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The Ed Show for Monday, November 26th, 2012

Read the transcript to the Monday show

November 26, 2012

Guests: Peter DeFazio, Nina Turner; Michael Tomasky

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

New comments on the fiscal cliff have liberals deeply concerned

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


hairy. It`s always hairy that it should be.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Democrats hold all the cards in fiscal cliff
negotiations, but you wouldn`t know it from these remarks from senior
adviser David Plouffe.

PLOUFFE: And so, where I think the big bottleneck right now is
Republicans in Congress around revenue and how much and where does it come
from. Democrats are also going to have to step up and do some tough

SCHULTZ: Congressman Peter DeFazio is here to respond.

CEOs begin their campaign to roll back the social safety net.

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS: Social Security wasn`t devised
to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year

SCHULTZ: E.J. Dionne responds to that ridiculous remark.

Plus, a FOX News guest bursts the right wing bubble from the inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been
extremely political, partly because FOX was operating as a wing of the
Republican Party.

SCHULTZ: And Ohio State Senator Nina Turner on what could be the
smoking gun of evidence for the Republican effort to suppress the minority


SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching. I hope you had a great holiday.

The White House is laying the ground work for the fiscal cliff. But
it could be a raw deal for the middle class, uh-oh, here we go.

New vide of the University of Delaware event with senior White House
adviser David Plouffe shows what hand the Democrats look to be playing.
Plouffe is one of the top members of the inner circle.

So when Plouffe was asked how to solve the deficit stand off, people
should listen to this guy. Plouffe said this is going to get hairy?


PLOUFFE: We want to engage in comprehensive tax reform. We also need
to engage in entitlement reform, you know? Medicare, Medicaid, carefully,
these are chief drivers of our deficit. We made a lot of progress with
Obamacare. There`s a lot more to do.

And there`s other spending we have to cut.


SCHULTZ: Hold on a second. I think that we all know what the chief
drivers of our deficit are and have been. Our projected deficit over the
next seven years has driven mostly by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and
the Bush tax cuts because those wars were our budget. Entitlement programs
don`t even compete with these costs.

Plouffe went on to pin the problem largely on Republicans who are not
flexible on higher tax rates, but he also said this.


PLOUFFE: And so, where I think the big bottleneck right now is
Republicans in Congress around revenue and how much and where does it come
from. Democrats are going to have to step up and do some tough things.
And, you know, the notion that somehow that these deficits and our debt are
not a threat to our national security on our economic future is something I
cannot disagree with more strongly, as does the president. There are some,
maybe not so much in our party, but some commentators on the left that
suggest that. That we shouldn`t deal with this at all.


SCHULTZ: Voices on the left are not saying the deficit is not a
problem for our future. Progressives understand we need to deal with our
debt, but progressives don`t want to see the burden of deficit reduction
put on the backs of the people who can least afford it.

The president campaigned on this vision. And he won reelection. At
least I think he did. But it also seems like the White House is still
considering another grand bargain.


PLOUFFE: I think what we need to do and the president believes this,
is let`s go for the big deal. Let`s go for something that we can say for a
10, 20-year period, for the first time in a long time, our country is on
the right, sustainable fiscal path. The only way that gets done is for
Republicans again to step out and get mercilessly criticized by Grover
Norquist and the right, and it means Democrats are going to have to do some
tough things on spending and entitlements that they`ll get criticized by
their left.


SCHULTZ: If this sounds familiar to you, folks, it really should,
because back in 2011, President Obama brokered a deal with House Speaker
John Boehner to avoid crashing through the debt ceiling. The deal was
ultimately rejected by the Republicans but we know it included cuts to
entitlement programs.

According to "The New York Times," President Obama agreed to squeeze
$250 billion from Medicare in the next 10 years with $800 billion more in
the decade after that. He was also willing to cut $110 billion from
Medicaid in the short-term.

Democrats in the Senate make it sound like, you know, a deal like this
could be worked out pretty soon.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: From my side of the table -- bring
entitlement reform into the conversation. Social Security, set aside,
doesn`t add to the deficit. But when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid,
protect the integrity of the program, but give it solvency for more and
more years.


SCHULTZ: What`s the integrity of the program? We have a lot of
questions here about where this is going to end up, don`t we?

Republicans are also giving off clues about an upcoming deal. Several
House and Senate Republicans are openly rejecting an anti-tax pledge of
Grover Norquist.

But as Senator Lindsey Graham says, rejecting the pledge comes with
strings attached.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I will violate the pledge,
long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do
entitlement reform.


