Guests: Chris Jones, Diana DeGette, Peter Morici, Sam Stein, Karen
Hanretty, Mike Papantonio, Jeff Merkley, Tom Tancredo
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW, live from Minneapolis tonight.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
I can‘t believe this one. Michael Bloomberg has no shame.
Eleven rig workers are dead and our Gulf Coast has been destroyed for a generation, but New York‘s billionaire mayor, well, he thinks we‘re being just too hard on BP. You won‘t want to miss my commentary coming up next.
The hate crusade in Arizona is getting worse. Some officials don‘t want to stop at targeting people based on the color of their skin. Now they want to strip American-born babies of their citizenship.
And Harry Reid‘s Tea Party challenger in Nevada wants to give prisoners Scientology messages? OK. Our panel will take that on in “Rapid Fire Response” tonight.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
Day 56 into the greatest ecological disaster this country has ever seen, and hold the phone. Billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is fencing and defending BP.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: We all want recognition and respect, and here we‘re going after the heads of some of these companies. The guy that runs BP didn‘t exactly go down there and blow up the well. And what‘s more, if you want him to fix it, and they‘re the only ones with the expertise, I think I might wait to assign blame and until we get it fixed. I don‘t want them focussing on anything other --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawyers.
BLOOMBERG: -- the lawyers. I want them focussing, sure. But unfortunately, it‘s not any one person or one party or one branch of government. Everybody‘s got—there‘s got to be somebody that‘s culpable in everything. Come on.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes, come on. Come on, Mayor.
This is one of the most insensitive, callous comments I think I‘ve heard a politician say in a long time. This is out of touch. It‘s elitist talk. It doesn‘t bode well for anybody.
I mean, it is so obvious that Bloomberg has got presidential aspirations, because it would mean that, you know, he doesn‘t want to get on the wrong side of a multinational with major political power, does he? Don‘t forget, this is the same guy who went to bat for the suits on Wall Street when they robbed the country blind. Bloomberg has decided to go light on BP when there‘s a criminal investigation going on?
Is that appropriate? I don‘t think so.
Attorney General Eric Holder is doing his job going after that corporation and everybody involved. There‘s no reason for Bloomberg to stick up for them in the middle of this process.
This is another classic, folks. It‘s another classic example of business protecting business.
In Bloomberg‘s world, profit at any cost is standard operating procedure. CEOs are entitled to all profit and none of the blame. That‘s the culture there.
There‘s no way in hell Bloomberg would cut BP slack if this happened off the shores of New York City 40 miles out. You know, I‘d like to see the mayor of New York call up all the families of the 11 who were killed, you know, and bring them in and sit them down and say, “You know what? We‘re just really being too tough on Tony Hayward. We‘re being just too tough on BP.”
I think that throughout this entire ordeal, closing in on 60 days, just about every parent in this country has asked themselves the question, how would I feel about BP or deep oil drilling if that was my son on that rig that got killed? The sheer arrogance that money can buy anything, including attitude through the media, the visibility and power of New York‘s mayor to step out of bounds and talk like this, that, hey, maybe we should cut BP some slack and hold off because, you see, they‘re the only ones with the expertise to fix this, this is absolutely outrageous.
And it speaks to the divide in this country between the people and the money and the corporations and the politicians. It‘s a culture.
Mayor Bloomberg, I look you in the eye tonight and tell you that you are no man of the people to talk like that. An apology is definitely in order.
It was clearly insensitive. It was out of bounds. And it was wrong. And that line of thinking should not be the prevailing thought here, that anybody in this country should be going light on a corporation that really has lied since it happened, that has circumvented the permitting process, undoubtedly, and is now in the middle of a roll of lawsuits because they can‘t be trusted, and they have actions in the past of turning their nose at safety violations.
Folks, get your cell phones out tonight. I want to know what you think about this. Maybe I‘m off base. I don‘t think I am.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think as a country that we‘re being too tough on BP?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. And we‘ll bring you the results later in the show.
Joining me now from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is Chris Jones. His brother Gordon was killed in the Deepwater rig explosion.
Mr. Jones, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time, and obviously we are sorry for your loss. This has got to be absolutely a very tough time in your life.
But, Chris, let me ask you your thoughts when you hear some people speak out in defense of BP and some of the other companies that are involved that maybe we‘re being too tough on the CEOs and the companies in the wake of all of this.
CHRIS JONES, BROTHER OF RIG WORKER KILLED: I don‘t know who asked Mayor Bloomberg his opinion on this, and I certainly haven‘t seen him down here on the Gulf Coast looking in the eyes of the people that have been affected directly by this disaster. That‘s for sure.
