1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 9/12/2012 11:07:25 AM ET 2012-09-12T15:07:25

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
September 11, 2012

Guests: Karrie Turner, Senator Sherrod Brown, Karen Lewis

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

Fifty-six days until the 2012 election. On a day where Americans
honor the heroes and victims of 9/11, one party just can`t put politics
aside.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This anniversary allows
us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter
dawn.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): As the nation mourns and remembers, Republicans
attack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president calls for a moment of silence, but
he doesn`t call for the word God. So some people are asking, why is God
being left out again?

SCHULTZ: FOX News, Dick Cheney, House Republicans and others use the
9/11 anniversary to attack the president. I`ll have commentary. Jonathan
Alter is here with reaction.

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If you can`t beat Barack Obama
with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down. Start new with
new people.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney has major problems inside his own tent. We`ll
tell you why the right wing buyer`s remorse is setting in so early.

Karl Rove and friends are getting desperate in Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Politicians like Sherrod Brown voted for
billions in new taxes.

SCHULTZ: We`ll ask Senator Sherrod Brown about his opponent`s dark
money controversy.

And on day two of the Chicago teachers strike, the union isn`t backing
down to the bully. The Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis is
here for an exclusive interview.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

The presidential candidates and their running mates put their
campaigns on hold to mark the somber anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
President Obama spoke this morning at a Pentagon Memorial ceremony where
one of the hijacked planes crashed 11 years ago today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We know that somewhere a son is growing up with his father`s
eyes and a daughter has her mother`s laugh, living reminders that those who
died are with us still.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president made a detour to Arlington National Cemetery
where casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are laid to rest.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, honoring
the victims of Flight 93 and their families. Biden drew upon his
experience with the loss of his wife and his infant daughter 30 years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My hope for you all
is that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes and you find
comfort as I have, genuine comfort, in recalling his smile, her laugh,
their touch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: In Wisconsin, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan met with
first responders and members of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. And Mitt
Romney spoke to a conference of the National Guard Association in Reno,
Nevada.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I would normally speak to a
gathering like this about the differences between my and my opponent`s
plans for military and for our national security. There is a time and
place for that. But this day is not that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Unfortunately, not all Republicans were on the same page as
the candidates. Several right wingers used 9/11 as a tool to attack
President Obama.

John McCain still bitter about his defeat four years ago went on a
rant about President Obama`s foreign policy experience on FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: This was the same president who has
pulled all of our troops out of Iraq without leaving a residual for us. I
have not seen a more feckless foreign policy since President Carter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: McCain is not alone in giving the president no credit for
any foreign policy accomplishments. Former New York City Rudy Giuliani
used his position as someone involved in 9/11 to attack the Obama
administration`s handling of Iranian leadership.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NYC MAYOR: There has to be a sense of urgency
about stopping them instead of this almost irrational desire to negotiate
with them. They have to be afraid of us if we`re going to stop them. I`m
not certain that`s the case right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: But the most petty attacks came from the FOX News hosts
themselves. Here`s what FOX News spent time talking about during this day
of remembrance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: Does the president of the United States call
on people to pray for those lives lost? No, he calls on people to observe
a moment of silence and then go out and do some community service. He
proclaims today as Patriot Day and national day of service and remembrance
and go perform community service to remember those who lost their lives.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS: He does say at the end of it that he
signs it on the 10th day of September in the year of our Lord -- so God is
mentioned there, but no mention of the word God anywhere in his message to
the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Not only is it petty, it`s untrue. The FOX bunch forgot to
mention President Bush`s Patriot Day proclamations which did not include
the word God either. And they also ignored one a proclamation by President
Obama from last Friday calling for a national day of prayer to commemorate
9/11 and asking Americans to unify through God`s grace.

It`s not surprising to see this kind of disrespect coming from FOX
News. But even Republican leaders in the House used 9/11 to beat up the
president over defense spending.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: The best thing that we can
do as a people to honor those individuals is to make sure that it never
happens again. And we have looming massive defense cuts that this House
has acted to substitute. The president should be called upon, asked, what
is his plan?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course, House Republicans agree to the defense cuts as
part of a debt deal last year.

But facts get in the way of a political attack on a day like this.
Then there`s Dick Cheney, the former vice president is no stranger to
politicizing 9/11. Eight years ago this month, he told America if John
Kerry is elected, "The danger is we`ll get hit again."

