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The Ed Show for Monday, December 3rd, 2012


December 3, 2012

Guests: Robert Reich, Molly Ball, Sam Stein, William Rhoden, Dan Gross, Michael Tomasky

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

The Republican plan to solve the fiscal cliff is the same one America
rejected on November 6th.

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


I looked at him and said, you can`t be serious.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The flabbergasted John Boehner finally puts a
plan on the table. And breaking news: the middle class gets the shaft.

Richard Wolffe and Molly Ball on the Republican political theater and
the White House`s response.

Bob Costas issues a common sense relief for gun control in the wake of
the Kansas City Chief murder-suicide story. And the right wing just

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Costas, based on the standards of our society
today, deserves to be fired for these remarks.

"New York Times" columnist Bill Rhoden and Dan Gross of the Brady
Campaign respond.

Corporate profits break records again in the third quarter. We`ll
tell you what it means for workers.

And just when you thought it was too early for a horse race --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone in the world is thinking too about
political comeback. I can tell you, I don`t think you`ve heard the last of
Hillary Clinton.

SCHULTZ: I`ll ask Michael Tomasky if this was the first campaign
video for decision 2016.


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

John Boehner and the Republicans are still hanging on to their
ideological hats. They have no intention of raising taxes on the top 2
percent of Americans. The latest attempt by the House speaker to change
the conversation is a plan the American people rejected a month ago.

The Republican counteroffer to the White House plan relies on $800
billion. The plan does not raise any tax rates on the top income earners.
It also contains $600 billion in health care cuts, including raising the
Medicare eligibility age.

Who has been for that? Nobody.

There are $300 billion in cuts in mandatory government programs and
another $300 billion in cuts to agency budgets and discretionary spending.

So, the speaker`s office sent a letter to the president of the United
States outlining the plan, saying that new revenue would be generated
through -- have we heard this before? -- pro-growth tax reform that closes
special interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates. Oh, boy.
It`s the Mitt Romney plan again.

The offer letter actually described the proposal as the Bowles plan.
Republicans say the plan is based on the outline for the debt commission
co-chair, Erskine Bowles.

Mr. Bowles disagrees, "The approach outlined in the letter Speaker
Boehner sent to the president does not represent the Simpson-Bowles plan
nor is it the Bowles plan."

The White House also rejected the offer in a statement today. "The
Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In
fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthiest Americans and
sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and
provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which
loopholes they would close or which Medicare savings they would achieve."

Hold it right there, folks. Loopholes, aren`t we tired of hearing
about loopholes?

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made appearances on all the Sunday
talk shows to hammer home the specifics of the White House plan.
Republicans tried to counter his presence using their favorite media


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Treasury Secretary Geithner scheduled a
round of interviews. But then, Friday afternoon, Speaker Boehner`s office
called to say he wanted to come on "FOX News Sunday" to tell his side of
the story.


SCHULTZ: Gosh, I wish I could get those calls. FOX News gave John
Boehner the floor but he showed up with nothing.


BOEHNER: We have laid it out for him. A dozen different ways to
raise the revenue from the richest Americans as the president would
describe them, without raising taxes.

WALLACE: What`s the biggest proposal you put on the table since the
election in terms of raising revenue from closing loopholes and deductions?

BOEHNER: Well, you could cap -- there`s a lot of ways to get there,
but you could cap deductions at a percent of income. That would be one way
to get there. You could eliminate certain deductions for those -- the
wealthiest in our country. You could do all of that.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you a couple specifics. Would you limit
the home mortgage deduction?

BOEHNER: Listen, there are a lot of options in terms of how to get
there. I`m not going to debate this.


BOEHNER: Really? Not going to debate this?

So he specifically did not say no on the home mortgage deduction.
Didn`t do that. That`s the biggest write off that middle class Americans

Nor were there any specifics on loopholes. Give us just one loophole,
Mr. Boehner. One loophole, can`t you get one?

I mean, our tax code is how many thousands of pages and you can`t give
us one loophole?

Well, on TV and on paper, Republicans refuse to offer details about
just how they are going to get all this revenue they`re talking about.

Secretary Timothy Geithner explained by the Republicans can`t sell the
specifics of their plan.


to go beyond these reforms, they want to do it differently, they should
tell us how they want to do it. Again, what we can`t do is --

WALLACE: What if they were to propose the Republican budget that they
passed, that they passed the last two years?

GEITHNER: There`s no reason they are going to do that, Chris.

