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The Ed Show for Monday, September 10th, 2012

September 10, 2012

Guests: David Stockman, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Heidi Heitkamp, Phillip Cantor

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

Fifty-seven days until the 2012 election. The Mitt Romney post-
convention bump? Well, it never happened in the polls. And now, the
campaign is scrambling to come up with a back-up plan.

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I will not take God out of the
name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins. And I will not
take God out of my heart.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney campaign is flailing on the stump
and they are getting slammed in the polls. Tonight, Richard Wolffe on the
Obama bounce and the Romney collapse.

Former Reagan budget director David Stockman on Romney`s tax loophole
train wreck.

And Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Romney`s preexisting problems with

And the national media is portraying Chicago`s striking teachers as
overpaid and greedy.

REPORTER: Chicago teachers are the best paid of any school district
in the country.

REPORTER: The average Chicago teacher makes about $76,000 a year.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Nearly four times higher than what the average
American receives.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, we`ll tell you what the Chicago teacher strike is
all about.


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

The Romney campaign often says that the 2012 election will follow a
similar pattern to the election of 1980. They compare Mitt Romney to the
Republican challenger Ronald Reagan, who came from behind in the polls to
defeat a Democratic president.

Now, the Romney team was banking on a bounce like Ronald Reagan got
after the Republican National Convention. In fact, RNC chairman Reince
Priebus predicted a significant post-convention bounce for the candidate.


REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I think we`re going to get a bump. We
have a better opportunity for a bump as a challenging party so when people
get to know Mitt Romney and get to know who he is and the decent man he is
and his story of the American dream and his generosity, I can tell you that
I think it`s going to be real and I think it`s going to be visible.


SCHULTZ: It`s pretty clear things vice president worked out the way
Republicans hoped.

There was no bounce for Romney. And there`s a substantial bounce for
President Obama out of their convention. In the new CNN poll taken after
the Democratic National Convention, President Obama leads Mitt Romney among
likely voters by six points. Republican pollsters Rasmussen also has the
president with a similar lead in its latest poll.

Mitt Romney`s Reagan plan didn`t work. Now, it`s time to bring on
plan B. The only problem is the Romney camp doesn`t appear to have any
plan B. They are throwing everything they can against the wall to see what

Romney`s latest attempt is to go after the Christian conservative
vote. He even changed his stump speech to say that President Obama is
threatening to take the word God off U.S. currency.


ROMNEY: I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will
not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart.


SCHULTZ: Hs President Obama anywhere ever said anything about taking
God off the coins? I mean, this is how desperate they are.

Romney did a lot of pandering to the far right wing crowd this
weekend. He took the stage with Pat Robertson, the guy who says natural
disasters are God`s punishments for making deals with the devil.

Congressman King, there`s another dandy, he`s the new Romney buddy.
He says birth control leads to a dying civilization and same-sex marriage
contributes to the national debt.

But to Mitt Romney, he`s a top endorser.


REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Don`t doubt this man`s faith or conviction
and do not doubt his patriotism or his faith and his love for Jesus Christ
our savior.


SCHULTZ: Romney was so happy to have King`s endorsement he returned
the favor.


ROMNEY: I`m looking here at Steve King. This man needs to be your
congressman again. I want him as my partner in Washington, D.C.


SCHULTZ: Ooh, when Romney wasn`t looking for the religious
conservative vote, he was knocking his own running mate.

This was what Mitt Romney said when talking about federal defense
spending on "Meet the Press."


ROMNEY: The sequestration idea of the White House which is cutting
our defense is an extraordinary miscalculation.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: Republican leaders agreed to that deal.

ROMNEY: It`s a big mistake. I thought it was a mistake on the part
of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans
to go along with it.


SCHULTZ: Romney`s statement put the Congressman Paul Ryan in an
awkward position on "Face the Nation."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said it was a mistake by Republicans. He`s
talking about you because you voted for those cuts. Correct?

why? Because I was working to find common ground with Democrats to get a
downpayment on deficit reduction.


SCHULTZ: But this isn`t Romney`s only confused message. He`s still
taking heat for failing to mention the troops in his convention speech.
Now, Romney is blaming the people who are asking the questions.


ROMNEY: I find it interesting that people are curious about
mentioning words in a speech as opposed to policy. So I went to the
American Legion the day before I gave that speech.

GREGORY: You weren`t speaking to tens of millions of people when you
went to the American Legion.

ROMNEY: You know what I found is that wherever I go, I am speaking to
tens of millions of people.


