updated 8/12/2010 12:18:55 PM ET 2010-08-12T16:18:55

Guests: Alan Grayson, Bob Shrum, Errol Louis, Andrew Romanoff, Ron

Christie, Bill Press, John Richardson, Ron Mott

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour. 

And I‘m taking a deep breath before I start tonight. 

Robert Gibbs met the press today and had no apologies for insulting the base.  He thinks it‘s funny.  I am absolutely astounded by this guy‘s actions.  This can‘t be a political strategy. 

Congressman Alan Grayson says he ought to be fired.  He‘ll join me in just a moment. 

Cash is the big winner from last night.  The folks with the big bucks, well, they bought the election. 

Progressive Andrew Romanoff put up a great fight in Colorado.  He‘ll join me at the bottom of the hour to talk about his plans and how he‘s a team player. 

And a shocking scene of desperation in the state of Georgia today.  Ten thousand people braved 90-degree heat just to get on a waiting list for public housing.  An additional 20,000 people requested applications earlier this week. 

America, don‘t you think we can do better than this?  I do. 

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.  Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, he isn‘t sorry for trashing the Democratic base and the people who got President Obama elected. 

The blogs are on fire about this, and Gibbs completely insulted them, saying that they need to be drug-tested.  These are the Democrats who raised money, knocked on doors, stormed to the polls on Election Day in 2008. 

And Gibbs, he didn‘t offer any apology today.  Apparently he thinks it‘s pretty funny. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION:  What do you think the consequences should be of the comments that you made about this “professional left.” 

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  The consequences?  Do you have anything in mind?

QUESTION:  No, sir.

QUESTION:  One House member has suggested resignation.  So—

GIBBS:  I don‘t plan on leaving, so—and there‘s no truth to the rumor that I‘ve added an inflatable exit to my office. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I‘m glad he‘s getting a kick out of all of this. 

Have you ever been in business where you go into a room, or where you‘re trying to get something done with a group of people, and somebody walks in the room and just confidence is just pouring off this person and you can tell that they are ready to lead?  Well, conversely, it‘s arrogance that is just dripping off Robert Gibbs.  I think it‘s unbelievable. 

The congressman the reporter was talking about was Alan Grayson.  During the health care debate, Rahm Emanuel called liberals like Grayson “f‘ing retarded” because they wanted a public option to help out people. 

Gibbs and the White House take the base for granted.  No doubt about that.  And a reporter asked him about it today. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION:  What do you say to progressives who, on reading your comments yesterday, say, well, if that‘s their attitude, I‘m staying home in November? 

GIBBS:  I don‘t think they will because I think what‘s at stake in November is too important to do that. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Really?  You mean there‘s no other progressive candidate out there anywhere?  Barack Obama just—it‘s just—I mean, he‘s the only one that could hold progressive values and win an election?  So the base is just stuck?  We just have to do whatever the White House wants to do and we really can‘t make any demands without being criticized? 

The Democrats, well, you better hope Gibbs is right.  He took all the air right out of the news cycle on a day that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats over in the House saved 300,000 jobs. 

Do you think that‘s a good story? 

I can‘t believe how tone deaf the White House is to the very people who busted their fanny to get these folks in office.  I‘m also sick and tired of all these shots coming at cable news. 

Take a listen to what White House-backed candidate Michael Bennet in Colorado said on “The Today Show” this morning. 

I think you know the politics in Washington and at political

conversation we‘re hearing

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D), COLORADO:  I think, you know, the politics in Washington and the political conversation we‘re hearing on TV these days is not particularly responsive to that, and we have spoken to that.  And I think that‘s why we were successful in the primary and will be in the general. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Really?  Well, we did a town hall meeting in Colorado and we invited Senator Bennet.  His opponent showed up but he didn‘t.  And at that meeting, we talked about the 99ers, we talked about job creation, we talked about saving the American middle class. 

Senator Bennet, I mean, are you in lockstep with the White House?  Do you feel like you‘ve got to pay them back for all the support they gave you as you out-funded Andrew Romanoff 4 to 1?  Is this how it all works?

Heck, the White House is attacking cable news.  I‘d better do the same damn thing. 

