The Ed Show for Thursday, October 18th, 2012

October 18, 2012

Guests: Nancy Cohen, John Nichols, Chris Kofinis, Ron Christie, Jonathan Alter

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

Nineteen days until the 2012 election. Mitt Romney`s son, Tagg, wants
to take a swing at the president of the United States. You know, the
disrespect keeps coming, doesn`t it?

Tonight, we`ll show you who should really be in a fighting mood.

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


BILL LUMAYE: What is it like for you to hear the president of the
United States call your dad a liar?

TAGG ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S SON: Well, jump out of your seat, you want
to rush down the debate stage and take a swing at him.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Romney campaign is laughing those comments
off. The president continues to hammer his opponent.

at it and he whiffed.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Michael Eric Dyson on the poor excuses for Tagg
Romney`s joke.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: They brought us binders full
of women.

SCHULTZ: Team Romney tries to turn the page with women voters, but
will it work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He totally gets working women.

SCHULTZ: The plutocrats continue to strong-arm their employees to
vote against their best interests. We`ll play you the Mitt Romney tape.

M. ROMNEY: Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about
what you believe is best for the business.

SCHULTZ: And the conservative meltdown over Candy Crowley may never

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN/DEBATE MODERATOR: He did, in fact, sir. So, let
me call it an act of terror --

OBAMA: Can you say that little louder, Candy?

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Chris Kofinis and Ron Christie on the silence of
the right wing lies.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Declaring something on act of terror does not
necessarily mean you`re declaring it a terror attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This changed the debate. This is exactly what
moderators are not supposed to do.


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

The Obama team showed a fighting spirit today on the campaign trail.
The president is trying to hold his lead in key battleground states
including New Hampshire, where he held a rally in Manchester.


OBAMA: Nineteen days, New Hampshire -- 19 days. In 19 days, you`re
going to step into a voting booth and you`ve got a big choice to make.
It`s not just a choice between two candidates or parties. It`s about two
different visions for this country that we love.


SCHULTZ: The president knows he is in a battle in this one. The
national polling average by "Real Clear Politics" shows Mitt Romney with a
one-point lead over President Obama. Most polls do not fully reflect
public opinion since Tuesday night`s debate. So, we`re going to have to
wait a few days to find out exactly if the debate caused any changes at all
in the polling.

President Obama is still maintaining a lead in swing states, which is
good news. Like in Iowa, Nevada, and Ohio.

The Obama campaign is not leaving anything to chance. They sent the
big dog to the Buckeye State to help keep the state blue today.


something. I love Ohio. It`s an old-school place.

We like our families. We like our communities. We value personal

When you were down, you were out, and your whole economy was
threatened, the president had your back. You got to have his back now.


SCHULTZ: Tell it like it is, Bill.

President Clinton was joined by rock and roll legend Bruce
Springsteen. The Boss told the Ohio crowd why he`s supporting President


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MUSICIAN: The future is rarely a tide rushing in.
It`s often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. And I believe
we are in the midst of those long days right now. And I`m here because I
believe President Obama feels those days in his bones, for all 100 percent
of us.


SCHULTZ: Springsteen talked up the president`s achievements over the
last four years. He makes a strong case.


SPRINGSTEEN: I`m thankful for universal health care. You know, the
lack of which -- the lack of which was for so long an embarrassment to our
country. I`m thankful for more regulated Wall Street. I`m thankful G.M.
is still making cars.


SCHULTZ: Meanwhile, the president is staying aggressive. He`s
telling audiences why Mitt Romney is digging himself deeper with a sketchy
deal on the economy.


OBAMA: On Tuesday, Governor Romney took another stab at trying to
sell us this $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy. He took another
swing at it and he whiffed.


SCHULTZ: You may have noticed President Obama`s word choice there.
He said Romney took a swing and he whiffed. Sounds like President Obama
was listening to Mitt Romney`s son, Tagg, on conservative talk radio on
North Carolina.


LUMAYE: What is it like for you to hear the president of the United
States call your dad a liar? How do you react to that?

T. ROMNEY: Well, jump out of your seat, you want to race down the
debate stage and take a swing at him. But you know you can`t do that,
first, because there`s a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but
also because this is the nature of the process.


SCHULTZ: Nature of the process to feel that way. Tagg Romney`s
brother, Josh, well, he just laughed off the remark when asked about it on
"The View."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to slug President Obama like your
brother said he did?

`NEY, MITT ROMNEY`S SON: No. You know, that brother has slugged me a
couple times. I`m sure President Obama has nothing to worry about. I
think that`s something he was saying off the cuff. I`m sure he didn`t mean


SCHULTZ: The Romney campaign also made light of Tagg Romney`s
comment. Romney spokesman Andrea Saul told "The New York Times", "He was
joking about how frustrating this process can be for the family."

