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updated 9/28/2012 11:38:16 AM ET 2012-09-28T15:38:16

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
September 27, 2012

Guests: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Robert Reich, Steve Benen, Sam Stein, Keli Goff, Jonathan Alter

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

Forty days until the 2012 election. Six days until the first
presidential debate.

Twenty-seven states allow Americans to vote early, including two who
started today. Early signs show Mitt Romney has far worse problems than
the polls.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems like we`ve been waiting for this day
for a long time.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Obama voters showed up in full force today in
Iowa. The election has begun in the first swing state with early voting.
And the Obama campaign isn`t letting up.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: My job is not to worry about
those people.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the
Democratic effort to get out the vote in Iowa and beyond.

"Mother Jones" unearthed yet another lost Romney tape from his Bain
years.

ROMNEY: Bain Capital is an investment partnership.

SCHULTZ: I`ll ask Robert Reich what Mitt Romney means when he says
he`s harvesting companies.

REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: If it`s a legitimate rape, the female
body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

SCHULTZ: And the guy who has no idea what he`s talking about when it
comes to women has the nerve to call Senator Claire McCaskill unladylike.
We`ll bring you the latest on the Todd Akin disaster.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Iowa kicked off the 2012 election back in January. Today it was the
first state where people could cast their votes in person for the general
election.

The race is on.

The race has been tight in Iowa, but President Obama has the momentum.
The latest ten-day poll average from "Real Clear Politics" shows President
Obama with nearly a five-point lead. Iowa voters were out in full force
starting at 7:00 this morning. One election commissioner said this could
be a record-breaking year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMIE FITZGERALD, ELECTIONS COMMISSIONER: This was by far the busiest
opening day we`ve had in the ten years I`ve been in the office. We were
thinking 100 people. 100 would have been a good number. That`s what it
was four years ago. We`re well past that. We`re not even to noon yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All you have to do is look at the early voting numbers from
2008 and see how big a record breaker it could be this year.

In 2008, 33 percent of all ballots were cast before Election Day.
Early voting favored Barack Obama over John McCain by 18 points, 58 percent
to 40 percent. This year, 27 states and Washington, D.C., will have early
in-person voting prior to Election Day.

The campaigns are estimating an early voting participation at around
40 percent this year. Two out of every five ballots will be filled out
before November 6th in this election cycle. Today is truly the beginning
of the end of the presidential election.

But one candidate is in much better position to take advantage of the
new voting in this dynamic thing we call American democracy.

Here`s a look at Mitt Romney`s field offices in Iowa. The Romney camp
has 12 outposts across the Hawkeye State.

Now take a look at President Obama`s operation, his field operation in
Iowa. The Obama campaign has 66 of these outpost offices. The president`s
campaign has a 5 1/2-1 advantage over Mitt Romney when it comes to
operation in Iowa.

These field offices are the lifeblood of presidential campaigns. This
is where campaigns stage the get out to vote efforts and organize
volunteers. Today, "The New York Times" reported from polling places in
Iowa and found mostly outspoken Obama supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Do you think that the Romney supporters are out voting
early as well? Or are they more likely to show up on Election Day?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t see them.

REPORTER: Does this give you a false sense of security maybe?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re not taking anything for granted. I don`t
see them out here today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It`s rather stunning for Mitt Romney to be so underprepared
to fight in the ground game in Iowa. He`s had the same problems as the
primary candidate. Romney only started making frequent appearances in the
state a week before the Iowa caucuses. By then, it was too late. And he
lost a tight race.

Romney`s campaign should have refocused their efforts, but instead,
they find themselves in a huge disadvantage, as the first ballots were cast
today.

President Obama is moving in for the final knockout punch. The Obama
campaign unveiled a full two-minute television video ad today with
president directly addressing viewers. The ad is airing in four swing
states, including Iowa. It has the look and feel of a candidate`s closing
argument.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s time for a new
economic patriotism, rooted in the belief that growing our economy against
with a strong, thriving middle class. Read my plan, compare it to Governor
Romney`s and decide for yourself.

Thanks for listening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president introduced the theme of economic patriotism
into his stump speech at a campaign event in Virginia today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: During campaign season, you always hear a lot about
patriotism. Well, you know what? It`s time for a new economic patriotism.
An economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins
with a strong and thriving middle class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: This is a new line in the president`s campaign speech. It`s
not simply a call for policies and programs to support the middle class.
It`s a contrast with his opponent.

