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The Ed Show for Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

February 28, 2013

Guests: Barney Frank, Michael Tomasky, Sheila Jackson Lee, David Corn, Michael Steele, Michael Eric Dyson, Barbara Blaine

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

The Beltway media is focused on the wrong threat.

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


BOB WOODWARD, JOURNALIST: It makes me very uncomfortable to have the
White House telling reporters you`re going to regret doing something that
you believe in.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): A legendary reporter whines about the White
House, only to be exposed by his own e-mail. But the facts don`t matter to
the right-wing media.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS: He`s continued on saying, you know,
Ronald Reagan wouldn`t have done these kind of threats and creating
Armageddon like President Obama has.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, former Congressman Barney Frank, David Corn of
"Mother Jones," and Michael Tomasky on why Bob Woodward`s embarrassment is
a symptom of a much larger problem.

A vote on women`s rights forces a Republican civil war.

MARK LEVIN, RADIO HOST: You`re a coward, Eric Cantor. It`s time to
step down.

SCHULTZ: The big panel weighs in.

Plus, why Justice Scalia`s racial entitlement remarks are worse than
they sound.

Pat Robertson says the devil wears goodwill.

The CEO of Subway is spreading anti-Obama baloney about small

And advocates for victims of sexual abuse are demanding action as Pope
Benedict leaves the Vatican mired in crisis.


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

A total failure by a legendary journalist is exposing the problem at
the core of the Washington media. "Washington Post" reporter Bob Woodward
became an unlikely hero to conservatives, thanks to a recent op-ed about

Woodward wrote, "When the president asked that a substitute for the
sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving
the goal posts."

Well, the conservative media, they just couldn`t wait to repeat this
talking point.


STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: This is an idea of the president. He also
talks about how the president and his team are moving the goalposts.


SCHULTZ: Yes. Moving the goalposts.

Republican politicians used Woodward`s column to back their own ideas.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Bob Woodward`s got a great piece
where he tells the president, basically, he doesn`t use these words, but he
basically say the president has amnesia about this.


SCHULTZ: And there are other examples. We don`t have all night.

The only problem with Woodward`s op-ed is that it`s simply not true.
President Obama never moved the goalposts when it comes to new revenue.
Because you could go back to July of 2011 when the White House released
this statement, saying that "The president will demand that the super
committee pursue a balanced deficit reduction package where any entitlement
reforms are coupled with revenue-raising tax reform."

This account is backed up in Woodward`s own book, where he writes that
the "supercommittee would come up with its own deficit reduction plan".

Instead of admitting his error, what did Woodward do? Well, he
decided to make things very personal. He claimed that the White House, an
aide sent him a threatening e-mail.


WOODWARD: I think it`s important for people to understand, he says,
you know -- said, "I think you will regret staking out that claim."


SCHULTZ: Oh, come on. Once the ball got rolling, Woodward continued
to play up the drama.


WOODWARD: It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House
telling reporters you`re going to regret doing something that you believe


SCHULTZ: He feels uncomfortable. You know, this really sounds juicy.
Is this how the White House does business?

The White House is putting a heavy hand on one of the country`s
biggest and well-known journalists.

Not so fast. "Politico" revealed the e-mail was from White House
economic adviser Gene Sperling. See if this seems like a threat to you.

Let`s say you`re in the office and you get an e-mail like this. "Bob,
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today." Sperling goes
on to say, "I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you
will regret staking out that claim."

Later he adds, "Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously. My
apologies again for my raising my voice on the call to you. Feel bad about
that and truly apologize. Gene."

I tell you what. Woodward really felt threatened, you know?

Here`s how he responded to the so-called threat. "Gene, you do not
ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your
points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I
for one welcome a little heat. I also welcome your personal advice. I am

Now, after reading the e-mails, Woodward I think lost some real shine
in the conservative circles in this country. For instance, "The Daily
Caller" Web site said conservatives got played by Woodward.

But the most important thing this episode reveals is that -- really
the broken nature of mainstream journalism in Washington. The Washington
Beltway media have a real impact on how stories are shaped and get shaped
in this country, with the reciprocal pickup across the country, once they
see what the Washington media is saying.

And don`t you think they have a responsibility to get the story right?
And when they get it right, they have a responsibility to make sure that
they continue to report it factually. But when they get it wrong, they
have to correct it.

Bob Woodward in my opinion on this whole ordeal`s been nothing but a
drama queen. He was totally reckless. He has put the White House and
President Obama and his team in an untenable position. The White House is
now out defending itself from accusations of threatening people.

