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updated 1/28/2013 11:23:33 AM ET 2013-01-28T16:23:33

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
January 25, 2013

Guests: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nina Turner, Bernie Sanders, Mike Papantonio


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

Republicans have laid out their plans to steal the next election. Tonight,
Democrats roll out their plan to stop them.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: The good news is our principles are sound.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Reince Priebus sees no problem with his party.

PRIEBUS: To win elections, we must compete in every state and every region.

SCHULTZ: Except they just can`t win. But the GOP has a quick fix, steal the
vote.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nina Turner tell us the Democrats` plan to
fight back.

Real filibuster reform is dead, and Mitch McConnell is gloating -- we beat
the liberals.

Senator Bernie Sanders is here to react.

Conservatives said the market would die without Mitt Romney as president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Dow is sitting at this five-year high. It`s
actually been up for ten out of the last 11 sessions.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We`ve got to stop being the stupid.

SCHULTZ: Bobby Jindal talks Republican revival.

JINDAL: No, the Republican Party does not need to change its principles.

SCHULTZ: With the same old lines.

Karen Finney and Eugene Robinson take on the losing strategy.

Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia is a lame duck. Tonight, we look at his
flawed legacy.

And more on the fallout from the PBS documentary "The Untouchables." Why
isn`t Wall Street on trial? Mike Papantonio, head of the National Trial
Lawyers Association, is here to explain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

The fight is on. Republican attempts to steal the next presidential
election by rigging the Electoral College are facing resistance, and the
resistance is working.

Earlier today, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was rewarded for his failures of
the 2012 election by being reelected as head of the Republican Party. Good
news.

Priebus told Republicans to start looking at a broader electoral map.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: It`s time to stop looking at elections through the lenses of
battleground states. We have four years until the next presidential
election. And being a blue state is not a permanent diagnosis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Reince Priebus is on record saying the reapportioning of electoral
votes to favor Republicans is "something fully controlled red states ought
to be looking at." He is talking about states President Obama won, which
are controlled by Republican legislatures.

Former RNC Chair Haley Barbour tried to downplay the scheme to rig the
Electoral College, but he admitted it could affect the outcome of a race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALEY BARBOUR, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: You know, I am a traditionalist myself.
I really am a conservative. I`m a little bit skeptical of this. But I also
am a little bit skeptical that you can predict with any sort of precision
who it will really help from one presidential election to another.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So it`s OK if the loser of a presidential race actually wins
because both parties will eventually get screwed? Very patriotic -- or
should I say pathetic.

Democrats are not going to let this ball get rolling. The Democratic
National Committee said, "Just as the American people fought the Republican
Party`s attempts in 2012, we will oppose any future attempts to ignore the
wishes of the electorate and make changes to the Electoral College for
partisan purposes."

MSNBC`s Zachary Roth reported the Virginia bill to change the Electoral
College in that state "could violate a key provision of the Voting Rights
Act". Very interesting. Any challenge to the Voting Rights Act would get
the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder involved.

The pushback against the proposed Virginia law was swift and it was loud,
and it made a difference. One Republican senator already said that she will
not support the bill. Today, another Republican joined her, calling it a
bad idea. And in a Senate with a 20-20 split, these two votes make a big
difference.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, he saw the writing on the wall. He
rejected the bill through a spokesperson. "The governor does not support
this legislation. He believes Virginia`s existing system works just fine as
it is. He does not believe there is any need for a change."

So, the reaction scared off Republican lawmakers down in the state of
Florida, who were trying to pass a similar law. The GOP speaker of that
House in Florida said today, "I don`t think we need to change the rules of
the game. I think we need to get better."

Amen to that if you`re a Republican. But this is all good news if you`re a
lefty. But it`s no time for Democrats to ease up at all.

Republicans are not going to surrender easily. Molly Ball from "The
Atlantic" reported on a new Republican push to take the vote rigging
national?

"GOP strategists have been talking to major donors and plan to send a
fundraising e-mail to grassroots conservatives early next week. The money
would go toward promoting similar plans to apportion electoral votes by
congressional districts in states across the country, potentially even
hiring lobbyists in state capitols"?

They don`t rest, do they? The people behind this plan, as you can imagine,
are from a D.C. elections strategy firm. Well, including former Secretary
of State Ken Blackwell of Ohio, the same Ken Blackwell who manipulated
voting locations of machines in 2004 to create long lines in Democratic
areas. Ohio delivered the presidency for George W. Bush. How we remember.

This might be why Reince Priebus, reelected as the RNC chair, is so
optimistic about the electoral future for the Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: No state is that reliably a blue state. But it`s up to all of us
to decide if we`re willing to fight for these states. It takes work. It`s
not going to happen overnight. But from what I`ve seen in Wisconsin, we can
make it happen.

In two years, we all want to hear the words and the headlines Republicans
everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, this is the electoral map from the 2012 election. President
Obama won by four points in a large margin in the Electoral College.

This is what happens under the Republicans` everywhere strategy. President
Obama still wins by four points, but loses the presidency in an electoral
landslide. As long as this plan is out there, Republicans will continue to
downplay it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBOUR: I would not be for it. I don`t think there is any sort of national
movement. And you have sort of convinced me that in Virginia, there may not
even be any state movement. It may be an isolated legislator.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sure. It was just an isolated legislator. Yesterday, it was this
isolated legislator, Senator Bill Carrico from Virginia. Today, it was this
isolated legislator, and that would be Representative Peter Lund of
Michigan. Now, Michigan is in the picture.

Lund is set to introduce a similar election-rigging bill in Michigan`s
Republican legislature. Michigan Speaker Jase Bolger said today he`s open
to pursuing the strategy in his state.

The fight to protect our democratic process, my friends, is far from over.
And I know it`s only January of 2013, and we`re a long way from the
midterms and a long way from 2016. But this is the modern-day politics that
the Republicans have decided to play. You take your eye off the ball, we
lose. We can`t turn it over.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will the Democrats stop the Republicans from cheating in
elections? 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
encourage you to do that. We`ve got the results of the poll coming later on
in the show.

Joining me tonight, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida,
chairwoman of the DNC.

Debbie, great to have you with us tonight.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIRWOMAN: Thanks, Ed. Good to
see you again.

SCHULTZ: They just keep coming at you, don`t they? I mean, they just don`t
stop.

Do you have -- do you have a strategy or do you have to develop a strategy
to counterpunch this Republican plan from a national down to a local level?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, absolutely we`re going to have a strategy. And our
strategy is going to be inclusive of the grassroots opposition that we use
successfully to oppose voter suppression laws across the country. And we`re
going to use every tool at our disposal to do that.

But, you know, I`m heartened at least by the fact that someone like the
speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Will Weatherford, who I
know and know to be really very often a reasonable person, I think he had
it exactly right when he said that this type of proposal to essentially rig
the outcome of an election by switching to congressional district-based
Electoral College votes is like saying, well, we won 3/4 of a football
game, but we didn`t win the last one. So from now on, we should only have
three quarters in a football game.

Basically what he said what the Republicans need to do is, you know, be
right on the issues and win over the hearts and minds.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: But that`s not their M.O.

SCHULTZ: In the state of Michigan, this is a quote from a Michigan
Republican lawmaker who was proposing to change the state`s electoral
rules. He said, "It got no traction last year. There were people convinced
Romney was going to win, and this might take votes from him."

In other words, this is an admission of pure political motivations. They
only want to change it when it`s going to help Republicans. But they would
have done this last year had they had thought that Romney was in trouble.
But people up there thought he was going to win.

I mean, they`re dirty pool players. I mean, how --

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: In 2004 -- in 2004, the Republicans killed the very same
proposal in Colorado because it -- they thought it was going to hurt them,
because back then Colorado was more red. And this was when John Kerry was
on the ballot.

So, look, at the end of the day, messing with the way the Founding Fathers
structured the electoral college system could come back to bite you easily.
So, I mean, today in one particular state, I agree with Reince Priebus, you
know, in this sense that, you know, today we`ve got a lot of blue states
that we`re winning, and some of those states were red states previously,
and they may go back.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And demographics in politics shift.

SCHULTZ: Is there any --
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We need to stick with the Founding Fathers` original
concept because that`s what is fair.

SCHULTZ: Is there any state where you`re worried this is going to catch on
and there`s going to be a shift?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think it`s a bit early to tell, but I can assure you
that we are certainly not going to let it go too far down the road without
fighting back.

SCHULTZ: All right. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thanks for your
time tonight on this.

Now let`s go to Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.

Nina, you and I were talking about this in D.C. earlier this week. Could
this happen in your state? Are the wheels in motion in Ohio?

