Guests: James Clyburn, Debbie Stabenow, Dennis Kucinich, Sen. Jeanne
Shaheen, Joan Walsh, Joe Madison, Karen Hanretty, Rep. Bruce Braley, Roy
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to "The
Ed Show" tonight from Minneapolis. These stories are hitting my hot button
tonight. It's amazing, Dick Cheney, five heart attacks, five deferments.
I'll have more on that later in the show.
And people are just flat-out fed up with Washington. They want change
by any means necessary including reconciliation. More on that in just a
And early retirement could be the key to jump-starting this economy?
Congressman Dennis Kucinich is going to be here to talk about his bold
plan, a new plan to create jobs in our economy.
Plus, how the Republicans are making the Toyota investigation all
about socialism. Have we heard that before? They truly have no shame.
I'll explain all of that in my "Playbook" tonight.
But first, the story that should have every American fired up is the
functioning or should I say the nonfunctioning of the United States Senate.
They're broken. One hundred people have held this country hostage for long
enough. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives, they
have passed-here's the number, over 290 bills that are stuck in some
drawer over on the Senate side not being acted on. The stalled bills,
let's see, they include some pretty major stuff like health care reform,
climate change, food safety and the Wall Street reform and consumer
protection act. Now these are the very changes that the 64 million people
who came out to vote for Barack Obama, these are the changes that they were
counting on. Vice President Joe Biden said it himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Washington right now
is broken. I don't ever recall a time in my career where to get anything
done, you needed a supermajority, 60 out of 100 senators. I've never seen
it this dysfunctional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, the American people agree. A recent CNN/Opinion
Research poll shows that 86 percent of the people think that our system of
government is broken. Average Americans don't understand why 59 Democrats
can't do anything to make their lives better for the American people.
Wall Street got $700 billion of taxpayer money overnight because they
were too big to fail. You know what you are, folks? You know what we are?
We're just too small. And sometimes I think that they don't care if you
and I fail. You need to be patient, though, while the mighty 100 make all
of the sausage that they have been talking about. These senators, keep in
mind, these senators, they get a paycheck every two weeks and that baby is
Millions of Americans don't even know what a paycheck looks like
anymore, millions of Americans. Americans want change by absolutely any
means necessary. And if you don't have a job, you can't be patient. If
you don't have health care, you can't afford to have four, five heart
attacks because you see, you would be a dead person. You would be out
there on your own. But, when shooter's bum ticker misses a beat, he can
get the best medical care on the face of the earth. Now you tell me where
the fairness is in that.
Don't get me wrong, I want Dick Cheney to stay above the grass for a
long time. He is the poster child now for health care in this country. I
just want to make sure that the government wasn't between shooter and his
The American people are fresh out of patience with the Senate. Day by
day, they are losing faith in the way this White House is responding to
problems and obscurities and obstructionists. We don't care about the cute
little rules of the Senate anymore. Use reconciliation. Get it done. Use
anything you possibly can.
That's why we voted for President Obama. We want to see this change
take place in Washington and the clock is ticking. President Obama, all
the pressure, I think, is on this president Thursday when he goes over and
talks in front of the television cameras for everybody to see on this
health care meeting. He's got to accomplish something. And I think the
president has to bring his "A" game. This is the last card on the table
when it comes to dealing with the Republicans. Mr. President you need to
start acting like the 44th president and stop acting the 101st senator.
Tell me what you think, folks. Here's the telephone survey number
tonight, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. My question tonight is, do
you think the United States Senate is broken? Press 1 for yes. Press 2
for no. I'll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me off the top tonight, South Carolina Congressman James
Clyburn. He's the House majority whip. Congressman, great to have you
with us tonight. Late this afternoon, Senator Harry Reid told the
Republicans to stop crying about reconciliation. Now, when the American
people hear that, we get a sense that this might be a turning point. But
you guys over on the House side, have passed 290 bills they haven't acted
on in the Senate. How is this all shaken out? Jim, what do you think?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, I'm very glad to hear
Senator Reid make that statement. The fact of the matter is, I didn't hear
a word about reconciliation and how bad that is when George W. Bush passed
his tax cuts. Nobody discussed reconciliation back when President Bill
Clinton passed welfare reform. Reconciliation is a normal thing to do in
the Congress. It's just simply a majority vote. It is nothing out of the
ordinary. And why people keep acting as if they are someone extraordinary
is beyond me. So I'm very glad to hear Leader Rid tell them to check it.
