Guest: Arianna Huffington, Lynn Woolsey, David Bossie, Rep. Maxine Waters,
Lanny Davis, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Ron Christie, Todd Webster
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to THE ED SHOW
from New York tonight, these stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight:
Those Republicans, they have launched an all out assault on
reconciliation. Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post will join me in
just a moment. And the president wants to make it cheaper for kids to go
to college, what‘s wrong with that, but some democratic senators are
selling out to the banks and sticking students with the bills, I don‘t like
Right wing group, Citizens United, did a hit job on Hillary Clinton
and won the support of the Supreme Court. The president called them out on
it and now righties are accusing him of violating the balance of power.
We got all of that coming up in a program, but first this story really
has me fired up tonight. I‘ve been waiting to talk about this all day
long. Now we‘re having this discussion over on the left is to whether we
should take this bill are not and I‘m just as passionate about it today as
I was last night on the program. We can bring out human interest story
after human interest story to the American people; say do you really want
to deny these folks? But let‘s talk about the republicans for just a
moment before we get into the latest developments tonight on healthcare
bill and there are some interesting things happening in this late hour this
evening. It‘s processing personality right now that‘s what the republicans
are talking about. They‘re not talking about, gosh this is what I‘ve got
to get, this is what we really need, this is where we got to move this
thing forward, its anti, anti, anti, anti, and fear tactics. Now I have to
hand it to the senator from South Dakota, he‘s pretty smooth on this one, I
love this sound cut, here it is:
SEN. JOHN THUNE ®, SOUTH DAKOTA: There‘s been a lot of discussion
around here about how reconciliation can be used to correct or cure some of
the problems that members of the House may have with the senate passed a
bill, but I think the message is very clear out of all this, is that if you
vote for the senate passed a bill in the House you own the senate passed a
bill. That is the vote that matters and any suggestion that reconciliation
can correct those things is assuming tremendous leap of faith that the
senate is going to follow through and enact those.
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you; does it get any smoother than that? I mean
we‘re going to scare the hell out of them, the democrats don‘t have faith,
the democrats don‘t have the guts, we‘ll just guess and speculate what
reconciliation is going to do, we‘re not for this, and oh you House members
over there, you don‘t want to have your mitts on this senate bill. This is
all, remember that sound bite right there, in the final hour I believe, and
I think we‘re in the final stages, that is the sound bite that I will
remember for a long time. They got no game, they got no game, now I don‘t
know Senator Thune from South Dakota, his background, I don‘t know if he
ever played basketball, but senator you don‘t have any game in this late
hour. You got no move to the bucket on that one, I mean that‘s weak; I
mean we can see right through that it‘s a fear of thing, House members, on
a very serious note, you should embrace this Senate bill, because that is
going to move this process forward. Yes we have guts, yes we have faith,
it is a leap of faith, but it‘s the right leap to take for the President of
the United States who is polling so much better than all of these other
jokers who are down there in Washington just the vilifying everything when
it comes to Health Care reform.
Now there‘s another senator out there that caught my attention this
morning over on the right. Did you know that Judd Gregg, who is the
ranking senator on the senate budget committee, did you know he was
actually a Psychology Professor? I didn‘t know that, but this sound bite
really reveals it. He writes today, he says today in a press briefing with
reporters; now you ask yourself, if you‘re a senator from the democratic
side of the aisle, do you really need to put yourself through this? Just
to help out the president and the democrat side of the aisle, in the House,
when you already have got what you want? I think that‘s a reach and it
should cause questions for democrats in the House. I‘ll tell you what,
that is just, I‘ll tell you, if he doesn‘t have a doctorate we should give
him one right here on the ED SHOW. That is so professor like, scare the
living tar out of the democrats that‘s what they are down to, but it‘s not
mean spirited. This is what‘s very interesting about their approach here,
it‘s not mean spirited it‘s pretty classy and pretty lofty from an academic
sense, playing to the fears and the appeal of the democrats that, we really
know you don‘t have the guts to do this and you probably won‘t do it, at
least we hope like hell you don‘t do it, because we are going to go
reconciliation and it is going to happen.
Tell me what you think folks. I want to know what you think in our
telephone survey tonight. The number to dial is 1 877 ED MSNBC. And my
question tonight is very simple again, what do you think the republicans
want more, to fix your Health Care or just to destroy the democrats. Press
one for fix your Health Care and press two for destroy the democrats. I‘ll
bring you the results later on in the program tonight. They‘re pretty
smooth, they‘re pretty smooth.