The contrast is on full display in another ad using Mitt Romney`s own
words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the
president no matter what, who are dependent upon government, who believe
that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to
care for them, who believe they`re entitled to health care, food, housing,
to you name it. And they will vote for this president no matter what.

So, my job is not to worry about these people. I`ll never convince
them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their
lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The face of the dependent.

The ad is particularly brutal because it comes out on the day of more
bad news for the Romney camp. One of Mitt Romney`s central arguments of
the campaign is that President Obama just has not created jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: When you can see policies that have not created the jobs
America needs, then you know it`s time to choose a new leader, get a new
coach, get America growing again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney`s spokesperson Andrea Saul laid out the official
Romney line on MSNBC today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA SAUL, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: He hasn`t created one single net new
job since he`s been president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Actually, that was September 4th. Excuse me.

Today Romney lost this argument. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
announced they revision to its jobs count from March of 2011 to March of
this year. The revised number includes an additional 386,000 jobs. This
means more than 5 million jobs have been added since President Obama took
office.

The bottom line here? There are more jobs now than when the president
took over for George W. Bush in January of 2009.

This has been one of Romney`s main attacks on the president. And now,
it`s off the table. Romney isn`t in a position where he can afford to lose
any of his weapons. I think he`s scrambling big-time. All the polls show
that.

But on a personal note, I just can`t wait for the debates. One of the
lines being used by the Republicans right now, the conservatives is that
Mitt Romney is just this great debater. I mean, he is a great debater.

Can somebody remind the American people -- and I`ll do it right now --
that we have a smart guy on our side? President Obama, let me remind you,
is a fierce competitor. He will be prepared. He knows his material. He
knows who he is. He knows his accomplishments and he knows exactly where
he wants to take this country.

Can you really say that about Mitt Romney?

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

Tonight`s question: can the president sustain this momentum for 40
days? Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no to 622639. You can always go to
our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave a comment. We`ll bring you the results
later on in the show.

We are joined tonight by Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman
Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIR: Thanks, Ed. Good to
be with you again.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Are Democrats very confident in the ground game,
that you can duplicate this around the country, what you have been able to
do in day one in Iowa?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, Ed, we`re very proud if you look at the
contrast between our two campaigns, President Obama`s campaign has been in
the process and we believe successfully has established the most
significant dynamic grassroots presidential campaign in history. That`s
why you see that the offices and the ground game and the grassroots network
that we have across the state of Iowa and across states in this country.

In Iowa, President Obama was so proud to win Iowa in the Democratic
primary of 2008. He had an organization there that`s never left. I can
tell you that from now until Election Day, I`m looking forward to being in
Iowa this weekend. We`re going to continue to go door to door and
neighborhood to neighborhood to talk to voters across this country moving
forward.

SCHULTZ: Give us a snapshot of the swing states and the ground
operation. I mean, we just showed the map of Iowa. It`s rather
overwhelming, the intensity and the ground game that President Obama has
got versus the challenger, Mitt Romney.

Does it look this way in all of the other swing states?

SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Mitt Romney -- let`s not just dismiss the
organization that he has. When you have a handful of billionaires that are
essentially trying to buy the White House for you, you know, you can pay
for a few offices and for some folks to get out there and knock on some
doors. So, they certainly aren`t doing nothing. They`ve got an
organization there as well.

But we`re proud that we have a grassroots people powered campaign.
One that has folks out there, you know, thousands of door knocks and phone
calls and we`ve got a lot of online outreach that occurs across the
country. So, we`re counting on grassroots operations to help carry
President Obama across the finish line back to the White House for a second
term.

SCHULTZ: How important is the early voting? Do you expect this kind
of early vote in all of these states?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Absolutely. Early voting is critical. We`re
thrilled at the early voting organization that we have and the GOTV effort
we have, starting in Iowa today. We also want to remind people that
they`ve got to get out, there`s still time to register to vote in states
across the country. Go to gottoregister.com because they can get the
information they need to sign up and register to vote. Plenty of time
left.

SCHULTZ: And what about combating voter suppression? Has this been
the game plan? Is this the best thing you can to?

WASSSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know what we`ve been doing, at the same time
we`ve been fighting battles of voter suppression legally and been
successful through federal courts with judges appointed by Republican and
Democratic presidents knocking these laws down, clearing away these
obstacles, we`ve not been taking that for granted.

