The Ed Show for Monday,October 8th, 2012


Date: October 8, 2012

Guest: Lawrence Wilkerson, Michelle Goldberg, Keli Goff, E.J. Dionne, Nina

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

Twenty-nine days until the election. Mitt Romney is trying to use
fear and lying to get into the White House. He won`t get away with it here

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


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: America`s security and the
cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney lie tour continues in Virginia.
Tonight, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson on Mitt Romney scare tactics,
he`s bad ideas and his return to Bush policies.


SCHULTZ: The president dedicates a national monument to Cesar Chavez,
as the conspiracy theorists foaming at the mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think they change the numbers?

DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: I do, I do. And I think that they did a
lot of those -- a lot of monkey business.

SCHULTZ: Ari Melber on the latest from the Republican alternate

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW: The reason we face a difficult in our
problem-solving mechanism is that a good portion of the country has created
an alternate universe.

SCHULTZ: In a new study out of Ohio shows America just how
discriminatory and racist the Republican effort to stop early voting really
was. You won`t believe these numbers. State Senator Nina Turner joins me
live in studio.


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

Mitt Romney is following up his debate performance in Denver last week
by introducing the country to the new Mitt Romney. The new Mitt Romney is
not the candidate we`ve seen for the last couple of years. Last week,
Romney lied about his policies on taxes, education and health care. Today,
the candidate`s foreign policy positions went under the knife during a
speech at the Virginia Military Institute.

Romney laid out a complete reversal on his strategy for Mideast peace.


ROMNEY: I`ll recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous
Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish
state of Israel.


SCHULTZ: The new Mitt Romney is totally committed to a two-state
solution in Israel? But this is not what Mitt Romney told a group of
wealthy donors in private.


ROMNEY: And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace
anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and
elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there`s just no
way. So what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you
can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is
going to remain an unsolved problem.

We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a
potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it, and we kick
the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will
happen and resolve it.


SCHULTZ: Priceless tape, isn`t it?

Direct from Romney`s mouth, you hope for some stability, you hope
something will happen.

Listen to the new Mitt Romney today in his opinion on hope.


ROMNEY: I know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more
prosperous Middle East aligned with us. I share this hope. But hope is
not a strategy.


SCHULTZ: The new Mitt Romney doesn`t even flinch when he makes a
blatantly false accusation.


ROMNEY: I`ll champion free trade and restore it as a critical element
of our strategy, both in the Middle East and across the world. The
president has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four
years. I`ll reverse that failure.


SCHULTZ: Romney`s correct. The president has not signed one new
trade agreement. In fact, the president of the United States has signed
three new trade agreements. He did it last year with bipartisan support
from Congress.

The new Mitt Romney hopes you forgot about those trade agreements.
Just like he hopes you forgot about his own position on foreign aid.


ROMNEY: I`ll make further reforms to our foreign assistance to create
incentives for good governance, for free enterprise and greater trade in
the Middle East and beyond. I`ll rally our friends and our allies to match
our generosity with theirs.


SCHULTZ: This will come as a surprise to our allies. Mitt Romney
took his cues from foreign aid from Rick Perry.


ROMNEY: One of the things we have to do with our foreign aid
commitments, the ongoing foreign aid commitments, I agree with Governor
Perry. You start everything at zero.


SCHULTZ: Another strategy of the new Mitt is to keep things
deliberately vague.

This week marks the 11th year of the war in Afghanistan. Romney took
heat for not mentioning Afghanistan during his convention speech. But the
new Mitt Romney finally has a position on the war.


ROMNEY: In Afghanistan, I`ll pursue a real and successful transition
to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.


SCHULTZ: That just happens to be the exact same position of the
current president of the United States. This guy named Barack Obama.
Romney didn`t offer any additional specifics, so it`s hard to tell if he
has really any disagreement with the president over Afghanistan. The same
goes for Iran.


ROMNEY: I`ll put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States
and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons


SCHULTZ: If you believe the new Mitt Romney, he`s going to prevent
Iran from getting a nuclear weapon? President Obama says the same thing.

But Mitt Romney doesn`t say how had he will prevent Iran from getting
a nuclear weapon. He also doesn`t tell you who is advising him on all of
these matters. One of his foreign policy advisers is former Bushy John
Bolten, who never met a bomb he couldn`t launch.

Earlier this year, Bolton told FOX News, "The better way to prevent
Iran from getting nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear weapons program
directly." Oh, boy.

Another Romney adviser, here`s a dandy, is former State Department
official Robert Joseph. Joseph -- now, you`re wondering: where do we know
this guy from?