WALLACE: Well, wouldn`t it be as serious as you were proposing your

GEITHNER: No, but the American people had -- at a long time, take a
careful, hard look at that plan and they found no merit in it.


SCHULTZ: Yes, this thing called the Ryan plan -- you know, President
Obama continues to take his case to the American people who rejected the
Ryan plan. Today, he answered questions directly on Twitter.

One person asked the president, "Mr. President, why won`t keeping tax
rates low across the board encourage more hires and therefore, more tax

The president responded, "High-end tax cuts do the least for economic
growth and cost almost $ 1 trillion. Extending middle class cuts boosts
consumer demand and growth."

The White House also released a video today showing how President
Obama has been consistent on his message throughout the last couple of
years. It was central to his campaign.


relief to working families trying to raise their kids to keep them healthy,
send them to college, keep a roof over their heads. That`s the choice in
this election. That`s one of the reasons I`m running for a second term as


SCHULTZ: How quickly we forget. In the words of Secretary Tim
Geithner, this is why Republicans have no choice but accepting the tax
increases on the wealthiest Americans.


GEITHNER: Why does it make sense for the country to force tax
increases on all Americans because a small group of Republicans want to
extend for 2 percent of Americans? Why does that make any sense?

There`s no reason why that should happen. We can`t afford those tax
rates. That`s like the deep tragic lesson of the last decade. We can`t
afford them. So we`re not going through -- we`re not going to get to the
end now without a recognition of Republicans of that basic reality.

That`s going to be the responsible thing to do. And my judgment is,
they are going to do it because there`s no alternative to that.


SCHULTZ: Behind closed doors, Republicans know there`s no
alternative. ABC News reports House Republicans are preparing to extend
the middle class tax cuts and push everything else off into next year.

Two senior Republicans elected officials tell ABC News this doomsday
plan is becoming the most likely scenario.

In public, Republicans are still pretending the election, nah, just
never happened. In private, they know the end is very near and their
options are limited. This is why they put it out today, to change the
conversation, to make people think they really have some plan out there.
They don`t.

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

Tonight`s question: whose plan is better for the middle class? Text A
for Democrats, text B for Republicans to 622639. You could leave a comment
at our blog at We`ll bring the results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight is Robert Reich, former U.S. labor secretary under
Bill Clinton, now a professor of public policy at U.C.-Berkeley, and author
of "Beyond Outrage."

Mr. Reich, I have been following your writings on all of this. You`re
on top of the story. But in a short phrase, you have gone down this road
how quickly we can explain to the American people who gets hurt.

Let`s just take the Republican plan for what they are presenting. Who
gets hurt in this deal?

It`s the same plan that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney were touting. It`s
exactly the same.

I mean, they want to have limited deductions for the rich, but will
not specify what those deductions are. They want to raise the age of
eligibility for Medicare, thereby cutting Medicare, hurting a lot of

They want to cut a lot of spending. They are not clear what spending
they want to cut. They just know that a lot of it is domestic
discretionary spending, which means a lot of the programs that the middle
class and the poor in this country depend on, and yet they refuse to raise
tax rates on the rich.

We have been here before. This is deja vu all over again.

SCHULTZ: Well, how troubling is it to you when you hear Speaker
Boehner not protect the mortgage interest? He cannot say in an interview
on a Sunday show, we are not going to go down that road of going after
people`s mortgage deductions. I mean, that tells me that they are going to
go wherever they have to go to the middle class to get the money.

REICH: Well not only are they going to go after the middle class,
they are obviously going to go after the middle class because given that we
have a large budget deficit down the road and given that if we don`t want
to and they don`t want to cut military spending, what`s left? They`re
going to have to cut programs that are beneficial to the middle class
and/or raise taxes on the middle class.

I mean, this is another example -- this is a continuation of the war
on the middle class that they started years ago. And now, it`s becoming
clear for everybody to see.

It was very clear before the election, but we had an election.
Americans repudiated the Republican idea. Repudiated reverse Robin Hood
economics and yet they are coming back with it, over and over and over

I think the fact that Boehner will not schedule a vote on the middle
class extension of the Bush tax cuts that the president wants, he won`t
schedule -- the Senate has already passed this.


REICH: Boehner is under increasing pressure even from Republicans to
schedule a vote on this and get it out of the way. Once they do that, the
game is over.