Let me tell you something, folks.  I have, I think, a pretty good pulse because I get out of New York and I go across the country and do town halls.  And I have the ability to get a lot of e-mail every day, and we read every one of them. 

And what we talk about on this show and what is on MSNBC is the pulse of this country.  We‘re not making this stuff up. 

We‘re going to show you tape a little bit later on in this program about all of these folks down in Atlanta who are just trying to get an application to get public housing. 

Tomorrow, I‘m going to be at a rally here in New York City for the 99ers.  The 99ers have been asking the Senate to come back and do something about all of this.  We talked about the jobs bill. 

I mean, I just can‘t believe that this is a political strategy by Democrats who are in power.  Hell, you treat us worse than you treat the Republicans. 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think. 

Tonight‘s text survey is: Do you agree with Congressman Alan Grayson that Robert Gibbs should be fired? 

Text “A” for yes and text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me is that congressman from Florida, Alan Grayson. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Why do you think Robert Gibbs should be relieved of his position? 

GRAYSON:  Because he‘s done a terrible job.  It has nothing to do with what he said about liberals.  He‘s just done a horrible job.

He‘s been outfoxed by Fox over and over again.  He‘s shown no ability to set the agenda or keep the agenda.  He keeps floundering and letting it get away from him. 

And that‘s why.  I mean, he should be talking about the 15 million Americans who are unemployed, what we‘re going to do for them.  He should be talking about how health care reform is going to finally deliver health care to the 40 million Americans who can‘t see a doctor when they need to see a doctor. 

And he‘s flubbed it all.  He‘s thrown it away.

All the things that we‘ve done, all the good things that we‘ve done, he hasn‘t been able to get people to focus on them or explain them properly.  He‘s not done his job.  Therefore, he should go. 

SCHULTZ:  What I find interesting is that this interview he did with “The Hill”—and we had the reporter on here last night—I mean, he was blowing off steam in an interview.  Now it seems to be a White House position. 

And now they‘ve got a recipient of a bunch of cash, Mr. Bennet, who won last night.  He‘s putting out the same kind of stuff: well, what you hear on cable news is not exactly what‘s going on across the country.  I beg to differ with that. 

Do you agree with that?  Or where do you stand on that? 

GRAYSON:  I think that this vilification of both sides is a complete waste of time.  There is no moral equivalence between right and wrong.  There‘s no moral equivalence between Fox and other news media. 

This is where they‘ve gone awry.  They just don‘t seem to understand that.  And in doing so, in making that mistake, Robert Gibbs has done something I didn‘t think was possible.  He brought America together, because now both right and left hates Robert Gibbs. 

SCHULTZ:  You voted for the health care bill, you voted for Wall Street reform, unemployment benefits, the stimulus package, the jobs bill, and equal pay for women.  These are all things that President Obama advocated and supported, and you voted for them. 

So why would the White House take a shot at the liberal base, refer to people like you as “f‘ing retarded” because you wanted a public option?  Do they just seem to have a propensity to want to fight with their base?  It‘s crazy. 

GRAYSON:  As I said in January, it‘s the Stockholm Syndrome.  The Republicans have kept the Obama administration‘s agenda hostage for so long, they‘ve come to love them.  And Robert Gibbs is at the head of the pack. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Alan Grayson, good to have you with us tonight. 

Thanks so much for joining us. 

GRAYSON:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  For more, let‘s bring in Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist, professor at New York University. 

Bob, yesterday, Robert Gibbs did not meet the press corps.  He apparently had a cold and had 24 hours to think about this interview.  And then he comes out today and doubles down on it. 

Your thoughts on this?  This is rather unusual behavior by a press secretary, isn‘t it? 

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, I think he‘s done a real disservice to the president and to the Democratic Party. 

You‘re supposed to enthuse the base, not abuse the base, especially in a year when the electorate is polarized and the conservative elements of that electorate are far more energized.  So I think it was a tremendous disservice.

It also has the additional disadvantage of being untrue.  Most of the progressives who were smeared by Mr. Gibbs as the professional left, in fact, not only helped elect this president, but though they wanted a public option, people like you came at the end and pushed hard to get that health reform bill through, they, as you just pointed out, they worked very hard to get financial reform done.  The president back when he was a candidate in Iowa said something that was very true and ought to be remembered now.  The old politics of triangulating just won‘t do. 

