Guests: Elijah Cummings, Gerald McEntee, Tim Kaine, Sam Youngman, Adam
Green, Karen Hunter, Heidi Harris, Joan Walsh, Kelly O‘Donnell
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
Big news day. These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats skipped their vacation to save more than 300,000 jobs today. Guess what? The Republicans, what did they do to help Americans struggling? Not a damn thing. Absolutely nothing.
My commentary on that in just a moment.
Robert Gibbs took a nasty cheap shot at the left. The president‘s press secretary unloaded on progressives in a shocking interview with “The Hill.” One Democratic congressman says he‘d be OK with the resignation of Robert Gibbs.
I‘ll talk to the journalist who got the story and reaction from the progressive organizer at center of it all.
And it‘s time for the Democrats to take on “The Tan Man” and take him to task. John Boehner, this guy ought to be shamed off the tea box and get out of the country club where all the corporations are. I‘ll tan his hide in the “Playbook.”
And we‘ll have the very latest on the plane crash that killed Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.
But this, of course, is the story that has me fired up tonight: Nancy Pelosi showing leadership. She brings the Democrats back, and they scored a huge victory for the American working class today.
Late this afternoon, the House passed a bill to save hundreds of thousands of jobs for firefighters, law enforcement police, and, of course, public school teachers. The vote was 247-161, and I love it. The Speaker of the House got—cut right into John Boehner‘s course time to get a win for the American people.
“The Tan Man” put it like this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: This bailout to the teachers unions is some of the most irresponsible policy that I‘ve seen. The American people are screaming at top of their lungs, “Stop!” And Washington continues to spend, spend, spend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Why don‘t you just say you want to fire teachers, and they are not important? But it‘s about the money, isn‘t it?
Republicans hate public education. They always have. Boehner and the party of no, what they have tried to do, they have tried to kill every jobs bill the Democrats have put on the table.
President Obama stuck it to Boehner this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This should not be a partisan issue. I heard the Republican leader in the House say the other day that this is a special interest bill, and I suppose if America‘s children and the safety of our communities are your special interests, then it is a special interests bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Here at home, at the dinner table tonight, why don‘t you ask yourself the question, is your son or daughter and public education, is that a special interest? You‘re damn right it is.
This is a victory for cash-strapped states all across America that are having trouble with their budgets. According to the Federal Department of Education, California is going to get $1.2 billion to pay for 16,500 teachers. Texas, 14,500 teachers saved.
How about Florida—it‘s got 9,200. Pennsylvania, 5,900. Illinois 5,700. North Carolina, 5,700. And South Carolina will be able to keep 2,600 teachers.
Now, I‘d like to ask Senator DeMint tonight, “Mr. Waterloo,” would he personally like to meet with those 2,600 teachers and tell them that they are fired?
What do the Republicans want? They want failure. That‘s what they want.
The great thing about public education in America and what this country has been all about, when the doors open in public education, everybody‘s welcome. It doesn‘t matter if you‘ve got a super-rich mom or dad, or whether you‘re dirt poor, or whether you have special needs, or whether you‘re gifted. It is an equal chance for the American dream.
The Republicans, they are scared to death of an educated society. They want to privatize education for the privileged few, and to hell with the rest of the families who can‘t afford it.
You see, that plays into the cheap labor. The Republican Party—think about this—they used cops and firefighters as props in campaign commercials after 9/11. Well, today they voted to put them out of a job.
That‘s right. The bill flat-out saves American lives. It will put more fire fighters on the streets of Philadelphia, more cops in the streets of Oakland.
And the Republicans, they don‘t care about stories like that, because they are on a mission to destroy President Obama and the Democrats, and their every move. The man who has his sights set on 2012, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, he doesn‘t want the money. He said, “There is no justification for the federal government hijacking state budgets, but that is exactly what the Congress has done.”
Hold it right there. The Bush administration passed No Child Left Behind, which had a provision to have federal money going to school districts.
Go home tonight. Make a phone call to your local school board, elected person, and ask him, “Has that federal money been coming in for No Child Left Behind?”
Let me tell you, Big Eddie says hell no. It has not.
The Republicans have shortchanged public education all along, and they are hijacking this Congress, and they have been doing that for the last 18 months. But today Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats delivered big-time for the wage earners of America.
And I hope Senator Reid is watching what she did over on the House side. He should take a page from the Speaker. Bring the Senate back and deliver more jobs for America.
Help out the 99ers. Help out those who are struggling in this country. If the Republicans don‘t want to play, now is the time to stick it to them politically and make them go home and say, “I was against everything.”
Help Americans in need. That‘s what the people want. That‘s what the party of the people should do.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
And my question tonight is: Do you think Washington politicians deserve a month off? Press the number 1 for yes. Press the number 2 for no. And I‘ll bring you the results later in the show.