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: Not as of yet, Ed. We know that Husted
mentioned it in a speech that he gave late last year. But Democrats are
standing strong and so are advocates. We must continue to be vigilant
against the practices of the Republican Party.

What they are trying to do is unfair, un-American, and un-democratic. And
we cannot relent on insuring that nothing like this happens, not only in
Ohio, but nowhere else in the country.

It is not by happenstance that they are targeting the very battleground
states that they lost and had the previous plan been in place in 2012,
Governor Romney would have received 12 of our Electoral College votes, even
though the president won Ohio by over 166,000 votes. So, we`re going to
keep fighting, Ed. They`re trying to steal the one woman, one man, one vote
democratic idea in this democracy. But we`re not going to relent.

SCHULTZ: I really think this is all about concentrating and protecting the
wealthy. Your thoughts on that?

TURNER: Not just that, but to try to disenfranchise folks this way. You
know, it doesn`t matter what they say. You know, Governor Jindal told them
to stop being the stupid party. Well, they -- stupid is as stupid does as
Forrest Gump has said. And nothing about what they`re doing has changed.
They`re just trying to repackage the same mess.

And that is why Democrats and progressives and fair-minded Republicans,
people in red and blue and purple states must continue to stand and to
stand strong.

Ed, the greatest equalizer that we have in this country is the access to
the ballot. And your socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity should not
matter. And the fact that the Republicans have their fingerprints all over,
gerrymandering, and they don`t care, and now they`re trying to steal the
votes and rig the next presidential election.

But I am confident that we the people of Ohio and we the people of the
United States of America are not going to stand for it.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

I got to ask you. What do you think of Ken Blackwell`s involvement -- his
involvement in this national push? I mean, he`s got quite a history in
Ohio. And now, he is involved nationally in this electoral push. Your
thoughts on that?

TURNER: The more things change, the more they stay the same, Ed. They
certainly knew how to go and get the captain of deception to help them with
their dirty deeds. But we`re going to stay vigilant on that.

And Ken Blackwell is not going to stop fairness in this country.

SCHULTZ: Do these efforts violate the Voting Rights Act the way you
interpret it?

TURNER: I believe that they do. And if they do make that move, we will have
to take it to court. And I am -- I am hopeful that the courts will rule in
favor of the people. It is patently unfair for them to even try to do what
they`re doing. But, Ed, they`re not ashamed. We`re going to stay vigilant.

Evil never sleeps, so good can never take a vacation.

SCHULTZ: All right. Ohio State Senator Nina Turner with us tonight here on
THE ED SHOW -- thanks so much for joining us.

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

Well, today, Senator Mitch McConnell tells us what he really thinks of the
deal he struck on the filibuster reform last night. Senator Bernie Sanders
responds.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Coming up, the Republican doom and gloom vision of the Obama
economy just doesn`t seem to match reality these days. I`ll have the
details coming up.

And while whistle-blowers come forward to describe the fraud that led to
the financial collapse, the Department of Justice isn`t going after Wall
Street`s CEOs. I`ll ask Mike Papantonio of the Trial Lawyers Association
why they`re just being let off the hook.

You can listen to my radio show on SiriusXM Radio Channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 a.m.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for stay with us tonight.

Liberals are furious about filibuster reform. Here is some reaction from my
radio show.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ROB: What Harry Reid has done is just outrageous. What else needs to be
done?

ANGELA: I am so angry. I feel like the president has been torpedoed,
stabbed in the back, bamboozled, hoodwinked by the head of his own party.

BARB: I expected nothing less from Harry Reid than this. I mean, we`ve
watched him over and over and over cave like this.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: They are not happy.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed to a watered down deal with
Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader.

Reid and McConnell also made a gentlemen`s agreement to reduce the
frequency of filibusters. Last night, I expressed my dismay at the idea
Senator McConnell would change his ways.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You mean to tell me that we`re going to get a new Mitch McConnell
and a whole new group of Republicans that just can`t wait to help Barack
Obama move this country forward, especially on jobs? They have said no to
everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, today, we have evidence. Senator McConnell, he didn`t wait
for the ink to dry on the deal before sending out a fundraising letter.

His campaign manager writes, "We beat the liberals. Can you imagine what
the left might cook up unchecked power? We`d be sure to see a litany of
anti-cool regulations, tax hikes, anti-Second Amendment bills, forced
unionization bills and crazy new deficit spending. And it would be the tip
of the iceberg."