Now Cheney is making similar attacks against President Obama. "If
President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a
regular basis, perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at
his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden."

President Obama never took sole credit for the killing and the
president reviews his intelligence briefings every day. It`s shocking for
Dick Cheney to go down this road. An op-ed in "The New York Times" by Kurt
Eichenwald revealed negligence by the Bush administration when it came to
intelligence briefings in 2001.

"The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of an al Qaeda
attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1st, the Central Intelligence
Agency told the White House of a report that a group presently in the
United States was planning a terrorist operation."

No one can say the attacks of 9/11 could have been prevented and
further more, Democrats did not spend a day attacking Republicans on
national security. One thing Republicans proved today, that there is never
a day that they will take off from attacking the president of the United
States.

Joining me now is Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and
columnist for "Bloomberg View."

Why do Republicans think they are impressing, who they are impressing,
with people around the country, doing stuff like this and talking like
this?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, Ed, I just think
this is disgusting. I`m not sure there`s any other word for it.

This is a sacred day. More than 5,000 people lost their lives 11
years ago and to be politicizing it the way Dick Cheney started to do in
2008 and did it again today is just beneath contempt. He`s a twisted,
bitter old man who will never get a break from history. Even the most
right wing revisionist history will condemn Dick Cheney to the ash sheep
for the mistakes that he made in this period.

So you try to mitigate that in some small way, he`s making up stories
about the president, casting aspersions on a record that`s much better than
his own. You know, this administration has been tremendously successful in
dismantling al Qaeda. Not just through the drone attacks, but through
collaboration with our allies to cut off funding supplies and otherwise dry
up that wicked organization.

SCHULTZ: But they don`t talk about that. They talk about
intelligence briefings that President Obama is not paying attention. Why
was --

ALTER: This is just garbage.

SCHULTZ: It`s amazing.

ALTER: It`s garbage.

(CROSSTALK)

ALTER: And to do it on this day, it`s disgusting.

SCHULTZ: Do you think President Obama expected this?

ALTER: He expects it all now. He`s seen it all and he knows that
this kind of thing will take place.

Fortunately for him, he`s in a very strong position on national
security issues. He has a big lead in the polls when it comes to those
issues.

The Republicans made a terrible mistake. It was an oversight, but
nonetheless, it hurt them badly at their convention when Mitt Romney in his
acceptance speech didn`t even have the most elemental salute to the troops,
not a word about Afghanistan. Nothing about our men and women.

SCHULTZ: Do you think they are trying to get the Democrats to stop
talking about the accomplishments that they have had on national security?
Do you think that the Republicans are getting beat up so bad in this
campaign on national security they are trying some way to look for a
political opening here?

ALTER: Yes, they are going to the well, again, to try to get some of
that magic that they had in 2004 when they ran a 9/11 campaign basically
24/7 9/11, throughout the fall and they beat John Kerry that way. So, now,
even their economic arguments are failing, despite the anemic recovery,
they are throwing anything they can against the wall to see what sticks and
rifling through the old playbook to see if they can come up with something
that somehow tarnishes this president on national security.

But I don`t think they`re going to be successful, Ed. I just don`t
see this working for them and getting votes for them. Instead it just
makes them look small.

SCHULTZ: You know, we can look at some of the votes that some of the
Republicans have had when it comes to funding first responders. Paul Ryan
is one of them. Is that fair game? I mean, on a day like this, is this a
day you totally take off?

ALTER: I think it should be. It`s true that Paul Ryan voted against
money for first responders. I think that`s a legitimate political point to
make. If I were the Democrats, I wouldn`t have been pointing it out today.

Why not take one day off a year, just out of respect for the victims
of 9/11, for the first responders, for the people who have made ill by
going down and helping at Ground Zero. This is just not a day to land
political blows.

SCHULTZ: President Obama and, of course, Mitt Romney agreed to
suspend television ads today, but Karl Rove`s super PAC started a $2.6
million ad campaign in Virginia.

So here again, Citizens United working its way into the campaign
season in the most dishonorable way.

ALTER: Let`s make clear what they are trying to do in Virginia and in
some other areas that have a lot of military and retired military. Both
the Democrats and the Republicans agreed to this so-called sequestration,
where, you know, if there weren`t cuts in the budget, then there would be
steep automatic cuts in both domestic and defense spending.

