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updated 10/24/2012 10:47:59 AM ET 2012-10-24T14:47:59

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
October 23, 2012

Guest:

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

Fourteen days until the 2012 election.

The debates are over and Mitt Romney looked like anything but a
commander-in-chief last night. He came down with a real bad case of
Romnesia. Although he does a good job of following the leader, don`t you
think?

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You mentioned the Navy,
for example, and we had fewer ships than in 1916. Well, Governor, we also
have fewer horses and bayonets.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Total domination on the debate. A lesson on
Romnesia on the stump.

OBAMA: If you say that you love American cars during a debate, but
you wrote an article titled "Let Detroit go bankrupt", you might have
Romnesia.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Richard Wolffe with the truth about last night.
E.J. Dionne and Karen Finney on the president`s two-week plan. Ohio
Senator Sherrod Brown on Mitt Romney`s China disaster. Ohio State Senator
Nina Turner on the latest Republican effort to block the vote.

And the great actor Bradley Whitford is getting out the vote for the
president in Ohio and his native Wisconsin. Tonight, Bradley Whitford
joins me live on THE ED SHOW.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

We have reached the end game of the presidential election. No more
conventions, no more debates, just two campaigns pounding the pavement
trying to win every last vote. There are only a few states left on the
playing field, Florida and Ohio are the big prizes. And the president
rallied in both states today.

This morning, President Obama got a high five and a big hug in Delray
Beach from -- Delray Beach, Florida, from Scott Van Duzer. He`s the
Republican pizza man who bear hugged the president last month.

President Obama was once again warning supporters about the dangerous
affliction known as Romnesia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage
three Romnesia. I just want to go over some of the symptoms, Delray,
because I want to make sure nobody in the surrounding area catches it.

If you say that you love American cars during a debate but you wrote
an article titled "Let Detroit go bankrupt", you might have Romnesia. If
you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate, but said just a
few weeks ago that we shouldn`t hire anymore because they won`t grow the
economy, what do you have?

AUDIENCE: Romnesia.

OBAMA: I bet you got some Romnesia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president is fired up, but it`s not all fin and games.
The president and vice president told a crowd in Dayton, Ohio, Mitt
Romney`s flip-flops are deadly serious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We joke about Governor Romney being all over the map, but it
speaks to something important. It speaks of trust. There`s no more
serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama has been raising the trust question about
Mitt Romney in the past two debates. Romney and Paul Ryan hit the trail in
Nevada to deflect the president`s criticism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have gone through four
debates with the vice presidential debate and my debates and we haven`t
heard an agenda for the president and that`s why his campaign is taking on
water and our campaign is full speed ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney keeps saying the president has no agenda. He`s
willfully ignoring the president`s stump speech, the DNC convention
platform, and legislation President Obama tried to get through Congress.

Romney is also ignoring this new campaign ad from President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Here`s my plan for the next four years. Making education and
training a national priority, building on our manufacturing boom, boosting
American-made energy, reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where we
can and asking the wealthy to pay a little more, and ending the war in
Afghanistan so we can do some nation-building here at home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama is trying to keep Romnesia from infecting
the American people so he`s showing his plan in writing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Last night I laid out a plan for jobs and middle class
security. Unlike Mitt Romney, I`m proud to talk about what`s in my plan,
because first of all, the math actually adds up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Obama campaign is contributing more than 3 million
copies of the plan in swing states. It`s strange for Mitt Romney to
pretend that he doesn`t have a plan because last night during the foreign
policy debate, Mitt Romney seemed to agree with almost every plan the
president has.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going
after the leadership in al Qaeda. We don`t want another Iraq. We don`t
want another Afghanistan. That`s not the right course for us.

Absolutely the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions. I`d
have put the sanctions in place earlier, but it`s good we have them.

It`s widely reported that drones are being used and drone strikes, and
I support that entirely.

We`re going to be finished by 2014 and when I`m president, weal make
sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: Can we come to the conclusion that Mitt Romney was out of
his league in foreign policy in the debate last night? He was reduced to
generic talking points and bland platitudes like this claim about an
apology tour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Then the president began what I called an apology tour of
going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I
think they looked at that and saw weakness. Then where there was
dissidence in the streets of Tehran, the green revolution, holding signs
saying, is America with us, the president was silent.

