The Ed Show for Monday, October 1st, 2012

October 1, 2012

Guests: Chris Kofinis, Felix Arroyo, Nina Turner, Wayne Powell

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

Two days until the first presidential debate and 36 days until the
2012 election. This was the scene at the Senate debate in Massachusetts
minutes ago.


SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: You`re going to comment on my
record, I would at least have you refer to -- excuse me.


BROWN: Excuse me. I`m not a student in your classroom. Please let
me respond. OK? Thank you.


SCHULTZ: We`re going live to Boston for full analysis. There`s a lot
to get to tonight.

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


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: You haven`t given me the math.

the time -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Republican ticket can`t get FOX News on
board with their vision for America.

RYAN: I didn`t want to get into all the math of this and everybody
would start changing the channel.

SCHULTZ: Howard Fineman on the latest from the Republican rolling

The Romney camp says they plan to win the debate with zingers.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I`d be tempted to go back to
that wonderful by Ronald Reagan, "There you go again."

SCHULTZ: How much you want to bet, it doesn`t work?

ROMNEY: Ten thousand bucks -- $10,000 bet?

SCHULTZ: On the eve of Election Day in Ohio, they are sleeping
overnight at polling places. We`ll go live to Cleveland where State
Senator Nina Turner is camping out for early voting.

And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is fighting for his political
life in his own district. Democratic Challenger Wayne Powell will join me
live following tonight`s big debate.


SCHULTZ: Good evening, Americans. Good to have you with us tonight
and thanks for watching.

Republicans are hoping for a game changer in the next few days, but
Romney`s path to victory, it is starting to disappear. President Obama is
ahead in all of the vital swing states needed for victory. If the election
were held today, an "Associated Press" analysis shows President Obama would
win at least 271 electoral votes -- 270 votes wins the presidency.

The Romney campaign, no doubt, is struggling, to say the least.
Romney`s own running mate was forced to admit how their campaign has


RYAN: So, yes, we have had some missteps, but at the end of the day,
the choice is really clear. We`re giving people a clear choice.


SCHULTZ: Paul Ryan was asked about the tax cuts for the millionaires
proposed by Romney and Ryan`s budget plans.

He was a guest on "FOX News Sunday" with Chris Wallace, and the vice
presidential candidate made some missteps of his own.


WALLACE: How much would it cost?

RYAN: It`s revenue neutral.

WALLACE: I`m just talking about the cuts. We`ll get to the
deductions, but the cut in tax rates --

RYAN: The cut in tax rates is lowering all Americans tax rates by 20

WALLACE: Right, how much does that cost?

RYAN: It`s revenue neutral.

WALLACE: It`s not revenue neutral unless you take away the

RYAN: That`s where I`m going.

WALLACE: We`re going to get to that in the second. The first half --
lowering the tax rates. Does that cost $5 trillion?



SCHULTZ: The master of the PowerPoint was having a hard time making a

Let`s break down what Paul Ryan is actually saying here. Romney and
Ryan will give $5 trillion in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
Subtract an unspecified amount of money by the way of unnamed loophole
deductions. Somehow, you`re going to get a revenue neutral tax plan?

It`s a plan so lame and so bogus not even a FOX News host can
understand it.


WALLACE: You haven`t given me the math.

RYAN: Well, I don`t have the time -- it would take me too long to go
through all of the math.


SCHULTZ: Wait a minute, Paul Ryan -- Paul Ryan, if you want to be a
heartbeat away from the presidency, we`re going to have to explain your
plans to the American people. Take all the time you want, especially here
on "THE ED SHOW. You guys have been complaining about media fairness.
Come on, let`s talk it over.

Today, Paul Ryan told a rightwing radio host in Milwaukee why he
wouldn`t give Chris Wallace the math.


RYAN: You know, I like, Chris. I didn`t want to get into all the
math of this because everybody would start changing the channel.


SCHULTZ: It`s so nice of Paul Ryan to be concerned about Chris
Wallace`s ratings rather than presenting the details of his plan to the

Paul Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee and he can`t
even take time to explain his policies to the American people?

Now later in the interview, Ryan revealed the truth about the tax
breaks for fat cats.


WALLACE: What`s most important to him in his tax reform plan?

RYAN: Keeping tax rates down. By lowering tax rate, people keep more
of the next dollar that they earn. That matters. That is incentives.
That`s pro-growth policy. That creates 7 million jobs.

And what should go first --

WALLACE: That`s more important than?

RYAN: That`s more important than anything.


SCHULTZ: Tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires are more
important than anything else?

