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updated 5/9/2012 3:36:25 PM ET 2012-05-09T19:36:25

Guests: Richard Wolffe, Eugene Robinson, Jon Soltz, E.J. Dionne, Senator Barbara Boxer, Kathleen Falk


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

Moments ago, President Obama addressed the nation on his surprise
visit to Afghanistan. The commander-in-chief talked about the death of
Osama bin Laden and America`s path forward. We`ll tell you what it all
means.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the battle is
not yet over, but there`s a light on the horizon because of the sacrifices
you`ve made.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): One year after the death of Osama bin Laden,
the president makes a surprise trip to Afghanistan, and Republicans are
still squirming.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You know the thing about heroes, they
don`t brag.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Eugene Robinson, and Richard Wolffe, on the
President`s trip and his big speech. John Soltz of Vote Vets on the
politics of killing Osama bin Laden.

Also, E.J. Dionne on the new Obama ad hitting Mitt Romney where it
hurts.

AD NARRATOR: It`s what you expect from a guy who had a Swiss bank
account.

SCHULTZ: Senator Barbara Boxer on the latest front in the Republican
war on women.

And in Wisconsin, Scott Walker is raising big money and bringing in
big friends.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The course that he pursued here
in Wisconsin tells you a great deal about this man`s character.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Democratic hopeful Kathleen Falk gives her plan to
defeat Scott Walker.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

President Obama`s surprise visit to Afghanistan was capped off by an
address to the nation moments ago. He used the anniversary of Osama bin
Laden`s death to remind Americans why we are there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Let us remember why we came here. It was here in Afghanistan
where Osama bin Laden established a safe haven for his terrorist
organization. It was here in Afghanistan where al Qaeda brought new
recruits, trained them and plotted acts of terror. It was here from within
these borders that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000
innocent men, women and children.

And so, 10 years ago, the United States and our allies went to war to
make sure that al Qaeda could never again use this country to launch
attacks against us. Despite initial success for a number of reasons, this
war has taken longer than most anticipated. In 2002, bin Laden and his
lieutenants escaped across the border and established safe haven in
Pakistan.

America spent nearly eight years fighting a different war in Iraq. Al
Qaeda`s extremist allies with Taliban have waged a brutal insurgency.

Over the last three years, the tide has turned. We broke the
Taliban`s momentum. We built strong Afghan security forces. We devastated
al Qaeda`s leadership, taking out over 20 of their top 30 leaders. One
year ago, from based here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation
that killed Osama bin Laden.

The goal that I set to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild
is now within our reach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president addressed the specifics of the troop drawdown
in Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions
will continue at a steady pace with more and more of our troops coming
home. As our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014, the Afghans will be
responsible for the security of their country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Earlier in the evening, President Obama and Afghan President
Hamid Karzai signed a 10-year strategic partnership. It begins when U.S.
combat operations end as scheduled in 2014. U.S. troops will remain in
Afghanistan through 2024 in a support role.

President Obama spoke about securing lasting peace in Afghanistan
through diplomatic means.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: My administration has been in discussion with the Taliban.
We`ve made it clear that they can be part of the future if they break with
al Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by Afghan laws.

Many members of the Taliban, from foot soldiers to leaders, have
indicated an interest in reconciliation. The path to peace is now set
before them. Those who refuse to walk it will face strong Afghan security
forces backed by the United States and our allies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president also spoke directly to Americans who are ready
for our combat role in foreign territories to end.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I recognize that many Americans are tired of war. As
president nothing is more wrenching than signing a letter to a family of
the fallen, or looking in the eyes of a child who will grow up without a
mother or a father.

I will not keep Americans in harm`s way a single day longer than is
absolutely required for our national security. But we must finish the job
we started in Afghanistan and end this war responsibly.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political
analyst, and Eugene Robinson, associate editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning
for "`The Washington Post" and MSNBC political analyst.

Gentlemen, there`s a lot to chew on here tonight.

I think, Richard, we got a very quick and short history lesson --

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, yes.

SCHULTZ: -- on what we did for eight years and oh, by the way, bin
Laden slipped out of Tora Bora in 2002. I thought the president was very
tactful in explaining that and making us remember what that was all about.

But is this way forward? Another two years as scheduled, and then the
question mark of the next 10 years. How much troops and how much money?
These are intangibles that have to be answered obviously by the Congress.