Oh, they`re inconvenience on the campaign trail, aren`t they?

We have heard nothing from Tagg Romney. He has no apologies just like
his dad. But Tagg Romney, you know, he`s not just some misbehaving kid out
there who`s speaking out of turn. Tagg Romney is reportedly the driving
force behind the Romney campaign these days.

After a disastrous summer, "Politico" reported Tagg Romney is taking a
much more active role in how the campaign is run. In fact, Tagg Romney
advised his dad to be moderate Mitt during the first debate.

"The Washington Post" says Tagg Romney is out on the campaign trail
seven days a week.

And, you see, Tagg Romney is just not some 18-year-old kid. He`s a
42-year-old man and he should know better.

But his comments are indicative of a larger pattern from the Romney
family. They represent the entitlement society. You see, they can say
anything, they can do anything, disrespect anyone. They can get away with
it. They`re the Romneys.

The apple doesn`t fall very far from the tree.


M. ROMNEY: You`ll get your chance in a moment. I`m still speaking.
That wasn`t a question.


M. ROMNEY: That was a statement.

CROWLEY: And the next question is for you --

M. ROMNEY: He actually gout the first question, so I get the last
question -- last answer on that one.

CROWLEY: Actually, let`s speak, too, if you could, Governor, the idea
of self-deportation.

M. ROMNEY: Let me go back and speak to the points that the president


SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney openly disrespectful to the president of the
United States and the moderator, Candy Crowley, during the debate. He made
his own rules, answered questions when he wanted to. Not the ones that he
was asked.

And Mitt Romney has shown this type of elitist behavior his entire
life. Just go ask the people in Freeport, Illinois. Those people didn`t
get a chance to rush the stage and take a swing at somebody who took their
job. They just got fired. They got outsourced.

If Mitt Romney becomes president, we shouldn`t expect anything
different. He`s going to play by his own rules and he isn`t going to give
a damn about any American out there or what they think. That`s how he is.
Just think about that.

Let`s reverse the roles just a little bit. Let`s just play with this.
Let`s just say that President Obama has a son and President Obama`s son
Barack Jr. goes on talk radio, maybe with some liberal out there and says,
you know, I`d really like to take a swing at my dad`s opponent, but I know
I can`t do it because the Secret Service is there.

Tell me, you think Bill O`Reilly would do anything with that? Hannity
would ignore it, don`t you think? "Wall Street Journal," no, they wouldn`t
editorialize on that at all. They`d all just let it go.

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

Tonight`s question: Does Mitt Romney lack respect for the president?
Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. You can always go to our blog
at We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight, Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst and
professor of sociology at Georgetown University.

Great to have you with us tonight, Doctor. Appreciate it.


SCHULTZ: All right. Are Tagg Romney`s comments part of a pattern?
Or is there overreaction on this show tonight? Is there disrespect?

DYSON: It`s extreme disrespect, Ed. It`s an incredibly consistent
pattern where the Romneys appear to be invincible or at least they want to
portray this notion that they`re somehow, you know, exempt from the rules.

This is not only a class-based elitist conception that I don`t have to
do, play by those rules, it`s a race-based one as well as you indicated
there at the end, because this is white male privilege run amok. This is a
man who hovers over the president as if he`s overseeing him, as if he, you
know, actually articulates his words.

He refuses to sit down. He invades his space. He tries to commandeer
the public space. He tries to disrespect Candy Crowley and he continually
repeats his lines and answers his own questions.

So, yes, that is a consistent pattern of bullying and now Tagg, you`re
it. The bully doesn`t fall far from the bully. This is a bullying ethic
at the heart of politics in America where people believe or at least the
Romney family believes they can do anything, say anything.

And talk about violence, this president is the most assaulted
president in terms of the level of attack upon him verbally and the death
threats that he receives.

So this is already a highly charged atmosphere around the nation`s
first black chief executive officer so to speak, of democracy, and now,
this man, Tagg Romney, feels the ability without compunction and without a
sense of remorse to be able to say that he will physically harm or wanted
to physically harm the president and the only thing that held him back was
the Secret Service. That`s pretty ridiculous.

SCHULTZ: Professor Dyson, is an apology in order here?

DYSON: Of course. But as you already said, no apology is the rule
there. We know that Tagg Romney does this on the regular. Ann Romney goes
on "The View" today to say that her husband is against embryonic research
yet their son, Tagg, used a surrogate mother to have a child. And in that
contract, it was the permission for abortion should an emergency arise.

So they talk a game on one end, but they contradicted what their
behavior on another end.

SCHULTZ: So, Tagg Romney is a senior adviser in the campaign. What
if a senior adviser in the Obama campaign made a comment like that? I
mean, is the media doing a disservice -- is the media doing a disservice
right now to the public by not calling out?