We made sure we get the people the information they need to clear
those obstacles away themselves and make sure they can get what they need
to bring to the polls and also what they need to get registered to vote.

SCHULTZ: All right. There`s been a lot of conversation,
congresswoman, about polls and who`s ahead. We can`t find a poll where
Mitt Romney is ahead. In fact, I made the comment, I would like to be in
Mitt Romney`s office because I`d like to see their game plan on how they
expect to get there, if you know what I mean. What is their roadmap to
victory?

Ohio is crucial. And the early -- and the get out to vote, obviously
what we just talked about, is crucial. Does it have to be bigger than 2008
for President Obama to win?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, you know, I don`t want to be -- you don`t
want to put too much stock in polls 40 days out. Whether we`re up, whether
we`re down, we`re concentrating on that ground game. You mentioned the
debates earlier in your opening comments, Ed. You know, let`s not discount
the fact that Mitt Romney is an experienced and skilled debater. He --

SCHULTZ: He`s been all over the map, congresswoman. I mean, the guy
has been all over the map on health care, on taxes. I mean, he`s -- huh?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Keep in mind, though -- Ed, keep in mind, though,
he`s a pretty decent closer. He`s had a lot of time to prepare for these
debates. During the Democratic National Convention, reportedly, he did a
week of debate prep camp. He`s gone through 48 hours, done five debate
practices.

President Obama has been practicing but he`s got a day job, and he`s
been trying to balance that.

SCHULTZ: I got to have some fun with this. He had a week of debate
prep? And I must believe that the way he`s been talking he`s come out more
confused from that debate prep than what we`ve seen. We`ve seen him
stumble all over himself just in the last cycle. He contradicted himself
yesterday on health care, speaking to an NBC reporter.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Let`s remember, he`s going to come out and he`s
going to be prepared to, you know, just coming on to the stage with the
president of the United States gives you some gravitas right there. And
typically in the first debate, five out of the last six first debates in
the presidential campaign, the challenger was declared the winner.

So let`s just keep in mind that we can`t take anything for granted.
Let`s focus on the ground game. We`ve got 40 days to go.

SCHULTZ: All right. Well, you`ve got a good day one. That`s for
sure.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz with us on THE ED SHOW tonight
-- thanks so much.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.

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

Coming up, yes, there`s another video of Mitt Romney. It has surfaced
and shows his true identity of how he views middle class workers in
America. We`ll show you the video and Robert Reich will comment, with
commentary coming up.

Stay with us. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Mitt Romney reveals the real goal of Bain Capital
in a newly discovered video. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has
reaction, next. And I`ll have commentary.

And Mitt Romney says that he will use the debate to fact check the
president`s ad claims? And tell the truth? We`ll have a Romney fact check
of our own coming up.

And George W. Bush will pay a visit to the island where Mitt Romney`s
money lives. We`ll have all the details of Bush`s move to the Cayman
Islands for a little trip to talk it over. Share your thoughts with us on
Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Another video has surfaced showing the real Mitt Romney. "Mother
Jones" has done it again, this time getting a video from Bain and Company
by a former employee. Sometimes they`ll get you every time, won`t they?

The video celebrates the company`s 25th anniversary. And includes
footage from 1985 of Romney talking about Bain Capital, the spinoff
corporation he founded. At the time, Bain Capital was relatively new and
Romney explains the company mission.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to
invest in startup companies and ongoing companies. Then to take an active
hand in managing them and hopefully five to eight years later, to harvest
them at a significant profit. The fund was formed on September 30th of
last year. It`s been about 10 months then. It was formed with $37 million
in invested cash.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Editing of the video was done prior to "Mother Jones"
obtaining it but the key phrase in the videotape is this: harvest them at a
significant profit.

Now, this may be no big deal to private equity firms, but let`s be
very clear. Romney basically is describing an economic model firmly
rejected by the middle class of this country, because they are the ones who
suffer -- the people that lose their jobs to see them go overseas. That`s
an economic model which throws workers to the wolves. And Romney has been
grasping to defend this economic model throughout his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m very proud of the fact that throughout my career I have
worked to try and build enterprises, hopefully to return money to
investors. There`s nothing wrong with profit, by the way. That profit --
that profit -- that profit -- that profit went to pension funds, to
charities. It went to a wide array of institutions. A lot of people
benefited from that and, by way, as enterprises become more profitable,
they can hire more people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney`s words keep clashing with reality, which is why the
story of Mike Earnest, a former employee of Ampad, has been so effective
against Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE EARNEST: Out of the blue one day, we were told to build a 30-
foot stage. A group of people walked out on that stage and told us that
the plant is now closed and all of you are fired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Robert Reich, former labor secretary under
President Bill Clinton, now a professor at public policy at UC-Berkeley,
and author of "Beyond Outrage" now available in paperback.