But I think the president laid it out in an acceptable way tonight,
even for liberals that didn`t want to be there.

WOLFFE: Right. Well, obviously, there are concerns that everyone has
about an open-ended commitment to Afghanistan in terms of nation building,
maybe not in terms of troops. But remember, the reason the Taliban had a
foothold in the first place because the international community walked away
when the Soviets left.

So, there is a legitimate goal that people have there about ensuring
that the Afghanistan doesn`t collapse into chaos. But the history lesson
is fascinating. This doesn`t start and end with 9/11 and al Qaeda. He
said Tora Bora or that he hinted at it. He talked about Iraq again,
hinting at it.

I don`t think there`s a Bush administration official out there who
wouldn`t bristle at that history. But it`s the real story of Afghanistan,
the real story, why we`ve been there for this long, why it took so long to
decimate al Qaeda`s leadership is because we took our eye off the ball.

SCHULTZ: Eugene Robinson, was it effective to point out that
Afghanistan is where the Osama bin Laden mission was launched from? You
know, it`s been quite a while. There are some Americans who need to be
reminded of all of this. I think it was also very tactfully done by the
president tonight to remind the country that he inherited all this, that he
stopped this war in Iraq and he`s on schedule to get it done in
Afghanistan. Your thoughts.

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it`s always
good to remind people of these historical facts. You know, the war is not
popular. Let`s face it right now, and the president seemed to me
substantively was trying to indicate that we`re turning a page.

He talked about the sunlight glistening off the new World Trade Center
tower in New York. A decade of war beginning in Afghanistan and it`s going
to end.

And so, I thought that was effective. But we`re going to see if that
page stayed turned. We`re putting a lot of faith and confidence in the
Karzai government in Afghanistan. And one thing the president didn`t
mention frankly is that one-third of our allied casualties here have been
caused by our friends in the Afghan forces.

So, there`s a long way to go before we sort of reach this post-war
period, I think.

SCHULTZ: Well, I don`t think there`s any doubt. You know, this is
going to be a heavy lift. I mean, the next two years are going to be
tough. In fact, the president speaking to the troops today saying, you
know, some of your buddies are going to die. There`s still a long road
ahead, but five-plan plan transitional move was, of course, transition and
support was the first thing the president was talking about and then the
Afghan security forces.

I mean, it`s been 10 years. Are they really capable of protecting
their own country? The other thing is partnership of working with
Afghanistan and then the negotiated piece.

And, Richard Wolffe, I found this very interesting -- negotiating with
the Taliban. I mean, the president basically is saying, you know, we got
to trust somebody in this region. And he`s talking about them having, you
know, reconciliation.

Is this trust really the right way to go? Do we have to do this?

WOLFFE: They`ve been approaching this very carefully. But just
overall, this is about as unlike as President Bush as you can imagine here.
First of all, there`s a time line. Remember how the Republicans didn`t
want a timeline on Iraq or anywhere else. It was apparently a signal of
surrender.

Secondly, this idea of negotiating with the arch enemy. It`s
realistic, the Taliban are the Afghan people. So, you know, what`s the
realistic plan here?

And, thirdly, by the way, all these expectations from Republicans that
this president will behave just like they did, that they would be the
spiking of the ball, the boasting. There was none of that, both in tone
and the specifics of this plan. This was a stark contrast from the last
war president we had.

SCHULTZ: Eugene Robinson, I think the president was speaking to the
Congress tonight as well. I mean, from 2014 to 2024, there`s going to have
to be some tough decisions to make. How many troops, how much money, and
what exactly are our operations going to be like?

I would doubt that we would lose over the next 12 years air
superiority over Afghanistan. Those troops obviously will be involved in
that. But there`s going to be rangers there. There`s going to be SEALs
there. There`s going to be military trainers.

What does that say to the American people?

ROBINSON: Well, I think you`re right. What it says to Congress and
extension to the American people is we`re going to have to fund this going
forward. It`s not going to be the burden in terms of treasure and lives
that perhaps it`s been over the last decade. But it`s going to be a cost.

He said something else to Congress and to the people. He talked about
how it`s now time to renew America. So, I think he was trying to signal
that yes, we are going to be doing some more nation-building in
Afghanistan, but let`s keep our eye on the nation-building that has to be
done here.