Well, he`s been calling for an attack on Iran since 2006. Oh, yes.
You also might remember that Robert Joseph as the guy who told President
Bush to use a false story about Iraq and uranium. Just put it in the
"State of the Union" address.

Then there`s Romney advisor Eliot Cohen, who says Romney wouldn`t rule
out sending troops to Libya. Anybody in favor of that?

It`s no wonder Romney`s foreign policy got a thumbs up from Donald
Rumsfeld who tweeted, "Terrific, comprehensive speech by Governor Romney.
He knows the role of the United States in the world should be a leader, not
as a spectator."

Wow. The new Mitt Romney`s closing remarks came right out of the
Bush-Cheney playbook folks. Vote for us, or we`re going to get attacked


ROMNEY: America`s security and the cause of freedom cannot afford
four more years like the last four years.


SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney will not let Americans know what his real
policies are. It`s the Bush administration all over again, especially when
it comes to foreign policy. How does that sit with you?

Even Obama adviser Robert Gibbs and Newt Gingrich can agree on how
Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected.


ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA ADVISER: Mr. Speaker, you mentioned that your
opponent Mitt Romney had a problem with being dishonest in the primary.
Was he dishonest when he said that?



SCHULTZ: Romney`s positions have clearly changed. The only path for
the White House is for voters to pretend the changes never happened.

Get your cell phones out. Want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: Who do you trust when it comes to foreign policy
decisions? Text A for President Obama, text B for Mitt Romney to 622639.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show. You can always go to our
blog at, and leave a comment as well.

Joining me tonight is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of
staff at the State Department during General Colin Powell`s term and the
currently the Pamela Harriman visiting professor at the College of William
and Mary.

Colonel, good to have you with us tonight. We got a very --

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON (RET), U.S. ARMY: Good to be here, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet. You heard the speech today. What is fact, what is
fiction in Mitt Romney`s foreign policy?

WILKERSON: Let me just say first, Ed, that I have never in some 68
years on this Earth witnessed any political candidate for the presidency of
the United States move so swiftly from his speech to, as it were, to the
right wing of the party -- in this case the Republican Party -- to the
center where he`s trying to attract the majority of Americans and change
his views so stunningly.

You pointed it out, but it is utterly unbelievable to me as a
Republican that we could have such extremes in the party and have someone
who would try to address both of them and win the White House.

SCHULTZ: Would Mitt Romney take us to war against Iran?

WILKERSON: I don`t know, because I don`t know what his policy is, Ed.
I think his policy from what I`ve heard and what I`ve talked to some of his
advisers about is almost identical with President Obama`s. But in order to
establish a gap between them, he seems to be saying things that would
indicate -- yes, he would take us to war, yet again, in western Asia.

SCHULTZ: Romney talked about military spending today. Here`s how
he`s going to spend tax dollars. Here it is.


ROMNEY: I`ll restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our
missions, by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines. I`ll
implement effective military defenses to protect against threats.


SCHULTZ: Where`s he getting the money for this? And is all that

WILKERSON: That`s a good question.

We just did a study at the Center for American Progress and the
Institute for Policy Studies, Larry Korb, former assistant secretary of
defense, was on the board with me. We showed how if you cut national
security spending, Ed, not just the Pentagon, but everything across the
board, V.A., DOE, nuclear weapons and so forth, you can cut a trillion
dollars out in 10 years and you would still bring us back to 2007, Ed, 2007
level spending in inflation-adjusted dollars. That`s because for 13 years
now, we have been increasing the defense budget.

You could easily cut -- to hear this man talk about what Secretary
Gates was recommending, but to the point where he would increase the budget
and build more ships and so forth is preposterous. We do not need that
sort of increase in defense spending. What we need is for the national
security budget to pay its efforts towards reducing the deficit while
keeping us safe.

We`re not fighting China. We`re not fighting a coalition of nations.
We`re fighting, at best, some terrorists in the world.

And the best thing for that is special operating forces as President
Obama has shown with the killing of Osama bin Laden.

So, this is insanity. He`s operating on a Cold War music sheet.

SCHULTZ: Colonel, what do you make of Donald Rumsfeld giving his
endorsement to Mitt Romney`s foreign policy speech today?

WILKERSON: Well, that`s sort of like having Attila the Hun address
the Democratic convention and tell them they are doing all right.

Donald Rumsfeld has zero credibility with me. And he would never
regain it.

SCHULTZ: What about all these Bushies who are around Mitt Romney?
John Bolton, he talks very recklessly when he talks about containing Iran.
He scares a lot of people with his rhetoric. Does he really believe it and
do you think that Romney would be influenced by that kind of conversation?

