, the Romney/Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it.

OK. If you`re scoring, we`re up to eight. And it`s not just Mitt
Romney who is lying.


REPORTER: Do you think the Obama bailout of the auto industry was a
good idea sitting here today?

RYAN: It didn`t help Janesville. They shut a plant down. It didn`t
help Kenosha. I represent there. Shut down the Chrysler plant.


SCHULTZ: Really? Even though Paul Ryan voted for the automobile


RYAN: What I voted for was to prevent a worse bailout.


SCHULTZ: This dishonesty count as a lie. And so does this.


RYAN: I live in Janesville, Wisconsin. We use today have a big
General Motors plant. A lot of my high school buddies worked at that G.M.
plant. That plant was shut down in 2009. I remember President Obama
visiting it when he was first running saying he would keep the plant open -
- one more broken promise.


SCHULTZ: Now, here`s the problem with this lie. The factory Ryan is
talking about was closed under George W. Bush.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon, I`m Eric Frank, with the C3K
update for Tuesday, June 3rd. Rising gas prices and a sluggish economy
forcing the hand at General Motors. Topping our news today, the decision
to close Janesville`s G.M. plant.


SCHULTZ: So we`re in double digits now. Ten lies in a week. What do
you think? Can we make it 11?


REPORTER: You had asked for stimulus money for your district. Is
that accurate?

RYAN: I didn`t ask for stimulus. I don`t recall. I haven`t seen
this report so I can`t comment on it.


SCHULTZ: Getting tired yet? I never asked for stimulus money. This
isn`t just a lie. This is the height of hypocrisy.

Listen to Paul Ryan talking ability his stimulus vote in 2010.


CALLER: I assume you voted against the stimulus, and I`m just curious
if you accepted any money in your district.

RYAN: No, I`m not one of those people who votes for something then
writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request
any stimulus money.


SCHULTZ: Ryan has successfully lobbied for federal stimulus funds
since 2009.

As recently as five months ago, Ryan was still securing federal funds
for his district. Now, letters show Ryan`s signature on requests for money
to invest in green technology and alternative fuels.

We would applaud the congressman from Wisconsin for the use of good
government programs if he wasn`t always lying about how bad they are. Ryan
should probably expect more reactions like the one he got today.


RYAN: Epitomize what the American idea is all about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you lie about accepting stimulus funds?



SCHULTZ: So what do we have here? Can you blame the guy for standing
up because we have now 11 lies in one week? One week, 11 lies.

Let me pull a Mitt here and make this real easy for everybody to
understand. That would be 11 lies and zero lies for the Obama campaign.

Romney and Ryan set a high bar for themselves when it comes to
deceiving the American public, don`t you think? You think they`ll get into
double figures again next week.

Get your cell phones out. Tonight`s question, who is a bigger liar?
Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan?

Text A for Mitt Romney, Text B for Paul Ryan to 622639. You can go to
our blog at And we`ll, of course, bring you the results
later on in the program.

I am joined tonight by Congresswoman Gwen Moore of the great state of

Congresswoman, great to have you with us. Appreciate your time.

You`re -- you`re on the budget committee in the House, which of
course, this is the committee that Paul Ryan chairs. Is he a hypocrite?

REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: Well, Ed, I feel very sorry for Paul
Ryan because Paul Ryan hails from a district that leans Democratic, and so
he`s done the right thing in stewardship of his district. He`s sought
stimulus dollars. He sought very, very hard to keep the Kenosha plant
going. And I was on a letter with him and with both our senators, Senators
Feingold and Senator Kohl trying to get money out of treasury to retool the
Kenosha plant because I was born in Paul Ryan`s district, and I have a
great deal of affection for that community.

And now that he is a national player, he`s got to walk back from the
commitment that he has made to that community. I think that he`s succeeded
in that community because he was responsive to the needs of the community.

And like so many other Republicans who wanted to decry the failure of
the stimulus on one hand, they want to decry it to Republican donors. And
on the other hand, they want to stand there and pose for holy pictures when
those dollars come in. And so --

SCHULTZ: What do you -- what do you -- I mean, if you had to score
the first week of the number of lies, how would you characterize their
first week on the campaign trail?