SCHULTZ: It`s very profound, you picked that up. The president
always trying to pivot to domestic concerns at the end of the speeches, and
here he is doing it again tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: As we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic
crisis at home, it`s time to renew America -- an America where our children
live free from fear and have the skills to claim their dreams, a united
America of grit and resilience, where sunlight glistens off soaring new
towers in downtown Manhattan and we build our future as one people, as one
nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Richard, was that effective and did it really mean
something?

WOLFFE: Well, I think he`s reaching for some rhetoric there. I mean,
there`s some nice images. You know, there`s something in the politics of
fear that he has long felt was out of place with the American spirit and
American optimism. That`s what we saw through the years after 9/11. Some
of it justified and some of it exploited for political reasons.

Remember, he`s going to go out there and ask the international
community to pay for the reconstruction as well.

SCHULTZ: Yes, he talked about the global consensus tonight and
sovereignty for Afghanistan. It was a big speech about respect too. We
have to respect what these people want to do.

But as we move forward, Eugene Robinson, how do the hawkish
Republicans react too this speech over the next 24 hours? I mean, I think
we`ve seen a shift today backing off on how they have handled the death of
bin Laden and the anniversary. How are they going to handle this?

ROBINSON: Well, I think smart Republicans will back off further. I
think to attack a president -- the speech of a president delivered in
hostile territory in the middle of a war zone is not good politics. So I
anticipate that prominent and smart Republicans probably will stand down
and some shrill voices will claim it`s all a campaign speech, it`s all a
campaign trip. But I don`t think they will get much traction.

SCHULTZ: This country has had it with war talk. And I don`t view
this as to be viewed overnight by a -- I guess with the intensity of maybe
an invasion. The drawdown is always much less dramatic, no question about
it.

But this is so long overdue. I mean, the polls have been out there
for years saying the American people don`t want anything to do with this
anymore. We`ve got to get out of here. And my first reaction tonight,
when I saw -- 2024, what does this mean? And I think there`s going to have
to be some explaining on exactly what that cost does mean because Americans
are sick and tired of seeing the money go overseas and I thought the
president in some fashion talked about that tonight.

Richard Wolffe, Eugene Robinson -- great to have you with us this
evening. Thanks for joining us.

Coming up, Mitt Romney and his supporters are doing a 180 on Osama bin
Laden. Yesterday, they were slamming the president. Today, well, it`s a
different story.

Iraq war veteran Jon Soltz of Vote Vets will join me later.

And also Mitt Romney claims he supports pay equity is silent on the
paycheck fairness act. It`s the Republicans latest attack on women.
Senator Barbara Boxer of California will join me for that subject. Stay
with us. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up: Republicans back off their attacks on President
Obama over national security. John Soltz is here with reaction, next.

The Obama campaign isn`t giving Mitt Romney the chance to shake an
etch-a-sketch on economic policy. We`ll show you their latest ad and I`ll
talk with "Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne.

And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie isn`t the only one out of state
getting support for Scott Walker. He`s getting in the recall fight now.
We`ll show you how much out of state cash he`s pulling in.

Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Republicans are getting beaten at their own game. The party
that talks tough on national security was criticizing the president for
talking tough on national security.

Here is John McCain on FOX last night talking about the killing of
Osama bin Laden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: Any president, Jimmy Carter, anybody, any president, would
have under those circumstances done the same thing. And to now take credit
for something that any president would do is indicative of the kind of
campaign we`re under -- we`re seeing.

I`ve had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. And you
know the thing about heroes -- they don`t brag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What a difference 24 hours make. McCain was asked about the
president`s trip to Afghanistan today. He said it was the right thing to
do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: I think it`s a good thing. I think it`s always good when the
president goes to where young men and women are in harms way.

REPORTER: So, this is not spiking the football in the end zone as he
said?

MCCAIN: No, I don`t -- I don`t think view it as that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It`s hard for Republicans to accuse President Obama of
politicizing bin Laden when Mitt Romney stopped by New York City for a
photo-op with Mr. 9/11, Rudy Giuliani. They used the first anniversary of
bin Laden`s death to visit a 9/11 firehouse. But Romney chose his words
about President Obama carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This, of course, is on the
anniversary of the day when Osama bin Laden finally was taken out, and we
respect and admire the many people who are part of that, from the president
who authorized that attack, to the intelligence committee that worked on it
for so many years to identify where he was, and, of course, to the members
of our armed services, particularly SEAL Team 6.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Where was that audio yesterday?