It`s the same old Mitch McConnell, same operation. And he will block
President Obama`s agenda.

So, this big deal that Harry has cooked is basically selling out the
progressives efforts in this country, in my opinion.

Let`s turn to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is the only member of
the Democratic Caucus to vote against the so-called filibuster reform.

Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

I`d like you to respond to that fundraising letter of Mitch McConnell. I
mean, are things going to change? Are we going to see the same old Mitch?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Look, at the end of the day, what that
legislation did is made it easier for some cabinet appointees to take their
jobs. That`s important. It`s going to speed up the process in the Senate.
That`s important.

But at the end of the day, Ed, this country faces enormous economic crises.
We`ve got to deal with global warming. We`ve got to deal with education. We
have to deal with deficit reduction.

We are not going to be able to do what the American people want if we have
to get 60 votes. And as a result of that agreement, we`re going to continue
to have to get 60 votes. And that`s why I voted against it.

SCHULTZ: Isn`t Mr. McConnell showing it`s going to be the same attitude? He
beat the liberals.

SANDERS: Yes. No, I think it will.

Look, here`s what has happened. Historically, there was a gentleman`s
agreement in the Senate, and that is that you will not use the filibuster
requiring 60 votes unless it was something really you felt very
passionately about. When Lyndon Johnson was majority leader, he had to use
cloture on one occasion.

Since Obama has been president, Reid has had to use it hundreds of times.
In other words, the Republicans have changed the rules. Any significant
piece of legislation now requires 60 votes. You can`t govern effectively
under those conditions.

What we should have said, if you want to oppose something, go to the floor.
Talk and talk and talk. But when you`re finished, it`s going to be 51 votes
that makes the decision.

SCHULTZ: Senator, you heard some of the comments from my radio show. It was
all over liberal talk radio today. It`s all in the social media.

I mean, how much more abuse must the Democrats take in this process before
they finally adopt meaningful filibuster reform? I mean, we`ve got, you
know, this ruling by the court in Washington on some of the appointments of
President Obama. You can be sure that Mitch McConnell is probably behind
closed doors, smiling about that. He is not there to help the president.

But the question is: why don`t the Democrats realize what is happening
here? They may realize it, but they`re afraid to move forward on it. And
people are frustrated in this country. This is what they voted for.

SANDERS: No, Ed, you know, I agree with you. That`s why I did not vote for
that package.

And I think what everybody has got to understand -- and you`ve made this
very clear -- this is not some kind of inside the beltway abstraction about
Senate rules. This is really important stuff, because we have a nation that
is demanding action to create millions of jobs to transform our energy
system, to come up with a fair tax proposal so the wealthy and large
corporations start paying their fair share.

We are not going to be able to do those things and many other things, the
things, in fact, that Mitch McConnell and his billionaire friends are
worried about, we are not going to be able to do that if we need 60 votes.

No, I think what ended up happening is we could only get to the best of my
knowledge 47, 48 votes. That was the reality. There were seven or so
Democrats who chose not to go along with what we call the talking
filibuster, which would have meant 51 votes. And that`s the story.

SCHULTZ: It looks to me like we`re reaching the point where the American
public is growing more aware of filibuster reform that relates to
substantive issues. And this is not a good deal. And it`s going to be very
interesting to see how this plays out.

Next week, the president is going to be going to Nevada to talk about
immigration reform. I mean, do you think that we can get immigration reform
in this country? I mean, are there going to be -- I don`t think there is
going to be -- I don`t think there`s going to be 60 votes for the assault
weapons ban. I think there is not going to be 60 votes for climate change.

What about immigration reform?

SANDERS: Well, I think you`re probably right. And what ends up happening is
if you manage to cobble together some agreement, which does get you 60
votes, what you can be absolutely assured of is that that piece of
legislation is going to be much, much more conservative, much less
effective than it otherwise would have been.

Could we get 51 votes to create millions of jobs and rebuild the
infrastructure? Yes, I think we can. Can we get 51 votes to ask the wealthy
and large corporations to help us with deficit reduction rather than cut
Social Security and Medicare? I think we can.

But can we get 60 votes for those proposals? No, we can`t.

SCHULTZ: Senator Bernie Sanders, good to have you with us this evening.
Thanks so much.

Coming up, the Republicans told us the stock market would just good wild
under President Romney if he had gotten elected. It`s soaring OK right now,
don`t you think, under President Obama?