SCHULTZ: Romney had the same react when asked him about the troops on
FOX News.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Do you regret opening up this line of attack,
now recurring attack by leaving out that issue in the speech?

ROMNEY: I only regret you`re repeating it day in and day out.


SCHULTZ: Despite all the mixed messages and vote pandering, the
Romney campaign says there`s nothing to see here.

Romney`s campaign pollster is telling nervous supporters, settle down,
"don`t get too worked up about latest polling while some voters will feel a
sugar high from the conventions. The basic structure of the race has not
changed significantly."

And then there was this old favorite. Political campaign historians
will recall President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by a near double digit
margin late in the fall of 1980. Really?

If Romney is still banking on the Reagan comparison, he needs a little
history lesson. Reagan actually led Jimmy Carter in the polls before the
conventions were held in 1980. Romney`s poll numbers are going in the
opposite direction.

An anonymous Romney advisor chalked the bad poll numbers up to a
conspiracy. The advisor told "The National Review," sometimes I think
there`s a conscious effort between the media and Chicago to get Republicans
depressed. And I hope people realize these media analysts out there are
Democrats who want us to lose."

The Romney campaign is dealing with the latest reality of the campaign
in two ways, denial and hysteria. And Mitt Romney himself is firmly in
denial mode.


ROMNEY: I have really two months to be able to convince people I can
do a better job than the incumbent. I think I can do that. So I`m in a
better spot than I was before the convention.


SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney sure has a funny definition of the word better,
doesn`t he?

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

Tonight`s question, does Mitt Romney have a coherent message for
voters? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You can leave a comment
at our blog at We`ll bring you the results later on in the

I just think this election is so well-defined, the issues. It`s
amazing to me we`re inside 60 days and the Romney campaign can`t figure out
what the middle class in this country is going through. It is a huge
voting bloc. They have no plan, no message, nothing for the middle class.

Joining me tonight is MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe.

Richard, great to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: How can we be, or should I say the Romney camp, be so close
to the election yet be so far off message? What can we compare this
campaign to?

WOLFFE: Well, it`s not that they don`t have a message. They`ve got
dozens of different messages. You know, the path was to say we`re only
going to talk about the economy. The problem is that their idea was if we
just talk about the economy, people are going to say, it`s all Obama`s

That has never worked. It`s never worked because -- well, some people
blame the president. There are plenty of people who blame the last Bush
administration, on Wall Street. So the argument hasn`t stuck.

There was another track for them, which is to say let`s go for reform,
right? With a non-Washington crowd, as your clip showed. If you pick
someone like Paul Ryan as your V.P., you get tied into a pretzel. There
are things you`d like to say, oh, I don`t like the way Washington did
sequestration on their whole budget deal, but you`ve picked someone from

So they got reform off the table now. You`ve got the economy, there`s
a mixed message. And that`s how you end up in this hole of trying to talk
about social policy when you`ve got a very flawed messenger on this and
everything else.

SCHULTZ: Here`s a bump. There was some news in the fundraising race.
The Obama campaign raised more money than the Romney campaign in the month
of August.

How concerned should the Romney camp be about fundraising drying up if
his polls continue to go in the direction they are going?

WOLFFE: Look, the polls are going to come down, OK? Democrats should
not roll out the flags because this is going to --

SCHULTZ: But there`s a momentum for the Democrats now.

WOLFFE: There is, but there will be debates and people are going to
want to try to even it out a bit. But, look, money is not something the
Romney campaign ever has to worry about, because even if their own
fundraising falls away, there`s always going to be Karl Rove and the super
PACs to fill it out.

Now, Democrats are changing that dynamic when you see Rahm Emanuel
coming in to beef up the Democrat super PAC. But, you know, it looks like
much more of an even contest on money moving forward.

SCHULTZ: Today, Rush Limbaugh was talking like President Obama has
already won. Here it is.


GREGORY: Give me an example of a loophole that you will close.

ROMNEY: Well, I can tell you that people at the high end, high income
taxpayers are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers
are going to come down. Otherwise, they get a tax break and I want to make
sure people understand --


SCHULTZ: What does it mean that there`s people openly talking about
what kind of trouble they are having on the campaign trail? Can`t get on
message when it comes to taxes, Medicare, there`s some double talk going on
there. And then, of course, when it comes to the budgeting process, Romney
is not on the same page with Ryan when it comes to what they want to do
with defense.

WOLFFE: Look, weasel words, you just heard him talking about numbers
coming down. Well, yes, they`re going to come down for people in the upper
bracket. They`re going to come down for the middle class too.

