updated 5/19/2010 11:06:50 AM ET 2010-05-19T15:06:50

Guests: Bob Casey, Bob Shrum, Mike Papantonio, Leo Gerard, Ron Christie,

Bill Press, Adam Green, Stephen A. Smith, Steve McMahon

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to a special

edition of THE ED SHOW coming to you live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,

on this Super Tuesday. 

These stories are hitting my hot buttons at this hour. 

Incumbent Democratic senators in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, they‘re

not only on the run, they‘re on the ropes.  I think the progressive base

that put President Obama in the White House will make their voices heard in

a big way today. 

Globs of tar are washing up on beaches in Key West 500 miles away from

where the Deepwater oil rig is leaking. 

And an explosive revelation that could be a major blow to Democrats in

the midterms.  The Democrat who was supposed to be a shoo-in for Chris

Dodd‘s Senate seat in Connecticut, the attorney General, allegedly lied

about serving in the Vietnam War.  That is a big one.  It could have big


But this, of course, is the story that has me fired up tonight.  I

guess you could say it‘s get back time for people who really care about

change in America. 

Now, at this hour, the dreaded anti-incumbent mood is supposed to be

just absolutely sweeping this nation.  Hang on a second.  Can I call


People are sick and tired of big insurance.  They‘re sick and tired of

big oil.  They‘re sick and tired of Wall Street calling the shots in

Washington.  And I think that some Democrats are just as guilty as

Republicans when it comes to maintaining the status quo for the rich and

powerful in this country. 

Folks, this is about liberals wanting Democrats to be Democrats. 

That‘s what this day is all about. 

Progressives have had enough of corporate Democrats standing in the

way of President Obama‘s change agenda.  Progressives flat-out don‘t think

that they‘re changing fast enough, and they‘ve watched senators like

Blanche Lincoln do everything in her power to water down the health care

bill, watch Mary Landrieu fight for big oil time and time again, to be an

advocate, and they‘ve watched a very timid Democratic Senate that still

hasn‘t done anything to rein in Wall Street.  So it‘s time for some more


Progressives don‘t want to wait for incremental moves to get away from

the Bush years.  They want to throw out anyone, and I mean anyone, who just

isn‘t fighting the good progressive fight. 

Now, although President Obama cut this robo call for Senator Lincoln

in Arkansas—



Blanche Lincoln for re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, May

18th.  Blanche is leading the fight to hold Wall Street accountable, she‘s

standing on the side of workers who lost their job in this recession by

extending unemployment insurance payments.  On health care, Blanche took on

big insurance companies by voting to end discrimination against Arkansans

with pre-existing conditions. 

So, I urge you to join me in supporting Senator Blanche Lincoln for

re-election on Tuesday, May 18th


SCHULTZ:  For Obama to make the case that Blanche Lincoln has fought

the big insurance companies, I tell you what, I just think that is a

stretch.  He‘s being more than a team player. 

She fought the public option tooth and nail.  She has never been a

supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act which the unions care about. 

President Obama also cut a robo call for Senator Arlen Specter here in



OBAMA:  Vice President Joe Biden and I need Arlen Specter in the

Senate fighting alongside us.  Please cast your vote on May 18th to put the

man who has a proven track record in delivering for Pennsylvanians, your

Democratic Senator, Arlen Specter. 


SCHULTZ:  So the big question is, do Democrats here in Pennsylvania

trust an 80-year-old party switcher who flipped to keep his job? 

Now, on the Ed Schultz Radio Show that‘s syndicated nationally, we did

an unscientific telephone survey.  I love doing this stuff. 

The caller breakdown was 52-48 percent in favor of Joe Sestak. 

Seventy-five percent of the calls that our team made were made in the

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia area.  Today‘s turnout, in my opinion, is all

about liberals wanting Democrats to be Democrats. 

Tell me what you think, folks, in our telephone survey tonight.  The

number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: Do you believe there is an anti-incumbent mood

in America?  Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no.  I‘ll bring you the results

later on in the show. 

Joining me now is Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey. 

Senator, great to have you with us tonight on this very big night in

your state of Pennsylvania. 

SEN. BOB CASEY (D), PENNSYLVANIA:  Ed, thanks very much.  It is a big


SCHULTZ:  I have to show you this.  This is just some of the—yes,

that‘s right.  I have got to show you this.  This is just some of the

material that is out there about Arlen Specter. 

And one of the comments that Joe Sestak is pushing around on his flyer

says that, “Arlen Specter says I have surveyed public opinion polls.  They

have found the prospects for winning the Republican Party are bleak and,

therefore, I‘ve decided to be a candidate for re-election in the 2010

Democratic Party.” 

Is that enough for you to support Arlen Specter, just having him flip

and saying, hey, I think I‘ll just run to get re-elected?  What do you make

of that? 

CASEY:  Well, Ed, I know that you‘re referring to statements he made

at the beginning of the campaign.  I think most voters, Ed, in Pennsylvania

are going to make a choice here. 