That`s not actually going to happen, but what has happened is that
people like Paul Ryan, who voted in favor of this sequestration, are now
trying to make it seem as if it`s President Obama and President Obama
alone, without them, who favor these draconian cuts in the defense budget.

So they are running very simplistic ads in Virginia and other places,
trying to make it seem as if President Obama wants to strip our national
defense. It`s just another example of their desperation in making up
stories and lies in order to try to win the election.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks
so much.

ALTER: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, conservatives are starting to jump ship after a
really bad two weeks for Mitt Romney. We`re still eight weeks from the
election. Joan Walsh and Susan del Percio will join me next.

Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We`re still two months out from the election, but conservatives are
already jumping ship? Really?

Here`s Laura Ingraham on her radio show.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: If you can`t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut
down the party. Shut it down. Start new with new people.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: One of the biggest conservative voices of America. Laura
Ingraham, she wouldn`t stop there. She went further in blaming the Romney
camp this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Mitt Romney should be up by five, six points. For the
Romney campaign, you know, stick their heads in the sand, if they let just
business as usual. Keep going along the same path. I think that`s very
dangerous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The fear for conservatives is very real. President Obama is
even beating Mitt Romney on the economy in the latest poll. Mitt Romney`s
flip-flopping on health care this weekend didn`t win him any fans among
conservatives either. The editorial page of Rupert Murdoch`s "Wall Street
Journal" said Mr. Romney`s pre-existing calculation seems to be that he can
win the election without having to explain the economic moment or even his
own policies.

And this flap shows such vagueness carries its own political risks.
Rupert Murdoch himself has been tweeting advice. Romney must draw a clear
line, offer a specific path to restore the American dream, stop fearing far
right, which has nowhere else to go.

Rush Limbaugh seems to disagree. He wants Romney to stay right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think the Romney campaign is
going to have to make some changes. They are going to have to go
ideological.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Joan Walsh, editor at large for Salon.com,
and author of the book, "What`s the Matter with White People?" And Susan
del Percio with us tonight, Republican strategist and MSNBC contributor.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

Susan, I`ll go to you first. I believe that you said several weeks
ago in this program that if Mitt Romney were going to go to Paul Ryan, that
would be a big mistake. Congratulations. Where`s the campaign right now?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s the problem of the
campaign. Right now, the campaign is trying to decide should it be a
mandate on President Obama or should it be a bad choice. And when Mitt
Romney goes out there and shows a little bit of leg on something like
health care and says, well, maybe I`m for this and this, but not the whole
thing -- he`s got to decide, does he full monty or does he keep his clothes
on? I mean, he can`t go a little bit here or there.

SCHULTZ: So, where, Joan, are all the conservatives like Michele
Bachmann who have been running around for several years calling it
Obamacare, socialism and everything else, government takeover, where are
these conservatives? All of a sudden they are quiet.

WALSH: They`re quiet. They may be squawking more in the days to
come, Ed.

I mean, it`s interesting Susan said that Ryan was a bad pick. He was
a bad pick for a bunch of reasons. One of them it turns out now is that he
wasn`t chosen to stand for anything. When I was wrong, I was like, OK,
we`re going to have a real debate about two different directions for the
country. Paul Ryan`s budget, he believes these things. President Obama
believes different things. Mitt Romney is putting meat on the bones and
we`re going to have a real debate.

DEL PERCIO: I thought the same thing by the way.

WALSH: Whether you liked it or not, it seemed like a strategy.

But to pick Paul Ryan and then silence him and muzzle him, I thought
Ryan was more damaging to the ticket than Romney was on the Sunday shows
because if you don`t let him talk about what he believes, he was like Sarah
Palin, like gasping for air during those interviews. He really just didn`t
have an answer if he`s told to not to talk about what he believes.

DEL PERCIO: People expect him to be bland, if you will, just talk
about the numbers, here`s the facts, here`s what you need to know. We have
to make tough decisions.

SCHULTZ: How much of a political opening is it for the Democrats?
And actually, let`s say every Democrat across the country running right now
has to go home and defend Obamacare. The Democrats have accepted. We like
Obamacare. That`s what it is.

All right. First, they didn`t like that. But doesn`t it make it
easier to accept it and even sell it on the campaign trail when you have
Mitt Romney accepting some provisions that are working for Americans right
now?