The problem he has now with the polls where they are at this close to
Election Day is that you start getting more and more of the second-guessing
stories. He should have done this, he should have done this. Republican
advisers saying he needed to take a different track. That`s two, three,
four more weeks before he can turn it around.

The number of opportunities he has now comes down to the debate to
even this up. Remember, John Kerry went into the debates 10 points down.
His debate performance was outstanding. But if you start from that far
behind, it`s hard to even it up by Election Day.

SCHULTZ: See, that`s why I think President Obama is so strong. I
mean, I think he`s just going to go right after it on the debates. Because
there`s been so many positions that Mitt Romney has had, how can the
president not point that out which makes Romney extremely vulnerable?

WOLFFE: Target-rich environment, as I like to say.

SCHULTZ: No doubt, well put. Great to have you with us, Richard.
Thanks so much. Richard Wolffe with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

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.

Coming up, Mitt Romney`s tax plan doesn`t add up and even
conservatives can`t depend on it or explain it. David Stockman joins me
next. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get grilled on their
tax plan. But they still won`t get specific. Former budget director David
stockman weighs in next. He has a lot to say.

Then, the Romney camp flips and flops after Mitt says, well, he
wouldn`t get rid of all of Obamacare if elected. We`ll look at the
candidate`s preexisting problem with the health care legislation.

And later, teachers in the country`s third largest school district are
on strike. Why? I`ll speak to a Chicago teacher about what`s at stake for
the students.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama says he`s not going to ask the middle class to pay for
another tax cut for millionaires. And Mitt Romney still doesn`t have a
counterargument. He can`t answer basic questions about his tax plan.


GREGORY: Give me an example of a loophole that you will close.

ROMNEY: Well, I can tell you that people at the high end, high income
taxpayers are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers
are going to come down. Otherwise, they get a tax break. And I want to
make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their
convention, I`m not reducing taxes on high income taxpayers.


SCHULTZ: Romney won`t name a single loophole he would actually close.
Under his plan, the wealthiest Americans get a $264,000 tax cut, we think.

Mitt Romney`s running mate doesn`t do any better answering the simple


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t voters have a right to know which loopholes
you`re going to go after?

RYAN: So Mitt Romney and I, based on our experience, think the best
way to do this is to show the framework, show the outline of these plans
and then to work with Congress to do this. That`s how you get things done.
The other thing, George, is --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn`t that a secret plan?

RYAN: We don`t want -- no, no. What we don`t want is a secret plan.


SCHULTZ: Ryan won`t answer the question because he can`t. The
arithmetic doesn`t work, as President Bill Clinton said. Even
conservatives have no way of defending Romney`s plan. Here`s George Will.


GEORGE WILL, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: There is uncertainty surrounding
the Romney/Ryan tax cut plan because they have not specified the deductions
that will be closed and we know where the big money is -- mortgage interest
deductions, charitable deduction, taxing that`s` compensation, which it is,
employer-provided health insurance and state and local taxes. All of those
you either hit only the rich, in which case you don`t get much money, or
you hit the middle class.


SCHULTZ: This is backed up by the Tax Policy Center. Under Romney`s
plan, the middle class pays more while the wealthy pay less, 65 percent of
people who use the mortgage interest deduction make less than $100,000 a
year, 91 percent of people who use the deduction make less than 200,000 a

Let`s turn to David stockman, former budget director and director of
Office and Management and Budget for President Ronald Reagan.

Great to meet you. Great to have you on the program.


SCHULTZ: George Will says that the Romney tax plan doesn`t add up for
the middle class. What`s your assessment?

STOCKMAN: Well, that doesn`t add up and his budget plan doesn`t add
up. He`s got a secret plan to cut the budget. After all, the Republicans
were the party of fiscal rectitude.

When you ask them in this $3.5 trillion budget what is it you`re going
to cut, well, it`s not defense -- $700 billion, biggest defense budget in
history, we don`t have industrial enemies left in the world. We have been
fired as the policeman of the world. Why is he wanting to increase the
$700 billion?

Second, he complains about entitlements and so forth. Now, I know you
disagree with that, but I think we need to means test and reform Social
Security, just for the affluent retirees, not, you know, for the mom and
pop who only have a Social Security check. They haven`t said a word about
$800 billion in Social Security even means testing.

Medicare, huge fight, but it doesn`t take effect until 2023. What are
they doing in the interim?

So, my point is, they have a secret plan to close loopholes and cut
taxes, which makes no sense to me when you look at the loopholes. They
have a secret plan to cut spending that they are not really talking about.
And so, the thing doesn`t add up.

Neither party is adding up, frankly because we`re getting the same
kind of role reversal, if I can say this, Ed, from the White House.