The choice that I made to support Senator Specter was based upon not

only big votes he cast, like the recovery bill and the health care bill,

big votes in the last year, and the recovery bill when he was a Republican

Senator, which took a lot of guts to do, but in addition to his long record

or fighting for the state.  A lot of these elections do come back to very

basic questions that people ask.  Is this Senator fighting for me and my


I think Senator Specter has a very strong record voting against the

Bush administration on issues like the minimum wage year after year, voting

against the Bush administration on issues that relate to health care and

jobs and workers.  And I think that‘s why people will come together in

supporting him today. 

And I think the results will be in tonight, and I think he‘ll win. 

I‘m not saying it‘s going to be easy, but I think he‘s going to win.  I

think he‘s going to win in November as well. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Casey, you think that Pennsylvanians are going to

trust Arlen Specter after switching parties and also after voting for

Robertson, Alito on the Supreme Court, after the Supreme Court went out and

gave corporations the leeway to go ahead and give unlimited funds to

candidates and causes?  I mean, is that the Arlen Specter that you‘re


CASEY:  Well, Ed, when you ask questions like that, you‘re limiting it

to a couple of votes, and significant and serious votes.  But, look, in the

broad sense, a lot of voters in Pennsylvania have been watching Arlen

Specter for 30 years.  And on issue after issue, when it comes to

Pennsylvania priorities, the things he cares about, things I have got to

fight for every day, he‘s been there supporting them. 

Does it mean 100 percent on every issue?  No.  But I think when people

have a—they get a general sense of candidates. 

They don‘t go down a checklist necessarily.  They basically say, has

this candidate been on my side and on the side of my family?  Especially

when we‘re out of work or we have difficulties with the economy and going

through a tough period. 

I think on issue after issue, and especially the recovery bill, that

bill has meant—or the act, I should say—has meant that Pennsylvania

is going to get $26 billion by the time it‘s over.  It‘s rescued our

economy in large measure. 

We have a long way to go, but I think when people see him voting that

way and standing up for Pennsylvania—and I know from working with him,

he‘s worked very hard for our state.  So we‘ll see what the result is

tonight, but I think he‘s got a strong record for workers and for our


SCHULTZ:  Does it concern you that President Obama, he did do a robo

call for Arlen Specter, but down the stretch there hasn‘t been any

presidential or vice presidential appearance?  Do you think in some sense

they might be distancing themselves? 

CASEY:  No. 

SCHULTZ:  What are your thoughts? 

CASEY:  I don‘t, Ed.  I think there‘s been a lot of talk today in

Washington and in the press.  I think that‘s mostly a Washington debate. 

Most voters have all the information they need.  They don‘t need to

hear from anyone at this point.  Voters, I think, even a couple of days ago

had all the information they needed. 

They‘re going to make a very tough decision on this primary.  I think

in the end, Senator Specter is going to win.  And as soon as this election

is over, as soon as he‘s the nominee, we‘ve got to come together and unify,

because the enemy here is on the other side of the aisle. 

The Republicans in the House and the Senate who voted against the

recovery bill, voted against the health care bill, voted against every

significant piece of legislation to rescue our economy and to grow our

economy, that‘s where the fight‘s going to be.  And I think it‘s very


And I can say this because I‘ve been through a lot of primaries.  No

one has more experience in tough primaries than I do, and you‘ve got to

unify after this. 

We‘ve got to have people willing to be good winners and good losers at

the end of this.  I think we can to that.  We can come together in

Pennsylvania, win the election in the fall, and I think move the country


SCHULTZ:  Senator Casey, good to have you with us on THE ED SHOW

tonight.  Thanks so much.

CASEY:  Ed, thank you.  Thanks again. 

SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in—you bet.  For more, let me

bring in Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.  He‘s also a professor at New

York University, and a great source on how these things can play out down

the stretch. 

Bob, I‘m terribly impressed by how Joe Sestak has closed the gap

against the Democratic establishment.  He doesn‘t have the governor behind

him.  He doesn‘t have the mayor of Philadelphia behind him.  He doesn‘t

have the president or the vice president behind him.  And Joe Sestak is

leading in the polls. 

What does this mean for the Democrats? 

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, look, he‘s run a remarkable

race, whether he wins or loses tonight.  I think what we‘re seeing on the

part of the president, the vice president, a lot of the Democratic

officials here, Senator Casey, for whom I have the greatest respect, is

they‘re all being good soldiers.

They told Arlen Specter if he switched parties, if he stood with them

on things like health care, they‘d endorse him and they‘d support him. 

Sestak refused.  He went out, he made an alternative case. 

He‘s made a very powerful case that he‘s the authentic Democrat in the

race.  And I think there‘s a very good chance.

You know, in Pennsylvania—and I‘ve actually been at a lot of those

primaries, too.  Some of them, by the way, with Senator Casey.  When the

primary vote starts to move, it tends to finish moving.  It tends to keep

going in the same direction.  And I think that direction is for Joe Sestak. 