WILKERSON: I think he would, and I think John Bolton will be in this
administration in some capacity. John will make sure he`s in this
administration in some capacity should Romney win.

The man scares me to death. He would defeat all the enemies of
America in the world, and believe me they are plentiful, and he`d do it
with everyone else`s blood.

John is like Dick Cheney. Never served a day in his life and wouldn`t
serve a day in his life, nor would he allow, if he had any, his family
members to serve a day in their life.

These people make me sick, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, always great to have you with us
here on THE ED SHOW tonight. I appreciate it so much. Thanks for your

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, Donald Trump says the job numbers are a lot of monkey e
business. Republican alternate reality -- Ari Melber joins me.

Stay with us. So much more coming up on THE ED SHOW. We`re right


SCHULTZ: Republicans continue to push conspiracy theories on Friday`s
job numbers. "The Nation`s" Ari Melber joins me to discuss the GOP`s
alternate reality, next.

Female legislators and candidates could gain several states in the
Senate this November. It wasn`t supposed to be that way, was it?

We`ll look at why women are leading in some key Senate races across

And as Ohio judge upholds early voting on the final three days before
the election, a new study reveals the effect voting restrictions would have
on the state`s African-American community. I`ll have reaction from Ohio
State Senator Nina Turner in studio with us tonight.

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

We`re coming right back.


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

The focus of Republicans alternate reality has shifted lately from
poll numbers to job numbers. Today, Donald Trump was the latest to say the
Obama administration cooked the books.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think they changed the numbers?

TRUMP: I do. I do. And I think that they did a lot of those -- a
lot of monkey business. And I`m telling you, in a month and a half from
now, they will do a readjustment like has been happening for the last year
and a half. They will do a readjustment and the number will be 8.2 percent
or more.


SCHULTZ: All right. Of course, last week, it was former General
Electric chief Jack Welch, Congressman Allen West and some rightwing
pundits making the allegation.

We should remind viewers what got them so excited. The unemployment
rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years, until
a few days ago, conservatives were claiming all the national polls -- you
know, they must be way off.

Now that Romney`s post-debate bounce is fading, we`ll probably hear it
again. The latest Gallup tracking poll shows Obama`s lead widening to 5
points again. Today, President Obama was shoring up the Hispanic vote,
just days before voter registration deadlines in 11 states. The president
dedicated a moment to Cesar Chavez.


OBAMA: Where there had once been despair, Cesar gave workers a reason
to hope. It`s people. More than higher wages or better working
conditions, that was Cesar`s gift to us. A reminder that we are all God`s


SCHULTZ: President Obama dedicating a monument to Cesar Chavez.

Let`s bring in Ari Melber, correspondent for "The Nation" magazine.

Ari, great to have you with us tonight.

OK, President Obama is not taking his lead or his strength from the
Hispanic community. He wants more. He`s trying to really solidify this.
Playing to his base, how smart a strategy is it?

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: I think it`s smart and I think what the
president has to do right now is get out there and get into the fight. I
think people want to see him talking to voters. They want to see him
talking about the unemployment numbers, which as you pointed out, are
improving -- still tough out there, but the best in four years.

And I think that`s the thing about the debates. They happen to get a
lot of attention, but on the ground, that`s not the only thing people are
thinking about.

SCHULTZ: Donald Trump is trying to stir the conspiracy theory about
job numbers. You know, how can you have 31 months of private sector job
growth, the Department of Labor, not taking any heat at all until right


SCHULTZ: Now, all of a sudden, they are cooking the books.

MELBER: You know the deal. I have people say there`s only two
parties in American politics. I think we found the third party and that is
conservative truthers. And they will find and make up and lie about
anything they don`t like.

This is -- I want to be clear -- this is worse than attacking the
messenger, which is an old thing in politics. This is trying to beat up
the facts. And what happens is every time they do it, they get some of the
media to go along and get confused and narrate the story about their lives,
instead of pointing on the facts. Instead of focusing on the facts, which
in this case, are again, the fact that it looks like some of what the
president is trying to do is working.

SCHULTZ: Here`s Romney adviser Ed Gillespie. He said this is about
the unemployment rate. Here it is.


ED GILLESPIE, ROMNEY ADVISOR: Our unemployment rate has come down
because for -- since President Obama took office, for every new job
created, more than six workers have left the labor force.


SCHULTZ: In September, however, did the Bureau of Labor Statistics
numbers show that the rate coming down because of workers entering the
labor force? I mean, this really is the key right here.