SCHULTZ: OK. So get out the gun and hold it to our head, right?
Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers are giving the impression that
a deal can be reached, as long as there are cuts to things that are near
and dear to a lot of Americans, Medicare and Medicaid.

David Plouffe`s public comments give credence to that idea.
Progressive lawmakers are wondering why it`s all come to this. I thought
we had the elections.

Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has spoken on this program about
the need to protect programs for the middle class and debt negotiations.
Senator Sanders released this statement to THE ED SHOW tonight.

"What David Plouffe has stated concerns me deeply. Despite Mr.
Plouffe`s assertions, the American people have been clear both through
their votes in the election and in poll after poll after poll, at a time
when the middle class is disappearing and the number of people living in
poverty is at an all-time high, the American people demanded that there be
no benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and the
wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country who are
doing phenomenally well must be asked to play a significant role in
reducing the deficit."

Hear, hear, Bernie. I`m on board with that.

The public agrees with Senator Sanders. I`m not the only one. In the
latest CNN poll, 56 percent of Americans believe that taxes for the wealthy
should be raised to help pay for programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

This is in line with exactly what President Obama said on the campaign
trail and in his first speech after winning reelection. The president said
that we would not balance the budget on the backs of those who are already
struggling in our society. Now, those people -- and the question is: are
those people now being asked to bend a little bit despite this tremendous
victory that liberals had in November? I think it was November 6th, wasn`t
it? Not real long ago.

So here we are, I think, setting some very dangerous boundaries that
liberals have to get inside of if we`re going to have a deal and make the
Republicans happy.

Are you willing to give up Medicare and Medicaid, big cuts to make
sure that the wealthiest can get away with the tax rates that they want?
This -- I`ll tell you what? They just don`t rest, do they?

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

Tonight`s question: will Democrats stand up for the middle class in
fiscal live negotiations? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You
can always go to our blog at And we`ll bring you the results
later on in the show.

Joining me tonight, Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon.

Congressman, great to have you with us.

How alarming do you think David Plouffe`s comments are?

REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D), OREGON: Very concerned, Ed. It`s like the
election didn`t happen. It`s kind of back to where the president was
negotiating with Republicans had a stronger hand when they were threatening
the full faith and credit of the government of the United States of America
in economic collapse.

He won. He won big about talking about taxing the upper income people
and not, you know, hitting the middle class with more cuts and Social
Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security, not a penny to the debt
and our deficit.

Medicare, he wants a quarter of a billion over 10 years? Easy. Let`s
negotiate prescription drug prices, like every other advanced industrial
nation on earth does. That that saves a quarter of a billion a year for

And Medicaid is more essential now than it`s ever been and it`s a key
part of Obamacare. So, I don`t know what Mr. Plouffe was talking about.

SCHULTZ: Well, it sounds --

DEFAZIO: I think he got the Republican talking points mixed up with

SCHULTZ: Well, you know what? That was my first impression when I
saw the videotape as well. The question comes up: what are you willing to
accept when in a deal when it comes to programs like Medicare and Medicaid?

DEFAZIO: Look, this December should be about revenues. Then we can
go on to have discussions about the long-term solvency and where Medicaid
fits into Obamacare and the exchanges and all the changes that are coming
by 2014 as we move ahead with Obamacare.

But revenues have to come first. And they should come first because
we hold all the aces. We`ve got five aces in our hand, because if we do
nothing, all the tax cuts expire.

And then Republicans don`t have to worry about their pledge to Grover
Norquist because what they are doing is voting to reduce taxes for middle
income families and working Americans. And sorry, they just can`t do
anything about the millionaires and billionaires and the unearned income,
which is going to go back to Clinton-era rates, which guess what, worked
pretty darn well for the economy when Clinton was president.

SCHULTZ: I was really surprised that David Plouffe, that he would
bring up the idea of a grand bargain in the lame duck session of the
Congress? I agree with you. I think it`s about revenue.

This is about the legislation that they put in place that is about to
expire after it was extended in the last lame duck session of the Congress
two years ago. And that was a two-for-one, one year of unemployment
extension for two years of the Bush tax cuts to take us to where we are
right now.

And it just seems to me that there`s a little too much wiggle room on
the part of the White House to start talking about a grand bargain and
chipping away at Medicare and Medicaid when you don`t have to.

Now, do you read it that way?