If they don`t get what they want, they threaten people. What`s that
mean? An IRS audit? What does this mean? What do you mean threaten
people? You`re going to affect their career, their job?

This is not responsible. It`s not responsible in any way, and
certainly not journalistically credible.

What Woodward ought to do is send a note of apology to the president
saying, I really know you don`t handle your staff like this, and this is a
bad reflection on you. By the way, can I have more access so I can write
another book about you?

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: does the Beltway media serve the interests of the American
people? Text A or yes, text B for no, to 67622. You can always go to our
blog at We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me now is former Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.


SCHULTZ: Did you ever find yourself in a situation where the
journalist made himself part of the story? Your thoughts on this.

FRANK: Oh, absolutely. I think this shows two things.

First of all, the hypersensitivity of journalists, particularly
striking in people who make a living by writing rude things about others.
There is this apparent view that the First Amendment says two things --
one, Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech and, two, no
one in public office shall ever criticize a journalist. They are
hypersensitive. And yes, they`ve become part of the story.

The second thing that troubles me about Mr. Woodward`s journalism and
some others is it focuses on who did what to whom in the process and the
substance gets lost. The important questions today are: should we be
cutting the military? Which I believe we can do safely. Should we be
raising taxes?

And, by the way, as far as the administration moving the goalposts, I
would like to ban metaphors from the use of political discussions. They
mislead people.

But doesn`t anyone remember the position that President Obama and we
Democrats when I was in Congress, was we wanted to go back to the Clinton
tax rates on incomes above $250,000? We were only able to get $450,000.
So that`s been our clear position for a while. There`s a gap between what
we had staked out as our position, raising the Clinton-era -- re-imposing
the Clinton-era tax rates between $250,000 and $450,000.

And it`s outrageous that we should be worrying about Bob Woodward`s
hurt feelings and then I would say finally to interpret that you`re going
to regret what you said when it clearly meant you`re going to be shown
wrong -- again, it`s the hype hypersensitivity of journalists and a focus
on the kind of inside baseball that unfortunately excludes a discussion of
real substance.

SCHULTZ: I think that this is a big story from the standpoint that
the American people can easily comprehend. This is how the spin game works
in Washington and how we can quickly lose focus. And many times
journalists think it`s about them.

Bob Woodward was also critical of the president for not violating the
law when it comes to sequestration. Here it is.


WOODWARD: We now have the president going out because of this piece
of paper and this agreement. I can`t do what I need to do to protect the
country. That`s a kind of madness that I haven`t seen in a long time.


SCHULTZ: And, of course, because of sequestration and the budget cuts
across the board of the military the president is saying that he`s not
going to be able to move a carrier group into the Persian Gulf. That`s
where Woodward was very critical of him.

Your thoughts on that.

FRANK: Let me say a couple of things. First of all, to describe a
law as, quote, "a piece of paper" is appalling.

But beyond that I want to make a prediction. Sequestration is
apparently going to take effect.

Now, I voted against sequestration. I believe we could cut the
military by even more than sequestration requires, but I would do it with
some more sensitivity and flexibility. I would shut down the American
protection of Europe. I think it`s time to say to Germany and France that
Stalin is not coming after them and that they don`t need our troops
protecting them anymore.

But I`ll make this prediction. We will go through with sequestration
in the military, and three months from now, America will be every bit as
safe as it was before. These predictions that oh, our security will be in
trouble will be gone.

But there`s one other very important point that needs to be made, and
it`s a point you`ve been making and I`ve been making and others. Let`s now
mark the death of an argument that federal spending has no positive effect
on the economy. When we were doing the economic recovery bill, the
stimulus, when we have been talking about spending on highways or providing
funds for local governments, the right-wing argument was that spending
doesn`t help the economy. Government spending doesn`t do anything to add
to jobs.

All of a sudden, when it`s the military, they do a complete reversal.
And there is now universal agreement that very substantial reductions in a
short period of time will cost jobs. You may think that`s a good thing or
a bad thing.

But let`s mark this whole debate over sequestration as the end of the
preposterous argument that government spending has no positive effect on

SCHULTZ: All right. Former Congressman Barney Frank, great to have
you with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. Appreciate it so much.

Now let`s turn to Michael Tomasky, special correspondent for
"Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast."

And David Corn with us tonight, Washington bureau chief for "Mother
Jones" magazine and an analyst here on MSNBC.

I want you both to hear what NBC`s Mark Murray had to say about the e-
mail Bob Woodward got from the White House. Here it is.


MARK MURRAY, NBC NEWS: That is some of the nicest brushback an
administration official or any type of political aide might end up giving a
political reporter. Oftentimes, we end up getting e-mails that have some
curse words attached to them and people saying not so nice things and you
end up getting a pretty thick skin in this business.