Mr. Reich, good to have you back with us tonight.

I want to play another piece from the same 1985 video where Mitt
Romney offers three reasons Bain and company decided to create Bain
Capital. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Three reasons. We recognize that we have the potential to
develop a significant and proprietary flow of business opportunities.
Secondly, we had concepts and experience which would allow us to identify
potential value and hidden value in a particular investment candidate. And
third, we had the consulting resources and management skills and management
resources to become actively involved in the companies we invested in to
help them realize their potential value.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I tell you what? He`s got the corporate lingo down. But we
didn`t hear one word about creating jobs and we never would under this
economic model. Do you believe we would?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: No, Ed, in fact, creating jobs,
Ed, at best is a particular product maybe of a long-term strategy to build
new products and also build new markets and keep Americans employed. But
that is not the centerpiece of private equity and it`s certainly not the
centerpiece of Bain Capital.

When Mitt Romney was talking about harvesting and maximizing profits,
what he was talking about was a technique of squeezing payrolls. I mean,
payrolls are 70 percent of the cost structure of most companies. And the
easiest way of harvesting products, that is profits, over the relatively
short term is to squeeze payrolls, to get rid of people, to cut benefits,
to even cut wages.

And that is too often exactly what private equity managers do, because
you see, they`re not out for the long term. They`re not out for the 20 or
25 years, the new products, the new possibilities. They are out to, in the
short term, maximize profits for themselves and for their investors.

SCHULTZ: So the connection here is, I believe, personally, that if
Mitt Romney were to be president of the United States, he would support and
advocate legislation that it would make it easier for corporations to do
just this, outsource the jobs and he wants to have, you know, right-to-work
in every state in America. He`s been very clear on that.

What does this say to the middle class? Not to be fear-mongering, but
what would this do to the middle class in this country?

REICH: Well, it`s the same set of policy, it`s the same outlook, it`s
the same frame of reference we`ve seen coming from Wall Street and
corporate America for 30 years now. I mean, even before that, when Engine
Charlie Wilson who Eisenhower named to defense secretary, said what`s good
for G.M. is good for America, and vice versa -- he was ridiculed because
most people understood that what is good for the big corporation in terms
of profits is not necessarily good for workers, even though at that time,
G.M. was unionized and Engine Charlie`s words more likely the fact then
than they are right now.

But the fact is for the last 30 years, America has seen corporations
do better and better and better, and yet the median wage has gone
absolutely nowhere, adjusted for inflation. Most people are more insecure
in terms of their jobs and their benefits are drying up.

Corporate profits should not necessarily come at the expense of
workers. But, in fact, that is exactly what has happened and the Bain
framework, the Bain strategy, is at the center of this strategy overall.

SCHULTZ: Harvest is a very interesting word that he used. It`s kind
of like lingo, not a few years ago, you know, the term "out of the box." I
remember back in the `80s when farming wasn`t too bad and harvest -- a
certain player harvested so many numbers or we`re going to go in and
harvest a business. The lingo was --

REICH: When you harvest, the question is, what you leave back in the
dirt after you do the harvesting?

SCHULTZ: Exactly.

REICH: Unfortunately, these days, and certainly Bain Capital`s
technique and the technique of a lot of private equity managers and hedge
fund managers and vulture capitalists is to harvest the profits and leave
the workers back in the dirt. That`s what we`ve seen. That`s what we
experienced. It`s not hard to convince Americans that that`s been going on
because they`ve been living it.

SCHULTZ: Robert Reich, great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW --
thanks so much.

Coming up, Mitt Romney explains his winning strategy for the
presidential debates. Find out why he thinks this election boils down to
three issues. His choices just might surprise you.

And Todd Akin keeps on putting his foot in his mouth. Today, he
called his opponent unladylike and he called her an uncaged wildcat. We`ll
have the latest on the Republican disaster in Missouri. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And we are back. Thanks for watching THE ED SHOW tonight,
folks.

Mitt Romney is revealing his strategy for what could be one of the
biggest nights of his campaign. Big numbers here, folks: 52 million people
are expected to watch next Wednesday`s debate with President Obama.