I ask that question tonight for this reason—we‘re in the middle of an economic crisis in this country, trying to recover. There‘s a lot of good things that the Congress can do to set the table for better economic recovery.
But what do the Republicans want to do? Hell, they want to take more time off. They are talking about a lame duck Congress. They are talking about, well, you know, after the election, I suppose we could go take the rest of November and December off and come back in January.
This is how they want to govern the country. They don‘t want to do anything when people are suffering.
Is that what you voted for? I don‘t think so.
I think the Democrats need to put it in high gear. Now is the time.
You‘ve got a very unsympathetic populous out there across the country. They feel like enough is not being done. Well, if you‘ve got the power and you‘ve got the majority, just like Nancy Pelosi showed today, let‘s get on back to work and let‘s do it for the American people.
But, you see, the Republicans are about power. That‘s all they care about.
Joining me now is Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings.
Congressman, I want to congratulate you for working with the Speaker and doing the right thing to save jobs in this country. Teachers, it doesn‘t get any more fundamental than that.
Isn‘t this a message to the American people that you‘re serious about helping the middle class out?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: It‘s a very strong message, Ed.
In about a week or so, many of our students are going to be returning to the classroom, and we don‘t want them to be sitting in overcrowded classes. You know, I‘ve often said, Ed, that the greatest threat to our national security is our failure to properly educate every single one of our children. And so you‘re right, Speaker Pelosi showed true leadership.
But not only are we bringing teachers 160,000 teaching jobs, but we‘re also bringing our policemen and our firefighters back, and we‘re also doing something else. We‘re enabling states to make payments to doctors for Medicaid. And that‘s very, very significant.
And Ed, there‘s apparently some kind of disconnect between our Republicans in the House and the Republican governors, because the Republican governors, many of them, were begging for legislation, begging for this legislation, because they‘re on the front lines.
SCHULTZ: Sure there were. No doubt about.
CUMMINGS: But you know what, Ed? You didn‘t say this, but let me make sure your audience is well aware.
You know how many votes we got from the Republican Party today on this bill to bring our teachers back? We got a total of two votes. Two. That‘s it.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, it‘s just a pattern. It‘s a pattern of failure. It‘s a pattern of obstruction. And what has taken place over in the Senate is now starting to work its way and permeate into the House thinking as well.
What are your thoughts, Congressman, on the resolution that the Republicans got up there to just go home and take a couple of months off after the election? Do you think that‘s what America wants?
CUMMINGS: No. That is not what America wants.
Ed, when I go into my community and I see the pain that people are going through with no jobs, there‘s not a day that passes where I don‘t have maybe 15 or 20 people who come up to me and say, “Congressman, I need a job. I can‘t make it. I don‘t know what I‘m going to do.”
I mean, I would gladly—and I know my Democratic colleagues were
glad to come back here to do work. And when I heard about that resolution
and I‘m glad it didn‘t get anywhere—but when I heard about a resolution talking about we should not be doing anything after the election, that‘s ridiculous.
We‘re paid to do this. We‘re paid to stand up for the American people. That‘s why—that‘s what we swear every two years to do, to stand up for them and protect them.
And so, no, that‘s ridiculous, for anybody to put forth any kind of resolution that says we‘re going to take time off. I wish we could be here every day to get things done.
SCHULTZ: If you had surpluses and you had maybe 4.5 percent unemployment, you know, it would be pretty good to take some time off. That would be good. But we‘ve got some serious issues going on right now, and we need the help of lawmakers and leadership.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
CUMMINGS: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I Appreciate your time. You bet.
CUMMINGS: My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s go now to Gerald McEntee. He‘s the international president of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has over 1.6 million members. A lot of their jobs were on the line with this jobs bill.
Mr. McEntee, I know you‘re not totally happy with everything the Obama administration has done. At times, you were critical of them not fighting hard enough.
But how important was this, and how big a mountain was this climb?
GERALD MCENTEE, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, AFSCME: Well, it was big, Ed. I‘m happy to be here with you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
MCENTEE: But it was a big climb, really, for all of America to get up here and get these jobs. Critically important.
I mean, we had states really in need. We had cities that were turning off traffic lights. We had the problem in education with the teachers in regards to layoffs—nurses, firefighters, police, everything. Everything was on the line.
And just as you said, Nancy Pelosi brought the House back. And they won it in an overwhelming vote.
And this is so important. I think it‘s a big day. Whether you‘re a Republican or a Democrat, a big day.
And let me not forget that Harry Reid did a hell of a job in the Senate, particularly being able to get those two—
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s the key point here. Harry Reid did get two votes from the other side—
MCENTEE: Yes he did.