OBAMA: Nothing Mitt Romney just said was true, starting with the
notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper
that`s been told during the course of this campaign. And every fact
checker and every reporter has looked at it. The governor has said this is
not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney backed off his tough talk on China. Suddenly he was
the biggest appeaser in the room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: We can be a partner with China. We don`t have to be an
adversary, in any way, shape or form. We can work with them, we can
collaborate if they are willing to be responsible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney offered no real answers about our presence in this
part of the world. I think Americans will find this troubling and I`ll
have more to say about this with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio later in
this broadcast.

Romney`s worst moment of the night came when he tried to attack the
president over the military budget.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: We don`t know what the world is going to throw at us down the
road. We make decisions today in the military that will confront
challenges we can`t imagine. We have to make decisions based upon
uncertainty. And that means a strong military. I will not cut our
military budget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And the president`s response exposed Mitt Romney as a lot of
hot air.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn`t spent enough time looking
at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and we
have fewer ships than in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses
and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these
things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have ships
that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

So, the question is not a game of battleship, where we`re counting
ships. It`s what are our capabilities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What`s the bottom line? The president was telling the
country this guy doesn`t have a clue when it comes to national security and
foreign policy. Many people said Mitt Romney passed the commander-in-chief
after the first debate in Denver. Last night, he flunked the exam, the
final exam big time.

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

Tonight`s question, is Mitt Romney up to the challenges of commander-
in-chief? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can always go to
our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ve got the results coming up later on in this
broadcast.

Joining me tonight is Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst, and
vice president and executive editor of MSNBC.com.

Richard, we`ve got a number of different things that all of a sudden
Mitt Romney agrees with President Obama on, but the one most glaring was
Afghanistan. Will this have an impact in the final two weeks?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let`s just remember
just how much of a back flip-flop he did last night. He`s a guy that said
no timeline, but he has a timeline without an end date. Suddenly, we have
an end date.

You know, normal candidates do not try and release new policies in
debates. We have seen it now in three debates that he`s tried to do this.
Yes, it`s great that the president throws it out there and tries to point
out these changes, last-minute reversals.

But more than that, what we saw last night was, you know, Bill Clinton
in 2004 said strong and wrong beats weak and right. Last night, we had
weak and wrong against strong and right. It was the projection of weakness
from Mitt Romney both on the substance and in the way he was changing his
policy that I think was the hardest piece of him.

So, never mind about policy. People don`t understand the policy on
foreign policy. They do understand character and I think that`s what we
saw last night.

SCHULTZ: What unfolded earlier in the debate was Benghazi. For the
last month and a half, we have heard the conservatives say that there`s a
conspiracy, that there was a cover-up, that the administration is not being
forthcoming with the American people. Romney had a shot, again. Why
didn`t he take it?

WOLFFE: Well, because he got crushed the week before. He could have
relitigated. Frankly, I expected him to relitigate it.

But actually his strategy, as far as anyone could tell, was to hug the
president, one big group session and say, you know, I like him only more
so.

That`s the kind of position you have when you think you are winning
this race. You don`t want to mess up. It`s an incredible reversal because
really that`s where the president was in the first debate. We saw how
badly that turned out for him.

If you think you have a three-point lead and that`s going to carry you
through, you end up doing this kind of stupid tactic and that tactic looks
bad because there`s no difference between you.

SCHULTZ: And Romney`s camp was spinning last night as a victory for
him. What about that? I mean, do they really think the American people
are that stupid?

WOLFFE: No, they think the press is that stupid. And frankly when
the media stops having polls to report on, they end up reporting on body
language. This is the worst time for any reporter on the campaign trail.
There`s no events, there`s no more news and all you`ve got is this kind of
spin.

You know, when the campaign goes out and says we`re going to lose,
that`s news.

SCHULTZ: Right wing media is doing a spin job. Check out FOX News`s
assessment of Romney`s performance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it decisive for you?

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: No. He didn`t win the debate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, President Obama won the debate?

O`REILLY: No. Nobody won.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a draw.

O`REILLY: It was so boring. It was the most boring debate I have
ever seen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What`s that tell you?

WOLFFE: Well, 59 million people watched it so maybe they thought
there was something interesting in there.

You know, there was a massive role reversal. For decades Republicans
have said we are strong on foreign policy and defense. You know where we
stand. You may not agree with us, but you know where we stand. That was
the whole Bush premise.