The biggest hope that Specter has is that he can pull off what Rendell

pulled off in Philadelphia in 2002 when he was running for governor in a

primary, and he lost most of the counties in the state, but he ran up a

huge margin in Philadelphia and the suburbs.  I‘m just not sure there are

that many Democrats there who are yearning to go out in the rain and vote

for Arlen Specter the way they were for Ed Rendell, who was Mr.


SCHULTZ:  You know, Bob, the headlines tomorrow will probably be if

Rand Paul wins in Kentucky—

SHRUM:  I‘m pulling for him. 

SCHULTZ:  -- it will be the Tea Partiers had a big day—yes.  The

Tea Partiers had a big day, and, of course, President Obama doesn‘t have

any coattails. 

But isn‘t this day in Pennsylvania and in Arkansas all about liberals

who are frustrated that Democrats have not been strong Democrats and really

put the hammer down when they had to, when they‘ve had the majority?  Or am

I misreading that? 

What do you think?

SHRUM:  No, I think there is a lot of frustration on part of some

progressives, particularly with someone like Senator Blanche Lincoln in

Arkansas.  Look, if you look—if you listen to what President Obama said

in that robo call, he said she stood up to the insurance companies to stop

people with pre-existing conditions in Arkansas from being denied coverage. 

Well, that was true the first time.  It wasn‘t true on the second vote. 

So it‘s carefully cherry-picked.  But he‘s in a tough position. 

He endorsed her.  He promised to support her.  I think voters are

going to walk away, but in the end, I think that the president is going to

come out stronger and the Democratic Party if Sestak win, because he‘s a

stronger candidate. 

I don‘t think Blanche Lincoln can win in Arkansas.  I think Halter has

a chance.  And I am pulling hard for Rand Paul.  Let me tell you, the Tea

Partiers might have a great night, but they‘re going to have a very big

hangover trying to re-elect that guy even in the state of Kentucky, which

is more conservative than most of the country. 

SCHULTZ:  Bob Shrum, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us


SHRUM:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the East Coast is on alert.  This oil disaster

might have spread to Florida already.  Tar balls were just found in Key


And a Senate candidate is under fire.  “The New York Times” says that

the attorney general lied about serving in Vietnam.  He says that‘s an

outrageous distortion. 

I‘ll have “Rapid Fire Response” to that here on THE ED SHOW. 

And, of course, another congressional sex scandal, minus the tickle

parties.  I‘ll put the “Fox & Friends” in the “Zone” coming up. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC, live from Philadelphia. 

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW from Philadelphia tonight.  And

thanks for watching. 

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may not stay confined to the Gulf

for long.  Some scientists are now saying the edge of the spill has entered

the loop current, which puts it on a collision course with the Florida Keys

before sending it up the East Coast. 


Yesterday, balls of tar were found off Key West.  But officials are

still trying to determine if they came from the Deepwater Horizon spill. 

And under pressure from Congress, BP has just released this new video

shot two days ago that shows the oil still gushing into the ocean. 

Despite the ominous signs, the CEO of British Petroleum told a British

television station today he expects the environmental impact of the spill

to be “very, very modest.” 

Mike Papantonio is an environmental lawyer who‘s leading class action

lawsuits against BP. 

Mike, good to have you with us tonight. 


SCHULTZ:  The spill that‘s taking place is enough to spin my head

right off from BP.  And it‘s good to see that there are some hearings on

Capitol Hill. 

I want to play this sound bite.  This is Secretary Salazar today

admitting that he‘s got some issues with the Minerals Management Service. 

Here it is. 


KEN SALAZAR, INTERIOR SECRETARY:  We have a problem, and we have a

collective responsibility to fix that problem.  That responsibility, I will

say, starts first with the Department of Interior and the Minerals

Management Service.  We need to clean up that house. 


SCHULTZ:  Mike, it sounds to me like there could be negligence, there

could be corruption.  The corruption is what I want you to go after.  I

mean, where there‘s smoke there‘s fire, my man.  Take us down that road. 

What do you think? 

PAPANTONIO:  OK.  Well, first, corporate America, Ed, always

celebrates when they have an incompetent in a regulatory position.  So, you

could imagine how Exxon, BP and Shell celebrated when Chris Oynes was

appointed to the head of Minerals Management.

Here‘s what you need to understand about this guy.  He lost $10

billion for taxpayer money, basically paid it over to the oil company, lost

$10 billion we never got back.  After he lost the money, Ed, after he lost

that $10 billion, he was then appointed by Cheney to head up Minerals


So, the point is this: the corporate types love an incompetent like

Oynes.  And the story continues, even.  If you don‘t have an incompetent,

they love a criminal. 

So, let‘s talk about Griles.  Let‘s talk about Steven Griles, who was

a felon, who had to plead to felony charges for fraud. 