That‘s what Gibbs did, and he should apologize for it. 

SCHULTZ:  If he doesn‘t apologize, where does this leave the president?  I mean, there‘s a lot of Americans out there that are thinking, gosh, this must be the president‘s position, as well.  In fact, the president was on “The View” not along ago and he was ripping on the cables. 

SHRUM:  Well, you know, look, I think sometimes when they‘re talking about the cables, they‘re talking about Fox, and maybe they should just come out and say Fox.  But when they did that a few months ago, everybody jumped on them. 

So I give them a kind of pass on that.  But, look, the larger thing that needs to happen here is the president needs to go out now—as he said, I think down in Texas today—he needs to go out now and he needs to start campaigning, because Republicans have been campaigning full time for 20 months, and he needs to put an edge on that message. 

Let‘s start in September with the attempt to extend the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy, and let‘s ask a big question to the American people.  Do you really want to borrow $700 billion from the Chinese to pay for a tax cut for the very rich?  Let‘s draw some dividing lines in this election.

And by the way, if you do that, you‘ll see progressives getting enthused, coming to the polls, and working very hard in November.

SCHULTZ:  And finally, does it really matter who the press secretary is?  I mean, he‘s speaking for the president, isn‘t he?

SHRUM:  Oh, listen, in many ways, I think Robert Gibbs is an excellent press secretary.  And he did a very good job during the campaign.  And it‘s tough in the maelstrom of all this economic news and all the pressures that you have to pull this off day after day.

But it does matter.  And in the end, it matters how you communicate what the president feels and what you feel.

You know the most disturbing thing about this comment?  I suspect it reflects something that people privately say to each other inside the White House all the time.

SCHULTZ:  Exactly.

SHRUM:  And I think they need to understand, progressives are their friends, not their enemies.  And the way to win this—or not win.  The way to do well or decently in this midterm election, and the way to move ahead after that is not to go after the people who got you to the White House.  It‘s to get those people engaged and mobilized and enthused again.

SCHULTZ:  Bob Shrum, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

SHRUM:  Thanks, Ed.  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, conservative radio host Mark Levin proved today that the righties will stop at nothing to hurt President Obama.  Levin actually called him a child abuser.

I‘ll trash him in the “Zone.”  That‘s where he belongs.

Total chaos broke out down South today.  Tens of thousands of people waited for hours for a chance to get public housing.  People are desperate. 

Did I not show you videotape of the ‘30s last week on this show?  Now what do you think? 

All that, plus we get up close and personal with “The Drugster” in the “Playbook.”  And you won‘t want to miss the photos we‘ve gotten on our hands. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight. 

Americans are feeling pretty pessimistic about the folks who are

running things in Washington.  An NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll just out

shows 60 percent of people think this year‘s Congress is either below

average or one of the worst Congresses ever.  And

I think it‘s really no secret why Charles Rangel‘s arrogance on the House floor yesterday pretty much says it all.  This should be a wake-up call to the Democrats and Republicans.  Well, they just kind of keep obstructing everything, so maybe it doesn‘t matter to them. 

Joining me is Errol Louis, columnist of “The New York Daily News” and host of “The Morning Show” on WWRL here in New York City. 

Errol, good to have you on tonight. 

ERROL LOUIS, COLUMNIST, “NEW York DAILY NEWS”:  Good to see you.

SCHULTZ:  You know Congressman Rangel.  You‘ve known him for a long time. 

I was taken by his approach yesterday.  Some of the Democratic leaders were trying to talk him out of doing this. 

What‘s the downside of this?  Why did Rangel politically grandstand and steal a moment which was going to be great for the Democrats on signing a jobs bill? 

LOUIS:  Well, he‘s got his own concerns.  Right?  He‘s got his own career, his reputation, 40 years in Congress, and he wanted to make a statement about his need for due process and to stop being obstructed. 