I mean, tone is a big part of this election. I mean, we have got --
we`re supposed to have some kind of civility. I guess that has all left
the building.

But the fact is that there is a pattern of disrespect. What if an
Obama adviser had said that about Romney? What would the reaction have

DYSON: There would be -- there would be all the cat calls and the
crocodile tears being cried by the far right.

SCHULTZ: I mean, heck, they`re upset about the moderator of a debate.
What do you think they`d say about this?

DYSON: My God, they would go bananas. They would literally lose
their collective minds.

And as you said, if a son of -- if Barack Obama Jr. had said this,
they`d try to portray him as Little Wayne with a bull horn who has
political pedigree who needs to be treated like he`s Little Wayne without
political pedigree. In other words, they would have seen as an angry black
man who`s out of control.


DYSON: But Tagg Romney is not seen as a person who`s out of control.
He`s seen as the extension of the bully ethic that`s at the heart of the
politics of Mitt Romney, like father, like son. And they continue to
intimidate and they continue to assume a certain level of privilege that is
both unconscious and unchecked.

And I think that in America, we need to tell the truth about what that
means and we know the far right media had one of Mr. Obama`s senior, if you
will, counselors, said something similar. This would have been front page
news and it would have been unending.

SCHULTZ: It`s going to be interesting to see the next debate on
Monday night just how stubborn or disrespectful Mitt Romney is. I don`t
think there will be changes in his behavior whatsoever and I don`t think
it`s going to help him in the long run.

Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you so

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

Coming up, the Romney campaign still doesn`t know where their
candidate stands on equal pay for equal work. It`s this woman thing they
have a hard time with. I`ll talk to Nancy Cohen about Romney and women
voters. Stay tuned. Coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Coming up: Ann Romney joins the ladies on "The View" to try
to clarify his husband`s policies on women`s issues in America. I`ll talk
with writer Nancy Cohen, next.

Then, CEOs are pressuring their employees to vote for Republicans this
November. Turns out that idea comes from the top of the GOP ticket. We`ll
play you the tape.

And the president and Mitt Romney will share a stage again tonight,
but don`t expect the heated exchanges we saw at Tuesday`s debate. We`ll
have the details.

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

We are coming right back.



SPRINGSTEEN: I`m here today because I`m concerned about women`s
rights. I don`t have to tell you. I don`t have to tell you the dangers to
Roe versus Wade under our opponent`s policies.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Bruce Springsteen, the Boss, speaking out for women in Ohio today.

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign sent their top surrogate to speak on
women`s issues on "The View." Ann Romney appeared Mitt-less earlier. Her
husband canceled on the show earlier this week citing scheduling conflicts.
So it was up to Mrs. Romney to deliver the campaign`s message to women.


ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: Women are going to have a choice. I
mean, it`s clear. If you really want to make a choice, and if those
choices are about reproductive rights, that`s your choice. If they`re
about economic issues and making a better future for your children and
making sure that we have this. And that`s the beauty of what we have in
this country, is being able to have those choices.


SCHULTZ: Well, it seems to me they want to eliminate choice. Yet,
Romney still won`t clarify where he stands on a major economic issue. And
that is equal pay for equal work.

On Tuesday night, Romney ignored a question about fair pay. He talked
about binders full of women instead.

Former President Clinton called him out on it today.


CLINTON: Would you sign the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay law? No
answer. He can`t even say whether he would sign a law which is already on
the books.


SCHULTZ: Romney`s campaign isn`t helping matters, either.

On Tuesday, Romney`s senior adviser Ed Gillespie told "The Huffington
Post" Romney would have opposed the bill. Now, on Wednesday, Gillespie
corrected that statement saying Romney has never held a position on the
bill. Hmm.

And, today, a Romney aide told CBS News Romney would have opposed the
bill. Short time later, a Romney aide told "The Huffington Post" that
Romney has never held a position on the bill.

"Ed addressed this issue on the record yesterday -- Ed Gillespie --
that explains our position."

Confused? You`re not the only one.


OBAMA: I don`t know why this is so complicated. Governor Romney
still won`t say whether or not he supported a law to protect that right.
No matter how many times he`s asked. This is not -- this is not that hard.


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Nancy Cohen, a "Playboy" magazine contributor
and author of "Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America." She also has a
new essay in the current issue of "Playboy" magazine called "Screwed: Say
Goodbye to Your Sex Life If Things Go South in November."

Nancy, good to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. Appreciate your time.

NANCY L. COHEN, AUTHOR, "DELIRIUM": My sound`s going out.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Why can`t the Romney campaign, somebody give a
straight answer when it comes to equal pay?