MOORE: Well, let me tell you, Ed, it really does cause me pain to
hear the Romney team claim that they`re not going to end Medicare as we
know it. To hear them talk about how the president has taken $716 billion
out of it, out of Medicare, but they aren`t planning on doing that, when in
fact, they have taken that much and more out of Medicare with the intention
of costing seniors a minimum of $6,400 a year more, and you know, leaving,
giving it up to the tender mercies of the insurance company. It`s been
very, very painful.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, this is --

MOORE: It`s one thing to respect Paul Ryan for his independence, and
it`s another thing to see him and Mitt Romney try to walk back and, yes,
I`ll use your word, lie, about what their real goals and intentionality is.

SCHULTZ: I don`t think the Democrats in any way, shape, or form can
be afraid to tell it like this is, what these two candidates are doing on
the campaign trail. They`re repeatedly lying to the American people.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
for your time.

Now, let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe.

Richard, has it been a rough week at the office for this brand new
ticket that says they have the plan for America?

great, let`s face it. Mitt Romney wheeled out the white board, and one of
the signs that you`ve got that this ticket is struggling here is that
they`re trying to bring the candidates back together again.

What you want to do in any campaign, once you get a V.P. pick, is send
them out to different parts of the country. That`s where you maximize your
reach, you get into the regional media that the single candidates cannot
do. If you have to bring them back according to reports that Mitt Romney
needs his spirits lifted or you want to build bigger crowds, you`re looking
at what McCain had with Sarah Palin, which is the top of the ticket needs
the help of the number two pick, and that`s a bad dynamic.

SCHULTZ: So, why are they together so soon?

WOLFFE: Well, I think Mitt Romney has struggled with his message. He
has tried to go out there talking about Medicare, and ended up talking
about his tax returns. Talking about Medicare at all is off topic.

And by the way, just to come back to this question about what the
president`s doing with Medicare, this is a party in the Republicans and the
top of the ticket that says all the time that the president is doing
nothing about entitlements, that he`s not facing up to the challenges that
Medicare faces. And yet when he tries through the Affordable Care Act to
deal with fraud, waste, and abuse and try to control the rising costs of
Medicare, they say that that`s wrong and evil and raiding seniors.


WOLFFE: If that`s not lying, it`s at least rank hypocrisy.

SCHULTZ: "Politico" quotes a Romney adviser saying that Romney and
Ryan will not be discussing details of the Ryan plan, saying that it`s not
only politically unwise to do that, but it`s not how the voters engage in a
presidential campaign. I mean, how can they just continue to get away with
avoiding specifics? I mean, it`s -- is this going to be a shallow

WOLFFE: Well, it already is. But you know, the problem for Paul Ryan
is that when you`re on the House Budget Committee with all due respect to
them, it`s not the same as being on the national ticket. You face a
totally different kind of scrutiny.

And here is a guy who has portrayed himself as being serious and
intellectually coherent and everything else, and a fiscal hawk. Let`s face

He takes three decades to balance this budget which makes him anything
but a fiscal hawk. He`s projecting a budget to 2050 and saying that`s when
it`s go to work. Anyone who`s serious about the budget knows that isn`t
worth the paper it`s written on.

You know, "The Financial Times," my former publication, their top op-e
op-ed columnist has written a searing critique of the Paul Ryan budget. He
called it inadequate, incomplete, and incredible. And by incredible he
meant not credible.

These numbers don`t add up. And, you know, for someone who says I`m
going to balance the budget but wants to cut taxes across the board,
there`s just no way. It`s not conservative. It`s why Newt Gingrich said
this was radical right-wing social engineering.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s going to be fun to see their tap dance in Florida
this weekend when it comes to Medicare questions. Richard Wolffe, great to
have you with us tonight. 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 want
to know what you think.

Up next, selling the package in Florida. The Medicare lie to seniors.
Paul Ryan will now face thousands of retires tomorrow. Find out why he
needs his mother to go along with him when we come back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up: Paul Ryan`s taxes are out, and percentage wise,
he pays more than Mitt Romney. We`ll have a full report ahead.

The block the vote effort continues in the state of Pennsylvania.
We`ll show you the latest obstacles voters are facing in the state. You
won`t believe it.

And new polling shows that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann`s
days in Congress could be numbered. Her Democratic opponent very
impressive guy, Jim Graves, joins me later in the show.

