Guests: Chris Hayes, Anthony Weiner
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you
be talking about tomorrow?
Primary night: Key race in the Keystone. Mr. Sestak on Mr. Specter—
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOE SESTAK (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: He set the
house on fire and then he brought half a hose to the fire to put it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Mr. Specter on Mr. Sestak—
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Has he been negative? Has he
ever called me a dead man walking?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Go traditional. Here‘s the senator voting photo-op in
Arkansas. Blanche Lincoln only allowed to cast a provisional vote because
her staff had already asked for an absentee ballot, which she never sent
in. Bad sign.
The oil disaster. The secretary of the interior gets his posterior
kicked. Senator Sanders on the real price of “drill, baby, drill.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Can you give me an answer to the
question? Is it worth the risk? Is 3 cents a gallon in the year 2030
worth the potential risk of another disaster like this?
I don‘t believe the risk is worth 3 cents a gallon in the year 2030.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: The congressman versus the money changers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Goldline and other companies that
are selling gold on television and the Internet are falsely offering claims
that they are good investments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMAN: “You pay anybody on any network and they say what you pay
them to say,” said one of the gold pushers. “They are bought and sold.”
One of the bought and sold replies—
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOST: This is, again, another arm
of this administration coming out to try to shut me down.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And “Worsts”: surprise—“the papers, please” law may
mean more undocumented immigrants in Arizona, free, staying longer, and
given temporary driver‘s licenses. Oops!
All the news and commentary—now on COUNTDOWN.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. JAN BREWER ®, ARIZONA: This is not defensible.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.
An hour after the last poll closed in Kentucky, Rand Paul already
declared the winner of the Republican Senate nomination in that state over
Trey Grayson, the establishment candidate backed by Minority Leader
McConnell, the senior senator from Kentucky.
Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN: With polls also closed in
Pennsylvania now, and closing within a half hour in Arkansas, more results
as we get them, as well as full analysis.
We begin in Arkansas with a development that might not auger well for
Senator Blanche Lincoln‘s fight to hold on to her seat. The Lincoln
campaign failing to get out perhaps its most important vote, the senator‘s
own. Senator Lincoln initially turned away when she arrived to vote at her
home polling place.
Election officials having discovered that the conservative Democrat
had already requested an absentee ballot to be sent to her home in
Virginia. Her campaign is saying Ms. Lincoln did not file that absentee
ballot, requesting it only in case she was kept in Washington for a
senatorial vote. So, Senator Lincoln, instead this morning, filling out a
Officials telling TalkingPointsMemo.com that they will count that
provisional tonight assuming they independently confirm that Senator
Lincoln had not already voted by mail.
Senator Lincoln facing two Democratic challengers there, including the
lieutenant governor of the state, Bill Halter, whom the unions have been
backing heavily, making it likely she is going to want that single vote of
In Pennsylvania, meantime, Senator Arlen Specter facing a challenge
from Congressman Joe Sestak for the Democratic nomination. Senator running
for his sixth term, but after switching parties last year, it is his first
time running for the Senate as a Democrat. In recent days, the senator
having forgotten—a couple of times—which party to which he belongs.
With an interview with an our own Andrea Mitchell this afternoon,
Senator Specter vigorously defending his vigor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPECTER: When you talk about Sestak being more vigorous, you must be
smoking Dutch cleanser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: A quick note, Old Dutch cleanser abrasive, like Comet,
originally mined from the Old Dutch Cleaner mine in Kern County,
California. Specter once did the smoking it line about Alberto Gonzales.
Also was the nickname of Philadelphia‘s 164th mayor, Rudolph “Old Dutch
Cleanser” Blankenburg who was elected in 1911, a date all older politicians
want to remind the voters of.
Senator Specter again running as a Democrat not as a Republican, also
warning that if he loses, the tea party will take us back 200 years to the
time of Old Dutch cleanser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPECTER: If you don‘t feel the strongest candidate, frankly, like
Arlen Specter, they are going to take over and want to eliminate ETN. They
want to go back to the gold standard. It would be an 18th century America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And the Montreal Canadians will be in charged.
The actual tea party challenge coming in Kentucky in the Republican
primary to replace Senator Jim Bunning—and we mentioned political
novice, Rand Paul, the son of Congressman Ron Paul, the overwhelming tea
party favorite, already declared the winner of the GOP nomination in what
at this point looks like a hefty grand—landslide and a and a half is
what I was trying to say. Polls having closed in Kentucky—the last of
them an hour ago, some 90 minutes ago.
Let‘s begin with our Eugene Robinson, also, of course, associate
editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of the “Washington Post.”
Good evening, Gene.
EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening, Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right. I think this is a trend here. Senator Bennett
out in Utah, Governor Crist is no longer a Republican in Florida, and now,
in Kentucky, the results with Rand Paul and by this large margin. Are
these bad times to be a non-extremist Republican?