MELBER: Yes. I mean, you do have a question about the long-term
unemployed and whether they stop looking for work. And the Bureau of Labor
Statistics does two surveys. They talk to workers and they talk to

So there`s a lag there that some people aren`t being counted. But
that has, again, nothing to do with the fact that the general picture is
improving. That issue sort of is baked into the numbers all the time.

And so, I think, what the Republicans have here is a real problem,
right? They said that the president wasn`t doing anything on the economy
and that anything would be better than the president, right? Anything out
there, even if Mitt Romney is not very credible.

And all of a sudden, they are going into November and what they find
is we have the best job market that we have had in four years. So, they
have to start making stuff up. They have to start attacking the messenger,
the facts, and everything else.

I think that`s their -- their fundamental problem is the facts.

SCHULTZ: So, when you look at the job market right now and you see
these positive numbers, over 5 million people have been put back to work,
31 months of private sector job growth.

Romney did not go after the 7.8 percent. He just said this is not
what a recovery looks like.

What do you make of that? Everybody else is talking about cooking the
books, but Romney wouldn`t go that far.

MELBER: It`s a good question. It shows that he knows where his
vulnerability is. I mean, if you look at the debate numbers, if you look
at the new numbers from Pew, what you find is generally people thought
Romney did better and that includes Democrats did think Romney did better
in the debate. You know, the group of people who didn`t move at all,
people making under $75,000. It didn`t move at all when asked who does --

SCHULTZ: They know what he`s about. They who he is and what he`s

MELBER: So, I think he`s better off change the subject than getting
into that. He hasn`t moved those people even on the most night he`s had in
the last year.

SCHULTZ: All right. Ari, great to have you with us.

MELBER: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Appreciate your time.

Up next, Republicans do not see this coming. Three women are using
three crucial issues to beat three GOP favorites. The Senate surprises,

Then, FOX News is back up Mitt Romney`s $5 trillion tax lie. I`ll
talk with MSNBC contributor E.J. Dionne about that and much more.

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


SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

I find this a very interesting political story. Three women are using
three key issues to basically stun Republicans and pull ahead in their
Senate races. The Republicans expected all of these women to lose.
Instead, they are out campaigning their opponents and boosting support for
President Obama.

Let`s start with Democrat Tammy Baldwin and the Medicare debate.
Baldwin is three points ahead of former Governor Tommy Thompson of

And here`s the main reason. In May, Thompson was caught on camera
promising to do away with Medicaid and Medicare. Thompson has tried to
clarify the comments.

It`s not working. Baldwin`s latest campaign ad shows her taking care
of her late grandparents. She promises to leave Medicare alone, big issue
in the states. So Baldwin is proving to be a tougher candidate than the
Republicans bargain for in the Badger state.

But there`s another surprise for the GOP. Elizabeth Warren is ahead
of Republican favorite Scott Brown in Massachusetts.

Warren uses Romney`s 47 percent comment to go after Brown on tax
fairness. Brown responds by attacking Warren`s Native American heritage?
His staffers were even caught on tape making racist gestures. Brown thinks
he can win the election on this issue?

But it`s not working. Warren is ahead by five points.

Her fellow Democrat in Missouri is doing even better. Senator Claire
McCaskill is winning on women`s issues. Remember, her opponent,
Representative Todd Akin, coined the phrase "legitimate rape." He was
caught on tape last month saying that he doesn`t support fair pay for women
because it hurts free enterprise? Would you like to run against that

McCaskill, Warren, and Baldwin are focusing on women`s issues, the 47
percent and Medicare, it`s working.

And there are others. Heidi Heitkamp is in a tight race with
Congressman Rick Berg in North Dakota. Mazie Hirono of -- is ahead of
Republican favorite in Hawaii. And Shelley Berkley is neck and neck in

All of these women are giving the Democrats a fighting chance and
taking control of the Senate.

I`m joined by Michelle Goldberg, senior contributing writing for
"Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast.": And Keli Goff, political correspondent

Well, I guess we could say that maybe four or five months ago, we
wouldn`t be here having this conversation. But it`s been the war on women,
it`s been the middle class, the 47 percent comment. There`s a host of
things out there. But it`s really having a down ballot effect.

How scary is it, you think, Michelle, right now, for the Republicans
if this is just going to blow up in their face?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEWSWEEK: Well, I think what`s scary is that a
couple of these races, as you said, are races that they really shouldn`t be
losing. I mean, the Todd Akin race, most obviously. But even Wisconsin,
you know, even a lot of people who really admire Tammy Baldwin, thought
that when Tommy Thompson won that primary, a very popular former governor,
with a kind of moderate reputation, they thought she was in a lot of
trouble. Instead, she`s really pulling ahead.