Joining me now is Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief
of the Huffington Post. Arianna great to have you on tonight, thanks so
much. I want to talk public option, because it‘s your lead on the
Huffington Post at this hour, some late developments, Huffington Post you
write, “The public options last stand a matter of will not votes.” Dick
Durbin now says that he‘ll whip the votes into shape over on the senate
side whatever the House passes on the reconciliation bill whatever comes
over. How do you interpret that tonight?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, Ed it‘s an amazing moment
actually and Ryan our Congressional correspondent has done a great analysis
of where we are in the senate. Of course as you know we have 41 declared
proponents of the public option in the senate, 41 democrats said they‘ll
vote for it, but as Ryan has looked beyond those 41, it‘s clear that we can
easily have 50 or 53. Provided the White House makes it clear that they
want the public option, that‘s why he‘s saying, it‘s a matter of will
rather than votes. We can have the votes, because there are enough
Democratic Senators beyond the 41 already committed who support the public
option or who would not oppose the bill, during reconciliation and risk
everything because it includes the public option.
SCHULTZ: I mean I think it would be, Arianna I think it would be so
great if the president would pick up that letter and say, we got 41 votes
here on this very interesting letter from Colorado Senator Bennett, gosh
you know we always have wanted the public option. Is it time for the
president maybe to weigh in one last time on the public option; what do you
HUFFINGTON: Absolutely, because just think of it, you have 41
committed senators, who without any effort from the White House or the
democratic leadership, they have come forward and have volunteered that
they‘re committed to the public option. Here‘s what is fascinating here,
this partly has happened, because of the way the health insurance industry
has acted in the last few weeks; with the sky rocketing premiums at the
very moment when they‘re trying to get the public on their side, they‘re
undermining what they‘re actually, what they‘re intentions are. That‘s why
yesterday you know, when Secretary Sebelius spoke to the Health Insurance
executives, it was really unfortunate that she toned down her prepared
remarks, because in her prepared remarks she had actually challenge them to
take the money they are planning to spend in the final hour in attack ads
and actually use it to provide some relief for the people who are facing
sky rocketing premiums.
In the remarks she actually gave she lost the stuff about the attack
ads and instead of saying providing some relief, she said look at providing
through market strategies. Now here‘s the question, look at providing,
we‘re so beyond looking and considering, so why do members of this
administration feel they still need to water down what they are saying,
when we‘re facing such an unequivocal crisis when it comes to health care
in this country.
SCHULTZ: There‘s no doubt about it. I hope the president ways in on
it one more time and I think you would help an awful lot. I was on the
Hill yesterday, I talked to some people, there are some senators that will
vote for this if it comes, if push comes to shove and there is a vote on
the public option, their names not going to be on that letter, but they
will vote for it and I think there‘s a lot of folks wondering what the next
play is going to be on this. It is a matter of will they got to keep
going, now the interesting thing here, Arianna his, what is Nancy Pelosi‘s
play? Now obviously, not to get ahead of the process, they‘ve got to pass
the senate bill over on the house side, but then there has to be a
reconciliation bill. Do you think Nancy Pelosi should put that put that
public option in that reconciliation bill?
HUFFUNGTON: Absolutely Ed. For two reasons, first of all because I‘m
really convinced now that if the president comes out and supports it, we‘ll
pass it. If this was Lyndon Johnson he would have had those extra nine
votes before he brushed his teeth in the morning, right? Any other reason
is that this is only way we can really keep costs down and ensure real
competition, when it comes to the health insurance industry. Otherwise the
same thing that‘s been happening the last few weeks will go on happening.
SCHULTZ: Now this is a time when the democrats got to get out and
fight. And yesterday on the Hill, at the capitol, the progressive media
summit took place and the question came up and I posed it and some other
media folks did in the progressive movement posed it, you know, why aren‘t
the senior most senators out there on the talking heads, on the Sunday
shows getting after it, selling hard at a critical time? And this is what
Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said, “Some members feel like they‘re
going to get beat up, many people in our caucus feel like they are beat up
on both sides, that doesn‘t help us.” I think, and she said that in a very
innocent manner, but the fact is, if this is the strategy that they are
afraid to go out, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller, Chris Dodd,
Dick Durbin, if these senior most senators, who are in this fight, are
afraid to go out and get after it on the talking heads, especially on
Sunday, isn‘t that a rather odd strategy?
