Ed Schultz on 'Today': Obama Thrown Off by 'So Many Lies' From 'Corporate Shark' Romney

Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz desperately tried to explain away President Obama's bad debate performance: "I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Savannah Guthrie called him out on the liberal talking point: "That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President." Schultz doubled down on his lame attempt to defend the President: "[Romney] was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run."

Guthrie began the segment by wondering if Romney's debate win could "fundamentally alter the race." Schultz acknowledged that it was "a wake-up call for the President and his campaign," but then ranted: "...there's been such an effort to suppress the vote. Those people are now energized after what they saw the other night."

At the end of the interview, Guthrie asked if the President would be more aggressive in the next debate. Schultz replied that Obama "has to be aggressive" and declared: "The thing that's so frustrating, I think, for liberals is that they know that the President has accomplished a lot without any help from the Republicans. That's a fact. That's not attacking your opponent."


Here is a full transcript of the October 5 exchange:

7:05AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Ed Schultz is the host of The Ed Show on MSNBC. Good morning to you.

ED SCHULTZ: Good morning, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: You are a supporter of the President, your viewers are supporters of the President. I think people from every side of the political spectrum recognize he missed a big opportunity the other night. Do you think this will fundamentally alter the race?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Decision 2012; How Has Debate Changed Race for the White House?]

SCHULTZ: It will be a wake-up call for the President and his campaign. They can't miss the mark again. The margin of error, winning or losing in this campaign, in this election, is so tight right now, he just can't do it. I mean, there's been such an effort to suppress the vote. Those people are now energized after what they saw the other night. The President's team has to bounce back, get on message, be aggressive.

You know, on liberal talk radio across America people were disappointed. They were frustrated, they saw the perfect opening. I got a phone call from a lady yesterday in Pennsylvania who said that, "You know, when I'm sitting at home and I know the material better than the President, something's wrong."

GUTHRIE: Well there's a question of whether he fought back on substance. There's also the issue of style. People said he seemed checked-out, not really present, not engaging. What do you think was going on?

SCHULTZ: I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first. I really believe that. Because the President's personality is that he's bookish, he likes to explain things. He's not a guy that's going to put something in a two or three or four-line thing and say, "Well I'm done with that subject."

GUTHRIE: That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President.

SCHULTZ: Well, but if you look back at President Obama, the interviews that he does, he likes to get detailed. He has not had as many debates as Mitt Romney. Romney knows where President Obama is weak. Romney went in there from the opening answer the other night, he was aggressive. He was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run.

GUTHRIE: Let me ask you about the 47% remarks. Mitt Romney said on Fox the other night now he thinks they were "completely wrong," those remarks. Initially he stood by them. Do you see a larger change in strategy in the Romney campaign?

SCHULTZ: It is mandatory. He can't go to Ohio and explain the 47% without correcting that. This is definitely a redirect on the part of the campaign, and they're doing it at the right time. They're doing it when – this is actually the most momentum that Mitt Romney has had throughout this whole campaign. This is the perfect time to make that correction, but are people going to believe it? That's the question.

GUTHRIE: Very quickly, what do you think President Obama does for the next debate? Do you think he'll be more aggressive? Is there a danger of overcompensating now?

SCHULTZ: He has to forget that. He has to go right at it. He has to be detailed, he has to be aggressive. The thing that's so frustrating, I think, for liberals is that they know that the President has accomplished a lot without any help from the Republicans. That's a fact. That's not attacking your opponent.

GUTHRIE: Well, Ed Schultz, it's good to get your perspective this morning. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Thank you, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: And a reminder, you can see The Ed Show weeknights, 8:00 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC