Guest: Tom Harkin, John Barrasso, Chris Van Hollen, Jesse Jackson, Bob
Shrum, Joan Walsh, John Feehery, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bernie Sanders
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW
tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight.
Universal health care is the law of the land. But while the
presidents and Democrats are making history, the Republican Party is
becoming even more extreme. More on that in just a moment.
And new numbers show the “party of yes” is making big gains on the
“party of no.” The man in charge of holding the House, Congressman Chris
Van Hollen, will join me in just a moment to talk strategy.
And President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just pulled off a
remarkable achievement. Doris Kearns Goodwin will be here to rate the role
of Obama. And Nancy Pelosi, is she LBJ in a skirt?
And one other question I will pose tonight. With all the hate speech
that‘s going on, why do Democrats even go on Fox News? They don‘t tell the
But first, here‘s the hot story tonight, of course, that‘s got the
country fired up.
Listen to this very closely. It sounds great.
Universal health care is now the law of the land. President Obama
signed the Senate health care bill today into law.
I think Vice President Joe Biden, he stole the show. He put it
exactly the way it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a big
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president saying yes, yes, I know.
This is a big deal. For the first time, health care is your right.
And I have been so moved by this story for the last year. I‘ve been
all over the country. I‘ve done countless town hall meetings over the last
two years. And I‘ve seen desperation in the eyes of a lot of people that
The hunger for change has been inspiring to see. And this is why the
president of the United States is where he is. He‘s the president on
changes that go into effect this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This year we‘ll start
offering tax credits to about four million small businessmen and women to
help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees.
This year tens of thousands of uninsured Americans with pre-existing
conditions, the parents of children who have a pre-existing condition, will
finally be able to purchase the coverage they need. That happens this
This year insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people‘s
coverage when they get sick. They won‘t be able to place lifetime limits
or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care they can receive.
This year all new insurance plans will be required to offer free
preventive care. And this year young adults will be able to stay on their
parents‘ policies until they‘re 26 years old. That happens this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, all those good things happening this year. In the next
three months, all of that‘s going to be law.
He has delivered on the promise of change. Of course it‘s change.
That never happened under the Republicans.
That doesn‘t mean the lies are going to stop. Take a listen to GOP
Chair Michael Steele.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: You‘re not really going to get the
impacts of this bill for four years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Did you catch that? Let me show that again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEELE: You‘re not really going to get the impacts of this bill for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So the president, today, when he said small business tax
credits, I guess Obama was lying. And you students who are under 26 or
working kids under 26, I guess the president‘s lying when he says you can
be extended on your parent‘s coverage until you‘re 26.
Now, is Michael Steele—is he just mistaken or is he lying? I mean,
we have got to cut to the chase on this, folks.
It takes the Republicans exactly four seconds to tell a lie to the
American people. They make it easy to consume. That‘s about the level of
their news consumption ability, especially—they have to talk to people
like that, though.
I mean, how else do you talk to the Tea Partiers? That‘s all they can
consume—government takeover. That takes about three seconds.
People pick up on a talking point and they spread it like wildfire.
And that‘s the level of their news consumption. Their followers believe
this stuff. Anything they say, I mean, they‘re right on it.
And on the heels of the health care lies, we‘ve got a new Harris Poll.
And I‘m making a big point about this, because the more they say this
garbage, this is how it gets picked up—scary Republican attitudes about
Sixty-seven percent of Republicans believe that Obama is a socialist.
OK. Now, what if he is? Is that against the law?
What if he is a socialist? Does that mean he‘s un-American?
Forty-five percent of Republicans believe that President Obama was not
born in the United States. Fifty-seven percent think he‘s a Muslim.
Twenty-four percent say that, well, you know, he may be the anti-Christ.
Thirty-eight percent of Republicans say that Obama is doing many of the
things that Hitler did.
These are now beliefs. And, of course, the Republicans, they love
polls. Oh, they can‘t live without a poll, you know. Whatever that poll
says, that‘s the way it is.
That‘s what Republicans think of our president. This has to be a low
point in American history as much as it is a high point of what happened
Every single one of these things that I just mentioned and put up on
the screen for you, I want you to know that they are 100 percent false.
The conservative media and the Republican Party, they have lied to the
American people and they‘ve done it long enough.
Conservative leaders, I believe, bear the responsibility to set their
base straight on the facts. Just because they‘ve lost a health care
debate, just because the Democrats have more votes than them, doesn‘t give
them the license to go out and make up stuff.
Oh, he‘s not an American. He wasn‘t born here. He‘s a socialist.
He‘s doing stuff Hitler was doing. I mean, and you connect that kind of
conversation with the fact that they want to change the textbooks in the
state of Texas and rewrite history so it fits their ideology.
This is an intellectual civil war taking place in this country right
now. The facts are the facts.
The health care fight has ignited passions that we haven‘t seen in
this country for a long time. With such a historic division, it really is
amazing that President Obama was able to achieve health care reform.
The Senate Republicans are trying to do the best they possibly can to
torpedo the reconciliation bill. Harry Reid wants to pass this by this
weekend. Once the Senate finishes its work, this will only be better.
Tell me what you think, folks, in our telephone survey tonight. The
number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Now that health care reform has passed, do you
feel hope or fear for this country. Press 1 for hope, press 2 for fear.
And I‘ll bring you the results later on in the program.
It was a jam-packed room today. I would have loved to been there. A
lot of Americans would have loved to have been there.
But the people who have really earned the right to be there—there
were no gimmes today in that room—one of them was Senator Tom Harkin
from Iowa, chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, who has spent his life
working on health care reform, who is one of the most unselfish people I‘ve
ever met in my life. And I revere him as a friend.
And on behalf of this audience and myself, Senator Harkin, good job,
SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA: Ed, thank you so much. And thanks for
hanging in there and really getting the facts out to people.
More and more, that‘s what we have to do, just get the facts out. Now
that this is the law of the land, no more will there be sort of a
speculation. We have the law. Now people know what they have.
SCHULTZ: And they‘re going to know more.
Now, obviously, the Republicans are out there saying that this doesn‘t
kick in for four years. But here‘s another thing. They‘re throwing out
this number that it‘s going to cost a trillion dollars.
Senator, I read the bill, and I also read an executive summary from a
lobbying firm that went to an insurance industry agent. And I can tell you
that the biggest piece of change for this bill is going to be $4.8 billion
that comes from the pharmaceutical companies in year number two.
Am I right or am I wrong on that?
HARKIN: You‘re absolutely right on that, Ed. Absolutely.
SCHULTZ: So, $4.8 billion of money that the pharmaceutical industry
has never given to this effort of health care reform is going to happen
under Barack Obama‘s watch.
Why aren‘t the Republicans saying that? Why aren‘t the Democrats
calling them on it?
HARKIN: Well, look, Ed, there‘s just so much noise out there and so
much misinformation, it‘s hard to know which one to attack. I think the
best thing for us is to tell the truth to the American people.
The bill is now the law of the land, and we have got to fight to make
sure we keep it. I think the Republicans are doing a disservice by talking
about repealing it, but quite frankly, I think politically that‘s not going
to help them in the polls this November.
I‘d like to have that debate with my opponent, Ed. You know, my
opponent would say, well, you know, they‘re going to repeal this bill. I
could say, wait a minute—to my constituents, I‘d say, look, right now
you have a guarantee. It‘s in law right now that if your child gets sick,
if your child has a pre-existing condition, you can still get health
insurance for that child. They want to take that away from you.
Right now under the law, the law right now says that if you get sick,
insurance companies can‘t cut you off. They want to take that away from
Right now, as you said earlier, Ed, your child can stay on your health
insurance policy until they‘re age 26. Not 18, 26. They want to take that
away from you.
I think once the American people know what they have as a right,
they‘re not going to want the Republicans to take it away from them.
SCHULTZ: Senator, will the Senate business get done this week? Will
you hit the deadline?
HARKIN: Yes, sir, we‘re going to get her done. We‘re going to keep
rolling. We may be in all night tonight and all night Wednesday night and
all night Thursday night. But I predict that we‘re going to have it done
before the weekend.
SCHULTZ: Senator Harkin, great to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time.
HARKIN: Ed, I‘ve got to tell you, it was so exciting being there
today. I remember when I was down there when the Americans With
Disabilities Act was signed. This is equally as exciting because this now
covers all the American people. It‘s something we‘ve been trying to do for
a hundred years, and we finally got it done.
SCHULTZ: Senator, great to have you on. Appreciate your time
HARKIN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: A hundred years is an awful long time. There‘s no doubt
about that. And I thought it was fantastic the president brought that 11-
year-old boy in there today. Imagine the memory he‘s going to have for a
And I want everybody to know that watches this program, I don‘t hate
anybody. I don‘t hate the Republicans. I don‘t hate the Tea Partiers.
I just don‘t understand them right now. I don‘t understand the
position that they‘re taking. And there is really a narrative that‘s
taking place out there in this country right now that I think is dangerous.
You know, you don‘t have to make all the threats. You don‘t have to spit
on representatives. You don‘t have to throw out the N-word. You don‘t
have to throw bricks through windows.
All you have to do is go vote. That‘s all you‘ve got to do. You just
have to go vote.
Now for the other side of the story, let me bring in Republican
Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming.
Senator, good to have you with us.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO ®, WYOMING: Great to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Some of the antics that have been taking place, do you think
it‘s the position of the Republican Party to absolutely state unequivocally
that you don‘t align yourselves with the kind of slurs that have been
thrown out there and some of the activities that have taken place?
BARRASSO: Well, I agree with you there. But I do believe that this
bill is one that‘s going to be bad for patients, I believe it‘s going to be
bad for our providers, our doctors and our nurses. And it‘s going to be
bad for payers, the American taxpayers that are going to have to take this
and the large bill that they‘re going to be asked to be paying through
Medicare cuts, as well as through increases in taxes.
SCHULTZ: Will the middle class be taxed in this bill? Yes or no?
BARRASSO: I believe that they will through medical devices, drugs,
when they go to the drugstore. I think they‘re going to see taxes across
the board. And I think that‘s what the American people and I am certainly
concerned about, which is why, Ed, it seems that over half of the people of
the country strongly oppose this bill, where only one in four support it.
And specifically the seniors, Ed.
I mean, I was at hospital this weekend in Wyoming. And we have
somebody on Medicare, and said, “If they‘re going to cut Medicare, they
ought to use the money to save Medicare, not to start a whole new
And that‘s the first amendment on the reconciliation bill on the floor
of the Senate right now that we‘re bringing, I‘ve co-sponsored. It said if
you‘re going to take money from Medicare, use it to save Medicare, not to
start a new government program.
SCHULTZ: Senator, let‘s get back to the taxes. You said that you
believe that they‘re going to go up. Income—
BARRASSO: Oh, I believe they are.
SCHULTZ: Income taxes on the middle class will not go up. That‘s a
fact. Sales taxes will not go up that will affect the middle class at all.
If medical devices are used, yes, they are going to cost three percent
more. That‘s what‘s going to go up. But the middle class is not getting
I know. I‘ve read the bill, Senator. And I‘m asking you for an
honest answer tonight.
Tell our audience that the middle class is not going to have their
taxes go up, because that is the case, my friend.
BARRASSO: The middle class of America who uses health care services
are going to see, through a result of these taxes, they‘re going to be
passed right on to the consumers who are going to be using health care
services in the country. People get it, Ed. They understand that, and
that‘s why people are so vehemently opposed to this.
They know that ultimately, the cost of their care is going to go up.
Their insurance premiums are going to go up. And they‘re concerned that
the quality of their care is going to go down.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. I‘ve always
appreciated our exchange. And I think we gentlemanly agree to disagree.
BARRASSO: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us.
BARRASSO: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, righties rarely go after their own, but a
conservative is accusing Sean Hannity‘s charity of cooking the books. Sean
and I talked about this face to face last Friday night. I‘ll tell you all
about it in the “Playbook.”
And Mr. Bipartisan threw in the towel on that “Country first” slogan
of his. He‘s saying we won‘t see any cooperation from the Republicans on
anything for the rest of the year.
All that, plus more on Biden‘s F-bomb.
And “The Beckster” lands in the zone.
And I want to know why Democrats even go on Fox News the way they lie.
We‘re right back on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Yes, this has been a difficult two years. There will be
difficult days ahead. But let us always remember the lesson of this day
and the lesson of history that we, as a people, do not shrink from a
challenge, we overcome it. We don‘t shrink from our responsibilities, we
embrace it. We don‘t fear the future, we shape the future.
That‘s what we do. That‘s who we are. That makes us the United
States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama on a roll, speaking to staffers after
signing the health care reform bill into law today. He praised the
Democrats for not shrinking from their responsibility to bring change.
He got health care done without a single Republican vote. And history
is going to remember that.
But this was still a tough vote for the House Democrats. And the
president told them that on Saturday, that good policy is good politics,
and that voters would respect them for standing up for what they believe
Well, a new poll—since the Republicans love polls—a new poll out
tonight suggests that the president was spot on.