DEFAZIO: Absolutely. And remember, this Congress is worse than the
one coming in. We`ll have a straight hand in the Senate and the House is
even going to be a little better with more Democrats and 11 of the worst
Republicans lost their reelection. So I think it`s ridiculous to me they
should be talking about a bad grand bargain in December, you know, over the
Christmas holidays and the New Year`s when after January 1st, we`re going
to have an incredibly strong hand, because of the Republicans want a deal
then to help reduce taxes on middle income and working families and do some
other rational things, then we`re going to have a place for them at the

SCHULTZ: Why do I get this feeling that somebody in the White House
has just started the bus, the one they will use to run over liberals in
this, and say, hey, you got to take this deal because we have to fix this

I mean, the bottom line here is that we have not paid for Iraq and
Afghanistan. And I realize that was on somebody else`s watch, but the bar
tab is there right now and we need to deal with this now. If it`s about
revenue and the Republicans reject it, where do you that leave the
negotiating hand for the Democrats in the future?

DEFAZIO: Let`s come back on January 3rd and let`s talk about what
we`re going to do because everybody will be paying Clinton-era rates then.
That actually would create $4 trillion of deficit reduction. That`s
probably a little too much out of revenues over the short-term, so let`s go
back to child tax credit and some middle income tax relief and that, but
let`s keep a substantial portion of the revenue.

Then, we don`t have to talk about stupid across the board cuts and we
can do more targeted cuts in programs that need cutting, and bolster those
that need bolstering.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Peter DeFazio --

DEFAZIO: One thing, Ed --

SCHULTZ: Yes? Go ahead.

DEFAZIO: One thing, no one is talking about one-third of the deficit
is due to high unemployment. We should be talking about investment that
will put Americans back to work and that takes care of a third of the
deficit. That should -- if you`re talking about a grand bargain, OK,
revenues, putting people back to work, and then we`ll talk about cuts.

SCHULTZ: Well, that`s a profound point. All of a sudden, we`re
supposed to go into this grand bargain of Medicare and Medicaid because we
went through a recession and the tax base was low because a lot of people
who were unemployed for months on end, and we had to invest in the economy
to grow it back up to where we got it now and moving forward. I mean, I
think there`s some fundamentals here that are in place that the Republicans
just seem to push right aside and say you got to go to entitlements.

If we go to entitlements, of this country goes to entitlements and
makes make major changes, it will be as if they won the election and
Democrats didn`t.

Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.
Peter DeFazio of Oregon, thank you.

Remember to answer tonight`s question. Share your thoughts on Twitter
@EdShow and on Facebook. We want to know what you think.

Coming up, the corporate CEO publicity tour to cut middle class
entitlements instead of their own welfare. E.J. Dionne will join me.

Stay with us. A lot coming up.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, corporate CEOs want the middle class to bear the
burden when it comes to deficit reduction. I`ll talk with "Washington
Post`s" E.J. Dionne next.

Then, FOX News can`t handle the truth when a journalist calls out the
network for hyping the Benghazi attack. He got cut off.

And Democrats are beating Republicans at their own game when it comes
to super PACs. We`ll look at how they are already gearing up for 2014 with
MSNBC`s Richard Wolffe.

You can share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using

We are coming right back.


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

A powerful group of corporate CEOs are giving advice on how to solve
the deficit problem. They suggest cutting entitlements but say nothing
about their own corporate welfare.

Here`s CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein taking aim at


BLANKFEIN: You`re going to have to do undoubtedly do something to
lower people`s expectations, the entitlements, and what people think they
are going to get because it`s not going to -- they`re not going to get it.
Social Security wasn`t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-
year retirement after a 25-year career. So there will be certain things
that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the
benefits have been to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments
have to be revised.

But in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained.


SCHULTZ: Who does a 25-year career? I wish I could have signed up
for that program.

Time for a reality check here: the average worker receives Social
Security benefits for 16 years. Not 30 years.

Right now, Social Security has a 2.7 trillion surplus and will be
solvent through 2033, even if no changes are made. Social Security has
nothing to do with our deficit and debt problems in this country. It`s a
separate fund.

The CEO of Goldman Sachs didn`t have a problem with $10 billion of
federal bailouts his company got in 2008. Goldman Sachs repaid the money
and has made billions of dollars in profit since then. But its CEOs, they
want to cut retirement benefits for middle class Americans. They want them
to pay for it.

Here`s Honeywell CEO David Cote suggesting something very similar.


DAVID COTE, CEO, HONEYWELL: The big nut is going to have to be
Medicare, Medicaid. At the end of the day, you can`t avoid the topic,
especially with the baby boomer generation retiring. It`s going to
literally crush the system.