The Democratic Party historically was the peace party, the working
man`s party. And, unfortunately, after four years, President Obama hasn`t
cut a dime out of defense. He should be taking on the generals, the
military industrial complex. He`s not doing it, so therefore, his position
isn`t credible

We`re having an extension of the Bush tax cuts for everybody. I agree
on the 2 percent, but we can`t afford them for the other 98 percent either
given the fact that half of the population, the poor and lower income,
don`t pay income tax any way.

So I would say the progressive ought to be no more tax cuts. We can`t
afford them for anybody, A to Z. We`re going after that Pentagon and we`re
going to cut back dramatically this huge defense establishment we don`t

Now, neither party is doing that, so we have this silly debate going
on of one fairy tale versus another and the country is in the trouble for

SCHULTZ: Well, President Obama did say let`s go big. He was ready to
go big on the deficit reduction package and the Republicans didn`t come to
the plate. In fact, Paul Ryan played a real role in that, telling his own
leadership that if we do that, this is going to walk President Obama right
into a second term. So President Obama was willing to put the earned
benefits on that.

STOCKMAN: I agree. I agree.

SCHULTZ: He`s also willing to raise taxes. Go back to the old rates
and let the Bush tax cuts expire, which would bring more money into the

But no one talks about how much money that would actually be. Do you

STOCKMAN: Yes, I know. It would be for the top rates, it`s over a
trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

SCHULTZ: So it would help.

STOCKMAN: It would help a lot but we need to let them expire for
everybody. That`s $2.5 trillion.

Now, let me talk about the loopholes that he won`t name that he wants
to close. There`s a trillion dollars worth of loopholes, so they easy.
Close out the loopholes, cut the rates, give everybody, the rich people
especially, a big tax rate and they ought to be paying their fair share.
Two hundred billion of that is due to capital gains, dividends and other
investment preferences.

How do you think Mitt Romney got a 14.9 percent tax rate? Are they
going to close all that? Are they going to get rid of the health deduction
for employer plans and so forth? Are they going to get rid of retirement
deductions? Are they going to get rid of state and local tax exemptions?

SCHULTZ: Well, the answer to those questions is probably not, because
the people don`t want it. There`s no march to get rid of Medicare.
There`s no march to get rid of Social Security and have they not raided
Social Security and borrowed against it, it`s a solvent program and has
been for 77 years.

STOCKMAN: But, Ed, the problem is for the last 40 years we have been
raiding Social Security and spending it on aircraft carriers.

SCHULTZ: There`s no doubt.


SCHULTZ: We don`t pay for anything.

STOCKMAN: So, the problem is the $2.8 trillion of IOUs that are in
the trust fund have nothing behind them. They are pieces of paper. And
they`ll never be funded unless we tax somebody.

SCHULTZ: But from an accounting process --


SCHULTZ: The truth hasn`t been there with Social Security. Social
Security when it`s not raided has worked. And, of course, I mean, I think
the Republicans are after the new deal. They have been for a long, long
time. Blow up the federal budget deficit, cut back government where you
want it. And this would be the president to do it, if he gets in, if
Romney gets in.

What about offshore accounts? What about people not paying their fair
share? How much of a damage does that do?

I mean, we`ve got tax laws that allow this to happen.


SCHULTZ: And people make money in this country and take it overseas
and park it and don`t pay what they would pay if they had it here.

STOCKMAN: My view is the top 2 percent are so damn lucky from the
boom we`ve had over the last 20 or 30 years. Half of which wasn`t real.
It was the Federal Reserve printing money and the Federal Reserve cuddling
Wall Street and all of the speculation that was going on.

They ought to stop whining about paying a little more in taxes because
we are in deep trouble fiscally in this country.

SCHULTZ: Look, if you want to save the country financially, you have
to go where you get the money fast. It`s like a sales tax.


SCHULTZ: It accumulates a lot of money fast. Well, if they expire
the Bush tax cuts, the top 2 percent over 250,000, you`re going to get a
lot of money fast. Why? Because they can, and they got all the breaks.

I mean, that`s where I`m at. I mean, if you`re going to fix it fast,
that`s where you got to go quickly. I don`t think it`s going to hurt job

Great to have you on the program. Mr. Stockman, thank you so much.

Governor etch-a-sketch strikes again. Mitt Romney says he likes some
parts of Obama care. His campaign says that`s not true. Congresswoman Jan
Schakowsky weighs in.

Then the rude awakening for the Republicans. They thought they could
win control of the Senate. We`ll talk to one Democrat who is causing
serious problems for the GOP in the heartland.