DEL PERCIO: Well, to start with, when they were having this debate a
few years ago, there were provisions that Republicans did agree with, the
ones actually that Mitt Romney sought. The problem is that when you go in
and say, I`m going to repeal Obamacare and leave it as a finite thing and
then come back and say, except for these things, you have to go and say,
all right, what about all the other things.

So, you have to deliver everything. I think congressional races and
senate races will be in a different circumstance. I think they can still
go back to their districts and say this is what I stand for and not worry
about that.

But Romney is sending a mixed message out there.

SCHULTZ: Joan, is it over the top for conservatives to be predicting
the end of the Republican Party if they don`t win this election?

WALSH: It`s probably over the top. But I think it`s going to be a
difficult mandate or lack of mandate to interpret, because if you went hard
right, we can say we went too far to the right. The Tea Party is a
disaster. You can`t really say that.

If he was moderate and if he ran as the Massachusetts moderate who
brought the health care, then you`d have the Tea Party people saying we
don`t want a moderate. But now there`s a battle over God knows what.

DEL PERCIO: Well, I just think that maybe at the end of the day,
either way if Romney wins or not, it becomes a campaign that we have to now
talk about governance and compromise and getting things done. So, I think
that`s hopefully what comes out of this.

SCHULTZ: So can we come to the conclusion that the Republican Party
really has an identity crisis right now? They just cannot find the middle
at all. They can`t find moderates.

Moderates in the Republican Party are threatened by being primaried.
They are being threatened by, oh, you got to sign this petition and pledge.
And, oh, by the way, if you`re not far right enough, you`re not going to
get enough money. I mean, they --

DEL PERCIO: We`re not even talking about moderates. We`re talking
about conservatives that aren`t conservative enough. I mean --

SCHULTZ: So is this stuff down the road after this election? Ahead
of the horse a little bit, but I mean, this is what really spawns a third
party, isn`t it?

WALSH: It could be. It`s hard to get a third party off the ground
although it has been done. We had Whigs, you know?

But I think what`s really happening, the shocking thing -- there are
two shocking things in that "Washington Post" poll. One is that the
American people, two-thirds of them want Romney to say more. They`re --
it`s not just the rest of us. It`s really the people.

The other thing is Barack Obama is winning on every single issue,
including the economy, including taxes except for the deficit. Romney has
a little bit of an edge. He`s winning the table.

SCHULTZ: Finally, how demoralized are Republicans now?

DEL PERCIO: I don`t think they are nearly. I`m not buying into that.
They are very energized. This is going to be a base election. There`s no
doubt about it.

And it`s going to be a close election.

SCHULTZ: OK.

DEL PERCIO: If President Obama`s team wants to hit the road and take
a few weeks off, you know, go ahead.

WALSH: Right.

SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, Susan del Percio, great to have you with us
tonight. Thanks so much.

After saying that he likes some parts of Obamacare, Mitt Romney now
says he will repeal all of it. Next, I will talk to a mother who says her
family will be devastated if Mitt Romney gets his wish. You won`t want to
miss this.

Then, dark money and the down ticket races. A Tea Party Republican is
trying to win in Ohio. Find out why his wealthy friends are so worried
about Senator Sherrod Brown, when we come back.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

After repeatedly vowing to repeal Obamacare as president, over the
weekend, Mitt Romney admitted he actually likes parts of the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course,
there are a number of things I like in health care reform I`m going to put
in place. One is to make sure that those with preexisting conditions can
get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals
to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might
like.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And a day later, Romney was back pedaling on a right-wing
radio show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Of course, I`m going to repeal Obamacare. I have said that
on the campaign trail I think every single day. Obamacare must be repealed
in its entirety.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now what? Now what? What do you think of that?

Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have a devastating impact on
millions of hard-working Americans. Folks like the Turner family out of
Ohio.

Craig Turner is a steel worker. He`s able to provide health insurance
for his family through his job. But even with a good health care insurance
plan, the Turners were forced to fend for themselves when their son Travis
got sick.

Travis was just nine months old when he was diagnosed with a rare form
of liver cancer. He was placed in intensive care, required a ventilator
and chemotherapy and had most of his liver removed.

Travis was kicked off his father`s insurance plan because after three
months, his care had had reached the one-million dollar cap set by the
company.

Here`s Travis`s mom and dad sharing their story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRAIG TURNER, FATHER: A million dollars seems like a lot of money
that you`d never think you`d exceed that in a lifetime, but my son exceeded
that in three months.