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



RYAN: We will not duck the tough issues. We will lead.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Did you hear that? Paul Ryan says he will not duck the tough issues.
But he only mentioned Medicare one time today in Virginia. Tomorrow, he`s
not going to have that option.

Ryan is headed to Florida where 17 percent of the population is over
65, 22 percent of the voters in the 2008 election were retirees. In fact,
Ryan`s targeting a retiree hot spot, The Villages. Almost 70 percent of
the population there is over 65, 80 percent usually. They turn out to
vote. They`re active.

This is the customized golf cart capital of the world, my friends.
"The Wall Street Journal" says more people collect Social Security in this
zip code than any other place in the United States. It`s a favorite stop
for conservative campaigners, so you think it would be an easy stop for

Well, think again. The latest polls show 53 percent of Americans
trust President Obama over Mitt Romney to make the right decisions about
health care. And even worse for Paul Ryan, 71 percent of Americans over 65
say that Medicare should stay as it is right now under President Obama. A
mere 23 percent support the voucher plan that Paul Ryan has been pushing
for months on end.

Paul Ryan could have a serious problem on his hands. His Medicare
plan tanked in the polls so what is he doing? Well, he`s going to bring in
the reinforcements. It doesn`t get any closer than mom.

Seventy-eight-year-old Betty Ryan Douglas is expected to appear at his
side. Ms. Douglas is a longtime Florida resident and at this point, Paul
Ryan needs all the help he can get.

Let`s bring in Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Broward County Democratic
Party in Florida and on the executive board of the DNC, and Mike Papantonio
with us tonight, attorney and host of "Ring of Fire" radio show.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

First of all, Mike, how important is it for Medicare to be explains to
the Florida voters because, you know, they have been dealing in bullet
points. They have been very evasive and they have not been direct. How
important is this issue to these voters down there?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RING OF FIRE: He`s going to need more than mom to
explain his position.

Look, the problem that he has to overcome before he gets there is Paul
Ryan is remembered for being the guy who attacked AARP, called them
leftists when they came out in support of health care reform. His ARA
rating, Ed, is -- it gauges how well he votes for retiree issues, is a
dismal 10 percent. People in Florida, elderly senior citizens keep up with
that. As a matter of fact, it`s one of it lowest in the Senate.

Add to that that Ryan has been the voice, Ed, that has always been out
front talking about privatizing Social Security. That scares the bejesus
out of the elderly in Florida. So, before he even gets to the discussion,
he has to overcome all of these threshold issues and you don`t do that by
bringing mom with you to explain away those kinds of problems.

SCHULTZ: Mitch Ceasar, with that being the landscape and Paul Ryan`s
history with seniors that way, how in the world is he going to help Mitt
Romney win Florida?

probably going to cost him Florida. You know, he`s bringing more political
baggage to Florida tomorrow than a family of five brings to Miami Beach for
the winter. This is a situation where he doesn`t realize that about 50
percent or more of the Florida electorate are over 50 years old.

So you don`t have to be 62 to be worried about Medicare. You could be
in your 50s like myself and as we get closer, we start to think about these
things and get concerned. You could be in your 40s and worry about it for
your parents.

This is a political train heading for derailment and Florida will be
ground zero when that train goes off the track.

SCHULTZ: I mean, it`s hard to criticize a mother going out on the
campaign trail supporting her son. I mean, everybody American, mother,
apple pie, all that stuff. Everybody understands that.

But, Mike, if she is saying the same things that her son is saying,
she`s going to be lying, too. She`s going to have to be careful about what
she says. How dangerous is this because the GOP is out there telling their
candidates to invoke their mothers in the commercials and to use them as a
prop. What do you make of it?

PAPANTONIO: Ed, there`s some things you cannot overcome. The
Democrats have done a very good job hanging voucher care around Mitt
Romney`s neck. He wants to say -- he wants to distance himself from it
even though his V.P. has put it on the table. But you can`t distance
yourself from something that`s being called voucher care right now.

Look, a solid 75 percent of elderly Americans don`t trust private
insurance enough to believe that they can get a voucher from voucher care
and get the kind of medical treatment that they get right now.

With 80 days left until election, it`s very difficult for him to
separate himself from this problem that Paul Ryan brings to the ticket in
places like Florida. About a third of the very political, very active,
elderly voter in the state of Florida, they grudgingly say that Paul Ryan,
the Republicans, say that Paul Ryan is a problem for this ticket. And this
is a ticket that already had the image of having a war against minorities,
a war against women. A war against immigrants, and now it looks like a war
against the elderly.