Those are Paul Ryan`s words. Forget about paying for those tax cuts
that he`s talking about. They are -- you know, they are here to stay if
Romney and Ryan get elected. I mean, you can count on that. It`s no
wonder the Romney campaign is struggling with this entire message.

But when all else fails, what you got to do is blame the media.


WALLACE: Media is carrying water for Barack Obama?

RYAN: I think it kind of goes without saying that there`s definitely
a media bias.

WALLACE: Where have you seen it in this campaign where you feel they
are judging you by one standard and Obama and Biden by another?

RYAN: I don`t think -- I`m not going into tit-for-tat or re-litigate
this thing. But as a conservative, I`ve long believed and long felt that
there`s inherent media bias. And I think anybody with objectivity would
believe that.


SCHULTZ: Blaming the media is the latest talking point for Paul Ryan.

At a close fundraiser in Connecticut, Ryan told supporters the
campaign needs their help to fight off the media.


RYAN: We can`t expect the president to play fair. He`s not. We`re
not expecting the media to tell our story. They are not.


SCHULTZ: I guess Paul Ryan didn`t hear what New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie said about people who blame the media.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I`m not going to sit here and
complain about coverage of the campaign. As a candidate, if you do that,
you`re losing.


SCHULTZ: And Ryan obviously didn`t get the memo from the Romney
campaign adviser Ed Gillespie.


ED GILLESPIE, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: We have a no whining rule in Boston
about coverage in the media.


SCHULTZ: Blaming the media is apparently off the table for Mitt
Romney, which is why the candidate is starting yet another strategy to try
to get back into this game. reported on behind the scenes
meetings between Romney advisers who want the candidate to attack President
Obama as being weak on national security.

According to the report, GOP strategists refer to their new operation
as the Jimmy Carter strategy. Romney wants to link President Obama to
President Carter by comparing the current events in Libya to Carter`s
issues with Iran. The candidate telegraphed his new strategy in a "Wall
Street Journal" op-ed this weekend. The campaign says Romney will give a
major foreign policy speech this week.

Romney is taking his message to the airwaves.


ROMNEY: I think they want to do their best to keep the people of
America from understanding exactly what happened. We expect candor, we
expect transparency, particularly as it relates to terrorism.


SCHULTZ: It`s hard to understand how Mitt Romney thinks this strategy
is going to work. Romney was hammered for his initial response to the
attack in the Middle East. He blamed the president for sympathizing with
protesters. Also, Romney is a 14-point disadvantage on the issue of
terrorism in the latest "Washington Post"/ABC News poll.

Romney can`t seem to pick a strategy and stick with it. Now, if you
look at this -- the campaign, well, they used to be all about jobs. The
Romney slogan was Obama isn`t working.

But then all of a sudden, the campaign was about Obamacare and the
slogan was "repeal and replace."

Then, that didn`t work so Romney moved on to "we did build that."
Republicans spent a night at their own convention talking about the new
strategy. But that didn`t work either.

So recently they went with "are you better off then you were four
years ago?" But now they are abandoning it for national security message.

I mean, they are all over the map, folks. They don`t know what
they`re talking about.

Paul Ryan says the campaign has made some missteps, you think? But it
looks like the campaign just steps all over itself.

If you use his campaign as an example, Mitt Romney isn`t providing at
all what he can as a disciplined leader. Here`s the bottom line: they have
never been on message. You can go all the way back to the Republican
primary debates. President Obama never had the heat put on him because the
Republicans didn`t have their act together with all their in-fighting and
their message to America.

President Obama and the campaign has won the summer. Never behind in
the polls, had a better convention, no question about it. And in the post-
convention, it`s only gotten worse.

So now we`re down to the debates coming up here in Denver on Wednesday
night. The first one is on domestic policy. There are actually some
Republicans who are putting their credibility on the line, going out on the
talking heads saying that Mitt Romney, after all of these months of
missteps and not being sure of where he is on the issues, he`s just going
to turn it all around and, oh, by the way, they can`t explain the math on
how they are going to turn it around.

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

Tonight`s question: do you trust Mitt Romney`s and Paul Ryan`s math?
Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can always go to our blog and leave a comment. We`ll bring you the results later on in
the show.

Joining me tonight is Howard Fineman, NBC News political analyst and
the editorial director for "The Huffington Post" Media Group.

Howard, great to have you with us tonight.

It`s really been an all over the map strategy, almost like a dart
board mentality. Let`s see where it lands today.

Can Paul Ryan get away with refusing to give details about his tax
plan, Howard?