Somewhere between yesterday and today, the Republicans figured out
that they were playing a loser`s game politically. Mitt Romney looked
while Republicans criticized the president on the death of bin Laden.

The Obama camp has decided to be aggressive on national security and
keep telling the story. They are putting the president`s record out in
front and it`s working.

It would not be surprising if Republicans take national security off
the table in this election. They`re not off to a good start.

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

Tonight`s question: Does President Obama have the right to run on his
national security record? Text A for yes, text B for no, for no to 622639.
Our blog is there for you, waiting from a comment Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll
bring the results later on in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Jon Soltz, the chairman of VoteVets.org and an
Army captain who served in Iraq during the occupation, from May to
September of 2003.

Jon, good to have you with us tonight.

JON SOLTZ, VOTEVETS.ORG: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Is the Obama team justified in promoting the president`s
national security record? There`s been a lot of criticism especially
yesterday about politicizing the death of bin Laden. You, as an Army vet,
a captain, someone who served -- how do you feel about the conversation
that`s playing out right now?

SOLTZ: Well, from an outside observer standpoint -- you know,
obviously, it was different last year when I was in Iraq when he was killed
during my tour. I think the president has every right to do it. When
you`re on the ground in combat and someone comes and says, there`s a 40
percent chance that you could put your troops out in a mission and someone
could get killed, that`s a very serious conversation to have and it`s very
hard decision to make.

And I think there`s a lot of people, including Secretary Gates, who
wouldn`t have made that decision. I can`t tell you that I would have. I
mean, when you start talking about young American lives that are there, I
think it`s hard decision to make.

And I would he absolutely has a right to take credit for it. You
don`t have to look very farther. I mean, they keep invoking the name Jimmy
Carter. I mean, the reason John McCain wants to talk about Jimmy Carter is
because of Desert One and what happened in Iran. Bill Clinton paid a heavy
price for Black Hawk Down in Somalia.

Look, if that mission hadn`t worked, the Republicans have been all
over this president.

That fact is he`s taking credit for something that he did that they
couldn`t do for eight years. And they use 9/11. They used it in 2004 for
their convention, Ed. So, he has every right to take advantage for
something that he accomplished in a very gutsy call --

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: So, the very thing the Republicans are criticizing President
Obama for, you think, as a vet, from what you have seen, that the
Republicans have politicized military operations and military events for a
long time?

SOLTZ: Absolutely. I mean, George Bush -- look, the first time I
went to Iraq was May of 2003. And I was at the First Army Division and we
were in Kuwait. We just wanted to get into Iraq so we got out combat
patches. We wanted to get in before George Bush stood up on that aircraft
carrier with mission accomplished sign.

I mean, these guys are experts at using the military. They had the
Republican convention in New York in 2004 so they could use 9/11 as the
backdrop. They stood and did multiple props to talk about the end of the
Iraq war in 2003. These guys are experts.

It`s not just that they used it for their advantage, but they used to
attack Democrats for years. Like I said, Somalia. They don`t like to talk
about Beirut, but they`ll talk about Somalia. They`re going to talk about,
you know, what happened with Jimmy Carter in Desert One.

Look, this president is just taking credit for something that he did
that was a very hard decision. It was something the Republicans couldn`t
do. Look, George Bush had a chance to kill bin Laden in 2001 and he didn`t
have enough forces on the ground to conduct the mission properly. He chose
not to focus on Pakistan with the drones that this president has done. And
he chose to send, you know, five -- basically a five division commitment
which half our Army to Iraq for eight years to look for weapons of mass
destruction that weren`t there.

So, clearly, what this president is doing is highlighting his success
which he has ever right to do in an election year.

SCHULTZ: Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wrote this on
Twitter. "The special operators who have every right to spike the football
are too professional to do so. The White House might follow their lead."

Your response to that. Someone who served in the Iraq war as part of
Donald Rumsfeld`s army, how do you respond to that?

SOLTZ: I mean -- look, you know, I remember where I was at this time
last year because my father died and I was actually home on leave from
Iraq. And, you know, because we talk. Everybody in the Army talks and the
military and everyone was kind of relieved that bin Laden was killed. I
mean, it was something like, right, we accomplished something as a team.

You know, special operator community, it`s a private community. They
don`t talk a lot as is. They are very professional people.

I don`t think Donald Rumsfeld has any right to speculate on how they
feel or the military feels. I mean, everybody in the military was happy
that bin Laden was killed just like many Americans were.