And later, Bobby Jindal leads the effort to rebrand the Republican Party.
But there`s one problem: they`re selling the same old policies. Karen
Finney and Eugene Robinson will join me.

Stay with us. We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Today is January 25th. It`s been three weeks since the president and
Congress raised taxes on the job creators to avert the fiscal cliff.

You know what conservatives were saying before the election? They called it
taxageddon. Many conservatives said all the mark it`s needed was Mitt
Romney to save them. Even Mitt Romney was in awe of Mitt Romney`s
awesomeness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They`ll probably be looking
at what the polls are saying, but it looks like I`m going to win, the
markets -- the markets will be happy. It looks if the president`s going to
win, the markets would not be terribly happy. It depends, of course, which
markets you`re talking about, which type of commodities and so forth.

But own view is if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of
optimism about the future of this country. We`ll see capital come back, and
we`ll see -- without actually doing anything -- we`ll actually get a boost
in the economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I mean, there would be no way the economy could sustain a Kenyan
Muslim socialist assault on all that is good and right and American. But
our markets for another few days, much less four more years.

Again, today is January 25th. And the markets are supposed to be in the
tank. So, when I heard this, I could barely understand the words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is some sustained growth in the stock market, that
we`re not just get a sugar high today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of this is driven by earnings. And the numbers
were good once again. In fact, it looks like we`re going to open with the
Dow up another 40 points this morning. It`s all adding up to the big, big
numbers. You know, you talked about how the Dow is sitting at this high. It
is actually been up for 10 out of the last 11 session. The S&P 500, it`s
been up for seven sessions in a row, and that`s the longest winning streak
it`s since seen October of 2006.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Did you hear that? Do you belief that? I mean, how in the world
could that be? The Dow is up over 67 percent since President Obama first
took office, closing today just a few hundred points off its all-time high.
The S&P closed above 1500 for the first time ever.

Now, the markets are not the best measure of the economy, we know that. But
the right wing has whined as loud as possible when the markets were lower,
blaming it all on President Obama`s policies. You don`t hear them anymore,
because they are political hacks and liars. President Obama worst socialist
ever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Let me tell you in advance, I plan to
talk about the big picture tonight, and I plan to say some things that may
challenge your assumptions.

SCHULTZ: Governor Bobby Jindal promises a burn burner.

JINDAL: No, the Republican party does not need to change our principles.

SCHULTZ: But must have forgotten the matches. Karen Finney and Gene
Robinson on the GOP`s rebrand failure.

Republican senator Saxby Chambliss calls it quits. We will give him a
special goodbye.

Wall Street got the bailout. Homeowners and taxpayers got shafted. Mike
Papantonio of the national trial lawyers association tells us how the
department of justice has failed on assignment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: We`ve got to stop being the stupid party. And I`m serious. It`s
time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. It`s time for us to
articulate our plans and our visions for America in real terms. It`s no
secret we had a number of Republicans that damaged the brand this year with
offensive and bizarre comments. I`m here to say we`ve had enough of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

That was Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal doing his best Chris Christie
impersonation at the RNC winter convention just last night. Jindal, who is
widely expected to run for president in 2016 used his keynote speech to
position himself as a tough-talking reformer dedicated to fixing the
Republican brand. But changing the sign on the door doesn`t change what`s
behind it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: I`m not one of those who believe we need to abandon, moderate,
equivocate or otherwise change our principles. Now, I know this observation
badly disappoints many of our friends and liberals in the national media,
of course.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Jindal is exactly wrong. Republicans` resistance to progress is
what allowed RNC chairman Reince Priebus to be reelected today. That`s
right, the man who presided over 2012`s shellacking of the GOP is back for
another round. And Priebus is pushing the same empty rebranding effort.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: We can stand by
our timeless principles and articulate them in ways that are modern,
relevant to our time, and relatable to the majority of voters. And that I
believe is how we will achieve Republican renewal. And that`s how we`ll
grow. That`s how we`ll win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All right. Truth tellers, now. The policies embodied by the
Republican, like Bobby Jindal and also Reince Priebus are what damaged the
brand in the first place. As long as they keep selling the same old
policies and pushing the same priorities, they`re just putting lipstick on
a pig.

I am joined tonight by Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and former
communications director of the DNC, and Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political
analyst and associate editor of the "Washington Post" and Pulitzer Prize-
winning columnist for that newspaper.