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: No, I don`t think he can, Ed. It`s
great to be in Denver. It`s going to be fascinating to watch this. It`s a
great town in a swing state, maybe the swingiest of the swing states.

And I think if the Romney/Ryan ticket has a hope of winning in
Colorado and winning in the other battleground states, they are going to
have to explain the math. It`s just not going -- they can`t carry it for
36 days without doing so.

Chris Wallace made an attempt. I bet you that Jim Lehrer in the
debate on Wednesday night also makes an attempt. This time 50 million to
60 million people will be watching. And if Mitt Romney doesn`t give more
details, he`s going to look bad.

SCHULTZ: Why are they running with this new strategy of attacking the
president on national security?

FINEMAN: Well, Ed, as you said, it`s kind of throw it against the
dart board, throw it against the wall and see what sticks strategy. They
haven`t been able to compare the president to a man who many think of as
not a successful Democratic president, that is Jimmy Carter, on domestic
affairs. They tried, but they haven`t succeeded.

So they are desperate to make that Carter analogy any way they can.
They would like -- they are probing for weaknesses in the Obama record. I
think they`re being too cute by half. What they should be doing -- what
they should have been doing all along is running against President Obama`s
record on the economy. That`s what they should have down.

The latest "Washington Post" poll shows that for the first time, Mitt
Romney is slightly better regarded on the question of who will do better
leading the economy over the next four years than the president? That`s
through no good offices of Mitt Romney on his own. That`s in spite of what
Mitt Romney has done.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Howard, we have heard so much about the disgruntled
folks within the Ryan/Romney, Romney/Ryan camp, whether it`s true or not,
who knows? But the way it`s unfolding in the polls is not good.

There`s a report from FOX Business News that says that Romney is
beginning to lose donors who were shifting their money to House and Senate
races. What`s going on here? Is this starting to take it its toll on the

FINEMAN: Yes, yes -- yes. In many ways what Mitt Romney`s challenge
is on Wednesday night is to stop the bleeding within his own party and
within his own camp. Absolutely.

Behind the scenes, Republicans are very worried. Some are saying so
publicly. If Mitt Romney doesn`t reassure them within the first half hour
of the debate, I think they are goners.

I think now you`re seeing already, a lot of the independent super PACs
who are blessed with their own money are going elsewhere. They are
desperately trying to keep a low margin in the Senate. The Democrats still
hold it. Republicans have faint hopes of taking it.

They are looking at House races. They`re looking at governors races.
They`re looking at state legislatures. They are looking at any place to
protect themselves from what, at this minute, looks like a fairly
comfortable win for President Obama.

That could change. It could still change. I have to stress. But
there`s nothing in the Romney strategy so far that indicates they know how
to turn it around.

SCHULTZ: All right. Howard Fineman, thanks for your time tonight.
Good to have you here in Denver.

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

Coming up, Chris Christie says Mitt Romney will turn the presidential
race upside down with his debate performance? Chris Kofinis and Susan Del
Percio join me for the conversation.

Stay with us. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up: Mitt Romney, his favorite surrogate and buddy
Chris Christie says that the candidate is going to wipe the floor with
President Obama. Really?

The campaign says Mitt Romney is working on some zingers. This could
get ugly -- and very entertaining.

The second debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown has just
ended. There were a ton of fireworks. We will be live in Massachusetts
with the latest.

And there was another big debate tonight. And you are going to see
the coverage right here before anywhere else.

Democrat Wayne Powell just finishes debate with House Majority Leader
Eric Cantor. Tonight, I`ll talk to the man trying to unseat one of the
biggest obstructionists in Congress. Share your thoughts with us on
Facebook tonight and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And thanks for watching

The presidential debate, the first one is just two days away here in

Here`s Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey talking about how
incredibly well Mitt Romney is going to do.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: On Wednesday night, Mitt Romney
is going to be standing on the same stage as the president of the United
States and I`m telling you, David, come Thursday morning, the entire
narrative of the race is going to change.

But here`s the great news for Republicans. We have a candidate who is
going to contrast what his view and with what the president`s record is,
and the president`s view for the future. And this whole race is going to
be turned upside down come Thursday morning.

Over the course of every time he was backed into a corner in the
primaries, he came out with a great debate performance because that`s where
he shines.


SCHULTZ: I find this just amazing. I think that Chris Christie needs
to go back and go to surrogate school for a moment.

The governor of New Jersey, the idea of a surrogate is not to dampen
expectations so it`s going to be a little bit easier for the candidate to
exceed them? Apparently not.