And Mitt has a plan. He says he`s going to go out and tell the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I think the president will not be able to continue to
mischaracterize my pathway. And so, I`ll be able to describe mine, he will
describe his and people will make a choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Karl Rove loves the idea. He wrote today in the "Wall
Street Journal," "Mr. Romney must call out the president and set the record
straight in a presidential tone."

Sounds good.

And Romney`s taken his advice to heart. In fact, he says there are
three issues he needs to correct the president on. Here`s the first one --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: When he says I was in favor of liquidating the automobile
industry, nothing could be further from the truth. My plan was to rebuild
the auto industry and take it through bankruptcy so that could happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, really? Romney`s starting with an easy one here. We
know exactly what he thinks about the automobile loan, because he wrote
about it in 2008. Romney said, "Let Detroit go bankrupt." He said federal
money could kill the automobile industry.

But the cash injection did what? The absolute opposite. Automakers
got special financing from the taxpayers. And, of course, Michigan`s
unemployment level hit its lowest point in three years. General Motors is
reporting profits again.

Now, Mitt Romney wants to set the record straight. He says he
actually wanted to rebuild industry by sending it into bankruptcy? Maybe
Romney can explain his stance on the automobile industry for voters in
Michigan and Ohio during the debate, where he is trailing.

Here`s the second thing that Mitt Romney wants to clear up for all of
us out there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He says I`m in favor of lowering taxes on wealthy people.
No, I`m not. I`m not going to reduce the taxes on the wealthy at all. In
fact, I want to lower taxes on middle income people. He says I want to
raise them on middle income people. That`s completely inaccurate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Really? Taxes? It will be interest to watch Romney set the
president straight on his tax cut plan. We spent lots of time here on THE
ED SHOW trying to figure out how he`ll pay down the deficit, raise defense
spending and balance the budget without raising taxes. In fact, Romney
might have revealed too much about his tax plan to a crowd in Ohio
yesterday.

Listen as he tells them not to expect any tax cuts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I want to bring the rates. By the way, don`t be expecting a
huge cut in taxes because I`m also going to lower deductions and
exemptions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney just said he`d cut deductions and exemptions.
Hopefully he can give us more facts about how that would help the middle
class during the debate.

Here`s the third issue Romney wants to fact check the president on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He says I`m opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and
incest and the life of the mother. That`s wrong. One ad after the other
of his, and statements, has been determined to be factually inaccurate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, hopefully Romney can finally clear his position on
abortion during this debate because we`re all confused. You see, in 1994,
he said abortion should be safe and legal. In 2002, he said he`d preserve
and protect a woman`s right to choose.

Wait a minute. In 2007, Romney said he`d be delighted to sign a ban -
- a bill to ban abortions. And tonight, his campaign website identifies
Romney as pro-life. Me wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. And he supports a
personhood measure.

Romney says President Obama has -- well, he`s just gotten him all
wrong on all of these issues, these three big issues. Maybe he can clarify
the truth for us coming up on Wednesday night.

I`m joined tonight by Steve Benen, MSNBC political contributor and
writer for the Maddow blog. He keeps track of Mitt Romney`s lies in a
series call Mitt`s Mendacity.

Great to have you with us tonight, Steve. Romney`s own pollster said
last month, "we`re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact
checkers." So why is Romney`s debate strategy to fact check the president?
I find it interesting.

STEVE BENEN, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: That`s a good question. I
was thinking on the way over here how I haven`t been in college for a long
time, but I remember being a freshman and taking Psych 101. And I remember
learning a little bit about something called projection, when people
identify their most glaring faults and then they project those faults on to
the other people.

I`m thinking that this is a great example of that, because Mitt
Romney, as demonstrated over the course of several months, has been one of
the most dishonest candidates I`ve ever seen. So for him to turn around
and say he wants to look forward to using the debates to somehow suggest
the president has been dishonest, I think that`s a classic example of
projection.

SCHULTZ: You used the word dishonest twice. You have no problem with
that? Romney has a rough track record when it comes to telling the truth?

BENEN: You know, it`s funny, you mentioned, I do this series online
at MaddowBlog.com every Friday afternoon chronicling Mitt`s Mendacity.
It`s quite a list, because at this point it`s getting awfully long. I --
it`s hard to even count all of the times that Mitt Romney has said
something that`s just glaringly, breathtakingly dishonest, from the economy
to energy policy, to national security.