What we saw last night is we have no idea where Mitt Romney stands.
The president, you may disagree with his Afghan policy or any other piece
of it, but in terms of projecting strength, it was a role reversal for
Democrats in particular.

SCHULTZ: I thought he was going to revert back to some old Dick
Cheney highlight films and say that, you know, we`re not on a war footing.
That we`re not safe as we used to be.

I mean, he could have pulled out the old rhetoric and slipped it past
a lot of people. Why didn`t he take that direction?

WOLFFE: Well, you know, the president doesn`t like the whole e
politics of fear. I don`t know that Mitt Romney -- you know, when you saw
him come up with the details about Mali and the terrorist threat in Mali or
the state of the Navy in the First World War, this is a guy who has been
cramming on the briefing books and had no real plan.

SCHULTZ: Yes, Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us tonight,
thanks so much.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

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

Coming up, with only two weeks remaining, what must they do to win?
What do they have to do to win? Karen Finney and E.J. Dionne with the
discussion coming up with a game plan.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up with two weeks until Election Day. The Obama camp
shows some confidence when it comes to polling in key swing states. Karen
Finney and E.J. Dionne, and we have an apology coming from the Romney camp
tonight.

Then Mitt Romney tries to airbrush history while the president lays
out the facts on outsourcing and his policies on China. We`ll have the
details.

And later former "West Wing" actor Bradley Whitford joins me to
discuss his support for President Obama and workers rights in California.

Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.

I find it interesting that just a couple weeks until the election,
it`s really amazing how Mitt Romney would go on the debate stage last night
and basically surrender on foreign policy. It`s an interesting tactic from
someone who wants to be the leader of the free world. National polls are
close, but the electoral map is actually not so close.

Here`s the latest NBC news battleground map. The blue states are
solid, likely, or lean Obama and the red states are solid, likely, or lean
Romney. That`s 243 electoral votes for President Obama, 206 electoral
votes for Mitt Romney.

Seven battleground states remain. Of the seven, top of states, if
President Obama wins Ohio and Wisconsin, he goes over the top winning
reelection.

On a conference call today, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said,
"We are tied or ahead in every battleground state and we`re not leaving any
state where we`re tied or ahead."

Senior strategist David Axelrod said, "We know what we know. They
know what we know. I`m confident we`re going to win this race. We`ll know
who is bluffing and who isn`t in two weeks." Bring it on.

One more thing is certain: President Obama is baring down in the final
stretch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In all seriousness, we`re accustomed to seeing politicians
change their positions from like four years ago. We`re not accustomed to
seeing them change from four days ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and
former communications director for the DNC. E.J. Dionne with us tonight,
MSNBC contributor, columnist for "The Washington Post" and author of "Our
Divided Political Heart."

Karen, you first. What was Romney`s strategy last night and how
poorly was it executed? Because it looked to me like a total surrender.
It was like go out there, OK, don`t make a mistake and let`s turn to the
next two weeks. What about that?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, every single time
Schieffer said they were moving on the next subject, Romney looked so
relieved because he seemed like, he figured, oh, thank God, this thing is
almost over.

But, you know, I`ll tell you what I think their strategy was. It was
interesting listening to the spin. A lot of his folks were saying he
didn`t want to fight President Obama. He was going to talk about his
vision.

I think that they`ve got some numbers back from the second debate that
a lot of voters, particularly women voters, where he was trying to close
the gap, did not like how flat out rude he was to the president and some of
the behavioral things where he literally, physically seemed like he was
trying to bully President Obama.

And so, I think they had some numbers internally that said you better
tone it down for the last debate. So I think that`s what`s more likely
what was going on here.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

E.J., are you expecting the Romney camp to come out with new
commercials that Mitt Romney agrees with President Obama on a number of
foreign policy positions? I mean, certainly, there`s enough material there
for Mitt.

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think I`m just going to imitate
Romney tonight and say I agree with everything Karen just said.

I mean, no, I don`t think you`re going to do that, but I think it is a
real challenge to the Obama campaign. I have been watching campaigns for a
long time. I don`t think I`ve ever seen a candidate throw so many
positions overboard so quickly and also mislead about what his past
positions were as he did on the auto bailout.

And I think the Obama campaign has to stay on this because clearly
they got a last-minute remake going here and they`ve got prevent that
remake from taking hold. I think you saw it in the speech today and you`re
going to keep seeing it.