SCHULTZ: -- to get it done in the Senate, to set the table up for this in the House.
Does this seal union support for the Democrats in this midterm? Will you work hard for the progressive candidates?
MCENTEE: Oh, yes, very much so now. This is—they worked hard for us --
MCENTEE: -- the American people. So we‘re going to work hard for them.
SCHULTZ: I want you to respond to this quote by the Leader for the Republicans over in the House, John Boehner. He says, “The American people don‘t want more stimulus spending, especially in the form of a payoff to union bosses and liberal special interests.”
What‘s your response to that? You are a union leader.
SCHULTZ: You‘re the president of AFSCME. What‘s your response to that, it‘s a payoff to you?
MCENTEE: I‘m going to have to see that golf courses don‘t accept that tan man, that we keep him off the golf courses. I don‘t know whether he understands or realizes that this does not add one penny to the deficit.
This is completely paid for, paid for in the Senate and paid for in the House. And one of the things that they are doing is closing the loopholes that they gave to business to take jobs overseas. They should have closed them a long time ago.
So I think Boehner is so far in leftfield without a glove, or maybe on the 15th green without a putter. But he needs a lesson, and we‘re going to give him that lesson across the country in the midterms.
SCHULTZ: All right. Mr. McEntee, good to have you with us tonight.
Appreciate your time. Thanks so much.
MCENTEE: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, I‘m absolutely astounded with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. He picked a fight with the liberal base and is blaming it on cable TV? DCCC founder Adam Green will explain where he stands on all of this in “The Battleground.”
And it‘s a battle of coattails in Colorado tonight. President Obama in one corner, former president Bill Clinton in the other corner. The chairman of the DNC, former governor Tim Kaine, will talk about it and this big fight coming up in November.
All that, plus we‘ve got Tea Party nut job Sharron Angle proves why she needs to have her head examined. And “The Beckster.” The battle of the bulge in the “Zone.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
President Obama is telling anxious supporters not to worry about the midterms. He says he‘ll be out in full force helping Democrats.
At a fund-raiser in Texas last night, the president said, “Remember, I‘m pretty good at politicking.” But since he got into office there really hasn‘t been much evidence to show that he‘s pretty good at politicking.
He‘s one for five in big primary races. He lost in New Jersey and Virginia, those governors races last year. He lost in the special election for Ted Kennedy‘s Senate seat this year. And he lost at picking Senator Arlen Specter over Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania.
But he did get a win for Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas.
Tonight, the president‘s power is tested in Colorado. He‘s backing Senator Michael Bennet, but progressive Andrew Romanoff is surging in the polls and may win it.
Joining me now is former Virginia governor Tim Kaine, chairman of the
Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
TIM KAINE, CHAIRMAN, DNC: Great to be back, always.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Are all these primary battles good or bad for the Democratic Party?
KAINE: Ed, I‘ll tell you a funny story.
When I started in state politics in Virginia, we were lucky to get one Democrat to run for anything. It was, like, hey, let Mikey try it. It was so hard to win, we only had one, and we were lucky.
When you see primary battles, it‘s because there‘s a vigorous party. People want to compete to be the Democratic standard bearer. And as long as at the end of the day, when the primary is over we pull together, which Democrats have a real good track record of doing, I don‘t think competition is a bad thing at all.
SCHULTZ: OK. What about Colorado? This is such an interesting scenario that‘s unfolding. You have a former president supporting one candidate and a sitting president supporting another.
SCHULTZ: How are Democrats in Colorado supposed to read this?
KAINE: Well, I think they understand it. President Clinton has been out campaigning for Andrew Romanoff, who supported Secretary Clinton when she ran for president. And I think that‘s not that hard to understand.
President Obama is clearly behind Senator Bennet, because when you have a senator who comes into office at a time when heavy lifting has to be done, and votes for stimulus, votes for health care, votes for, you know, key issues, working on immigration reform, if you don‘t support that incumbent senator who has cast tough votes for you, then it‘s hard to get others to cast tough votes for you. So I think, you know, you can clearly see that folks are on different sides of this, but I don‘t have any doubt.
I‘m going out to a unity event in Colorado on Thursday. I have no doubt that we‘re going to pull together, and I think we‘re going to make sure that we hold on to this seat.
SCHULTZ: Governor Kaine, you know, I think Charlie Rangel today was grandstanding on the floor. This is a day where the House came back to save jobs, to put teachers and firefighters and police officers back to work, to help states out, and he took this opportunity to stand up and talk about his situation, which I thought was out of character for the Democrats to do that. It looked pretty selfish to me, anyway.