He was the deputy secretary of the Interior, worked hard to do

everything he could for the oil industry.  So, look, they always take care

of these people that are placed in these positions.  Somebody needs to ask

Salazar some very important questions.

SCHULTZ:  But, Mike, who was going—Mike, I want to know—you

know, I want to know, who is going to investigate possible corruption?  I

mean, you have got a company that is out there making billions of dollars,

and you‘ve got a permitting process that is horribly flawed.  I mean, I

think it‘s great that you‘re doing what you‘re doing, but when it comes to

the corruption end of it, don‘t we have to push government officials to

investigate that and go down that road? 

What do you think?

PAPANTONIO:  You have to have the U.S. attorneys show the courage that

they need to show here.  They‘ve got enough for an easy RICO case here. 

As a matter of fact, Ed, I‘ll tell you right now, within the next few

weeks, if I keep seeing the kind of evidence I‘m seeing in this case

develop, I will file a civil RICO case, and I‘ll sit down with people like

Oynes.  I‘ll sit down with people like—that ran Minerals Management, and

ask them, how did all this occur? 


PAPANTONIO:  And when I ask them those questions, it‘s not like

congressional questions.  These are questions that they can commit perjury

with.  These are questions that they have to answer.  And you know what?

SCHULTZ:  All right.

There is one other development today that we‘ve got to get to. 

There‘s one other development that we‘ve got to get to today. 

In the Senate today, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma blocked the liability cap. 

This is the response from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Here it is. 


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER:  The roots of this tragedy

are in British Petroleum‘s executives‘ efforts to pad their own wallets. 

Their greed led to 11 horrific and unnecessary deaths, it has harmed an

enormous tourism industry, weakened business at countless fisheries, and

disrupted life for many along the Gulf Coast. 

By law, oil companies are liable for only $75 million in damages in

instances like this.  This is clearly insufficient. 

One way Congress can act now is by raising that limit.  Some believe

it should be raised to $10 billion.  Others support no cap at all.  I

certainly think a $10 billion cap is inadequate. 


SCHULTZ:  Mike, your thoughts on that?  Is the Senate moving in the

right direction, and are they going to be strong enough? 

PAPANTONIO:  Ed, can you imagine this coming from Inhofe? 

The question is clear -- $10 billion is not enough.  Every economist

that‘s looked at this has said it‘s in excess of $20 billion. 

One question I have to ask, where are the super tankers that cleaned

up the Mideast spill that spilled 700 million gallons of oil in the

Mideast?  Super tankers cleaned up 80 percent of that. 

You know why the super tankers aren‘t on the site?  Because they‘re

all over the world making money for Shell and BP and Exxon.  They could be

in this Gulf right now pumping the oil right out of the Gulf just like they

did in the Mideast in the 1990s.  But they‘re not doing it because it‘s all

about profit.  It‘s all about profit.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Mike Papantonio, keep up the fight, my man.  Great to

have you with us tonight.  I totally agree with you, it is all about the

money.  Good to have you on, Mike. 

PAPANTONIO:  Thanks a lot, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, those “Fox & Friends” just love “Psycho Talk” in

the morning.  They‘re worried that the Arizona immigration crackdown messed

up the Miss USA pageant? 

I‘ll crown them in the “Zone” next. 


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, the kids over at “Fox &

Friends” in the morning, well, they‘re all wound up about the alleged

injustice in the pageant world. 

Now, during the Miss USA pageant last weekend, Miss Oklahoma was asked

about the Arizona immigration law.  She came out in favor of the law and

ended up in second place. 

The winner was an Arab-American woman who, as an infant, emigrated to

the United States from Lebanon.  Well, it was just too much for “Fox &

Friends” brain wizards to handle.  The righty reaction began with Fox‘s

resident beauty queen, Gretchen Carlson. 


GRETCHEN CARLSON, “FOX & FRIENDS”:  Guess who lost?  Someone with an

informed opinion, actually, Miss Oklahoma.  She was first runner up, and

she talked about supporting states‘ rights. 

So, a lot of people are going to parse this today and they‘re going to

say, did she lose, was she first runner up because she supported the

Arizona immigration law?  And did the Muslim-American win because of the

whole PC society that we find ourselves in? 


SCHULTZ:  Here‘s Gretchen‘s sidekick, Brian Kilmeade, pushing that

conspiracy theory while interviewing Miss Oklahoma this morning. 


BRIAN KILMEADE, “FOX & FRIENDS”:  Do you feel as though that maybe

they wanted to make sure you didn‘t win, asking you a question that there‘s

no way to win because it‘s so polarizing? 


SCHULTZ:  Nice try, Brian.  It would be a decent conspiracy theory if

Miss USA contestants didn‘t randomly pick questions out of a fish bowl on

live television. 

Kilmeade should really leave the beauty queen stuff to Gretchen,

especially after throwing out a question that was even too bizarre for the

pageant-ready Miss Oklahoma. 


KILMEADE:  Whose idea was it to make women dress in bathing suits and

high heels?  That‘s like an impossible thing.  Am I correct? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don‘t think so. 