I mean, what you‘ve got here, Ed, frankly, is somebody who, if you read between the lines—and frankly, he said it, it‘s actually been reported—he has been trying to put this thing away, put it to bed.  He‘s offered and even signed papers saying that he‘s going to admit to things that he did wrong, and the Republicans are trying to milk it for everything that it‘s worth. 

He‘s trying to force the issue and get this behind him, behind the Democrats, behind everybody as election season commences. 

SCHULTZ:  But isn‘t there a real sense of arrogance here that he would steal the moment that the party needs to get momentum to go into the midterms when people are feeling the way they are about the Congress?  It‘s a jobs bill, but all of a sudden it‘s Charlie Rangel‘s day. 

Here‘s Mr. Rangel yesterday on the floor talking about the ethics issues. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK:  The Ethics Committee won‘t even tell me when I‘m going to have a hearing.  And heck, people are concerned about me.  I‘m 80 years old.  I don‘t want to die before the hearing. 

If this is an emergency—and I think it is—to help our local and state governments out, what about me?  I don‘t want anyone to feel embarrassed, awkward.  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:  I want to know if he cheated on his taxes. 

LOUIS:  I don‘t know.  And you don‘t know and he doesn‘t know.  I mean, nobody knows because they won‘t hold the darn hearing, and they won‘t hold the darn hearing because the Republicans want to extend this as long as possible and discourage people as much as possible. 

I mean, one statistic to keep in mind, Ed, is as bad as people think Congress is doing overall, the Democrats are leading the Republicans as far as a comparison when you give it to the pollsters. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s awful close.  The Democrats have an awful lot of work to do.  But there‘s plenty of ammunition out there. 

This is an ad that I think is absolutely outstanding.  This is where Boehner spending his time.  Justin Coussoule is his opponent, and he put it up. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Rounds of golf: 100-plus.  Golf expenses: $83,000.  Membership at all-male club: $75,000.  Special interest travel including golf junkets: $159,000. 

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)

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  It takes a guy out of the beltway who wants to serve this country to really tell the American people what they‘re actually doing inside the beltway.  I mean, I don‘t think I‘ve ever seen an ad more effective and more spot on. 

And here we are talking about ethics issues when we should be talking about a jobs bill, which, of course, Boehner was against. 

LOUIS:  But the reality is, look, I don‘t know if that‘s going to help Mr. Coussoule knock off John Boehner come Election Day.  And frankly, I‘m still looking for a district anywhere in the country where somebody is going to be hurt because Charlie Rangel is trying to get his day in court as far as Congress is concerned.  I mean, where are the ads about him, and who‘s it going to help and who‘s it going to hurt?

SCHULTZ:  Well, he serves up material because Nancy Pelosi said we‘re going to drain the swamp.  Right now, it looks like Charlie Rangel is part of that swamp. 

LOUIS:  Right, but, Ed, outside of New York and inside the beltway, I mean, you do travel all over the country.  You know what‘s going on here. 

What district, what candidate in what state is getting hurt by this? 

SCHULTZ:  It doesn‘t motivate anybody to come out and support the Democrats, because they look just like the Republicans and all of the ethics problems that they had.  And I‘m amazed that Rangel took that moment that the Democrats needed to stand up and pontificate about his future, which is going to get handled.  I thought it was poor timing. 

Errol, good to have you with us tonight.

LOUIS:  Good to see you.

SCHULTZ:  Appreciate your time. 

Coming up, it‘s hard to believe, but there‘s a conservative shock jock out there who has managed to outdo “The Beckster.”  Brace yourself, because the hate coming out of Mark Levin‘s mouth will absolutely shock you. 

I‘ve always wanted to slam this guy in the “Zone,” and that‘s next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Sean Hannity‘s baggage, radio talk show host Mark Levin, takes dirty partisan attacks to a new low.  He ripped into the president over the $26 billion jobs bill Congress passed this week. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  This $26 billion is not about our children.  Obama has abused more children as president than any other president in American history. 

Now, Mark, what do you mean by that?  I‘ll tell you exactly what I mean by that.  He is destroying their future. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Buddy, that $26 billion you‘re talking about saved over 100,000 teaching jobs.  You think more teachers is child abuse? 