SCHULTZ: Well, Nancy Pelosi is trying to take care of that. House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi plans to bring a discharge petition to the
floor of the House tomorrow. This would force Republicans to openly accept
or reject the middle class tax cuts.

Did this influence the Republicans desire to release a plan? Do you
think this conversation in recent days about this technique that she`s
going to put on the floor, do you think that prompted this deal today?

REICH: Well, if you call this deal a plan -- I mean, there`s nothing
here, Ed. There`s no there there. This is exactly what Romney was

They don`t want to raise taxes on the rich. The top 2 percent are
held basically sacrosanct. I mean, this is Grover Norquist all over again.

SCHULTZ: What about Pelosi`s move?

REICH: As long as they do that, I think that they`re going to be

The back story here is not only 2012 and the election of 2012. The
back story is 2014. If Republicans continue to stick to being the shills
for the wealthy in this country and maintaining a kind of war on the middle
class, America is going to vote them out of office. We`re not going to
have -- we`re going to have a Republican Party that not only is a minority
party, but is a minority party for years, for generation.

SCHULTZ: Robert, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate
your time.

And this programming note. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will join
me tomorrow for an exclusive interview on the fiscal cliff negotiations and
much more. You won`t want to miss it. Very timely.

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

Coming up, Republican maneuvering on the fiscal cliff can`t hide the
truth. They still want the middle class to bare all the pain. Richard
Wolffe and Molly Ball join me.

Stay with us. We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: Record-breaking corporate profits show the economy is well
on the road to recovery. What does it mean for workers? I`ll give you
some numbers and Sam Stein will be along with the conversation.

And world leaders say farewell to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
with a ringing endorsement. You`ll want to see this video. "The Daily
Beast" Michael Tomasky on whether Hillary Clinton will make a run for the
White House on 2016. 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.

Republicans are doing a lot of maneuvering on the fiscal cliff with
the proposals on the table say everything about priorities.

President Obama and the Democrats have put forward a plan relying
mostly on raising more revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent in this
country. Republicans rely mostly on draconian cuts affecting the middle
class and the poor and Republicans aren`t specific about how they get $800
billion in revenue.

For the conversation, let`s turn to Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political
analyst and vice president and executive director of And Molly
Ball with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW, political reporter for "The

Great to have both of you with us.

Richard, you first.


SCHULTZ: House Speaker John Boehner described President Obama`s
proposal as la la land, but the Republican proposal includes Ryan`s voucher
program for Medicare. We`re not even a month away from the election and
they are throwing up on the wall everything that was rejected.

Why are they doing this?

WOLFFE: Well, I can tell you why they think they have a mandate. But
it`s kind of irrelevant. You know, what they are doing here, throwing out
insults at each other is actually engaging. Now, they may well be way
apart in terms of the principles, in terms of the lessons they`ve learn,
clearly, they don`t seem to have learned very many from this election.

But House Republicans have put in their initial offer here. And, you
know, the problem for House Republicans is not only have they not looked at
the polls, maybe they are choosing their own before the election, but not
only are they not looking at the same numbers, but they are trying to
address a different problem. They think entitlements are the only thing
that matters.

And actually, that`s the longer term issue. It isn`t even dealing
with the deficit problem that needs to be dealt with.

So, they`re not in the same ball park, but as long as they are
engaging, something is going to move here.

SCHULTZ: Molly, the priorities in these plans couldn`t be more
different with Republicans getting almost everything through cuts. How
could the White House begin to accept this at any level? Are we headed for
the cliff?

MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: Well, the White House doesn`t seem to be
accepting it. The reaction from the other side seems to be, OK, this is a
good start, but let`s see something real.

You can see, I think, the box that Republicans have painted themselves
into. I think this offer is sort of a tacit recognition of how little
leverage they have. They clearly saw over the weekend that they were being
hurt by this perception that they weren`t offering specifics, that they
weren`t coming to the table. So, they offered something.

It`s going to make some conservatives scream with the tax hikes in it,
but it`s also not seeming to get any traction with Democrats who are saying
it`s not specific enough and it doesn`t go far enough because it doesn`t
raise those rates.

SCHULTZ: Richard, what about the report from ABC News? What about
what`s going to happen to let the middle class tax cuts pass and everything
else go over the cliff?

WOLFFE: I think it`s quite clear that they are going to want to say
they reduce taxes and try and cushion themselves against the political
fallout for what`s going to follow.