SCHULTZ: How do you—if you were visiting with Mayor Bloomberg, what would you say to him?
JONES: Well, you know what? I don‘t think it‘s really his place to make any of these remarks.
You know, our family‘s dealing with a lot of things right now. We‘re trying to fit in time to go to Washington and lobby for changes in laws that are going to support my nephews and my wife, my sister-in-law for the rest of their lives because their father and their husband are not going to be there to help them and get them through college.
You know, I don‘t think he really realizes the impact, or the people that are talking about BP. We‘re not going to find out what happened on that rig for a long time. You know, if we‘re doing any good by criticizing BP, you know, hopefully that‘s going to help with sorting things out in helping us move forward in the future.
SCHULTZ: Chris Jones, do you think throughout this entire process that the families could be somewhat of a benchmark of how we have to remember exactly what led up to this, what happened, and how we‘re living with it afterwards? I mean, do you think that the families play a very important role throughout this entire process?
And it‘s pressure nobody asked for, obviously. It‘s circumstances that nobody could ever wish for. But do you think that the families play a vital role in all of this?
JONES: Well, I feel like I‘m playing an important role in this. You know, I didn‘t want to be here talking to you. I didn‘t want to be meeting the president last Thursday. But I am because I think it‘s important to, you know, talk to people and tell them how unfair the current laws are for the recoveries of the families involved in this.
And also, not only that, but also the families that will, unfortunately, and inevitably, be impacted by these laws again in the future. And so from that perspective, it‘s important. You know, and that‘s really the only reason that I‘m here today, is to speak out about those issues.
SCHULTZ: Chris Jones, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you for joining us tonight. A very tough time, undoubtedly. And, of course, when we have politicians who are very disconnected making comments that have all kinds of visibility and all kinds of influence and power, only makes that much worse.
I appreciate your time.
For more, let my bring in Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette, vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She just got back from a visit to the Gulf Coast.
Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D), COLORADO: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
There‘s a tremendous amount of scrutiny right now about what we‘re doing as a country. Are we doing enough?
Take us to your visit down there. What are the people on the ground saying to you about how the response is going?
DEGETTE: Well, obviously, this is the worst manmade environmental disaster this country has ever seen. And they‘re coping as best they can.
It‘s just mind-boggling driving through those marshes and seeing the effect the oil has already had on the marshes. That‘s not even looking at the wildlife. It‘s going to take years to clean up.
And I will say, BP really does deserve to have its feet held firmly to the fire, because when we talk to folks like Chris, other victims, other families of the 11 folks killed, they are quite concerned about the law of the seas, and that‘s what Chris was just talking about, and about reimbursement for the families.
The other thing that we were talking to some of the fishermen and small businesses down there, now, BP stood in front of my committee and said those people would be compensated. And some of them are being compensated, but at a far lower rate than the losses they are feeling.
But others like the small businesspeople have seen no compensation at all. And that‘s why I really applaud what the president is trying to do by setting up a very serious fund so that people can be compensated and quickly. This is the height for the season.
SCHULTZ: Well, Congresswoman, hold on now.
SCHULTZ: You‘re saying that the president should be commended, and I‘m a fan of the president, as well. And many of our viewers are. But right now, the American people aren‘t sold on what‘s happening. Seventy-one percent of Americans say President Obama has not been tough enough on BP.
Are you in that 71 percent? Do you think we‘ve been tough enough, or not tough enough?
DEGETTE: The president has been ratcheting up the pressure, I think, as appropriate. For example, BP stood there and said that they would compensate these small fishermen, these small businesses. And when after a couple of weeks we saw they weren‘t compensating them—we saw that last week in our hearing—the president is now saying that he‘s going to demand when the executives come tomorrow establishment of a fund. And I completely agree.
I think it‘s outrageous that some of these small businesses should have to take out loans when they‘re still paying off their Katrina loans. And so I think that pressure is being appropriately raised.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the $20 billion in an escrow account is enough? And do you think that the government is going to be able to streamline the process to get the money to the people?
DEGETTE: I think we can streamline the process to get the money to the people. It shouldn‘t be that hard. Let me give you an example.
We talked to a shrimper down there who has kept all of his records. He has records from May 2009 that show that he grossed $26,000 in May, 2009. He was given $5,000 by BP.
Now, I‘ve got to tell you, it doesn‘t take some kind of advanced degree to look at that paperwork and say this man needs to be compensated. Same thing with the other businesspeople down there.
I hope $20 billion is enough, but in any event, it would be a good start to giving some of these folks the compensation they need.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette, appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.