SCHULTZ: What about it, guys? Have you seen worse?

David Corn, you`ve been in a few scraps before.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Yes. As a representative here of the
beltway media with my good friend Michael, I have to say this brushback was
hardly that. It was -- I mean, I`ve known Gene for 30 years. I`ve known
Bob Woodward for a long time. They both have played this game. They both
have seen a lot worse from the other side --

SCHULTZ: Well, why do you think Woodward did it?

CORN: I`m puzzled by that. I`ve had differences with Woodward over
the years on some stories he and I have written. I`ve also supported and
I`ve been supported by him on some of the stories I`ve done.

And I think -- I think he had a bad day, but I think one story here,
too, is that the "Politico", you know, which puts a premium on doing what?
Enhancing conflict in Washington no matter what the substance is or who`s
right or who`s wrong, really went to town on this.


CORN: Rather than asking, can we see that full e-mail, who sent you
that e-mail? We want to talk to them too. They just sort of took Bob --

SCHULTZ: Well, Woodward knows what threatened is. Woodward --

CORN: They took Bob at his word and just went to town because they
thought it was juicy, and this is what happens.

SCHULTZ: Michael, what do you think?

MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, David`s right about
"Politico". "Politico" actually ratcheted this up. It was the "Politico"
writers who used the word "veiled threat." I think Woodward never actually
used the word even though he clearly tried to imply that it was a threat.

But, look, you know, it`s just hilarious and sad, Ed. I read these e-
mails this morning when I was still kind of groggy before I had even read
the "Politico" story, so I didn`t have the context for reading the e-mail.
And I thought, oh, that`s kind of a nice e-mail from Gene. And I got to
the sentence, the controversial sentence, and I took it exactly the way you
described it a few minutes ago.

He was obviously saying to Woodward, you`re going to be proven
inaccurate here, and you want to look out for that. And that really --
that`s the most important point. And I`m glad that you started at the top
of the show talking about that because if you go back to 2011, when this
law was passed in the summer of 2011, you go back to November of 2011, when
the supercommittee gave up and collapsed and said we don`t have a deal,
that was around Thanksgiving of 2011.

At every one of those points Obama and his people said the same thing.
We want revenues as part of the replacement.


CORN: Yes.

TOMASKY: I don`t understand why Woodward can`t get that through his

SCHULTZ: David, what`s the lesson here?

CORN: I think there are a lot of lessons. I think mike -- Michael is
right, that the big picture here is that the president has stuck to his
guns. You know, I did a whole book that involved reporting on that
episode. And I just put up a story the other day when I found Boehner days
after the deal was struck saying, well, I don`t think -- I don`t want tax
revenues but it`s possible that they be part of this.


CORN: But I do think that we gin up -- I try not to. I`m using the
royal "we" in Washington. We gin up these disputes because they`re gossipy
and juicy and we put aside really trying to arbitrate who`s right and who`s
wrong on these very big and important issues. And if the media doesn`t
take a role in evaluating claims, it really puts the readers and the
consumers of the news at a disadvantage.

SCHULTZ: Well, the media culture is a lot of times we cover what
everybody else says. And such is the case with the Republican strategy,
Michael, on the sequestration. Because what Woodward wrote instantly got
into the sound culture with Bobby Jindal repeating it, FOX News repeating
it. It became the narrative on talk radio. Listen to what Woodward is
saying about Obama. You see he can`t do this.

And somewhere we lose the word "responsibility."

TOMASKY: Yes. And we lose the sense of what is actually true.
Woodward wrote this piece last Friday, I guess, and he was immediately
corrected by Ezra Klein of the "Washington Post" and by me and by Jon Chait
and probably by David and by a lot of other people.

But, boy, it was whipping around the right wing like crazy, and with
no regard for what was actually the truth here.

SCHULTZ: Well, whatever happened to picking up the phone and saying I
just got this e-mail from you, what did you mean by that?

CORN: You know, I hate to sound like an old fogy blaming the
Internet. But this is part of the hyper sound-bite culture we live in.


CORN: "Politico" thought they had something hot and juicy, get it out
right away, you get the eyeballs. You get the tweets. And then, of
course, all the right-wing media picks it up and tries to amplify it. And
no one really paused for those --

SCHULTZ: Got to run, guys. You bet.

CORN: -- to get a sense of what was right.

SCHULTZ: David Corn, Michael Tomasky, great you have to with us

CORN: Sure.

SCHULTZ: Thanks so.