Stay with us.



ROMNEY: If I`m president, I will repeal Obamacare.

I will act to repeal Obamacare.

If I`m president, we`re going to stop Obamacare in its tracks.


SCHULTZ: It sounds pretty definite. Mitt Romney says he`ll repeal
Obamacare on day one.

So, you can see why folks have been scratching their heads after
Romney said this.


ROMNEY: I`m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course,
there are a number of things that I like in health care reform I`m going to
put in place. One is to make sure that those with preexisting conditions
can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for
individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age
they might like.


SCHULTZ: So now, Romney the candidate wants to keep those provisions
he likes, provisions that most Americans like as well. It`s easy to see

A new CDC report estimates the numbers of uninsured young people
dropped by one sixth between 2010 and 201 1.

Yet shortly after Romney`s interview aired, his campaign -- well, they
kind of dialed it back. They took it back.

An aide telling the conservative "National Review" -- don`t panic.
Romney`s position remains the same. In fact, the former governor has no
intention to extending coverage to folks with preexisting conditions, which
would affect millions of people. Instead, the aide said that the
marketplace will solve the issue.

Shortly after that, the Romney campaign changed its mind yet again.
This time, the campaign told "BuzzFeed", Romney will ensure that
discrimination against individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain
continuous coverage is prohibited.

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? Which the same position he
had earlier this year.


ROMNEY: People with preexisting conditions, as long as they have been
insured before, they are going to be able to continue to have insurance.

JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: Well, supposed they were never insured before?

ROMNEY: Well, if they are 45 years old and they show up and they say,
"I want insurance because I`ve got a heart disease," it`s like, hey guys,
we can`t play the game like that. You got to get insurance when you`re


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

Holy smokes. What ever happened to all this socialism that the
Republicans were talking about? Now, they are starting to find some stuff
in Obamacare that they actually like.

Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.

You know, if Romney gets elected, what does it going to mean for
people with preexisting conditions? Are they in trouble?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: They are in serious trouble. Of
course, they are. The Romney campaign, as opposed to Mitt Romney, who
doesn`t seem to know actually what his campaign and what his policies are,
are saying all kinds of different things. But mainly it`s going to be the
insurance companies who decide how much people with preexisting conditions
are going to pay or if they are going to get health insurance at all.

But let`s say they say to someone with asthma --

SCHULTZ: Hold on just a second, congresswoman. This is a key point
here. The Romney campaign spokesperson said that the free market will take
care of those people with a preexisting condition. Hasn`t the free market
already addressed that by not allowing these people to get insurance?

SCHAKOWSKY: That`s exactly who is not insured. People who have been
insured, he`s saying, well -- if they have continuous coverage -- I don`t
quite get this -- would be able to stay insured. But let`s say you lose
your job and you move to -- have to look for other insurance? What happens
to you then?

He`s saying that yes, they`ll be able to get insurance. But let me
just go back to if someone has asthma or a heart condition, who says that
the insurance company can`t say, we`ll insure you, but there`s going to be
a 10,000 dollar deductible and your premiums are going to be thousands a
month? There`s no control over the insurance industry.

Look, what Mitt Romney was expressing when he wanted to make points
with the American people is exactly what the American people want. They
want to be protected if they have a preexisting condition. They want their
kids. They know that this is popular. But their real position is quite
the opposite.

SCHULTZ: Well, this is an admission of guilt on the part of the
Republicans, that all of a sudden they are finding things that they happen
to like with Obamacare, after following the Tea Party all this long and
vilifying what has been very popular with the American people. The Tea
Party actually -- they were the first group that really went after
Obamacare, called it socialism and certainly didn`t want it, going to be a
government taker and everything else.

Now within 60 days of the election, they have a candidate that`s
actually admitting that there are some things in Obamacare that he`s just
going to have to put in.

SCHAKOWSKY: Of course this candidate would say that. That was his
plan in Massachusetts. Of course he would, when left to his own devices
and doesn`t have a minder with him all the time, would say that he likes it
because he wrote the plan.

SCHULTZ: But this goes against their philosophy as a party.

SCHAKOWSKY: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: So -- all right, the Democrats -- do you think the
Democrats did enough to sell the health care plan? It was a very strong
testimonial at the convention last week. There`s nothing more powerful
than the mother of a sick child and testimony like that. Did the Democrats
connect on that? Is that where the bounce is?

SCHAKOWSKY: I absolutely think so. That woman who was worried that
if Obamacare is repealed, that she will not be able to provide the surgery
that her child with a congenital heart disease has, of course --

SCHULTZ: So is it easier for Democrats now to sell health care after
the convention than it was before?