SCHULTZ:  Look, I‘m not the guy to make a judgment on who should or

should not have won the Miss USA pageant, but for “Fox & Friends” to imply

that the only way an Arab-American woman could win is because of a

conspiracy theory aimed at Miss Oklahoma, that is simply serious “Psycho


Coming up, Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal, who is also the

attorney general in Connecticut, is in a fight for his political life.  He

says he misspoke about serving in Vietnam.  His opponent is calling him a

coward and a liar. 

Plus, another hypocrite Republican congressman resigns after another


Psycho sister Michele Bachmann meets her match. 

And Stephen A. Smith is going to be here in the “Playbook.”

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC from Philadelphia.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, live from Philadelphia.  Thanks

for watching tonight.  Our Battleground story is the election. 

Pennsylvania Democrats have less than two hours to vote in the Senate

primary between Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak.  This

race will measure the power of the Democratic establishment, the White

House and the Pennsylvania machine against the power, I think, of the

liberal grassroots.  Sestak has made it a heck of a race, even though on

paper Specter has every advantage, the support of the president, the vice

president, the national party and of labor. 

Of course, unions have a big footprint here in Pennsylvania, and their

support and ability to turn out voters could be a deciding factor tonight. 

for more, let‘s bring to Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers

International, based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Gerard, good to

have you with us tonight. 

Does it matter who wins from a labor perspective tonight?  Is it

better to have Arlen Specter or is it better to have Joe Sestak?  What do

you think in. 


think they‘re both very good folks, but I do know that we have a—the

labor movement in Pennsylvania has a history with Senator Specter, and in

particular on manufacturing, on job, on trade, he‘s been a champion

fighting for those jobs for as long as he‘s been in the Senate, even when

he was a Republican.  He fought those fights within his own party.  So he

has a lot of support amongst the Pennsylvania labor movement. 

Congressman Sestak has got a shorter career, but he‘s also been a

champion on those issues.  So I think it matters in that Arlen‘s got the

experience and he‘s got, I think, the ability to very clearly beat Toomey. 

But they‘re both good folks.  Whichever one wins, we‘re going to work our

heart off for them in the Senate runoff against the Republican. 

SCHULTZ:  So, as far as wage earners in Pennsylvania are concerned,

and unions are concerned, there hasn‘t been any concerted effort by the

AFL-CIO or some other unions or the Steelworkers to say, OK, we are picking

here.  We‘re getting engaged.  And we want everybody to get behind one

candidate or another.  Explain that, because the unions have been very

effective in the last two election cycles when it comes to making sure the

groundwork gets done. 

GERARD:  I think the labor movement, as I said, in Pennsylvania, and

the AFL-CIO, leans heavily toward Arlen Specter based on Arlen‘s experience

and his track record of standing up for working families, as I said, even

when he was in the Republican party.  But if either Congressman Sestak or

Senator Specter win this primary, the most important thing is to beat the

Republican.  We‘re not going to go beating up on either candidate because

the most important thing is to get our candidate, and then go make sure we

win in the general election. 

We don‘t need anymore Republicans that have been holding up progress

in Washington.  And to us the—

SCHULTZ:  How effective will the union and wage—how effective will

the wage earner and the union organization be against Mr. Toomey?  I mean,

how imperative is it for a Democrat to win in the state of Pennsylvania, in

your opinion? 

GERARD:  It‘s unbelievably important.  Pennsylvania‘s a key, key

state.  The reason they call it the Keystone State, above from all the

other good reasons, it‘s a political keystone state.  And for us to make

sure that we win that election come November is very important. 

I can tell you that we‘re not very comfortable thinking about the

Toomey Senate campaign after we fought so long to get rid of Rick Santorum. 

Rick Santorum, when he was there, did nothing for working people.  We know

that Toomey‘s going to be even worse.  We‘re going to be effective.  We‘re

going to be on the ground.  We‘re going to be working. 

I think if Senator Specter wins tonight, we‘ll work for him.  And if

Joe wins tonight, we‘ll work for him.  But we‘re leaning toward Senator


SCHULTZ:  Mr. Gerard, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us


GERARD:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  In Arkansas, a record number of people voted early. 

Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter says if he can force Senator Blanche

Lincoln into a runoff on June 8th, he will consider that a victory. 

Progressives are fired up to oust Lincoln. 

Let me bring in Adam Green, chairman of the Progressive Change

Campaign Committee.  Adam, good to have you with us tonight.  What

separates Bill Halter, the lieutenant governor, and Blanche Lincoln?  What

is coming down tonight?  Where‘s the division?  Where‘s the progressive

movement going in Arkansas right now?  What‘s happening? 


Ed, this election here in Arkansas has been a textbook example of big

corporate power versus grassroots people power.  You know, Bill Halter

jumped into this race because, on issue after issue, Blanche Lincoln

accepted millions of dollars from big corporate interests and then came out

against the public option, then came out for deregulating Wall Street, and

other positions. 