DEGETTE: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Later on in this broadcast, we‘re going to visit with Mike Papantonio. He has got some experts telling him that they might not be able to stop the leak.
That‘s coming up at the bottom of the hour. Stay with us.
Coming up, Congressman Clyburn says he sees elephant dung all over the place with Alvin Greene‘s Democratic Senate nomination. The White House is now on record. They‘re not buying it either.
I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that tonight.
And Harry Reid‘s on the hunt. He‘s slamming Tea Partier Sharon Angle in a commercial. Her campaign says it‘s deceptive.
You‘ll see it right here and you‘ll be able to judge for yourself.
All that, plus the FBI just opened up former Senator Ted Kennedy‘s file. He faced some incredible threats in his lifetime.
And a shocking video of a congressman getting physical with a student in Washington, D.C. We‘ll show you the tape with commentary.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Democrats are getting nervous about jobs. Even though 431,000 jobs were created last month, they know that it‘s not enough. And they‘re asking where do they come from?
President Obama asked Congress for $50 billion in new emergency spending to prevent more layoffs. Opposition to the idea is not just coming from the right. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says adding another $50 billion is not the way to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STENY HOYER (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I have asked the White House to look at the package, the Recovery and Reinvestment Act that we passed, approximately $800-plus billion. There are clearly funds in there that have not been expended to see whether or not there are some available for this more immediate priority than some that may not be quite as immediate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Peter Morici. He‘s an economist and professor at the University of Maryland.
Professor, good to have you with us tonight.
It seems to me that the majority party in the White House, they may not be saying it, but I get this sense that they are nervous about job creation, and they it could come back to politically bite them.
The semantics of it all, and also the nuts and bolts of it, what do they have to do to add the jobs? Not the temporary jobs, but the real jobs that are going to stick and grow this economy?
PROF. PETER MORICI, ECONOMIST, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Well, they‘re going to have to rev up demand for American-made products, which means resolve the trade deficit with China. Either get them to revalue their currency or tax dollar/yuan conversion so that the price of Chinese goods reflects their true cost.
And the other thing, they want to use some of the TARP money for small business loans. What they really need to do is use TARP money to clean up the books of those 8,000 regional banks so they‘re available to lend money to small businesses as those customers come in the door.
This is not rocket science. It‘s the fundamentals that caused the recession.
SCHULTZ: If it‘s not rocket science, then why is it so hard to create the jobs?
MORICI: Well, the administration simply doesn‘t want to confront China hard. They‘ll continue with diplomacy.
SCHULTZ: I‘ve got to ask you—wait a minute, now. Is it all about China? I mean, you mean to tell me that creating jobs in this country all depends on how we deal with the Chinese, period?
MORICI: We have a trade deficit which is larger than the stimulus package. It‘s 3.3 percent of GDP. Half of it‘s China. Half of it‘s oil.
I propose that we do something about the Chinese yuan if they won‘t do it. And then we have a national industrial policy to rapidly build out more fuel-efficient vehicles so we can start to get out of the gasoline and get out of drilling in the Gulf and all the rest of those environmental issues.
There‘s that and there‘s the problems of the banks. Most of the TARP money was used to shore up the big banks in New York. They got their big bonuses. They had their $300 billion in extra profits last year, while the regional banks, we continue to close them every weekend.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Majority Leader Hoyer saying, well, there‘s a spending fatigue going on out there, almost as if it‘s about the psychology of the consumer, they‘re playing it tight to the vest because they‘re nervous about the dynamics of the whole thing?
Is there a spending fatigue? What do you think?
MORICI: Oh, I think there‘s a real fatigue about federal spending because the stimulus package did not deliver the amount of jobs it expected, and they‘re largely temporary. You know, last month most of the jobs were Census jobs which had nothing to do with stimulus.
I think Hoyer‘s dead right. We‘re going to have to do something with the state and local governments, or school teachers are going to be losing their jobs—firefighters, policemen, the rest. That money, redirect it.
You know, some of the stimulus money was used for harebrain things like giving college professors like myself summer research money. That don‘t create any jobs. So, let‘s move some of that money to where it will really have impact in the near term while we address some of those bigger problems, but those bigger problems will have to be addressed.
SCHULTZ: All right. Here‘s Minority Leader Boehner in the House, also talking about the economy.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: I‘m concerned about the plight of teachers, firemen, policemen who face the real possibility that they may be laid off. But to send this letter up here on a Saturday night with no opportunity to cut spending elsewhere in the budget strikes me as a little different.