ROBINSON: I think you have to say that they are bad times. But this
is—you have to look at this, I think, as the next phase of a process
that‘s been underway for some time. Remember, there used to be actual
moderate Republicans. This is back in the time of Dutch Cleanser.
But they essentially are all gone. Remember Arlen specter used to be
one. He is a Democrat now. So, now that the moderate Republicans have had
essentially except for the two in Maine, had to leave the party or been
defeated, it‘s now the turn of conservatives who have consorted with the
enemy in some way like Bennett and Crist—or who just happen to be
unlucky enough to be in the sights of a tea party-backed candidate like
Trey Grayson in Kentucky, who is getting dutch-cleansered.
OLBERMANN: At 59-36, though, has Rand Paul‘s father, of course, the
Congressman Ron Paul, have more influence on the right of the party than
the GOP will publicly admit? Or is this about Ayn Rand or what is it
ROBINSON: I don‘t know which Rand it is. But the Rand Corporation
could be behind this whole thing.
OLBERMANN: Easily. The manufacturers of Old Dutch Cleanser. Thank
ROBINSON: It‘s—Rand Paul does have a constituency out there. It
is not a classic corporatist, you know, big Wall Street kind of Republican
constituency. But remember, whenever the Republicans get together and have
one of those straw polls, he either wins or comes in a close second. So,
yes, he‘s got a lot of influence in the party. And they don‘t really want
to talk about that here in Washington.
People, like Mitch McConnell, though, really don‘t want to talk about
it because they don‘t want to deal with it. They don‘t have an answer.
OLBERMANN: Does it—does the victory over Grayson say anything
about the chances of a Democratic victory in Kentucky, or were those nil
and they just moved over to nil?
ROBINSON: Yes. I think they moved all the way from nil to nil or
maybe nil and a half. It is—there‘s—I think there‘s more of a chance
that Rand Paul being a novice and being—and having the political
philosophy he has could say or do something so outrageous between now and
the general that it would—it would better the chances of the Democratic
candidate. But I think that‘s kind of unlikely. I think it‘s probably a
safe Republican seat.
OLBERMANN: As we wait for those Democratic primary results to come
in, particularly in Pennsylvania, and obviously, Blanche Lincoln‘s troubled
event in Arkansas—is too much going to be made of the election results
on the morrow and days after? I mean, are these—what are the primaries
telling us regarding the electorate‘s mood come November given that it‘s
May? Is there enough time for this not to mean something in November?
ROBINSON: Well, you know, I think it‘s kind of our job to make too
much of the results tonight.
OLBERMANN: And you speak for yourself, pal.
ROBINSON: No. I mean, this is—this is—it is really interesting
and we have to cover it as an interesting phenomenon, anti-incumbency, pro
tea party, whatever it is, we got to try to figure out what it means.
Let‘s just keep in mind that these are slivers and slices of a larger
electorate and there are months to go before the general election. And so,
in the cosmic sense, it doesn‘t tell us how things are going to play out in
November. It doesn‘t tell us what the economy is going to look like,
whether events are going to intervene that make one party look better than
So, we‘ve got a long way to go. But this tea party thing is
interesting because it continues the plot line of a real struggle for the
soul of the Republican Party that could have real implications for
OLBERMANN: Eugene Robinson of MSNBC and the “Washington Post”—or
as he is known around here, Old Dutch Cleanser. Thanks, Gene. We‘re going
to stop this now. Thank you, Gene.
ROBINSON: Good night, Keith.
OLBERMANN: For more on tonight races in Arkansas and Pennsylvania,
let‘s go now to Philadelphia. Our own Ed Schultz, the host of “THE ED
SHOW” here on MSNBC.
Good evening, Ed.
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SHOW” HOST: Good evening, Keith. Good to be with
OLBERMANN: All right. It rained. We always know that rain is
supposed to indicate something. Turnout—and turnout is supposed to
favor the incumbent. Any idea whether or not the rain is going to affect
the outcome in Pennsylvania?
SCHULTZ: Well, traditionally speaking, bad weather is going to hold
the older demographic at home a little bit. And that is a demographic
that, undoubtedly, Arlen Specter needs here. The polling that we have seen
obviously shows that Joe Sestak—number one—has really struck a
passion with core Democrat and also with younger voters.
So, this is one to watch, no doubt. I don‘t think the Specter group
thought it was going to be this close. And they need that older
demographic to get out. So, I would anticipate that that might hurt them
OLBERMANN: Clearly, Ed, we‘ve seen this in both parties repeatedly.
This is not the year of the incumbent. I would just imagine that your
assessment would be: it would be really a big problem for Arlen Specter
given that technically he is the incumbent of two parties—that might be
one too many or two too many in this case.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Keith, the word here is trust. Can
Democrats in Pennsylvania trust a man who has had an “R” behind his name
for the last 30 years? And there‘s a lot of hungry folks in this country
that want to make sure that the progressive agenda continues forward. And
when they look at Arlen Specter, they see a guy who voted for Alito and
Roberts on the Supreme Court, and just dished out a horrible ruling when it
comes to unlimited funds given by corporations to campaigns or causes.