“USA Today”/Gallup Poll, people after reform passed the House, 49
percent of the people say it was a good thing, while 40 percent said it was
a bad thing.
Joining me now is Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen. He‘s the
chairman of the DCCC and assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Ed, it‘s great to be with you on
this historic day.
SCHULTZ: It certainly is.
And you were up in that room. And it had to be quite a feeling to see
that unfold and to have this actually happen. But, of course, the
Republicans are saying it‘s Armageddon, and John McCain says there will be
What‘s the memo say on your desk to the people who are running for
office on the Democratic ticket?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, two things are going to happen immediately.
First of all, the American people are going to see right away that
they were misled and that they were fed a bunch of fear-mongering scare
tactics, because the president just signed the bill, and I don‘t see any
death panels popping up. Do you?
And the world is still here and it‘s not Armageddon. So they have a
huge credibility gap on the other side because their story is one that has
been fed by the insurance industry, that has spent millions and millions
and dollars to try and kill this bill. So they‘ve got a big problem in
terms of having not told the truth.
On the other side, as Senator Harkin was talking about earlier, the
American people are going to begin to see the benefits of this bill. So,
if the Republican mantra is going to be repeal this bill, you know, turn
back the clock, allow the insurance companies to continue to discriminate
against kids based on pre-existing conditions, let‘s take away the money
from seniors, make my day. Because it‘s the same story that they‘re
telling in other areas.
They want to turn back the clock to the Bush economic policies, and
they like the status quo. They like business as usual.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, the activities around the Capitol the last few
days, people getting arrested, bricks through a window, one of your
colleagues being spit on, the N-word being tossed around, just the tone of
the crowd, the hateful attitude that‘s out there, I will take it so far as
to say this is really fueled by Fox News, in my opinion. It‘s fueled by
the right-wing talkers of America.
Let me ask you, why do Democrats even go on Fox? I mean, they just
stir these people up. I mean, why don‘t the Democrats—and I‘m asking
you a serious question here—why send any of your candidates over to be
interviewed by anybody on Fox when they wanted to kill this health care
reform bill, it‘s everything negative about President Obama?
You‘re not going—I mean, you know, in college football, Alabama—
football in Alabama is the way of life. At Notre Dame it‘s a religion.
They don‘t like each other. You‘re not going to convince somebody from the
Irish to go root for Alabama. Vice versa.
So why do the Democrats even go on Fox News? It frustrates the hell
out of progressives when you do.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, Ed, look, no one‘s under any illusions that they‘re
going to change Fox News, that they‘re going to change the orientation of
the channel. But the fact of the matter is there are many people who watch
Fox News who are fair-minded people, and the hope is that maybe you can
break through and get a kernel of truth through the airwaves and
communicate with people.
SCHULTZ: That‘s a theory. That‘s a theory, that you think fair-
minded people watch them.
I mean, look at the activity of—I mean, they stir this stuff up.
Beck feeds on this stuff. Limbaugh said on his program yesterday we‘ve got
to get rid of these bastards. That‘s what he said, speaking of you and
I mean, you‘ve got the majority. You have got enough media out there.
You don‘t need them.
VAN HOLLEN: Look, Ed, nobody is going on Rush Limbaugh‘s show. No
one is going on Glenn Beck‘s show. But there are certain shows where there
are people who haven‘t totally made up their mind that watch Fox News. And
there‘s an effort to try and communicate with them.
But let me just go to your point with respect to the words of
What we saw in the last couple days here was a very ugly face in terms
of the expressions of violence, of the words that were thrown around. But
what was even worse than the fact that it was happening outside the Capitol
was that certain members of Congress who should have known better and
should be leading by example exhibited similar behaviors inside the
chamber. When we had a member—
SCHULTZ: Oh, but they apologized for that, Chris. I mean, the
Republicans apologized for it. They didn‘t mean to say that.
VAN HOLLEN: No. Right. Right. And that‘s why within a couple
hours, as you may have heard, that same member who said “Baby killer”
started a Facebook page to raise money, to raise cash off his statement.
And this is what we‘re dealing with. We‘re dealing with people who
are pretending to apologize and turning around and using these words to
include—to continue to incite people and to raise money.
And so what we have to do is show the American people, decent-minded
American people, that this has become in many ways the new face of the
Republican Party. That‘s what we‘re dealing with.
SCHULTZ: It is the new face. It is their face.