SCHULTZ: OK, 290 bills. How in the world can the House get all of
that work done, but they can't get it done over on the Senate side? Is it
all the obstructionists or is that just tough to get things done in the
American governmental system these days?
CLYBURN: I would just see the chart, Ed, that I just took a look at,
the number of filibusters-the way filibusters have spiked since
President Obama has been in office and since the Senate has been in the
control of the Democrats. It has more than doubled its highest point when
the Republicans controlled.
So, I think the American people know that. The problem is, they
remember the filibusters of when somebody was forced stand on the floor and
be there irrespective of what nature may be calling. Today though, you've
got to get 60 votes even to bring the issue to the floor and then 60 votes
to sit the person up and then 60 votes to call it to a vote. This new
updated filibuster, people just don't quite understand it. But we've got
to shine a bright light on it.
And I want to say one other thing. Everybody's talking about jobs.
Look, if we pass health care reform, the studies indicate that over a 10-
year period, it will create 4 million new jobs. This is a big jobs bill
and people ought to start looking at it as such. It's a big deficit
reduction bill. And people ought to look at it as such. People keep
talking about whether or not it's insurance reform. It is much more than
that. And so I think that we ought to stop focusing on how many jobs will
be created and start focusing on how big the deficit reduction this bill
SCHULTZ: And one final point I want to make with you Congressman
Clyburn tonight is that the story confirmed that Dick Cheney of course has
had another heart attack. But isn't it true that the Senate Republicans
and those obstructionists as well over on the House side who are
Republicans against health care reform, aren't they actually voting against
for the American people the exact same health care that Dick Cheney has and
could the Democrats not make the case that if he didn't have health care,
he would be a dead man tonight?
CLYBURN: Well you know, that's exactly we have been all talking
about. This bill, when you look at it, it provides the choices for the
American people that we as members of Congress had today. Maybe different
insurance companies, but it's a big choice. That's what this health
insurance exchange is all about, it is putting all of these insurance
companies in one big market basket and the American people being able to
make choices from that basket.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Clyburn, always a pleasure, great to have you
with us tonight. And if you can pass another 290 bills, we would
CLYBURN: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us. Look, I know that the Senate is
this deliberative body and that's the way the founding fathers set it up
and legislation moves slow. They cogitate, cogitate, and they do it
differently from the House side. But the Senate, I mean, this idea of
filibuster after filibuster is absolutely nuts. The Republicans are
abusing the filibuster to hijack the Democrats and the president's agenda
to slow everything up.
Just look at these numbers, 70 percent of major legislation of the
last Congress was filibuster. In the 1960s, it was 8 percent. The
filibuster should be a weapon of last resort. But the Republicans are
using it to make a mockery of our governmental system. The American people
voted to put the Democrats in charge. Republicans are using the filibuster
clearly to stop the people's will of getting anything done in this country.
For more on that, let's bring in Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Senator, good to have you on. I want your reaction tonight to Harry Reid's
comment that the Republicans need to stop crying about reconciliation. Is
it time to roll up the sleeves and get after it, senator?
SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: There's no question about it. I
was so glad that Senator Reid said what he said. And you know, Ed, you are
absolutely right. As you and I have talked about before, it's actually 111
times in this Congress, more than at any other time, double any other time
in our history that they have blocked moving forward to solve problems or
to stall the clock.
And the bottom line is on the 290 bills that you're talking about from
the House, what we want is a simple up or down vote. We want a vote. Stop
blocking things with filibuster. Give us an up or down vote. People can
vote no if they are against the idea. But they don't have the right to
block us from moving forward and solving problems and creating jobs.
SCHULTZ: All right, senator, now if Senator Reid is telling the
Republicans to stop crying about reconciliation, doesn't that set the table
for more senators to sign on to this letter from Senator Bennett that you
have signed on to move forward with the public option, an up or down vote
And it would seem to me that the White House is waiting for the grass
roots to do their jobs so they will have political cover saying this is
what the people want. And now you've got half the Senate Democrats signing
on to this letter. What are we going to see in the coming days? Does this
still have a chance?