And by the way, the bill is completely paid for and it‘s not adding to the deficit.  But Levin‘s not the only whack job out there to throw out the child abuse accusation.  How about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels?  He did he the same thing on Sunday. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MITCH DANIELS ®, INDIANA:  We are practicing child abuse in a literal sense when we deposit those costs on -- 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  In a literal sense?  Someone might want to explain to the governor what “literal” means.  They may also want to tell him that the jobs bill, which he opposed on his child abuse reasoning, is saving up to 3,600 teaching jobs in his state alone. 

Saying President Obama is guilty of child abuse because he‘s spending money on schools is uneducated, right-wing “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, The Newtster‘s ex is spilling the beans about who he really is.  A bombshell reveals his personal life, hot temper and presidential ambitions. 

Good luck, Newtster. 

The writer who interviewed Newt and his ex-wife tells all in the “Playbook.” 

And desperation in Georgia.  Fights break out as thousands wait for federal housing money.  This is the ultimate cry for help. 

I hope Republicans can hear all of this from the golf course. 

All that, plus Andrew Romanoff, he took it on the chin last night and is already fighting for tomorrow.  He‘s a team player.  He gets it. 

He joins me coming up on THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

“The Battleground” story tonight, the 2010 midterm elections really is shaping up to be about one thing: money.  Candidates are buying votes like never before. 

In Connecticut, fake wrestling millionaire Linda McMahon, $50 million to buy Chris Dodd‘s Senate seat -- $50 million. 

The Republican Party is owned and operated by the rich, and they‘re just flat-out hell bent on election on grabbing the power, all the power that they can get their hands on.  This reaches far beyond the halls of Congress.  Billionaire Republican Meg Whitman out in California, she‘s already spent $99 million to buy the governor‘s mansion in California.  I guess you could say that‘s psycho spending.  The right wing conservatives on the Supreme Court have destroyed any chance for working class people to have a voice in this country.  The court recently decided to open the doors to unlimited spending in elections.  This will allow corporate America to destroy the country while Boehner darkens his tan out on the golf course and just rakes in all that money. 

Some democrats are playing the same game.  In Colorado, Senator Michael Bennett, he outspent Andrew Romanoff four to one to win the primary.  Romanoff had to sell his house to try to win the nomination.  He was that committed.  He refused any special interests and any PAC money during the campaign.  Folks, let‘s just face the facts here that a regular Joe or a Susie soccer mom will really never have any shot to become a public servant the way this is going.  Money runs Washington and nobody seems to be able to do anything about it.  Romanoff doesn‘t have a broken nose over all of this.  He threw his support behind Senator Michael Bennett last night.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW ROMANOFF, FMR. COLORADO HOUSE OF SPEAKER:  We should offer our support to him tonight with all of our hearts.  We are going to go onto the general election we‘re going to unite this party, we‘re going to lead this ticket to victory.  And I hope you understand what is at stake in November. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Romanoff is spot on.  I thought that he was the better candidate.  But we need to team up and kick this thing in the high gear for November. 

Joining me now is Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives.  I have to say that very seldom do people who lose primaries or elections end up on TV the next day as a featured guest.  But I have to say that I have been so impressed by your class, you did run a negative campaign but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that you didn‘t have the money.  Is it all about the money, Andrew?  Is there a place for the regular guy in American politics?

ROMANOFF:  I hope there still is.  We need to reform the way we finance campaigns.  You know, our effort contrasted my positions, my record with the opponent.  And the end, the voters made a choice.  That‘s their right, I‘m glad we had a contest here.  I believe in competition as you do.  And I hope Congress will pass the fair elections now act.  My opponent supports that too so that we can end this unholy money chase.  

SCHULTZ:  Do you think this primary was healthy, Andrew?  Do you think it was good for the voters of Colorado and the process?

ROMANOFF:  Yes.  Yes, and Senator Bennett said so, as well.  He said this contest made him a stronger candidate.  I‘m glad to hear that.  I hope we will join up and take on the Republicans in November and win this seat and keep it in the democratic column.  

SCHULTZ:  Would you work for him?  Would you work on his campaign if asked?