It`s astounding. I remember Paul Krugman earlier this year described
Mitt Romney has being almost pathological in his approach to the truth. I
think, on average, all things being equal, that`s not an unreasonable thing
to say.

SCHULTZ: Can Romney make President Obama look like a liar?

BENEN: It`s going to be very difficult. I think it`s fair to say
that the president has been tough on Mitt Romney of late. He`s running a
series of very aggressive ads. You mentioned earlier in the show about the
47 percent ad in particular. But all those ads stand up really well to
scrutiny. There`s nothing in any of the president`s ads that has been
plainly untrue.

I think all candidates and all politicians are going to try and put
their own spin on the facts, but the president has been accurate and honest
throughout the campaign. I don`t think Mitt Romney can say the same.

SCHULTZ: It`s going to be interesting. That`s one of the dynamics of
the first debate, just how aggressive President Obama will be in calling
out Mitt Romney on how inaccurate. We`ll call it inaccurate or maybe even
he`ll use the word dishonest about his position.

Steve Benen, good to have you with us. 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)

REP. DAVID AKIN (R), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: If it`s a legitimate rape,
the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Missouri Republican who has no idea how a woman`s body
works is now calling his opponent unladylike.

And Tammy Baldwin`s campaign is hitting Tommy Thompson for pledging to
do away with Medicare. The latest on those Senate races, next.

And George W. Bush is creeping up on Mitt Romney like a Cayman Island
stingray. Tonight, we`ll show you why W just might be Mitt Romney`s
October surprise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the human
being and fish can co-exist peacefully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Congressman Todd Akin, well,
he has struck again. This time, the Republican Senate candidate demeaned
his opponent, Senator Claire McCaskill. Akin told "the Kansas City Star,"
"I think that we have a very clear path to victory. And apparently Claire
McCaskill thinks we do too, because she was very aggressive at the debate
which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent. She
had a confidence and was much more ladylike in 2006. But in the debate on
Friday, she came out swinging. And I think that`s because she feels
threatened."

Republicans are trying to ignore Akin`s latest sexist comment. An RNC
spokesperson said "I think it`s best if the NRSC weighs in on these
questions because we`re so focused on the presidential." The NRCC
spokesperson said, "decline to comment."

It gets worse. According to "the Los Angeles Times," Akin told
supporters, "the first two minutes, wow, it`s like somebody let a wildcat
out of the cage. She was just furious and attacking in every different
direction, which was a little bit of a surprise to us."

You know, it`s par for the course, from the candidate who said this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AKIN: It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from
doctors, that`s really rare. If it`s a legitimate rape, the female body
has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Of course, Akin tried to apologize. And now that
Republicans are struggling to regain the Senate, they are starting to throw
their support behind the controversial candidate in Missouri. Yesterday,
the NRCC officially endorsed him. And the chair of the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee says the endorsement taints every Republican
Senate -- senator running in this election cycle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a few weeks ago, every one of those
Republicans said that what he said was so offensive and how he said it was
so offensive that they could not support him. And they are going to have
to answer to the question about why is it not offensive today? I think
that is a legitimate question that is going to be asked not just of those
Republicans who now are going to endorse him or put money in, but of every
Republican candidate who is running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Keli Goff, who is a political
correspondent for TheRoot.com, and Sam Stein, political reporter for "the
Huffington Post." Great to have both of you with us.

Keli, you first. How offensive is this? How damaging is it? Is it
something Claire McCaskill has to respond to?

KELI GOFF, THEROOT.COM: Well, I`d say on a scale of one to 10, we`re
heading into, like, 20 territory, Ed. I think at a certain point, this
actually makes me wonder what must a Republican candidate or any candidate
do to not get support? Right? Like, I think at this point we have to
start having a competition just to see where the lines of offensiveness,
how far we can push these boundaries.

Apparently making rape jokes doesn`t do it, making misogynistic
comments doesn`t do it. Maybe somebody has to drop the N bomb, but with
the Rick Perry N-rock thing, I`m just not sure where the line is, because
it seems like the Republicans don`t seem to have one.

SCHULTZ: Sam, how does he overcome this?

SAM STEIN, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": I don`t think he does. I think
Todd Akin should have a rule that he shouldn`t speak about women or women`s
issues, because it causes him more problems than it`s worth. Obviously
Missouri is a conservative state, or trending conservative. It`s not going
to vote for President Obama like it did.