I mean, there are ramifications if they do not go with a hardcore
Democrat or someone who is left-leaning such as Joe Sestak, who, I think,
has been far more consistent. It‘s a gamble. It‘s an issue of trust. And
Arlen Specter says he can work across party lines—I think the climate in
Washington we‘ve seen there isn‘t much working across party lines.
OLBERMANN: All right. So, apply that then to Arkansas. Blanche
Lincoln fighting for a political life has the worst of all possible signs
when they don‘t let her vote, officially after polling place this morning.
A bad bit of karma there, obviously.
But what is it—practically speaking, does—is it the same
template from Pennsylvania apply in any respect in Arkansas? Is that kind
of a retroactive referendum in how she handled or mishandled health care
reform on her own state? What is going on in Arkansas in your assessment?
SCHULTZ: Well, I think in Arkansas, what we have is a disconnected
Democrat. She‘s a corporate Democrat. She was one of four Democratic
senators that really fought hard against the public option. And she‘s the
first one up and she‘s the one paying a price for it now.
You know, 90 days ago, they didn‘t think they would be saying Halter‘s
name. They didn‘t think it was going to get this tough. When you had Joe
Lieberman in Connecticut, you have Ben Nelson in Nebraska, you have Mary
Landrieu in Louisiana, and now, you‘ve got Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas who
is the first one to pay the price.
There‘s a lot of grassroots people around the country that have
contributed to Halter‘s campaign. In fact, there‘s very few grassrooters
that have gone with Blanche Lincoln. She is the corporate Democrat. And
there‘s a pushback against corporate Democrats.
You know, all this talk about the tea partiers and the Republicans are
going to push back and whatnot, I think what we‘re seeing here today,
Keith, is liberals trying to hold Democrats accountable. We want
Democrats. That is what we are seeing out there.
OLBERMANN: We‘ll se how it plays out in Pennsylvania.
Ed Schultz, the host of “THE ED SHOW” on MSNBC, with us tonight from
Philly—thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right. Let‘s take again look at the hour‘s breaking
news. Now, by a margin of 60 to 36, Rand Paul, the tea party candidate,
blitzing the establishment line Republican Trey Grayson in the Republican
Senate primary in Kentucky. It just gets worse and worse for the Mitch
McConnell-backed Grayson. We will follow this story and the rest of them
throughout the hour.
And we go back to Philadelphia, the home of Old Dutch Cleanser which
Arlen Specter thinks we should be smoking. Maybe we could use it on the
Gulf oil crisis or to clean up the Department of the Interior.
Wait until you see what Bernie Sanders did to the secretary of the
OLBERMANN: He says this isn‘t the time for finger-pointing. It never
is if the finger is pointing at you. Why don‘t you stick your finger in
the leak? Chris Hayes joins me.
So, does the man who is trying to stop the gold scammers—he‘ll join
me too. He‘s already been attacked by the commentators the gold scammers
claim they have, quote, “bought and sold.”
A surprise in the city of surprise and all the rest of her Arizona—
that new law may make it easier for more undocumented workers to live and
work and stay longer in Arizona.
And if nominated, he would not run, if elected, he would not serve,
but happily, he‘s in Philadelphia on senatorial primary night and he will
You are watching COUNTDOWN on MSNBC.
OLBERMANN: For the first time since an offshore oil rig blew up in
the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 people and beginning what researchers
estimate is now already a worse spill than that of the Exxon Valdez, the
Obama cabinet secretary responsible for oversight of offshore drilling
appeared on Capitol Hill.
And our fourth story tonight: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the man
who took the office to the applause of big oil and groans of
environmentalists began his testimony with prepared remarks saying this is
not the time for finger-pointing and, hey, aren‘t we all to blame when you
think about it?
But, first, which Republican was on deck for big oil today? James
Inhofe. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the second Republican in two weeks to
block a Democratic measure that could change the law so that oil companies
could be held liable for as much as $10 billion in damage rather than the
current $75 million.
The president, in a statement tonight, is saying he‘s disappointed by
the measure‘s second defeat, quote, “I urge the Senate Republicans to stop
playing special interest politics and join in a bipartisan effort to
protect taxpayers and demand accountability from the oil companies.”
But after the measure‘s sponsor, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and other
Democrats suggested eliminating the liability cap altogether, Secretary
Salazar refused to endorse that, appearing to suggest that the Obama
administration is in bipartisan agreement with Republicans and big oil that
there should be some kind of cap on liability.
Secretary Salazar is also refusing to say whether the Minerals
Management Service, MMS—part of his department—underestimated the
risks of offshore drilling while letting B.P. proceed with its well; and
working hard not to say whether the risk of lifting the moratorium in 2008,
on new drilling on the OCS, the Outer Continental Shelf, was worth the
savings at the pump estimated by one congressional report to equal 3 cents
per gallon by the year 2030.
We will fast-forward past the stalling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN SALAZAR, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: It may take me a few minutes
to do this.