All right. It`s Friday night. Let`s have a little fun.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: Let`s focus on the word "stupid." I`d like some names.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: Bobby Jindal says the GOP needs to stop being the stupid party.
But he didn`t name any.

Karen, who is he talking about? Can you give me some names here?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Gee, do you think it could be, I
don`t know, Richard Mourdock or perhaps now blanking on his name, but you
know, the one who attacked Tammy Duckworth, you know, an amputee who served
our country as touting her service too much? I mean, there were plenty of
stupid comments to go around.

And just recently, we had another member of Congress that try to explain
what the comments about legitimate rape actually might have meant. So, I
don`t think that stupid is going anywhere too far away I from the RNC any
time soon.

SCHULTZ: Eugene, they are just looking for a leader right now, aren`t they?

EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, they are. And
speaking of the leadership of the actual organization, I would point out
that the -- this is a party that Michael Steele presides over, a huge
victory. And so, of course, they fire him and then Reince Priebus presides
over a debacle, and they re-hire him. So, this is not getting past stupid
as far as I`m concerned.

But be that as it may, that`s their business. They are looking for a
leader. And I think Jindal could have challenged them to do what they need
to do, which is re-examine their positions and their policies. It`s not --
it`s not just that some Republicans say stupid things. It`s that they have
positions that are seen as anti-women, anti-minority, anti-immigrant, anti-
science, anti-everything.

SCHULTZ: If they`re looking for a new leader, and they`ve got to have a new
leader, and they`re in the age of obstructing everything in Washington,
wouldn`t this set the table for somebody out in the heartland with
Republican core conservative value and ideas to step forward with a fresh
message? What about that, Karen?

FINNEY: You know, here is the problem, Ed. It`s not just the message,
right. It is the policies. I mean, think about so while Bobby Jindal was
making those comments, we know that a majority of Americans from our own
NBC/Wall Street journal poll believe that access to legal abortion,
majority agree with that that Roe V. Wade should be the law of the land.
What is the Republican agenda? To try to overturn Roe V. Wade, to take
those rights away from women.

We know the majority of Americans support a path to citizenship. What is
the Republican agenda? A fake path to citizenship, right. So point being,
it is their policies. And you know, I will say quickly that after the 2004
election when Democrats got beat and we kind of went back and said what is
going on here, we did some real polling, and we found that Americans
actually agreed with us on our value.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

FINNEY: But it was how we were communicating. The Republicans can`t say
that. Americans don`t agree with them on their positions.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Just today John Boehner released a video for the march for
life. Let`s take a look at it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: With all that is at stake,
it`s becoming more and more important for us to share the truth with our
young people and to encourage them to lock arms, speak out for life, and
help make abortion a relic of the past. Let that be one of our most
fundamental goals this year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Didn`t the Republicans already lose that fight, Eugene? I mean, id
there -- how is anything going to be different?

ROBINSON: Nothing is going to be different. There is an uneasy consensus in
the country, but it`s a fairly durable consensus that nobody loves
abortion, but abortion should be legal and infrequent, as infrequent as we
can make it. And that is -- that`s the basic agreement. That`s what people
basically believe. They don`t believe what Republicans want, which is to
outlaw all abortions in every case, according to their platform, and as a
result, they`re seen as hostile to the interests of women and others who
care about women`s reproductive rights.

SCHULTZ: Can they do a face-lift, an image change between now and 2014?

FINNEY: I don`t think there is enough lipstick for that, Ed. I think, come
on. Look, I actually -- in all seriousness, think about regard to Latinos.
I think they have a two-cycle problem. That is not something that they can
fix right away.

I mean, again, and what are they trying to do? They`re also trying to
change the rules in some of the states in terms of they didn`t get elected
so, let`s change the rules. I mean, they`re going to have to stop all the
shenanigans and face the truth. But you know what they say. Stupid is as
stupid does.

SCHULTZ: Eugene, what would be their best play right now? I mean, if you
are to advise the Republican party, OK, this is what you have to do. Step
one, you are deficient in the polls in so many areas where do they go
first?

ROBINSON: Well, where they go is -- I`d say here is the Republican party
platform. This is basically, the reason why you lost. And so instead of all
their after-action sort of analysis of where they went wrong, instead of
focusing on tactics and how they can, you know, suppress a few more votes
here and change the electoral college rules there, they should instead be
focusing on where they are disconnected from the American people.