Christie is right about one thing though -- Mitt Romney must
accomplish a lot on Wednesday night to begin to alter this race across the

Romney`s team is loading him up with a bunch of zingers for the debate
according to "The New York Times." Romney has memorized -- he`s actually
memorized -- these zingers and has been practicing them on aides since
August. Really blindsiding them with the zingers.

Romney obviously did well enough in the primary debates to make it
this far, no doubt. Although most of his competition wasn`t as tough as
President Obama.

Romney also had some memorable moments. Let`s --


ROMNEY: Rick, I`ll tell you what 10,000 bucks -- $10,000 bet?

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I`m not in the betting business.


Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can
do better by going home because they can`t find work here because they
don`t have legal documentation to allow them to work here.

I`m running for office for Pete`s sake. I can`t have illegals.

Rick, again -- Rick, I`m speaking. I`m speaking. I`m speaking. You
get 30 seconds.


ROMNEY: This is the way the rules work here is I get 60 seconds. And
then you get 30 seconds to respond, right?


SCHULTZ: Well, let`s bring in Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis and
Republican strategist and MSNBC contributor, Susan Del Percio.

You know, I`m going 10 to one that Mitt Romney does touch President
Obama in this debate and loses his cool a little bit. I think that`s just
to the guy he is myself.

Susan, let me ask you first. Did Governor Chris Christie think he was
helping Mitt Romney by saying that the debate would just be turning this
race upside down? What do you think?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think Governor Christie was
just being Governor Christie. While you`re correct, a lot of people were
dampening expectations, I think Christie said what a lot of people are
hoping and thinking, is that Mitt Romney delivers a vision with some
specifics that people can grab on to and that he can change this race, turn
this race around.

The fact is, is that things flip-flopped very, very quickly in the
last two or three weeks. They can go back the other way, only if Romney
performs well.

SCHULTZ: Chris, let me ask you, Chris Kofinis, do you believe that
Romney can turn this around as many months as he`s had, one misstep after
another? And by a wide margin, Americans think President Obama is going to
win this debate and has the upper hand. So, what about expectations and
what about the possibility of Romney turning this around? What do you

strategy. I mean, you got to love Governor Christie for raising
expectations, but he was basically telling the truth. The Romney campaign
has got to go in here and they`re going to have an incredibly good
performance to change the narrative of a campaign in a spiral to death.

Now, can he do it? I don`t know. I have not seen any indication from
Governor Romney or his campaign at any moment, whether it was the
convention, during the summer, since the convention, that suggests they are
able to maximize, you know, an opportunity.

So I`m a little suspicious. But the reality is, he`s going to come in
here with a little lowered expectations and at least in terms of the public
opinion polls.

But let`s be honest. He`s a good debater. I watched those Republican
debates. He is a good debater. The problem with Governor Romney is he
tends to also put his foot in his mouth and create these land mines, i.e.,
the $10,000 bet -- which if that happens in this it debate, it will be a

SCHULTZ: Well, is it the idea of him having some zingers for his
opponent who was pretty academic on the issues and has been very well
schooled up in the debate process, does the Romney camp actually think that
zingers are going to get President Obama off his game and have an
impression on the American people? Susan, what do you think about that?

DEL PERCIO: Well, I think, first of all, Ed, you love saying the word
zingers. It seems to be very much part of the conversation. That being
said --

SCHULTZ: It`s not my word, Susan. It`s not my word. I mean, this is
a story that`s in "The New York Times" that Mitt Romney has been practicing
these zingers on his own staff ever since August.

I mean, I guess the bigger point I make, Susan, is, isn`t he going to
have to get substantive, isn`t he going to have to get to the devil in the
details to make people really realize that maybe he can run the country and
turn the tide instead of zinging his way to this?

DEL PERCIO: Absolutely. He will not zing his way to a win. There`s
no doubt about it. He`s shown he`s not terribly great at delivering them.
But what`s more important than the zingers is the way you can take a punch.
Everyone knows you can throw a punch, but can you take it? And that`s
what`s going to be a challenge to President Obama and Governor Romney.

Will Romney be able to get underneath President Obama`s skin? Will
President Obama really put Governor Romney in a place where he can`t come
out of? Can he box him in? So, it`s not going to be -- I don`t think it`s
going to come to who delivers the zingers but it`s who takes the punch

SCHULTZ: Well, Chris, finally, the demeanor of Mitt Romney. What are
we going to see? Because during the primary debates, we saw him lose his
cool a couple times. We saw him get off his game. He got a little

As you said earlier, just a moment ago, he`ll stick his foot in his
mouth. But I mean, isn`t demeanor and presidential attitude and
presentation going to be so much more important in this it debate than a
Republican primary debate? Your thoughts on that?