SANDERS: Well, you guys supported the Bush administration in lifting
SALAZAR: Let me—let me be specific on what our plan is with
respect to the OCS—the respect of the Gulf Coast which I know Senator
Landrieu and others—
SANDERS: I‘m running out of time. But can you give me an answer to
the question? Is it worth the risk? Is 3 cents a gallon in the year 2030
worth the potential risk of another disaster like this and should we
reinstate the moratorium?
SALAZAR: Senator Sanders—when you look at certain areas,
specifically in the Gulf of Mexico, that is where we know there are huge
energy, oil and natural gas resources. You are not going to turn off the
lights of this country or the economy by shutting it all down. And so,
it‘s important for us—
SANDERS: No one is talking about shutting it all down. We‘re talking
about reinstating the moratorium that had been going on—existing for
many, many years in new drilling.
SALAZAR: You know, Senator Sanders, I don‘t mean to be argumentative
with you, but I think what we need to do, as the president has done and as
we have done, is we‘ve hit the pause button. OK? And we will be
evaluating a number of different issues and making decisions about how we
are going move forward.
SANDERS: Well, let me just conclude. I don‘t believe the risk is
worth 3 cents a gallon in the year 2030.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Let‘s turn now to Chris Hayes, the Washington editor of
“The Nation” magazine.
Chris, good evening.
CHRIS HAYES, THE NATION: Good evening, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Why is it that every time a congressional witness begins
his or her testimony saying, this isn‘t the time for finger-pointing, that
sounds like these aren‘t the droids you are looking for?
HAYES: I think Ken Salazar is probably wishing that he had Obi-Wan‘s
telepathic ability with Bernie Sanders today. I mean, it‘s clearly a way
of trying to deflect blame and this notion that you can‘t do both at the
same time, that somehow there is this sort of limited cognitive capacity
that has to be, you know, devoted 100 percent to fixing the leak and none
of it to look backwards. Particularly when you have—I mean, you know,
there‘s a lawsuit today by a bunch of environmental groups against another
B.P. rig that is currently operating in the Continental Shelf at very deep
So, it‘s not as if this is an academic argument to figure out what
went wrong and particularly with the blowout preventer because there are
rigs that are operating. And who is to say we‘re not going to have another
one of these in the very near future.
OLBERMANN: The other part of that, of course, that‘s damning, I
think, to Mr. Salazar‘s record, is the fact that he is ruling out in the
four weeks roughly, couple of days shy since the blast, all these reforms
to his agency, to the MMS. Is that proof positive that there were plenty
of reforms that he could have and should have done in the year-plus before
this happened and 11 people died on that rig?
HAYES: Well, absolutely. I mean, if it makes sense to split off the
revenue-collecting part of MMS to the oversight and regulatory part of MMS,
which the administration is now proposed, as you know, after the accident,
well, then, it certainly made sense to do that when they took office in
January 2009. It particularly made sense to do after the inspector
general‘s report in 2008 revealed what had to be the biggest, most corrupt
cesspool basket case to mix metaphors of an agency in the federal
I mean, everyone knew—this was headlines. We were talking about it
on your show and Rachel‘s show, that this, you know, this had become a
totally dysfunctional agency. So, the structural reform they‘ve introduced
after the spill suggested they could have done it if they were serious
about reforming the agency from day one.
OLBERMANN: The secretary—was he right in the sense that Congress
essentially abdicated its oversight role of MMS? I mean, Secretary
Salazar, for instance, confirmed that MMS is now investigating the B.P.
Atlantis offshore platform, but the whistle-blowing on that one is hardly
new? Has anybody been minding the store on this? Or is this—is this a
structure that exists to make it look like there‘s a structure?
HAYES: Well, no. I mean, clearly, no one has been minding the store
sufficiently. I mean, what‘s interesting is I think you are seeing a
classic case both institutionally in MMS of regulatory capture in which the
people operating there come to identify their interests aligned with the
interests of the people they are regulating.
I mean, I went and looked to the Web site today. I was looking at the
bio for Oynes, who‘s the guy who just resigned, who was head of MMS in the
civil service for a while. And every place that he was speaking, every
event he was attending was basically an oil company event. I mean, the
kinds of people he was hanging out with, the sorts of interactions that the
regulators were having seemed to be solely limited to the people they were
supposed to be regulating.
So, I think, that extends pass the agency into the administration, now
into Congress in which everybody seems to be sort of on the side of “let‘s
make sure we continue drilling for as much oil as we can.”
OLBERMANN: Chris Hayes of “The Nation”—said well as usual. Great
HAYES: Thanks a lot, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Congressman Anthony Wiener‘s investigation of Goldline and
the other radio and TV gold scammers. I‘m betting Glenn Beck has already
claimed the investigations means you need to invest in even more gold
OLBERMANN: The pushback on the gold scammers and commentators they
claim they have bought and sold. Congressman Anthony Wiener—ahead.