KARRIE TURNER, MOTHER: You think you`re working, you`re paying for
insurance, you`re going to be covered. They just got an illness they
couldn`t help and it`s not fair to take away their insurance or to tell
them they can never be on insurance again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Turner family was helped by the Affordable Care Act.
Insurance companies can no longer deny kids like Travis. They can`t put a
lifetime cap on health care either.

Travis is back on his family`s insurance. He`s had a liver
transplant, is in remission and is now in first grade. Quite a story.

THE ED SHOW reached out to the Romney campaign about the former
governor`s position on insurance caps. Here`s what they told us.

"Governor Romney empowers people to own their own insurance, so that
they can choose a plan with the type of coverage they want."

Joining me tonight is Travis Turner and his mom Karrie Turner. Thanks
to both of you for joining us tonight.

Karrie, appreciate your time very much. This has been a long ordeal.
And just tell us, what did the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, do for you?
How did that turn things around for you?

KARRIE TURNER, SON HELPED BY OBAMACARE: Just this year, Travis was
put back on our insurance plan. It has made his care, his hospital visits,
getting medication, the monthly lab draws much easier. There`s a lot less,
you know, fighting and getting pre-authorizations. And we can just take
care of Travis and do what we need to do without all the extra hassle.

SCHULTZ: What did it feel like going through that cap, and then
finding out there`s no more insurance money there? What was that like?

K. TURNER: I never even imagined that ever happening. I mean, who
imagines you`re going to reach a million dollars at one-year-old. But it
was devastating. And what we thought is we had to do what we had to do to
take care of Travis and get him the care he need.

So, you know, hearing Obama was going to pass the Affordable Care Act,
that was huge for us.

SCHULTZ: What would you say to families that aren`t quite convinced
that the Affordable Care Act was the right thing to do, after what you`ve
gone through?

K. TURNER: You know, you just have to -- this is why I`m sharing my
story. They need to hear real life stories from real life people, and
realize that, you know, this happens to very young children. And for them
to never be able to have insurance again is just not fair.

And I think it`s a step backwards and a step in the wrong direction.

SCHULTZ: What would happen to your family if the law was repealed?
There`s politicians in Washington stay saying they want to get rid of
Obamacare. We just played a soundbite of one of the candidates. What
would that do to your family?

K. TURNER: It would be devastating. It would be like giving
somebody a present and then taking it right back. You know, it would bring
back more stress and more worry after, you know, getting it back and having
this happy feeling. It would just knock us right down to the ground again.

SCHULTZ: Were there times in your life that you thought that Travis
wasn`t going to make it to the first grade?

K. TURNER: There were many times. Just a few days into the illness
actually, he went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, thanks to the great
surgeons, they saved him. Even when he had his resection (ph), there were
complications and he pulled through that as well. So to get where he has
gotten has been nothing shy of a miracle. And we`re just really proud of
him. He`s a fighter.

SCHULTZ: Karrie, how is Travis doing today?

K. TURNER: He`s doing great. He`s going to be eight in December.
He just started first grade. And you know, he knows nothing else. He`s
loving life and he`s being a kid just like he should be. And I think
that`s great. I don`t think he should have to worry about things like
this. And that`s why I`m his voice right now.

SCHULTZ: Karrie turner, God bless you. God bless you and your
family. It`s a moving story. And it`s one that needs to be told to
America. I appreciate you coming on THE ED SHOW tonight. Thanks so much.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go, fans. Sherrod Brown steps on the
field.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: There`s no bigger target for Karl Rove and his allies than
Senator Sherrod Brown in Ohio. We`ll look at the race with the senator
himself, next.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson says he`ll spend 100 million dollars to
get Romney elected. New analysis shows he`ll get a two billion dollar
return on his investment if Romney gets the White House. That report ahead

And new polling says the people of Chicago support their teachers.
Their union president joins me tonight for an exclusive interview.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight. Six months ago,
Republicans were feeling pretty good about taking back control of the
Senate. Not anymore. Democrats in some key states could ruin the
Republican plan for a takeover.

One of those crucial races obviously is in the state of the Buckeye
State of Ohio. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown is fighting off Tea Party
Republican Josh Mandel. So far, Brown is in the lead. A Quinnipiac poll
shows Senator Brown still ahead by seven points. That`s down from 51
percent in early August.

