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The Ed Show for Monday, March 4th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Monday show

March 4, 2013

Guests: Mitch Ceasar, Jim Moore, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Rep. Rosa Delauro, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. John Larson, Eugene Robinson

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

Republicans woke up this morning saying a new four-letter word or an
old four-letter word? Bush.

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


MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: You will not definitively rule out a run for
president the year 2016?

SCHULTZ (voice-over): You know the Republican Party is in bad shape
when this happens.

JED BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I won`t, but I`m not going to
declare it today either, Matt.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore and Jonathan Alter will tell us if America could
get fooled for the third time.

In his first post-election interview, Mitt Romney shares his regrets.

What I said is not what I believe.

SCHULTZ: Katrina Vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" on why the Romneys
can`t lose gracefully.

Corporate profits soar through the roof as the American worker
struggles. Tonight, I`ll break down the numbers and make the case for
higher wages.

Speaker John Boehner flat-out lies about the sequester.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF HOUSE: There is no plan for
Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.

SCHULTZ: The congressional panel will weigh in on the speaker`s
latest whopper.

And Dennis Rodman visits the rogue state of North Korea and brings
home a message for the president.

DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: He want Obama to do one thing --
call him.

SCHULTZ: Plus, Rodman has a new best friend.

RODMAN: He is a great guy. He is a great guy. If you sit down and
talk to him.

SCHULTZ: We`ll bring you all the details from Rodman`s wild trip.


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

The Republican Party is struggling with branding issues and identity
crisis that a demographic shift going against the party platform. And in
the midst of all of this, here comes another Bush.


BUSH: I have a voice I want to share my beliefs about how the
conservative movement and the Republican Party can regain its footing,
because we`ve lost our way.


SCHULTZ: Jeb Bush declared his voice to be an important one in the
future of the Republican Party. Just when you washed away the taste of
eight years under George W. Bush, the former governor from Florida raised
eyebrows when he had this exchange with Matt Lauer.


LAUER: You will not definitively rule out a run for president in the
year 2016?

BUSH: I won`t, but I`m not going to declare today either, Matt.


SCHULTZ: Well, he is not ready to declare, but Jeb Bush is definitely
putting himself out there in the Republican Party.

It`s a smart move because Jeb Bush is the guy in the Republican Party
who wants to have it really both ways. He says his father and Ronald
Reagan would be out of place in today`s conservative Republican Party. But
then he shows up as one of the featured speakers at CPAC this year?

Jeb Bush has remained popular in Florida, home to many -- and I mean
many Medicare and Social Security recipients. This is despite Bush`s
lobbying ties to one of the country`s biggest Medicare scam artists.

Then, you have Jeb Bush`s position on immigration, which is now
puzzling. He made his reputation on being one of the more moderate voices
on immigration policy in the Republican Party, until today.


BUSH: If we want to create an immigration policy that is going to
work, we can`t continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than
legal immigration.


SCHULTZ: So Bush is coming down hard against a pathway to citizenship
for undocumented immigrants. In a new book about immigration policy, Bush
and his co-author write, "Those who violated the law can remain but cannot
obtain a cherished fruits of citizenship."

In the book, Bush continues, he says, "A grant of citizenship is an
undeserving reward for conduct that we cannot afford to encourage.
However, illegal immigrants who wish to become citizens should have the
choice of returning to their native countries and applying through normal
immigration processes that now would be much more open than before."

This is a far cry from Jeb Bush`s position on a path to citizenship as
recently as a year ago.


BUSH: You have to deal with this issue. You can`t ignore it. And so
either a path to citizenship, which I would support, and that does put me
probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives, or a path to
legalization, a path to residency of some time.


SCHULTZ: Less than six months ago, reporters wrote headlines like
this -- Jeb Bush supports path to citizenship.

Today, it`s Jeb Bush, path to citizenship not need.

This flip-flop may look strange to the American mainstream, but for
Jeb Bush, I guess you would say it is necessary. It puts him further to
the right on immigration from Marco Rubio, and it puts him at odds with
Texas Governor Rick Perry who is I hope also considering another
presidential run.

Jeb Bush threw his hat in the ring today, not just for the
presidential election four years from now, but as the new voice of the
Republican Party -- someone that is going to get attention and who already
has Hispanic credibility.

Here is the trick: Jeb Bush can come out and talk out of both sides of
his mouth, which is certainly important in today`s climate.