STABENOW: I think it does have a chance, but let me say two things,
Ed. You know I support the public option as a way to create competition to
bring costs down for families. And look at what we've seen in double digit
increases with the insurance companies recently. And there's no reason
that won't continue.
So I strongly support the public option. I also strongly support the
other provisions in the bill. And what we need is the message being sent
that we need to pass health insurance reform. The changes that the
president is talking about to hold the companies accountable, even more
accountable than what we've done in the Senate bill, making the Senate bill
more affordable which is something that I have championed as you know,
since the beginning for middle-class families and small businesses. So we
need, yes, we need to do everything possible to pass the public option.
But we also need the bill.
SCHUTZ: Are you comfortable with what the president put on the table
yesterday? And is there, I guess you could say, enough there to move it
forward? And would you go for reconciliation at this point with what he put
on the table yesterday?
STABENOW: Absolutely. Now again, I would like to see a public
option. But absolutely, and reconciliation only means we're not going to
let them block an up or down vote. That's what we want. Let the majority
SCHULTZ: Don't you think the Democrats run the risk, if they don't go
down the road of reconciliation, that they run the risk of losing a lot of
credibility with the people that expect your party to govern?
STABENOW: Well here's what I know, Ed, and that is we want to govern
and get things done and nobody's more frustrated than we are. Nobody's
more frustrated than I am. Highest unemployment in the country, I want us
focused on jobs and frankly health insurance reform is about jobs. It's
about saving jobs. And so, you know, we are-we are ready to move
forward. We hold our hand to work with whoever wants to work with us. We
are glad we have five Republicans join us last night, but the reality is,
we want to vote and have a majority vote on the things that matter to
people and move this country forward.
SCHULTZ: Senator, great to have you with us tonight, I appreciate
your time on "The Ed Show." Thanks so much.
STABENOW: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now the Senate just passed Harry Reid's bill but my next
guest has an idea that would put a million people to work right now and it
could mean an early retirement for a million more. Congressman Dennis
Kucinich is here next.
Plus, 23 senators have signed on to a push for the public option.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire will be here to tell us why she put
her name on the dotted line. And I'll have more on Dick Cheney's top-
shelf, absolutely top-shelf medical care, and a great "Psycho Talk" tonight
with John Boehner. You're watching "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has a limited time offer
that could help you get you a job or give you a chance to retire early.
That's change I can believe in. Joining me next is the congressman from
Ohio. You're watching "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "The Ed Show." President Obama has said job
creation is the number one priority and the Senate is on a track to pass a
$15 billion jobs bill this week. But unions say it's just not good enough.
Now, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has his own $15 billion jobs plan
that he says will create a lot of jobs in the country. He wants to
encourage older workers to retire sooner by temporarily lowering the age at
which people qualify for Social Security. To tell us all about this
proposal, let's bring in the Ohio congressman, Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Great to have you with us, Dennis. This is very intriguing. You want to
lower the eligibility of Social Security. Tell us how this is all going to
work and how you think this will create jobs.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Right. First of all, it's strictly
voluntary. If anyone wants to retire at age 60 under my plan, they would
be able to apply for Social Security retirement as though they were 62-
years-old. This is only for a six month period. We estimate that 1
million people would apply. That would create 1 million job openings and
mostly it would cause a move up in every company. Most companies already
are working at bare bones. So that answers the question about whether
companies would hire anyone. We believe that for $15 billion, we can
create a million job openings and take unemployment down from 15 million to
14 million. It's a step in the direction of trying to get people back to
SCHULTZ: And what about the money that would be needed to get to
these people from 60 and above, you would obviously be increasing the
obligation from the Social Security fund? Where does that money come from?
KUCINICH: No, the money would not come from Social Security to pay
for this. It would come from unused funds into TARP funds. I didn't vote
for TARP, but you know, the money is there, let's create some jobs with the
money instead of just giving it away to banks.
And the second part of it is that money in the Recovery Act, it would
take about $5 billion out of the Recovery Act, $10 billion out of the TARP,
$15 billion, create a million job openings. It will give people a chance
to take early retirement, start some movement in the job market. It's got
to be a step in the right direction. It's a small step, but I think it
could be an important step.