Claire McCaskill has always been in a dog fight with respect to the
Senate race. But, you know, if some respects if I were the NRSC, I`d be
almost rooting for Todd Akin not to win, because if he ends up in the
Senate, his image, the stuff that he says, the possibility that he can say
something even more, you know, outrageous, that would weigh over the party
every day. I don`t think they want that.

GOFF: And Ed, let`s not forget, you know, Emily`s List has some new
polling data of their own that`s made them quite happy, which shows that
the female candidate that they`re supporting, among them Claire McCaskill,
are actually doing very well in these races because of the perception of
the GOP`s stance on women`s issues. That`s what the polling is actually
indicating. These races like Shelley Berkley`s race, Elizabeth Warren`s
race, Claire McCaskill`s race against Akin.

Polling is specifically showing that how the GOP as a national party
is perceived on women`s issues is helping Democratic female candidates.

STEIN: Because the problem is that the Republican party has very few
constituencies left that they can rely on. It`s primarily old white men.
If you want to alienate women even further than they`ve been alienated in
this process, you end up having politicians like Todd Akin. They`re
already suffering a gender gap. This only makes it worse. I know it won`t
have an effect in the Missouri race when it comes to the presidential
contest, but it does create an image problem for other races in down ballot
--

SCHULTZ: That`s why nobody wanted to embrace this guy. Now they have
to because they want to win the Senate so bad. Here`s a new poll. Let`s
take a look at the Indiana Senate race. Congressman Joe Donnelly is two
points ahead of State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. That`s within the margin
of error. But it should set off alarm bells at the NRCS, shouldn`t it,
Sam?

STEIN: Yeah, I mean, listen, this is a trend that`s not just about
Indiana. It`s about, you know, maybe half a dozen states now where we`re
seeing Democratic Senate candidates basically rising up above the
Republican opponents. You have to look at larger trends to try to explain
it. One of them that I think is almost undiscussed is how the question
about who can handle the economy has changed.

It used to be that Obama was suffering a big deficit next to Romney
with that. Since several weeks ago, probably tied to the convention, those
numbers have turned. And all of a sudden, the Democratic brand with
respect to the economy has become much more popular than the Republican
brand.

SCHULTZ: And Mourdock, who has been a hardliner when it comes to
negotiations with the Democrats, he`s now been trying to embrace these
moderate positions, claiming that he`s more open to compromise, claiming
that he will protect Social Security and Medicare. But this is not the
same Mourdock who defeated Richard Lugar in the primary. Keli, are
Mourdock and others paying a price for their extremism?

GOFF: Not just for the convention, but I would add to something that
Sam said. I would also call it part of the aftermath of 47 percent-gate.
Right? Which is that it`s tough to make the argument that you`re best on
the economy when you think that you should only be working for half of the
people on the economy, right? That`s how those comments were perceived.

But to your question, Ed, I want to add that this is not just having a
trickle down effect to these other national Senate races. In New
Hampshire, the only shot we have at electing another woman governor -- a
new woman governor is actually --

SCHULTZ: It`s ticket-broad, there`s no question.

GOFF: Who shouldn`t be in a neck and neck race, but only is because
of this perception of what`s going on nationally with the GOP party.

SCHULTZ: All right, Keli Goff, Sam Stein, great to have you with us
tonight.

Coming up, the hidden video at a Mitt Romney fund-raiser has sparked
new controversy about Romney`s past investments in China. We`ll tell you
all about it next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China
to buy a factory there. And boy, about 20,000 people, and they work in
these huge factories. They make various small appliances. And as we were
walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they
work per day, pittance they earned, living in dormitories with the little
bathrooms at the end of maybe 10 rooms. In the rooms, they had 12 girls
per room, three bunk beds on top of each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. You know, Mitt Romney never
specifies what factory he`s talking about in that clip from the fund-
raising dinner in Florida. But his account of visiting that factory is
renewing interest in his investments in China. And a new report finds the
conditions you just heard Mitt Romney describe -- the long hour, the low
wages, the dormitories filled to the brim -- were practically the pitch
that had him invest in a company in China back in 1998.

"The Boston Globe" reports on a document put out by Global Tech
Appliances, a China based home appliance company, on April 8th, 1998. The
document, meant to attract investors, noted the company used "inexpensive
labor" and peak production periods required six-day workweeks and two ten-
hour shifts per day. It also describes the 14 buildings that served as
dormitories for up to 3,700 workers.