A new poll out today shows Senator Brown maintains an eight-point lead
over Mandel. This is why he`s still a threat: dark money campaign ads.
One super PAC has reportedly spent more than a million dollars on pro-
Republican ads in Ohio so far. Democrats say Republicans have spent 15
million dollars against Senator Sherrod Brown just this year.

Mandel has tried to distance himself from those negative ads, but he
repeats their attacks on the campaign trail. Here`s what he tells fellow
Tea Partiers about Sherrod Brown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH MANDEL (R), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: Never met a tax he didn`t
hike. Never met a regulation he didn`t like. Thinks the Constitution is a
living, breathing document. Tramples on our freedoms. Says the government
is the engine of job creation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Here`s the bottom line: Josh Mandel says he`s against all
government regulations. He`s against TARP. And he`s against the
automobile loan rescue. But when the editorial board of "The Cleveland
Plain Dealer" pressed him for specifics on job creation and health care
reform he said, "I think there`s some issues that I`d like to wait until
I`m a senator and deal with them in a bipartisan way."

So voters are just going to have to wait until Mandel`s elected, if he
gets elected, to find out just how he plans to create jobs in Ohio or maybe
even any other issue, for that matter. Joining me tonight is Ohio Senator
Sherrod Brown here on THE ED SHOW.

Senator, good to have you with us.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Good to be back.

SCHULTZ: This has bee -- I spoke with Chris Redfern today of the
Ohio Democratic Party. This has been a financial slaughter against you, an
onslaught of cash. Why are they after you so much? Why are you attracting
more dollars than any other Democratic senator?

BROWN: I think they spent 17 million -- I know they spent 17
million. I think that people are starting to ask that question. I think
that people are starting to understand that it`s Wall Street money because
of my legislation to break up the big banks. I think it`s China money and
corporate outsourcing money, because I have gone after the Chinese on
leveling the playing field on currency and got our bill through the House
last year -- or got our bill through the Senate. We need to get it through
the House.

And I think it`s oil company money, clearly, because I have taken on
the oil interests on taking away their tax breaks. So it`s pretty clear
why they are in the state, why they`re spending that much money. I`m a
progressive. I`m proud of that. I will continue to fight it. In the end,
it`s whose side are you on? I`m on the side of the middle class, and on
the side of giving opportunity to those who aspire to be in the middle
class.

SCHULTZ: Your opponent calls you a liberal and a hyper partisan.
How do you respond to that?

BROWN: I think it`s -- talk about what matters to people`s lives.
This auto rescue has been huge for the state of Ohio. We celebrated this
weekend two years of the Chevy Cruze, a car -- a best-selling Chevy that`s
made mostly in Ohio. We`re seeing the president`s enforcing and we`re
enforcing trade rules. We have a new steel mill in northeast Ohio,
something that surprises people.

I`m clearly on the side of the middle class, clearly fighting for
those issues, against this kind of money. And when Sheldon Adelson and the
Koch Brothers and those groups and Exxon and all dump 17 million in a state
going after somebody, you know what it`s all about. That`s why we have now
-- we`ve had over 400,000 people signed my website, SherrodBrown.com,
signed our petition to overturn Citizens United for a constitutional
amendment.

We`re fighting them on the grass roots level. That`s how we beat this
big money. We have 80,000 people that have contributed to my campaign,
compared to a small number of people that have given tens of millions of
dollars to Citizens United and all these super PACs.

SCHULTZ: There`s been an attack on labor unions in this country.
There`s no question about it. We have seen radical governors do it. The
Democrats have been looking for voices that support labor. We all know
that Ted Kennedy carried that torch for many, many years. There`s you.
There`s Bernie Sanders. There`s a few others. But you two really are the
ones that are really out there for workers in a big, big way.

Is this part of it? And by the way, your opponent called you un-
American and says that you should be ashamed of voting for the automobile
rescue. I know I`m throwing a lot at you here, but when I heard that and I
saw that, I couldn`t believe it.

How could anybody in Ohio vote for somebody who would be against jobs?
Because that`s exactly what this automobile loan was all about.

BROWN: And the other senator from Ohio in those days, back when we
did the auto rescue in `09 -- `08 and `09, George Voinovich, Republican
from Cleveland, he supported the auto rescue.

It`s clear my opponent is so out of touch on the automobile rescue.
But so out of touch on middle class issues. We defeated, as you know,
because you spent time at that fire house in Columbus and you were on the
air all the time all the time about our fight collective bargaining rights.
First time -- only time in American history when collective bargaining
rights were on a statewide ballot. We won by 22 points.