VAN HOLLEN: This is the new face of the Republican Party. That‘s
what you get when you incite people like this and encourage that kind of
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. And thanks for saying
that, because a lot of Americans believe that. Thanks so much.
VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Chris Van Hollen, head of the DCCC from Maryland.
Coming up, a New York politician must have borrowed “The Beckster‘s”
playbook. This guy went so psycho, he compared passing the health care
bill to 9/11. That‘s right. It puts him in the zone.
We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, losing the health care fight
has made the righties crazier than ever. Now, they‘re out in full force
hollering about Armageddon and the destruction of America.
Of course, Beckster is leading the chase, and of course he‘s the
number one psycho out there. He threw out some horrific comparisons on his
TV show last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: They say this bill is historic, that yesterday
was a historic day. Oh, you‘re damn right it was. But you know other days
that were historic? Let me show you some other historic days in the world.
Here it is. How about Pearl Harbor? That was an historic day.
How about this one? This was the St. Valentine‘s Massacre, when the
mob stepped in and cleaned things up. That was a historic day.
This is Neville Chamberlain. There will be great peace in our time
because I have looked into his eyes. That was historic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I get all the entertainment part. The scary part, it‘s not
just the Beckster of the world that is saying all of this stuff. New York
millionaire Carl Paladino is hoping to run for governor as a Tea Party
governor, as a Tea Party candidate this year. Here‘s what he said about
the health care bill this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL PALADINO, CANDIDATE FOR NEW YORK GOVERNOR: This day, the day that
that bill was passed, will be remembered just as 9/11 was remembered in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, Carl, you fit right in with the psychos and the Tea
Party, that is for sure. Comparing landmark health care reform that will
save lives to one of the darkest, deadliest days in American history, is
Coming up, speaking of psycho, how psycho is it that 24 percent of
Republicans think that Obama is the anti-Christ? The Reverend Jesse
Jackson will take on the spinners and the vandals in just a moment.
And the Drugster said that if health care passes he‘d pack up and move
to Costa Rica. Well, there‘s a lot of you out there that are taking him up
and holding him to all of that. I have a contribution in the playbook
All that, plus I‘ll tell you a story about how I confronted Sean
Hannity at the talkers convention last Friday night and asked him about his
charity. Is he cooking the books? I‘ll tell you. Stay with us. You‘re
watching THE ED SHOW, on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
There is honest debate and then there is hate. At the Tea Party protests
outside the Capitol this weekend, individuals hurled the “N” word at
Congressman John Lewis and heckled Congressman Barney Frank for being gay.
Across the country, Democrats who voted for health care reform have had
their offices vandalized.
The glass doors were kicked out or shot out at the office of Arizona
Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords. A brick was thrown through the office of
U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York. And Republicans are
trying to paint this as some kind of principled opposition in America.
There‘s nothing principled about throwing a brick through a window or
using intimidation and slurs to make your point.
Joining me now is Reverend Jesse Jackson, the president of the Rainbow
Push Coalition. He confronted the Tea Partiers face to face on Capital
Hill on Sunday. Reverend, good to have you with us.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION PRESIDENT: Very well, sir.
JACKSON: What do they say to you? What did you say to them?
JACKSON: They were hurling these invectives and booing and all that.
I look beyond that. They have been whipped into a fear frenzy. Many of
those who were standing there who were howling the names will be the first
beneficiaries of preexisting condition medical support. Many of them there
are on Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid.
So the irony is that those who have been whipped into a frenzy will be
the first beneficiaries of this bill.
SCHULTZ: Did you ask them what they were mad about?
JACKSON: Well, they were saying they‘re losing their freedom, losing
their liberty. One group I talked to was from West Virginia, the state
that received the most federal aid. Yet they‘re fighting against the
government that sustains them.
I did not feel angry. I felt more a pain for them, because the
leaders who were leading them in this way, they have health care. I mean,
those—as I watched those guys hit the floor arguing on Sunday afternoon,
each of them and their families have comprehensive health care.
It reminded me so much of the 1960s, where Americans were killed
trying to have access to a hotel or motel or library. We were killed
trying to get the right to vote. But in the end, hope out-distanced fear.
We‘re a better nation tonight because of this ‘64 bill, because of the
right to vote, and because we now have a comprehensive movement toward a
comprehensive health care bill.
SCHULTZ: What should be the response of the Democratic party? Stay
focused? Don‘t pay attention to it? Should they return verbal fire and
call them out on it?