KOFINIS: Absolutely. I mean, if you look back at the history of
presidential debates, it`s not just something that the candidate says that
matters. It`s also what they do. Everyone remembers that infamous moment
where President Bush Sr. will look at his watch during the town hall debate
and defined who he was.

And so, for Governor Romney, you know, there`s a clear frame of him
that he has helped create in terms of his cold and indifference. My guess
is they are going to try to counter that.

The problem is in a debate, it can sometimes come across as fake. You
know, you`re basically trying to make it up as you`re going along. And so
he`s got a little bit of a challenge there.

And then in terms of how he comes after the president, he has to be
very careful on this front because the president is incredibly likable and
the American people support him. If he goes too harsh, too negative, there
will be a backlash and it will backfire.

SCHULTZ: Well, I don`t think Governor Chris Christie did him any
favors whatsoever, saying he`s going to turn it upside down in one debate
and I don`t think Donald Trump did him any favors by suggesting he go
birther, which absolutely would be a disaster. We shall see.

Chris Kofinis and Susan Del Percio, great to have you on THE ED SHOW
tonight, thanks so much.

DEL PERCIO: Thanks, Ed.

KOFINIS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, the second debate between Senator Scott Brown and
Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has just ended. We`ll bring you the
highlights and talk to Boston City Council at Large Felix Arroyo. That`s
coming up next.

And state senators across Ohio are camping out tonight to raise
awareness about early voting, which begins in Ohio in just a few hours.
State Senator Nina Turner joins us.

Stay with us.



at all, senator, to suggest that Ms. Warren benefited, was hired, because
she was Native American or minority?

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, I think the real issue,
David, is what is she telling the people not --

GREGORY: That`s a direct questions, senator. You have suggested that
she`s being dishonest. I want to know, do you have any evidence that she
got hired other than her credentials.

BROWN: The best way to answer that is for her to release her
personnel records.

questions about how I was born, what I learned growing up, and also that I
never used it for college, for law school, or to get a job.


SCHULTZ: Senator Scott Brown on defense tonight, trying to back up
his manufactured Native American controversy. Brown and Democratic
opponent Elizabeth Warren just finished their second debate for Brown`s
senate seat. The Native American issue was front and center at the
University of Massachusetts/"Boston Herald" debate. But Brown also had a
tough time standing by Mitt Romney`s economic plan.


GREGORY: You support President Romney -- excuse me, Governor Romney
for president, I assume.

BROWN: As I said, when it comes to dealing with the economic issues,
yes, absolutely. But we`re two different people.

GREGORY: But you would be a reliable ally when it came to his
economic plan? Is that his fair?

BROWN: It comes down to what the issue is.

GREGORY: On his economic plan, because you said there`s nobody better
than him, no one I would trust more than Governor Romney.

SCHULTZ: I would also like to read the bills, as I do, because a lot
of people don`t read the bills down there.


SCHULTZ: Meanwhile, a new set of polls show that this race is close.
Polling from Mass Inc has Warren with a four point lead. Another poll from
the "Boston Globe" shows Warren leading Brown by five points. However, the
Globe poll also shows 18 percent of Massachusetts voters are still
undecided. And that means Senator Brown`s seat is still up for grabs.

For more on this tonight, let`s turn to Felix Arroyo. He is a Boston
city councilor at large. Felix, good to have you with us tonight. You
were at the first debate and of course at this one again tonight. You
watched this debate. Did either candidate gain any ground in your opinion?
How did it come out tonight?

Warren has been gaining ground. Even the polling suggests that. When you
say 18 percent of Massachusetts voters are undecided about who to vote for,
let`s remember that Scott Brown has been our senator now for close to two
years. They know who he is. They are not decided and haven`t been sold on
whether to vote for him. They`re getting to know Elizabeth Warren now.

I think the tide is turning. I think Massachusetts will be electing
Elizabeth Warren in November.

SCHULTZ: So do you think tonight was a big game changer for Elizabeth
Warren? Do you think she solidified her position tonight with
Massachusetts voters?

ARROYO: I think she had another strong debate performance. And I
think Scott Brown has been replaying the same tired playbook. You know,
it`s bring up false Native American issues, check. Run away from Mitt
Romney, check. Run away from my record, check. Profess love for Antonin
Scalia, that`s a new one. He brought that up today. I`m not sure that`s a
winner here in Massachusetts, but at least he let everybody know who his
favorite Supreme Court justice was.