ROMANOFF:  Yes, of course.  In fact, I offered last night.  I said I‘ll do anything you need me to do.  We‘re having a unity rally here in Denver tomorrow and we‘re going to unite and win this seat.  

SCHULTZ:  How did you feel about the White House supporting your opponent, and of course, they were successful.  

ROMANOFF:  You know, the White House made it pretty clear to me from the beginning that they support the incumbent.  They did that, as you know Ed, in Arkansas, in Pennsylvania, here in Colorado.  At the end of the day, the voters get to decide, they made a choice.  And that‘s the way a democracy ought to work.  

SCHULTZ:  You‘re a good progressive.  You‘re about the people, you‘re about jobs.  You‘re on point on all the issues.  But you don‘t have the money.  And if you had the money, if it was equal, would it have been a different outcome?

ROMANOFF:  I don‘t know.  You know, you shouldn‘t have to sell your house to run for the U.S. Senate and it seems to me the sacrifices I put into this campaign are nothing, nothing compared to the struggles so many working Americans are facing every day.  That‘s what gets me up in the morning, it‘s what drove me through this campaign.  And frankly, it is going to be what drives me to help the Democratic Party win these elections here in Colorado in November, as well.  

SCHULTZ:  Andrew Romanoff, you‘re a class act, teaming up right after the primary fight.  It was a tough primary fight.  No question about that.  All the best to you. 

ROMANOFF:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  And you‘re a great progressive.  And I hope people learn from your example.  Good to have you with us tonight.

ROMANOFF:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories. 

I want to get their take on how Robert Gibbs has managed to single-handedly offend the entire progressive base. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling the Senate back in session to pass a border bill and he‘s calling out the right for race-baiting on immigration.  He says, he doesn‘t know how any Hispanic-American could vote for a Republican. 

And a new report shows health insurance executives raked in a combined $20 million last year as insurance companies are planning to hike up the rates nearly 40 percent. 

With us tonight, Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and Ron Christie republican strategist with us.  You can smile now, Ron.  You know, I‘ll be on you a little bit, you‘re smiling.  It‘s OK, you can smile now. 

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  That‘s OK.  

SCHULTZ:  We‘re all friends here. 

All right.  Let‘s talk about Robert Gibbs here.  Bill Press, you were in that room today.  He doubled down on his comments.  Is this a new political strategy to attack the base?

BILL PRESS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Yes, look, I don‘t get it, Ed.  I‘m proud to be part of the professional left, by the way.  And, you know, I am also proud to support President Obama for all the good things he‘s done.  He‘s done a hell of a lot of good things in 20 months especially given the republican opposition across the street here.  But I‘m also—I make no apologies for criticizing him where I think he‘s falling short like don‘t ask don‘t tell and some other areas.  I don‘t get where Robert Gibbs feels that he would attack us who are really his supporters and his friends who are really wanting him to do the best.  I think it‘s dumb.  

SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, for the White House to attack the cables and the chatter that is out there, the Bush administration never did this.  In fact, heck, they had—they took somebody off of FOX and made them the White House press secretary.  You know?  I mean, the contrast is rather interesting here.  Your thoughts on this political strategy the White House has got.  

CHRISTIE:  Well, I‘m a little perplexed I‘d have to tell you, Ed.  I think, for those of us who‘ve had the honor to serve in the White House, your mission is to advance the president‘s goals and their agenda.  And I thought that Robert Gibbs made a huge mistake.  The last thing you should do is to attack the very base of the people who helped elect you into office.  You should find ways to constructively engage your critics but not insult them, and I thought, he‘s insulting.  The Democrats are going to have a very tough election this November.  And for the White House press secretary to be calling people out in the way he did, I thought was irresponsible. 

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, he was talking about how the lefties in this country have got a love affair with the Canadian health care.  All the progressives in the House, in the Senate voted for what President Obama wanted.  And here he comes and sticks a stick in their eye for it.  I don‘t get it.  