SCHULTZ: When you see, Keli, the number of Democratic female
candidates who are doing well, does this help the president? I mean, this
is image business. I mean, what does it look like?

KELI GOFF, THEROOT.COM: Absolutely. And let me tell you why. They
called 1992 the year of the woman. If you recall, Ed, there`s that
landmark year where dozens of female Democratic members of Congress were
swept up in the Clinton year. And 20 years later, we appear to be having
another one.

And the reason this is good for the president is because it helps
increase the turnout and enthusiasm amongst female voters. I think I
mention before on this program, that EMILY`s List has polling that shows
that these women`s issues have been being a ballot effect in terms of
getting moderate women to turn to the polls, feel enthusiastic and feel
that they are under attack, and that they have to show up and fight.

There are a lot of moderate women who may not have been that
enthusiastic about the president. They are enthusiastic about protecting
their access to birth control.

GOFF: There are a lot of moderate women who may not have been that
enthusiastic about the president. They are enthusiastic about protecting
our access to birth control. They are enthusiastic about knowing that the
term "legitimate rape" is not a legitimate term. And they are enthusiastic
about sending that message at the polls.

So that does help Democrats up ballot.

SCHULTZ: Massachusetts has never elected a woman as governor or to
the United States Senate.

GOFF: Right.

SCHULTZ: And Elizabeth Warren was asked about it in the last debate.
Here`s her response.


that Massachusetts has never elected a female senator or governor.


GREGORY: No idea. Does it trouble you?

WARREN: Well, right now, I`m trying to do something about that.


SCHULTZ: Isn`t that just a fantastic answer?

GOLDBERG: There`s been a lot of studies about the -- one of the
reasons that the gap in American political representation is so wide is
because of who runs as opposed how likely women are to win when they do
run. So there`s been this huge untapped kind of pool of talent that women
weren`t putting themselves forward. They were less likely to be recruited.

But researchers who look at this see that when women run, they are as
likely to win as men are.

SCHULTZ: What about North Dakota`s race with Heidi Heitkamp, former
attorney general, up against one of the wealthiest members of Congress in
Rick Berg? He came in the Tea Party wave, but then has not been very
popular in the state. It`s a red state. She`s a populist. What do you
make of that race? That`s a big seat. That`s Senator Kent Conrad,
retiring president, Senate Budget Committee.

GOFF: If Democrats hold on to the Senate, not only hold on, Ed, but
the unthinkable happens, they actually gain, which no one predicted we
would be having this conversation a few months ago -- they are going to
have one really impressive -- or rather not impressive politician to send a
big old bouquet to. And that politician`s name is Todd Akin.

I say that because --

SCHULTZ: You think he`s affected all the races?

GOFF: It`s sort of like the cancer that`s spread in terms of you
already had this talk about the attack, the war on women, right? They say,
that`s not true. That`s bullocks. There`s no such thing as a war on
women. Then someone comes out and says I`m convinced doctors are giving
abortions to women who aren`t even pregnant. That`s one of your nominees.
It becomes tough to say, no, our party doesn`t have an issue with women.

I don`t know. Call me crazy.

SCHULTZ: You know, I have often thought that the cuts in Medicaid
that have been proposed in the Ryan plan has really affected a lot of the
races. Because as families in America, we try to take care of our parents.
That effects moms. I think that effects women really a lot. They see that
and they say, you know, I`m not for that. Am I wrong on that?

GOLDBERG: As much as we`ve been talking about women`s issues, in a
lot of these races, what these women are running on is, like you said,
economic populism. That`s the core of Tammy Baldwin`s message. It`s the
core of Elizabeth Warren`s message. It`s the core of the message in North
Dakota. In a sense, economic populism shades over into women`s issues
because women end up being the person in charge of caring for ailing family
members, being the person in charge of health care for their children.

So they know very viscerally what it would mean to lose Medicaid,
which is paying for the nursing home of -- you know, of their aging

SCHULTZ: It`s a brutal cut. It doesn`t sit well.

GOFF: In my column for "The Root, I talked about after the debate,
for all of the bad news views for Democrats from that debate, the one thing
I noticed is if you counted how many times the president said the words
education and health care, why is that, Ed? Because when you look at the
polls, women voters are more likely to vote on things like health care, on
education, on Medicare for the reasons you`re talking about, because they
are the ones who end up having responsibility for kids and elderly parents.
So you`re totally spot on.