COHEN: Hey, Ed. Great to be here with you.

They can`t give a straight answer because they don`t have a straight
answer. Now, Romney, I think, really doesn`t believe in equal pay for
women because the congressional Republican delegation doesn`t believe in
equal pay for women.

And, you know, he`s a captive of the extremist in his party. So, you
know, in the last couple weeks of the election, he`s trying to be, you
know, Mr. Moderate Mitt, and, you know, it`s a little bit too late for
anyone to believe him.

I mean, Ann tells us, right? If you care about reproductive rights,
if you care about freedom, you know how to vote. You don`t vote for mitt.

SCHULTZ: Well, how much of a problem does Mitt Romney have with women
right now? The president lost some momentum in polling with women. And
maybe it will come back after all of this. What are your thoughts on that?

COHEN: It is absolutely going to come back. As soon as women get the
message that Romney will try to make abortion illegal, that he does not
support equal pay and that he wants to not only eliminate the contraception
mandate and wipe out health care reform with all those great things for
women`s health, I really believe that Mitt will put us on the path to a
place where birth control can become illegal again in some states for some

Now, it`s actually worse than it even seems to be for him, if you
consider what path he`s on for this.

SCHULTZ: You think that there will be a day if he is president where
birth control is illegal?

COHEN: I think there`s a plausible scenario where birth control
becomes illegal because Romney`s Supreme Court has overturned not only Roe
v. Wade but has taken on the two big Supreme Court cases which guarantee us
a right to privacy --


COHEN: -- which actually guarantee our sexual freedom and our sexual
rights, not just for women, but for men. And that if these cases, most
importantly, Griswold, is overturned at the same time Roe is, then we could
see birth control outlawed for single people, certainly for minors. And if
some of these personhood laws pass in the states once Roe is overturned,
then those would make birth control illegal also.

I mean, where we`re going to be is kind of a condemns only
contraceptive policy in parts of this country.

SCHULTZ: And do you think Mitt Romney can rehabilitate himself with
women voters? I mean, trust is a big issue here. No question about it.
But is it just a matter of time before the numbers swing big to the

I mean, can Mitt Romney rehabilitate himself with women? I mean, if
they start giving the kind of answers that women want to hear?

COHEN: If women get the message, which Obama is sending now --
absolutely not.

Women are smart. We`re pragmatic. You know, we want our freedom
preserved. We want our rights preserved. We believe in equality.

We don`t want these guys taking control of our lives, telling us what
to do.

SCHULTZ: I mean, isn`t it the equal pay the most damaging of all?

COHEN: Yes, I mean, there`s absolutely no reason not to support equal
pay. Except if you look at where these people come from, and that is the
story, Ed, that I tell in my book "Delirium." They actually started
organizing against equal pay for women, against equal rights for women and
then they took it into abortion and all kinds of other sexual rights.

But they really -- these people really don`t believe that women are
equal. They want women back in a place and time when men had control, when
men had power. And women knew their place.

SCHULTZ: Nancy Cohen, great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW
tonight. Thanks for joining us.

COHEN: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Up next, political pressure on the job? Mitt Romney thinks
your boss should tell you how to vote. Find out why more and more bosses
are taking Romney`s advice, part of the plan.

And later, conservative economist Ben Stein visits the curvy couch and
says something so outrageous it leaves the hosts on "Fox & Friends"
stunned. We`ve got the video. Stay with us.


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

This is about Citizens United and not all about money. More and more
American workers are facing a whole new problem on the job lately in this
election season. The boss is telling them how to vote.

The strong-arming starts at the very top of the Republican Party.
Mitt Romney held a conference call for a right wing group of business
owners back in June. The recording resurfaced this week on a Web site of
"In These Times" magazine.

Listen to Romney`s advice for these bosses.


M. ROMNEY: I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you
believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and, therefore, their
job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with
me or you agree with President Obama or whatever your political view, I
hope -- I hope you pass those along to your employees. Nothing illegal
about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the
business, because I think that will figure in to their election decision.


SCHULTZ: Romney`s right about one thing. There`s nothing illegal
about telling your employees who to vote for. The Citizens United case
opened that door.

Legal analysts say before Citizens United, your employer could not
force you to give money to a PAC or show up at a political event. Now they

Again, there is no federal law to stop your boss from using high-
pressure tactics to score votes for their favorite candidate.

This is the first presidential election since the Citizens United case
and lots of bosses are discovering this new political power in the

We`ve been telling you about them here on THE ED SHOW for weeks.
David Siegel, Richard Lacks, the Koch brothers have all admitted to sending
letters to employees telling them to vote for Romney.

CEO Robert Murray accused of forcing coal workers to attend this
Romney rally in Ohio. The miners, well, they say they didn`t even get paid
for it.