SCHULTZ: It`s just going to crush us, man. It`s going to crush us.

It`s very interesting considering how Honeywell did not pay any
corporate taxes between 2008 and 2010. In fact, it got $34 million in
rebates from the government.

These CEOs also talk about the need for revenue. But, of course,
without specifics.


BLANKFEIN: In the long run, there has to be more revenue and, of
course, the burden will be disproportionately taken up by wealthier people.
That`s just logical.

COTE: We collect $2.2 trillion in taxes, but we give away half of it
in credits and deductions. The fact is you need more revenue.


SCHULTZ: The group calls itself the Campaign to Fix the Debt. It
includes Boeing and General Electric, which along with Honeywell, will get
big defense contracts. Some former lawmakers, including MSNBC political
analyst Ed Rendell, for full disclosure, are on the group`s steering

The real issue is the position taken by these corporate CEOs.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, "Washington Post"
columnist, and author of the book "Our Divided Political Heart."

E.J., good to have you with us tonight.

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Great to be with you.

SCHULTZ: This looks like a publicity tour taking aim at earned
benefits instead of corporate welfare. It`s like these guys have the power
to go out and command the camera and the exposure and to make their case
that everybody else is the problem but their corporate welfare. How do you
see it?

DIONNE: I`ll tell you, Ed, one of the things that bothers me is when
these guys start talking about raising the retirement age. And what do
they have in mind? Well, they have in mind people like CEOs. They have in
mind people like us who talk and write for a living. I hope I`m talking to
you for good long time.

But they don`t think about what this means for people who might work
on their feet all day at the McDonald`s. I`d like to challenge these guys
if they want to call for an early or a later retirement age, let them go to
work for a couple weeks in a coal mine or at a McDonald`s, or in a car
plant, or is an orderly in a hospital.

And the other thing is the lower income people have not experienced
that big increase in longevity. So, raising the retirement age is
something that hits them both ways.


DIONNE: I heard that the White House put this on the table in the
Boehner talks last year is now backing away from that. I hope that`s true.

But the broader story is, are they really willing to support rate
increases on wealthy people? Are they willing to support increases in
capital gains taxes?

Some people like Warren Buffett are willing to do that, some high
income people. It seems to me that`s the price of admissions.

If the only thing they mean when they say deficit reduction is cutting
entitlements. That`s not about deficit reduction. It`s about cutting

SCHULTZ: The same guys at the trough for a bailout are now experts on
what we ought to do with entitlement programs in this country. I find that
absolutely amazing.

And then Mr. Blankfein, he throws out a scenario which is totally
unrealistic. People don`t have 25-year careers. They have 40-year
careers, is what they have. And construction people when they get in their
early 50s and they worked for 30 years, their bodies are broken down.

DIONNE: Exactly.

SCHULTZ: So, what are they supposed to do? Hang around for another
15 until Medicare and Medicaid show up? I mean, they are not even living
in the real world.

And I think going after these entitlements is basically paying lip
service to the right wing. It`s just Romney 2.0. That`s all it is.

So what should liberals in this country be prepared to accept at this
point as you see it?

DIONNE: I really think that we should go back to the Clinton rates,
including the rates on capital gains, which are still probably lower than
they should be. And that`s where we ought to start. If people want to
talk about tax reform, let them do it after that and let them get specific.
Because there are certain forms of so-called tax reform that could really
hammer the middle class.


DIONNE: Do we really want to get rid of the mortgage reduction in way

SCHULTZ: They can`t go down that road.

DIONNE: -- to hit middle class people? We can`t do that.

SCHULTZ: First of all, that won`t happen because the real estate
lobby in Washington --

DIONNE: I think you`re right about that.

SCHULTZ: -- is too strong. I mean -- and I wish that the country
would stop talking about the mortgage deduction. It isn`t going to happen.
There`s enough people in Washington that are going to make sure. It`s a
good talking point for some people on the right wing to scare the hell out
of middle-class families, to make it think that they`re really protecting
them. But they`re not.

These companies that are getting huge defense contracts are now
experts on what we ought to do with the budget. And they are there
protecting their own backside. That`s the only way I see it. They don`t
want to give up any revenue whatsoever.

And as for Social Security, its solvency is extended into 2033. Do we
have to do anything about that right now? Do we need to raise the cap?

DIONNE: No. And I think any move to put Social Security into this
deal is going to hemorrhage a lot of support. So I think that`s a

And the defense budget has to be part of this too. Some of these rich
guys are willing to put defense on the table. Good for them. Some of them
may not be so wild about that. And, you know, if defense isn`t part of the
deal, then again, it`s not a serious deal.