SCHULTZ: All right, I want to play more tape. There was a portion
where Brown, the senator, lost his cool on Warren. Let`s take a look at


BROWN: If you`re going to comment on my record, I would at least have
you refer to it -- excuse me.


BROWN: I`m not a student in your classroom. Please let me respond.
Thank you.



SCHULTZ: Some observers said that brown seemed angry at the last
debate. Is this a big image problem for him? And I also notice that the
Native American issue is not polling very well in Massachusetts. Not that
many people really care about this. And he just seems to be taking out
ads, billboards, and all of this stuff. Does he have an image problem in
his campaign? What do you think?

ARROYO: He -- sort of his first campaign, he ran as the nice guy and
the guy you can hang out with, have a beer with. But it`s exchanges like
that that I think he`s showing who he is. You know, when someone shows you
who they really are, you have to believe them. And in this circumstance, I
think Senator Brown has done that.

I also think there`s a hint of not respecting teachers. As the son of
a public schoolteacher, the brother of one, the husband of one, someone who
went to public school and is proud of my professors and teachers, I was
taught to have really deep respect for teachers. And I got a hint that he
may not respect the profession in a way that most of us do.

SCHULTZ: All right, Senator Brown says he`s bipartisan. That took a
lot of people on Twitter by surprise. But Warren challenged him on that
tonight. Let`s take a look at it.


WARREN: What he says to people around this country is that they
should contribute to his campaign because if he`s reelected, that increases
the odds that the Republicans will control the Senate and that he can block
President Obama`s agenda.

GREGORY: Given his votes, do you believe that his goal is to block
and obstruct President Obama`s agenda?

WARREN: On economic issues, I absolutely do.


SCHULTZ: Do people in Massachusetts, Felix, believe that the senator
is bipartisan and has a bipartisan record and a bipartisan image? Your

ARROYO: I don`t. I would have appreciated a more bipartisan record
when he voted against three job bills, when he supported the Blunt
Amendment, when he has not been standing up for pro-choice causes that he
now professes to support, when he doesn`t support the Buffett Rule, which
would make sure someone that like me in the working class, who is paying 30
percent in taxes, is paying the same rate as someone like Mitt Romney, who
he endorsed for president and doesn`t want to mention who is paying less
than 14 percent.

We would have liked more partisanship there. I had a constituent here
in Boston tell me that Brown is pro-choice, if by choice you mean allowing
the employer to decide whether or not a women should have access to
contraception. That`s his claim to fame. That, to me, shows that he`s not
bipartisan when he stands with old, nasty legislation like that.

SCHULTZ: I tell you what, 18 percent of the people in a "Boston
Globe" poll say they are undecided. For a sitting senator, that`s a big
number. Felix Arroyo, great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your

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




SCHULTZ: It`s the eve of election day in the most important swing
state in the country. Tonight we`ll go live to Cleveland, where State
Senator Nina Turner is camping out to vote early in the morning.

And one of the faces of the worst Congress in history is getting
challenged like never before. Democrat Wayne Powell just finished his
debate with Eric Cantor. Tonight, he joins me for an exclusive interview.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
So here we go. Just hours from now, this presidential race will enter a
truly significant phase, because voting will begin in the state of Ohio.
State senators are sleeping outside local boards of election to raise
awareness about early voting. Don`t think for a minute that this isn`t
necessary. It`s important to raise awareness about early voting in Ohio,
because at every turn, Republicans like Ohio Secretary Of State Jon Husted
have tried to kill it off.

Just four years ago, about 30 percent of the Ohio vote was cast before
election day. This time around, it could be as high as 40 percent. The
Romney campaign has 36 field offices in the state of Ohio, represented by
the red dots on this map. The Obama campaign has 96 field offices in Ohio,
the blue dots on the map.

If the Obama campaign has a better ground game, it can take full
advantage of early voting. And that`s what they are trying to do. There`s
another potential issue here in Ohio; 500,000 voters have been taken off
the rolls since 2008. A leading voting rights group has filed a request to
make sure that the process was fully legal.

Joining me tonight and now is Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who has
been on the forefront fighting this fight all along. You can see the folks
behind her are ready to stay out all night and make sure that they get
voting squared away early tomorrow morning. Senator, great to have you
with us tonight. Why are you going through this and how important is it?

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: Thanks for being with us, Ed.
It`s vitally important that, despite the dirty rotten tricks that are going
on in the state of Ohio, that folks in this state exercise their right to
vote, particularly here in Cayahoga County. So my colleagues and I across
the state of Ohio, we are lined up in front of our boards of election to
show symbolically how important voting is, particularly the early vote.