I think the question Donald Rumsfeld should ask is why didn`t he do
it? You know, he had us invade Iraq. I don`t think he has the credibility
to take any cheap shot like that or certainly not to speculate on a
military that despises him. I mean, Donald Rumsfeld is one of most
despises secretary of defenses in the history of America. And the killing
of Osama bin Laden is something that`s very popular with the military.

SCHULTZ: Jon Soltz, VoteVets.org -- great to have you with us.

SOLTZ: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

President Obama`s poll numbers are rising and his campaign is going on
offense against his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. E.J. Dionne joins me.

And Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown wants to repeal Obamacare, even
though his own family benefits from the law. My commentary coming up.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back.

I think Democrats have been waiting for campaign like this for a long
time. The Obama campaign has Mitt Romney on the ropes early on. Romney is
reeling on national security, and President Obama is going after Romney now
on the economy.

If you`re a leftie and you support President Obama, you got to love
this ad. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AD NARRATOR: Over the top, erroneous, out of context. Big oils new
attack ad. President Obama`s clean energy initiatives have helped create
jobs for projects across America, not overseas.

What about Mitt Romney? As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs
to places like Mexico and China. As governor, he outsourced state jobs to
a call center in India. He`s still pushing tax breaks for companies that
ship jobs overseas.

It`s just what you`d expect from a guy who had a Swiss bank account.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Actually, if you`re an independent, you got to love that.

The ad is called "Swiss Bank Account," and it`s going up in Ohio, Iowa
and Virginia. The Obama campaign released this graphic showing where
Romney has bank accounts and trust funds all over the world.

And for the faint of heart who thinks it may be too soon for President
Obama to go on offense, you better think again.

George W. Bush defined John Kerry in August of 2004 and Kerry never
recovered. President Obama shouldn`t give Mitt Romney any breathing room
to pivot to the general election.

Of course, it helps when President Obama has a record to run on. No
doubt. The latest good news is this: Chrysler U.S. sales up 20 percent in
April. Chrysler sales aren`t the only thing that`s going up. President
Obama`s job approval rating during the month of April in Gallup`s daily
tracking poll, well, it was the highest it`s been since May of last year.

Today, Occupy Wall Street staged May Day protests around the world.
It`s another reminder of which candidate supports the one percent and which
candidate is with the 99 percenters.

Let`s turn to E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor, "Washington Post"
columnist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

E.J., Swiss bank accounts, overseas trust funds, that`s pretty clever,
isn`t it? Not many Americans have those things. It really makes a
separation between the middle class and who Romney is. Your thoughts?

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yeah. I think that some
campaigns are won early. Some are won late. I think President Obama is
trying to build up a lead now that he never gives up between now and
November. But even if it doesn`t work out that way, successful campaigns
of all kinds establish themes very early on that they stick with right till
the end.

The Bush campaign, as you suggested, started harping on John Kerry`s
"I voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it" really early and
they stuck with that. I think in this case, the whole notion of
outsourcing and then these Swiss Bank accounts are going to be with us as
part of an image they are trying to create with Romney. It will go with
two Cadillacs, "I like firing people."

I think it`s very important to working class voters. And white
working class had been one of President Obama`s weaknesses. And very
important in those key states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and
Michigan, plus Virginia down the road from here.

SCHULTZ: I just think this is a very aggressive start by President
Obama, with the national security conversation, the war on women, his
standing up for the middle class. And now, of course, this issue of going
after Mitt Romney and separating him away from the middle class. Have we
seen a Democrat run a campaign this early, this aggressive?

I got comments on the radio today, it`s about time. It seemed like
Clinton was always on the defense. He said it`s the economy, stupid, and
that kind of stuck. Never saw Michael Dukakis get like this or Jimmy
Carter, for that matter. I mean, for a modern day campaign, this is about
as aggressive as it gets. Isn`t it?

DIONNE: I think in some ways they are learning from Bill Clinton,
because Bill Clinton went aggressive, very early against Newt Gingrich and
the Republican Congress. Sounds familiar to our ears now, given what I
think the president is going to do on that now. It does a little bit in
that long online commercial he has.

But yes, it is unusual to see a Democrat go this aggressive this
early. But don`t forget that ad that you showed also goes after one of
those super PAC ads. I think he needs to go aggressive before there is so
much haze created by tens of millions of dollars in this super PAC ad
spending against him.