The fact is, is that the spending spree in Washington is continuing to run unabated. The American people are screaming at the top of their lungs, “Stop!” And to move this without finding other offsets in spending I think is irresponsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, I find it interesting that Mr. Boehner, all of a sudden, is concerned about teachers, firemen and policemen when it‘s tax dollars that pay their salaries. And, of course, they want tax cuts. I don‘t know how that‘s going to get more money into the treasury when you have high unemployment.
And quickly, I want to talk to you about that, Mr. Morici. I‘m going around the country on this town hall book tour, and I‘m finding more and more people who have been out of work for a long period of time. And if we don‘t address the high unemployment number, we‘re going to be addressing it on the social decline on the other hand.
What are we going to do? Are we going to extend their benefits again and again and again?
So, where do we shore this up/ Where can we create jobs the fastest?
MORICI: Well, immediately, we can provide some assistance to the states and we can get involved with doing more construction with the stimulus money. You know, building bridges, repairing schools, renovating buildings, and things of that nature, as opposed to some of the longer-term projects, research projects the president was inclined towards. But those are only going to have a temporary effect. By 2011, end of the year, the money‘s gone.
The president now, in the present, today, must address the trade problem, must address the energy problem, and start to move us towards another economy. We‘ve lost five million manufacturing jobs over the last 10 years. We‘ve lost a wealth of construction jobs.
Those have to be brought back. Those are the kinds of jobs that create middle class lifestyles for folks that don‘t go to college.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, I believe the president‘s going to be talking about energy independence tomorrow night in his first address from the Oval Office.
Peter Morici, appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.
And folks, I write all about the stimulus and jobs package in my new book. It‘s called “Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics are Destroying the Great American Middle Class.” I‘ll wrap up the tour in Denver on Thursday, and then one more stop in New York City for a radio town hall on the 22nd of June.
Hope you can join us.
Coming up, “Fox & Friends” Gretchen Carlson tees off on the president.
I think Gretchen needs to take a mulligan. And that‘s next in the “Zone.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Fox‘s resident beauty queen Gretchen Carlson struts her way back into the “Zone” tonight.
Now, this morning, the kids over at “Fox & Friends” got all excited about President Obama playing golf yesterday in the middle of the oil crisis. Once again, forgetting all about W‘s golfing and brush-clearing vacations down in Crawford, Texas.
Gretchen chimed in with her idea of what the president should have been doing instead of hitting the links.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETCHEN CARLSON, “FOX & FRIENDS”: Personally, I would have liked to have seen him gone to church yesterday. I don‘t know. It was Sunday. And it might be a good idea to ask for a little divine intervention about how the heck we‘re going to fix this whole leak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, it‘s not enough for President Obama to dispatch the Coast Guard, the EPA, FEMA, the secretaries of Interior and Homeland Security to deal with the oil spill, not to mention taking four trips down to the region and spending half his day every day on the spill. He‘s also responsible for securing God‘s help for solving the oil crisis in the Gulf.
Gretchen, did you go to church yesterday? That‘s pretty self-righteous “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, a formal protest has been filed against Alvin Greene‘s Senate nomination in South Carolina. The White House isn‘t even sure how the heck this guy won. My panel weighs in on the latest shenanigans.
And the Arizona immigration debate goes from bad to absolutely outrageous. They‘re going after babies, folks, which is flat-out unconstitutional.
Tom Tancredo on the hot seat on that issue with me tonight.
And we‘ve also got news that Tiger may have a love child.
And a congressman gets caught on camera—going after a kid?
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to The Ed Show. Our battleground story tonight, it‘s all about oil. President Obama will address the nation for the first time from the oval office tomorrow night. He will call on BP to put money, possibly as much as $20 billion, into an escrow account to pay out damage claims. Attorneys for the victims are already looking to go after BP to the fullest extent of the law. In Florida, Attorney Mike Papantonio filed a lawsuit against BP alleging RICO violations. RICO laws were originally intended to take on the Mafia, but RICO has been used to fight corrupt corporations like the tobacco companies and even terrorist organizations. Any situation where there is massive economic suffering as a result of wrongdoing.
The lawsuits states in part, “The Gulf of Mexico is in the midst of an ecological Armageddon that could literally destroy the marine and coastal environment and way of life for generations of Americans.” The uncontrolled and uncontained oil spill is a catastrophe of epic proportions brought about by the greed and fraudulent conduct of BP.