But, you know, they are not being honest in the kind of offer that the
House speaker made. In letting these tax rates slide and playing around
with inflation measures, this is the kind of smoke and mirror economics and
cuts that they said they didn`t like when they were talking about the grand

So, there`s kind of an honesty approach that I think Republicans have
to deal with as they think about the politics and the optics of how the
fiscal cliff gets resolved. In the end, they really have gotten not much
of a bully pulpit. They can say I`ve got a mandate and the president got a
mandate, so it`s kind of equal -- but it really isn`t and they know that.

SCHULTZ: Molly, we seem to know as much about Mitt Romney`s taxes as
we do about what actual loopholes the Republicans are willing to close in
this. They can`t offer any specifics.

Is this a turnoff to the people?

BALL: Well, I think, in fairness, we have to recognize that there`s
been a lack of specifics on both sides here. They are negotiating primary
in public. You notice that that`s how this stuff is coming out. It`s not
phone calls between the two sides or closed-door meetings.

We don`t know, for example, what spending Democrats would cut and we
haven`t even begun the entitlements discussion, which the president is
theoretically open to.

So, there`s a lot that still needs to happen. I mean, for you and me
and normal people, three weeks away may seem like a short time, but there`s
a feeling on Capitol Hill that this has barely even begun.

SCHULTZ: All right.

BALL: They feel they have time.

SCHULTZ: Here`s Senator Bob Corker and Senator Claire McCaskill.
Here it is.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: Look, I`ve laid out in great detail
very painful cuts to Medicare. I just did it in a 242-page bill that I
have shared with the White House, shared Boehner, shared with McConnell.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: If you don`t think there`s more
money to be cut in contracting at the Pentagon, you don`t understand what
has happened at the Pentagon.

CORKER: David, as much as I love Claire, those are not the painful
cuts that have to happen. We have to look at deeper reforms to


SCHULTZ: It amazes me how Republicans can sit there and label the
entitlements or earned benefit programs as the cuts that have to take place
when we have been in two wars that weren`t paid for, tax cuts that were
never accounted for and big pharma that took us to where we are.

I mean, I think we`re missing the conversation in this country -- how
did we get here? Molly, how did we get here? How did we get so far in the
hole? What did we do?

BALL: Well, we spent money we didn`t have, obviously. Now we`re
looking for a way to resolve that.

I mean, I think what you`re hearing, too, part of the nervousness and
part of the problem for Republicans is that the things they are talking
about aren`t popular. As you`ve talked about a lot, there`s political will
to raise taxes on the wealthy. There`s political will to make cuts in the
Pentagon. There isn`t political will to cut entitlements.

And -- so the kinds of things that Republicans say that they want to
do, including preserving the tax rates for the top 2 percent, are not
things that there`s a huge amount of public support for.

SCHULTZ: Yes. But, Richard, the Republicans clearly are ignoring the
political will of the people.

WOLFFE: Well, they are just picking and choosing, which is, of
course, what Mitt Romney did. You pick and choose and you don`t get above
47 percent.

The problem here is they are trying to deal with the secondary problem
and not dealing with the first one. We got into this kind of deficits
because there was an economic downturn because of the Bush tax cuts and
because of massive spending on wars.

You`ve got to deal with that. You want better growth, you want higher
tax rates and you want actually to lower spending on military side.

But, yes, you got to deal with entitlements at some stage, but until
you agree on the problem and the politics, you`re not going to come up with
a resolution.

SCHULTZ: All right. Richard Wolffe and Molly Ball, good to have you
with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, Republicans told voters the president`s policies were bad
for the economy. New data tells a much different story. We`ll set the
record straight, next.

And after another senseless tragedy involving gun violence, Bob Costas
speaks out. Now, the right wing noise machine is going after him. Dan
Gross of the Brady Campaign and Bill Rhoden of "The New York Times" are
here to talk about the country`s gun culture.

Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We want to set the record straight on the economy this evening.

Let`s start with a quick refresher course on how Republicans tried to
demonize the president during the election. He was called a socialist, not
good for the economy. He was accused of being wrong for America. He was
labeled just a big disappointment.


disappointed you because he wanted to. The president has disappointed
America because he hasn`t led America in the right direction.


SCHULTZ: OK, here`s reality. The Department of Commerce reports
corporate profits hit an all-time high in the third quarter of this year.
Profits are up more than 18 percent over last year. This, my friends, is
booming. In fact, profits have only been going up since President Bush
left office and the Congress passed President Obama`s stimulus package.