DIONNE: So, we`ll see what these guys do.

SCHULTZ: And, of course, I have to point out that these are the big
business leaders that are getting interviewed that are going around talking
about the insecurity in the market, insecurity in the economy.

I don`t know. The early reports, E.J. Dionne, is that Black Friday
was pretty damn good. The weekend was strong and Cyber Monday ain`t bad

So this economy -- this fear talk that`s going on out there just
doesn`t seem to be playing on the consumer right now.

E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

DIONNE: Good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: John McCain abruptly changes his tune on Susan Rice. How
does this guy have any credibility left whatsoever? Michael Tomasky has
written about it. He`ll weigh in next.

Then the Republicans are finally getting real. We`ll have the new
revelations about their bid to block the vote and what it means in the next

Stay tuned. We`re on point (ph).


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

A little refresher course here. John McCain said that he would do
everything in his power to prevent U.N. ambassador Susan Rice from becoming
secretary of state if nominated. In fact, McCain claimed that he would
block not just Rice but anyone the president nominated.

Yet over the weekend, it must have been the turkey. McCain seemed to
have a change of heart.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: She could conceivable get your vote
for secretary of state.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think she deserves the ability and
the opportunity to explain herself and her position, just as he said.


SCHULTZ: McCain has given up on blaming Susan Rice for the
administration`s response for the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi.
Tomorrow, Rice along with acting CIA director Mike Morrell, will meet with
McCain, senators Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte on Capitol Hill.

Now, that McCain is open to the idea of hearings from Rice, he`s
alleging a White House cover-up, on the matter of course, a narrative
already being pushed on FOX News. FOX, of course, has devoted countless
hours of air time to the Benghazi story booking guests to pedal the cable
channels conspiracy theories.

But today something rare happened. FOX News invited Pulitzer prize-
winning journalist Thomas Ricks to share his thoughts about the whole
thing. Ricks reports the truth for a living. So needless to say his
interview was cut short.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Senator John McCain said in the past that
he would block any attempt to nominate Susan Rice to become secretary of
state. She`s currently the U.N. ambassador. He seems to be backing away
from that. What do you make of that?

Benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially and now that the
campaign is over, I think he`s backing off a little bit. They are not
going to stop Susan Rice from being secretary of state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: When you have four people dead including
the U.S. ambassador, how do you call that hype?

RICKS: How many security contractors died in Iraq? Do you know?


RICKS: No. Nobody does because nobody cared. We know that several
hundred died, but there was never an official count done of security
contractors in Iraq. So when I see this focus on what was essentially a
small fire fight, I think number one. I have covered a lot of fire fights.
It`s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes. And second,
I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political partly
because FOX was operating as a wing of the Republican party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: All right. Tom Ricks, thank you for
joining us today.

RICKS: You`re welcome.


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Michael Tomasky, special correspondent for
"Newsweek" and "the Daily Beast." That was one for the archives. Wasn`t
it? There is no question about it.

Your latest column is on McCain`s attacks on Susan Rice. And of
course, it`s very pointed. These two stories go together because I think
clearly John McCain has bought into the propaganda that FOX was pedaling
out there. How do you see it?

That`s exactly the right thing to see, Ed. And you know, McCain made it
clear in his statements over the previous couple of weeks that he was going
to make this a showdown between him and Susan Rice. He was going to say,
I, John McCain, have the moral authority, I John McCain, have the
credibility to block Susan Rice if I want her to be blocked, and by God I`m
going to do it. And then suddenly, yesterday, he switched gears. He back
pedal at warp speed. It is really fascinating thing to see.

SCHULTZ: What is this meeting tomorrow all about? I mean, is this
just another briefing for three senators that have taken issue with her
performance? What is this about? What do you expect out of this meeting?

TOMASKY: I think it`s a savvy political move by Rice to say that --
to understand that, you know, she does have to answer McCain`s concerns
because he still is, to some people, not to me, but to some people, he`s
still John McCain with a lot of authority. And so, she has to go see him.

But I think that, you know, she`s going to come out of this meeting
looking fine. And I think McCain is going to have a press conference
tomorrow where he`s going to say that she probably - that she answered his
questions to his satisfaction. And I think he`s going to send the signal
tomorrow afternoon that she`s OK.

SCHULTZ: Maybe they will compare academic records. I don`t know. I
don`t know if they will get to that or not.