Here‘s a sound bite from it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Well, I don‘t want to be awkward and embarrass anybody. As a matter of fact, those people that believe that their election is going to be dependant on me resigning, I‘d like to encourage Democrats to believe I think Republicans have given you enough reason to get re-elected. Hey, if I was you, I may want me to go away, too.
I am not going away. I am here!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Governor Kaine, is he baggage to the Democrats in the midterms?
KAINE: Well, I do think, Ed, you‘re right, that the timing wasn‘t good. Today was a day about Democratic accomplishment, which was saving jobs, but also more than saving jobs—making sure that kids had teachers, making sure that people could trust, you know, firefighters and others would have the resources to help them in public safety. And it was unfortunate that that took it away from it.
Obviously, this is a tough issue for him, and allegations. There‘s going to be a process. There‘s going to be an outcome.
I think one of the things it‘s demonstrated is, you know, Democrats, when they took over the House, they said we‘re going to be serious about ethics issues again. Serious allegations will get taken seriously. You know—
SCHULTZ: Is he baggage though? I mean, the timing of this is terrible.
KAINE: I don‘t see—I mean, I do think it took some focus away from the jobs issue today.
KAINE: I don‘t think it‘s going to affect other races.
KAINE: I think that, again, the process will carry forward. It‘s a process that Democrats embrace, having vigorous ethics rules, and that‘s what we need to.
SCHULTZ: Governor Kaine, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
KAINE: All right, Ed. Thanks so much.
SCHULTZ: Good article in “The Hill” about you. People like you.
KAINE: Oh, well, thanks. You know, I‘ve got a tough job, but I‘m enjoying it.
SCHULTZ: All right.
Next up, “The Beckster” thinks the biggest teacher hater in the country should be our next president. I‘m putting this class clown in the “Zone” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Glenn Beck and his buddy Laura Ingraham. They just can‘t get enough of this guy across the river, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
This morning, “Beckster” had some sizeable praise for the job-gutting governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: Chris Christie is one of the only guys that I see that I would today vote for, for the president of the United States. This guy has courage beyond belief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, he‘s such a tough guy. He thinks Christie should be a president. Chris Christie.
This is a guy who refused to raise taxes on millionaires while cutting
taking massive cuts in public services. And, of course, he fired 6,000 teachers. This is a guy who slashed education spending, then he had the audacity to tell a teacher that, you know, if you don‘t like teaching, you just don‘t have to teach anymore.
None—I mean, none of that matters to “The Beckster.” None of it.
And on his radio show, now Laura Ingraham backed him up with this hefty endorsement --
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BECK: Do you think Chris Christie would run?
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I like him.
BECK: I do, too.
INGRAHAM: I like him a lot. And I think the idea of someone who is not working out every five seconds and, you know, might be a little bit corpulent, but has really good commonsense ideas, that actually might be the anti-Obama play, and could be really fascinating.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: “Really fascinating.” I guess the guy can‘t play basketball. That‘s your next line, huh?
Wait a minute here. Wait a minute.
Ingraham saying that Christie‘s couch potato lifestyle means that he‘d be a good president, get some new material, Laura!
Chris Christie is a guy who makes the middle class, the poor and school kids pay for his fat-cat buddies to keep their living high on the hog lifestyle going. He gave the tax cuts to the top one percent.
To say that he‘d be a good president, that would be some pretty hefty “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just talked himself into a fight with me and others. His arrogant attack on the left has got a lot of us boiling.
The writer who broke the story and the progressive trailblazer, they will be up next in “The Battleground.”
And the not-ready-for-prime-time Tea Partier Sharron Angle thinks nothing—nothing is wrong with the health care system in this country? I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
Also, check this out. A Fox Newser wants to build a gay bar next to the Ground Zero mosque.
And a JetBlue flight attendant may have broken the law, but he did what a lot of Americans would have done, I think. He‘s had enough, and he gives new definition to “Take this job and shove it.”
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Battleground story tonight. We‘re inside the locker room on this one. Robert Gibbs‘ assault on the progressive base. What‘s this all about? In a stunning interview with “The Hill,” the White House press secretary unloaded on the very people who helped get his boss elected. He lashed out because the left is holding the president accountable to his campaign promises. Gibbs said this. “I hear these people saying he‘s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested. I mean, crazy. It‘s crazy,” he says.
