Romney Accused of Lacking Transparency & Reticence on MSNBC

Forget about Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Solyndra, etc. -- it's Mitt Romney who has serious problems with transparency if you're to believe the talking heads at MSNBC. He hasn't taken questions from reporters for three whole weeks, groused Ed Schultz on the Halloween edition of his program.

Of course, President Obama hasn't exactly been willing to talk to the press corps either. As we've documented, his recent sit-downs with NBC's Brian Williams and a chat with comedian Jay Leno were gauzy interviews. Add to the ridiculousness of Schultz's gripe was that his guest contributor on the topic was none other than DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), who is obviously a fierce partisan paid to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party . [ video & transcript below ]

Prior to Wasserman Schultz's comments, Ed Schultz (no relation) listed all the recent examples that somehow prove without a shadow of a doubt that Mitt Romney simply cannot be trusted. Starting with his reluctance to discuss FEMA, continuing with his inability to offer more specifics on the budget and tax plan, Schultz concluded his long-winded opening statement by criticizing the former Massachusetts governor for respectfully declining an interview request from Nickelodeon.

Romney has a long history of flip-flopping and dodging questions on a number of important issues. He's refused to, let's see, give specifics on his budget and tax plan. He's refused to say if he supports the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women. He's refused to say if he would enter one-on-one nuclear talks with the Iranians. He's refused to answer questions relating to Richard Mourdock's rape comments. And finally, Mitt Romney has actually refused to go on Nickelodeon and answer questions from children. Now, if Mitt Romney can't answer questions from 5-year-old kids, how do you think that's going to play with the National Press Corps? And isn't it interesting that Fox News can't even get an interview with Mitt Romney right now?

Looking nothing like her doctored photos in Vogue Magazine, Wasserman Schultz wasted little time picking up the baton Schultz handed her, parroting all the same liberal talking points we've grown accustomed to. Apparently it all comes down to "trust".

I think what this boils down to is a matter of who do you trust? I mean, we know that there is a very stark contrast and a clear choice in terms of the two directions that we could go. But, I mean, time and again now, we have examples of Mitt Romney either being blatantly dishonest, like with the Jeep ad and the welfare ad, that, by the way, you know, weren't announced. I mean, maybe Mitt Romney thinks that only voters are watching and not fact checkers, but you know, the fact that he has refused to answer where he is on all of these issues, the fact that during the debates, he essentially hid his true positions, for example, he also is denying that he would turn Medicare into a voucher system. He denies that he has a $5 trillion tax cut plan, skewed towards the wealthy, that would increase taxes on the middle class. It comes down to, who do you trust? And President Obama has consistently been there.

Nodding his head in agreement, Schultz subsequently tried to steer the conversation toward the efforts of conservative Super PACs to discredit the president's record in key battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The Florida congresswoman wanted nothing more than to bring up all the canvassing and early-voting efforts in her own state however, where according to her -- "President Obama is going to win (Florida), I am confident."

We shall see about that. The evidence thus far doesn't look nearly as good as she might think.

Relevant Transcript Below (emphasis added)

MSNBC

The Ed Show

Oct. 31, 2012

8:37 p.m. EDT

ED SCHULTZ: Throughout Mitt Romney's entire campaign, he's had serious problems with transparency. NBC News campaign embedded reporter, Garrett Hake tweeted today, 'It's been three weeks since Romney last took a question from reporters'. Three weeks? Three weeks! Meanwhile, Hurricane Sandy and the issue of disaster relief is bringing Romney's transparency problem front and center. Romney refused to answer questions on what he would do with FEMA. At least 14 times on Tuesday, he was asked that. However, earlier today, a Romney campaign spokeswoman said that the emergency management response would include help from the federal government and FEMA. Her response is a world away from the debate, where Mitt Romney said FEMA should be privatized. Romney has a long history of flip-flopping and dodging questions on a number of important issues. He's refused to, let's see, give specifics on his budget and tax plan. He's refused to say if he supports the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women. He's refused to say if he would enter one-on-one nuclear talks with the Iranians. He's refused to answer questions relating to Richard Mourdock's rape comments. And finally, Mitt Romney has actually refused to go on Nickelodeon and answer questions from children. Now, if Mitt Romney can't answer questions from 5-year-old kids, how do you think that's going to play with the National Press Corps? And isn't it interesting that Fox News can't even get an interview with Mitt Romney right now? For more, let's turn to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida. She's a chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight. It's a very strange strategy, being played out by Mitt Romney. What do you make of it?