And because he‘s been willing to fight with her on these issues, he‘s

really attracted a large grassroots following.  I‘ll tell you, tonight, if

Bill Halter wins or if he holds to less than 50 percent and forces a

runoff, this will be a major defeat for the corporate establishment and a

major victory for the grassroots. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  If she doesn‘t get 50 percent, it goes to June 8th

Where does that put Halter in your opinion?  Does that put him in great

shape to defeat Blanche Lincoln? 

GREEN:  It certainly does.  People who are coming out to vote for Bill

Halter are really energized.  The people coming out to vote for Blanche

Lincoln, in many cases, are voting on other races first and happen to be

there to vote for Blanche Lincoln. 

Just today, actually. I was doing some grassroots phone banking along

with many, many other volunteers.  And I spoke to somebody who actually

went to high school with Blanche Lincoln.  He was a self-identified

conservative.  He should have been the core of her base.  He knows her

roots and he‘s a conservative.  And he said to me, I voted against Blanche

Lincoln because she stopped listening to the people of Arkansas.  And I

said to him, if there‘s a runoff in three weeks, would you come back out to

the polls?  And he said to me, quote, three weeks, three days, three

minutes, you let me know where the election is and I‘ll be there voting for

Bill Halter. 

That‘s how energized Halter supporters are and—

SCHULTZ:  This—this is—yeah.  This is a classic example of how

progressives in this country are upset with Democrats who have not been

Democrats, that have favored corporate interests.  A lot of people on my

radio show referred to Blanche Lincoln as Senator Wal-Mart.  She was

against the public option.  And keep in mind, she hasn‘t voted for Wall

Street reform yet. 

And I think that this is really a defining moment.  She should not be

behind in Arkansas.  But I think that there is such a thirst in this

country right now to keep this progressive movement going.  Do you have any

grassroots numbers for us, Adam Green, in the PCCC?  Where are the

grassroots?  How much grassroots is supporting Blanche Lincoln versus Bill


GREEN:  There are lots of numbers I can give you.  One thing that

stands out to me is if you look at the fund-raising website Act Blue—

it‘s a tool that a lot of groups, including our own, use to do grassroots

fund-raising.  Bill Halter has gotten over 24,100 small dollar grassroots

donations.  How many has Blanche Lincoln gotten?  About 61.  Not 61,000,

61.  That really shows that he‘s the guy who is not taking the corporate

money, but is powered by everyday people. 

I should say for your listeners—

SCHULTZ:  Adam Green, great to have you with us. 

GREEN:  Just for people watching at home, this doesn‘t have a to be

spectator sport.  People can go to our website right now,

BoldProgressives.org.  For however much time you have, make phone calls to

Arkansas voters, help us get out the vote.  We can win this election


SCHULTZ:  Adam, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

Let‘s get rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. 

An explosive story in “the New York Times” says Connecticut Attorney

General Democratic Senate Candidate Richard Blumenthal has reportedly lied

to voters about fighting in the Vietnam War.  Today Blumenthal admitted he


Another family values Republican is caught in a sex scandal.  Indiana

Congressman Mark Souder is resigning.  When he wasn‘t out promoting

abstinence-only education, he was having an affair with a female staffer. 

And our panel makes predictions on today‘s primary showdowns and what

tonight‘s results could mean for the midterms. 

With us tonight, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press

and Republican strategist Ron Christie, and the head of Christie

strategies.  I threw that plug in there for you, Ron. 

RON CHRISTIE, CHRISTIE STRATEGIES:  Thanks, buddy.  I appreciate that. 

SCHULTZ:  Here we go.  Let‘s talk about Blumenthal.  I mean, what is

he doing?  It‘s documented on a number of different occasions, Bill Press,

this guy has gone out and easily tried to make people think that he was

some kind of war veteran in Vietnam.  Is it going to hurt him?  What do you


BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Ed, look, first of all I‘m a

Yellow-Dog Democrat.  You know me.  I‘ll defend any Democrat I can.  But I

cannot defend Richard Blumenthal.  It‘s not just one case where he

misspoke, Ed, as we know.  If you read the stories, it‘s time after time. 

It is years that he either said he served in Vietnam or left people the

impression he served in Vietnam and did not correct newspaper reports. 

I have to tell you, I think he‘s dead in the water.  And I think

Democrats in Connecticut have three days to come up with another candidate

and better do so. 

CHRISTIE:  Yeah.  I agree with Bill on that, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Dead in the water.  That is—that is un—

PRESS:  Hate to say it. 

SCHULTZ:  I want to play this soundbite first, Ron.  This is Richard

Blumenthal today at a presser explaining how he misspoke. 



Reserves by picking up the phone and signing up.  Unlike many of my peers,

I chose to join the military and serve my country. 

I may have misspoken.  I did misspeak on a few occasions out of

hundreds that I have attended, whether events or ceremonies.  And I will

not allow anyone to take a few of those misplaced words and impugn my

record of service.  I regret that I misspoke on those occasions.  I take

full responsibility for it. 


SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, is Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general in

Connecticut, is he dead in the water?  Do the Democrats have to pivot and

get somebody else? 

CHRISTIE:  Dead in the water, road kill in the middle of the street,

Ed.  He‘s done.  Look, Connecticut should have been a Republican seat.  Of

course, when you had Chris Dodd in there, Blumenthal was the very, very

popular attorney general in Connecticut and Republicans said, well, I guess

we‘re going to put this in the loss column.  If he stays in this race, this

will be a competitive seat for the Republicans, one we never should have


But it‘s disgraceful.  It‘s a disgrace for the 58,000 Americans who

lost their lives for this person who says he misspoke.  He lied.  He needs

to get out of this race. 

PRESS:  Ed, especially the fact that he was in the Marine Reserves. 

He could have just left it at that.  Good for him for joining the Reserves. 

CHRISTIE:  Exactly.  You‘re right, bill.  He could have said he served

in the Vietnam era. 

PRESS:  Exactly.  Right. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, what do you think the Democrats ought to do?  You

think they ought to go back and ask Chris Dodd, maybe the Countrywide issue

wasn‘t as big as this?  What do you think? 

PRESS:  First of all, Chris Dodd is not going to run again.  I wish he

would.  There are a couple of—John Larson from Connecticut, great

congressman from Connecticut.  I think they‘ve got to look around to the

members of Congress, get another candidate, get him in there to file before

filing deadline on Friday.  If they stick with Blumenthal, I think

Democrats lose Connecticut.  I hate to say it.  I think that‘s the way it


CHRISTIE:  You‘re absolutely right, Bill. 

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, who wins in Pennsylvania tonight?  Who wins in

Arkansas tonight?  Call it, Bill Press, then you, Christie. 

PRESS:  First of all, Joe Sestak wins in Pennsylvania because he

represents change.  He represents working people.  And he represents a new

face and new energy.  In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln is going to be forced

into a runoff by Bill Halter. 

I‘ll go one more, Ed.  Rand Paul is going to win in Kentucky.  On the

two Democratic ones, unfortunately I think Barack Obama‘s on the wrong side

of both.  He‘s supporting Blanche Lincoln.  He‘s supporting Arlen Specter. 

SCHULTZ:  Yeah. 

CHRISTIE:  Ed, I agree with Bill down the line. 

PRESS:  Uh-oh.  Uh-oh. 

CHRISTIE:  There‘s trouble here.  I think that Specter is not the true

Democrat in the race.  I think it‘s gong to hurt the White House.  The

president, the vice president, the establishment has gotten behind Mr.

Specter.  I think he loses.  I think Blanche Lincoln is going to be brought

into a runoff, which is terrible for her.  She tried to have the middle of

the road course and she‘s being out-flanked on her left.  She loses. 

I do think that Rand Paul and the enthusiasm of the Tea Party and the

enthusiasm of people who are dissatisfied with Washington are going to get

rid of Grayson candidate, the secretary of state, to express their

displeasure with the establishment.  So it‘s going to be an upset night. 

SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.  I‘m holding

Christie Strategies to this.  We‘re taping this, buddy.  Great to have you

with us tonight. 

Coming up, a picture really is worth a thousand words.  All star

psycho talker Michele Bachmann joins forces with the Birther Queen. 

And political press, Laker fans call for a stand against Arizona as

they take on the Phoenix Suns.  Stephen A. Smith joins me on set. 

Plus, Bristol Palin is following her mom‘s footsteps?  But not at the

same price tag.   That‘s coming up in the playbook.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  In my Playbook tonight, the L.A. Lakers dominated the

Phoenix Suns 128-107 in game one of the Western Conference Finals last

night.  Some members of the Los Angeles City Council want the Lakers to go

on offense politically as well by taking a stand against Arizona‘s

controversial new immigration law.  Joining me now is Stephen A. Smith,

nationally syndicated talk show host and columnist for “the Philadelphia

Enquirer.”  What is happening?


came out and spoke out about the fact that he didn‘t feel that

organizations themselves should have any involvement whatsoever in any

political issues.  He felt that they shouldn‘t take positions and that

sports should be separated from the world of politics. 

I personally disagree.  There are an abundance of people in this world

who disagree with that statement, in terms of the individual.  As an

individual, as an American citizen, if you feel a particular way about

something, you should have the right to express yourself.  As a team, as an

organization, as a sport, he‘s right that collectively you have to be


SCHULTZ:  Stephen A., you‘re an agent.  You have the best player on

the team.  You want him going out there making political statements, going

out there maybe jeopardizing a deal he might have with a big sponsor? 

