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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript


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SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
That was President Obama earlier reacting to the controversial remarks
made by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.
I am joined tonight by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, and
Terry O`Neill, president of the National Organization for Women.
Great to have you with us.
You know, the Republicans are playing this now as the Democrats are
anti-family and the Democrats are not family-friendly.
Congresswoman, your response to this. Is this going to be over
tonight or is this conversation going to continue?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, the debate about women is
going to continue. It is an issue in this campaign.
The Republicans and Mitt Romney have shown that they don`t care about
women`s issues. They didn`t try to do anything to make sure that women
were protected in this Ryan budget, and then they scared us to death
because they talked about not caring whether or not we had contraception.
Do you realize that contraception has changed the lives of women? It
has given us choices. We can chose to have children and not have them,
have as many as we want, and that gives us the opportunity to stay home, to
And when they brought this issue up, many of us thought we`d never
have to revisit an issue like this again, that those of us who fought in
the women`s movement have gotten this country way past that.
No, this is a debate that is going to be ongoing in this campaign
because women now understand that we`re being threatened, that all of a
sudden we`re being put in a position where we`re going to have things taken
away from us that we thought we had gained. So, no, the debate shall go
on. There is a war on women.

SCHULTZ: And -- well, that`s what the vice president said. We`ll get
to that in a moment as well.
Terry O`Neill, there is some blog traffic out there supporting Hilary
Rosen`s comments saying that what she really meant was that these are
financial issues and that Ann Romney just hasn`t been out there, having to
be a breadwinner and -- for her family. Do you think that there`s a real
division here in the public`s eyes on this?

O`NEILL: No. I think it`s really manufactured by the political
spinmeisters, frankly, on the Romney side. Look, what would we be saying
if Hillary Clinton had said this, that Ann Romney has never -- has not
worked for pay outside the home a day in her life? That`s -- I understand
that that`s an accurate statement.
And that raises the exact issue that Hillary Rosen was trying to get
to, which is do Mr. and Mrs. Romney have the kind of life experience, and
if not the imagination to really understand what most American families are
going through right now.
I think that that was what Hilary was getting at. And -- and so she
left out the words for pay outside the home. I`ll tell you, my mom was an
at-home mother all her life. She used to say about herself, I don`t work.
It`s not accurate. She was one of the most -- she was one of the hardest
working women I`ve ever met. That`s what she said.

SCHULTZ: I think the president was outstanding in his interview
tonight. I mean, President Obama could not have handled it in a more
respectful and serious manner. And earlier we heard from the vice
president. He believes that there is a Republican war on women. Here it


BIDEN: I think the war on women is real. And look, I tell you where
it`s going to intensify. The next president of the United States is going
to get to name one and possibly two or more members of the Supreme Court.


SCHULTZ: Maxine Waters, the Romney campaign and the RNC are already
raising money off of this. So I think the vice president was correct when
he said the war on women is going to intensify. How much more intense can
it get? Especially with the fact that the Republicans are losing big time
in the polls on this issue?

WATERS: You`re absolutely right. You can see that gender gap. And
it`s growing. And it`s not going to stop. Because, again, a lot of the
younger women in our society never thought they`d have to deal with some of
these issues. They thought that the women`s movement some years ago had
equaled the playing field.
And then we see that it has not been equal. It has not been talked
about. The president understood it. And one of the first things that
President Obama did was to make sure that he passed the Ledbetter
legislation to equalize the pay for women.
So he came into office understanding that still work had to be done.
And so as the president has shown that he not only supports women, he
supports women`s equality, the Republicans have now raised this issue in
this campaign in ways that young women now understand, oh, my goodness, we
are at risk. We have taken two steps forward, and this administration
under Mitt Romney would take us backwards.

SCHULTZ: Well, Terry O`Neill, the Ledbetter Law, which was signed --
it was the first piece of legislation that the president signed, was really
so far behind the times. We were just catching up. And in a conference
call, the Romney team could -- didn`t even acknowledge that they knew what
it was. Doesn`t that speak volumes about how far behind they are?

O`NEILL: It absolutely does. They evidently didn`t know what it was.
How can he claim that he cares about women`s economic security or economic
well-being when he doesn`t even know what the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Let`s be clear, the Lilly Ledbetter Act only brought us back to square one.
It was a legislative fix after the Supreme Court misinterpreted Title 7.
So that just brought us back to where we had been before. What we
really need to do it pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. I would love to hear
Mitt Romney explain whether he supports that and, if not, why not?

SCHULTZ: That is an answer he should give, no doubt. Congresswoman
Maxine Waters and Terry O`Neill, thanks for your time tonight here on THE
ED SHOW. We appreciate it.

WATERS: You`re certainly welcome.


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