These examples are part of Romney`s bigger picture, bigger plan,
bigger campaign plan. You heard him on the phone. Now, he`s talking to
conservatives. What do you think they`re going to do? Tell them to vote
for Obama?

Here`s -- he`s advising basically every boss he knows to tell their
employees how to vote. It might be legal, but is it morally correct and is
it right?

Let`s bring in John Nichols, Washington correspondent for "The Nation"
magazine and author of the book "Uprising." Great to have you with us.

Could this impact the election? What do you think? Is it that big?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": Yes, absolutely. And you have to see it
as part of the master plan. Why was Mitt Romney on that call? He`s a busy
man. He`s doing a lot of stuff. Why is this so important to go on a call
with all sorts of bosses across the country and to personally make that

Because structurally we see television, we hear radio, we see that
side of the campaign. This is the under the surface campaign. And a boss
can do this in so many ways. You know, one of the things as we think of
it, you know, strong arm tactic, you`ve got to do this. You don`t have to
do it that way. You can just send a letter saying, you know, my view is
that if Mitt Romney becomes president, we can keep this plant in this small
town in Ohio, this small town in Iowa, this small town in Wisconsin.

SCHULTZ: So the influence.

NICHOLS: And that`s powerful. Because the boss can`t follow you in
the polling place, but he can scare you.

SCHULTZ: What about the organization that set up that conference

NICHOLS: The NFIB, National Federation of Independent Business. This
is the interesting thing about them. They do a lot of independent
expenditures in campaigns. I looked today at Open Secrets, how their
spending has gone. They haven`t spent any money in favor of any Democrats.
They have spent their money either in favor of Republicans or attacking
Democrats. He knew who he was talking to.

SCHULTZ: We haven`t seen Mitt Romney`s details when it comes to
taxes. But he sure has millionaires and billionaires flocking to him,
getting on conference calls and lining his pockets.

NICHOLS: Absolutely. And you know, when the people who go on this
call, you can bet are folks who are already highly engaged. So one of the
most important things he said in that conversation, there`s nothing illegal
about this. He was basically giving them the cue, this is OK, you can go
do it. He will be backed up, I can tell you, by other folks coming and
contacting and saying, yeah, this is how to do it.

SCHULTZ: This is really a form of intimidation. And this is now
legal. I mean, you know, the job market is tight. You know, job security
is an issue with a lot of employees in this country. And it really keeps,
I think, people from speaking up in the workplace, because they`re afraid
that they might -- something they say might be heard and be taken in a
different way. And the next thing you know, they`re on the outs. Is that
a far-fetched scenario?

NICHOLS: How can it be farfetched? What have these people spent the
last many years doing? Attacking public employee unions, doing right to
work laws, trying to get the unions out of the workplace. Why do you want
to have collective bargaining? Why do you want a union? It`s so that
there`s somebody`s in there to represent you when dealing with the boss.
When there is no union, it can get pretty scary.

SCHULTZ: John Nichols, should there be a federal law protecting
workers on this? That would be a heavy lift. The Republicans would never
go along with that.

NICHOLS: We`ve been having trouble getting even basic labor law
passed. But what I think there should be is, I would to just like to see
Mitt Romney step up and say, I don`t want any bosses telling people how to
vote. This is the United States of America. I shouldn`t have done that
call. And I want -- I want everybody to go to the polls, as Jefferson and
Madison and all of our great leaders intended, to cast your honest vote
without intimidation.

SCHULTZ: John Nichols, we will see you tomorrow night in Freeport,
Illinois, doing the job for the workers. Thanks for joining us tonight.

Still to come here on THE ED SHOW, Romney`s allies are still
complaining about Candy Crowley. But she was just doing her job, as I see
it. Chris Kofinis and Ron Christie with will join me for that decision.
What`s the uproar all about?

And we`ll bring you the 2012 Al Smith charity dinner live here on
MSNBC. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney will be trying to appeal to
voters by, you know, cracking a few jokes and being light hearted. See how
it goes over. You`re not going to want to miss that. Stay with us. We`re
right back.


SCHULTZ: And we are back. Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Right wing
complaints about debate moderator Candy Crowley haven`t stopped.


TUCKER CARLSON, "THE DAILY CALLER": For most of the play, John Wilkes
Booth sat there politely, but it was the moment when he didn`t that made
history. I thought this was the definitive point in this debate. This is
exactly what moderators are not supposed to do. This is the one thing you
fear they might do, which is to change the trajectory.


SCHULTZ: Obviously it`s insane to compare Candy Crowley to a man who
assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. but there`s I guess a larger point
here. This campaign season, we have seen the culture of lies invade the
debate arena like never before. Candy Crowley is a journalist and has been
for years and was acting on an instinct to correct the record. Here`s the


ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden, the day after the attack, it was
an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration. Is that what
you`re saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed, governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it
took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act
of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: He did, in fact, sir. So let me call it
an act of terror.