SCHULTZ: Senator, what about the 500,000 people that possibly won`t
be voting in 2012? Because that`s the number that`s out there; 500,000
voters have been taken off the rolls since 2008. I want to emphasize off
the rolls. What does that mean to Ohio?

TURNER: Since we don`t know the rubric or the rules that the
secretary of state used to do that, because there`s no transparency in
Secretary of State Husted`s office, that does brings me some concern. But
what we have to focus on most right now are the people who are on the
rolls, the people who are able to vote, to drive them out to the boards of

You know, Ed, this is a choice election. This is about electing a
president who believes in building an economy from the middle out and not
the top down. This is about voting to reelect the president who does
believe in the 47 percent, or voting for a governor who has a disdain for
the 47 percent. So we will not relent in the state of Ohio. We are going
to come out. We are fired up and ready to go. We will help President
Barack Obama make history again.


SCHULTZ: Senator, what about the nine-point advantage that President
Obama has in the most recent polls? You have some enthusiastic people
behind you tonight. No doubt about it. But President Obama has had a good
lead in Ohio. And now it`s been opened up in one poll by nine points. Are
you concerned about overconfidence? The "Columbus Dispatch" Ohio poll has
Obama at 51, Romney at 42. How crucial is early voting when you look at
this number?

TURNER: It`s very crucial, Ed. Although I`m pleased that the
president is up by nine points, it`s important that folks come out to vote
. The final count is when people cast their ballots and not necessarily by
the polls. So we cannot get overconfident. It`s not over until it`s over.
And that`s November 6th.

But right here in the state of Ohio, we can start to vote early. We
can start to show our support for President Barack Obama. We can show our
support for our federal senator, Sherrod Brown. We can show our support up
and down the ticket right here in the state of Ohio, starting tomorrow at
8:00 a.m. And we are here to make sure that our president knows that we
have his back, the same way he`s had ours in the state of Ohio.


SCHULTZ: Senator, why do you think it is that the percentage of early
voting might jump 10 percent? It was 30 percent early voting back in 2008.
Why do you think it`s being reported it could go as high as 40 percent
early voting? Why do you think that is?

TURNER: I think, Ed, because of all the efforts of Obama for America,
the Ohio Democratic Party, the county parties and civic-minded folks and
faith based leaders, who are getting out to remind folks why it is so
important to vote. You know, Ed, Congressman John Lewis was right here in
Ohio in Youngstown just this past Friday at a program that I was the M.C.
For him to talk about what happened to him on Bloody Sunday, the fact that
he had an apple and orange and two books in his book bag, standing in the
ready position just to have the right to vote.

This is the least that we can do in the state of Ohio to show
solidarity for poor folks, to show solidarity for the middle class and for
women and for elderly folks and students, to show that we understand how we
got over and our soul looks back and wonders how we got over, and that we
are not going to let some backwards Republicans stop us from exercising our
right to vote.

We stand up for the middle class in this state and in this nation.
And we are standing strong for our foremothers and our forefathers. That`s
why the early vote is so vitally important. And that`s why I think that
the vote early is going to be bigger and better than it was in 2008,
because we`re going to show the Republicans that there ain`t no stopping us
now, because we`re on the move.


SCHULTZ: All right. Ohio Sate Senator Nina Turner with us tonight
from Ohio. Great to have you with us tonight. Early voting starts

Eric Cantor might be looking for a new job in 2013. I`ll introduce
you to the Democrat who just stood toe to toe with the House majority
leader in a major debate. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Of course, we are broadcasting
from Denver. And MSNBC is hosting a presidential debate eve watch party
here in Denver tomorrow night. Come out and join us at the Governor`s Park
Tavern starting at 4:00 local time here in Denver. After the show, I`ll
leave the studio and get on over and visit with you. We`re looking forward
to it. We`ll hear your thoughts on the upcoming debate on Wednesday night
and, of course, the upcoming election. That goes for all our listeners on
Colorado`s Progressive Talk, AM 760. We look forward to seeing you
tomorrow night at the Governor`s Park Tavern right after the show.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you do you trust Mitt Romney`s and Paul
Ryan`s math? Three percent of you said yes; 97 percent of you said no.

Coming up, the man who just finished debating Eric Cantor, Wayne
Powell, joins me next. Stay with us.