So it may be a little bit unusual, but I think this year, it`s
absolutely essential, because our air waves are going to be filled with a
lot of nasty stuff in the coming months.

SCHULTZ: Romney`s super PAC, speaking of that, is running an ad in
eight swing states. Here is part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many jobs did Barack Obama create as a
community organizer, as a law professor? Maybe now you see the problem.

Mitt Romney turned around dozens of American companies and helped
create thousands of jobs. He rescued an Olympics hit by scandal, took over
a state facing huge deficits. And he turned it around without raising
taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Pretty interesting how the ad, I guess you could say,
conveniently skips over the president`s jobs record, four million jobs
since he`s come into the Oval Office. No, he`s not going to create jobs as
a community organizer. Where were those numbers in that super PAC ad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the one hand, I think that`s a pretty good ad.
It`s a fairly good positive ad. We haven`t seen many positive Romney ads.
He spent so much time pummeling Santorum and Gingrich in the primaries.
But he makes himself vulnerable on this because he wants to say at some
times -- sometimes that his record with ban Bain Capital isn`t a legitimate
issue. We shouldn`t talk about the jobs that were destroyed in some of
those deals.

And he opens himself right up to that. Of course we know that the
Republicans in the primaries were saying wait a minute, he may not have
raised taxes, but there were fees and other things. So he opens himself up
for some attacks. You know what? Given some such negative ads, that one
looked relatively good.

SCHULTZ: Well, it did. But there was also a graphic up there that
said turned around dozens of American companies. I`d like to see that
list, these dozens. I keep hearing about Staples and a couple others.
Dozens, how many dozens versus the ones that were shut down and jobs that
were shipped overseas. I don`t think they`ll pull that one out.

E.J., great to have you with us. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to be.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no pay gap. Men, on average, work
eight to ten hours per week more than a woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Republicans have their head in the sand on equal pay for
women. Democrats are fighting back. Senator Barbara Boxer is next.

Senator Scott Brown`s hypocrisy on the health care law is stunning.
We`ll show you how he benefits from the law he wants to repeal.

And five weeks to election day. Scott Walker is swimming in out of
state cash. Now he`s calling in reinforcements.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We`re at a pivotal moment in
Wisconsin`s history and in our country`s history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Democratic Challenger Kathleen Falk is here with the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: It`s the next battle in the GOP`s war on women. Mitt Romney
is still trying to figure out where he stands. Senate Democrats will hold
a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The measure updates and strengthens
the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

It would ensure that women aren`t punished for seeking out information
about pay. It would also make employers prove that differences in the pay
are due to other reasons than gender.

The Republicans blocked the legislation two years ago. Paycheck
fairness complements the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which gives women more time
to file discrimination suits. Lilly Ledbetter herself remarked "giving
women the Ledbetter Act without paycheck fairness is like giving them the
nail without the hammer."

A woman makes just 77 cents for each dollar a man makes in this
country. Yet Republicans, they just aren`t buying it. Here is Romney`s
surrogate, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who voted against the
Ledbetter Act, trying to sell the GOP lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R), WA: The 77 percent number is
certainly misleading. It doesn`t tell the whole story. And when you
compare men and women in the same positions, with the same experience, the
same education, there is no pay gap.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Except that just isn`t true. Here is just one example: a
2010 study found that female MBAs, women who attend top schools, aspire to
the level of CEO and had no children, still made nearly 5,000 dollars less
than men who had the same qualifications in their first job. Even among
high potentials, without children, women`s -- men`s salary growth out paced
women`s.

Now this puts Mitt Romney in a real difficult spot. Romney has
previously said he supports pay equity, but would not say whether he would
sign the Ledbetter Act if he were president. Now Romney is silent on
paycheck fairness.

THE ED SHOW asked the Romney campaign today where the former governor
stands on this matter. They didn`t get back to us.

Joining me now is Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Senator, good
to have you with us. It`s been too long. Good to see you. Good to have
you on the program.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I`m just delighted.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Are you confident that Mitt Romney will support
the Paycheck Fairness and the Republicans will see the light?

BOXER: Which Mitt Romney? I have no clue. But here`s what I do
know: in 2009, the House passed this bill. Every single Republican senator
filibustered it, so never were able to take it up. We`re going at them
again.

Now all this talk about this isn`t true, there`s no differential is
just -- is just made up. You pointed out, Ed, all the facts. But they
don`t let the facts get in the way.