SCHULTZ: Keli Goff, Michelle Goldberg, great to have you with us
tonight on THE ED SHOW.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My plan is different. It involves 41 basic
elements, six abrupt reversals of position and three outright lies.


SCHULTZ: It would be funny if it wasn`t so true. Next up, E.J.
Dionne on the moral hole of Mitt Romney`s lies and his budget.

Another big-time CEO gets caught advising his employees to vote Romney
or else. That story ahead.

And a new study out of Ohio shows America just how racist the state`s
anti-early voting effort really was. You won`t believe these numbers.
State Senator Nina Turner joins me live in studio.


NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: If your hair is on fire, you
need to act like your hair is on fire.




SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL, "NUNS ON A BUS": We share responsibility for
creating an economy where parents with jobs earn enough to care for their
families, in order to cut taxes for the wealthy. The Romney/Ryan budget
would make it tougher on hard working Americans.


SCHULTZ: That was Sister Simone Campbell speaking at the Democratic
National Convention last month. Campbell and her group, Nuns on a Bus,
will be kicking off another leg of their anti-poverty tour. This time
they`ll be making stops in Ohio.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney still can`t give a straight answer on exactly
what his tax plan is for the wealthy. Romney has campaigned on giving the
mega-rich a tax cut. His website backs him up. Yet at the debate, Romney
claimed the opposite.


ROMNEY: First of all, I don`t have a five trillion dollar tax cut.
I`m not looking for a five trillion dollar tax cut.

Let me repeat what I said. I`m not in favor of a five trillion dollar
tax cut. That`s not my plan.


SCHULTZ: Analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that
Romney`s plan would cost the country five trillion dollars over the next 10
years. Now Romney`s friends at Fox News say Romney doesn`t have to explain
his fuzzy math. Here`s Chris Wallace defending Romney`s flip-flop to
Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The president keeps saying that Mitt
Romney is proposing a five trillion dollar tax cut. That`s not true.

GOV. MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), MARYLAND: Chris, wait a minute here.
Former Governor Romney is proposing a cut to income taxes, including income
taxes for the wealthiest of Americans, And I believe a 30 percent cut to
corporate income taxes.

Any economist may debate whether that adds up to 4.9 trillion or does
it add up to five trillion.

WALLACE: You`re mischaracterizing the Romney plan. You`re saying --
you`re right, there`s five trillion dollars by lowering the tax rates, but
he also talks about cutting loopholes. That`s part of the plan.

O`MALLEY: He won`t say which loopholes and which deduction.


SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, MSNBC contributor E.J. Dionne,
"Washington Post" columnist and author of the new book "Our Divided
Political Heart." Yes, I`ve got that right.

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST" You`ve got a lot of heart, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I`ve got so much heart. You know the details -- the devil
in the details, however, you want to say it. The fact of the matter is, we
do not have these loopholes on the table that Mitt Romney is talking about.
And I Tweeted out tonight, "Could we actually elect a man who has not
explained his tax proposal to the American people when we`re sitting
supposedly on the edge of this cliff when it comes to the country`s
finances?" E.J., your thoughts?

DIONNE: I still don`t think voters are going to support something
like this, not knowing what`s in it. I`ve been wondering why we haven`t
heard more of Romney was for his five trillion dollar tax cut before he was
against it. Because you look at this plan and it is five trillion dollars
that all those cuts add up to. You`ve got to offset them somehow.

The only way to offset them with enough money to make any difference
at all is to go after the popular deductions, the homeowner deduction, the
deduction for paying state and local taxes or the health care deductions.
I mean, that`s where the money is.


DIONNE: So it`s astonishing to me. I mean, that`s where a lot of us
wish -- the president just very quietly said, all right, how do you pay for
it? If it`s not five trillion, how do you pay for it? But the other piece
of this is in the primaries, he really didn`t talk a whole lot about the
offsets. He talked about cutting taxes for everybody.

That`s the Etch a Sketch thing that he really was doing in a very big
way in that debate.

SCHULTZ: So anybody asking Mitt Romney to explain the arithmetic I
guess is just mischaracterizing his plan. Very clever way that Chris
Wallace put it that way. Mischaracterizing what? I mean the country
deserves the details. Will the lack of specifics catch up to Romney in
this election? Is this really going to be his pitfall with the middle
class, that he just can`t explain where he`s going to take them or try to?

DIONNE: Maybe I`ll cut Chris Wallace a little bit of slack there,
because he was the guy who pressed Paul Ryan on this very question. It was
-- in pressing Ryan, Ryan couldn`t say. He said I don`t really have time
to explain the math.