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

A real, very real threat all Americans should be concerned about --
activist judges on the Supreme Court. That`s next.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Eric Cantor`s talking about a new civil war? Our
big panel will talk about that and draw the battle lines.

Pope Benedict rides off into the sunset and leaves a legacy of child
abuse in his wake. A victim speaks out tonight.

You can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio, channel 127,
Monday through Friday noon to 3:00 p.m.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using the

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Justice Antonin Scalia`s assault on the Voting Rights Act is still
sending shock waves. In yesterday`s oral arguments on Section 5 of the
Voting Rights Act. Scalia said, "Whenever a society adopts racial
entitlements, it`s very difficult to get out of them through the normal
political processes."

This is not about racial entitlements. It`s about equal access to the

Well, the reaction today has been pretty fierce. "The American
Prospect" says "Scalia`s argument has precedent in the white supremacist
arguments made by the Supreme Court in the 19th century when it was
dismantling reconstruction. The majority opinion said there must be some
stage when the freed slave takes the rank of a mere citizen and ceases to
be the special favorite of the laws."

Scalia also drew attention for basically saying senators couldn`t
possibly vote against the Voting Rights Act and so the Supreme Court would
have to intervene.

The legal expert at "Think Progress" said, "If the theory were taken
seriously by a majority of the justices, it would potentially undermine
Medicare, Social Security, and countless other programs."

Today was not all doom and gloom, however. Some voting rights
advocates said Justice Anthony Kennedy might uphold the law despite his
tough questioning. "I think Justice Kennedy was very methodical and
deliberate in his assessment," said Texas State Representative Trey
Martinez-Fischer, who witnessed the argument. "I don`t think he showed
anybody anything."

Well, cross your fingers.

Tonight, let`s bring in Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

Congresswoman, great to have you with us tonight.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Ed, good to be with you this

SCHULTZ: You bet.

This story deserves more conversation. That`s why we`re doing it
tonight. I mean, it sounds like Justice Scalia is prepared to do the dirty
work of the right wing here and justify in the most offensive way possible.
Your thoughts on this.

LEE: Ed, I`m glad you`re doing this show.

First of all, I was in the courtroom as well. And all of us have such
an enormous amount of respect for the three branches of government and
certainly the awe of being in the United States Supreme Court, even though
I`m a member of the Supreme Court bar.

And what you wanted was justice. And, frankly, there was a lot of
give-and-take and there are a lot of judges that I think will have a strong
effort, or make a strong effort to work with Justice Kennedy in spite of
his questions to really explain what Section 5 is.

It is a codification of the 15th Amendment, Ed. And it is not about
entitlements. What it says is that there will be no blocking of a right to
vote on the bases of race or color. And that means that whether or not you
are Hispanic or African-American or Asian as the bill has translated itself
through adding language minorities, it simply says that you will have the
right to vote that has been given to all citizens.

Why a justice would classify the simple protected right to vote as
racial entitlements baffles me and offends me. In fact, yesterday was an
enormously emotional day. With the Rosa Parks statue, with the hearing of
this case, in the words of John Lewis, who said, "We are not going back."

The court took the Shelby case because in fact, Ed, there were a
number of laws that blocked a citizen`s right to vote. That`s why this
case is before the Supreme Court. And that`s why Section 5 has been used
to create an opportunity for voting.

SCHULTZ: That speaks volumes of just what`s out there across America,
about how people want to attack the voting rights, despite the federal law
and run it the way they want to run it in their own backyard.

I mean, the Voting Rights Act has been reauthorized four times on four
different occasions by -- we can only term it as overwhelming margins. I
mean, are you hearing Republican lawmakers standing up for it now that it`s
under attack?

LEE: Well, I am -- I know that we worked very closely with Chairman
Sensenbrenner in the 2006 reauthorization with some 15,000 pages. I know
that --

SCHULTZ: Well, the point I`m making here, Congresswoman, is that I
don`t see any Republican stepping up saying, you know, we`ve done this
before, 98 votes in the Senate, a bunch of votes over in the House.
They`re not troubled at all by what Justice Scalia said? I find that very

LEE: Well, I hope we give them an opportunity to take to the floor
and take to public forum. You`re absolutely right. If you want to ask me
whether there`s been a choir, a crescendo of Republicans challenging that
statement, I`ve not heard nap.

SCHULTZ: Yes, here`s one of the lawyers challenging Section 5. Here
it is.


FRANK ELLIS, ATTORNEY, SHELBY COUNTY, AL: We`ve made great strides
over the years. We have minority participation at record levels. We have
minority candidates elected by 90 percent white populations.


SCHULTZ: He says we no longer need the Voting Rights Act. I mean,
what is reality here?