Gibbs then laid out what exactly he thinks is crazy. The press secretary dismissed the professional left in terms of very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right saying that they will be satisfied when we have a Canadian health care, and we will have eliminated the Pentagon. That‘s not reality. Gibbs thinks that universal health care is crazy? It‘s a cornerstone of the Democratic Party platform, but the real kick in the teeth is this. “Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as health care reform,” Gibbs said, “they wouldn‘t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
Gibbs thinks progressive are just a bunch of whiners because they expect a democratic president to act like a democrat. Is that it? Bottom line, the White House, I don‘t think they know who their friends and allies are at this point. Gibbs tried to walk back his comments today saying that he spoke in artfully and blaming his tirade on watching too much cable? Hold it right there. When was the last time you saw him on cable? Day in and day out they ought to be on cable in the sound chamber of America winning the cultural war and pushing the progressive agenda.
They don‘t do that. That‘s what I have a problem with. And the other thing is about them being like the Bush administration. I did say on this program last week that their sell job on this cleaned up oil issue in the gulf rivals that of the Bush administration. It does, because the scientific community is saying one thing and the pr community is saying something else, and I think the White House is buying into it.
For more, let me bring in the journalist who got the interview on this. Sam Youngman, White House correspondent for “The Hill.” Sam, you cover the White House. This was not an unusual one-on-one with him, is that correct?
SAM YOUNGMAN, “THE HILL” WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, it‘s not. I mean, I‘m there every day, and I try to check in with Robert and his office. I‘d say once every couple of months saying, I‘ve got to tell you. Just the point you were making, you know, the White House thinks that the progressives are whiners. I fell I‘d be remiss if I didn‘t point out that Gibbs was actually making a distinction between progressives who organized, who sent in those small dollar contributions and in order to be quite frank, folks like you, Ed, who are on TV every night saying they are not moving fast enough to get some of these things done.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think a lot of people in the progressive community think that they didn‘t fight hard enough for the public option and we only find out later that there was a deal cut. That‘s not what was stated early on. But in this interview with him, what was his demeanor because within 24 hours, he came back to the “Huffington Post,” your competitor and said something different.
YOUNGMAN: Well, I mean, it was a friendly conversation that‘s not unlike the ones he had many times before. We were discussing his beloved Auburn Tigers making it in the top 25. But I think, the more he discussed this, the more I asked him about the frustration and the White House not getting credit for some of the things they‘ve accomplished. The more agitated he got, I think we live in a city, in an area where we see some much manufactured anger and so much false frustrations that this was truly an honest moment of somebody who‘s probably working about 80 hours a week and instead of getting a pat on the back, this White House is being criticized for not doing enough.
SCHULTZ: What is their main complaint? Is it cable?
YOUNGMAN: Yes, yes, it‘s cable, and it‘s like you mentioned earlier
in the statement. Gibbs says he‘s guilty of watching too much
SCHULTZ: I think he‘s guilty of not being on enough. I mean, that‘s what I think. I mean, all he‘s got to do is come on and talk about the agenda. If he doesn‘t like what is being said, make yourself accessible to all the shows, and I think the White House does a fairly good job of that, but when the Bush administration had this country by the neck, they were over on FOX whenever they felt like it and just pounding the message, and I think that‘s a frustration of the progressive base in this country.
YOUNGMAN: Well, I think it‘s part of the m.o. of this White House though is to not get dragged down. Using the health care debate as an example. I think they purposefully tried to avoid some of the minutia, some of the skirmishes along the way to try and claim credit for the big picture when it was done. I think just by getting bogged down in some of these daily fights, they feel that they might be a loser.
SCHULTZ: Sam, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
YOUNGMAN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: For more on this, let‘s bring in Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Adam, you have been critical of the White House said that they have had a loser mentality. Did you take this article and this coverage on this story as a personal shot? Your organization was mentioned in the story?
ADAM GREEN, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE CO-FOUNDER: Was it
a personal shot? I think it was definitely a shot at progressives. I think even Robert Gibbs would admit at this point that he pretty much lost his cool. But it really revealed something pretty important about the White House mentality towards the progressive movement. What it said to me was that they actually don‘t understand the critique of them by progressives, and if I could, in case folks in the White House are watching right now, I‘d love to try to sum it up as succinctly as I can what that critique is.
Now, basically, millions of people have taken action through our organization, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, move on, democracy for America and I‘ve even texted into your phone polls, Ed, saying that the president should be stronger on issues like the public option and Wall Street reform, and what the White House needs to understand is that we‘re not the enemy. We are the people who voted for you. We are the people who woke up every day in 2008 and said what can I do today to get Barack Obama elected.
And, unfortunately, you know, when we heard President Obama said on the campaign trail that the days of corporate lobbyists writing our nation‘s laws are over, we believed him. And we want to hold him accountable to that. And it‘s very unfortunate when we see him then cut deals with the pharmaceutical industry, cut deals with the insurance industry, cut deals with the Wall Street bankers, refuse to fight Joe Lieberman and Olympia Snowe when they obstruct progress. So, our message to the White House is this, if you were willing to fight strong like you said you would fight strong during 2008, progressives will have your back every step of the way.