First, the tweet of a day, apropos from what is not evidently a fan
who asked a little after 5:00 Eastern today, “Why aren‘t you watching Beck
right now?” Because I work for a living.
Let‘s play “Oddball.”
OLBERMANN: We begin in Venice, Louisiana, with our colleague, the
veteran NBC News correspondent Mark Potter reporting on the B.P. oil spill
crisis for the “Today” show, and joining him a really big bug. For you
know it, Mark is served what he later called a “Bayou breakfast.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK POTTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: There are 46 miles of shoreline
here that have been oiled. Excuse me. Nineteen of them do have tar balls.
A lot of bugs out here this morning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And he didn‘t miss a beat. The man inhales an insect and
keeps on ticking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, TODAY SHOW: Taking one for the team, swallowing a bug for
breakfast there, Mark. Way to go, Mark. Thanks very much.
POTTER: It was good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Watching those Cal Worthington ads in L.A.
To Rio de Janeiro, where these two Brazilian lovers are getting
hitched. Hopefully, their collars won‘t get in a way. You may smooch your
pooch. The owners of two Yorkshire tiers decided to dump—I‘m sorry—
spend eight grand for the wedding for their dogs, Lui and his bride, Bruna.
All the attendants were thrilled for the couple, however, no word yet
on whether the dog on dog nuptials have Rick Santorum‘s blessing. Wedding
was everything the bride, Bruna, had hoped for, except for the part where
the bridesmaids acted like total bitches.
You pay anybody on any network and they say what you pay them to say,
said the gold merchant. About radio commentators, they are bought and
sold. The Congressional investigation into Goldline and Congressman
Anthony Weiner next.
OLBERMANN: For about three years, the relationship between Glenn Beck
and the company Goldline International has been profitable for everybody,
except the viewers and listeners. Mr. Beck uses his media platforms to
stoke fear about the collapse of the paper money economy. He urges his
audience to buy gold and then directs their business to Goldline, which in
turn pays him lots of money.
Our third story today, Congressman Anthony Weiner says Goldline
customers are being fleeced by Beck‘s sponsor, and Beck is calling Anthony
Weiner a modern day Joe McCarthy. It‘s about the 75th person he‘s called
that. The congressman joins me presently.
This afternoon, in New York, Mr. Weiner announced the findings of an
investigation into Goldline. His report stating the company charges an
average of a 90 percent markup on all it coins, and that by calling that
overcharge a good investment, the company is breaking the law. The
congressman alleges the company uses high pressure sales tactics to bilk
customers. Weiner also claims there is an unholy alliance between
conservative commentators and Goldline International.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Goldline has as its paid endorsers
Glenn Beck, Fred Thompson, Dennis Miller, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Lars
Larson, Michael Shulmerson (ph), Monica Crowley, and Mike Huckabee, among
others. And what we have found by looking through the public records is
that very often they use their public programs to advocate purchase in
gold, and then immediately advertisements begin for Goldline.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Today, conservative talk show radio host Michael
Smerconish told “Politico” that Goldline canceled ads on his show because
he wasn‘t conservative enough. Last December, Peter Epstein, president of
Merit Financial Services, told “Politico” that gold companies expect
favorable coverage from commentators on whose shows they pay to advertise.
The quote, “you pay anybody on any network and they say what you pay them
to say. They‘re bought and sold.”
This morning on his bought and sold radio show, Glenn beck prebutted
the congressman‘s news conference with his ever evolving conspiracy theory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: This again another arm of this
administration coming out to try to shut me down. This is absolutely
incredible. Is there anybody that is going to say anything in the press at
any time if you stand up against this White House? They have three, count
them, three advisors of this president that have launched official
campaigns boycotting my sponsors. Any sponsor that stays with me now
they‘re targeting—you want to talk about the McCarthy era. Look at what
this country is becoming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Available on many of your local radio sets. For its part,
Goldline tells “Politico” it is not political. And even though Glenn Beck
said nobody did anything wrong, he still had the Goldline CEO on his radio
show this morning to testify.
(BEGNI VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: How long have you been a sponsor on this program?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe it‘s been about three years.
BECK: Do you remember a time when we had a conversation at the
beginning where I said if you don‘t treat our customers—if you don‘t
treat my customers, my listeners with respect, it isn‘t going to end well
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BECK: Do you believe me when I said that to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I take you very seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: As promised, we are joined from Washington by
Representative Anthony Weiner. Thanks you for your time, congressman.
WEINER: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Are you or have you ever been involved in a conspiracy to
take down Glenn Beck? Can you explain the genesis of your interest in this
WEINER: I never intended this to be a battle of wits with Glenn Beck.
As you know, he comes only half prepared to that battle. This really is
about the consumers of Goldline‘s products. Many of them take the
rhetorical excess of Glenn Beck and his like, when they talk up gold, and
then immediately go to the advertisements to get ripped off.
There is no other way to put it. When you are advertising you are
going to invest in gold, and you wind up getting sometimes 200 percent—
just charged 200 percent more than the melt value of gold, that is a bad
deal. The only way for you to keep up is for the cost of gold to go up 200
percent before you put down the phone.