LEE: He`s absolutely wrong. And I will say this. This is what we
said in 2006. I`m on the House Judiciary Committee with the other
colleagues. And what we said is progress -- when I say we, members of
Congress listening to testimony said progress has been made, Ed.

But the purpose of Section 5 is to ensure that as the states make each
additional new law that may block voting, we have Section 5 preclearance.


LEE: In 2006, Ed, we did not have the discriminatory Texas voter ID
law that would not allow to you use your student ID or your state
government ID, but a concealed weapons ID and did not allow you to have
voting places where you could get the --

SCHULTZ: They`re working against the federal law -- they`re working
against the federal law as best they can.

LEE: So Section 5 was the one that would help say to the Texas folk
that cannot be.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman --

LEE: So to my friends who want to argue that they`re out of it, no,
they`re not because next year they could make another law that would block
voting and Section 5 stands there as a codification of the Constitution to
block those kinds of laws. John Lewis said it. I join him. We are not
going back, Ed. And we`re going forward.

SCHULTZ: And that is -- that is the bottom line. That law is there
for a reason, because we know the righties aren`t going to stop going after

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, good to have you with us tonight.

LEE: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

The man who created a sandwich empire is whining about President
Obama? I`ll take a bite out of that one next.

Governor Chris Christie has a message for the boys over there at CPAC.
Our big panel jumps in tonight.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Another day, another
billionaire CEO complaining about government regulation. Meet Fred Deluca.
Fred`s a pretty successful dude. He is the co-founder and president of
Subway Restaurants. He`s done quite well for himself. Good for him. He`s
worth 2.5 billion dollars.

In 2011, Subway overtook McDonald`s as the world`s largest restaurant
chain. So what`s Deluca complaining about?


gotten worse because there`s more and more regulation. And it`s tough for
people to get into business, especially a small business. I`ll tell you,
if I started Subway today, Subway would not exist because I had an easy
time of it in the `60s when I started. And I just see a continuous
increase in regulation.


SCHULTZ: OK. Hold it right there. If he were to start Subway today,
if he were to go into business today, it wouldn`t exist. So the sandwiches
would taste differently because of government regulations?

A couple of things here. First, Deluca has it wrong. The number of
new businesses actually has increased under President Obama. How in the
heck are they making it with all those pesky regulations? I hope Mr.
Deluca wasn`t talking about the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970,
which of course requires employers to teach employees how to use the
equipment -- it`s kind of a good thing -- provide them with any necessary
safety gear that they might need -- consumer kind of in mind there too --
inform employees of potential workplace hazards.

Or the food safety regulations which require -- holy smokes --
employees might have to wash their hands or they might have to wear gloves
or they might have to have food storage units for sanity, which is a
regulation that`s really bad. Everybody`s against that. And properly
refrigerated to prevent what? Bacteria growth.

Sure, there are more regulations since Mr. Deluca started Subway. But
there are regulations aimed at making sure the food we eat is safe and that
the workers are treated well. If Deluca couldn`t have started Subway under
current regulations, I don`t know about you, but I`m not real sure that I
would want to eat there.

There is no surprise here. Deluca also has a problem with Obamacare.


DELUCA: That is the biggest concern of our franchisees. They don`t
have enough information. They don`t know what they`re looking forward to.
It`s causing a lot of concern. But that too will also pass to the


SCHULTZ: Sound familiar? Oh, yeah. It`s the same old story. The
government proposes policy aimed at helping low-wage workers and now
another billionaire executive is crying foul. I`d rather pay a little bit
more for the foot-long sub and know that their workers have got health


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eric Cantor is demanding that the conservatives
vote for this. And if they don`t, there`s going to be a civil war.


SCHULTZ: Republicans are imploding again over women`s rights. The
big panel on the Republican civil war is next.

Pat Robertson says the devil wears Goodwill.


PAT ROBERTSON, EVANGELIST: Can demonic spirits attach themselves to
inanimate objects?


SCHULTZ: And Pope Benedict leaves the Vatican for good. But the
legacy of sex abuse continues.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He will leave Vatican City for the final time as
leader of the Catholic Church.


SCHULTZ: Victims advocate Barbara Blaine is demanding action, and
she`s here tonight.


SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight. U.S. House Majority
Leader Eric Cantor is taking serious heat for pushing his party to vote on
the Violence Against Women Act this afternoon. Cantor did not ask fellow
conservatives to vote yes on the measure. In fact, Cantor didn`t even end
up casting a vote on the bill himself.