By the way, the inexpensive labor is putting it lightly. The
Institute For Global Labor and Human Rights says that in 1998, Global Tech
employees received a wage of 24 cents an hour. That`s less than two
percent of U.S. wages at the time.

The Global Tech document also advertised its low tax liability, being
located in China, meant a lower overall effective tax rate than U.S.
corporations paid at the time. The company also said the operations would
not be subject to material United States taxes because it should not be
considered to have significant income effectively connected with a trade or
business in the United States.

Guy plays all the angles, doesn`t he? So Mitt Romney, the
presidential candidate who now talks tough on China and says that President
Obama isn`t tough on China, what do you think he did with all that
information? Well, on April 17th, 1998, just nine days after the document
was released, Brookside Incorporated, an affiliate of Bain Capital,
acquired about six percent of Global Tech. Mitt Romney was listed as the
sole shareholder, sole director, president and CEO of Brookside
Incorporated.

Mitt Romney chose to pay less taxes and exploit workers all for a
profit. Middle classers, you nervous tonight? You ought to be.

Tonight in our survey, I asked can the president sustain his momentum
for 40 days? Ninety nine percent of you say yes; one percent of you say
no.

Coming up, George W. Bush is back. This time, he`s going to be
dancing up a storm in the Cayman Islands. You won`t believe the stunt he`s
pulling only five days before the election. We`ll bring you the details
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the big finish tonight, what do you mean you thought
he was gone, never to be heard from again? George W. Bush is leaving the
ranch for a tropical vacation just five days before the election. That`s
right, just before you go to vote.

W will be heading down to the Cayman Islands to remind everyone where
Mitt Romney hides his money. Bush will be the keynote speaker at the
Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, along with billionaire Richard
Branson. The summit, I guess you could say, is kind of like a summer camp
for these rich guys. They offer a seminar on, let`s see, how to capitalize
on Asia as an emerging fund superpower.

Mitt Romney would love that one, don`t you think?

If you don`t like financial regulation, you can attend a speech on
accepting regulation as a way of life and influencing the regulators.
Can`t you just see Bush saying, I`m down there to try to make them
influence the regulators?

Republicans have been doing a great job by keeping Bush away from this
election cycle this election season. But Bush didn`t attend the GOP
convention. And he didn`t get a lot of mentions there, either. And his
videotape appearance, well, was not played in primetime.

Just when Republicans thought that they were rid of W, he`s back. And
this time he could be costing Romney votes right before the election.
How`s the public going to view this one?

For more, let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst and "Bloomberg View"
columnist, Jonathan Alter.

JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": Hi, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Everybody`s going to pay attention -- great to have you with
us tonight. Everybody`s going to pay attention to what W says. What`s he
going to say about offshore accounts? Isn`t he kind of walking into a Mitt
Romney minefield here?

ALTER: He`s not going to say anything about offshore accounts and
will steer as far clear from the press as he possibly can. What it does is
it reminds voters of what they already know, that they learned about this
Cayman Islands/Swiss bank account thing months ago and it did serious
damage to Mitt Romney. It`s impossible to tell how much damage. The polls
don`t actually tell that.

But this really -- you could argue before the videotape, this did as
much as anything to wreck his campaign. Americans are smart. They might
not be financial wizards, but they know you don`t put your money in the
Cayman Islands just for a good investment. You`re putting it there, you`re
keep it secret for a purpose, to avoid taxes. It`s very hard for president
with that on your back.

SCHULTZ: This just a bad spotlight at a bad time.

ALTER: Terrible. And -- but the real problem is what Mitt Romney did
in 2007 before he ran for president the first time. Any rational would-be
presidential candidate, the first thing that they would do would be to make
some sacrifices in their own financial life for appearances stake.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

ALTER: Why would he not get any fund that he was involved with out of
the Cayman Islands, out of those Swiss bank accounts, not be cutting
corners with his IRA, And all the other machinations here. It`s just --
it`s beyond reason why he would be exposed this way. And a lot of
Republicans are saying the same thing.

SCHULTZ: Well, how angry do you think Reince Priebus and Mitt Romney
are at Bush for pulling this one?

ALTER: They can`t be happy. It`s almost at this point like Mitt
Romney can`t catch a break in this campaign.

SCHULTZ: He really can`t. It is amazing. Jonathan, good to have you
with us tonight. Thanks for coming in.

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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