That‘s really where this comes from. This is not an unusual thing.
Whenever the economy makes people unsure, they are susceptible to pitches
like this. Unfortunately, Glenn Beck says he is looking out for his
listeners; in fact, he is deceiving them badly when they buy these
OLBERMANN: Explain the scam here. There are a lot of scams. There
are a lot of bad investment scams. And certainly there are a lot of Glenn
Beck scams. Where is the crime, per se, in this?
WEINER: The crime occurs not so much with what Glenn Beck does,
though I do believe there are questions that his station, whether its radio
station or Fox News, has to answer about whether or not, even in the
context of commentary, you should have this blurring of lines between
advertisement and news.
But the problem comes when Goldline actually makes representations
that this is a good investment. I want to say for your viewers, gold may
be a good investment, it may not be. A lot of people like some of the
people who talked about the worst of the bubble have said that there‘s a
coming gold bubble. But putting that aside for a moment, these gold
sellers are not supposed to be offering advice like that. According to at
least the Missouri attorney general, that is exactly what they have done.
And Goldline settled for a pretty hefty amount, essentially pleading guilty
to that charge.
OLBERMANN: So you investigated it. What do you do now?
WEINER: I think that we need to do a couple of things. One, it‘s
clear the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange
Commission, both of which have rules against what Goldline—the types of
thing Goldline does. I‘m asking them to take a look at them and some of
the other dealers who are doing similar things.
Secondly, I believe that we should have legislation that makes
disclosures much clearer. If Goldline is going to make a claim about its
prices, right there, on the advertisement should be how much the gold melt
is. It should have some explanation of how much it has to go up for them -
for citizens to be able to break even on these investments, the same
kinds of requirement that are required when you purchase an equity or a
stock on Wall Street.
OLBERMANN: The thing obviously from my vantage point that concerns me
more than anything else is the quote from the first “Politico” story on it,
not the one today about your investigation, but the one they did in
December, the Merit Financial Services person, who noted that commentators
can be bought and sold, and they are expected to say things that will help
in the body of the broadcast, not announcements, which is part and parcel
of radio and television since the beginning.
Is there anything to do about that that doesn‘t then sort of infringe
on free speech or at least the broadcasting equivalent of free speech?
WEINER: Probably—from the perspective of a congressman, probably
not. If you are watching a television show dedicated health, and someone
says you should drink as much soda as you can, and then the very same guy
is advocating for Coke or Pepsi in the ad, you would scratch your head.
This is just as much offensive, except maybe even more so because you are
dealing with people‘s nest eggs.
OLBERMANN: That‘s that one lobbyist—I‘ve forgotten which name it
is, Rick Berman. Congressman Anthony Weiner, the Democrat from New York,
as always, great thanks for your time.
Also on the subject of Beck, though not necessarily of gold, a bizarre
message via Twitter today that Dick Armey Astroturf group Freedom Works
announcing it has partnered with Beck. Beck issued an explanatory video
saying it was time to link arms with people. He added that the Armey
lobbying group, which has left a trail evidence a mile long of its bank
rolling supposed grassroots Tea Party events, has organizational power
second perhaps only to the NRA.
He did not compare it to Arlen Specter‘s organizational power. The
latest on that. Also news from Kentucky. Although Rand Paul is the
headline, both Democrats in the primary got more votes than Rand Paul did
in the Kentucky primary tonight. Chris Matthews from Philadelphia ahead.
The mayor of Colorado Springs explains those living on his streets.
“Some people,” he says, “want a homeless life. Some people, they really
When joins you at the top of the hour, the latest on the oil spill
efforts in the Gulf Coast with U.S. Coast Guard Commandeered Thad Allen.
OLBERMANN: The Arizona papers please law, apparently it‘s going to
increase the number of undocumented workers living and working in Arizona.
First, no, it is not your water coming to a boil. It our nightly
check up on the something for nothing crowd. It‘s Tea Time. Charitably
speaking, these kids long stopped trying to surprise us. I have to confess
this floored me.
In the race for the Idaho First Congressional District Republican
nomination, Tea Party Boise has endorsed one Raul Labrador over the
Republican party favorite, Vaughn Ward. This after Ward changed his mind
and withdrew his support for a Tea Party pet project that repealed the 17th
Amendment, 17Th Amendment, women‘s suffrage, end of prohibition, something
No? “The senate of the United States shall be composed of two
senators from each state elected by the people thereof for six years, and
each senator shall have one vote.”
The 17th Amendment gave voters the right to choose their senators. It
passed in 1912. Pretty popular. The Tea Party wants it repealed. The
groups is demanding a return of power from the elites to the streets, but
wants to go back to the old system by which senators were chosen by state
legislatures, usually in corrupt back room deals.
Seriously. Make senators even more remote from the will of the
people. Genius, I tells you, genius. This might require a few changes to
some of those Tea Party slogans. Stop voter fraud, stop voting. Don‘t
mess with our Constitutional, except this part. Repeal the 16th amendment,
I mean 17th.