SCHULTZ: Well, the president, I think, we can come to the conclusion
that he really has won the last two debates. In fact, if you look at Mitt
Romney, his performance has declined over three debates. I mean, he
started high and took it south from there.

Does that kind of momentum or does that kind of performance affect the
campaign, Karen?

FINNEY: Well, look. I think initially they did a good job of taking
advantage of the momentum of the first debate. But I don`t think they`ll
have enough momentum, or in politics, we`d say enough road, there`s only
two weeks, to convince voters that he`s this newfangled person, because of
them are saying, wait a second, that`s not who we thought you were.

I was say on the call and I was actually on the call. And one of the
points these guys made that I thought was very important is we`re not
talking a lot about the increases in voter registration numbers.
Republicans are betting on lower turnout from African-American and Latino
voters.

And guess what? There are 8 million more registered Latino voters
this cycle than four years ago. So that`s a silly assumption for them to
be making. They are making the assumption -- they are making a lot of
false assumptions.

And if you look at where the president is ahead in early voting, he`s
actually beating his own record like in Ohio and some of the counties that
voted for him.

So in terms of momentum, I think the story is President Obama has real
momentum in this early vote period.

SCHULTZ: And, of course, on that conference call, Jim Messina said
every single day now is Election Day.

FINNEY: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: As you mentioned in that early voting in Ohio and Wisconsin
and Iowa is also very strong.

E.J., is that going to be enough? I mean, is this a sign of momentum
that`s going to carry through for President Obama? What do you think?

DIONNE: Well, first of all, I think there`s a big debate out there
who has the momentum. I think Romney had it after the first debate and
started losing it after the second.

But I think what Karen said is very important, that African-American
and Latino turnout is going to be a very big deal, which also means that
voter suppression efforts on Election Day are going to be a very big deal.

And I think looking ahead, if you are in the Obama campaign or for
that matter, if you are in a civil rights group, being ready for what could
be a very difficult Election Day is one of the things that should be right
at the top of their to do list.

SCHULTZ: This just into us. You may have seen this video of Romney
and President Obama talking on the stage after the debate last night. We
are told that Tagg apologized for saying that he wanted to take a swing at
the president during their second debate.

He had told a North Carolina right wing talk show host when he was
asked how he felt when the president was calling his dad a liar on stage.
He said, well, I`d like to go down there and take a swing at him. But, of
course, the Secret Service is there.

Well, the apology came last night. It looks to me like dad was
standing there and heard it.

Karen, what do you make of it? Was it overdue?

FINNEY: It was overdue, and my mother said to me when I was a
teenager, you don`t get points for doing what you`re supposed to do. So,
it`s great he apologized, but guess what? A, he shouldn`t have said it in
the first place and, B, of course, he should have apologized.

SCHULTZ: Was that dad talking right there, E.J.? I don`t know.

DIONNE: Good for him for apologizing, although you shouldn`t do stuff
you have to apologize for.

But he`s on message. It`s the kinder, gentler Mitt Romney. You saw
it in peacenik on stage and you saw it in the apology after. So, they do
have message discipline.

SCHULTZ: Well, I do believe in apologies. So, I would say that Tagg
Romney did the right thing last night.

Karen Finney and E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

Coming up, the most intense issue of the debate. Romney goes on the
defensive. Find out what got both candidates just so revved up.

And it all comes down to the Buckeye State, Ohio. Who is going to win
this Buckeye State? Ohio State Senator Nina Turner will weigh in on a
number of different issues of the voting machines.

Stay with us. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Governor Romney, you keep on trying to airbrush history here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

One of the most contentious topics from last night`s debate strikes at
the heart of what this election is all about for American workers. The
candidates clashed over shipping jobs to China. Romney is good at that.
The moderator asked Romney if threatening China could ignite a trade war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Well, they sell us about this much stuff every year. And we
sell them about this much stuff every year. It`s pretty clear who doesn`t
want a trade war. There`s one going on right now, which we don`t know
about. It`s a silent one. And they are winning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney likes to whine about China, but the president didn`t
let him get away with it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Well, Governor Romney is right. You are familiar with jobs
being shipped overseas because you invested in companies shipping jobs
overseas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Compare the two candidates. Romney wants to label China a
currency manipulator. Otherwise, he`s not specific. But under President
Obama, exports have doubled. He created a trade enforcement task force to
prosecute China for cheating through the WTO.