HUFFINGTON: Well it‘s both an odd strategy and a strategy that‘s not
going to work, because it hasn‘t worked over the last year. (Inaudible)
does not work. The reason Obama is in the White House is because he run a
bold campaign. So now to have him and to have senators act as though they
are actually afraid of the consequences of what they‘re saying is
ultimately going to be self defeating. This is the time to forget about
themselves and fight for the American people and ironically that‘s also the
best political strategy.
SCHULTZ: Arianna always a pleasure, great to have you with this
tonight and thanks for doing the story and making it a headline. It is
still a very hot topic down the stretch, thanks so much.
We turn now to California Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey who is the co
chair of the progressive caucus. Congresswoman great to have you on; I
understand that there is a late development this afternoon that the House
leadership has decided that they are not going to be able to change the
abortion language and they‘re going to have to move forward without the
Stupak crowd. Can you confirm that and what‘s your take on it?
REP. LYNN WOOLSY (D), CALIFORNIA: Well my take is, that‘s the best we
can do and I think we will get some of the Stupak crowd in order to pass
healthcare reform. Something else that you, that came out this afternoon,
that you haven‘t announced yet, we heard just as we were leaving to come
over here, that Senator Bernie Sanders is going to insist that the public
option come to a vote during the reconciliation debate.
SCHULTZ: I‘m all about that and the signatures are mounting, Bernie
Sanders has been a real fighter on that. So this is just going to, it‘s
starting to boil to a head right now. Do you think that Nancy Pelosi, this
leap of faith that we‘re all talking about now, do you think the Speaker
can get the votes on the senate bill over on the House side?
WOOLSY: I believe she can as long as the reconciliation actually fixes
some of the problems that the House members have with the senate bill, but
for us to think, and for the republicans to tell us that we‘re going to
lose our elections if we vote for that senate bill, is saying that the
people of this country don‘t get it; that process says we have to vote for
the senate bill first, we don‘t like it and we will fix it. And that means
we have to have a leap of faith, absolutely that what our leadership, what
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid come to terms with and they tell us a head of
time, will be what we vote on for the reconciliation.
SCHULTZ: Are you, do you trust the senate to finish the job?
WOOLSEY: I trust my Speaker, I trust Nancy Pelosi, if she makes a deal
with the leader Reid, I believe that is what we will be voting on.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman great to have you on, thanks so much,
appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for that news tip. Appreciate it.
Coming up, Chief Justice John Roberts and President Obama are at war
over the supremely bad decision to let unlimited money flow in a political
campaign. I‘m going head to head with a man who won the case in just a
moment. Plus House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Maxine Waters will be
here. They‘ll give you the real story on how Nancy Pelosi is rounding up
the critical votes on the healthcare bill. And Colorado now has its very
own Michelle Bachmann, she makes a Rocky Mountain debut in the Psycho talk.
Stay with us, you‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC; you won‘t want to
miss this one.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the ED SHOW. I just can‘t get off this South
Dakota story, this last sound bite.
Sioux Falls (inaudible) leader, come on, do a poll on the public
option, do it for America, because I‘m sure, I‘m sure that the people of
South Dakota sent John Thune to Washington to talk about the democrats all
All right another story, the White House and the Supreme Court are
trading blows over a landmark Supreme Court decision that opened the door
to unlimited corporate spending in elections. Democrats not happy about
this one and present Obama made his feelings clear at the State of the
Union Address in January.
BARRACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With all due deference
to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of
law that I‘d believe will open the floodgates to special interest;
including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections. I
don‘t think American elections should be bankrolled by America‘s most
powerful interests or worse by foreign entities.
SCHULTZ: We‘re going to be playing that sound bite for years, then
this Tuesday at the University of Alabama Chief Justice John Roberts was
asked if what the president said, in the State of the Union Address, was
appropriate. Here‘s his response.
JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT: I think anybody can
criticize the Supreme Court without any qualm; on the other, as you said,
there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum. The
image of having the members of one branch of government, standing up
literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering, while the
court, according to the requirements of protocol, has to sit there
expressionless, I think is very troubling.
SCHULTZ: Well that‘s the most personality we‘ve seen out of the
Supreme Court, may be ever. The White House hit right back with a
statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs today and rightfully so he
said, “what is troubling is that this decision opened the floodgates for
corporations and special interests to pour money into elections, drowning
out the voices of average Americans. The president has been, has long been
committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests and their
lobbyists over government.” That is why he spoke out to condemn the
decision and is working with the Congress on a legislative response.
Joining me now is David Bossie founder and president of Citizens
United, the company on the winning side of this controversial case. Mr.
Bossie good to have you with this.
DAVID BOSSIE, CITIZENS UNITED: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: You bet. There‘s going to be legislation brought forward on
this, do you think it will have teeth and do you think will erase what the
Supreme Court has ruled here?
BOSSIE: Well clearly it cannot. The Supreme Court ruled, the Congress
can‘t just go and pass another law that the Supreme Court says is
unconstitutional, so what Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen is doing is
just simply an incumbent protection act, which is what incumbents do, it‘s
what McCain- Feingold was, McCain -Feingold, the mantra was we‘re going to
keep money out of politics. In 2008 there was more money that had ever
been spent before and in 2008 the labor unions spent 60 for $65,000,000,
the United States Chamber of Commerce spent about 25 or 30 million, that‘s
not keeping the money out of politics, so this case had nothing to do with
SCHULTZ: OK, so you‘re basically saying tonight that the democrats are
grandstanding when it comes to coming up with any teeth in their
legislation, that this is all a bunch of smoke.
BOSSIE: It is and I find it troubling, quite frankly, that the White
House feels that they‘re in a, kind of a six year old spat. My ideas are
better than yours or I have to the last word; the Chief Justice was talking
about the decorum of the State of the Union and feeling as though, the room
is full of members of Congress-
SCHULTZ: Well that‘s not really the issue.
BOSSIE: Hold on, hold it, just let me finish my point, let me finish
my point, just one second. The room is full of people that are elected and
love to grandstand and have press secretaries to do just that. The Supreme
Court is the only group of people in the room that can‘t talk back.
SCHULTZ: Well if they don‘t want the job they can get off the Court.
They did their talking with the ruling and the president was strong enough
and convicted enough, had a conviction enough to go ahead and challenge it.
And here‘s the point, it doesn‘t matter if it‘s the first time, here‘s the
point, the little guy is going to get squeaked out when it comes to voices
in this country and that‘s what we‘re concerned about.
BOSSIE: No that‘s not true. I am the little guy Ed. I am the little
guy. I don‘t know what you‘re talking about.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Bossie unions in this country, put forward a fraction to
BOSSIE: They spent $65 million last year.
SCHULTZ: Now I let you talk now you let me talk. Let me give you a
fact here, less than one 10th of 1 percent is what unions spend in this
country against corporations when it comes to elections. This is nothing
about drowning out labor, this is nothing about drowning out the little guy
and the president sticks up for it, but you‘re coming back saying that
there‘s no doubt about it, that really we can‘t as a people do anything
about this, correct?
BOSSIE: Hey Ed, Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee, the
unions, and et al, spent $1.4 billion to get him elected. I don‘t think-
SCHULTZ: It was a fraction of the union money was a fraction of what
was raised and he knows that.
BOSSIE: It was $65,000,000.
SCHULTZ: The point I wanted to make with you was that you think that
there‘s nothing that Congress can do and we‘ll see how it all works out;
Mr. Bossie good to have you with us tonight. You know where you stand, I
give you that.
Coming up, get a good look at this face, I mean a good look, she may
not look like Michelle Bachmann, but she sure knows how to talk like her
and you know where that puts her, right in the zone. That‘s next on the ED
SCHULTZ: And it‘s Psycho talk tonight, we‘ve got an addition to the
team, we found a Michelle Bachmann clone, how about that. It‘s the former
Lt. Governor of Colorado, Jane Norton. Let me tell you, she‘s a dandy,
Norton is running for the republican nomination for senate. She went to a
TEA party event, just the other day and I tell you what, she fit right in.
JANE NORTON, CANDIDATE FOR SENATE FROM COLORADO: The Federal
government is fundamentally out of control. They‘re thieving control of
things like car companies, banks, insurance companies; they‘re encroaching
in areas of education, the EPA and its endangerments findings,
circumventing the rule of law, circumventing legislative processes, they
are absolutely out of control. With regard to Social Security, it has
turned into a Ponzi scheme, the money that people pay into it should be
there for when they are ready to retire.
SCHULTZ: She thinks Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Notice how,
wait a minute, notice how that came kind of at the end of her big statement
about how liberals are taking over America and you know we can‘t turn this
thing around. She just got on a roll and got all whipped up in a frenzy,
kind of, and then really got after Social Security, which has been the most
successful and reliable government program for more than 70 years. Now
watch out Colorado, the woman who wants to be your next senator, sounds
like she‘s reading right out of the Michelle Bachmann play book. Norton is
courting the crazy vote and so far it‘s kind of working. She‘s leading
incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennett in a hypothetical matchup.
We‘re going to keep an eye on this one in Colorado, because anyone who
calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme, belongs in Psycho talk.
Coming up, now that we‘ve spent a year fighting over healthcare the
president is tackling another hot potato. He wants to try to solve it,
illegal immigration, immigration period. More on that next, plus we saw
some of that old Kennedy fire on the House floor. I‘ll show you the tape
and tell you why Patrick Kennedy had his back all up. And in my play book
I‘ll introduce you to the only female high school head coach in America.
You‘re watching the ED SHOW on MSNBC, stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Plus, we saw some of that old Kennedy fire on the House
floor. I‘ll show you the tape and tell you why Patrick Kennedy had his
back all up.
And in my playbook, I‘ll introduce you to the only female high school
head coach in America. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: We had a very productive
meeting with the White House, with Nancy Anne DeParle, the president‘s
adviser on health care, where she walked through the president‘s proposal.
Members had opportunity to ask questions about it, express some of their
priorities, public option, public option, public option.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Absolutely, public option. Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Thanks for watching tonight. The public option was a hot topic when House
Democrats met again with the top White House staffers today. Nobody is a
bigger champion on that than we are on THE ED SHOW. But the Democrats—
folks, you got to take this deal. You have to pass the health care reform
bill, which is the Senate bill, over on the House side.
this just isn‘t a time to stand on ideology at all. It‘s a time to be
pragmatic and deliver the mail to millions of Americans, so they can get
caught up, so they can get some health insurance, and we can save lives.
What‘s wrong with that?
Now, you can always make it better down the road. This is the road
we‘ve got to take. But you can‘t let the Republicans and the health
insurance companies win this round.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, who—I
want to talk about this as well—is just back from Haiti. But let‘s talk
health care first, if we can, congresswoman. The latest developments
tonight, we‘re hearing that the House leadership is saying that they can‘t
change the abortion language, and they are just going to have to do, and
try to do it without the conservative Democrats, the Stupak crowd. What
can you tell us about that?
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I‘m hearing the same thing.
As you know, the House leadership had a session today where we went through
the bill, the president‘s bill, section by section. Members raised
questions about all aspects of the bill. There is some unreadiness in
But, you know, everybody is trying very hard to come together around a
bill that, you know, we can live with. As you know, the public option is
still up in the air. There are people who would at least like to have an
opportunity to vote on it by way of some amendment process. I just can‘t
tell you what‘s going to happen at this point, except to say we are all
SCHULTZ: OK. I know you‘re trying hard.
SCHULTZ: What is your best instinct, your gut feeling on the House
passing the Senate bill, taking what we now have labeled as the leap of
faith, that the Senate will take it and go back and do what they‘ve got to
do to straighten this out? Do you think that Nancy Pelosi will round out
the votes? And do you think that House members, 39 of them who voted no
the first time, there might be enough to take that leap of faith and go
with this president and go with this bill and get it taken care of? What
do you think?
WATERS: As of today, I don‘t think that could happen. Unfortunately,
I don‘t think that, based on what I saw and heard today, that there are
enough who are willing to take a leap of faith. That‘s not to say that
that won‘t change in coming days. Unfortunately, it‘s taken us a long time
to get to this point. We can‘t rush it.
I know that—I think the president said they would like to have it
on the desk by the 18th. I don‘t think that‘s going to happen. I think
they should allow the time to be taken to work out these kinks, and to work
with members, so we can eventually get to the point where we will have a
Senate bill that—with some amendments—that can be passed. So, no, I
don‘t think that the leap of faith could be realized today.
SCHULTZ: OK. But, again, this is all about the Democrats. It‘s all
about the Democrats. Republicans aren‘t going to be there. It‘s all about
the Democrats doing the deal.
WATERS: Absolutely. You‘re absolutely right. We can‘t count on any
Republicans, not one. This is all about Democrats, and whether or not we
can come together and form a consensus of some kind, even though we have
differences, and make it work.
SCHULTZ: Finally, congresswoman, just back from Haiti; I know that
you‘re concerned about debt relief.
SCHULTZ: What is your position on that? What do we do for Haiti?
WATERS: Well, I‘m very happy. We passed the debt relief bill off the
floor. I had worked out all of the differences between the Senate. So it
was one bill. We sent it right up to the president. So the president will
be signing the debt relief bill in the next few days. And that‘s going to
help Haiti a lot. The money that they don‘t have to pay out in debt they
can have to try and help do this redevelopment with.
I‘m really concerned about Haiti. I‘m concerned not only about the
rainy season and the hurricanes. These temporary camps are nothing but a
formula for disaster. I‘m worried about the spread of disease.
It‘s a bad situation still in Haiti. We‘ve got a lot of work to do.
We need shelter very badly. The tarps, the plastic that they are passing
out to go over these lean-tos won‘t do the job. Haiti is in deep, deep
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Thank you for being on tonight.
WATERS: You‘re so welcome. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Appreciate your time.
WATERS: You‘re welcome.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s turn now to Lanny Davis, former special council to
President Clinton, who tried to school me months ago that I should take
this deal. So I concede, Lanny. But the public option is still alive.
And I want to know how you feel about the president, one final time,
weighing in on this, now that there‘s 41 signatures over on the Senate
side, on this letter? What should be the best play here by the White
House? Stay quiet or make a statement about it?
LANNY DAVIS, FMR. SPECIAL COUNCIL TO THE PRESIDENT: I love what Ed
Schultz said tonight. I would prefer a public option. I would prefer 100
percent. But there are 30 million plus people who want this bill passed,
so that they can go to bed at night knowing that they have health insurance
and that they‘re going to get health care at a level, not because they‘re
poor or rich, but because America gives them that right. So I agree with
what you said.
I think we did have an argument about this some time ago. But
honestly, Ed, had we been where we are last now back last June, with no
public option passed by the Senate, we would have national health care. We
wasted the summer. We got our backs to the walls. Then we lost
Massachusetts. I wish we could redo. But I‘m for what Barack Obama is
doing right now.
SCHULTZ: They tried to work with the Republicans on this. They
didn‘t believe the Waterloo comment, which was made on July 9th by Jim
DeMint of South Carolina. The Democrats didn‘t take him serious. Look
what—their stall game has pretty much—well, it‘s worked. Here we are
in the middle of March.
Here‘s where we‘ve got to go now. Lanny, you‘ve got to tell the
country what it‘s like to have battle scars of not passing health care from
the Clinton years.
DAVIS: Well, I‘d like to tell my fellow liberal Democrats what it‘s
like, because for people to be on programs such as yours—and I remember
Howard Dean saying, I‘d rather have no bill at all if I don‘t have a public
option. After all this time and effort, we have our president, elected by
a very good margin, an elections should count, asking Democrats to support
this legislation. And I think it‘s now time, for sure, to think about the
people who are uninsured.
SCHULTZ: He‘s asked for the order.
DAVIS: And get this thing done, or else we will have a blood bath in
November. It looks like we might have one, even if we pass the bill,
unless the economy bounces back and we get some more jobs created. But
we‘ve got to pass this bill.
SCHULTZ: So you and I are on the same page. The president deserves
our support at this point, at the 11th hour, and we‘ve got to get it done.
DAVIS: Go, Ed. You‘re going to get in trouble with all of your
friends if you say that you and I are on the same page.
SCHULTZ: No, as long as you—look, we‘ve got to put our night
DAVIS: There you go, Ed.
SCHULTZ: This is going to help a lot of people. And the preexisting
condition—I think it‘s going to help us keep the majority. I think the
White House can sell this. I know Barack Obama can get out there. The
president can sell it hard and make people realize what it will do. And
we‘ll keep the majority and we‘ll keep moving. And down the road, we‘ll
get more reform.
DAVIS: Let it never be said that Ed Schultz is not educable (ph).
SCHULTZ: OK, Lanny. Good to have you on.
DAVIS: God bless you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Lanny Davis with us tonight.
All right, now, with the health care, Wall Street legislation and a
student loan overhaul still unfinished today, President Obama put another -
another major issue on the plate: immigration reform. It was just three
years ago that President Bush, the late Senator Ted Kennedy and John McCain
tried and failed to get the immigration reform bill passed. Now, President
Obama is looking for Republicans to come on board for a bipartisan—
bipartisan solution? I hope so.
The president met with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Republican
Senator Lindsay Graham over to the White House to talk about it, along with
grassroots supporters for immigration reform.
For more, let‘s brings in our panel, Democratic strategist Todd
Webster, and Republican strategist Ron Christie.