My favorite, don‘t tread on me, just take away my vote.
OLBERMANN: Pennsylvania‘s polls closed 45 minutes ago, Arizona‘s 15
minutes ago. We‘ll review the latest numbers and trends with Chris
Matthews in Pennsylvania. Arkansas‘s polls.
That‘s next, but first, tonight‘s worst persons in the world.
The bronze to the would be Republican nominee in the California 11th
Congressional district, Brad Goehring, spelled G-O-E-H-R-I-N-G, pronounced
Goehring. Wrote on Facebook, “if I could issue hunting permits, I would
officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend
through November two, and have no limits on how many taken, as we
desperately need to thin the heard.”
After the deluge of criticism, Mr. Goehring has dug himself in deeper.
“Maybe it‘s not politically correct, but I won‘t back down calling for the
defeat as many liberals as possible on November 2nd, and stopping their
radical agenda.” He added in a weird third person way that he was the
victim of ethnic discrimination because people like him, “they deserve
better than having their name slandered because of their German descent,
especially in light of their contributions to protecting our liberty, the
right to speak freely. I wear the smears and cheap shots of Daily Kos,
Jerry McNerney, the leftist bloggers and Keith Olbermann as a badge of
Mr. Goehring, what kind of name do you think Olbermann is? I‘m
German, dumb dumb. You are not being criticized because you are German.
You‘re being criticized because you used violent imagery at a time when
there really are people who think literally hunting liberals, or hunting
conservatives, is a good idea.
Our runner up, Lionel Rivera, the Republican mayor of Colorado
Springs, Colorado. His city has had to cut 530,000 municipal jobs, slash
services, not address the tent cities of the homeless that have sprouted up
in Colorado Springs. Yet he and the Republican city council have opposed
42 million dollars in job assistance for their community and residents
because it would add to the national debt.
As to those homeless, he explains, “some people want a homeless life.
Some people, they really do.”
How could a city‘s mayor be that heartless towards his own city‘s
homeless? Well, he is also financial adviser.
But our winner, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, and not for what you
think. The “Arizona Capital Times” has a surprise for the governor, a
white supremacist crowd, led by Russell Pearce, who rammed through the
papers pleas law, it might actually result in more undocumented immigrants
being allowed to stay in country, and in the state free, while their cases
are being judged.
The paper‘s Jim Small writes, “the new law will add to a processing
backlog that already has caused federal authorities to release an
increasing number of illegal immigrants back into the U.S. to await
“The arrest and release policy is a little known part of federal
immigration law that allows illegal immigrants to challenge deportation and
obtain legal residency, and a drivers‘ license, as long as they meet
They get driver‘s licenses. “More than 5,100 illegal immigrants who
were processed through federal immigration courts in Arizona were released
from custody on bond in 2009. And the vast majority were eligible for work
authorization documents, although precise figures were not available.”
They get driver‘s licenses and jobs. “Because of over-crowding at the
federal facilities in Arizona, which combine to hold only about 1,900
people, ICE often releases immigrants on bond without waiting for a judge.”
Fortunately for the backers of the Arizona papers, please law, the
number of people arrested who are let on bond, and just never come back,
and stay here illegally under the radar is really small, and the backlogs
on the cases, the time when they‘re out on bail and could skip bail, that
is really short. The first number is 25 percent and the second is five
One of the attorneys says he is already booked for an immigration
hearing in February, 2014. In short, this law will put more illegal
immigrants on the streets of Arizona than they currently have. Nice work,
bozo. Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, today‘s worst person in the world.
OLBERMANN: Results now coming in from Pennsylvania and Arkansas—
Pennsylvania or Kentucky, where the polls have closed. Nothing yet from
Kentucky. The incumbent or establishment candidates in peril within their
own parties. But in our number one story, Republicans are getting another
whiff of an inter-party war that might be debilitating, as Rand Paul wins
the Republican senatorial primary there. Chris Matthews joins me in a
The Democratic contest first in Pennsylvania. The Democratic primary
for Senate can fairly be assigned a giant asterisk. The incumbent here, as
the early numbers begin to come in, showing Arlen Specter well ahead of Joe
Sestak. Again, counted less than 20,000 votes. Been a Republican until a
year ago, Mr. Specter, obviously. Challenger Congressman Sestak portraying
himself as the real Democrat.
Arkansas, of course, the incumbent Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln
may have proven unreliable on core Democratic issues a few times too many.
Again, very, very early numbers there, less than 7,000 certainly. Bill
Halter, the lieutenant governor, with a slim lead over Blanche Lincoln, and
Mr. Morrison in a distant third place. But, again, very, very low totals.
On the other hand, the Republican rumble in Kentucky is over. Rand
Paul, in a margin of almost two to one, has said “I have a message, a
message from the Tea Party, a message that is loud and clear, and does not
mince words. We have come to take our government back.”