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did, as well, take --
it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a
riot out there about this tape to come out. You`re correct about that.


SCHULTZ: You know, my issue with this, has the truth left the
building? If Mitt Romney had said, you know what, president, you nuked
North Korea last week and we got a heck of a mess on our hands, should the
moderator correct that? I mean, I really do believe that, yes, there are
rules in a debate, and, yes, there is a function for the moderator. But
the truth can`t leave the building.

And correcting the record, I think, is important. Why do television
stations around the country carry a debate? Because it`s a public service.
It`s probably part of their licensing. A public service -- there can also
be a disservice when the record is not corrected in front of millions of

I think she did exactly what she had to do, followed her instinct.
She`s been a journalist for a long time and an excellent one. And she
corrected the record. That`s the way I see it.

For more, let`s turn to Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis and
Republican strategist Ron Christie. Gentlemen, great to have you with us

Ron, what`s the uproar all about? I mean, she`s just sitting there
correcting the record.

there correcting the record. She interjected herself in a debate under the
rules of the debate, of the memorandum of understanding, that she was only
supposed to ask simple follow-up questions. As a journalist, you know
this, Ed. You`re only supposed to inject yourself to move the debate

She defended the president. She defended the president`s record. Oh,
actually Governor Romney, you`re wrong. She cut him off. She cut him off
28 times. She only cut the president off nine times. What she did I
thought was a very, very wrong thing for being a journalist.

CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I`m going to cut off Ron right
now because here`s the part where -- one, if you`re complaining after the
debate about the moderator, you did not win the debate. That is pretty
obvious. And I think the reality here for the Romney campaign is they`re
frustrated. I think they went in with a game plan that he didn`t execute.

They thought they would be able to kind of build on the first debate,
which everyone agrees that Romney did well and the president didn`t. And
they thought they were going to be able to do it again. They didn`t. And
he fell I think a couple of times on key moments.

On Libya, it was his mistake. What the moderator was doing, in fact,
was just saying the obvious, that the president did say those words. If
Romney wanted a follow-up, Romney should have been better prepared in terms
of what exactly happened those two weeks. He wasn`t.

SCHULTZ: Ron mentioned the rules. Didn`t Mitt Romney break the rules
by asking the president a question?

CHRISTIE: No, he didn`t break the rules by asking a question. Those
two gentlemen were sparring. That`s exactly what the American people want
to see, is the two candidates having --

SCHULTZ: But it was in the rules not to do that. If you and I were
debating, we couldn`t ask each other a question.


CHRISTIE: Hang on a second, Chris. Here`s the difference, Ed. The
difference is that the two candidates, yes, they had the memorandum of
understanding. They had the rules. They were going at it, which I think
the American people understood and appreciated the fact that they were
having an honest dialogue.

SCHULTZ: Don`t the American people want the truth?

CHRISTIE: The American people do want the truth. The American people
have not gotten the truth from this president.


KOFINIS: He made -- Governor Romney made a mistake. Can you admit he
made a mistake?

CHRISTIE: No, he did not make a mistake.

KOFINIS: He did make a mistake.

CHRISTIE: This administration made a mistake, Chris. The fact of the
matter is --

KOFINIS: In terms of what he was attacking the president on in the
debate, he was factually wrong.

CHRISTIE: This actually -- former governor of Massachusetts was
factually right. The fact of the matter is -- Ed, let me state this very


CHRISTIE: The governor said, Mr. President, as a fact, you came out
in the Rose Garden the next day on the 12th and said an act of terror, but
you weren`t specifically speaking about --

SCHULTZ: So he didn`t go far enough in the verbiage.

CHRISTIE: He didn`t go far enough.

SCHULTZ: I don`t think he said act of terror.

CHRISTIE: The president did say act of terror. The president
absolutely did say act of terror.

SCHULTZ: But Mitt Romney didn`t say act off terror.

CHRISTIE: No, the president was corrected by Governor Romney of
saying, you weren`t speaking specifically about Benghazi.

SCHULTZ: OK, we`re now wordsmithing. We`re now dissecting and coming
to a determination as to whether the president actually admitted that it
was a terrorist attack or not. That`s where the criticism is.

CHRISTIE: No, no, that`s not where the criticism is. This is not a
partisan issue for me, Ed and Chris. This should be, the president of the
United States and the administration --

SCHULTZ: I get that, Ron. But it seems to be a partisan issue for
Mitt Romney because of the way he reacted within 12 hours of what happened
without all of the information. He was putting a label on all of this,
which I think is dangerous.