Mike Papantonio will join us tonight here on THE ED SHOW. My friend, good work again. You‘ve been on it since day one. But I want to get to this point where you and I were talking earlier today, Mike. You‘ve got people coming to you out of the woodwork because of the work that you‘re doing. People that want to speak up. Experts have come to you. And one piece of information that I‘m intrigued about is that some people are telling that you this oil leak, spill, disaster can‘t be stopped. Is that right?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ATTORNEY: Yes, we‘ve been hearing it for quite some time now, Ed. It‘s well bore casing blowout that‘s below the surface of the gulf. In other words, 1,000 feet below, there‘s something going on, it‘s causing a leak. Look, we‘ve been hearing this story in bits and pieces. I started hearing it from whistleblowers as a matter of fact, that directly came from watching your show, I might add. Early on calling me and saying about look, we have information that you might need to know about. We heard Matt Simmons talk about, we heard Dr. Robert Bay talk about. We now hear Senator Bill Nelson saying listen, if this is true, we have something that‘s catastrophic because there‘s no way to stop the leak. You can‘t plug up the top of it because if you plug up the top of it puts pressure on the bottom and the leak at the bottom becomes worse.
Now, look. Here‘s the point. BP has known this for quite some time. We look at the trail on this. The first time that they tried the top kill situation, they knew that the—they knew the pressures weren‘t right. They knew there was too much mud, there is leaked from the casings but they knew it will even before that. They knew that the pressure, all they had had to do is look at the various pressures at different levels and they found out that there‘s another leak somewhere else. As a matter of fact, if you remember, Matt Simmons was talking about these weeks ago and everybody thought he was crazy. Well now, he‘s proven again to be correct. Matt Simmons has always said.
SCHULTZ: Mike, you‘re saying that this well bore casing is so cracked and so damaged, that there‘s really no way that we‘re going to be able to get down and stop this unless there‘s some relief well drilling which could take us to the middle of August, correct?
PAPANTONIO: Exactly. Think about this, Ed. The relief wells are drilling to 10,000 feet. If it was really a relief well that they were concerned about, why are they going to 10,000 feet? You can do a relief well a lot more shallow than that. But the problem is they don‘t know where the other break is. It could be 1,000 feet, it could be at 2,000 feet. So, they have to drill way, way down and hopefully relieve the pressure down there. This is something the media hasn‘t talked about, it‘s something really that BP is not talking about because it‘s completely consistent with their conduct. That is to distort the truth as long as you can. But right now, you have credible scientists that are saying, we think that this is what‘s going on and we think it has potential to be an Armageddon doomsday kind of scenario.
SCHULTZ: OK. If there are experts out there who are saying that there is a chance that this well bore casing is so damage that they can‘t stop the leak, I would assume that the President of the United States has been probably advised of this. Where does that leave us tomorrow night? Where does that leave us in the coming days? Where does it leave us legally in all the information that needs to be forthcoming?
PAPANTONIO: Here‘s where it is, Ed. At some point, this president has the power to go—I‘m not suggesting he would do this, but he has the power to nationalize this company. That‘s how extreme his power is. He has the ability to say look, you have proven BP that you‘re a bunch of bumpkins. We can‘t trust you. You‘ve shown us basically sociopathic kind of conduct. We‘re going to take what you have. We‘re going to take the items that you have to fix this problem away from you and we‘re going to do it because at this point, he has to be questioning every time he turns around, they tell him they can do something. He finds out it‘s inaccurate. Now he‘s finding out not only are they not telling him what they can accomplish, they‘re not telling the truth. So, at this point right now, Ed, he has the right to do something very aggressive. I don‘t consider it nationalizing the company. But he certainly has the right to go get the equipment and solve this problem himself. That‘s what he needs to do. Hopefully.
SCHULTZ: Yes, in the midst of your legal efforts, what do you make of the comments of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is very politically powerful and in his state saying, we‘re being too tough on BP. We‘ve got to hold off and let them fix this. What do you make of that?
PAPANTONIO: Bloomberg has always been part of the Gray Poupon crowd, the polo players, the Country Club group. This is the guy who is the eighth richest man in America. I don‘t expect compassion out of Bloomberg because all he cares about is how does the money fit, he just like the u.s. Chamber of Commerce, he‘s just like John Boehner who says, taxpayers should have to pay for this. They care very little about the 11 families who lost their fathers and their sons and their brothers on this terrible accident. Their attitude is it‘s always about money. It‘s the same crowd that stole $3 trillion away from mom and pop investors with things like CDOs and synthetics and derivatives.
Bloomberg on that issue had the right—had the wrong tact. But here, we have a new attitude in America, it‘s a reptilian attitude. What Wall Street says seems to make sense when money‘s involved. We‘re a new America. We‘re callus corrupt conduct is forgiven for the right amount of money. So, we saw the Bloomberg Gray Poupon, the Gray Poupon side of Bloomberg when he made that ridiculous, callous statement. Let me just tell you so something, people, the victims on this Gulf Coast could not care less about what Bloomberg says because they‘re living an absolute hell down on this coast. He might want to come down here and see the hell these people are living.