As the "National Review" online reports, "Cantor warned fellow
Republicans there would be a civil war in the ranks if the Senate bill
didn`t at least get to the House floor." Cantor convinced enough
Republicans because the Violence Against Women Act did pass today after
more than a year of nasty partisan bickering.

The president says he`ll sign it.

Now these nine conservatives make up the fringe driving Cantor
absolutely crazy. All of them voted against voting on the Violence Against
Women Act. They think preventing violence victims gives government just
too much power. Right-wing talker Mark Levine is calling for Cantor to


MARK LEVINE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Politely and civilly, and tell the
Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives it`s time to
step down. Because you`re a phony. You`re a fraud.


SCHULTZ: Oh. Let`s turn to our panel. Georgetown University
Professor Michael Eric Dyson with us tonight, David Corn of "Mother Jones"
magazine, and former RNC Chair Michael Steele.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES": Good to see you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Steele, you first. What are we seeing here? Is this
Eric Cantor saying, you know what, guys, there`s going to be a civil war
here, we can`t say no to everything? What does he mean by civil war in the

MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: I think what he means by that, the fact
that there were Republicans who obviously supported moving this bill out to
the floor for a vote. There are Republicans, particularly female
Republicans, who have been quietly saying to the caucus, guys, get your act
together, we`re getting killed on something we don`t need to get killed on.

And I think Eric Cantor was basically bringing a level of common
sense, you know, to the caucus in terms of let`s move on the important
stuff that really matters to people right now. This is a reauthorization.
If there are provisions you think are unconstitutional, then submit the
bill to deal with that or let the Supreme Court handle it. That`s not our
purview in the first place.

Why are we going to, you know, fall on this particular sword? This is
not a battle for us, because it`s just a reauthorization, it`s not a new
bill. There`s very little change from --

SCHULTZ: But it took a year.

STEELE: It took a year. Yes, that`s the point. It took a year. And
it brought a lot of unnecessary attention and damage to the caucus.

SCHULTZ: Michael, you know -- Michael Eric Dyson, just a few right-
wing conservatives are controlling the Congress right now and screwing a
lot of stuff up.


SCHULTZ: Why did this -- why was this such a heavy lift for the

DYSON: It`s a great point. But we have to go back to what Michael
Steele just said. And we have to underscore that. The bill is virtually
the same. What has changed now is the composition of those who are looking
at the bill. This made sense to American citizens for all of this time,
since what, 1994 or thereabouts, when violence against women had to be
marked as a serious legislative item and priority on the agenda.

Now you`ve got these far right-wing conservatives who are so hell bent
on taking hostage any form of legislation to prove they`re bona fides and
to prove that they are somehow committed to this perfectly conservative
ideology that does nobody any good. It doesn`t do the conservative side
any good, because they look like they are paleolithic kind of people, stuck
in the dark age when it comes to women.

You would think that they would have enough with this past, you know,
election where they`re recommending to women to put Aspirin between their
legs. They have no idea about transvaginal operations. They talk about
rape as legitimate. This is something that even from a PR stance you would
think they`d have enough sense to say, let`s sign on here to something non-

But they have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and once again
look like what they are, sad excuses for legislators in America.

SCHULTZ: David, will this embolden some moderate House Republicans,
if there`s any left, to rise up against the Tea Party fringe? I mean,
they`re going to be able to go home now and say that they voted for this,
that they`re not anti-women. It also plays into the rebranding of what
they`re trying to do.

DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES": Well, I think what you hear right now is
the sound of hell freezing over. Finally, Eric Cantor is in a position of
moderation. The guy who blocked the grand bargain and who is seen as being
the chief Jacobin ready to lead mutinous Tea Party members against John
Boehner if John Boehner got too far out line with the conservative agenda,
has come forward and said hey, guys, enough`s enough, we can`t be seen as
being opposed to anything -- everything.

And in fact, he put out a press release, I think it was yesterday,
saying that he himself, Eric Cantor, just as the Supreme Court is hearing
the decision on the Voting Rights Act, will be marching with John Lewis to
mark the Selma March of years ago. So he`s clearly, you know, in a PR mode
here to try to convince people that Republicans aren`t what they have been
for the past few years. And he won this round, Mark Levin notwithstanding.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, let`s go to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
He`s getting snubbed by CPAC. He wasn`t invited to speak at this
organization next month. But it doesn`t seem to be worrying him too much.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I didn`t know that I hadn`t been
invited to CPAC until like two days ago when I saw it in the news.


CHRISTIE: I wish them the best. Let them have a great conference.
And as for the rest of it, it doesn`t bother me a whole heck of a lot. I
can`t sweat the small stuff. I`ve got a state to rebuild. I can`t sweat
the small stuff.