He`s also building regional relationships to pressure China to play
fair.

And there`s one other trade policy the president reminded Romney about
last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If we had taken your advice about the auto industry, we would
be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, yes. Remember, Romney wrote the op-ed advocating the
automobile industry should go bankrupt. He said we could, quote, "kiss the
automobile industry good-bye if it got government stimulus money and
government assistance."

Now the industry is thriving. So, Romney is denying his own words.
Romney claims he supported the auto rescue all along.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I said they need these companies need to go through a managed
bankruptcy and in that process they can get government help and guarantees.

OBAMA: Governor Romney, that`s not what you said.

ROMNEY: Fortunately, the president -- you can take -- you can take a
look at the op-ed.

OBAMA: Governor Romney, you did not --

ROMNEY: You can take a look at the op-ed.

OBAMA: You did not say that you would provide, Governor, help.

ROMNEY: I said we would provide guarantees and that`s what was able
to allow the companies to go through bankruptcy and come out of bankruptcy
under no circumstances would I do anything other than to help this industry
get on its feet. The idea that has been suggested that I would liquidate
the industry, of course not. Of course not.

OBAMA: Let`s check the record.

(CROSS TALK)

ROMNEY: I want to keep the industry going and thriving.

OBAMA: The people of Detroit don`t forget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: There were no private equity markets available at the time.
The economy was that bad. There were no takers. There weren`t any Mitt
Romneys around willing to take 10 cents on a dollar. And what`s a
guarantee if there`s no cash? It takes money to buy whiskey, doesn`t it?

The president is right. People in Detroit don`t forget. Auto workers
accuse -- across the battleground state of Ohio, I don`t think they are
going to forget either.

Let`s turn to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Senator, great to have
you with us tonight.

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

SCHULTZ: Look, this is again Mitt Romney trying to reinvent himself
on the automobile loan, which of course was risky business politically for
the president. Is Romney`s stance on this auto industry hurting him in
Ohio or helping him?

BROWN: It`s the reason -- it`s the primary reason that Romney just
can`t get traction in this state. I`m talking to you from Cleveland. It`s
northeast Ohio. But all of Ohio, we`re an auto state. We`re a lot of
things. We`re an aerospace state. We`re a food processing state. We`re a
medical device state.

But we know what this meant to Ohio. Look at it this way. Our
unemployment rate in Ohio, at the time the auto rescue really kind of took
hold, was over 10.5 percent. Today it`s down to seven percent. That`s not
good enough, but it`s auto rescue. It`s enforcement of trade rules.

We have a new steel mill in Youngstown. We have more aluminum made in
Sydney and Heath, Ohio. We have tires in Finley. The president mentioned
that last night. Our state is on the move in part because manufacturing is
coming back. That`s led -- always led by auto. When manufacturing grows,
and the economy takes off, it`s usually auto-led.

And that would not have happened if we hadn`t done the auto rescue. I
remember those days well in late 2008. Senator Voinovich, a Republican,
supported it in Ohio. Then in early 2009, it was an unpopular vote
initially, but we knew we had to do it. President Obama took a big
political risk. We all did. We knew we had to do it. The state is doing
a whole lot better as a result. There`s no question about that.

SCHULTZ: There were no Sheldon Adelsons around to write the check.
There were no private equity markets, correct?

BROWN: Yeah, that`s just what`s so bogus about this argument. My
opponent says the same thing. My opponent was against it. My opponent
actually called me un-American for voting it. Whatever his thinking is
there. But no, there was -- if we had not done the structured bankruptcy
and taxpayer investments in the auto industry, nobody else was stepping up.
It was too high risk. Nobody wanted -- no billionaires, no hedge fund
companies, no investors wanted to put big money in the auto industry
because it was billions of dollars and the risks were too high.

There were better way places to put your money, at that point people
thought, than in this industry. So it had to be done the way we did it.
You can argue around the edges, but this made a huge -- our state -- this
state right here would have been in a depression. Yet it`s now seen an
unemployment rate drop 3.5 percent. Not good enough, but going in the
right direction, as you know, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Why is Romney doing this? Is he doing it because he`s just
in trouble with, you know, white workers in Ohio and the lunch bucket
Democrats out there who are paying attention?

BROWN: I don`t know. I don`t know why he was against it. His dad
was a car guy. I don`t know what goes into Romney`s positions on anything,
as they kind of move back and forth. I just know that it took courage on
the president`s part. It took bipartisanship.