SCHAKOWSKY: I think for two reasons, yes. Because I think we made
the case in terms of our message from the podium. But the other reason is
because more and more people are experiencing Obamacare, and know that it`s
really helping them to afford the care that they need.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, great to have you with us
tonight. Thank so much.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

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


REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: If it`s a legitimate rape, the female
body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.


SCHULTZ: Todd Akin isn`t the only one putting the Senate back in
play for Democrats. Up next, North Dakota Democratic Heidi Heitkamp on her
plans to turn her red state blue.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), INDIANA: Are you arguing that there are fewer
government employees under Obama than there were under Bush?



SCHULTZ: Yesterday Senator Rand Paul embarrassed himself on national
television. Today he made it worse. We`ll bring you an update.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. While Mitt Romney flails
around at the top of the ticket, Republicans in tough Senate races are
starting to stumble as well. A few months ago, the GOP was feeling pretty
good about winning back control of the Senate. But look at the latest
headlines around the country.

Newspapers across the country are reporting that the Republicans are
in tougher races than they ever imagined. The crucial states are the ones
with the stripes on the map. Democrats are proving to be tough for
opponents in places like Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Florida. In fact, the
Republicans thought that they had a sure thing in North Dakota.

Turns out the debate over health care and Social Security is putting
them on their heels. Republican Rick Berg, who is in the Congress, is
running against Democrat and former attorney general Heidi Heitkamp.
During a debate last week, Heitkamp asked Berg why he wants to privatize
Social Security.

Listen to his attempt to answer.


REP. RICK BERG (R), NORTH DAKOTA: This is what`s wrong with
Washington. People blame, blame, blame and don`t come up with solutions.


BERG: What we need is a solution to Social Security.


SCHULTZ: Now Rick Berg fires back. He`s trying to tie Heitkamp to
President Obama on issues like health care. The problem is it`s not
working. In fact, one of the state Republican party`s top staffers admits
the ads are falling short. "Politico" quote an e-mail in which a GOP
executive director, Anthony Reedy (ph), wrote, "no doubt Heidi`s team has
put out much better ads this year."

So while Heitkamp benefits from President Obama`s success, Rick Berg
seems to be struggling with Romney to get on message.

Joining me tonight, Heidi Heitkamp, Democratic candidate for Senate
and former North Dakota attorney general. Good to have you with us

We`re going to be featuring all of the Senate races around the country
between now and the election. Obviously, being home this weekend, I saw an
ad that has a picture of you and President Obama together. I thought, way
to go Republicans. After that convention and what health care is doing in
rural America, it would seem to me that that would be a strategic mistake.

Or am I wrong? How is health care playing in the Heartland?

Dakotans understand is that health care is really personal, that
preexisting conditions matter, getting health insurance matters, getting
your kids on health insurance. One thing you haven`t been talking about is
the million-dollar cap. I met parents, young professionals, engineers, did
everything right, have a baby with Spina Bifida. They know they are going
to hit the million dollar cap and be impoverished the rest of their life,
through no fault of their own.

I think everybody has a personal story about how this affects them. I
think once you start talking about this and you say, let`s keep the good
and fix the bad and quit playing politics with health care, people in North
Dakota get it.

SCHULTZ: Doesn`t this leave somewhat of an opening for Democrats who
are running for the Senate, including yourself? Now that Mitt Romney has
actually said there are certain portions of the bill he`s going to keep.
Well, you folks are out there campaigning on making it better than it is
right now. Doesn`t that play to your favor?

HEITKAMP: Well, I don`t know. Mitt Romney doesn`t really matter to
me. What matters to me is the needs of the people of North Dakota and the
importance of health care and the need to get health care affordable, the
need to reduce costs of health care overall by keeping people healthier,
which you know is a great passion of mine.

So I think there`s things that need to be fixed. I`m not taking Mitt
Romney`s lead on anything. I`m taking a look at the needs of the people of
North Dakota.

SCHULTZ: So does Rick Berg, your competitor, does he want to
privatize Social Security? You never got an answer out of him on that

HEITKAMP: Well, I believe that your voting record matters. And when
President Bush tried to privatize Social Security right after he was
reelected, Congressman -- then Representative Berg went to the floor of the
North Dakota House of Representatives and said we ought to do everything we
can to support the president in his effort to privatize.

He can`t run away from that record. And let me tell you in North
Dakota, privatization of Social Security is not what the people think
should happen. Our seniors -- you know, you hear a lot they depend on
their Medicare. What I tell you is our seniors have earned their Medicare.
They have earned their Social Security. We owe them a debt of -- an
obligation to fulfill the promises that we have made.