Mr. Webster, don‘t we have enough irons in the fire? Is there any
question at all about timing, trying to do this before health care is done?
What do you think?
TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think we have spent—
invested a lot of time, energy, and effort. We‘ve got a very good bill.
The news today, Ed, was that the CBO scored this bill and found that it
saves 118 billion dollars.
So let‘s look at where we are. This bill saves 120 billion dollars
over ten years. It ends insurance company discrimination on the basis of
preexisting condition, prevents them from dropping you as soon as you get
sick, requires insurance companies to spend 85 cents on the dollar of your
premiums on health care rather than CEO bonuses. It covers 30 million
This is a very, very strong bill. And, in part, because it has some
of the best ideas from the Republicans.
SCHULTZ: So the CBO has scored it. It must have happened before I
went on the air. The CBO has scored the health care bill.
WEBSTER: It saves 118 billion dollars over the next ten years.
SCHULTZ: What was the total package, Todd?
WEBSTER: Eight hundred something, 800 something. But the point is,
it‘s a very strong bill, and includes Tom Coburn‘s desire to root out more
waste and fraud and abuse in the Medicare system. It‘s a very, very strong
bill. Now we‘re going to see if Republicans are going to support it or
whether they are going to, for political purposes, continue to oppose it.
SCHULTZ: Ron Christie, what do you make of those numbers?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I haven‘t seen that CBO score.
So I can‘t comment on that directly. You know how I am, Ed. I only talk
about what I do know.
I think the Democrats‘ agenda right now is in deep trouble. I think
the administration and the Congress have expended so much political capital
over the last year that looking to bring up a bill such as immigration
reform right now would be perilous.
The president, last summer, he had immigration reform right behind the
cap and trade bill and the health care bill. Now he only had one sentence
about it in the State of the Union this year.
My question is—I think all Americans want to have a comprehensive
immigration bill. The question is, are you going to have amnesty for the
alleged 12 million people here that are undocumented? I think an amnesty
bill or provision would kill an immigration bill, given this political
SCHULTZ: It‘s the best and the safest and the quickest solution to
bring Americans into the fold. They are Americans. They are here.
They‘ve been here for a long time. I view this, Ron, as rearranging our
CHRISTIE: Well, Ed, I think people that come to this country that are
documented, people that have gone through the legal steps, have every right
to be here. But I‘m not one that wants to reward those who have broken the
law, who have entered this country illegally, particularly at a time, Ed—
I look at this with a political standpoint.
When the unemployment rate, Ed, is where it is now, at near 10
percent, I think there‘s not going to be a lot of stomach of giving amnesty
to 12 million people who are here undocumented.
SCHULTZ: Todd Webster, hold on—I‘ve got to ask you this, Todd. Is
this political theater on the part of Democrats? Are they just trying to
get the Latino vote before the midterm?
WEBSTER: No. There is a legitimate connection of immigration reform
to this health care bill, as Joe Wilson wanted to say. They wanted to make
sure that none of the health care bill would support undocumented workers.
The question today was whether undocumented workers could buy in to the
health exchanges. I think could you make a very strong case for that,
because if these undocumented folks are not getting vaccines and not
getting their health care in a plan that they are purchasing themselves,
they are going to get it at the emergency room, and the rest of us are—
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, short on time. Got to run. If that CBO score is
what it is, if it does save 118 billion dollars, and it‘s under 900 billion
dollars, it‘s now up to Nancy Pelosi, and they‘ve got to pass that Senate
bill to move this process. That‘s the only way I see it. Gentlemen, great
to have you with us
Coming up, our good friends Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson are
standing up for the big banks instead of the American people again. This
time, they are sticking it to college kids. More on that next in the
playbook. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my play book tonight, the big banks are getting in
the way of President Obama‘s push for student loan reform. The president
wants the government to stop subsidizing private companies and make loans
to students. He wants to use that money to increase Pell Grants and
government lending instead.
Of course, banks don‘t want to lose those government dollars. And now
they have six Senate Democrats on their side. It‘s the usual suspects, Tom
Carper of Delaware, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska,
Bill Nelson of Florida, Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia. I don‘t
figure that one out. They all wrote a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid
opposing the president‘s plan.
That‘s not good news for Democrats, who want to include the student
loan legislation in the reconciliation bill on health care reform.
And another page in our playbook tonight, we have got Congressman
Patrick Kennedy. He lashed out at the media Wednesday on the House floor.