And to the Democrats` credit, they`re finally on the offensive and
putting that right up in Paul Ryan`s face.

SCHULTZ: What`s the best play, Mitch Ceasar, for the Obama team right
now? Does it change anything for them in Florida now that Ryan is on the

CEASAR: Well, we have a luxury the Republicans simply don`t have. We
only have to tell the truth. All we have to talk about is the fact that
there are over $700 billion in savings, there`s no cut to benefits. And
let`s repeat that, there`s no cut to benefits.

And yet you have the Romney/Ryan plan for whatever it is this moment,
and that talks about giving unlimited, unwarranted money to insurance
companies and to hospitals, and has said to create a voucher system that
the Congressional Budget Office which is nonpartisan said will cost up to
$6,500 a year more. Not $500 a more year or $1,500.

SCHULTZ: And I don`t know how they`re going to make the case to
seniors down there they`re getting screwed. I mean, how are they going --
because right now, they`re already seeing the benefit of the health care
law that was passed.

Mitch Ceasar and Mike Papantonio, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much from Florida.

Coming up, it just got even harder to vote in Pennsylvania. I`m not
kidding. There`s more information out there. Those tough voter id laws,
well, they just weren`t enough for Republicans. See the latest suppression
tactic next and what the Democrats are going to do.

Paul Ryan, what did he do? Well, he released his tax returns today.
And he paid a larger percentage than his multimillionaire running mate Mitt

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


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.

I wish every American would gather the information and comprehend
what`s happening in Pennsylvania. This story, this story is the election.
If you take one thing from this broadcast tonight, just remember that Ed
thinks that Pennsylvania is ground zero for our democracy. That`s right.

The state of Pennsylvania is making it even tougher for people to
exercise their right to vote. Now, I want to say this. What are they
teaching in high school government classes across America? That this is a
good thing, to make sure that people can`t vote, that they have to jump
through a bunch of hoops to be able to express themselves on how we should
run our country?

Now as we have been reported all week, a just upheld the state`s
tougher voter I.D. law this week. The law requires every voter to show a
valid state I.D. Civil rights attorneys are appealing, but we don`t expect
a ruling until the middle of September.

So you can`t gamble with that. You have to pay attention to detail
right now. Right now, 758,000 people do not have a valid I.D. That`s over
nine percent of the state`s registered voters; 18 percent live in urban
areas. So almost one million people need to get a valid state I.D. in the
next 80 days if they want to be able to cast a ballot or they`re going to
be turned away.

And now we have learned -- oh, there`s more. We`ve learned that
Pennsylvania is going to make it even harder. Isn`t it interesting on the
very day the judge approved the voter I.D. law, the state killed --
eliminated its online registration service.

Suddenly, you just can`t apply for absentee ballots online anymore.
You now have to send in the paperwork the old fashioned way. This is
interesting. On one hand, you have the righties trying to kill the Post
Office. On the other hand, you have the righties saying you can`t go
online to take care of your voting issues.

You can`t register to vote online anymore either. The effort to
suppress the vote appears to be succeeding in the Keystone State tonight.
This is all about stealing the election. This is all about making sure
that President Obama`s base doesn`t get out to vote.

Now, you tell me if this is the America you grew up in. I`m joined by
Stephanie Singer, chairman of the Philadelphia City Commissioners.
Stephanie, good to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: Did you know -- tell us about the online initiatives. I
mean, we`re hearing that they did it because of budget priorities. What`s
going on here?

SINGER: Well, so the -- currently in Pennsylvania, we haven`t had
online registration or online absentee ballot requesting. That was
something I was very excited to see when -- in the spring when the
Department of State was talking about how they were going to implement it
this summer, I was very excited about that, because it improved access and
also because it`s a money saver. It`s a great way to cut out some of the
paperwork, and make the whole process more efficient.

SCHULTZ: So why -- did they stop to do it because of funds or are
they just trying to steal the election? What`s going on?

SINGER: Well, I think that they really got overwhelmed with the
details of the voter I.D. law. So they have put -- the legislature passing
this law has forced the Department of State to spend an enormous amount of
resources educating people about the law and just answering the questions
from county election officials and clarifying everything that needed to be
clarified because the law left a lot of details unclarified.