SCHULTZ: So what does this race come down to? This seat will fill
the retiring chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad. What
does this race come down to, Heidi?

HEITKAMP: I think it comes down to who North Dakotans believe will
go to the United States Senate and every day fight for them. It`s
interesting, Ed. Production wind tax credits, the Farm Bill, essential air
service, help for Devil`s Lake with their infrastructure needs, help for
western North Dakota, flood relief up in Minot, diversion in Fargo -- I
mean, I could just go around the state of North Dakota and tell you what
people care about.

It`s not what Congressman Berg is talking about.

SCHULTZ: The ad running against you, put out by the RNC there in the
state, says that you`re for raising taxes. On who?

HEITKAMP: I don`t know. I was with a group of seniors today and I
asked them -- I said how many of you believe the 30-second commercials?
Not one hand was raised. Not one hand. People are tuning them out because
they know they are dishonest. They know they are not truthful. They know
they are just trying to scare people, rather then educating.

And you and I have talked about this. I have asked for seven debates.
I think that`s the way to do it. We had one. Unfortunately, it was 9:00
in the morning, kind of hidden there. You found a copy of it.

But I want more debates to talk about the critical issues. Because in
the end, that`s what people need to hear. They need to hear our ideas
rather than what some political, you know, pundit or consultant in
Washington, D.C. thinks matters in North Dakota.

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us, Heidi. All the best. Thanks so
much. Heidi Heitkamp running for the Senate in North Dakota.

Ohio is another state that is turning into a serious problem for the
Republicans. Tomorrow night, Senator Sherrod Brown will join me to talk
strategy for his state. Please join us.

Still to come on THE ED SHOW, Senator Rand Paul accuses economist Paul
Krugman of playing games with federal employment numbers. I`ll break down
the facts. Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Numbers are numbers and facts are facts. This weekend,
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tried to advance the Republican myth that
government has grown under President Obama. Take a look.


PAUL: Are you arguing there are fewer government employees under
Obama than there were under Bush?


PAUL: The size and growth of government is enormous under President

KRUGMAN: If government employment had grown as fast under Obama as
it did under Bush, we would have a million and a half more people employed
right now, directly.

PAUL: Are there less people employed or more people employed now by


SCHULTZ: Did he say the word enormous? I will make this simple.
There are less people employed by the government. In fact, there are
around 600,000 fewer government employees under President Obama than there
were under President George W. Bush. Public sector employment is at the
lowest that it`s been in 30 years.

And as Paul Krugman points, if government employment rates had
remained steady, about 1.7 million more Americans would currently be
employed in this country.

But those facts don`t help Senator Rand Paul. So today he took a
different route.


PAUL: Federal employment has gone up 140,000. It`s just a fact.
He`s talking about federal and state employment. So he`s playing games
with numbers. State government -- President Obama is not in charge of the
government of Virginia or the government of New York. So teachers have
been reduced at the state level. Federal employees and the federal
government is enormously bigger under Obama.

And he`s disingenuous. For an allegedly smart man, he`s disingenuous,
playing games and he ought to be ashamed of himself.


SCHULTZ: Senator Rand Paul is the one who ought to be ashamed of
himself. He`s the one playing games with numbers. Apparently his figure
of 143,000 does not include Federal Postal workers. Think Progress reports
that if you include Federal Postal workers, federal employment only went up
by 27,000 between December of 2008 and right now, an increase of about one

Senator Rand Paul has one thing right. President Obama shouldn`t take
credit for state and local layoffs, which includes hundreds of thousands of
school teachers. Republicans led by people like Rand Paul should be blamed
for not passing the American Jobs Act, which would have extended much-
needed aid to state and local governments and stimulated the economy.

Tonight in our survey, I asked does Mitt Romney have a coherent
message for voters? Four percent of you say yes; 96 percent of you say no.

Coming up, Chicago public school teachers are on strike for the first
time in 25 years. It`s kind of a long time, isn`t it? They are fighting
harder than ever for their students, but Republicans disagree. We`ll talk
to a Chicago public schoolteacher next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I have to be here for 10 days, I will be here
for 10 days. But you know what? At the end of the day, I will be able to
sleep better because I know class size will have been reduced and children
are getting all their services.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, teachers in the nation`s
third largest school district are on strike. Last night, the Chicago
Teachers Union announced that they were heading to the picket line for the
first time in 25 years. Teachers could not come to an agreement with
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the district officials on a new contract.