Here`s the bad news: business owners aren`t using those record profits
to pay their workers. Profits hit an all-time high, but workers wages have
simply bottomed out. In fact, wages have hit an all-time low.

Let`s take a look at this. Yes, it seems to be some kind of income
fairness in this country, until about 2000. Wages have gone from here down
to there in 12 years. Have you heard the term "off the charts"?

Here we go. Corporate profits all the way up, just before 2010, then,
of course, the recession hit, but back at it. There`s a pretty huge
separation, don`t you think, between corporate profits and wages? One line
is going -- I guess you could say -- off the charts and the other one is
going down.

But there`s good news. Even though wages are lower, consumers are
basically driving the economy. Consumer confidence reached its highest
point since February of 2008.

And a new report shows the automobile industry continues to roar back.
Almost every automaker is reporting big sales gains. Dodge is up for the
32nd month in a row. Chrysler sales up 14 percent over last year. The
Hyundai plant in Alabama is running at full capacity and can`t keep pace
with demand.

There`s no question the economy is coming back with President Obama in
charge. And there`s one more thing we need to set the record straight on
and that is --


ROMNEY: My dad was head of a car company. I like American cars. I
would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry.


SCHULTZ: Oh, absolutely nothing. The American car lover is now
driving a brand new Audi Q7? Is that it? Romney has been spotted in San
Diego climbing into this brand new $46,000 ride? The Q7 is made in
Slovakia. Mitt Romney can drive his foreign-made car right into the sunset
for all I care.

President is at the economy that is on the road to recovery and

Let`s bring in Sam Stein tonight, political reporter for "The
Huffington Post."

Sam, there`s so much evidence out there that the Republicans simply
had the wrong narrative during the election. And they`ve got the wrong
narrative right now.

This should be really a boom for the Democrats right now on the
conversation world, shouldn`t it?

STEIN: Yeah, like you mentioned, consumer confidence is growing.
There`s a lot of indicators that the economy is turning around. The wind
is at the president`s back with respect to how people perceive the economy.

Now the complicating factor here is what happens if, for instance, in
the process of these negotiations, consumer confidence dips, people feel
like they are troubled about investing money, and the economy goes back
into a recessionary status? That`s what the president wants to avoid with
this fiscal cliff conversation.

That`s why I think a deal is going to be probably hammered out before
the end of the year. But yes, the president does have a little political
headwinds, owing to a better economy.

SCHULTZ: This gives, I think, labor a real opportunity to show the
country the graph that we showed. The separation between corporate profits
are right there at a record level and wages are going down. In fact, the
Republicans have been so strong to even want to take away workers` voices
in the workplace.

But in these fiscal cliff negotiations, do you really think that the
Republicans see this chart and they need that economy to slow down a little
bit if they are going to win this?

STEIN: Maybe so. Listen, the income inequality in this country has
been a problem, but it has been a problem for several decades and it`s been
exacerbated by policies that have been passed more recently, obviously. So
when you go into the process of these negotiations, you ask yourself, is it
politically palatable to be there, out there arguing that the two percent -
- top two percent need to have their tax cuts protected? That`s the
problem that Republicans face.

Yes, labor does have a bit of an upper hand on this one. But then
again, you look at all the stuff that`s being offered as concessions -- or
likely to be offered as concessions and it`s going to hit the working
class. So, you know, labor is very much on its guard. They know the
history of these negotiations. They know that the entitlement programs --
that the cuts that tend to be made to entitlement programs affect them more
than others.

But again, like we said at the beginning, Republicans, they have an
image problem. They have an optics problem when they are out there saying
we need to protect the tax rates of the top two percent, because everyone
knows the recent history of income inequality in this country.

SCHULTZ: Could the uncertainty over the fiscal cliff hurt the
economy? I know that you have talked about that and written about that in
the past. Why should we be afraid of just going over the cliff, getting
rid of the Bush era tax cuts? They were extended in the last lame duck
session. And let`s just get it going with a whole new package.

STEIN: That`s a great point. You know, every -- several economists
have looked at this and said it`s not really a cliff. If you hit it, it`s
not like all the cuts happen at once. It`s not like everyone pays a huge
chunk in tax hikes. You can fix it in the subsequent days, weeks, months.
It wouldn`t have as much of an impact, except for the sort of ambiguous
idea that it would affect people`s confidence, that Wall Street would be
hurt by it.

So you do roll the dice in that limited sense. But I think you`re
hitting on an important point, which is that it`s not a fiscal cliff. It`s
more like a small slope.