SCHULTZ: How do you figure for every person retiring it would create
a job? How do you know that companies just wouldn't not fill that position?
How do you calculate something like that?
KUCINICH: Well, here's the calculations. First of all, let's look at
how many people are taking retirement now at age 62 -- 70 percent of the
people are eligible to take retirement at 62 are taking it now. Why?
Because many people have just worked themselves out. They want to take a
break. Now if just get a fraction of those people, we calculated $4
million might be eligible to retire at age 60. If only 25 percent of them,
not 70, 25 percent take early retirement, they would create a million job
openings. Now you're right, the employer may not want to hire someone.
But the truth of the matter is, the people who are working in the senior
positions at these various companies are people who are doing necessary
work and if they leave, the job needs to be filled. That's our
SCHULTZ: You got House leadership with you on this?
KUCINICH: Well you know, I have talked to a number of leaders in the
House of Representatives and I hope they're giving it thoughtful
consideration. I've covered a lot of bases on this, I'll tell you that,
SCHULTZ: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, good to have you with us
KUCINICH: Thank you, Ed Schultz, appreciate it.
SCHULTZ: You bet, appreciate your time. And an update for you hockey
fans out there tonight, the Swiss have Belarus two to one in a shootout.
That means the United States Olympic hockey team will take on the Swiss
tomorrow night in the quarter finals.
Also coming up on "The Ed Show," we all know about the Republicans
don't like to read that much, but John Boehner might prove that the theory
is wrong next in "Psycho Talk." Stay with us.
SFHULTZ: Go OK, in "Psycho Talk" tonight, House Minority Leader John
Boehner is still pushing his half-baked objections to the Democrats health
care plan. You'll remember that last fall, Boehner got all bent out of
shape over the length of the health care bill on the House side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: The best way to get a sense
of what Speaker Pelosi's take over of health care looks like is to actually
look at it. Just shy of 2,000 pages, it runs more than 620 pages longer
than the government-run plan Hillary Clinton planned in 1993. This 1,990
pages of bureaucracy will centralize health care decision making in
Washington, D.C. 1,990 pages. Now tell me how we're going to fix our
health care system with 1,990 pages of bureaucracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, John, let's see now, you've had a holiday break.
You've had a snow break to get caught up on all of your reading, plus
President Obama, you know, he released just some cliff notes of his health
care plan yesterday. I mean, it's only 11 pages long. Now you ought to be
able to get through that and have enough time left to go hit the tanning
But Boehner is proving to be the Goldilocks of health care reform.
First, the House bill was too long. Then today, his spokesman slammed
Obama's plan for being too short. He said, quote, "The White House's plan
consists of an 11-page outline which has not been scored by the
Congressional Budget Office or posted online as legislative text. So they
want to reorganize one-sixth of the United States economy with a document
shorter than a comic book, and they're complaining they can't find our plan
on our Web site?"
Now clearly the only outcome that will be just right for John Boehner
is failure. His only objective is scoring a political victory.
Criticizing it for being too short just months before, after hollering that
it was just too long. That is "Psycho Talk."
Coming up, the president's health care plan doesn't have a public
option. But that's not stopping the grass roots from fighting and fighting
the good fight. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen will be here to tell
us if it still has a chance.
Plus, the chairman of the populous caucus in the House took it to
Toyota today. The executives were talking on Capitol Hill. Iowa
Congressman Bruce Braley will tell us if he thinks they got the message.
Plus, we've got a lot more on Dick Cheney's fifth heart attack. How
does a guy keep surviving? It must be good health care. How come you can't
have that? You're watching "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Big day on Thursday. President Obama's going to go right to the American
television set, and right into the homes of Americans, and put it right to
the Republicans when it comes to health care.
The Republicans are going to have to make a choice here, in front of
the entire country. Do they want to cooperate? Do they want to work
together? Or do they want to say "no" to everything?
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are getting ready for plan B, getting a
bill with a public option through reconciliation. Twenty three Democratic
senators have signed on to a plan that I think every Democratic senator
should sign on to. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is one of those
senators and she joins us tonight.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight. If you have got half the
Senate Democrats that have signed on to this, doesn't that send a message
to the White House that maybe they made a mistake in not putting it in the
president's plan? What do you think?