JACKSON: No, they should go to the districts where the congressman
voted against Democrats and ask those who want preexisting health care to
come step up. Those who want more Medicare, Medicaid, to step up. They
should go with a healing hand of hope, not a hurtful hand of hate and
SCHULTZ: Reverend Jackson, great to have you with us tonight. We‘ll
do it again. Thanks so much.
JACKSON: Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s turn now to Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist and
professor at New York University. Bob, does the Republican party have a
responsibility to calm the waters a little bit, with all the rhetoric
that‘s floating around?
BOB SHRUM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Sure, but they‘re not going to.
Look, they have tolerated, embraced and incited this. They have,
themselves—you‘ve heard Republican members of Congress, Republican
senators, those guys who were standing out there on the so-called beach,
that balcony, waving at the demonstrators, saying “kill the bill.”
This is a part of their strategy. They have decided that Barack Obama
can‘t win on a big issue. He did. They have decided that they are going
to tie themselves to the Tea Partiers and try to win that way.
You know, Ed, this is perfectly appropriate for a Republican party, a
modern Republican party, that‘s driven out all the moderates and was born
in the southern strategy. We all know what the southern strategy was
about. Ronald Reagan opened his campaign for president in 1980 in
Philadelphia, Mississippi, where those civil rights workers were killed.
Newt Gingrich, the other day, said passing health care is the biggest
mistake Democrats are going to make since they passed civil rights and lost
the south. Is he seriously saying that John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and
this country should not have stood up and fought for civil rights and
passed those civil rights bills? It‘s disgusting.
SCHULTZ: This is Republican response after the bill was signed today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN JON KYL ®, MINORITY WHIP: Over time, this legislation will have
the same effect that similar legislation has had in the European countries
that Senator Gregg spoke of. That is when you promise more and more people
the benefits or the subsidies, the cost of the government will increase to
the point that eventually rationing of health care will result.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN ®, TEXAS: The president intends to take a victory
lap on this bill. He‘s going to take a victory lap on a bill that the
American people don‘t want, because they know we can‘t afford it, because
it will raise their premiums, cut Medicare and raise taxes on the middle
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They just flat-out lie.
SHRUM: Yeah. Unfortunately, every poll that‘s out today shows the
American people do want this. Every country in Europe spends less on
health care than we do, in terms of its gross domestic product. Every
country in Europe—major country in Europe—has a life expectancy as
good or better than ours. And health care there is a fundamental right.
We have finally moved in that direction. This whole thing, from
beginning to end, has been a campaign of lies. Mitch McConnell, the Senate
Republican leader, said the other day, look, from the start, we wanted to
have a unified opposition to this bill. He didn‘t even know what was in
SCHULTZ: Now McCain is saying there will be no cooperation. So this
is the way it‘s going to be all the way to the midterms. Bob Shrum, great
to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Now I want to get some rapid fire response from our panel on these
three stories tonight. A quarter of Republicans, 25 percent, think that
President Obama may be the anti-Christ. And that‘s one of the frightening
numbers from the new poll.
John McCain says that there won‘t be any bipartisanship because the
Democrats passed health care reform.
And 14 states officially filed suit against the federal government,
claiming the insurance mandate is unconstitutional.
With us tonight, Salon.com editor Joan Walsh and Republican strategist
John, I‘ll start with you first. Let‘s talk about the lawsuits. Do
they have merit, in your opinion? Or is this just political theater and
postures before the midterm?
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, Ed, I wish I were a
constitutional lawyer, but I decided to go a different route in my career.
So I don‘t know if they have constitutional muster. So I do think they are
serious efforts. I think the idea of an individual mandate is a camel‘s
nose under the tent, in the sense of telling people they have to do a
I guarantee you that that individual mandate will prove to be the most
unpopular part of this legislation, especially when people find out about
100,000 IRS agents are going to be hired to go root out all these people
who aren‘t getting their money and paying their individual mandate and this
money to the insurance companies. This will prove to be the most unpopular
part of this legislation, mark my words.
SCHULTZ: Joan, what about the lawsuits?
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: I don‘t think they‘re going to work. I have
to say to John Feehery, if that turns out to be the most really unpopular
part of the bill, then we can thank and blame Republicans, because it came
straight from Mitt Romney. More than that, the individual mandate came
straight from the Heritage Foundation. It was perceived four—five years
ago as preventing people from free-loading. It was a Republican principle
because you didn‘t want to be extending health care and insurance to people
who were going to free-load off the system.