SCHULTZ: The statistics say that corporate America has got a little
bit to give. Sam Stein, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.

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


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Guns have nothing to do with the
culture that we live in.


SCHULTZ: The radical right drowns out the scent over handgun
violence. And they are coming after Bob Costas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Costas, based on the standards of our society
today and the standards of our industry, the on you and I work in, deserves
to be fired for these remarks.


SCHULTZ: Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, and Bill Rhoden
of "the New York Times" respond.

A tribute video to Hillary Clinton has everyone talking about a
presidential run.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People not just like her but love her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She knows how to get the job done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I give her very high marks.


SCHULTZ: Michael Tomasky of "The Daily Beast" joins me on that later.

And Republican runner up Rick Santorum has a new gig at the "Weekly
World News." Well, not quite, but it`s close. Details ahead.


SCHULTZ: And we are back. There`s a lot we don`t know about the
tragic events that unfolded in Kansas City over this weekend. Here`s what
we do know: two people are dead. A baby girl is left without parents. And
a legally owned handgun was used.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his
girlfriend and the mother of his three month old child, Kasandra Perkins
(ph), early Saturday. Belcher then drove to nearby Arrowhead Stadium and
shot and killed himself in front of his coach and general manager at the
team`s practice facility.

Once again, we`re faced with a senseless tragedy involving gun
violence. Last night, NBC sports caster Bob Costas used the words of
writer Jason Withlock to weigh in on the horrific event.


BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS: Our current gun culture, Withlock wrote,
ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate
tragedy and that more convenient store confrontations over loud music
coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.

Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt
us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather
than avoiding it.

In the coming days, Jovan Belcher`s actions and their possible
connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows. But here, wrote Jason
Withlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn`t possess a gun, he and
Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.


SCHULTZ: That statement has enraged the great defenders of America`s
gun culture over at Fox News. They put forth their best efforts to smear
Costas in the process.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Costas, based on the standards of our society
today and the standards of our industry, the one you and I work in,
deserves to be fired for these remarks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a sanctimonious ghoul.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a fantasy land to spend time -- waste time
thinking, if I had a magic wand, I would get rid of all the guns and we
would have world peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know if it`s appropriate enough on a
Sunday night, less than 24 hours after the guy took his own life and killed
his girlfriend and the mother of his baby, to make that stance.


SCHULTZ: When is it appropriate to talk about gun control in America?
Sure, Jovan Belcher could have used any number of weapons to kill his
girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. But having a gun in the house sure made it a
hell of a lot easier. In a year where we have seen tragedy after tragedy,
whether it be in the streets of Chicago or in the movie theater in
Colorado, we as a country seem to just accept it.

The gun lobby is winning. In fact, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre is out fear
mongering over the matter today. LaPierre is accusing Bob Costas of trying
to piggy back his social agenda on the back of tragedy. LaPierre told CNN
he expects an unprecedented fight over gun control in Congress next year,
yet he would not give any specific legislative examples. He says "I think
it`s going to come hard. I think it`s going to come fast. And I think
it`s going to come soon." .

I hope it does. I`m joined by Bill Rhoden, columnist of "the New York
Times," and Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining us tonight.

It gets a lot of attention because it`s sports; it`s the NFL. But
Dan, I want to ask you first to comment on Wayne LaPierre`s comments. Will
Congress take up the fight on gun control in the near future?

And I believe it will because it`s a conversation that the American public
wants to have. The one thing that I don`t accept that you said in the into
is that the American public just accepts it. I don`t think the American
public accepts it.

I think the American public doesn`t want to live in a country where
there are 32 murders every day. I think the American public knows that we
are better than this. We created this website and this petition that, you
know, the American public is signing by the hundreds of thousands, saying
that they want to call on their elected officials to do something about
this problem.

The overwhelming majority of gun owners, of NRA members support
sensible measures like criminal backgrounds checks. The thing that the gun
lobby always does is they take it to the extreme. They say any attempt to
curb the violence is about taking people`s guns away.

I will say on behalf of the Brady Campaign and on behalf of the
overwhelming majority of Americans that I believe we speak for, nobody
wants to do that. We want to educate people about the dangers associated
and the risks associated with firearms. And we want to do what we can from
a policy perspective to keep guns out of the hands of dangerously mentally
ill people, criminals, domestic abusers.