SCHULTZ: But, you write that McCain should have zero credibility on
Susan Rice and Benghazi. Why does the Washington establishment always seem
to turn to McCain for, let`s see what the godfather says here. I mean,
that is kind how it comes off. When does this guy become irrelevant other
than holding a senate seat?

TOMASKY: Yes. Ed, you know, he has been respected for a long time
for his war service, for what happened to him, and for his early Senate
career when he was genuinely a senator who worked across party lines,
worked on campaign finance, did things to anger his own party, did things
to try and compromise with the other party, took legislating seriously.

He did buy a lot of credibility through those actions, but those are
pretty ancient history now. It`s been a long, long time. Ever since 2000
when he lost to George Bush and we all know that he was very mad about that
loss. But he became, at that point, for whatever reason, a very, very
loyal right wing Republican. And then especially after 2008 when he lost
to Obama and I think he took that very personally, I think he still takes
it personally. Then he had a primary from the right in 2010 and he became
basically a kind of a tea party guy. This transformation of John McCain
has been a very sad and difficult thing to watch. But there`s a certain
element of the Washington establishment that still wants to hold on to that
1990s McCain and wants to pretend that he`s still that guy.

SCHULTZ: I think he`s got to do a movie with Clint Eastwood. I
really do.

Michael Tomasky, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

There`s a lot coming up in the next half hour of "the Ed Show." Stay
with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Why is it you couldn`t extend early

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the right thing happened.

SCHULTZ: Florida Republicans come clean on minority voter
suppression. State senator Nina Turner responds to a new bomb shell

Democrats didn`t ask for the super PAC fight, but they plan to win it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot of money involved here and Democrats
need to come in off the sidelines and get engaged if they haven`t.

SCHULTZ: We`ll tell you about the new Democratic plan to outgun
Republican super PACs.

And why is this NFL mascot shaving the head of an Indianapolis Colts
cheerleader? It`s a great story. We will tell you about it, ahead.


SCHULTZ: And we are back.

Two more Republicans are coming clean about voter suppression tactics
in the state of Florida. Apparently, this is exactly what the Republicans
feared. Republicans cut early voting hours. As a result, some people
reported waiting six or seven hours to cast a ballot. Now "Palm Beach
Post" report, the Republicans were hoping these folks would just go home
and just basically stay away.

Republican consultant Wayne Bertsch says he knew targeting Democrats
was the goal. Bertsch said quote "in 2008, when we started seeing the
increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were
doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines." Bertsch
tells us tonight that they weren`t targeting any specific bloc of
Democratic voters.

Another Republican consultant says organizers in Florida were intent
on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008. On the
election - on the night of the election, Florida`s own former governor
Charlie Crist accused Republicans of trying to block the vote.


you have people trying to suppress the vote in Florida and across the
country. And the reason is they feel like they have to rig the game in
order to win the game.


SCHULTZ: In fact, if you want to rig the game, these long voting
lines are just a smaller part of a much bigger strategy. Here`s the voter
suppression checklist. First issue voter purge lists. Florida tried it.
The department of justice stepped in.

Second, shorten the dead line for voter registration. Florida tried
that too and a federal judge overturned the restriction.

And third, cut back early voting times to scare voters away from the
polls. Republicans in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio tried similar
suppression tactics. Civil rights groups now want the justice department
to investigate. We are told, there`s no investigations so far. We asked
why not. The Republican strategies didn`t work this time, but believe me,
folks, there`s evidence there is always going to be another election and
they will be right back at it.

Joining us tonight, Ohio state senator Nina Turner.

Nina, good to have you with us tonight. You know, this really is
proof positive, this is the smoking gun. An actuality of exactly what they
were up to. What`s the game plan to defeat it?

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATE: Absolutely, Ed. And it is the
voting advocates across this country knew this. You know, I`m having a
grandma moment right now. Grandma used to say, you can put truth in the
river five days after a lie, but truth is going to catch up. Where truth
certainly has caught up with the Republicans tonight.

The game plan is this, Ed, and I agree with you. The fed`s need to
step in. They have further proven in Florida why we do need section five
of the voting rights act to stay intact here. And the fact that the Supreme
Court is going to take that up, progressives all across this country should
be outraged at the efforts of the GOP to try to suppress the vote. And the
only party that`s standing up for voting rights in this country are the
Democrats. And we need some Republicans to come on to the righteous side
and stand up to their colleagues who are using their political cloud to
suppress the vote.