Not because 50 percent or 60 percent of Ohioans belong to labor
unions, but because people understood that an attack on collective
bargaining rights is an attack on the middle class. That`s what all that
was about. That`s what these elections are about. Whose side are you on
in this?

SCHULTZ: Senator, the last thing you need is voter suppression. Are
you confident that Ohio is going to be able to overcome the shenanigans of
the Republicans? And how is this going to affect your race?

BROWN: Yes, I`m confident. They -- after the election in 2010, they
went after collective bargaining rights. They went after women`s rights.
And they went after voter rights. We`re going to win this year because
we`re well organized and are going to figure out how to get people to the
polls in big numbers. People are ready to vote as they were in 2011 on
collective bargaining.

And we`re going to overcome the money. They are going after us with
big money. They`re going after us by trying to suppress the vote. That`s
why people coming on to SherrodBrown.com and helping us out will really
matter. Because it`s all about grass roots blunting that 17 million
dollars in Ohio, outside money coming at me. I appreciate that.

SCHULTZ: Senator, good luck to you. It`s a heck of a battle. They
are coming after you. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown with us here on THE ED
SHOW. Thanks so much.

Republican groups are also pouring money into Montana`s senate race.
Tomorrow night, we`re going to talk to Senator Jon Tester about his fight
against outside interests and why he`s making the GOP so nervous lately.

Still to come on THE ED SHOW, Sheldon Adelson says he`ll spend 100
million dollars to elect Mitt Romney. A new report says he could make a
2,000 percent return on that investment if Mitt Romney is elected
president. I`ll break down the numbers. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In our post-Citizens United
democracy, billionaires like the Koch Brothers and casino mogul Sheldon
Adelson -- well, they really are, in a sense, taking over this country, if
you look at it. They got a lot of influence and they can afford it. And
Sheldon Adelson has vowed to spend as much as 100 million dollars to defeat
President Obama in November. Don`t you think that`s a lot of cash? I do.

But it`s nothing compared what Adelson stands to make if there`s a
Romney presidency. A new report from the Center For American Progress
Action Fund finds that Adelson could turn his 100 million dollar investment
into a two billion dollar tax cut if Romney is elected.

So you know what we have to do. We have to break down the numbers.
Here it is. Romney`s plan would cut the top individual tax rate from 35 to
28 percent. That`s 1.5 million dollars each year on executive pension.
Romney`s plan would keep the 15 percent tax rate on corporate dividends.
That`s 119 million dollars on a single year`s worth of dividends.

Romney`s plan would provide a permanent tax exemption for corporate
overseas profits. That`s 300 million dollars each year. Romney`s plan
would provide a tax holiday for untaxed overseas profits. That`s 600
million dollars.

Add it all up, and over four years, Adelson`s total tax cuts would add
up to 2.3 billion dollars, a 2,200 percent return on his investment. Now
add in the 8.9 billion dollars Adelson heirs would save if Romney
eliminates the estate tax. And the grand total, my friends, is 11.1
billion dollars, an 11,000 percent return on his investment -- excuse me,
on his initial investment.

Under the Romney plan, the burden of tax cuts for billionaires like
Sheldon Adelson would fall on middle class Americans, families whose
incomes are less than 200,000 dollars. They would see an average tax
increase of more than 2,000 dollars.

Coming up, public school teachers in Chicago continue their strike.
And it looks like there is no end in sight. The president of the Chicago
Teachers Union, Karen Lewis, joins us for the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, public school teachers
continue their strike in the city of Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union
and school board officials failed to hammer out a contract on day two of
the strike. A spokeswoman for the Teachers Union said today that there`s
still a considerable way to go.

Meanwhile, new polling is looking good for the teachers; 47 percent of
voters support the strike, while only 39 percent oppose it. A number of
major issues are still on the table. However, teacher evaluations appear
to be the hot issue.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the school board want teachers evaluated on
their student`s standardized test scores. Teachers argue the new
evaluation system is very unreliable. They say it`s unfairly targeting
teachers in struggling neighborhoods because outside issues harm students`
test scores, like violence and hunger and the home life, which can be
pretty tough in Chicago, in some areas of the city.