SCHULTZ: Make Papantonio, it‘s a pleasure, keep up the fight, my friend. Thanks so much.
PAPANTONIO: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going on the attack against Tea Party GOP Senate Nominee Sharron Angle. He‘s hitting her for her positions on Social Security, Medicare and scientology massages? For prisoners.
Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, South Carolina still thinks Alvin Greene may be a Republican plant. He told me that will today. David Axelrod responded on “Meet the Press.”
And the House Democrats aren‘t intimidated by Republicans posturing about success in the mid terms. In fact, they just added 11 more targets to their 2010 list, including Michele Bachmann‘s seat here in Minnesota. With us tonight, Sam Stein, political reporter, “Huffington Post” and Karen Hanretty, Republican strategist.
Great to have both of you tonight with us tonight. Let‘s talk about Harry Reid. Let‘s take a look first at Harry Reid‘s commercial, his attack ad on Sharron Angle in Nevada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Social Security. It means independence, a secure income.
But shockingly, Sharron Angle wants to wipe out Social Security.
SHARRON ANGLE, GOP SENATE NOMINEE: We need to phase Medicare and Social Security out.
ANNOUNCER: She would cut benefits for everyone coming into the system. That‘s Sharron Angle. First a scientology plan to give massages to prisoners. Now she wants to get rid of Medicare and Social Security. What‘s next?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Karen Hanretty, their camp, Sharron Angle‘s camp has said that‘s a deceptive ad. What do you make of it?
KAREN HANRETTY, GOP STRATEGIST: Well, I think it‘s interesting. I think, there‘s a couple of dynamics that will be fascinating to watch between now and November. First of all, you know, are voters going to care more about kind of this bizarre issue of the scientology type massages for prisoners or are they going to care more about kind of this bizarre issue of the scientology type massages for prisoners or are they going to care more about the state of the economy in Nevada and Harry Reid‘s support for health care and some other issues which have really driven down his numbers. Harry Reid can only win if he‘s not running against Terry Reid. In other words that his record is not front and center because his approvals are so bad. So, he‘s just got to basically concede yes, I‘m not great but she‘s worse. And that‘s the only way he‘s going to win this campaign.
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, it looks to me that‘s a pretty aggressive ad. The numbers for Harry Reid have gotten better in recent weeks against the opponents. And he seems to be polling fairly well early on against Sharron Angle. He‘s is going to be running aggressive campaign, right?
SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTONPOST: Yes. Sure. I mean, let‘s take into consideration that that massage, scientology massage charge was not his. Sue Lowden used it in the primary campaign. So, he‘s not being deceitful and un-respect. But yes, he‘s got to run a really negative campaign, he‘s got to paint her as extreme, he‘s got to do it right out of the box because his numbers do have a limit how high they can go. He‘s got to pull hers down. And that‘s the paths to re-election.
SCHULTZ: All right. What‘s happening in South Carolina? Alvin Greene, is he a legitimate candidate? Sam Stein, what do you make of all of this? Is he a plant? Jim Clyburn told me today on my radio show that he thinks that he is a plant.
STEIN: I love Jim Clyburn for his colorful language. He think he described it as elephant dung this weekend. Who knows what to make with all of this. This is an unemployed man who managed to come up with 10,000 plus dollars to file to run. He apparently didn‘t campaign anywhere, he can‘t even remember where he went. Somehow managed to win. And now he‘s getting all this free publicity. Everyone‘s going to know his name in South Carolina now. I mean, things are very wacky down there. I have no idea what‘s going on, I don‘t potentially know what‘s going on. But certainly I think maybe an investigation is in order to figure out what exactly happened.
SCHULTZ: This is Mr. Axelrod on “Meet the Press” yesterday. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”: Alvin Greene down in South Carolina, unemployed man who has somehow elected to become the Democratic Party‘s senate candidate. Is he a legitimate candidate?
DAVID AXELROD, SR. ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: It doesn‘t appear so to me. I mean, it was a mysterious deal. He didn‘t campaign. He had no campaign.
GREGORY: No campaign funds.
AXELROD: Yes, the whole thing is odd. And you know, I don‘t really know how to explain it. And I don‘t think anybody else does either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Karen Hanretty, I would take that as President Obama is not going to be campaigning for Alvin Greene down in South Carolina.