That‘s what it does. It‘s about individual responsibility. It‘s
about the private sector. Things that Republicans like John used to like,
before Barack Obama. So we win the argument either way.
SCHULTZ: John, 57 percent of Republicans think President Obama‘s a
Muslim. Worse than that, 25 percent think he‘s the anti-Christ. What is
going on here? John Feehery?
FEEHERY: You‘re asking me? Sorry. I thought you were asking Joan.
SCHULTZ: Do you believe these numbers?
FEEHERY: I think probably about 20 percent of the American people
believe that the Pope is the anti-Christ, too. You know, I think that—I
was looking—doing some research. A lot of people thought that George
Bush—a lot of Democrats thought George Bush was Hitler. They thought
George Bush was the anti-Christ. A lot of websites were dedicated to that.
I think the biggest tragedy in all of this is the decline in civility
in our discourse. I really believe—
SCHULTZ: Do you think the Republicans are feeding it?
FEEHERY: You know what, I think that a lot of this is organic. I
don‘t think Republicans are saying Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. I
don‘t think Republican leaders are saying Barack Obama is Hitler.
SCHULTZ: They‘re not distancing themselves from it.
FEEHERY: They should. They will. I don‘t think that Republicans
think that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ.
SCHULTZ: All right, Joan, what about bipartisanship? John McCain
says there won‘t be any. I mean, whatever happened to country first?
WALSH: We—whatever happened to country first? We have not had
bipartisanship, Ed and John, since Barack Obama was sworn in as president.
He crafted a stimulus bill that was a compromise. Liberals wanted a
trillion dollars. Liberals didn‘t want the tax cuts. He settled for 780
billion—got to get my math right. And a third of that was tax cuts,
which liberals oppose.
That was to reach out to Republicans. And what happened? John
Boehner said he opposed the bill before the bill was even out. He got no
House GOP votes. And he got three, really only two, Senate GOP votes. So
they made this decision a long time ago.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for the rapid fire tonight.
Coming up, it took President Obama only 15 months to fundamentally
change health care in America. The only one calling him inexperienced now
is Sarah Palin. I‘ll ask presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin what
this means for his legacy, and what‘s around the corner for Nancy Pelosi.
That‘s next in the playbook.
SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, President Obama made history today
when he signed the health care bill. This could be the defining moment of
his presidency. At the top of the show, we showed you how Vice President
Joe Biden chose to express the magnitude of the moment with some R-rated
language. Well, three years ago, then-candidate Obama kept it family
friendly, but he was already staking his reputation on passing health care
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I will judge my first term as president based on the fact on
whether we have delivered the kind of health care that every American
deserves and that our system can afford.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: For more on how the health care bill could affect President
Obama‘s place in history, let me bring in one of the best, presidential
historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Doris, great to have you with us tonight.
It‘s 100 years—it‘s 50 years. We‘re hearing a lot of numbers thrown
out. How big is it when you put it into perspective of really an
accomplishment within 15, 16 months?
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Oh, no question. I
mean, when you think about the fact that what this legislation does is to
extend social and economic justice to millions of Americans by establishing
health care as a right and not a privilege—when those kind of things
happen, they‘re remembered by history. We remember Social Security. We
remember Medicare. We remember the three great civil rights laws.
And the fact that Obama has gotten this through in the first year of
his presidency, something he wanted to do to make his presidency worthy of
creating things that would stand the test of time—he‘s not only going to
affect his legacy, it‘s going to affect his leadership from here on in.
And I think that‘s the important psychological dimension to this as well.
SCHULTZ: There‘s a lot of years left for him as president. I mean,
this is early on. How does it, you know, work and weave its way through
history with so many years left?
GOODWIN: The interesting thing is that LBJ said after he got the
Civil Rights Act ending segregation through in 1964, he felt that huge
fulfillment that came from knowing he had done something historic, and it
made him only want more rather than less. So he was told, now you have to
let the country resolve itself. Don‘t go for anything more. He said, no,
I‘m going for voting rights. That‘s the next most importing thing to do.
So he goes for voting rights. He goes for Medicare. He goes for Head
Start. He had a huge majority. He had an easier time than Obama has. I
think something happens inside a leader when they say that being risky,
taking a bold stance, and now having this partnership with these leaders in
Congress—he may not get it bipartisan, but he has a Democratic party
that is probably more united now than it‘s been for quite a while.