SCHULTZ: Well, do you think that what Robert Gibbs said is what the president thinks?
GREEN: I think it‘s indicative of the mentality at the White House that doesn‘t understand the critique. They think, hey, I passed health care reform, isn‘t that‘s great, but they didn‘t pass the public option even though the overwhelming majority of Americans wanted it.
SCHULTZ: There‘s some reaction on Capitol Hill tonight. Representative Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota is saying when he was asked about resignation of Robert Gibbs. He said, “I think that would be fair, yes. That would be fair, because this isn‘t the first time, and, again, people of all political shades worked very hard to help the president become the president. Why would he want to go out and deliberately insult the president‘s base? And why would he confuse legitimate critique with some sort of lack of loyalty? Isn‘t this what the far right does? Punishes people who are not ideologically aligned with President Bush?” What do you make of this? Is this more trouble for the White House?
GREEN: Yes. I think criticizing critics is not a good idea, but even worse is not understanding what the critics are saying, so, again, we are fully willing to fight with this president if he‘s willing to fight for us. But again, on issues like the public option, he didn‘t really fight. He could have barn stormed across Joe Lieberman‘s state, a state that overwhelmingly wanted the public option and demanded Joe Lieberman not filibuster it, but he didn‘t. So, stop the thing, come back to us and say, don‘t criticize me when I passed the health care reform bill and we didn‘t have the public option. We have the right to criticize, and it‘s our duty, to and, you know, I should say for the first time publicly, except for your radio show this afternoon, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is now up to 450,000 Americans strong, folks who went to boldprogressives.org and said hey, we‘re democrats but we want a progressive Democratic Party and we‘ll going to take action in that regard.
SCHULTZ: Adam, keep up the fight. Good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
GREEN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: It just seems to me that this White House is afraid of the base, instead of playing to them at least a little bit.
Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response on these stories. I want the panel‘s reaction to Gibbs‘ assault on the progressive base.
The Tea Party endorsed Nevada senate nominee Sharron Angle says there‘s nothing wrong with America‘s health care system and then names a pretty big problem with it.
And a bizarre new twist in the fight over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, a FOX News host says, he wants to open a gay bar catering to Muslim men on the same block.
Joining us tonight, Karen Hunter, journalist and publisher and also radio talk show host Heidi Harris from Las Vegas. Karen, let‘s talk first about the White House and the progressive base. Was this just an awkward moment for Mr. Gibbs, and what do you make of the whole situation?
KAREN HUNTER, JOURNALIST: Well, I think he has very real frustration. I can‘t imagine being in office 18 months and you have to pander to the right. You have to pander to the left. You have to now pander to the progressives. For the blacks you‘re not black enough, you‘re not doing enough for black people, the Hispanics that came out and voted for you, you‘re not doing enough for the Hispanics. I mean, give the guy a break. I just feel like—I feel Robert Gibbs‘ frustration, and it‘s never enough for anybody, so how do you win in a situation like that?
SCHULTZ: Well, I think one of the things that throws fuel on the fire here is that the republicans have been unwilling to work on just about everything. They have been the party of no, and I think that‘s where the frustration comes from. This is a perfect storm for you, isn‘t it, Heidi, and the conservatives?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Absolutely. The party of no. That‘s fine, but you guys have the power on the left. If he wanted to close Guantanamo, he could. He promised to do that. He hasn‘t done it. We‘re still in Afghanistan. We still have troops in Iraq. He hasn‘t done a lot of things he promised on the left and single-payer which I know, you‘re a huge fan of it, he hasn‘t gotten it done for the left but any president goes through, that right? If you‘re conservative, the right is not happy with you, you‘re not conservative enough. It‘s everybody goes through that.
HUNTER: No, no, no, Heidi, not any president. Not any president. This president in particular is going through I think way more than any president in the history of this country for obvious reasons.
HARRIS: Oh, all presidents go through it from the right and the left. Hey, you don‘t want the job, you can‘t take the heat? Then don‘t run for president, you know.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think the big question is does the White House have rabbit ears. I mean, they are like a basketball coach on the sideline hearing somebody put Johnson in the game, coach! I mean, it‘s one of these deals. I mean, they get so touchy about what‘s going on. All right. Sharron Angle in Nevada, this is what she had to say about the health care in this country. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE, STATE LEGISLATOR: Our health care system is the best in the world. There‘s nothing wrong with our health care system. Our doctors are the best.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But how many people get access to the best health care in the world?
ANGLE: The access is not what is being denied. It is the cost that has become prohibitive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Heidi, how does she play in your state? My Lord. I mean, that‘s just.