But look at the vote count. Keep that number in mind, 150,000. Now,
look at the Democratic senate primary, which has gotten no attention at
all, where both the leading and trailing candidates have gotten more votes
in the primary, including Mr. Conway, who is the state‘s attorney general,
and Mr. Mongiardo, who is lieutenant governor there.
So with Conway well ahead, and three quarters of the vote in, the news
headlines will go to Rand Paul and the Tea Party. But the high vote
counts, one and two, will go to the two Democrats. Joining me now, as
promised, the host of “HARDBALL,” Chris Matthews, who is in Philadelphia.
Chris, good evening.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Hi. I‘m taken with that news, the
strong turnout on the Democratic side, when you haven‘t had anywhere as
much media attention, is impressive. I thought that Rand Paul winning the
primary would be in strong shape. It looks like that is going to be very
competitive out there, even in a tough year for the Dems.
OLBERMANN: Does it suggest anything? If we talk about the Tea Party
as a backlash, is that little number, that volume number—remember when
we saw in 2008, in all the primaries and all—even the midterms in 2006,
pointed towards a backlash to a backlash. Is this the beginning of that
tonight, in Kentucky of all places?
MATTHEWS: It depends on how good the Democrat is in taking what may
seem to be wacky positions by middle of the road or center left positions.
If it looks whacky, you have to point to how the wackiness hurts the
person. So they have a job to do, the Conway people, between now and
election day, November, to take what Rand Paul has stood for ideological,
and show how it hurts people in their pocketbooks. They got to translate
If they can do that, they can win. They can‘t just attack the guy for
being big picture crazy at this point. I think they have to show how it
hurts them. This is going to take some politics on the Democrats‘ side.
But it looks doable based on those numbers.
OLBERMANN: Let‘s take to the plight of the individual that you‘re
closer to there, physically anyway, Senator Specter. I imagine that‘s most
fascinating to you. Is this really a bellwether of anything? Or is it
just such a weird set of circumstances, the ex-Republican Democrat who
slips and calls himself a Republican a couple of times, in a very weird
year? Does it mean anything more than just—not that the race is
meaningless, but does it imply anything?
MATTHEWS: I think it is a battle—in football, it is the air versus
the ground. The ground game here is all Specter. It‘s all Specter, the
governor, the vice president, the president, the mayor, the city
organization. Every time you went to vote today, in any precinct, every
division, you are handed an official Democratic ballot, told here is the
guy you vote for, Arlen Specter, in every ward, every committee—I mean,
every division. So maybe not Chestnut Hill or Rittenhouse (ph), but all
the regular working class black and white.
So it is very hard to sort of buck that. You have Rendell, who is
still pretty popular among Democrats. You‘ve got the mayor here. You‘ve
got everybody saying—all the labor unions telling the white guys and the
black guys all vote for this guy, Specter. He‘s ours now. By the way,
Philly, as you know, is very insular. People here look out for Philly
people. If you are from Philly, with all the scars on you, you are still a
good guy and they‘re with you.
So Specter benefits from having run in Philly for 45 years. We had
him on the other night and he said, I was a Democrat back when I voted a
couple times for Adlai Stevenson for president. So he‘s been in the
business of voting in Philly for so many years. I think there is a local
feeling for him here.
Whereas, the White House is very transactional, as David Gregory said
tonight. Their loyalty to Arlen is a very, very short-term deal. They may
be saying, as they said, like the “godfather,” like Hyman Roth, small
potatoes, we can live with Sestak. By the way, Sestak could be a better
general election candidate, I think.
OLBERMANN: They could sprinkle him with Dutch cleanser, to borrow the
senator‘s phrase. Quickly, 30 seconds worth on the meaning of Arkansas.
Obviously, the numbers very early there. But is Blanche Lincoln going to
go down to defeat there?
MATTHEWS: I think she is not going to get to 50. I think politics is
about hope in bad times. I think if you say this is as good as it gets,
I‘m a centrist Democrat that doesn‘t vote for health, doesn‘t vote for cap-
and-trade, doesn‘t vote with the issues that people care about, people are
going to say, wait a minute, this is as good as it gets? It‘s not good
I think that is true on the Republican side. Don‘t tell me Trey
Grayson is as good as it gets. Don‘t tell me Arlen Specter is as good as
it gets. The voters are still hopefully. We are in a recession. Would
somebody please tell that to the president and everybody else? We are in a
recession. People are being laid off. You can‘t get a loan. You can‘t
buy a house. People are very angry at whoever is in charge. They are
banging on the pipes. They want hot water. They want the super to
They‘re sending a message of no for a while. I think tonight the
message is, right and left, screw you. I think they‘re very angry.
OLBERMANN: Chris Matthews will be back with a live edition of
“HARDBALL” at midnight Eastern. Until then, Chris, great thanks.
That is COUNTDOWN for this the 2,574th day since the previous
president declared mission accomplished in Iraq. I‘m Keith Olbermann.
I‘ll be back with a live 10:00 pm edition of COUNTDOWN. Do it again at
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.>