SCHULTZ: Well, what about that? I mean, couldn`t the Democrats start
introducing a bunch of laws on a state level in all of these states across
the country that would be anti-voter suppression laws and force the
Republicans to legislatively take a stand on it?

TURNER: Absolutely. And we should definitely do that and continue
to unite with the voting advocate groups. We`re not going to sit either by
and let them to continue to push this kind of stuff. And number one lesson
that we should learn, that what happened in 2010 cannot happen in 2014. We
have midterm elections in Congress, but we have general Assemblies and
governors mansions across the state where folks have to re-up. they have
to re-up to the voters. And we need to make sure that every voter
understands very clearly that folks who try to suppress the vote do should
not be in office. It`s a mousetrap of foolishness and the people cannot
allow them to stand. These folks need to be voted out off a bit.

SCHULTZ: Well, they d, which brings me to the next question. Are you
going to run for secretary of state in the state of Ohio?

TURNER: You know I`m seriously considering that. And I plan to make
an announcement in January. The folks of this state need a secretary of
state and not a secretary of suppression and Ohio is ground zero, as we
found out in 2012. And I`m calling on not just the justice department, but
also all of those on the federal level. We need their help on state levels
to make sure that folks` votes are not suppressed.

And Ed, you are absolutely right. There`s an election every single
year. And what I say, it takes teamwork to make the dream work. I`m
talking about the team of elected official on local, state and federal
levels. We make the whole. And the Republicans have proven that if they
can`t win the White House, they will try to suppress the vote on the state
level. But, we`re not going to let it stand, Ed. We`re going to continue
to fight.

SCHULTZ: State senator Nina Turner from Ohio, great to have you with
us. Thanks so much.

TURNER: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, things keep getting worse for the New York Jets
as a fan favorite calls it quits. You can`t lose this guy, can you? I
will tell you why Tim Tebow was involved.

Plus, to some Indianapolis colts cheerleaders made a big sacrifice for
cancer research. We will bring you a very heartwarming story. Stay with


SCHULTZ: Here on "the Ed Show," we love hearing from our viewers on
twitter @edshow and on our facebook page. Many are responding to an
article on our blog about Wal-Mart`s attempt to down play protests by
workers on black Friday.

Sue says, she doesn`t like Wal-Mart because of the way they treat
their workers and run all the mom and pop stores out.

And Dee Johnsons says, he hopes the workers strike at Wal-Mart gives a
pay cut to the Walton family. We need to have more made in America stuff
any way. Keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter using

Coming up, one of the New York Jets biggest supporters is calling it
quits. But it`s not because of the team`s losing record. We will have the
details. Stay with us. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Can it get worse? Just when you thought things couldn`t get
any worse for the New York Jets, their unofficial mascot, holy smoke, is
hanging up the helmet. No way. Fireman Ed is the gang green super fan who
has led the crowd on the jets chants since 1986. Ed Anzalone says he`s
quitting because some of the jets fans just can`t behave at the stadium.
After Ed chose to wore a Mark Sanchez`s jersey this year, Tim Tebow fans
began heckling him. And as the season went downhill. They thought Fireman
Ed was on the jets payroll, which simply is not true.

Finally, things hit rock bottom during the jets crushing loss 49-19
loss to the patriots on thanksgiving. Fireman Ed left at half time. He
said in an article quote "I decided to leave Thursday because the
confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though
most Jets fans are fantastic." Fireman Ed went on to say he`s not quitting
because the jets are in a rough patch and he will continue to be a diehard
jets fan.

Meanwhile, a few Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders are in the spotlight
for a more positive reason. The two Colts cheerleaders had their heads
shaved in front of 60,000 fans and a TV audience at the Colts game on
Sunday. They did it to raise money for the cancer research after the
Colts` head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia back in
September. The effort to bring awareness to leukemia research raised over
$22,000 and the cheerleaders` hair was donated for locks for love. And if
you want to make a donation to leukemia research, you can visit

Tonight in our survey, I asked you will Democrats stand up for the
middle class in fiscal cliff negotiation? Seventy four percent of you say
yes, 26 percent of you, you are not so sure, you are saying no.

Coming up, Democrats are on the offensive and gearing up for 2014.
Richard Wolffe explain when is we come back. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: In the big finish tonight, Will Rogers once said I`m not a
member of an organized party, I`m a Democrat. But it`s looking like 2012
just might be the year that the Democrats really get their act together.

You see, after the 2008 election, President Obama passed the stimulus
bill, the health care reform and did it largely on his own, without any
help on the other side. His campaign was criticized for failing to harness
the potential power of his army of grassroots supporters.