One other thing to really consider, Democrats -- what Democrat is
going to have the power, the capability to defeat Jeb Bush in Florida if he
did ever get the Republican nomination? There is going to be over 600,000
registered Hispanics by 2016 in the state of Florida. It`s true that
Romney could have won Florida and still lost the election.

But things change all the time. Florida is a state the Republicans
would love to have. And the only probably Democrat that could beat Jeb
Bush in Florida arguably would be Hillary Clinton. Is that going to

Get your cell phones out. We want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will this country ever elect another Bush?

Text "A" for 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.

I am joined tonight by Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Democratic Party
in Broward County, Florida, and a member of the executive board of the
Democratic National Committee.

Also with us tonight, Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and
"Bloomberg View" columnist.

And Jim Moore, director of the Progress Texas PAC and author of
"Bush`s Brain."

Jim, you first tonight. You know the Bush family well. Is Jeb
definitely positioning himself to make a run in 2016 and become a strong
voice in the Republican Party to resurface as maybe a leader that they`re
desperately looking for?

JIM MOORE, PROGRESS TEXAS PAC: If so, Ed, he has made a big mistake.
I think this whole thing with immigration has been misguided. He is trying
to parse the issue and make the people on the far right happy, but also
suggest to Latinos and Hispanics that this is not something that is
negative from me.

The problem is he is suggesting if you give legal status to
undocumenteds, all they`re interested in is a paycheck. All they want from
America is some money. They don`t really care about our future, our
history, our dreams, our principles. They came to America.

And he is suggesting in fact once they get all the money they want,
they`re going to go home. And that is sort of diminishing the whole thing
for Hispanics. I think what he has done inadvertently is positioned
America as sort of an ATM to undocumented workers --


MOORE: -- and telling them to go ahead and go home when you`re done
with us.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, how can bush reconcile his new position on
immigration without being viewed as somebody caving to the Tea Party?

JONATHAN ALTER, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Well, I think it was a flip-flop that
he executed in order to put himself in a position to get the Republican
nomination the next time around, make himself a viable candidate, which he
already was. But it was a recognition that the base of the Republican
Party is still very nativist, anti-immigrant, and he would not have been
able to get nominated with his previous position.

But I think as Jim said, he has been too clever by half in doing this,
because Latinos look very closely at this issue. And they will feel
betrayed by Jeb Bush. And so, all of the support that he has built up all
these years by being fairly enlightened on this issue, he is just now
thrown away. That was not a smart move.

SCHULTZ: You bring up a great point, because Jeb Bush I think
disappointed Democrats who thought they had a Republican ally on

Here is a statement from Annette Taddeo-Goldstein of the Florida
Democratic Party. She says today it is deeply troubling that Governor Jeb
Bush has reversed his position on a pathway to citizenship and sided with
Tea Party extremists in order to advance his political ambitions. As a
Hispanic-American from Florida, it is sad to lose one of the few pro-
immigration Republicans left. Unfortunately, this reversal proves that
there will never be enough border security or big enough fence to satisfy
the Republican base."

Mitch, you`re in Florida. You know the state well. Is this a tough
day for Democrats as well who know that they have to have Republican allies
to get immigration reform done?

think we`re really afraid of Jeb Bush in Florida. You know, he was never
really vetted by the Tea Party pretty much. He was out of office. He has
been out of office for a number of years.

And what he is trying to do is ride the dynamic of, in effect, a new
Republican Party, a new Republican primary voter and effect a new Jeb Bush
to great the new normal. Well, as we know, there is nothing new about what
they`re doing. It`s certainly not normal to most Floridians or most

And I think he has made a great mis-calibration, if you will, because
people see through it. What is most interesting is the fact that Marco
Rubio, he has gone as you said, editor, the right of Marco Rubio, which in
most cases is kind of difficult and in effect, has staked himself out as a
competitor to Marco Rubio. I`m convinced as I`m sure most people are, they
won`t run against each other.

This is just an interesting first chapter.

SCHULTZ: Well, Jeb Bush Jr., the conversation in Florida is he may
run against newly elected congressman, Joe Garcia, which would be a
precursor to the dad saying, you know, I`d really like to get that
Republican nomination.

How influential is this? Is Jeb Bush Jr. going to run?

CEASAR: Well, I think it`s been talked bout since before the last
election, before Joe Garcia won. We think that`s not an easy district.
Joe Garcia did great. He is still doing very, very well.


CEASAR: That`s a serious challenge. But what we have to look at is
they`re using him in effect as a stalk horse for the Bush dynasty. And I
think that`s clearly what they`re attempting to do.

SCHULTZ: Here is Bush talking to Matt Lauer about a new tax revenue
in a budget deal. Listen to this.