The evaluation system is so flawed, professors from 16 universities in
Chicago sent the mayor a letter warning against it. Critics say this is a
plot by Rahm Emanuel and the school board to make a move towards more
charter schools. Since Rahm Emanuel was elected, he`s stepped all over the
teachers of Chicago. He`s canceled their four percent pay rise. He`s
extended their days in school. He`s pushed for charter schools.

And now he`s trying to fire good teachers with a bogus evaluation
system. What is he? Rahm Emanuel, in my opinion, is a school bully. And
teachers of Chicago have had very little voice in all of this and are doing
the right thing by standing up. And I think the country is watching what`s
happening to these teachers because public education in this country is
under attack. And teachers, whether they`re in a union or not, are being
vilified by those in power because they claim they are making too much
money.

This is not about money. This is about working conditions. This is
about for the students. And it`s about fairness.

Let`s bring in Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union,
just out of the negotiations to join us tonight. Karen, any progress? Has
it been made at the negotiating table? What`s the latest?

KAREN LEWIS, PRES., CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION: There`s been some
movement on the cut scores. We were having problems with it. We were able
to show them where there were some real major flaws that a person could
actually be quite OK and actually good as a teacher and still get a flawed
evaluation.

Look, we want people to understand that the evaluation system that we
currently have is flawed too. We don`t like it. It doesn`t help us
improve. And what we`re looking for is an evaluation system that gives us
the feedback we need to get better and to improve, but also gives us an
opportunity to work towards helping children go in a different direction
than just test prep.

SCHULTZ: But what you have in Chicago are neighborhoods that have
got schools that just don`t have the resources that other schools have,
which puts double the pressure on the teachers to be able to produce the
product that`s going to score well on the test. Do I have that right?

LEWIS: Yes, but in addition is that some teachers who don`t teach
subjects that are tested will get a school wide value added score, which
again, not only do they not have any control over, it`s really a big
problem. You know how things are in terms of the violence in Chicago and
what we have been through this past summer.

SCHULTZ: So is Mayor Emanuel putting his political agenda in front
of the teachers and students of this city?

LEWIS: I think there`s an ideological problem. There`s this idea
that the school system is full of bad teachers. And I think that`s what
people want to believe. And I think it`s easy for them to believe, because
they look at, quote, unquote, student outcomes.

What they do not realize is that there are enormous pressures on
teachers and students and the working conditions. Want to talk about the
fact that we have -- a vast majority of our schools that are open in the
summer do not have air-conditioning in the classrooms. We have a variety
of issues along with not having the appropriate social services.

We only have 325 social workers in a city that has 400,000 students.
That`s absolutely unacceptable.

SCHULTZ: And the secretary of education, Arne Duncan, weighed in on
this today, a rather lengthy statement. But if you could just quickly tell
us, his involvement, has it helped or hurt?

LEWIS: Well, you know, as you know, Arne Duncan was the CEO here in
Chicago before he went to become the department of education secretary.

SCHULTZ: Is he part of the problem?

LEWIS: I think his policies are harmful to children. I don`t think
they help. I think they sound good on paper, but I think when you see what
happens in practice, we have a lot of problems with it. It`s not just in
Chicago. This is a nationwide struggle, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Real quickly here, I`m out of time. Are your teachers
prepared to stay out? Were they prepared for this?

LEWIS: Yes, they were.

SCHULTZ: OK. Karen Lewis, great to have you with us. We`ll follow
the story.

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

Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    video Snyderman: Ebola patient coming to US ‘not a risk’

    8/1/2014 11:31:25 AM +00:00 2014-08-01T11:31:25
  1. Gaza cease-fire lasts less than two hours

    A three-day Gaza cease-fire that began Friday quickly unraveled, with Israel suggesting one of its soldiers may have been kidnapped by militants and at least 35 Palestinians killed by shells. 

    8/1/2014 10:19:48 AM +00:00 2014-08-01T10:19:48
  1. Want to kick a habit? The 6 best goal-tracking apps to kick your butt

    Sometimes vision boards aren't enough to get you off your duff and into the gym or stop you from gulping another soda. What some of us need is a real kick in the pants every time we screw up.

    8/1/2014 11:42:24 AM +00:00 2014-08-01T11:42:24
  1. From soda to negative talk: Join TODAY for a #30DayDetox of bad habits

    So, here we go! I'm signing off — and it's time for you to join me on my #30DayDetox.

    8/1/2014 11:40:20 AM +00:00 2014-08-01T11:40:20