And I think in this coming week`s debate with Joe Biden, that is going
to be a question that Joe Biden is going to ask him over and over again and
give him all the time in the world to explain what deductions he would get
rid of. When you look at this rate that he`s talking about, there`s a lot
of money that`s going to people at the upper end. It`s very hard to offset
their tax cut, even if you took away all their deductions.

SCHULTZ: E.J., your latest column, you posed the question, does our
presidential campaign lack a moral core? What did you mean by that?

DIONNE: I was struck in the debate that there was very little passion
and absolutely no passion for the poor. And that`s why I love the Nuns on
the Bus, is because they are telling us -- they are not assuming with the
consultants that middle class people don`t care at all about poor people or
low income people. They are saying we as a country ought to care about

I`d love to see a politician say what FDR once said. He said better
the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity
than a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. I just feel
like we`re letting ourselves get frozen in our own indifference because no
one takes on the demonizing of the poor or defending programs for the poor
that actually work. That`s what the Nuns on the Bus are out there doing.

SCHULTZ: E.J., let`s go back to 2008 and the vice presidential debate
where Joe Biden was up against Sarah Palin. Everybody knew that she was
information challenged. And there was somewhat of a tight rope that Joe
Biden was walking there. He didn`t want to come out overbearing or
disrespectful because that could have hurt the ticket with female voters in

Now it`s totally different. Isn`t it? Now Joe Biden, who has kind of
been held back by the administration, is now being nudged out there to say,
go get him, Joe. What do you make of this?

DIONNE: I think Joe Biden is a better debater than President Obama.
I thought that back in 2008. I saw several debates where Joe Biden out-
debated all of them on the stage. And so, yes, I think there`s no -- there
are going to be no holds barred here.

He has really got to make up for some of the questions that President
Obama didn`t have the last time. And so I think this is going to be -- I
certainly hope it`s more of an exciting debate than the first debate was.
And I think it`s a debate that won`t have the moral hole in it quite as
much, because Biden can get passionate about some of these issues related
to unfairness and equality.

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne, always great to have you with us here on THE ED
SHOW. Thanks.

Coming up, a Michigan CEO tells his employees that if President Obama
is reelected, prepare for a pay cut. I`ll tell you all about the leaked
letter, next.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
You know in the business world, the boss can do whatever he wants to do.
This is an interesting one, in that the president and CEO of a Michigan-
based manufacturer sent a letter out to his 2,300 employees warning them,
you know, if this guy President Obama gets reelected, their paychecks are
going to get a lot smaller.

In the letter leaked to, Richard Lacks Junior of Lacks
Enterprises -- he writes, "it is important that in November you vote to
improve your standard of living and that will be through smaller government
and less government."

He goes on to write, "Obamacare will raise the company`s health
insurance costs by two percent. As employees, you will receive no
additional direct benefit other than you will have to pay for it."

Lacks also warns that any additional tax increase discussed by the
administration would come out of the employee pay. "It is always important
to remember the more the government takes, the less there will be available
to spread around to the working people of this company."

Now here`s the kicker in all of this. Lacks Enterprises makes
automobile parts. And business is pretty good. In fact, the letter also
notified employees of their sixth bonus in almost three years. What
happened about three years ago? Wasn`t there something going on with the
automobile industry like a loan put out?

But the company tries to claim their auto-related business did not
benefit from the Obama administration`s auto loan. He writes, "we survived
because our business model and the money we have in the bank to survive
these downturns, it would not have provided Lacks with any direct dollars."

Really? But who does Lacks Enterprise count on as clients? General
Motors? Chrysler? Ford? Sure Lacks didn`t get direct dollars. But if it
weren`t for the automobile loan forked out by the Obama administration, if
Mitt Romney had had his way and would have let Detroit go bankrupt, there
wouldn`t be all those cars for Lacks Enterprises to make parts for. Don`t
you think?

Tonight in our survey I asked, who do you trust when it comes to
foreign policy decisions? Ninety five percent of you say President Obama;
five percent of you say Mitt Romney.

Coming up, a new study shows how racist Ohio`s anti-early voting law
really was. Ohio State Senator Nina Turner is here with the latest from
the Buckeye State. Stay with us. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: In the Big Finish tonight, a new study is exposing how
racist the Ohio anti-voting early effort really was. According to the
Lawyers` Committee for Civil Rights, limits on early voting would
discriminate against African-Americans in Ohio`s second largest city of
Cleveland. The study found that African-Americans Cayahoga County used
early in person voting at 26 times the rate of white voters in 2008.