BUSH: I think it`s a little hard to imagine after January where the
highest -- the biggest tax crease in American history took place, then go
back to say we have a revenue problem. I think the focus on --

LAUER: No wiggle room there at all?

BUSH: There may be. There may be if the president is sincere about
dealing with our structural problems.


SCHULTZ: Jonathan, isn`t this a no-no for the Republican Party to
concede that there might be some room on new taxes?

ALTER: No, that`s actually a smart position for him to take, because
all he is saying is let`s go back to what Mitt Romney was saying during the
debates, which was close tax loopholes.

One of the things that`s crazy about the John Boehner position right
now is it`s a repudiation of what Romney ran on last year. They`re
defining closing loopholes as somehow raising taxes when it`s not.

You know, just to go back to the basic flip-flop, it`s generally not
good politics to do this, Ed, because what it does is it undermines
people`s faith in your political consistency, in your basic political
profile of being a principled person. If you`re just flopping around.

It reminds me of what his father did many years ago, you know, George
H.W. Bush when he was in the Congress in `60s, his nickname was "rubbers",
as in condoms because he was so much in favor of birth control, Planned
Parenthood. He was on the board of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut.

And then he does a 180 when he goes on a ticket with Ronald Reagan and
suddenly is against abortion after being pro-choice.


ALTER: That did not help him with women. This will not help his son
with Latinos. Just because they liked him in the past doesn`t mean they`re
going to hike him in the future.


ALTER: And if they don`t like him, he doesn`t have a calling card and
he is not a particularly strong candidate.

SCHULTZ: And what about his timing? What about his timing in all of
this? Last year, Bush told Charlie Rose that he missed his chance to run
for president. Here it is.


CHARLIE ROSE, TV HOST: Have you made a decision that you do not want
to be president?

BUSH: I`ve not made that decision, although I think there is a window
of opportunity in life for all sorts of reasons, and this was probably my


SCHULTZ: Jim, you think he regrets not running in 2012?

MOORE: He didn`t really have a chance, because the country was real
tired of the Bushes after his brother. The problem for the Bush family
dynasty, Ed, that W. is the guy who won the state governorship here in
Texas. And anybody who wins in Texas is immediately considered a national

Jeb was always thought of as the smart Bush, which is a bit of a
condemnation in any community. But in this particular case, they thought
he would be the first one to run for president.

I think that he is probably going to run again. He sees himself --


MOORE: -- as the guy who is going to lead the Republicans out of the
wilderness in 2016. I doubt it, but he is going to run.

SCHULTZ: And is his other son already declare, George P. Bush in

MOORE: He has already said he is going to run. He is very much
acting like a Bush, trying to decide what office to run for. He hasn`t
talked about policy or principle. He is basically looking for what job he
is going to apply for. He is going to run.

ALTER: These folks are not the Kennedys, you know, Ed. They`re
acting like they`re the Kennedys, they`ve got this dynasty and everything.
It`s not the same.

We could have a titanic struggle between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush
in 2016. The press is going to be going, yes, let`s get that, and, you
know, let`s move to that story which would be wonderful for all of us.

But, you know, the premise of that is that the American people like
this family so much they want to put them back in the White House.

And we`re kind of -- I`d argue we`re kind of 0 for 2 with Bushes. And
I`m not sure Americans are going to want to try this again.

SCHULTZ: All right. Mitch Ceasar, Jonathan Alter, Jim Moore, great
to have you with us on THE ED SHOW tonight. Thanks so much.

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

Coming up, Mitt Romney is still trying to explain away his 47 percent
comments, and blames his loss on Obamacare. Katrina Vanden Heuvel of "The
Nation" will weigh in on Romney`s first post-election interview. Get over


SCHULTZ: John Boehner takes lying to a new level. The congressional
panel weighs in on the speaker`s latest attempt to pass the blame on the

And Dennis Rodman is back from North Korea with a message for the
White House? See how Washington is responding to the basketball star`s
trip, coming up.

Don`t forget, 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
on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Well, he has had time to reflect, yet Mitt Romney is still divorced
from reality. In an interview with Chris Wallace of FOX News, Romney
pointed to his failure to connect with minority voters as the real reason
for his loss.

Yet, Romney is still convinced that his messaging was the problem?
Really? Not his policies? OK.

Here is the former Republican nominee attempting to explain his 47
percent remarks.


ROMNEY: Yes, it was a very unfortunate statement that I made. It`s
not what I meant. I didn`t express myself as I wished I would have.