And there are tangible things that we can do. So to the except the
American public can make its voice heard, this will be a conversation we`ll
have with this Congress.

SCHULTZ: Bill, there had been no record whatsoever of the perpetrator
of this crime. It`s a very sad situation. We don`t know much about
Belcher`s mental statement or if his traumatic brain injury was involved,
numerous concussions. Should the NFL discourage players from owning

WILLIAM C. RHODEN, "NEW YORK TIMES": Yes, obviously. This is such a
sad day and sad story. And I really applaud Costas and Withlock. I don`t
think that enough voices can be raised against this gun ownership. Yes.
But the problem you have, Ed, is number one, they shouldn`t have played the
game. That shows you that the priorities are off from day one.

They should not have played that game. But once again, the money wins
out. Obviously, I think that they`d probably do it in the NBA. Yes, you
have to discourage people from carrying guns, and particularly in the
National Football League, with everything that`s going on about the clear
connection now between mental health and brain damage and erratic behavior
exacerbated in probably one of the most violent games on earth.

Romeo Crenell said that Belcher was a leader. He was always sitting
up in the front of the room. And he was one of the first guys in drills.
We didn`t see this coming. And that`s the problem. Number one, they are
not trained to see it coming.

So it`s -- the gun lobby is just so overwhelming. I think that if
athletes, for example, who if they are looking for a new civil rights
campaign, I think this is it. Those people, those athletes, high profile
athletes who are really sick and tired of this, I think this is their civil
rights campaign, to get guns off the street.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Gross, I`m a sportsman. I have firearms. I hunt deer,
pheasants, ducks all that kind of stuff. Do you want law-abiding citizens
to give up their rights to own firearms at this point? I think that is a
fair question.

GROSS: Yes, it is a fair question. And like I said before, and I
take every opportunity to emphasize -- I`m glad you asked it again --
absolutely not.

SCHULTZ: Well then you have a law-abiding citizen who happened to be
an NFL player, who gets a great deal of visibility because of this tragic
incident. Should he have not been able to own a firearm?

GROSS: No, listen, the 2nd Amendment has been decided by the Supreme
Court. It`s within his right to own a firearm. I think he should have
been and Ms. Perkins should have been aware of the risks associated with
it. I think there`s an education job that we need to do there.

Listen, we just need to have an honest conversation about the risks
and dangers associated with firearms. And we need to do what we can from a
policy perspective to keep those guns out of the hands of people that are
known dangerous. I mean, you have 40 percent of all gun sales in this
country don`t go through a background check.

So there are things that we can do, like universal background checks,
to keep guns out of the hands that we know are dangerous. And Ed, I`ll
just say, we can`t prevent every tragedy. And we may not have been able to
prevent this one. But we can prevent a heck of a lot of them. And that`s
what we have to focus on as a country. We`re better than this.

SCHULTZ: I think the culture of the NFL, Mr. Rhoden, is you have a
bunch of young players who have a lot of money early in life. Not all of
them make the right decisions. They have the pressure to keep their job.
They have injuries. We just don`t know everything that surrounded this.
All of a sudden, a firearm is involved.

My question, is there anything the NFL can do to prevent this kind of

RHODEN: Yes. Tragically, I think the question is no. You can`t --
it would be great if Roger Goodell could say, OK, if -- as a condition of
coming into this league --

SCHULTZ: Every company has rules.

RHODEN: Well, you can try it. I mean, I would love to see him try
it. But I think you get into Constitutional issues. I just think it`s
much deeper than that, Ed. This is a weapons culture.

And I just think that I would love to see it happen. But even if we
talk about hunting and that type of thing, our -- as a society, our
attitude toward the taking of life and how we define who lives, who doesn`t

SCHULTZ: If we don`t have the conversation now, when are we going to
have it? And I commend Bob Costas for what he did last night. It took a
great deal of courage. The Wayne LaPierres of the world are always going
to be around heckling and going after it and fear mongering. They`ve got a
history of that.

Bill Rhoden and Dan Gross, good to have you with us tonight. We`ll do
more on this story in the coming days.