Ed, this is a huge economic issue for our families. I don`t know if
you`re aware of this, but because women only earn 77 cents for every dollar
earned by a man, every single year our families lose out on 200 billion
dollars. An average woman over her lifetime, because of pay
discrimination, will lose between 400,000 and two million dollars.

(CROSS TALK)

SCHULTZ: What do you think the Republicans are going to do? You
think they`re going to block this paycheck bill?

BOXER: I certainly hope not, because we have the facts on our side.
You`ve laid them out. I`ve laid them out. This is just a fact. Lilly
Ledbetter herself, who was on your show, what a wonderful woman. She was a
manager in a Goodyear Tire Plant. She did the exact work as her male
colleague.

He told her she was being discriminated against. So we have case
after case after case. And we need to make sure that the whistle blowers
who speak out about this are protected. That`s what this new law will do,
among other things.

Very important law. And I think they just may go along with it,
because they can`t stand up to this. There is a war on women. If they --
even this student loan situation, where we`re trying to get the interest
rates reduced. How does Boehner pay for it? He cuts women preventive
health. It`s unbelievable.

SCHULTZ: Senator, you serve on foreign relations and of course
there`s been -- there`s been quite a discussion as of late. I want your
reaction to the criticism and the Republican attacks that they`re putting
on President Obama right now on national security.

BOXER: Listen, President Obama made the key decision to go after the
man who was the mastermind of 9/11. I was there. And I voted to go after
him. I voted no to go into Iraq. I voted yes to go after bin Laden.

Let me just say, if George Bush had done that, he would have put on
that aviator suit. He would have made six banners mission accomplished,
and he would have flown all over the country, from the east to the west,
north to the south. And I would have applauded.

Our president is just telling the truth. Joe Biden is telling the
truth. Hillary Clinton, when they talked about that moment that President
Barack Obama had all the chips on the line, and he said we`re going to go
after the man who attacked us on our soil.

SCHULTZ: So you don`t think the president in any way shape or form is
politicizing this? And the Republican criticism is out of bounds?

BOXER: I hope he reminds people all the time. They are coming after
him with everything they have. And he has to tell the truth. He inherited
the worst recession since the Great Depression. He turned it around. It`s
tough going, but he`s doing it.

He saved the auto industry. He got Osama bin Laden. And fairness --
paycheck fairness. He has done so much. And I hope he just keeps on
telling the truth to the people. That`s what this election is about. Do
you want to trust this man again? I say the answer is yes.

SCHULTZ: Senator Barbara Boxer, California, great to have you on THE
ED SHOW. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

Next, Republicans Senator Scott Brown loves that his grown daughter
gets to stay on his health care plan until she`s 26. But he doesn`t want
the other Americans to enjoy the same protection. Stay with us. We`re
right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Republican Senator from Massachusetts Scott Brown is
continuing the great Republican tradition of blatant hypocrisy. Now Brown,
he ran for the late Ted Kennedy`s seat promising to be the 41st Republican
vote against health care. Well, he followed through once he got to
Washington.

Brown has voted three times to repeal the law. But he`s voting one
way and actually living another way. This year, Brown is up for re-
election. He once again is running against Obamacare. But at the same
time, his family is benefiting from one of the key components of the law.
Scott Brown`s 23-year-old daughter has health care coverage because of the
Affordable Care Act.

She is covered on his Congressional government insurance plan, under
the provision allowing children to stay on their parents` insurance until
the age of 26. Scott Brown defends his commitment to repealing Obamacare
by saying health insurance decisions should be up to the states. It`s the
same argument he used before he was elected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Where do you stand on health care?

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: It`s not good for Massachusetts.
We already have 98 percent of the people insured. And we`re going to cut
half a trillion from Medicare and then cut Tri-Care for military people,
and then have higher taxation, about a trillion dollars plus to pay for it.

Then we`re going to subsidize what other states have failed to do it.
It`s not good. I would be the 41st vote. I would actually stop it. And I
would ask for them to go back to the drawing board.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Brown is spewing the typical Republican attitude, denying
others benefits they enjoy themselves. And of course Scott Brown`s state
of Massachusetts already has a version of Obamacare thanks to Mitt Romney.
But Brown is determined to deny similar care to the rest of the country.