You know, when you speak in private, you don`t spend as much time
thinking about how something could be twisted and distorted and can come
out wrong and be used. But I did, and it was very harmful. What I said is
not what I believe.

Obviously, my whole campaign, my whole life has been devoted to
helping people, all the people. I care about all the people of the
country. But that hurt, there is no question that hurt, and did real
damage to my campaign.


SCHULTZ: When the story came out, why didn`t he say just that?

We all know that those 47 percent remarks weren`t just a one-time
gaffe. Romney made similar comments in a conference call to donors after
the election, blaming his loss on President Obama`s handing out gifts to
minority groups? Romney is still convinced that is the case.


ROMNEY: The president had the power of incumbency. Obamacare was
very attractive, particularly those without health insurance, and they came
out in large numbers to vote. So, that was part of a successful campaign.


SCHULTZ: So, get this -- the man who created Romneycare believes the
Affordable Care Act was Romney`s way of using patronage to secure votes?

But again, Romney asserts. His loss was a messaging issue, certainly
not a policy problem.


ROMNEY: The weakness that our campaign had and I had is we weren`t
effective at taking my message, primarily to the minority voters, to
Hispanic Americans, African-Americans, other minorities. That was a real

We did real well with a majority population, but not with minority
populations. And that was -- that was a failing. That was a real mistake.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Why do you think that was?

ROMNEY: Well, I think the Obamacare attractiveness and feature was
something we underestimated, particularly among lower incomes.


SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor, part
owner and publisher of "The Nation" magazine.

Great to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: What`s the purpose? I mean, you can go to anybody that
didn`t win an election, John Kerry, Al Gore --


SCHULTZ: -- Bob Dole.

This was a strange interview. What`s the purpose?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Not clear to me. The Romney revival tour?

I think he wanted to repeat that what he said is not what he believed,
Ed? I`m not sure. This is Mr. 47 percent. He is trying to say, as you
said, that it was the messaging.

No, it was very clearly, this election was, a mandate on policies that
a majority of Americans didn`t want. This man is speaking about how he
couldn`t connect with minorities as the great demographic shifts in this
country occur. Yes, if you talk about self deportation as the answer to
our immigration policy, I don`t think you`re going to connect well with
Latinos in this country.

SCHULTZ: Doesn`t the party -- maybe not so much in the next
candidate, because the party is going to have to address the mistakes that
were made by Romney. Doesn`t the party have to come forward with some
admission that it was wrong where they were on policy?

VANDEN HEUVEL: But here is what I don`t understand, because I think
this Romney interview is irrelevant. What stuns me, Ed, is that this
Republican Party doesn`t seem to understand a basic fundamental American
concept. Elections matter.

You have a Republican Party which continues a "scorched earth"
obstructionism after its policies have been repudiated. It sits in
Washington and tries to tell the American people that government is broken.

No, it`s not. It`s bought. The Republicans are butt even more than
the Democrats.

But their policies have failed. And the Republicans put up an example
of the most brazen excesses of vulture capitalism and still adhere to that
is a discrediting of a Republican Party that we need in this -- we need a
real Republican Party. But at the moment, it is white, male, pale, stale.

And even Jeb Bush is backtracking on his policies because they still
have the same billionaires running this party, Ed, and they`ve got the same

You can rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic but until they take a
really soul-searching hard look, this party is in deep trouble.

SCHULTZ: They`re convinced, the family is, the Romneys, they never
got a chance to show the real Mitt.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Give me a break. I mean, it is the most sort of tired
trope in American political history to do the blame the media.

Give me a break. The campaign kept him in lockdown. So he didn`t
really grapple with his Mormonism and his faith, nor did he really move to
try and explain his business success. They can`t have it both ways.

Ann Romney, with all respect for the wife of a defeated politician is
saying they got sort of, you know, run over by the media. The only media
that ran them over, Ed, was FOX, because they lived in a bubble of
delusional thinking --

SCHULTZ: Oh, yes.

VANDEN HEUVEL: -- that they were going to win and this and that.
Karl Rove election night, remind your viewers, he literally walked into the
control room to say no, we didn`t lose.

Yes, you did.

SCHULTZ: What do you make them believing that Obamacare sealed his

VANDEN HEUVEL: I find it ugly, because it is a kind of rerun of his
47, you know, moochers, takers, and makers. If the power of incumbency is
to provide universal health care, which we need to build on, to millions,
30 million Americans, if that`s patronage and corruption and giveaway, then
this man should -- particularly Romneycare, the man who created Romneycare,
should understand that this is part of American political life, and it`s a
reform that this country has fought for. And part of what millions need.