Coming up, Hillary Clinton`s possible first campaign ad for 2016.
We`re right back.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, if Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton runs for president in 2016, this new video could save her a lot of
production costs on the campaign trail. Before Clinton`s speech at this
year`s Saben Forum for Middle East Policy, this farewell video was played
as her introduction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes Hillary Hillary is strength, toughness,
very strong streak of principle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know when Hillary`s in the room. She`s highly
personable. She`s real. If I may, she`s the people`s secretary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She arrives some place, everybody pays attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which makes her extremely effective on the world
arena, extremely effective with foreign leaders and I feel also highly
effective with the American public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone who knows a thing or two about political
comebacks. I can tell you, I don`t think we have heard the last of Hillary


SCHULTZ: In all, 11 domestic and international leaders praised
Clinton in the six-minute clip. This farewell video seems more like an
international endorsement of a presidential campaign ad all rolled into
one. But the kind words didn`t stop there. Hillary Clinton`s boss
recorded this special message for her.


relied on the shining qualities that have defined your life: your
conviction, your optimism, your belief that America can and must be a force
for good in the world.

I`ll say it again. You`ve been one of the best secretary of states in
American history.


SCHULTZ: Well, there doesn`t seem to be any Democrats who could come
close to Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden when it comes to running for
president in 2016, but there is still plenty of time.

We are only three years and 11 months away from election day. For
more, let`s turn to Michael Tomasky, special correspondent for "Newsweek"
and "the Daily Beast." Well, it`s a heck of a lot of fun to talk about it.
But it`s amazing what -- not that she doesn`t deserve it, of course. But
it`s a quick endorsement on all fronts globally. How do you compete with

MICHAEL TOMASKY, "THE DAILY BEAST": It`s awfully tough to compete
with that. The speculation, Ed, it didn`t start this weekend at this
event. The speculation started before this election even took place.
There were already articles in September and October about what would
happen next time and what Hillary would do.

We don`t yet know what she`s going to do for these next two years.
That will be very interesting to find out. But presumably some time around
the 2014 midterms, right after those midterms is probably when perspective
candidates are going to take stock of things, do some polls, size up some
questions, talk to the people close to them.

And I think she`ll be among those people. I think she`s probably very
interested still in being president. I don`t think she`s like itching,
desperate to be president. But I think she`s very interested in taking a
shot if the circumstances are right.

SCHULTZ: Well, what kind of work do you think she has to do in the
next two years? Obviously, she`s going to step back, rest a little bit,
take care of herself and what not. She`s been on a torrid pace around the
globe. She`s done a remarkable job. A ringing endorsement from her boss,
the president of the United States.

What does she have to do in the next two years, do you think?

TOMASKY: It`s a good question. You know, something kind of
nonpolitical, something kind of noncontroversial. I don`t know if she
wants to continue in the foreign policy arena or if she wants to move back
to the domestic arena. My first instinct tells me stay in the foreign
arena, which keeps you a little bit above the fray.

Because one of the great benefits of being secretary of state for her,
Ed, of course, is that she hasn`t been involved in day to day domestic
politics. She hasn`t been in a position to sound off on issues and take
stands on domestic issues. That`s isolated her a bit from the old
criticism that she always used to get from the people on the right.

So I would try to maintain -- if I were advising her, I guess I would
tell her to try to maintain that stature a bit before you really jump back
into the pool.

SCHULTZ: Seriously, what Democrat other than Joe Biden could
challenge her?

TOMASKY: I don`t know that even Biden really could, frankly. Biden
has been a very good secretary of state, I think, and if things keep going
the way they have been, will have been for that period of time. But he
doesn`t have her star power. And he doesn`t have her ability to attract
money. And he doesn`t have the excitement that she`ll offer to Democratic
base voters. OK, we elected the first African-American president. Now
let`s finish. Let`s elect the first woman president now.

I don`t think anybody has that kind of calling card.

SCHULTZ: It all comes down to the money. The one thing the Clintons
can do, and both of them, is raise money. That may endear them to --
endear Hillary Clinton to a lot of people that might not have sided with
her the first time around, because the money game is certainly different
than what it was before. What about that?

TOMASKY: Yes, I think that`s right. And she`s not going to have,
outside of Biden, who, as I just said, I don`t think is really stiff
competition for her -- I don`t think outside of that, there is. It`s not
going to be like in 2008. She was one of three in the top tier. She`s
going to be the top tier basically in 2016, if she decides to run.

But, you know, the circumstances have to be right for her, Ed. I
really do believe that. The economy has to be good. And she has to decide
that the national mood is going to be such in 2016 that the Democrats --
that the country is going to want to stick with a Democrat.

SCHULTZ: All right, Michael Tomasky, good to have you with us for the
conversation tonight. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz And a reminder,
tomorrow night, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi will join me to discuss the
fiscal cliff and much more.

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


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