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Well, these are preliminary
discussions. I think the summit on Thursday is an effort to try and bring
people together to go forward with a health care bill that we can get
through the Congress. And hopefully, it will include a public option. I
have supported from the very beginning because I think it provides more
competition in the health insurance markets, and that should help lower
costs for people. And that's, at the heart, one of the things that we got
to do with this health care legislation. We got to stabilize health
insurance costs for people.
SCHULTZ: No doubt about it. They're going through the roof. It's
the same story that we were talking about it a year ago. The White House
announced today that the president is going to be there from 10:00 in the
morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. He's going to be there for the whole
session. It's interesting the names of the Republican senators who are
going to be there: McConnell, Kyl, Alexander, Grassley, Enzi, McCain,
Coburn and Barrasso. These aren't anybody-any of these senators who
have ever really shown any willingness to cross over and work with the
president on health care reform. So what do you think is going to come out
of this group of senators on Thursday?
SHAHEEN: Well, look, it's another opportunity for the president to
make the case for why we need health care reform in this country. And you
have been talking about it all night tonight, and for the last year. We've
got to do something to help people with the cost of their health insurance.
We got to put in reforms that make sure that insurance companies can't deny
people health care because they have a preexisting condition, that can't
cut them off if they get a serious illness that's going to cost the
insurance company money.
We got to do something about prescription drugs for people on
Medicare. So-and we have got to, long term, help small businesses who
can't afford to cover their employees.
SCHULTZ: OK, all of these things-you bet. Senator, you're listing
all of the important things that have to be done. Are you ready to go to
reconciliation on all of these? Is Thursday the last card that the
Democrats should play before they move in favor of what the American people
want, and all of the polls are putting in that direction?
SHAHEEN: I think we need to get this done. It's important for people
to know that we're going to get health care reform done. I don't think we
should take any option off the table. I think we have got to move forward
in whatever way possible to make sure we get these reforms done, for middle
class families who are having trouble with costs for small businesses, for
our seniors. This is something that we need to get done.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. And I appreciate
you signing that letter. It's for the American people.
SHAHEEN: It's important. It's a good reminder.
SCHULTZ: Well, I want to ask you finally, what's the political
downside-what's the political risk of signing a letter demanding an up
or down vote on the public option and reconciliation?
SHAHEEN: Well, I don't know if there's one.
SCHULTZ: There isn't.
SHAHEEN: This is something that I have been clear with the people of
New Hampshire that I support from the very beginning of this debate. I
think we need to be honest with people.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, senator. There is no risk. I appreciate your
Let's bring in our panel tonight. Joan Walsh is with us first
tonight, editor in chief of Salon.com. Joan, great to have you on. I want
you to put in perspective for us from I guess you could say working
Americans, would this be the last card that the Democrats should have to
play on Thursday? Maybe the last card the president should play in the
deck? I mean, is it time to fish or cut bait, what do you think?
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Well, you know that I think it's been time to
fish or cut bait for a while, Ed. I know you feel the same way. We've
been very frustrated. But clearly Thursday should be the last opportunity
to let the Republicans offer ideas if they have any. Then I think it's
already pretty clear that they're going to have to go the reconciliation
route. I've been happy to hear the president sound open to that.
On the other hand, I think we're all disappointed that the public
option wasn't in his plans, and that Robert Gibbs today seemed to be poo-
pooing the efforts of Senator Shaheen and the others who have signed on to
So, there's still some frustration with the White House's level of
commitment, but I think we're getting close to an up or down vote on some
kind of bill.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that the White House has a defeatist attitude
when I comes to the public option? They just don't seem to want to fight
WALSH: You know, I don't really-I don't understand it. As you
said, the polls show that Americans support it. It does bring costs down
more than any of the existing bills do without it. I'm proud of our friend
Adam Green for standing up, for organizing this letter, and for blasting
the White House loser mentality.