This was a great example of what you should do. It was bipartisan.
It was the public. It was the government working with the private sector.
And it was all about the middle class. We did all three of those things.
And that`s why we have seen -- for the first time in 10 years, we have seen
manufacturing job growth almost every month for the first -- for the last
two years, 500,000 new manufacturing jobs grown in this country.

SCHULTZ: Does the president win on China issues in Ohio?

BROWN: The president wins on China because he`s been the most
aggressive in enforcing trade rules. I want him to be more aggressive.
But he`s been more aggressive in enforcing trade rules than any president
since Reagan. New steel mill in Youngstown, steel jobs in Cleveland and
Lorraine. I could point all over the state, because we enforce trade
rules. We need to stop the tax breaks for outsourcing jobs to China and
Mexico and anywhere else.

We know what we have to do. We need Congress to do it and work with
the president and make it happen. But enforcing trade rules one at a time
actually does work. And you can specifically attribute job growth to it.

SCHULTZ: Well, we, of course, did this broadcast on Friday night from
Freeport, Illinois. There`s a plant -- there`s a plant that, of course, is
being shipped overseas, Sensata, which is connected to the automobile
industry. And then there`s a tire plant that has been saved in that
community because of President Obama`s stance being tough on China with the
lawsuit.

I think that that story speaks volumes of what is happening across
America, just who is talking tough and acting tough. Senator, great to
have you with us.

BROWN: Thank you. I saw that show. It was a microcosm of exactly
what we`re talking about.

SCHULTZ: We got a lot of response on it. No doubt. Thank you,
senator. Appreciate your time. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. There`s
lots more coming up here in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW. Stay with
us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There`s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than
trust. Trust matters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president and the vice president are heating up in Ohio.
Tonight, the latest on the Republican voter suppression with State Senator
Nina Turner.

In Wisconsin, Tommy Thompson airs one of the most disgraceful ads
you`ll ever see. We`ll bring you the latest attack on Tammy Baldwin.

And actor Bradley Whitford is hitting the stump for President Obama
and Sherrod Brown. Tonight, Bradley Whitford joins me live on THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Two weeks from today, Americans all across the country will
step into the voting booth. But here in Ohio, you can vote early.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Here in Ohio, you can vote right after this event.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And it does all boil down to Ohio. We are back. Both
candidates need the Buckeye State`s 18 electoral votes to win. And the
money just keeps on pouring in. Ohio has now surpassed Florida as the
state that has seen the most money spent on the presidential election; 177
million dollars has been funneled into the state for advertising.

The Obama campaign`s ground game is also out in full force, and
encouraging early voting is the key. In Ohio, about 20 percent of the vote
has already been cast. And the president is leading among early voters by
double digits. Polling from Quinnipiac shows 54 percent of Ohioans have
cast a vote for the president; 39 percent support Mitt Romney.

Yet right wingers are doing everything they can to intimidate voters.
Billboards from an anonymous group were put up in minority communities in
Ohio and Wisconsin, warning, quote, "voter fraud is a felony." Of course
voter fraud is virtually a nonexistent problem. And after the public
outcry, the billboards are now being taken down.

Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising rented the billboard space. The
company says it has decided to take down the billboards because they
violate company policy against anonymous political ads. Clear Channel says
that it will donate 10 billboards that offer a counter message clarifying
that voting is a right and not a crime.

Joining me now is Ohio State Senator Nina Turner. Nina, great to have
you with us tonight. Senator, you view this how? Is this a victory for
the people? Or could these counter-billboards have helped in any way?

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: Certainly the damage has been
done. And Clear Channel should have never allowed the billboards to go up
in the first place. But the fact that we stood up and we fought here in
the city of Cleveland and also across the state of Ohio and also
counterparts in Milwaukee says a lot.

So the fact that all the billboards are coming down, about 150 of them
across the country, is a big deal. The folks who put up those billboards,
Ed, were cowards, absolute cowards to target minority communities and lower
income communities. But we`re not going to let that stop us from getting
out the vote.

SCHULTZ: What with you hearing? Were they having an effect? Was
there conversation and confusion about voter fraud?

TURNER: People were very, very concerned. As you can imagine, in
some of those communities, there are ex-offenders that live in those
communities. But in Ohio, if you are an ex-offender and you`re registered
to vote, you can vote. So the fact that they would put a message out like
that is deplorable. It makes no sense.