SCHULTZ: This is an excerpt of an interview coming up on “Nightline”
with Nancy Pelosi and Diane Sawyer. I want your take on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANE SAWYER, “NIGHTLINE”: Pretty amazing things being said. “The
Economist” said that you were arguably the most powerful woman in American
history. A Brown University professor has said you are certainly the most
powerful Speaker in 100 years.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Sounds good. I don‘t take
it personally, except I take it as a compliment for all women, because as
the first woman speaker, I certainly wanted to demonstrate that we could
get a job done that has eluded others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What‘s your response to that?
GOODWIN: Well, you know, I think the interesting thing is she was
criticized so much during this process. Obama was criticized for giving
too much leeway to her and to the Senate early on. Yet, by giving the
congress a stake in this legislation, once they had to come through in the
end, they were engaged. They embraced it. She brought it home.
And by being able to bring that compromise on the abortion, and let
the women supporters not kill her for doing that, that was an extraordinary
negotiating skill. LBJ, again—going back to my old friend—used to
say, “if you want them to be with you on the landing, they have to be with
you on the takeoff.” They were with him on the takeoff, and they sure
brought the landing home to him.
SCHULTZ: Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, great to have
you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GOODWIN: You‘re welcome, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Another page in the playbook. Last Friday, I told you about
a conservative blogger that had accused Sean Hannity of Fox of cooking the
books on his charity. He was accused of using tens of thousands of dollars
of his charity‘s money on private planes for himself and his family. The
great American Hannity has now personally told me, at a cocktail party the
other night at the talkers convention, he hasn‘t taken a dime. I‘ll have
more on this story as it develops.
Coming up, 67 percent of Republicans believe President Obama is
socialist. My next guest, well, might have a thing or two to say about
that. America‘s only socialist senator, the Great Bernie Sanders from
Vermont, is next on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, the health care battle is not over yet.
The Senate still has to pass a reconciliation bill containing fixes to the
legislation that President Obama signed today. And Republicans will use
every parliamentary tactic they can think of in a last-ditch attempt to
derail the bill. The Senate started debating the bill this afternoon. A
final vote could take place this weekend.
For a look at what we can expect between now and then, let‘s go to
independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders. Senator, good to have you
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: What‘s this week going to be like?
SANDERS: Well, all I can tell you is I‘m scheduled to be in the chair
at 2:00 this morning. So it looks like it‘s going to be a pretty tough
week with 24-hour sessions. The Republicans, obviously, are continuing
their obstructionist role. No, no, no, don‘t go forward.
At the end of the day, I think we‘re going to pass reconciliation and
improve the bill that was passed and signed by the president today.
SCHULTZ: Do you believe the letter Senator Reid has got with 52
signatures? Is that solid in your opinion.
SANDERS: Yes, I do.
SCHULTZ: OK. What do you make of these most recent polls that 67
percent of Republicans think President Obama is a socialist?
SANDERS: Well, you know, it‘s funny that you ask me that, Ed, because
literally yesterday I had the ambassador from Denmark in the state of
Vermont. Let me tell you a little bit about Danish socialism. In Denmark,
everybody has health care, everybody, without any out of pocket expenses.
They‘re spending 50 percent of what we spend per capita. Their outcomes
In Denmark, everybody can go to college. You know what the tuition
there is, Ed? You know what the costs are? It is zero.
In Denmark, Democratic socialists—although it‘s now run—the
government is run by a center right party. Everybody in the country gets
six weeks off paid vacation.
In Denmark, when you have a baby, you get a year off with full pay.
So I think the more that people learn about what goes on in Scandinavia and
other European countries, I think the more sympathetic they may be.
Having said that, do I think Barack Obama is a socialist? Of course
not. What he is trying to do is gradually, slowly, incrementally take us
to where most other countries in the industrialized world are, in terms of
guaranteeing health care to all of their people as a right.
SCHULTZ: Senator, since you have a 2:00 a.m. schedule, I‘ll let you
go tonight. Let them save your energy for the middle of the night. Do me
a favor, let them have it. Great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
Tonight in our telephone poll survey, I asked you now that health care
reform has passed, do you feel hope or fear for this country? Ninety four
percent of you responded saying hope; six percent fear.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED
SHOW, go to Ed.MSNBC.com or check out my radio website, WeGotEd.com. We
have a schedule of town halls coming out. I have a book coming out June
Hardball with Chris Matthews starts right now, on the place for
politics, MSNBC. We‘ll see you tomorrow night right here.
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.> transcript
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.>