HANRETTY: I don‘t think he will. But I just love that Mr. Clyburn thinks that the Republican Party is so well organized so clever that we could actually pull off getting a guy on the ballot with 69 percent of the vote when we can‘t even get 69 percent of the vote for some of our own candidates. We can‘t even win some of the primaries we want to win.
STEIN: I don‘t know. South Carolina‘s pretty dirty.
HANRETTY: Too much credit.
STEIN: Well, South Carolina has its host of shenanigans and it took place on the republican side as well as the democratic side.
HANRETTY: This would be the ultimate shenanigan.
STEIN: I know, it would be pretty bad. It‘s pretty bad.
HANRETTY: Yes. It‘s pretty unlikely, pretty unlikely.
STEIN: All right. The democrats now aren‘t intimidated by all these conversations about republicans getting a lot of gains in the midterm. They now have a list and they‘ve added Michele Bachmann to it. Karen, does Michele Bachmann, is she a shoo-in for re-election even in this time of where incumbents are not in a good light?
HANRETTY: Yes. Let‘s not forget two years ago, you know, Michele Bachmann was demonized, she wound up raising, well over $1 million within a week for her campaign. In facts, Michele Bachmann‘s campaign had more money at the end of that election cycle than they could spend on TV. Michele Bachmann is going to win, but you know, the other reason that she‘s going to win, she‘s going to take her race seriously just like she did last election cycle, she‘s got a campaign hard, she has the support of the voters in that district. For the DCCC‘s list cracks me up, 40 percent of the blue, what is it, red to blue state candidates are already blue state candidates. So you know, they‘re an open Democrat primary seats. So this number is just, it‘s just a bunch of hot air. It doesn‘t actually mean anything. They‘re saying, hey look at us. We‘re going to hold on to open democrat seats.
SCHULTZ: What do you think Sam?
STEIN: Well, let‘s start with Bachmann first, to begin with, she raised a lot of money in that primary last time but so did her opponent and that based off the comments she made on Chris Matthew‘s hardball in which she suggesting that Congress should be investigated for anti-American activities.
SCHULTZ: That‘s the one that put her on the map.
STEIN: Yes and I mean, that was, you know, that‘s subtle in the grand scheme of things. But, you know, now they have very good candidate in Tarryl Clark. And I think that there is a likelihood that this can be one of those seats that actually they can pick up. I happen to think that the.
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, Karen Hanretty, great to have both of you with us tonight. Thanks so much for chiming in on everything. Coming up, the righties in Arizona have a new target in their crusade against illegal immigration. Children. I got a little document called the constitution of the United States that they might want to read. Tom Tancredo, he is up next in the Playbook to talk about that here on the Ed show. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: It‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think as a country we‘re being too tough on BP? Text a for yes, text b for no to 622-639. We‘ve got the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, Arizona republicans are really on a roll with controversial immigration laws. Russell Pearce, the same state senator who led the push to pass the first bill is now working on legislation to deny birth certificates to anchor babies, American-born children of illegal immigrants. There‘s a little problem though. The 14th amendments, it reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they will reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” So, let me get this thing straight here now. The party that spent better part of the last year calling democratic legislative proposals unconstitutional is now pushing a bill that would directly violate the 14th amendment? I need some conservative clarification here.
Joining me now is Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo.
SCHULTZ: I‘m good again and I know that. What is going on here? Isn‘t this mean-spirited and callous and simply wrong? You want to change the constitution? What do you think?
TOM TANCREDO, FORMER COLORADO CONGRESSMAN: Listen, every year in Congress, what they‘re doing in Arizona today, what Russell Pearce is doing, every year we had a bill do exactly the same thing. Nathan deal would introduce it from Georgia. Of course, never got anywhere but it‘s not a new idea because of course this issue has never really been tested as whether or not it is constitutional. As you know, the 14th amendment was never intended to deal with the issue of illegal aliens. In fact, we didn‘t have any. It was intended to provide, to assure that slaves and the children of slaves would be able to vote. Nobody could be denying them a vote.
That was its purpose. Had nothing to do with illegal aliens coming into the country. It is never been tested at the Supreme Court level. Some people talk about a case in the 1890s of someone from China had a child here. Not the same at all. The guy was a legal resident of the United States at the time. So, there has never been a test of it. There should be one of the few countries in the world. I‘m not sure if we‘re the last one but there are maybe one or two others but I know that there are only at most three countries in the world that allow this. And there‘s a reason why. I mean, there‘s a process to get in the country and it shouldn‘t be by getting pregnant.