The study used census tracks where the voting population is over 80
percent African-American. Every one of those red dots on the map represent
50 early voters. Ohio Republicans were trying to end early voting 72 hours
prior to election day, except for members of the armed forces.

Luckily for all Ohio voters, their efforts have failed. On Friday, a
federal appeals court judge upheld a lower court`s decision striking down
the law. The three-judge panel ruled the 72-hour voting period should be
open to all voters in the state, including members of the military.
Although this is good news, some questions still remain.

It`s being report the final decision could be up to individual Ohio
counties, meaning 72-hour window that we`re talking about could still end
in certain places in the state. Ohio Republicans can still file another
appeal, sending it to the Supreme Court. As of now, there`s no word if
another appeal will happen.

It is big. President Obama needs Ohio to win the election in most
scenarios played out.

For more on this, I`m joined tonight by Ohio State Senator Nina
Turner, with us here in studio in New York. Senator, great to have you
with us tonight. This is really proof, isn`t it, that there was targeting
of the African-American communities. Would it turn to be a big motivating
factor for voters?

TURNER: It is. And there`s no doubt about it. The Republicans seem
to have a conflict with the truth. Now that the lawyers group has
conducted a study, Dr. Norman Roberts (ph) conducted a similar study, the
only type of voting that they are trying to suppress is early in person
voting. Vote by mail they have expanded with glee. But the voting that
has the most detrimental impact on African-Americans they have cut.

SCHULTZ: What`s going to happen with the Supreme Court? Do you think
that the Republicans will keep pushing this? Or is this the way it`s going
to be? Also explain how they can shut it down in some counties.

TURNER: Well, it`s a good decision and I`m glad that the courts
upheld the lower court`s ruling. But what it does is it restore us to pre-
House Bill 194. What that basically means is that Boards of Elections will
have the opportunity. In Cayahoga County, we did have weekend voting in
the last three days. So it`s a good thing.

It`s my hope, though, that the Republicans -- that Secretary of State
Husted will not make a mockery of what the judges have decided, which is to
give more access to the ballot box.

SCHULTZ: A Cleveland city councilwoman took this photo of a billboard
near a subsidized housing development in the city of Cleveland. It says,
"Voter Fraud is a Felony, Up to Three and a Half Years in Prison and a
10,000 dollar fine." What advice do you have for people that might be
intimidated by a billboard like this?

TURNER: They shouldn`t be. And Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland is my
colleague, Ed. We went to that billboard together, as tears welled up in
my eyes at the sight of that. The fact that African-Americans have had to
fight so hard to get the right to vote, and then you have groups who are
putting billboards up like that. Councilman Cleveland lives one street
over from that billboard. The mayor of the city of Cleveland, Frank
Jackson, lives two streets over.

But we`re going to continue to fight. We will not be pushed back by
these intimidation efforts. They know disproportionately that this will
have an impact on the African-American community who they are represented
in the prison system or in the system. Some of them do have felonies. But
you can vote in the state of Ohio even if you are an ex-offender.

SCHULTZ: How are things looking for President Obama in Ohio? I know
the polls have gone from five to nine points and bouncing around in there.
But how is he really doing?

TURNER: He`s doing well. We are on the ground, the Ohio Democratic
Party. We are going door to door. And the president is still going to win
Ohio. You know, when the polls are up for our side, we`re happy. When the
polls are up for their side, they`re happy.

But the ultimate poll is what folks do on election day. And Ohio is
going to vote for the man who stands by their side. And that is the

SCHULTZ: Does the African-American community in the Ohio feel like
they have been targeted? I mean, do they get a sense of this story? I
mean, is the burn in the belly?

TURNER: It is. There`s no doubt about it. You know, a former
councilwoman used to say, it doesn`t matter if you meant to kill me on
purpose or by accident, dead is dead. Exactly what the Republicans are
doing are reminding African-Americans how far they have come. They are on

We recognize what is going on We need people of courage to stand up.
This is not about black and white. This is about having the opportunity to
vote and to live in a state where you have elections officials and
Republicans trying to stop African-Americans or any other group. This is
linked to class too, Ed. It is a shame. It`s immoral. It`s unethical.
And it is a shame.

But we will not be moved.

SCHULTZ: Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, thanks for coming in.
Thanks for joining us tonight.

That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed Schultz.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel. I`ll be reporting from Miami tomorrow night on
some of the things going on down there in southern Florida with the Latino
vote and African-American vote, the Get Out the Vote effort. I`ll see you
there tomorrow night.


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