SCHULTZ: Michael Steele, what do you think?

STEELE: Ditto, period, exclamation point.

SCHULTZ: Is CPAC the small stuff?

STEELE: Well, no, you know, the invitation or the lack thereof is the
small stuff, not the organization. And I think the governor is exactly
right. OK, invite me or don`t invite me. I`m running a government. I`m
governing. Imagine that, actually governing.

So he`s not wasting time giving speeches and doing all of that. He`s
doing the important work of demonstrating leadership. So if people want to
snub him, snub him. But do you think Christie gave rat`s you know what? I
don`t think so.

CORN: Yes. But the issue here, Michael, is that conservatives are
saying -- it`s their right to say this -- that if you work with the
president on disaster relief, if you accept this expanded Medicaid program,
we don`t consider you a conservative. And that`s fine. But those are
minority positions that they`re only emphasizing here with this snub.

And they`re well within their rights to do this. When I first heard
it, I thought the problem was that they thought he was gay. Obviously,
that`s not it.

STEELE: I don`t think that`s it.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, this has everything to do with President
Obama. He got too cozy to the president. This guy has gone after unions.
He has cut teachers and public education. He has given tax breaks to the
wealthiest folks in his state. I mean, he`s very conservative on a lot of
issues. Too close to Obama. What do you think?

DYSON: Well, it just shows you how idiotic and how maniacal is the
obsession with Obama and the resistance to Obama, anybody gets close. He`s
not going to get Charlie Crist-ed here. He`s going to survive. He`s going
to govern. And he`s going to do well.

But CPAC might as well be Tupac right now to him. He doesn`t care.
His concern is about governing. He`s still pretty conservative. And he`s
pretty popular. I don`t think the snub by CPAC makes him any less
attractive to those who were Doug Christie fans -- I mean Chris Christie
fans to begin with.

SCHULTZ: Does he have 2016 written on his shirt? What do you guys
think? I would think so.

DYSON: Yeah, under his shirt there`s a big 2016 --

CORN: Not with this republican base.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, David Corn, and Michael Steele, great to
have you with us. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

Pat Robertson`s dire warning about demonic sweaters. You can`t make
this stuff up. Stick around.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back. We love hearing from our fans on our Facebook
and Twitter page. Many of you are praising the Obama administration`s
decision to file a brief using the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn
California`s ban on same sex marriage.

On Facebook, Candice Storms writes, "great day. Religion has no place
in civil rights or politics. Hope marriage equality becomes legal

Terry McBride predicts, "all the states will fall in line if this is
overturned for California."

And Michael Anderson says, "it`s too bad the Obama administration
can`t file a brief in favor of removing out of touch Republicans from

You know, I like that one. You can go to our Facebook page right now
and get in on the conversation. And don`t forget to like THE ED SHOW when
you`re there.

We need to make a quick clarification about a wedding at West Point
Military Chapel. We meant to show you this photograph of a West Point
graduate marrying her same-sex partner in December. We showed you a
picture of a young cadet in error last night. We apologize for that. This
picture is a powerful sign of the end of Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell, in one of
the military`s most symbolic locations.

By the way, congratulations to Penelope and Sue. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: How often do you listen to a TV evangelist? Pat Robertson
is warning people that they may be getting more than what they bargained
for in thrift stores. On Monday, "700 Club" a concerned viewer e-mailed
Robertson for some important advice on secondhand clothing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Pat, this is Carrie, who says, "I buy a lot
of clothes and other items at Goodwill and other secondhand shops.
Recently my mom told me that I need to pray over the items, bind familiar
spirits and bless the items before I bring them into the house. Is my
mother correct? Can demons attach themselves to material items?"


SCHULTZ: Now, before we play Pat Robertson`s response, I want to go
over a few things that he`s got wrong in the past. In 1980, he predicted
the end of the world. That was wrong. 2006, he predicted a tsunami would
hit America`s west coast. That didn`t happen.

2007, he predicted mass killings because of a terror attack in the
United States. That was wrong.

In 2008, he predicted a war in the Middle East resulting in a nuclear
attack on the United States. Good thing he was wrong on that. And last
year, Robertson predicted Mitt Romney would be elected president. Wow, are
we happy for that.

Now, with all this in mind, here are Pat`s thoughts on demonic


ROBERTSON: Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate
objects? The answer is yes. But I don`t think every sweater you get from
Goodwill has demons in it. But in a sense, your mother`s just being super
cautious. So hey, it isn`t going to hurt you to rebuke any spirits that
happen to have attached themselves to those clothes.