DEBBIE WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Well, I think what this boils down to is a matter of who do you trust? I mean, we know that there is a very stark contrast and a clear choice in terms of the two directions that we could go. But, I mean, time and again now, we have examples of Mitt Romney either being blatantly dishonest, like with the Jeep ad and the welfare ad, that, by the way, you know, weren't announced. I mean, maybe Mitt Romney thinks that only voters are watching and not fact checkers, but you know, the fact that he has refused to answer where he is on all of these issues, the fact that during the debates, he essentially hid his true positions, for example, he also is denying that he would turn Medicare into a voucher system. He denies that he has a $5 trillion tax cut plan, skewed towards the wealthy, that would increase taxes on the middle class. It comes down to, who do you trust?

SCHULTZ: Well, he just won't answer any questions--

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: And President Obama has consistently been there.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. Now, with this storm, and the aftermath, you think voters will react to Romney's theme of flip-flop? Is this a major issue for him right now, where it would affect voters?

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Well, you know, I think there's a very clear example here, where you have the president, you know, making sure that we put first things first. You lay politics aside, and both as the storm was approaching and in the aftermath of the storm, that as commander in chief, he's protecting the Americans who are in harm's way. And making sure that we can get things cleaned up and get them -- their needs taken care of -- and make sure we keep them safe.

SCHULTZ: But I mean, Mitt Romney has been talking about privatizing this part of the government. This has been his philosophy.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Yes, and as a Floridian, that's very disturbing. I can tell you that because six months of the year in Florida, we are in harm's way, potentially, during hurricane season. You know, that idea that Mitt Romney, during the primaries, in answer to a point-blank question from John King, about whether or not we should get rid of FEMA and send this responsibility to the states, he said, yes, and then even better, you could go further and privatize it. I mean, the aftermath of a storm, is one in which it needs a coordinated effort between state, federal, and local government, which President Obama and Governor Christie and Governor Malloy and the other elected officials in the region affected have been doing yeoman's work. I shudder to think about what we would do down here in Florida in the aftermath of a storm if we didn't have FEMA to coordinate everything. It would be devastating.

SCHULTZ: The Koch Brothers' Super PAC  -- Americans For Prosperity, said today that they're going to spend $3 million on anti-Obama advertising in Pennsylvania and Michigan, all the way up until election day. Now six days, five days, a lot of impact there. What's your take on this? I mean, is this going to have an impact? Are we going to see the full throat of Citizens United down the stretch?

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: I'm sure that they're going to go swimming in the kitchen sink at this point. I mean, what they can't get away from is that we have been executing our ground game, that we built for almost two years now. Actually, in some states, we never left, like North Carolina, like Florida, where our organization has been there since the beginning of the last campaign and we've been executing, we've run circles around the Republicans when it comes to early vote. Just to give you an idea Ed, there's four or five counties here -- Lee County, Escambia County, Brevard County, Seminole County that have almost double-digit or double-digit Republican registration advantages, and there are many more Democrats that have turned out to early vote than Republicans. And that -- we've eclipsed them in early voting. We've run circles around them in the ground game. So let them keep swimming in the kitchen sink and we're going to keep turning out voters. That's what's going to re-elect President Obama, the President of the United States.

SCHULTZ: So does President Obama win Florida?

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: President Obama is going to win (Florida), I am confident.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz with us tonight, thanks so much.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Thank you.

8:43 p.m. EDT