So they have been --

SCHULTZ: Now, is their voter fraud in Pennsylvania?

SINGER: Impersonation voter fraud, the kind that the voter I.D. law
is going to take care of, I have seen no evidence of it, none, zero.

SCHULTZ: So why is the state so adamant to do this?

SINGER: Well, the legislature is a Republican legislature. And the
governor is a Republican governor. And our speaker of the House spoke to
say that he did it so Romney could win Pennsylvania.

SCHULTZ: That pretty much sums it up. So the bottom line now is that
advocacy groups are going to have to collect 758,000 people and get them a
valid I.D. What are the chances of accomplishing even half of that?

SINGER: Well, one of the things I find so frustrating, about at least
once a week, someone comes up and says I have a great idea. The City of
Philadelphia should send mobile vans out to give I.D.s to people. They can
go to neighborhoods and that way people can get the I.D. in their own
neighborhood. And I say, that is a fabulous idea. The I.D. -- voter I.D.
law is very carefully written so that the City of Philadelphia does not
have the right to do that. If we --


SINGER: The county board of elections, we`re allowed to issue little
paper voter registration cards that say you`re registered to vote,
congratulations. But we, the County Board of Elections, is not allowed to
issue I.D.s that people can use for voting.

SCHULTZ: I tell you what, if anybody has a formula to save
Pennsylvania for the Democrats, I am all ears. I`ll devote all kinds of
time to it on this program. I got to see the template for how this is
going to get done. It is a huge lift.

Stephanie Singer, great to have you with us tonight. All the best.

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


ROMNEY: The fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small
minded compared to the broad issues that we face.


SCHULTZ: The Obama campaign asked Mitt Romney to make a deal on his
tax returns. And the candidate blows it off.

Tonight, patriotic millionaires respond to Romney`s ridiculous tax

Paul Ryan says he likes the band "Rage Against the Machine." But they
sure don`t like him. We`ll tell you about that smack down ahead.

And could Michele Bachmann`s seat in Congress be in jeopardy?




SCHULTZ: We`ll talk to the Democrat who thinks this is the year to
take her job.



ROMNEY: But I did go back and look at my taxes. And over the past 10
years, I never paid less than 13 percent. So I`ve paid taxes every single


SCHULTZ: It`s always good to go back and check things out, isn`t it?
Mitt Romney says he`s never paid lower than a 13 percent tax rate on his
income. Now I guess we`re just supposed to trust him on that because he`s
not releasing any more returns.

Today, the Obama campaign made an offer to the Romney campaign.
Release five years of tax returns and we`ll drop the issue. Obama campaign
manager Jim Messina wrote to Romney`s campaign manager, Matt Rhodes, "if
the governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we
will not criticize him for not releasing more. Neither in ads nor in other
public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign."

Pretty easy, right? The Obama campaign is requesting Romney release
returns from 2007 to 2012, the span of years Romney has been running for
president. Seems pretty fair, I think.

But the Romney campaign, well, they`re not taking the bait. The
response is, "it is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to
talk about Governor Romney`s tax returns instead of the issues that matter
to voters."

But the tax issue does matter to voters. It`s about fairness. And
not all wealthy folks think and act like Mitt Romney. David Simon, creator
of the HBO`s "The Wire" is just the latest patriotic millionaire to hit
Romney on the tax issue.

"Thirteen percent, " he says. "The last time I paid taxes at that
rate, I believe I still might have been in college. If not, it was my
first couple of years as a newspaper reporter. Since then, the paychecks
have been just fine. Thanks. And I don`t see any reason not to pay the
rate appropriate to my earnings. Given that, I`m writing the check to the
same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for
such incomes."

Joining me tonight is Daniel Burger, an attorney and member of the
group Patriotic Millionaires. The group is advocating for the expiration
of the Bush tax cuts for those who earn one million dollars or more.

Great to have you with us tonight, Mr. Burger. Appreciate your time.
Romney says that he hasn`t paid below 13 percent. Are you buying that?

It`s great to be here.

His statement today -- or yesterday is laughable. You know, I guess
there`s a Twitter feed, right, LOL, laugh out loud, at his statement.
First of all, there`s no reason to believe him, you know, given his
reputation for veracity. You know, he`s the all-time flip-flopper.

But, you know, even if you were to believe him, the 13 percent is way
below, you know, what even people in his income bracket are paying. You
know, the Patriotic Millionaires involves people who have an income of a
million dollars a year or more, which roughly corresponds to the top one
percent of income earners in the United States.

And even in that -- even in that category, the 13 percent is way below
what the average people in the top one percent pay. You might remember the
Warren Buffett situation. You know, Buffett says he pays less than his
secretary. It`s, you know, an outrage. It`s a disgrace.

SCHULTZ: Today we learned -- today we learned that Paul Ryan paid a
20 percent tax rate in 2011 on a little over -- the number was 320,000 of
income. Mitt Romney projects his 2011 tax rate to be 15.3 percent on about
20.9 million dollars. I mean, do you look just at the GOP ticket, aren`t
we just being shown how the system is really unfair?

BURGER: Well, here`s the thing, Ed. I think what we have to do is --
I mean, you know, in all of the outrage, we have to understand that Romney,
among his many dubious distinctions, including being the poster child for
everything that is wrong with the U.S. economy as a result of involvement
with Bain Capital, is also the poster child for everything that is wrong
with the tax system.

Now, why do I say that? There are two points. Number one, he is able
to game the system. That`s the problem. Nobody else can game the system
because he can use -- he can use offshore secret tax havens and secret bank
accounts to avoid taxes on a massive scale. And he says, well, you know
what, it`s all legal.

Yeah, but that`s the point. He`s gaming the system. He may be
technically legal, but, you know, we have to hold our president and people
who run for president to a higher standard. I hate to quote such a paragon
of indecency as Newt Gingrich, but Gingrich was absolutely right. What is
a person running for president who has a secret offshore account and secret
Swiss bank accounts? You know --

SCHULTZ: The thing that gets me is how they say well, we`re not going
to release any more because we`re going to be attacked. Well, being in the
public arena, that is just part of the arena. Do you think President Obama
has never been attacked? My lord, he`s been called everything underneath
the sun. And the Romneys are so concerned that they might get attacked if
they release any more tax returns.

Full disclosure is full disclosure. And this guy just is not about
full disclosure.

BURGER: For sure. And you have to think, what are his motives for
not releasing his returns? There are two things --

SCHULTZ: I don`t think he paid anything. I think Harry Reid is
right. I don`t think Harry Reid is a cartoon character in this deal at
all. I think Harry Reid has got him. I think when the market went down in
2008 and 2009, I think that Mitt Romney got away with not paying a dime of
tax. The only way to find out is if he releases them.

Daniel Burger, great to have you with us. Your group of Patriotic
Millionaires are doing a service to the country. Thanks so much.

Paul Ryan says the group Rage Against the Machine is his favorite
band? Wait a minute. The feeling is not mutual. Stay tuned. You`re
watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Let`s see now. They`re pro
worker. They`re against corporate greed. And Paul Ryan loves them?

That`s right, a "New York Times" profile reveals that Paul Ryan, the
candidate for vice president lists the rap-metal group Rage Against the
Machine as one of his favorite bands.

Today, the group`s guitarist, Tom Morello, says the feeling is not
mutual. The band`s music and political activism do not align with Ryan`s
views. They staged protest concerts at both conventions back in 2008. And
Morello, a self professed union man, was actively involved in last year`s
mass protest against Scott Walker`s union busting agenda in Wisconsin.

Morello has spoken and performed at Occupy Wall Street camps all
across the country. You can see where this is all going. Today, Morello
blasted Ryan in an op-ed for "Rolling Stone, calling him "the embodiment of
the machine our music rages against."

Morello writes that Ryan just doesn`t get it. "Don`t mistake me, I
clearly see that Ryan has a whole lot of rage in him, a rage against women,
a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a
rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically, the only
things he`s not raging against is the privileged elite he`s groveling in
front of for political campaign contributions."

You know, I think this guy`s got it right. Cheer up, Paul -- Paul
Ryan. Cheer up. You can always go hang out with Ted Nugent. Nugent says
that he`s just "overcome with giddiness" at your place on the ticket.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you, who is a bigger liar, Mitt Romney
or Paul Ryan? Here we go. Seventy one percent of you say it`s the
Mittster, Mitt Ryan -- Mitt Romney. And 29 percent of you say it`s the
congressman, Paul Ryan.