And they keep moving the goal posts on progressives. It was, we like
the public option, but we sure don't have the 60 votes for it, kids. Now
it's, well-they're not even saying the like the public option, but there
aren't 50 votes for it. I think there might be 50. With Joe Biden,
there's almost certainly 50. But it would require some leadership on the
part of either the president or Harry Reid, and I'm not sure we're going to
see that leadership for the public option.
SCHULTZ: You know, the comment about loser mentality that came from
Adam Green, he's spot-on with that, in my opinion. The other thing, Joan -
- and I want your response to this-why is it that there seems to be some
hesitation on the part of the Democrats-and certainly we don't want
anybody to pass away? But Dick Cheney has had now five heart attacks, and
the Republicans are trying to deny the American people the exact same
health care that Dick Cheney has had. And we can make the argument that if
he didn't have it, he would be a dead man tonight.
WALSH: He very likely would be.
SCHULTZ: Why are the Democrats, in your opinion-maybe it's not
your opinion-why are they afraid to make the case to the American people
that this does affect people's lives? And the Democrats are trying to save
lives on this.
WALSH: You know, they have been trying, talking about the 44,000 --
estimated 44,000 people who die every year because they don't have health
insurance. I think perhaps going after Cheney would seem a little bit
ghoulish. I'm willing to do it. So are you. But they have more of a
sense of decorum.
But the bigger issue is these guys-they're mostly guys, some women
-- are entitled to Cadillac health insurance. They have the best of the
best, while they're debating and denying it to other Americans. So I liked
all along the calls to say, we're going to cut off your health insurance if
you can't come to some kind of an agreement. It's part of why people on
both sides, Ed, are so frustrated with Washington, because these people
seem to be completely insulated from the cost of inaction. Their health
care continues. Their paychecks are deposited. And life goes on for them.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, always a pleasure. Great to have your insight
Joining us now on our panel is Joe Madison, XM satellite radio talk
show host, one of the best in the country, and also Karen Hanretty,
Republican strategist. I'm going to say something that, Karen, I don't
think you're going to like. Hello, hello.
You know, look at this list of Republicans that is going to be at this
health care get-together, soiree, summit, whatever you want to call it, on
Thursday: McConnell, Kyl, Alexander, Grassley, Enzi, McCain, Coburn, and
May I be bold enough to point out: they are all rich. They're all
white. There are no women. And it's certainly not a diverse outfit that's
going to be supposedly sticking up for the American people in this big
conversation that's going to be televised on Thursday. What are your
expectations coming into Thursday's meeting, Karen, now that the president
has made it on record saying that he's going to be there from 10:00 am to
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Let me get this straight; you
have held the White House, the Senate and the House majority for over a
year, and now health care comes down to the failure of rich, white,
Republican men. This is absurd. Joan Walsh just talked about a failure of
leadership in the White House, a failure of leadership in Harry Reid.
SCHULTZ: I don't disagree.
HANRETTY: -- a failure in leadership of the Democratic party. You
guys need to put up or shut up. If you're going to do reconciliation, do
SCHULTZ: I agree with you there. It's time to get after it.
HANRETTY: Why go after Republicans?
SCHULTZ: Because the Republicans have said all along-you're asking
me why go after the Republicans. Because all year long, the Republicans
have refused to work with this president on anything. Earlier in this
program, we talked about the number of filibusters that have taken place.
It's like standard operating procedure, Karen.
HANRETTY: Then why didn't Obama hold this summit last Summer? Why
didn't he hold this summit last Fall? Why didn't he hold this summit last
December, before the end of the year? He's waited until the end of
February to hold a summit. This is his Hail Mary. You know nothing is
going to be accomplished. We have irreconcilable differences. I don't
think it's going to go to reconciliation.
SCHULTZ: Irreconcilable differences, this is like a divorce, Joe
Madison. That is Divorce Court.
HANRETTY: Actually, that's within your own party.
JOE MADISON, XM RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Let me play offense here for a
minute. President Obama, on Thursday, will have to convince three groups
of people. One, people who are one layoff away from losing their health
care. Two, the people, like in California, who watched their premiums
increase by 39 percent. And the third group-the third group will be
people who have no health insurance.
Now, if the republicans refuse to address those three groups of
people, I guarantee you that we'll have a reconciliation vote, and we will
have health care reform, and the Republicans will look like they have
looked. Whether they had the summit a month ago, a year ago, the message
has been the same. So, the president needs to go on offense, because there
are more in those three groups than Republicans could ever put together to
overturn this effort.