In the meantime, tea party activists across the country rallied behind
their candidates and they took back the house in 2010. We know the old
story. This year Democrats have learned their lesson and they are doing
things quite differently. Jim Messina, President Obama`s campaign manager,
says that Obama for America intends to keep supporters engaged in the
political process using the system built for Obama`s re-election effort to
advocate for policy goals through e-mail updates, rallies and social media.

Also, less than one month after the election, Democrats are already
working on 2014 and they are looking to use the Republicans own weapon
against them. That would be big money. "Politico" report shortly after
election day, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, senator Chuck Schumer
and top White House aides spoke at a three-day secret meeting of major
democratic donors and officials from liberal outside groups. The groups
are courting their wealthiest supporters in an effort to help President
Obama pass his legislative agenda and plan to help Democrats keep the
Senate and take back the house in 2014.

I`m joined tonight by political analyst Richard Wolffe, vice president
and executive editor of

What do you make of this? Is this talk or is this really organized
effort to make a difference in the midterms, to get really prepared for the

And they have learned their lessons from the last time around when they
just let this stuff die. You know, the critical question on whether it
will make a difference is what they ask is here. It`s one thing to say
well, we have to put out e-mails, we are going to keep you more informed
and engaged. But, last time I asked was go call your member of Congress.
You know, that doesn`t work great. These are people who are used to going
out, knocking on doors on being physically active in the real world.

The challenge is to try to do something that`s real. Yes, get them to
share, get them to make their videos and all of that. That`s very
powerful. But you also have to get them to do something real. And that`s
actually where the tea party made a difference. People actually do
something old-fashioned. They gathered in one place. They had a rally.
But there`s also something more they want. I think they want to do real
work in their community, whether it`s painting schools or cleaning up
neighborhoods or working to get food. That`s a real world at the end of

SCHULTZ: Why aren`t the Republicans any good at this? Not that I
care about it. But, it just seems that the Democrats are just so much more
contemporary when it comes to getting the job done.

WOLFFE: Right. Well, I think there`s something about the sharing
dynamic and community that fits the kind of people who are driven by
progressive causes. Number one, they tend to be younger. I mean, there`s
a relationship between younger voters and their activity online.

But the third piece of it, I think, is going to be hard for
Republicans. When President Obama was there and you could try to deny him
a second term. That was their organizing principle. That organizing
principle is gone. So, it`s going is to be even harder this time around
especially as the economy gets better for the grassroots to come together
on the right.

SCHULTZ: But, it`s going to take more than grassroots. I mean, I
think it`s great that the Democrats are doing this and organizing and
talking about it, but President Obama had an innate ability to raise big
money unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Can the Democrats duplicate that? I mean there`s going to be somebody
coming along and really inspiring people to the next level to keep this
thing going. And so, can it have an effect in the midterms?

WOLFFE: Well, there`s a difference between what President Obama was
doing in the end which is a small donors, and these big donors coming
together in what Mitt Romney called the darkrooms, right?

You know, what you`ve got to have here is some of this big money
sitting it out for 2016. Try to line up behind there. They have to be
focused on 2014 and try to win back especially the house seats because
that`s where the real difference is going to come. If this president gets
another honeymoon, the short one is going to be over by February for this
president. Does he get a second buy today at the end of his second term?
That is the question.

SCHULTZ: Well, obviously, the finances of the country are very
important. But demographically and strategically, immigration reform walks
right into the Democratic tent. I mean, this would be a big -- the right
move, actually. I mean, politically the right move, but also very
important for the country.

WOLFFE: I think you`re seeing already a lot of movement from
Republicans on immigration. Will it be far enough? I suspect you are
going to get a couple peace mail things here. And that`s where the
pressure of the grassroots and actually the ad campaign that these big
donors may be funding. That`s where he is going to make the difference,
push for something bigger at this point. Republicans are already moving.
And now is the time to go bigger and not smaller on immigration.

SCHULTZ: OK. Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "the Rachel Maddow Show"
starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.


SCHULTZ: I just want to say couple of things about football. We need
a quarterback in Minnesota. I don`t know where the quarterback was in
green bay last night. And I think they are playing the wrong quarterback
in San Francisco. And you in New England, you have no quarterback

MADDOW: If I could cleave something off Tom Brady to help you out, I
might, but you`d have to bribe me really bad.

SCHULTZ: OK. I`m easy. Do it.

MADDOW: Thanks, Ed. Appreciate it.


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