SCHULTZ: OK. So Tom, you think that this is all about the constitution? And not about a mean-spirited mind-set that‘s out there to make sure that we rid this country of undocumented workers and damn it, we‘re even going to throw their kids out too? I mean, it clearly contradicts the actions and the intent of the constitution and by the way, we‘re not the first generation to have people come here undocumented. I mean, the constitution was written when people were coming here when they absolutely didn‘t have any immigration laws. So, it‘s the mean-spiritedness of it all, is it not?
TANCREDO: You‘re right that this was written when there were no illegal aliens. Because when people came, in those days they just got here. You know? There was no such thing. That‘s what I‘m saying. The Chinese fellow and parents, the Chinese parents who had the child here that wasn‘t the same as today. Now, there is a law. There is a process by which you have to—through which you go in, I mean, by which you have to come into the United States and that should be respected. That‘s the rule of law. And in a way, if you want to think of this way, look at all the really weird things this does sets up when doing it this way. People come into the country illegally, they‘re subject to deportation. They have a child here. Don‘t you think that as long as we say that that child is a citizen, it sets up a very strange situation with that family?
SCHULTZ: If you‘re asking me, I think it‘s discrimination against the unborn is what it is, which I find very interesting that all of a sudden conservatives in this country decide that they want to attack the unborn. That‘s how I view it. Tom, got to run.
TANCREDO: And there are all kinds of people who can‘t—OK, I‘m sorry. Go ahead.
SCHULTZ: All right. Good to have you. We‘ll do it again.
TANCREDO: All right.
SCHULTZ: A couple final pages in the Playbook tonight. Today we get an incredible glimpse into the reality of the late Senator Ted Kennedy‘s life. We all suspected Ted lived under threats his entire life. Now we know for sure. The FBI revealed over 2,000 pages in Ted‘s file. Here‘s a letter sent to Ted in 1968 after his brother Robert was assassinated. It reads, “Don‘t run for president or vice president or you will be shot dead, too.”
The threats came from individuals, anonymous people, the Ku Klux Klan and other organizations, there are also allegations of an alleged Mafia plot to kill the former senator who passed away a year ago.
North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge apologized today for assaulting a man on the streets of Washington. Oh, not a man, a kid. He was caught on camera. And became the latest internet sensation today. Let‘s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How are you?
Bob Etheridge, North Carolina Congressman: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you fully support the Obama agenda?
Etheridge: Who are you? Who are you? Look, who are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We are students.
Etheridge: So am I. Who are you? Who are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please let go of my arm, sir.
Etheridge: Who are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sir, sir, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Congressman.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let go of me.
Etheridge: Who are you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The seven-term house member backtracked today saying, “I deeply and profoundly regrets my reaction.” Coming up, I think something positive can come out of this oil disaster. Now is the time to act on our energy future and get off our oil addiction. Senator Jeff Merkley has a plan for the future. He joins me next on the Ed Show. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In the wake of this oil disaster in the gulf, a lot of conversation in this country now is going to be focused on energy independence. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with us tonight here on the Ed Show. The president speaks tomorrow night. Is this a defining moment, senator?
What do you think?
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY, (D), OREGON: It‘s good do be with you, Ed. I think this is a moment where we have to say it is time to break our dependence on overseas oil. That‘s why I laid out my plan today. It‘s the right time to have this energy debate.
SCHULTZ: How we going do it?
MERKLEY: Well, we‘re going to do it by stressing the changes in our car transportation, more dependence on electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. We‘re going do it by changing the transportation options available in metro areas and were going to do it with trucks and moving more freight to rail and to barges and making the trucks themselves more fuel efficient.
SCHULTZ: Is the president with you on this?
MERKLEY: Well, I think so. The measures that I‘m laying out are absolutely achievable. They‘re current technology or near technology that is we‘re going to have at least three electric hybrid cars joining the market next year. And our dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East is not in our national interests. Being oil addicted with the National Security implications and the sending a $1 billion today overseas is not in our economic interests. This is a win-win all the way around. And now is the time to tackle it.
SCHULTZ: Tomorrow night, do you want to have the president really attack energy independence? If he doesn‘t do it now, when is he going to do it?
MERKLEY: Yes, I do hope he does it tomorrow night. And I think, this is part of a comprehensive energy policy, it‘s part of the debated we should be having right now. We‘re discussing the energy bill that Lieberman has, we‘re discussing the bill that Kerry and Lieberman have. But we need to add more emphasis on breaking our addiction to foreign oil and all the ways that that compromises our economy and our security.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Keep up the fight. Thanks so much. Earlier in our text survey question, I asked, do you think we‘re too tough on BP as a country? Fourteen percent said yes, 86 percent said no. That‘s the Ed Show, I‘m Ed Schultz. Chris Matthews and HARDBALL is next. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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