WAYNE POWELL (D), CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS: These people are suffering.
I see them all the time. What`s happened in this country since 1980 is
that from -- the top one percent of our population that controls seven
percent of the wealth, we now have one percent of the population -- and
this is not class warfare. This is fact -- controls 24 to 25 percent of
the wealth.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), VIRGINIA: We need to do a lot of things to help
reform our public school system, to give these individuals the tools that
they too can get up on that ladder of success. It`s about income mobility.
It`s not, as Mr. Powell suggests, income redistribution.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and the Big Finish tonight.
That, of course, was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and democratic
challenger Wayne Powell in the first and only scheduled debate between the
two men fighting to represent Virginia`s seventh district. It was heated,
but Congressman Cantor was almost robotic in sticking with the Republican
script. Congressman Cantor, a classic Republican obstructionist, has
become the face of this do-nothing Congress.

Congress has a 13 percent approval rating, the lowest Gallup has
measured this late in an election year, which could spell trouble for
Cantor come election day. Just last month, Public Policy Polling found
that 40 percent of likely voters in the state of Virginia have an
unfavorable opinion of the congressman. Cantor`s seat is up for grabs.
And his challenger has a solid resume with military and legal experience
which should play well in Virginia`s seventh district.

A very aggressive Wayne Powell joins me tonight, a veteran and
community lawyer and a Democrat who is running for Congress in Virginia`s
Seventh Congressional District. Mr. Powell, good to have you with us
tonight. What did we learn about Eric Cantor? What did he prove to the
people of the Seventh District tonight? What did Cantor prove to the
people of the Seventh District tonight?

POWELL: What he proved tonight is that he speaks just like he writes
and just like he speaks in Washington, which is Washingtonese, D.C.-ese,
whatever you want to say. It`s cut taxes, cut regulations, help small
businesses and the jobs will magically appear.

You know this pixie dust politics that he practices hopefully will not
work this time. Hopefully the people saw exactly who he was. At one point
in the debate, he indicated that he had been down in the district seeing
this person and that person. There was visible -- there was audible
laughter in the building. He`s never down in the district. He`s too busy
going to South Beach or Las Vegas to get money for his super PAC or for

The corporatist that he is I believe came out. By the way, He did not
answer my question I asked him tonight.


SCHULTZ: You asked Congressman Cantor a question tonight. You called
it personal. Here it is. I want to play it.


POWELL: Last year when you and the president were in a budget stand
off that threatened to shut down the federal government, you voted to
continue paying members of Congress, including yourself, in the event of a
shut down. At the same time, you voted against a bill that would have
ensured that members of the armed services continued to get paid.

My question is this, Eric. How could you in good conscious vote to
continue your own pay, but at the same time vote to stop paying our
servicemen and women that you voted to send into combat in Afghanistan?


SCHULTZ: Cantor never directly answered the question. Do you think
we`re doing enough for our service members? What about it?

POWELL: Well, I think by not answering it, he answered it. He`s
never done enough for our service people. He voted against a suicide
prevention program for the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
We -- for every combat loss we have every day, we have 18 people who came
back from Afghanistan and Iraq that commit suicide.

The veterans are forgotten in this whole political gamut that he has
in D.C. He`s so intent on making sure that the richest and the greediest
amongst us get all the tax cuts that he forgets that the people that we
send forward to represent our best values over seas, whether the war is
fair or not, they`re doing their duty. They deserve the best of us, not
the worst of us.

SCHULTZ: I want to play Congressman Cantor`s closing statement. Here
it is. I want you to respond to it for our audience.


CANTOR: None of these negative attacks do anything to create a job,
do anything to educate a child, or do anything to bring down the deficit.
But attempts attacks and character assassination the way that Mr. Powell
has been about tonight frankly make it a lot harder to solve problems, to
compromise, to sit down and actually get something done.


SCHULTZ: Coming from the face of republican obstructionism, how do
you respond to that, quickly.

POWELL: Well, it`s an incomprehensible jumble of words. Basically, I
was presenting facts and he doesn`t like the facts. Maybe he gist can`t
take the truth. The truth is he`s an obstructionist and he`s simply in it
for himself.

SCHULTZ: Do you think the people in your district, quickly, are
holding the obstructionist -- do they view him as the obstructionist and
the person who has really held up progress in Washington? Are the people
in the district willing to label that on Cantor?

POWELL: All I can say is the reaction I get from people I see when I
canvass and I meet people who aren`t necessarily Democrats is the same.
They want a change, 12 years of nonperformance. They want it to end and
I`m the alternative. And I think -- I know my heart is in the right place
and I have empathy.

SCHULTZ: All right. Wayne Powell, thanks so much for joining us

That`s "THE ED SHOW" live from Denver.

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


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