So, I think it's an offensive mood. That's a good one. And we'll see
what these-and of course, in one of those subsets of Republicans, they
don't have any choice but to send all white men. I mean, that's just the
way it goes.
SCHULTZ: Here's what I would like to see on Thursday: I would like to
see the Republicans stand up in this event and say that the American people
don't deserve the kind of health care that Dick Cheney has gotten in the
last 48 hours.
HANRETTY: Let's talk about it. If you had a heart attack and you
went to the emergency room, you would get health care, and the emergency
room can't deny you because you don't you have health insurance.
MADISON: OH, come on. Let's be real. This is what irritates me
HANRETTY: I like how you bring in Dick Cheney and old white men are
responsible for a failure of the Obama White House and Harry Reid to
successfully push through health care reform that Democrats can agree on.
I think Democrats have more irreconcilable differences.
MADISON: Excuse me. I'm sorry. Let's go back to the first point
about going to the emergency room. Of course you would go to the emergency
room. But you will not stay in that emergency room, and you certainly
won't get the kind of care that will be needed to sustain you through five
HANRETTY: You think that the government is going to provide the level
of care that people like you, Ed and myself-
SCHULTZ: Karen, that's exactly the point that the Republicans are
against the very health care that Dick Cheney has gotten. He's on the
HANRETTY: Guess what? On Thursday, you're going to have a summit and
Democrats and Obama and Reid can propose going to reconciliation and they
can provide this Cadillac health care to all Americans. Good luck, Ed.
SCHULTZ: All right.
HANRETTY: It won't happen.
SCHULTZ: All right, more and more people are thinking about going
back to the American-made car. Congressman Bruce Braley will tell us if he
thinks it's safe to get behind the wheel of Toyota. They were testifying
today. That's coming up in my playbook. You're watching THE ED SHOW on
SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, Toyota is under fire from Congress
for events leading up to the company's recent recalls of more than eight
million vehicles. The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight
and Investigation looking into the defects of certain Toyota models that
caused some cars to speed out of control.
In a hearing today. committee members attacked Toyota for chalking up
the problems up to floor mats and accelerator pedals, and ignoring the
possibility of bigger defects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN: Toyota all but ignored pleas from
consumers to examine sudden, unintended acceleration events.
REP. BRUCE BRALEY (D), IOWA: We have been looking for mechanical
failures that are a cheap, easy fix, and haven't done the type of rigorous
failure analysis to get to the heart of the problem.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN ®, CALIFORNIA: Toyota failed its customers and
the government neglected its responsibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But the president of Toyota's US operations insisted that
the problem was not an electrical one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES LENTZ, PRESIDENT, TOYOTA OF AMERICA: We're confident that no
problems exist in our electronic throttle systems in our vehicles. We have
been done extensive testing on this system and we have never found a
malfunction that has caused unintended acceleration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley sits on the House Energy and
Commerce Committee and was at the hearing today. He joins us tonight on
THE ED SHOW. Congressman Braley, good to have you with us. Tell me, what
were your impressions of Jim Lentz, the USA Division of Toyota, the
president that represents Toyota in this country? What were your
impressions of his testimony today?
BRALEY: Well, I had several impressions, Ed. One of the things that
everybody knows is you can't fix a problem until you admit that you have a
problem. By starting his testimony discounting the possible impact of
their electronic throttle control system on these sudden, unanticipated
accelerations, he defied the information that the committee had collected,
which showed that many of these problems that had been reported have
nothing to do with a sticky accelerator or floor mats.
So that was disappointing. As the hearing progressed, he started to
acknowledge that there was more that Toyota could do, more that Toyota
He also gave some very compelling testimony, that actually caused him
to choke up, when he talked about losing his brother over 20 years ago in a
fatal auto accident. I reminded him that most of the decisions being made
about the recall of Toyota products are not being made here in North
America. They're being made in Japan. He needed to share that personal
story with the people who are making decisions in Japan about product
recalls, product defects, and product safety.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I don't know if you're familiar with this
story, but there was an accident here in the Minneapolis area, and there
was a trial back in 2006 where Koua Fong Lee claimed that his brakes didn't
work. He ended up going 90 miles an hour on an off ramp. That was his
defense in court, that the breaks didn't work. Three people were killed.