You know, Newt Gingrich of all people said right after the election we have
to study and figure out what it is it about America that we`re not getting
right now. And that`s the question they need to ask because that don`t get
it.

FINNEY: They have to accept America for as it is and stop pulling the
covers over their eyes and trying to take us back. I mean, that`s part of
the problem. They are in for a very hard awakening about what this country
really is and who really make up the voters of this country.

SCHULTZ: Well, they have their work cut out for them. A new NBC/Wall Street
Journal poll shows the majority of Americans have a negative opinion of the
Republican Party. I mean, thought there were actually more Republicans than
that.

(LAUGHTER)

FINNEY: Yes. How about that?

ROBINSON: That positive opinion number is getting down to friends and
family. So we`re going to have -- it`s a problem.

SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, Eugene Robinson, great to have you with us on this
Friday evening. Thanks so much.

A senator who ran the most despicable commercials in American history is
slithering out of the Senate. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And of course we love hearing from our viewers on Facebook and
twitter accounts. Social media lit up this afternoon after news broke that
Sarah Palin lost her job as a contributor at FOX News.

Well, on Facebook, Tracie joy says thank you, Jesus. You still do miracles.

Richard Quesco writes now she will have plenty of time to keep an eye on
those Ruskin from her front porch.

And Shara Crawford says this is the great decision making brought to us by
John McCain. And he wonders why he is not president.

So now that FOX has dumped Sarah Palin, who should go next? You can go to
our Facebook page right now and join the conversation. And don`t forget to
like us, "the Ed Show." We would appreciate that when you`re there.

Still to come, the department of justice has avoided prosecuting wall
street CEOs after they tanked the economy. I`ll ask attorney Mike
Papantonio why they haven`t been more aggressive in the DOJ to go after
them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Well, Georgia senator Saxby Chambliss has had enough. Earlier
today the two-term Republican senator announced he will not seek reelection
in 2014. Good old Saxby, well, he is just sick of the gridlock. The debt
ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal cliff vote showed Congress at
its worse, and sadly, I don`t see the legislative gridlock and partisan
posturing improving any time soon. Really.

Chambliss has a lot of nerve blaming gridlock and that`s why he`s got to
leave. The senator has been a loyal foot soldier in Mitch McConnell`s
obstructionist army, wouldn`t you say? Chambliss doesn`t have much to hang
his hat on after ten years in the upper chamber. The gentleman from Georgia
is most famous for the underhanded way he got to the Senate in the first
place.

Just a year after 9/11, Saxby Chambliss used images of Osama bin Laden and
Saddam Hussein next to pictures of his opponent, senator Max Cleland.
Senator Cleland lost three of his limbs and received the silver and bronze
star during his service in Vietnam. Chicken hawk Chambliss of course dodged
Vietnam using two deferments due to bad knees from a football injury.

The commercial was one of the scummiest in modern history. At the time,
Senator John McCain condemned the commercials that were produced by
Chambliss. I had never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of
Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left
three limbs on the battlefield, it`s worse than despicable. It`s
reprehensible.

In 2014, when Saxby Chambliss leaves the Senate and settles into a cushy
lobbyist job, this will be his legacy. In the moon time, if Chambliss is
really worried about gridlock, maybe he can reach across the aisle tonight
and help Democrats fix the mess that he helped create.

Saxby, what a lousy couple of terms you`ve had.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you will the Democrats stop the Republicans
from cheating in elections, 81 percent of you say yes, 19 percent of you
not so confident, saying no.

Coming up, wall street`s shady banking practices trashed the economy, but
the Justice Department isn`t holding anyone accountable. I want to know
why.

Mike Papantonio weighs in with me next.

Stay tuned. You`re watching "the Ed Show" on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in the big finish tonight, this week we`ve told you about a
profound failure of justice. In its documentary "the untouchables the PBS
series front line explore the fact that no high-level Wall Street
executives have faced criminal charges following the 2008 economic
collapse. Front lines spoke to several mortgage industry whistle blowers,
all reported fraud was going on and supervisors looking the other way.

The Obama Justice Department has investigated these banking practices and
they have come up with nothing. Lots of unanswered questions remain, and
now the man responsible for these investigations, assistant attorney
general Lanny Breuer has resigned.

Well, Brewer went on record explaining his reluctance to indict a major
bank in a September 2012 speech at the New York bar association.

Frontline correspondent Martin Smith asked Breuer about that speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SMITH, CORRESPONDENT, FRONTLINE: In that speech you made a reference
to losing sleep at night, worrying about what a lawsuit might result in. At
a large financial institution.