They are out to get folks that don`t exist. Voter fraud -- in person
voting fraud is nearly nonexistent and they know it. But they will do any
rotten, dirty thing to try to suppress the vote, and especially among those
who are most likely to vote for President Obama. It is deplorable, Ed.
And everyone in this country should be upset that anybody would do that and
then not to have the courage to put your name behind it. Shameful.

SCHULTZ: Senator, if the election were held today, would President
Obama win Ohio? Where`s the enthusiasm and what are you hearing?

TURNER: I believe that he would and he will. We delivered Ohio to
the president by 51 percent of the vote in 2008, and we will do it again.
You know, citizens of this state understand that the Governor Romney is a
shape shifter. You never know from day-to-day what he believes and what he
will say.

Shape shifting is good if you are Play Dough, but it`s not good if you
want to become the president of the United States. We have women in this
state -- the president is leading the women in this state 55 to 40 percent.
Women are going to be the firewall, Ed, in the state of Ohio. We are
forces of nature, and we understand that the president has our back. We
understand that the president believes that we need to make dollar for
dollar, that the children that we support want their mothers to make dollar
for dollar.

I`m going to tell you something. I don`t know any man who doesn`t
want his woman -- his wife to bring home that whole dollar. It helps the
entire family. And the president believes in that. The auto workers
understand who was out there trying to save those middle class paying jobs.
It was the president and Senator Sherrod Brown.

So we`re going to have the president`s back in Ohio. We are ready.

SCHULTZ: Senator, there`s a story that is circulating in the
progressive community that has a lot of people concerned. Reports that
Tagg Romney, son of the candidate, has a financial interest in the voting
machines, some of them that are in Ohio. And it`s been reported in -- he
has financial interest in the voting machines that are in Hamilton County.

What`s your response to this? And are you concerned about it?

TURNER: Ed, just slightly. I mean, there is an appearance here of
impropriety. But the tangled web is so tangled, it`s kind of hard to
explain. The fact that Tagg Romney`s company has a tangential connection,
business relationship with a company that has a partial ownership in a
company called Heart Inner Civics, and that the board members of this poll
machine company -- excuse me voting machine company, also made donations to
the Romney campaign.

So yes, folks should be a little concerned. It is -- it does appear
to be kind of shady. But the fact that there are professionals on the
ground -- all of the voting machines that are used in the state of Ohio are
approved by a body here that contains both Democrats and Republicans. So
we have to continue to fight the real voter suppression that`s going on in
the state.

SCHULTZ: All right, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, always great to
have you on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.

Coming up, the Wisconsin Senate race -- folks, it gets ugly, with
former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson releasing an attack ad so
despicable you are not going to see it on our air. I`ll break down the
truth. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Just how desperate can candidates get, question mark? Well,
the Wisconsin Senate race took a turn for the ugly today with former
Governor Tommy Thompson releasing an attack ad so despicable we`re not
going to show it on this program. Thompson`s ad accuses Democratic
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and candidate for the Senate, of voting
against honoring the victims of 9/11.

Military victims speak over images of waving flags and the ruins of
the World Trade Center. Then comes this headline from "The Capital Times":
"Baldwin Rejects 9/11 Tribute." As FactCheck.org points out, it fails to
include the sub header, which explains, "saying it insults victims,
families. She`s cast one of 22 no votes."

You see, in 2006, just before the election, Republicans crafted a
memorial resolution that also paid tribute to controversial Republican
legislation like the Patriot Act. So Democrats had a choice. Vote for a
resolution praising legislation they oppose or vote against it and be
painted as unpatriotic.

It was a trap set six years ago. Baldwin said at the time, and she
was very clear "on the fifth anniversary of the worst attack on American
soil, my Republican colleagues have disgracefully politicized what should
have been a solemn and sincere resolution. This bill was cynically
transformed from a memorial resolution to an endorsement of President
Bush`s failed policies. The Republicans showed disrespect to 9/11 victims
and families by playing election year politics with something as solemn as
the fifth anniversary of 9/11."

To the record, and to keep it straight, Tammy Baldwin has supported
nine resolutions honoring victims of 9/11. Tommy Thompson is just the
latest Republican playing politics with the tragedy of 9/11. But what do
you expect from a former Bush administration official? It`s dishonest,
disrespectful. And I hope the people of Wisconsin hold him accountable.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you is Mitt Romney up to the challenges
of commander-in-chief? Two percent of you said yes; 98 percent of you said
no.

We`re only two weeks out from election day. And celebrities are
jumping in and -- to help reelect President Obama. Actor Brad Whitford has
been out stumping for the president. We`re talking to him next here on THE
ED SHOW. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women and
immigrants and gays, or you can say in this election, we believe that
everybody`s got a place in America. We want to make sure everybody`s got
opportunity, no matter who you are. I`m asking you to help me finish the
job. I believe in you. And I need you to keep believing in me.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, a couple weeks out from
election day, stakes couldn`t be higher. It`s crunch time, and celebrities
are joining the fight to help reelect President Obama. Our next guest is
actor and Democratic activist Brad Whitford. He`s been traveling around
the country in recent weeks stumping for President Obama and Ohio Senator
Sherrod Brown.

Whitford`s also been vocal on two very important ballot issues in his
home state of California. The first measure is great for teachers and
students. Prop 30 would provide nine billion to fund public education in
the state of California. Meanwhile, the other measure is right out of
Scott Walker`s play book. It`s Prop 32. If that passes, it would stop
unions from donating for political campaigns.

Democrats are worried about voter turnout, because President Obama`s
commanding lead in California could be a problem for them. So Whitford
teamed up with the Courage Campaign to inform voters with this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This year, the GOP wants to pass one initiative,
Prop 32, would basically allow huge corporations and billionaires to
dominate state elections, while leaving middle class Californians in the
dust.

BRAD WHITFORD, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: And the GOP wants to crush Prop
30, an initiative to save our public schools from six billion dollars in
budget cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unless you make it to the polls on November 6th
and vote no 32 and yes on 30, these guys are going to have their way with
California.

WHITFORD: It sounds creepy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: For more on this, I`m joined by actor Brad Whitford tonight.
Brad, good to have you on THE ED SHOW. You bet. You`re on a mission.

Let`s talk about your support for President Obama and Sherrod Brown.
Is it connected to workers` rights?

WHITFORD: Yes, it is connected to workers` rights. It`s connected to
the extremist attack on -- on unions, on the middle class. I mean, I was
also in Wisconsin with my son campaigning for Tammy. I saw those
billboards. I saw -- I just saw the ad that Tommy put out. These are not
your parent`s Republicans. They make Nixon look like Abby Hoffman.

SCHULTZ: You had harsh words for Karl Rove out in Ohio. What do you
think of his ad barrage against Senator Brown?

WHITFORD: Look, I think Karl Rove is -- is a coward who enjoys
pouring money -- you know, I think he has targeted labor in -- in Ohio, in
Wisconsin, to some extent in Michigan, because it`s -- he wants to cut the
head off of labor. And they are not going to let him do it.

SCHULTZ: Of course, this is all in an effort to get rid of the last
bastion of Democrat support and foundation because of the social networking
and also the boots on the ground that labor unions have provided. What are
you hearing? What`s your sense in Ohio?

WHITFORD: My sense in Ohio -- I felt very confident that Sherrod is
in a very good position. I think the president is in a good position. I
think we can take nothing for granted, and have to run through that finish
line and get out the vote. People are voting early and the Democrats just
have to stay focused. And I think we`re going to have a good result.

SCHULTZ: The Republicans clearly have attacked public education.
We`ve seen radical governors go after budgets. What are the chances of
Prop 32 getting money into public education in California? Are you
confident it will pass?

WHITFORD: You mean Prop 30?

SCHULTZ: Yes.

WHITFORD: Yeah. I do believe -- Prop 30 has been endorsed by "the
L.A. Times." It is a perfectly reasonable investment that our least
vulnerable citizens need to do to invest in our most vulnerable citizens.
I`m confident it will pass. But again, we need turnout there.

We need turnout there. We need turnout in Michigan. I`m up here
campaigning for Bridgett Mary McCormick, who is running for State Supreme
Court. But we need turnout in California, and we need them to -- yes.

SCHULTZ: OK, Bradley Whitford, great to have you with us on THE ED
SHOW. Keep up the great work.

WHITFORD: Thank you very much, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet. You bet. Thank you. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed
Schultz. Now to the quarterback of last night`s coverage, as always,
Rachel Maddow. Her show is starting 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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