SCHULTZ: With Pat`s track record, I wouldn`t lose any sleep over
demons in your sweaters.

Tonight in our survey, does the Beltway media serve the interests of
the American people? Five percent of you say yes; 95 percent of you say

Coming up, Pope Benedict XVI officially steps down and the Catholic
Church is at a crossroads. Can it regain the people`s trust? That`s next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Benedict left his home to a rousing ovation.
The Papal staff at the Vatican saying good-bye to the man they served for
the last eight years, the first leg of his final journey as Pope.


SCHULTZ: At 8:00 p.m. local time in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI
officially stepped down. He left the Vatican by helicopter, heading to a
nearby summer residence used by Popes for centuries. Earlier in the day,
he met with the men who will choose his successor, pledging his loyalty and
obedience to the next Pope.

The conclave is expected to meet in mid-March with a church mired in


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just this week, Cardinal Keith O`Brien of Scotland
resigned amid charges of improper contact with priests. The church has
been plagued by scandals in recent years, stories of children sexually
abused by priests, cover-ups, allegations of financial mismanagement, the
Pope`s butler leaking secret documents, some taken from the Pope`s own


SCHULTZ: Benedict has said that he is retiring freely and for the
good of the church. His successor will inherit a church in crisis
following decades of child sex abuse and cover-up.

As cardinal, Benedict led the Vatican office charged with
investigating abuse. His critics have accused him of taking no meaningful
action. And on this final day of Benedict`s eighth-year Papacy, a victim
support group is speaking out.

Today the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, as
they are known, formally asked the United Nations to censure the Vatican
for failing to protect children from pedophile priests.

Joining me tonight, Barbara Blaine, the president and founder of SNAP.
Barbara, thank you for your time tonight.

I think we hear around the country from a lot of people saying that
the time for apologies are over with, that the Catholic church needs to fix
this. Can they do it?

current processes and guidelines and status. I mean, for any change to
happen, we need some structural changes and we need to see action. They`re
big on lofty words and not very -- they just don`t take the kind of simple
steps that could really protect kids across the globe today.

SCHULTZ: Your group took a big step today. S.N.A.P. says the Holy
Sea is in violation of a children`s righties -- or rights treaty, which was
signed back in 1990. What are you hoping for the U.N. to do?

BLAINE: Well, we hope that the U.N. will use its influence and power
to finally hold top-ranking Vatican officials accountable for this cover-up
and concealment, and then the enabling of the sex crimes against children.
I mean, this is -- it`s a significant moment because it`s the first time
that a -- an international body that has some authority is actually looking
into these allegations and investigating what the Vatican and what the Holy
Sea is doing to protect kids.

Obviously, their record has been dismal, as you know.

SCHULTZ: What is going to be Benedict`s legacy here, in your opinion?

BLAINE: Well, I think, you know, people keep talking about how he`s
done so much. And what we keep saying is, well, where`s the evidence that
he`s done anything? I mean, what concrete action has he taken? We see
that he`s offered apologies and he`s made these statements that people
should -- that maybe the bishops or other church officials should do
something to help victims.

But we don`t see where he`s punished any bishop who`s been involved in
the cover-up or transferring priests from one place to another. He hasn`t
given any rewards to the whistle blowers.

SCHULTZ: Do you think that`s why he stepped down, that maybe he
didn`t have the energy to do what has to be done?

BLAINE: Look, I`m not sure why he stepped down. I don`t know if any
of us will ever know. And I have no reason to not take him at his word,
that it had to do with his age and his physical well-being. But at the end
of the day, I just believe that it`s time for Vatican officials to put an
end to this covering up of sex crimes by their priests and put the
protection of children first.

That`s --

SCHULTZ: And where does that start? What should they do?

BLAINE: Well, at a bare minimum, they should start by putting out the
names of the credibly accused predators that are in the midst of the church
today, which is what about 30 bishops here in the U.S. have already done.
They should immediately make it very clear that anyone -- any bishop or
top-ranking church employee who is found enabling or concealing sex crimes
will be fired.

And then they should follow up on these kinds of rules and actually
fire those who have engaged in it. I mean, they should definitely, for
example, remove Bishop -- Bishop Flynn from Kansas City, who`s been
convicted of abusing -- sorry. He`s been convicted of endangering


BLAINE: And he still holds his place.

SCHULTZ: Well, this is certainly an opportunity for the Catholic
Church to move on the issues that we`re talking about. No question.
Barbara Blaine, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. A programming note, tomorrow
night, Nobel Prize-winning economist and "New York Times" columnist Paul
Krugman will be our special guest. It`s an ED SHOW exclusive. You won`t
want to miss it.


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