LANNY BREUER, FORMER ASSISTANT GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Right.

SMITH: Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything
other than simply pursuing justice?

BREWER: Well, I think I am pursuing justice. And I think the entire
responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given
case, I think I and prosecutors around the country being responsible should
speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case
against institution a, and as a result of bringing that case, there is some
huge economic effect, if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly
counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had
nothing to do with this are affected badly, it`s a fact that we need to
know and understand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And I am joined tonight by Mike Papantonio, host of "the ring of
fire" radio show and former president of the national trial lawyers
association.

Mike, good to have you with us tonight.

MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, RING OF FIRE: How are you?

SCHULTZ: Now, this documentary place and Lanny Breuer resigns. I don`t know
what the connection is. What do you make of it?

PAPANTONIO: Should have followed the dots a little bit further. And the
very reasons that Lanny Breuer resigned should be some of the reasons that
Eric Holder should be thinking about.

Ed, this is a simple case to understand. What Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer
had in front of them, is they have bank organizations that pleaded that
pleaded guilty to money laundering for drug cartels and for terrorists.
Well, you know, they paid the fine. They knew that people had to make those
decision. But even after they plead guilty, Holder or Breuer would go after
none of the people involved. People commit crimes. There is case after case
like that.

SCHULTZ: Why hasn`t the department of justice been more aggressive? And is
there the possibility of a deal between the Obama administration and wall
street? Your thoughts.

PAPANTONIO: Well, Rahm Emanuel was out collecting money from wall street in
the first cycle, collecting money from Wall Street for that first election,
he was telling people that the man behind the curtain, President Obama, who
was running for president at the time, when he was talking tough about
getting tough with bankers and actually cleaning up the culture of banking,
that he wasn`t really -- wasn`t serious. And in the end, what ended
happening, Rahm Emanuel collected a lot of money from Wall Street, but the
administrative policy of not going after these bankers is what we were left
with.

It is impossible to believe that crime after crime that took place,
trillions of dollars stolen, and we had an Eric Holder running this entire
program. Eric Holder was making the calls. It wasn`t Lanny Breuer. And you
have to ask yourself were people above Eric Holder making these decisions.
It`s very clear.

Ronald Reagan was faced with the same thing in the S & L crisis. You know
what he did? He threw 700 bankers in prison for a crime that is far less
than what we have seen here because Ronald Reagan believed that crime
should be punished. That`s the only way you clean up the culture of crime.

SCHULTZ: So is Holder incompetent?

PAPANTONIO: I don`t think he is incompetent. I think he simply -- listen,
he comes from -- he coming from Covington Burling. It`s a very conservative
corporate defense firm. Look, these are people who have represented banks.
They represented Morgan Stanley. They represented bank of America. They
represented Halliburton, KBR. He comes from a culture that is used to
defending corporate criminals, not prosecuting them.

And you know what? That all flows from the top, Ed. If you have somebody in
charge who has that mentality. Look, Lanny Breuer was also from Covington
Burling. You start with - you really should start with people who want to
prosecute criminals, not people who have made their entire career, built
their entire career around defending them.

SCHULTZ: You are convinced from what you`ve seen that there is more than
enough evidence for them to go after one of the big guns on Wall Street?
And they`re getting off scot-free?

PAPANTONIO: Completely. I was a prosecutor. Any prosecutor -- my prosecutor
that looked at these facts would say could we make a case? Absolutely. We
at least begin with wiretaps. We would have special grand juries. We do
would do all the things that a prosecution effort looks like.

And you know what? Why is it we can go after Rico, we can Rico a mobster
group and we wiretap them and have special grand juries and do witness
interviews, but with these folks on Wall Street.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

PAPANTONIO: We were unwilling to do that with billionaire Wall Streeters.

SCHULTZ: All right. Well, I will tell you who is paying for it. We`re
paying for it, the taxpayers. Because what they did to the economy put it
into the tank and it was big stimulus package that had to pull us out of
the tank. We`re still doing that right now. I wish the DOJ would go after
these folks and give some answer. I think that frontline documentary is
outstanding.

Mike Papantonio, good to have you with us tonight. Thank you so much.

That is "THE ED SHOW," I`m Ed Shultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right
now.

Good evening Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Good evening and thank you,
my friend.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Have a great weekend.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home. I will.

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

END

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