HARRIS: Well, I think she‘s terrific and I think she‘s right. We have the best health care system in the world. Now that being said, there are people like you, and I‘m sure Karen, who want to see everybody be able to access health care for free. First of all, there‘s no such thing as free health care, not in the UK, not in Canada, not anywhere else in the world. It‘s not free. It‘s a commodity.
SCHULTZ: No, it‘s for-profit in America and that‘s what makes it bad.
HARRIS: Well, it‘s for-profit everywhere because...
SCHULTZ: We do not have the best mortality rate and we do not have the best health care system in America. That‘s been well documented. The industrialized countries that have universal health care have a much healthier so society.
HARRIS: No, they don‘t because it depends on how you calculate mortality rates and a lot of the mortality rates.
SCHULTZ: They have a longer life span.
HARRIS: No, no. There are countries who calculate the mortality rates of our country with car accidents and shootings and kind of things that have nothing directly to do with health care, so you have to calculate mortality correctly, and they don‘t do it on a fair base.
SCHULTZ: You parcel it out, Heidi. Health care to health care, we are behind. There‘s no question about it. Our research and development is good and our doctors are excellent and people do come to this country, but they pay for it, and bankruptcies are a reality in this country because people don‘t have health care and that‘s what this president has tried to correct.
HUNTER: This isn‘t a debate about.
SCHULTZ: Karen, your thoughts on it. What about Sharron Angle?
HUNTER: This is not a health care debate. This is a debate over a woman who wants to be a senator in the United States of America who has no clue what‘s going on. I love Sharron Angle. When she loses in Nevada, I hope she runs for president because she‘s the gift that keeps on giving.
SCHULTZ: All right.
HUNTER: I‘m just amazed by this woman.
SCHULTZ: And the controversy continues to swirl around a proposed mosque in Manhattan. This is a FOX Newser Greg Gutfeld saying he wants to build an Islamic gay bar right next to it. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG GUTFELD, HOST OF “RED EYE”: I thought, how interesting is it that they are preaching tolerance and communication to Americans. Wouldn‘t it be great to test their tolerance, so I figured let‘s open an Islam friendly gay bar next door to the mosque. I tweeted them, and they tweeted me back.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: What did they say?
GUTFELD: They said you‘re free to open whatever you like. If you—if you won‘t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you‘re not going to build dialogue.
GUTFELD: Yes. And, you know, I love to build dialogue.
BECK: I‘m sure, especially you could do that at grind zeros.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Grind zero, Heidi, and this is a radio stunt, isn‘t it on
HARRIS: Who knows? I think Greg Gutfeld is a funny guy and he‘s just trying to poke at them. Good for him. Remember, I told you guys last week that the Muslims see this as something that they are poking us with and you saw that article I know by those two Muslim authors that appeared in the Iowa newspaper talking about exactly that, that Muslims see this as an offense and sticking it to us.
SCHULTZ: Karen, your thoughts?
HUNTER: I‘m thinking we‘re in fifth grade here. Oh, well, let me do what they did. This is a guy that hired a bunch of midgets to show up to a magazine publishers conference to stir up trouble. I mean, clearly he‘s not trying to go for tolerance at all. Clearly he‘s trying to cause trouble, so if you want trouble, you‘re going to get it. Is this what we‘ve come to in America?
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris, thanks so much for joining us and Karen Hunter, thank you for your time tonight. Great segment.
All right. Coming up, it‘s time for the democrats to tee off with the tan man. This guy needs to be exposed for who he really is. Joan Walsh addresses the ball, right, next here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ed-msnbc. Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think Washington politicians deserve a month off? Press one for yes, press two for no. Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, it‘s time for the democrats to get tough on House Minority Leader John Boehner. I mean, he‘s easy pickings, he‘s totally out of touch with the middle class, and the democrats ought to be just lighting this guy up at every chance. His opponent is a winner in my opinion. He‘s got the best campaign commercial of the year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN COUSSOULE, CANDIDATE FOR THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS: Rounds of golf, 100 plus. Golf expenses, $83,000. Membership at all male club, $75,000. Special interest travel, including golf junkets, $159. Raising the retirement age to 70 and voting to end unemployment benefits, priceless. For those who want an out-of-touch pro golfer for a congressman, there‘s John Boehner. For everyone else, there‘s Justin Coussoule.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief salon.com. I‘m smiling, too. I think, the democrats ought to nationally fund that ad right there, what do you think?
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF: Oh, I agree, it‘s a great ad. And, you know, this is a national race because Leader Boehner is trying to run a campaign to make himself the speaker. He‘s actually going out and raising money, and that‘s the draw, Ed. I‘ll be your speaker if you elect enough republicans. And I think this is a frightening concept to most Americans because he is so out of touch and he is so at home on the golf course and certainly not on the unemployment lines or any place else where Americans are suffering. So, it‘s a clever ad in his district, but it‘s a clever ad nationally because he wants to make himself the issue here. That‘s great.