Twenty six thousand teachers and schools workers are fighting for
what? Fair teacher evaluations, limits on classroom size, how about some
air-conditioning in the classrooms, to maintain their health benefits, and
more social workers to help students with problems beyond the classroom.

Earlier today, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor, attacked the Teachers Union.


MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: This is, in my view, a strike of
choice. And it`s the wrong choice for our children. It`s not necessary.


SCHULTZ: Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan agreed with
the mayor of Chicago, saying "Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that
this Teacher`s Union strike is unnecessary and wrong."

Mitt Romney got into the game. He also released a statement today and
went even further than his running mate. He said, the Chicago Teacher`s
Union is turning its back on thousands of children saying, quote, "teachers
unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those
of our children."

Let`s now turn to Mr. Phillip Cantor. He`s a high school science
teacher in Chicago at North Grand High School. He`s a strike captain at
the school and also a member of the Teachers for Social Justice.

Mr. Cantor, good to have you with us tonight. I would like for you
to, first of all, respond to the mayor of Chicago saying that this is a
strike of choice.

mayor on that. But I think it was his choice actually. It was not the
teachers choice. The teachers have been at the table since November. Mr.
Emanuel has never been at the table. His -- the head of our appointed
board of education was not at the table until this last Thursday. Jean
Claude Bresard (ph), the head of CPS, has not been at the table.

It`s all been out of town lawyers doing the negotiations. I don`t
think the mayor has actually been taking it seriously. I think it`s his
choice, not the teachers` choice.

SCHULTZ: Is this union busting, if he hasn`t been at the table?

CANTOR: I think it is. I don`t think this would be happening if the
mayor did not want to push it this far. I don`t think the issues have
changed since November. So I`m not really sure what his motivation could
be. But I think a big part of it is he does want to break the union. He
does want to shut down more neighborhood schools and open more non-union
charter schools.

SCHULTZ: Charter schools, that would be for-profit, correct?

CANTOR: Some of them are for-profit, some are non profit, but
they`re all privatized. They`re all public money going to private hands.

SCHULTZ: But, of course, the teachers would be paid a lot less. We
played a clip earlier in this broadcast about how the media is portraying
the teacher`s pay in Chicago, 74,000 -- 75,000 dollars is the average pay
for teachers in Chicago -- 74,839 is the average salary.

Respond to this. They almost infer that you`re making too much money.

CANTOR: Yeah, I mean, that`s an issue and something I hear a lot. I
know that I don`t make that much and I`ve been teaching for about 10 years
at this point. So you know, you can play with numbers. There are teachers
with multiple masters degrees and PHDs and they skew that mean. Like
statistics are easy to play with.

SCHULTZ: So what are the issues? I understand that evaluating the
teachers, there`s some real socioeconomic issues in Chicago, obviously,
kids coming to the classroom, some of them come from really rough
backgrounds. So they want to come up with a new test-based system that
will evaluate you and your colleagues as teachers. Is that fair? Is that
a sticking point?

CANTOR: It`s absolutely a sticking point. It`s been shown over and
over wherever these studies have been done about tying teacher pay to
student test scores, it`s not valid. It doesn`t work. It doesn`t actually
tell you quality of teachers. Teachers wildly vary from year to year on
the -- the same teacher with a similar population of kids can vary really
widely and one year be shown to be one of the best teachers at the school,
according to those kinds of measures, and the next year one of the worst
teachers in the school.

We know that the teacher isn`t the one who is changing at that point.
There are all these out of school factors that affect kids and how well
they can do on tests. You know, Chicago -- the CPS system is nearly 90
percent low-income students. The school where I teach is over 90 percent
low-income. So these kids are struggling. And CPS does not provide the
support for those kids, like social workers, nurses, psychologists, et
cetera, to help those kids even succeed.

SCHULTZ: And I understand that the pension fund is just a little
over half capable of doing what it may need to do some day, because Chicago
Public Schools took a hiatus from funding it for some 10 years. That also
is a sticking point.

Let me ask you, here`s the key question. How long are your teachers
willing to stay out?

CANTOR: We`re willing to stay out as long as it takes to protect our
kids. I have a class with 41 students.


SCHULTZ: So this isn`t about the money? This is about you think the
kids are being shortchanged by resources?

CANTOR: It is not about the money. If you have been in a classroom
with 41 kids when it`s 95 degrees for weeks at a time, you know that CPS
doesn`t put kids first.

SCHULTZ: OK. Phillip Cantor, good to have you with us. We`ll
follow the story. People around the country are watching this strike. It
is very interesting, the issues. It`s not about the money. It`s about the
kids. We`ll follow it again.


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