It`s still -- but he hasn`t given up on the 47 percent.


VANDEN HEUVEL: He says he wasn`t understood that like I said what I
didn`t believe? It is so Romney, because that`s part of why, you know, if
there is a tragedy to Romney, he reinvented himself and then he reinvented

And he made the flip-flop seem like a tired tactical move because he
flip-flopped so many times. There must be a new term for that.

SCHULTZ: Is the ego big enough for him to even think that maybe `16?
I know it`s crazy political talk.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But, you know, it`s not about Romney. You know that,
Ed. You know politics better than anyone. It`s about this party. They

SCHULTZ: They`ve got issues.

VANDEN HEUVEL: They`re looking for --


SCHULTZ: They have to disavow from what he is saying right there.


SCHULTZ: They have to admit --

VANDEN HEUVEL: And he knows that. He knows that. That`s why there
is a sadness. Defeated politicians are sad, too.

SCHULTZ: Katrina, good to have you with us.


SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.

The Dow Jones closes within 50 points of an all-time high. But
workers` wages are in the dumps. I`ve got some numbers for you next to
explain all of that.

And John Boehner thought that he could get away with lying about the
sequester on national television. He thought wrong. We`re calling him
out. And our congressional panel will do the same.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Well, the numbers are in, and I guess you could say it`s a golden age
for corporations. Corporate profits hit record highs, record highs in the
second half of 2012.

Today, the Dow closed at its highest level this year. In the
meantime, millions of Americans are stranded and still out of work.

THE ED SHOW`s vulture chart, I love it. It, of course, illustrates
the exploding income inequality in America over the last 30 years.

This chart doesn`t look too different. It shows how America`s
corporations have racked up historic profits while labor income remains
very sluggish. So as you can see, corporate profits were on the rise as
far back as 2003. They took a hit with the rest of the economy during
recession. But since the recovery, corporate profits, where have they
gone? Well, they have boomed, big-time.

Now the share of national income going to corporations is at its
highest level since 1950. And the amount going to individuals is near its
lowest since 1966. There are several ways to explain this lopsided
recovery. Well, technology. Yeah, technology is up. Corporations do more
with fewer workers.

Multinational corporations have done what? Well, they have outsourced
for cheaper labor. They don`t want to pay anybody. And the recession
caused the corporations to slash payrolls and keep wages stagnant. At the
same time, worker productivity went through the roof. Americans are afraid
to slack off because it`s hard to find another job.

So employees are doing more work for less money. This has kept
employment down while lifting corporate profits through the roof. The
bottom line in all of this, instead of investing these profits back into
the economy and hiring more Americans for -- and paying their workers to do
more, corporations are just sitting on the cash, enjoying the profits at
the top, concentrating the wealth. Corporations are choosing profits over
the American worker.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Even today there is no plan
from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.


SCHULTZ: The speaker gets busted speaking lies.


DAVID GREGORY, "MEET THE PRESS" MODERATOR: Speaker, that is just not


SCHULTZ: The Congressional panel tackles Boehner`s problem with the
truth. That`s next.

I`ll bring you the good news for Batman. Plus, you don`t want to miss
this buzzer beater.

The world is outraged at North Korea following their third nuclear
weapons test. But Dennis Rodman could care less.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you said you love Kim and think he is
awesome, were you aware of his threats to destroy the United States?


SCHULTZ: Eugene Robinson weighs in on Rodman`s visit to the rogue
state of North Korea.


SCHULTZ: Thanks for stay with us tonight. House Speaker John Boehner
is reaching a new low, and sometimes a lie is a lie no matter how you cut
it. Here is Speaker Boehner describing his meeting with President Obama to
try to avert the sequester.


BOEHNBER: But I`d asked the president and Senator Reid to come with a
plan to replace the sequester. And yet even today there is no plan from
Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.


SCHULTZ: Boehner is flat-out wrong. President Obama has had a plan
all along. It`s called "A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester." "Meet
the Press" moderator David Gregory confronted Boehner with the facts.


GREGORY: Speaker, that`s just not true. They`ve made it very clear,
as the president just did, that he has a plan that he has put forward that
involves entitlement cuts, that involves spending cuts, that you have made
a choice, as have Republicans, to leave tax loopholes in place. And you
would rather have those and live with all these --

BOEHNER: David, that`s just nonsense. If he had a plan, why wouldn`t
Senate Democrats go ahead and pass it?