Coming up, new numbers show Tea Party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
is in danger of losing her job this November. Could it be real? I`ll talk
to her Democratic challenger Jim Graves next.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In the big finish tonight, oh,
we are seeing signs that Tea Party rock star Michele Bachmann could be in
real danger of losing her House seat this year. She won her primary on
Tuesday, but got the lowest vote percentage for someone in her position
since 1962.

Bachmann`s drawing heavy criticism recently for her witch hunt against
Muslims in the United States government. And Tuesday`s results show voters
are fed up with her behavior in Washington. Beyond the primary, recent
numbers from a Democratic pollster show that Bachmann has got a 51 percent
unfavorable rating. It also shows her with only a five point lead over her
Democratic opponent, Jim Graves.

Bachmann`s long history of reckless rhetoric finally seems to be
catching up with her, at least in the polls. And believe me, there`s been
a lot of rhetoric.


BACHMANN: Now we have moved to the realm of gangster government. We
have gangster government.

How about telling you what light bulb you can use.

I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue.

We now have an imperial presidency.

Our founders thought taxation without representation was bad. What
would they think of representation with taxation?

I don`t know what`s going to happen.

This is the crown jewel of socialism.

It`s socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine is going to kill the country.

Socialism is a principle that I reject.

Socialized medicine is the heart and soul and the crown jewel of


SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is Jim Graves, Democratic candidate for
U.S. Congress in the sixth district of Minnesota, running against incumbent
Michele Bachmann. Great to have you with us tonight, Jim.

Is Michele Bachmann now being recognized in her own district as out of
the mainstream, reckless? H as the view of Michele Bachmann changed over
the years by constituents? What are you hearing?

JIM GRAVES (D), CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS: Ed, no question about it.
She is out of touch. The people in the district are fed up with her
antics. She`s wearing thin. And we`re hearing it up and down the streets
of the district.

People want a change. They want a business person. They want
somebody that can actually represent them in Congress and be there for the
people. She`s not. She`s out and about on her own agenda. And people are
sick of it.

SCHULTZ: She says that -- she called Obamacare socialized medicine.
She says that will kill the country. Will you run on the health care bill?
Would you go to constituents -- would you go to people that you want to
have their support and say that this is a good bill and we need to make it

GRAVES: Well, you know, Ed, it`s a good bill in many ways and we can
make it better. And it`s a good start. And by gosh, heretofore, we knew
it wasn`t working. We have to move forward. We have to bend the health
care costs. But by gosh, we`re moving forward and we`re doing something.

She doesn`t want to do anything. She wants to go back to the old ways
and let the big insurance companies and everybody else run this thing. We
need to give back to the people what they need, and that is good access to
health care for everybody.

SCHULTZ: You know, you`re a successful businessman. I`ve checked you
out. You hire union help. You believe in paying a living wage. Your
employees are happy. I know. I have spoken to them. You want to -- after
all the success you had in the private sector, you want to join a group
that has a 10 percent approval rating across the country. What is
motivating you to run for Congress?

GRAVES: Well, Ed, I think I can make a change for the better. I know
how to do it. I have done it in business. We bring people together. We
find real solutions to the real problems. We don`t try to make these
things just so we can get re-elected and we can get some money into the
coffers like Michele Bachmann does.

I really want to go to Congress and actually represent the people and
get the thing done. Get jobs on the ground where we need them. We need to
get the middle class working again. I have a lot of good employees, and
these people need good jobs. They need livable wage jobs. They need
access to health care education. Thaw want to pay for their homes.

They want the same things everybody wants. That`s what I`m going to
represent, those people, the people of the district. I`m not going to be
representing some Tea Party or try to get on some other news channel or be
a celebrity. I`m going to work for the people. I`m going to serve the

I`m in the hospitality business. If your folks come online and help
us out -- she`s got a virtual ATM machine. She raises money. She says
crazy things and it brings in money. If we can get the money in through, we`re going to take her on and we`re going to win this thing
on November 6th. And we`re going to bring it back to the people and we`re
going to make Congress more civil and more functional. And we`re going to
make it happen.

SCHULTZ: Jim Graves, thanks for joining us tonight. We should also
point out that you and Michele Bachmann will be the only two on the ticket.
In previous races, there have been three people on the ticket, which a lot
of people think have really helped Michele Bachmann. It`s going to be

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


Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>