Coming up, Wisconsinites are just weeks away from deciding whether or
not to fire Governor Scott Walker. The governor is calling in
reinforcements from out of state. Kathleen Falk is in the running for the
Democratic nomination to take on the governor. She joins me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked does President Obama have
the right to run on his national security record? Ninety eight percent of
you said yes; two percent of you said no.

Coming up, the Wisconsin recall is in full swing. I`ll talk to
Democratic candidate Kathleen Falk about the race and how Democrats can
compete with Scott Walker`s cash. It`s a mountain full. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, five weeks from today, we`re
going to find out if Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker gets to keep his job
or not. And the union buster is doing all he can to survive. Today, he
brought in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I`m going to do everything I can to make sure that no
special interests from Washington, D.C. or within this state gets a free
ride taking a shot at Scott Walker. We`re going to decide in the next five
weeks that we are the people who can make the difference.

When we invest more in the America of tomorrow, then we will care
about sacrificing some of the America of today that we`ve earned and put in
our pockets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Really? When Chris Christie and Scott Walker talk about
sacrifice, what they really mean is public employees should sacrifice while
millionaires and corporations get all the tax breaks. And Chris Christie`s
not the only help Walker is getting from out of state.

Scott Walker has raised 13.2 million dollars so far this year. Only
about 4.4 million dollars has come from within the Badger State. Two-
thirds of Walker`s total haul came from out of state donors.

But not all of Walker`s cash is going toward his recall campaign. He
recently transferred 60,000 dollars to his criminal defense fund, which was
created to pay for his lawyers in the ongoing John Doe investigation
surrounding Walker`s time as Milwaukee County executive.

Walker has shelled out 230,000 dollars to law firms since January.
It`s amazing. Scott Walker, I mean, this guy can go around the country
raising millions of dollars. What does it say about the ideological bent
of his donors that they keep giving him money even though he`s paying
defense lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars? Amazing.

Going to be fun five weeks from tonight. I`m joined by Kathleen Falk.
She`s the former Dane County executive and Democratic candidate for
governor. Kathleen, good to have you with us tonight.

What is Chris Christie`s impact on this election, if anything, going
to be, especially after his state just lost 6,000 -- 11,600 jobs in the
month of March?

KATHLEEN FALK (D), CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF WISCONSIN: Ed, it only
reinforces out of touch Governor Walker is with us Wisconsinites, that if
he thinks bringing in another extreme far right governor is going to help
him. You know, the 13 million dollars that Governor Walker just reported,
and so much of it from out of state, like you just said, it`s like the far
right extreme is trying to use Wisconsin as a guinea pig for their agenda.

And it isn`t us in Wisconsin. As you know, Ed. You`ve been here with
us from the beginning. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: You`re only allowed to set up a criminal defense fund in
Wisconsin if you are going to be charged with a crime or you`re being
investigated for a crime. But yet Walker continues to raise millions of
dollars. Does that amaze you?

FALK: It amazes us here, because there`s a John Doe investigation
going on. As you just said, Ed, you`re only allowed to use your campaign
funds if you are somewhat subject to that kind of review. We continue and
I continue to say Governor Walker owes us an explanation about what he
knew, when he knew it and why he didn`t do anything about it?

It`s just one of the reasons this governor`s going to be recalled in
35 days.

SCHULTZ: How are you going to beat the money? How are the Democrats?
Whether it`s you or any other candidate, how are you going to beat some 20
million dollars since November?

FALK: Well, we have an army here. You`ve seen it, Ed. You`ve seen
it on the ground. Any time the political establishment for the last year
has said this recall would never get off the ground, you`ll never get
540,000 signatures. We`ve proved them wrong every single time.

SCHULTZ: It`s faith against money?

(CROSS TALK)

FALK: It is an army.

SCHULTZ: Democrats are also hitting Walker on repealing the Equal Pay
Act. The Democratic party is out with a number of ads on that. Are they
going to be effective in your opinion?

FALK: It`s real effective. I have spoken up. You know, it`s hard to
believe. I`m 60 years old. And I never thought in the year 2012 I`d be
have to fight these same old fights that I`ve been fighting my whole life.
To not -- men and women want women to have the opportunity to get justice
when they have not been paid fairly, this should not be a fight we have in
2012.

What better woman to end the war on women than a woman?

SCHULTZ: OK, Kathleen Falk, thank you for your time tonight. One
week from tonight is the Democratic primary. And five weeks from tonight
is the recall election.

Of course, we`ll be doing a lot about that leading up to the big
night. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts
right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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