SCHULTZ: Well, Boehner tried to push the same lie later in the


BOEHNER: Senate Democrats have done nothing. It`s time for them to


SCHULTZ: Well, the Boehner interview was taped on Friday. So he
would have known the Senate was planning to vote on two different plans.
The Democratic plan got a majority 51 vote, but not enough to overcome a
Republican filibuster. How about those rules, Harry? And of course the
Republican plan failed.

There is more. Speaker Boehner was asked about the effect of
sequestration on the economy.


BOEHNER: I don`t know whether it`s going to hurt the economy or not.
I don`t think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to


SCHULTZ: That is jaw-dropping. In an op-ed of "the Wall Street
Journal" on February 20th, not long ago, Boehner wrote "a week from now, a
dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S.
national security, thousands of jobs, and more."

I mean, he wrote that. And then he goes and says, well, I`m really
not sure what is going to happen with the economy. Which is it?

Let`s turn to Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey with us tonight,
and also Congresswoman Rosa Delauro of Connecticut and Congressman John
Larson of Connecticut as well. Great to have all of you with us tonight.

Rosa, you first. I mean, this is amazing. Boehner says that the
Democrats didn`t have a plan, but they obviously did. Are they just
counting on people not paying attention to this stuff?

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: I think they`re just in their own
universe. You pointed out, and it`s been pointed out over and over again,
the president has laid many plans at their doorstep to see what they might
be willing to do. Our colleague, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, introduced
a substitute in the House side. and quite frankly they wouldn`t even allow
it to come up.

They really want to go down this road of the sequester. And by the
way, if the speaker doesn`t know how bad this would be, all he needs to do
is listen to Ben Bernanke about what kind of an effect this would have on
economic recovery. All he has to do is listen to the National Association
of Business Economists, who said that sequestration is a bad idea.

But I would suggest to him that he talk to one of the 25,000 women who
is going to be unwilling -- unable to be able to get a breast or cervical
cancer screening, or a family whose child is going to be kicked off of Head
Start, or a woman or infant or a toddler who no longer are going to have
access --

SCHULTZ: Those are the effects to the economy that you`re saying.
There is no question about it.

DELAURO: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: But Congressman Larson, on one hand, he says he doesn`t know
what the effect is going to have. On the other hand, he has an op say,
gosh, we`re going to lose a bunch of jobs here. Which is it? Is he that
mixed up, or is he just trying to fool people?

REP. JOHN LARSON (D), CONNECTICUT: They never let the truth get in
the way of the real story. And that`s unfortunate for the speaker and for
the country. And what we have here, Ed -- and you`ve done a great job on
this show of pointing out, we don`t have a deficit crisis. We have a
health care crisis in this nation that needs to be solved. We don`t have a
problem -- a sequester problem. We have a jobs problem. We need to put
the country back to work.

And we`ve been in Congress now, and we haven`t met. They haven`t put
any plan forward. Most importantly they haven`t put any plan forward for
jobs. That`s what the real issue is out there with the American people.
The people are tired of this. They`re tired of all the games. They`re
tired of the lying. They`re tired of all of this.

They want to see results. They want to go back to work. They want us
to solve their problems.

SCHULTZ: How can one man have so much power in a representative
government? I mean, I think this is a bad lesson for America. You got
Republicans who retain control of the Congress, even though it had a nine
percent approval rating.

Congressman Pascrell, is Boehner making a political calculation that
he can ride this thing out with no personal downside, and just hope that
the public gets frustrated with the president?

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, the speaker likes to
embellish the truth. His middle name is embellishment, if not lies. The
fact is this: he just said in that same interview that you went to just a
few moments ago that what we should do is be cutting taxes, and that will
create those jobs. We went in 2001 and 2003, we had major tax cuts, mostly
for those wealthy in our country. And what happened? We were supposed to
have a creation of a 1,500,000 jobs. We lost millions and millions of
jobs, which led to the great recession of 2007 and 2008.

You can`t have it both ways. And what we need to be doing is
stimulating the economy and not coming to the end product, which they would
like us to do, and say all you have to do is cut programs and we`ll get
back to where we belong. Talk about phonies. They put up a budget that
supposedly is going to make things even, balance the budget in 10 years.
That budget was 40 years just last year. God knows what the heck cuts
they`re talking about for us in America.

We`re talking about the American people now.

SCHULTZ: Rosa, what is the conclusion here? What options does
President Obama have, other than to go out on the road and ask the American
people to put pressure on Republicans?

DELAURO: Well, the fact of the matter is that that is what we need to
do. And it has got to be the balanced approach, where you have to be
looking at what are the revenue sources.