He's behind bars. He's serving a prison sentence because of that. Doesn't
that make you wonder what's going on here, and doesn't this guy deserve to
have his case looked at again?
BRALEY: Anyone who was operating one of these vehicles where there's
an unexplained on whether or not the electronic acceleration problem is
related to a product defect needs to get answers to what is causing these
problems. There was a recent example in San Diego, Ed, where four people
were killed in a vehicle and the driver of the vehicle was a California
highway patrol officer. So these explanations about accelerators sticking
and floor mat problems don't make sense when you look at the facts on of
SCHULTZ: All right. Here's some response from the Republicans from
today's hearings, hitting the Democrats in all of this, as far as the
bailout was concerned for American car makers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS ®, TEXAS: This government, through the
Troubled Asset Relief Program, has given 64 billion dollars to prop up
General Motors and Chrysler. This is an inherent conflict of interest.
This is why we need to get out of the business of bailing out business.
REP. PHIL GINGREY ®, GEORGIA: Some have expressed concern with the
possibility that since the federal government now has a vested interest in
some of our domestic auto manufacturers, it may have some incentive to
highlight potential flaws with competing manufacturers. While I hope and I
believe this is not the case, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean
somebody isn't out to get me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman Braley, what's your response to all of that?
BRALEY: Hogwash. That's what we would say in Iowa. These claims are
bogus and ridiculous, Ed. I started my remarks at the hearing by reminding
everybody that I'm an equal opportunity consumer safety advocate. I don't
care if it's General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota, we cannot allow defective
products to kill and severely injured Americans. That's why getting to the
root cause of the problem is the most important thing. That's not a
Democratic or Republican issue. That's an American issue.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I would like you to look into that Lee case,
because I think there's real merit. We know now that the brakes don't
work. That was his defense. He's behind bars because he was driving a car
where the brakes didn't work. I just think this is affecting a lot of
Americans and these hearings have got to undercover the truth. I
appreciate your time. I'm short on it tonight. I appreciate you being
with us, congressman.
Dick Cheney just survived a heart attack. Just survived heart attack
number five. I want to know if he's ready to let Americans have access to
the same kind of care he received? That's next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Final segment, Dick Cheney's going to be released from a hospital in a day
or two, after suffering a minor heart attack. I wish the former vice
president a speedy recovery, because he's now the poster child for health
care in this country.
Americans would love to have the same health care coverage that Dick
Cheney has. Joining me now for all of that is Roy Sekoff, founding editor
of the "Huffington Post." I mean, five deferments and five heart attacks.
That's a hell of a life, isn't it, Roy?
ROY SEKOFF, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": You nailed it, Ed. He has now
matched the deferments as he had with the heart attacks. As you say, the
average American-if Dick Cheney was Joe Schmoe, he would have lost his
insurance a long time ago. He would have lost his house. He would have
lost his job. He would have lost his car. He would have lost his credit
cards. Because we know that 50 percent of all bankruptcies are the result
of a medical emergency like this.
Could you imagine Cheney, if he was an average guy, trying to get
insurance? I'm 69. Can you imagine that phone call? I have had five
heart attacks. I have had quadruple bypass, two angioplasties, and I have
had a defibrillator stuck in. Hello? Hello? Not going to happen.
SCHULTZ: Roy, I think the Democrats should use Dick Cheney as the
example as to what the Republicans have been voting against all along.
This is the kind of health care Americans could have if we went with
President Obama's plan.
Great to have you with us tonight. I'm short on time. As time flies
when we're having fun on talk television. Thanks, Roy.
SEKOFF: OK, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our telephone survey, I asked you, do you think
the United States Senate is broken? Sixty three percent of you said yes;
37 percent said no. Thirty seven percent of the people who watched this
program still have the hope that it's all going to work out.
That's THE ED SHOW. I'm Ed Schultz. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews
starts right now. More Olympic coverage tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.
I'll be back with you on Monday from New York. Have a great one. Chris
Matthews is next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>