He slammed reporters for ignoring a House debate on Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: If anyone wants to know where
cynicism is, cynicism is that there‘s one—two press people in this
gallery. We‘re talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV.
We‘re talking about war and peace, three billion dollars, a thousand
lives, and no press. No press? You want to know why the American public
is fit? They‘re fit because they are not seeing their Congress do the work
that they are sent to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, it would really help the media if former
Congressman Eric Massa would just shut up. That‘s why the media is
covering it, and rightfully so.
This just in, Senator Reid‘s wife, Landra, and daughter, Lana, were
injured in a car accident today. Their car was rear-ended by a semi-truck
on a Washington, DC highway. Mrs. Reid broke her nose, back, and neck, and
daughter sustained a neck injury and facial lacerations. Both women are
conscious, and their injuries are not life threatening. Our thoughts and
prayers are with the Reid family tonight.
Coming up, the magic number for health care reform is 216. That‘s how
many votes are going to be needed. Nobody knows that more than the man who
we will visit with next. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn joins us next on
THE ED SHOW when we come back.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. Today,
the White House admitted the House probably won‘t be able to pass health
care reform one week from today, the deadline, March 18th.
The bigger question is whether Nancy Pelosi and her team are winning
over there key groups in the caucus, progressives, the Blue Dogs, and the
abortion foes. We‘ll ask the man who counts the votes, Congressman Jim
Clyburn, House Majority Whip, from South Carolina.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC), HOUSE WHIP: Thank you so much for having me.
SCHULTZ: The abortion language is not going to change, is that
CLYBURN: I don‘t think so. I think the Senate language is being
scrubbed by those members in Mr. Stupak‘s group, and they are making
decisions as to whether or not that language meets their test. I think it
does. Dale Kildee, who is a reliable member of that group, thinks it does.
I think there will be other members who come to that same conclusion.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, why can‘t the House Democrats met the deadline
of March 18th? What is the hold-up here? Is it just going to be that
tough of a fight?
CLYBURN: Well, I‘m not saying that we can‘t meet that deadline. We
started reading the bill today in our full caucus. We will meet again at
9:00 in the morning. And the staffs will continue to read. We plan to be
finished with that by noon tomorrow. Then we‘ll settle down to start
We don‘t want to start whipping until all the members get an
opportunity to hear what the changes are, and to ask the questions about
them, and get the answers that they will like to receive. And then we‘ll
start whipping. I think we‘ll start that early tomorrow afternoon.
SCHULTZ: And what‘s your instinct? Of the 39 that did not vote yes,
the 39 Democrats that did not vote yes, do you think you can get some of
CLYBURN: Yes, I do. I‘ve talked to a few of those who tell me that
they voted the way they did because they did not like the public option.
The public option is not gone. There are some other things about bending
the cost curve, which I don‘t like to use, bringing costs down. They think
that the Senate bill was better at that than the House bill.
So there are some members who voted no to the House bill, who feel
much more comfortable about the Senate bill. So I think we‘ll pick up some
of those people.
SCHULTZ: And we learned tonight that the CBO has scored the Senate
bill, and it‘s under 900 billion dollars. It saves 188 billion over ten
years. Is that good news tonight?
CLYBURN: That‘s great news. Deficit reduction is what this bill is
all about, keeping the costs down, as the president wanted us to do, to
stay under 960, or whatever that number may have been. I think we will do
So I think that, when you look at everything we were trying to
accomplish, everything that the president wanted to see done—I think we
are getting close to that. By noon tomorrow, I do believe we will be in a
very good place with this bill. And who knows, we may get it done before
he takes off on his trip.
SCHULTZ: Gosh, that would be fantastic. I hope that the House
Democrats understand that we are on the verge of doing something fantastic
for this country.
CLYBURN: I think they do. I really think they do. And people want
this done sooner, rather than later. Because they want us to turn our
attention to jobs, to energy, education, getting people back to work. So
all of that, I think the members feel good about getting this behind them.
SCHULTZ: I‘d love to have it noon tomorrow. I know everybody would.
Jim, thanks for joining us tonight. Thanks so much, Congressman.
CLYBURN: Thank you so much for having me.
SCHULTZ: Tonight on our phone survey, I asked do you think that the
Republicans—what do you think they want more, to fix your health care or
destroy the Democrats? Four percent say fix health care; 96 percent
destroy the Democrats.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews
starts right now here on the place for politics. We‘ll see you tomorrow
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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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.>