SCHULTZ: They say no more revenue.

DELAURO: Listen, let`s just talk about spending. You want to talk
about closing those loopholes for oil and gas or the special interests?
That is spending. You want cut spending? It ought to be included in what
we view as spending cuts. And we ought to be cutting that. And that, in
fact, would give us additional revenue.

SCHULTZ: What if the Democrats asked the Republicans to identify one
loophole. I haven`t heard one.

PASCRELL: We can identify them.

LARSON: Not only can we identify them, Chris --


SCHULTZ: The Republicans have not identified one loophole that I`m
aware of.

DELAURO: Well, listen, it was the speaker who said not that long ago
that we could deal with about 800 billion dollars in closing down those
loopholes and reforming the tax code and the special interests. And yet
today they are unwilling to put one penny of that 800 billion dollars on
the table.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Larson, what about that?

LARSON: It`s absolutely true. But you have to take a look at this
thing. You know, I think that people give the speaker an awful lot of
credit that they don`t deserve. And that`s primarily because he is a
leader without followers. And it`s made this place dysfunctional. And
what we need to do is get back to work, get the country back to work
through jobs, and focus on the things that are important to the American

SCHULTZ: What are the options of the president, though, John? What
can he do other than ask --

LARSON: I think Rosa is right. You have to take this out to the
public and continue to get on the stump, because it`s the people that are
going to make a difference. They`re the ones that are going to emphasize
the change that are need. The hurt hasn`t been felt dramatically, but it
will be.


LARSON: The unfortunate thing is it shouldn`t be felt at all. We
should be focusing on putting the country back to work. That`s what is the
most disturbing thing.

SCHULTZ: Bill, your thoughts?

PASCRELL: I think that we have them where we want them. But the
American people aren`t at the right spot right now, because they`re trying
to figure this out. Look, there is some drama on both sides. We got to
get to the truth and not embellish the facts. They`ve done a great job
embellishing. What we need is to come back to reality. This is not
reality TV, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It is not. Bill Pascrell, Rosa Delauro and also John
Larson, greet to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, there is good news for Batman and bad news for Sarah Palin.
I`ll bring you the details next.


SCHULTZ: And we are back with the good and the bad. Tonight there is
good news and bad news. First, the good news from England, where a fat guy
in pajamas is fighting crime and bagging crooks. This is police footage
from a station house in Bradford, England. Batman vanished after turning
in the alleged thief on the right. The identity of the caped crusader is
still a mystery. So there is a chance it was actually Adam West? That
really happened, folks.

More bad news regarding those Harlem Shake videos. This one is from
way down under in Australia, where 15 gold miners got funky below the
Earth`s surface, except when the video was made public, the men were fired
for violating safety standards? Good video, bad news.

Great news out of New York, depending on which basketball team were
you rooting for on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edney to throw it in. Edney tosses it. It`s
knocked around,. And Mt. Vernon is going to hold on and win. Hold on, oh,
goodness! Are they going to count that?


SCHULTZ: Did it count? Yes, it did. Take a look at it again. New
Rochelle was down by two points when their inbounds pass was picked off.
Mt. Vernon tried to throw the ball into the air to kill the clock. But New
Rochelle stole it and hit a bomb for the game-winner. And actually, the
officials reversed the call. Best ending to a basketball game since
Hoosiers, don`t you think?

Finally, more bad news for CPAC and Sarah Palin. They were both
destroyed this weekend by former Bush aide Matthew Dowd.


diminishes their credibility as an organization. And they invite Sarah
Palin, who wasn`t competent enough to keep a Fox News contract? But she is
invited to a CPAC meeting?


SCHULTZ: I just want to be fair to Sarah Palin. She may be a little
rough around the edges, but the idea that there is actually a competency
requirement at Fox News is flat-out ridiculous.


BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you believe that Ohio has been


HUME: So you`re not saying that Obama isn`t going to win.


ROVE: No. I think this is premature.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have breaking news here on the fox news
channel. The individual mandate has been ruled unconstitutional.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I`m surprised. Because -- in that
case -- so through the use of the Commerce Clause, we can now mandate that
people buy things?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. He didn`t say you could use the Commerce
Clause. He said you could not use the Commerce Clause.



SCHULTZ: Oops. Tonight in our survey, I asked you, will this country
ever elect another Bush? Eight percent of you say yes; 92 percent of you
say no.

Coming up, Dennis Rodman shares drinks with one of the world`s most
dangerous leaders and brings home a message for President Obama. Eugene
Robinson will weigh in on Rodman`s North Korean visit, next.