But Candy Crowley, why is she being criticized? The truth matters.
Chris? Doesn`t the truth matter?

KOFINIS: Of course it matters. I mean, the end of the day here, this
is -- again, this is Republican, I think, frustration with what they
thought was going to happen in that debate, and what they thought was going
to be an ability to attack the president on Libya. They weren`t

And they can sit there and they can attack Candy Crowley all they
want. The reality is what the president said and what Romney attacked the
president about was wrong.

SCHULTZ: Here`s Megyn Kelly on Fox News. Let`s watch this. Here it


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Declaring something an act of terror
does not necessarily mean you`re declaring it a terror attack. Any act
that`s going to kill our ambassador in this fashion could be described as
an act of terror. That`s not necessarily the same as declaring it a
terrorist attack.


SCHULTZ: Well, we`re wordsmithing, in my opinion. I think the
president was very clear. You don`t buy that.

CHRISTIE: I don`t. Here`s why. I was in the White House on 9/11. I
think terrorism is not a partisan issue.


CHRISTIE: I think this is a very, very serious issue that we`re
dealing with. I think the American people weren`t leveled with by this
administration. I think the president would have been very smart to have
come out and said immediately, this was an act of terror, this was an act
of terrorism --

SCHULTZ: They didn`t have all the information. They have said they
didn`t have all the --

CHRISTIE: Come on. The National Counterterrorism Center said that
this -- 24 hours later was an act of terrorism. I think this is a cover-
up. I think this is more significant than Watergate. No one died in

KOFINIS: You cannot say that.

CHRISTIE: Of course I can say that.

KOFINIS: You cannot say that on national TV that it`s a cover-up with
no evidence of anything like that. It isn`t. You can say -- you can argue
the administration didn`t handle this well. But you cannot say it was a
cover-up. That is a sinister agenda.

CHRISTIE: No, sinister agenda. Look, my friend, I will say this to
you. The United States ambassador to the United Nations came out on five
different television shows that Sunday and said it all related to the
video. Seventeen days later the administration --

KOFINIS: that is, again, not correct.

CHRISTIE: Hang on a second. You`re sounding like the president.
They came out 17 days later and said, in fact, this was not a spontaneous
demonstration. This, in fact, was a terrorist attack.

KOFINIS: Ambassador rice qualified what she said. Listen to exactly
her comments. Qualified it and made it very clear they didn`t have all the

SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we have to go. As far as politicizing terror,
Dick Cheney did say if we didn`t vote --

CHRISTIE: You have to do your dick Cheney, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I`m just saying, he went on the campaign trail and said if
you don`t vote for us again, we`re going to get hit again.


SCHULTZ: You didn`t write that, Ron. He said that off the cuff.
Great to have you with us, Chris Kofinis and Ron Christie tonight.

Coming up, conservative economist Ben Stein hops on the curvy couch
and talks taxes and leaves the folks at "Fox & Friends" stunned. You`re
going to want to see this. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Oh, it`s been a long road to
see the light, hasn`t it? Conservative hack, author and economist and
former game show host Ben Stein has seen the light when it comes to taxes.
Now let`s go back. Here`s what he said back in 2010.


BEN STEIN, ECONOMIST: What I don`t get is this. There is no known
economic theory under which raising my taxes in the midst of a severe
recession will help the economy recover. It isn`t part of any well-known
monetarist or Keynesian theory. So if it does no good to raise our taxes,
I assume we`re being punished.


SCHULTZ: A punishment? That sounds Fox News friendly. But today he
took a seat on the curvy couch and pulled a complete 180.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the way in which we fix the economy with
entitlements, spending, taxes? How do you see it?

STEIN: I hate to say this on Fox. I hope I`ll be allowed to leave
here alive. But I don`t think there`s any way we can cut spending enough
to make a meaningful difference. We`re going to have to raise taxes on
very, very rich people, people with incomes of like, say, two, three, four
million a year and up, and then slowly, slowly, slowly move it down,
250,000 a year, that`s not a rich person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t think Washington just has a spending

STEIN: I do not think they just have a spending problem. I think
they have partly a spending problem, but they also have a too low taxes
problem. With all due respect to Fox, whom I love like brothers and
sisters, taxes are too low.


SCHULTZ: Oops. Ben Stein wasn`t sticking to the Fox News talking
points. He didn`t take the bait when Steve Doocy desperately tried to
steer him toward the idea that Washington just has a spending problem and
that`s it. Stein apologized for telling the truth. That`s how it is on
Fox. Facts don`t matter.

And when someone brings them up, they just can`t handle it.