SCHULTZ: Does it separate the—you know, from the working folk and where the wage earners in this country are just trying to get ahead and here‘s a guy who‘s teeing it up every day almost with the corporations, and I find it -- the irony in all of this is that Tom Delay played a lot of golf, too. It didn‘t work out too well for him, but I think that this is really a classic of the haves and the have-nots. What about that?
WALSH: It is. You know, a lot of people are talking now about raising the retirement age, raising the age at which we can get Social Security, and what I‘ve noticed, Ed, is that they tend to have kind of cushy jobs. I‘m not claiming that I don‘t work hard, but you don‘t hear a lot of people who actually work with their hands, who do back breaking labor who think, hey, I think I should work at this job until I‘m 70. This is a guy who has time to play by his own account to “Golf Digest,” 100 rounds of golf or more. No wonder—he can work until he‘s 70. He doesn‘t appear to be really working.
SCHULTZ: And quickly, Joan, is the jobs bill passing today a winner for democrats and will that connect with voters?
WALSH: Yes, it will. I think, it‘s police officers. It‘s fire fighters. It‘s teachers. This is what we need to keep our schools open and our cities safe. I think it was a win.
SCHULTZ: Joan, great to have you with us. Joan Walsh, salon.com.
A couple of final pages in the Playbook tonight. The JetBlue flight attendant who went bonkers after a flight with the passenger pleaded not guilty in a New York City court today. Steven Slater was charged with reckless endangerment for cursing out the entire plane, grabbing two beers and jumping down the emergency exit chute. The judge set bail at $25,000 which Slater has not yet posted. Now, I‘ve got to say this. I don‘t condone what the guy did. He obviously broke the law and what not, but I think that there are a lot of Americans that are saying, way to go, buddy, I wish I could do that. Some people are calling this guy a modern day working class hero. OK.
And finally, just last week, I showed you a disgusting carnival game where players shoot at the president. The game was yanked after the controversy became public. Now a guy went to the Jersey Shore and exposed this game where players throw balls at president, but what makes it more shocking is who is with—who is he with on the platform? That‘s right, Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the joker.
On a serious note, Senator Ted Stevens died in a plane crash in Alaska last night. Among the survivors was former NASA administrator Sean O‘Keefe. I‘ll get more on the man and the latest on the crash from NBC‘s Kelly O‘Donnell next here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens has died in a small plane crash. He was 86 years old. Stevens was heading out on a fishing trip when the single-engine high wing propeller jet prop plane went down in southwestern Alaska about 8:00 last night. Five of the nine people on board were killed. Among the four survivors are former NASA administrator Sean O‘Keefe and his teenage son.
For more, let‘s bring in NBC‘s Kelly O‘Donnell. Kelly, what is the latest on the rescue and the survivors? What do we know?
KELLY O‘DONNELL, CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Ed. What we know is this really was a harrowing tale of both loss and survival that spanned many hours through the night. The crash apparently happened last night. Those survivors who had broken bones and some serious injuries have now been airlifted out. They were tended to through the night by a group of people being referred to as good Samaritans who were able to get to the crash site. Real help in the form of actual first responders took quite a long time, and so there was a big delay in information. What we know is in part what you reported about the—there are survivors. There are some other friends and associates of Ted Stevens and those who were there that we don‘t have a full report on yet.
But part of what have makes this so remarkable is that you have Ted Stevens who had himself survived a plane crash back in 1978, a crash that claimed his wife and four other people, and then years later to be in that situation again and to not survive, it is really a—the twists and turns of life, and his political life came to an end just a couple of years ago when he was found guilty of ethical violations after he lost his election. The Justice Department said that there was information that might have convinced a jury he was innocent, that was never provided, so they threw out the convictions, so the twists and turns in a really remarkable life—
SCHULTZ: Kelly O‘Donnell with us tonight, and, of course, Ted Stevens was a juggernaut in the United States senate. He 40 years in the senate, longest serving republican in senate history. Thanks, Kelly.
Tonight in our phone survey, I asked, do you think Washington politicians deserve a month off? Three percent of you said yes, 97 percent of you said no. I‘m a 97 percenter tonight.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, you can go to ed.msnbc.com or check out our radio website at wegoted.com. You can catch radio show noon to 3, Monday through Friday on XM Channel 167. “HARDBALL” with Chuck Todd starts right now on the place for politics filling in for Chris Matthews. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night on THE ED SHOW. Have a great one.
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