SMITH:  Absolutely not.  At the same time, if he feels adamant about

whatever his position is, it‘s his money.  It‘s his career.  It‘s his right

to take whatever position he so chooses.  If you‘re my agent and you‘re

telling me you don‘t want me to take this position, I‘m looking at you and

I‘m saying, wait a minute, you get four, six, maybe 10 percent if you‘re

lucky.  I‘m getting the other 90.  I‘m the player.  I‘m the guy you‘re

representing.  You have to flow with what I want you to do. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not—I don‘t—look, you have politicians that are

going to use visibility.  Athletes are visible tools.  They become

billboards.  What do you make of a team going out with a special jersey on? 

SMITH:  That‘s where I agree with Jackson.  You don‘t want the team to

do it, but as an individual, there‘s absolutely nothing wrong with it.  You

have to remember, in the United States of America, that freedom of speech

means a great deal because a lot of other countries don‘t enjoy that


SCHULTZ:  Lakers all the way? 

SMITH:  No.  They‘ll get to the final.  There is no series.  There is

no western conference series.  It‘s the Lakers.  They‘re going to the

finals.  They will run roughshod over the Phoenix Suns.  That‘s over in

five games.  They‘ll probably meet the Boston Celtics, who I‘m predicting

will take Orlando out in six games.  And then I think the Boston Celtics,

they are going to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, probably in seven. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephen A. Smith, always a pleasure. 

Couple other pages in the playbook tonight, just like her mother,

Bristol Palin is cashing in on, should I say, public speaking.  Sarah

Palin‘s daughter will reportedly make between 15,000 and 30,000 dollars for

each appearance.  She‘ll be talking about team pregnancy at conferences,

fund-raisers and pro-life programs. 

And Michele Bachmann made a new friend on her trip to California over

the weekend.  There she is with Birther Queen Orly Taitz.  Don‘t they make

a cute couple?  The picture really is worth a thousand words.  The psycho

sisters both spoke at a lunch sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. 

And a reminder that my new book is coming out on June 1st.  It‘s

called “Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics Are Destroying the

Great American Middle Class.”  We‘ll have a series of town hall meetings

and book signings.  You can go to my website, wegoted.com, for our entire

schedule.  It‘s all starting out June 2nd in Chicago. 

Tonight in our telephone survey, I asked you, do you believe there‘s

an anti-incumbent mood in America?  Eighty seven percent of you said yes;

13 percent of you said no.

Coming up, my coverage from Philadelphia wraps up with some primary

predictions.  That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us. 


SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight, here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC, on the

streets in Philadelphia.  Is it going to be Sestak or is it going to be

Arlen Specter? 



SCHULTZ:  Holy smokes, we‘ve got an engaged group here.  We‘re going

to have special coverage.  “HARDBALL” coming up in just a moment.  Keith

Olbermann will be along with “COUNTDOWN,” and Rachel will have coverage all

into the night to bring you the results from all four different states. 

Let‘s go to Steve McMahon, longtime Democratic strategist.  Steve, make the

call here in Pennsylvania tonight.  What do you think?

STEVE MCMAHON, DEMCORATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, I think your viewers are

calling it correctly, Ed.  Sestak has the momentum.  In order for Specter

to win, he‘d have to get 75 percent of the African-American vote.  And last

to time he got 25 percent in Philadelphia.  It‘s going to be a tough thing

for him to get it done. 

SCHULTZ:  What about in Arkansas?  Is Blanche Lincoln going to get 50

percent?  And if she doesn‘t, it goes to a runoff on June 8th.  What does

that mean for Halter, the lieutenant governor, and the progressive


MCMAHON:  I tell you what, it gives Halter momentum and a chance to

win, if he‘s able to get her into a runoff.  What often happens with these

third-party candidates like D.C. Harrison or D.C. Morrison, who is running

with about eight percent, is they disappear on election day.  Watch for

that.  If he disappears on election day, Blanche Lincoln will win probably

without a runoff.  If he gets eight percent, she‘s in a runoff for sure. 

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s go back to Pennsylvania and the southwestern portion

of the state, John Murtha‘s district.  Do the Democrats hold it, Steve? 

MCMAHON:  I think that‘s the real barometer.  I think the Democrats

will hold it.  The only other elections on the ballot today in Pennsylvania

are Democratic primaries, which should boost turnout on the Democratic

side.  I think we hold it in a squeaker. 

SCHULTZ:  And one other thing I want to ask you is about Rand Paul in

Kentucky.  Mitch McConnell has staked his claim on the secretary of state

there.  What kind of battle line can we see drawn at the end of that? 

MCMAHON:  This is a real embarrassment for Mitch McConnell, who first

drove his colleague Senator Bunning out of the race, then recruited a

candidate, his hand-picked favorite.  Rand Paul is about to beat that hand-

picked favorite in spite of Mitch McConnell‘s machine.  It‘s an

embarrassing moment tonight if that happens—when that happens for Mitch


SCHULTZ:  OK.  Thanks, Steve McMahon, longtime Democratic strategist. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW from the streets in Philadelphia.  “HARDBALL” is live

next on MSNBC.   We‘ll see you tomorrow night.




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.>


Discussion comments