Survey tonight, I asked you does Mitt Romney lack respect for the
president? Ninety seven percent of you say yes; three percent of you say

Coming up, the 2012 Al Smith Charity Dinner is just moments away.
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney will be trying to win voters by
cracking jokes. MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter will weigh in next.
Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, we`re awaiting speeches by
President Obama and Mitt Romney at the Al Smith Charity Dinner here in New
York City. Every four years, both presidential candidates typically attend
the event. President Obama and Mitt Romney will both speak tonight. And
it should be an opportunity for both of them to have a good laugh.
Everybody can use that.

Candidates normally take a lighthearted tone at this dinner, poking
fun at themselves and their opponents. Here`s some of what happened back
in 2008.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: What began so long ago with a heralded
arrival of a man known to Oprah Winfrey as the one. Being a friend and
colleague of Barack, I just called him that one. He even has a pet name
for me, George Bush.

OBAMA: It is an honor to be here with Al Smith. I obviously never
knew your great-grandfather. But from everything that Senator McCain has
told me, the two of them had a great time together before prohibition. So
-- there was a point in my life when I started palling around with a pretty
ugly crowd. I`ve got to be honest. These guys were serious deadbeats.
They were low lifes. They were unrepentant, no good punks.

That`s right. I`ve been a member of the United States Senate.

Come to think of it, John, I swear I saw you at one of our meetings.


SCHULTZ: The dinner is hosted by the archdiocese of New York and all
proceeds go to charities helping needy children.

Let`s bring in Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and columnist
for "Bloomberg View." This offers up a very interesting opportunity for
both candidates. But I think we all know that there`s a real rub between
the two candidates unlike there was between McCain and Obama.


SCHULTZ: How`s this going to play out?

ALTER: Well, this is going to be fascinating because later on, John
McCain started to resent Barack Obama. But interestingly, during that
campaign, they were former colleagues from the Senate, or actually at the
time colleagues from the Senate. And they respected each other. And you
can even see that in some of their debates.

But these two guys do not respect or like each other. In fact, I
would say they not so cordially detest one another. So they will have to
be acting tonight when they`re seeming friendly. And we`ll see whether
there`s a little extra edge to some of the humor that builds on what we saw
in that second debate. It was about the most hostile debate we`ve ever

SCHULTZ: Yeah, it was. Is this a night where the president needs to
take the high road no matter what?

ALTER: Yeah. I mean, it`s a light evening. You know? And you`re
not expected to actually land real blows or score real points. But this is
where the skill of the joke writers comes in. You know, can he break
through the media clatter with something that also advances his message?
And we`ll see whether he does. It`s all being scripted for him.

The votes that they`re after here, the people that pay the closest
attention to the Al Smith Dinner, and I went four years ago, are Catholic
voters. Neither of these candidates is a Catholic, but they both have
Catholic running mates. And the Catholic vote is very much up for grabs
and they`re both gunning hard for it.

SCHULTZ: How big of opportunity is this for Mitt Romney?

ALTER: Well, I think he is always in need of humanizing himself more.

SCHULTZ: Which he`s lacking.

ALTER: This has been a real problem for him, just relating to people.
So if he can deliver a -- you know, a better than expected performance, get
some real laughs, show that he can play in this kind of arena, that`s a
plus for him. We know that Barack Obama can do this because he`s done it
at the White House Correspondents dinner several time. And he`ll perform.

SCHULTZ: He knows how to handle this crowd, no question about it.
Here`s George W. Bush at the 2000 Al Smith Dinner. Here it is.


impressive crowd, the haves and the have mores. Some people call you the
elite. I call you my base.


SCHULTZ: What do you think?

ALTER: First of all, I love the white tie. Black tie is not good
enough for these folks. And it`s -- it`s all about the timing of the
delivery. And, you know, Bush has a good sense of humor in private. Obama
has a good sense of humor in private. We`re told that Mitt Romney does.
But they always say that, the handlers do.

Tonight, we`re going to find out, because if you can`t tell a joke in
public, you`re probably not so great at telling one in private. I
shouldn`t talk, because I can`t tell one in private.

SCHULTZ: President Obama has already taped an episode of "the Daily
Show" today. What will his New York City comedy tour do for him if

ALTER: "The Daily Show" tour is base solidifying. You know, that`s
part of his base, younger viewers, younger voters who watch "the Daily
Show" and "The Colbert Report." You know, he needs to do well with them.
Generally Letterman, these other entertainment shows are a big plus for

SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, great to have you with us tonight on THE ED
SHOW. The Al Smith Dinner always a great one.

And a reminder, tomorrow night, I`m going to be reporting on this
program from Freeport, Illinois, broadcasting from what`s become known as
Bainport. We will have the highlights of the effects of outsourcing and
talking to Sensata workers whose jobs are being shipped to China. You
won`t want to miss it. That`s tomorrow night here on MSNBC, THE ED SHOW.

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


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