And I say the same thing I said. Obama loves basketball. Let`s start


SCHULTZ: Tonight`s big finish, one of the most controversial sports
stars has befriended one of the world`s most controversial dictators, North
Korea`s Kim Jong Un. Really likes basketball. So he allowed Dennis Rodman
to visit the capital city with a film crew.

Rodman brought back this message for President Obama.


RODMAN: He want Obama to do one thing, call him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wants a call from President Obama?

RODMAN: That`s right. He told me that. He said if you can, Dennis,
I don`t want to do war. I don`t want to do war.


SCHULTZ: OK. I`m not sure we should take Dennis` word for it,

Peace-loving North Korea conducted its third nuclear test right before
Dennis Rodman`s visit, and now is working on a long-range missile. But
let`s forget about peace and talk about love. Here is Dennis Rodman again.


RODMAN: His country like him, not like him, love him. Love him.


SCHULTZ: Rodman and some Harlem Globetrotters got special tours of
North Korea`s best sites. They did not see this North Korea, where six
million people need food eighth aid; 19 percent of the babies are
malnourished; and most people make four bucks a day. Those statistics
explain why the State Department was not thrilled about watching Kim Jong
Un roll out the red carpet for Rodman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly you`ve got the regime spending money to
wine and dine foreign visitors when they should be feeding their own


SCHULTZ: So let`s get this straight. The United States has not held
formal talks with North Korea since 2005, but this guy gets a seat at the
table? Dennis Rodman, the player who head butted a ref and was once called
the Worm? The man who has always attracted attention for keeping strange
company might have finally outdone himself.

Let`s turn to Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political analyst and associate
editor, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for "the Washington Post."

OK. How bizarre is this?

weirder than this, Ed. I mean, Dennis Rodman has I think five NBA
championships. He has been defensive player of the year. He is in the
Hall of Fame. He is not going to be adding a Nobel Peace Prize to his list
of honors. It`s not going to happen. This was really bizarre.

SCHULTZ: Does this make North Korea look approachable to the rest of
the world? Is this good press for North Korea?

ROBINSON: Well, if you`re six foot, nine inch alien who used to play
basketball, yes, you can approach North Korea. No, it doesn`t. This is
completely divorced from reality. And the fact that Kim Jong Un is
conforming to the stereotype of him, which is of some sort of like spoiled
brat who likes basketball and runs the most totalitarian country on Earth,
and is threatening to launch nuclear weapons. If that`s approachable, I
don`t know what unapproachable is.

SCHULTZ: Well, Rodman says he loves him. Of course, there has been
strange connections between countries in the past to get the, quote, ball
rolling. For instance, Nixon in ping-pong with China back in the day. Was
this the proper response? I mean, I got some calls on the radio show today
saying maybe this might be an opening. Or is that just too goofy?

ROBINSON: Look, I am all in favor of people-to-people exchanges with
repressive countries because I think that helps. This was an alien-to-
alien exchange, OK? This was not people-to-people. This is -- There is
such an air of unreality to this. And there is so no way that this is
going to lead to some sort of -- President Obama is not going to call Kim
Jong Un and discuss whether the Heat is going to beat the Thunder in the
NBA Finals this year. It`s not going to happen.

SCHULTZ: Should Dennis Rodman offer to answer questions to the State


ROBINSON: I don`t think the State Department --

SCHULTZ: I had to ask that. I just had to ask it.

ROBINSON: Maybe they would have some interest in what he observed as
he went around North Korea, so they know a bit more about what is going on
in the country. But I would like to hear that conversation. I would love
a readout from that conversation.

SCHULTZ: They love basketball. He loves basketball. So I guess the
president could fill out his NBA bracket and Kim Jong Un could fill out his
NBA bracket. And of course, Rodman could deliver it to him.


SCHULTZ: This is one of the most bizarre international stories I
think we have seen come down the pike in a long, long time. And Rodman,
for him to go on "This Week" and play it serious even adds to how bizarre
it is. And he actually thinks that he might be some kind of an ambassador
in all of this.

ROBINSON: Exactly. He is taking this very seriously. He says just
call him. OK, just call him.

SCHULTZ: Give him a call.

ROBINSON: And it will all be OK. He does not want to do war, despite
the nuclear weapons.

SCHULTZ: I look forward to your column on this. I know there is one
coming. Eugene Robinson, great to have you on THE ED SHOW.

ROBINSON: It will be a short one.

SCHULTZ: Very short. Thank you. That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed
Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.


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