PRESS:  No, no, I don‘t get it either.  And I think Ron‘s got a good point.  Look, Ed, I understand there is some frustration because they get the health care passed, they get the Wall Street reforms passed, they get the stimulus passed, and they‘re not getting enough credit for it.  You feel that.  So, what do you do?  You reach out to your base, you pull them in and you say, hey guys, let‘s talk about this.  Here‘s what we‘ve done.  We want you to understand.  Now, what more do you need?  Instead of the stick in the eye.  That I think is a mistake especially at a time when they need to fire up the base for these midterm elections and not be dumping on them.  

SCHULTZ:  Besides that, his boss is not on the ballot in November.  

PRESS:  That‘s true, too. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  I mean, do I have my years mixed up here, fellows or what? 

Two years is an eternity in politics, isn‘t it, Ron?  I mean.

CHRISTIE:  It is.  For those of us on the right, and I think that we‘re going to do very well in November, conservatives and republicans are, but there is an eternity between now and 2012.  And I think, there are a lot of the republican who assume that it‘s going to be a cakewalk for the presidential.  I would not count President Obama out.  He did masterful job getting elected once.  And he has two years in which he can turn around I think a lot of his negative opinion—approval polls.  

SCHULTZ:  All right, gentleman—go ahead.

PRESS:  Ed, I was just going to say, the other point is that Bob Shrum said this earlier, when push comes to shove, you and I have been critical but we‘re there, right?  On the health care thing, we pushed for the public plan option but in the end both of us said look, this is as good as we‘re going to get.  It‘s a hell of a lot better than the status quo.  

SCHULTZ:  That‘s the thing that is so puzzling to me.  I mean, if you want it in lock step, you‘re not going to get your best product.  If you don‘t have debate, it‘s ridiculous.  I think Gibbs needs to go fishing at Big Eddie‘s North Country Lodge.  

(LAUGHTER)

CHRISTIE:  That will help him.  

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Let‘s look at this NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll.  Which party do you trust to deal with immigration?  Thirty two percent Republican, 27 percent Democrat, 15 percent both the same, neither or not sure 26 percent.  Fellows, this looks like a crap shoot.  It looks like either party could step forward and grab this issue and drive it home with the voters.  What do you think, Ron?

CHRISTIE:  I think you‘re right, Ed.  I think that under my former boss President Bush had an opportunity to enact comprehensive immigration reform and he wasn‘t able to get it done.  The president talks about his willingness and desire to do it but he can‘t get it through the Congress.  I‘m very worried about the tone on both sides of the aisle as it relates to immigration.  We should be talking about ways to have a safe border, we have to be talking about ways to legally bring people in this country.  But having a polarizing racial debate is something this country does not need right now.  And I think both sides need to coop a little bit.

SCHULTZ:  This is Harry Reid in a speech to Hispanic reporters.  He said, quote, “I don‘t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a republican, OK?  Do I need to say more?”  Is that inflammatory, Bill Press?  Is that the right strategy to take?  What do you think?

PRESS:  Well, I think, one thing, I think Harry Reid is absolutely right.  First, I‘ve got to say with Ron, I supported George Bush‘s immigration program.  President Obama‘s got one almost identical today but the republicans who supported George Bush‘s program won‘t support Obama‘s plan because it‘s Barack Obama.  But you know what Harry Reid is saying, how could you vote for a party that basically declared war against you, wants to change the 14th amendment, right?  Wants English only.  And now you‘ve got the Arizona law and now this Florida bill proposed on top of it.  I mean, the Republican Party sadly has declared war on Latinos. 

CHRISTIE:  Absolutely wrong, Bill.  And here‘s where I have

disagreement with you.  No, we haven‘t.  The Republican Party looks at

people as individuals.  We don‘t look at people as black people, Hispanic

people.  We look at people base on the content of their character.  I‘m

concerned and this is what ticks me off.  There‘s a reason why there‘s a 19

percent approval rating of Congress.  Why?  Because the senate majority

leader says that republicans are against Hispanics?  That is absolutely

ridiculous.  Republicans, conservatives, democrats, independents want to

have a safe border.  The senate majority leader—Bill, hang on one second

should not be calling out people based on the color of their skin.  It‘s absurd.  

PRESS:  Let me tell you, Ron.  I‘ve been around this a long time.  I started in 1994 in California with Prop 187 by Pete Wilson.  And it goes on, look today, you explain, why they want to amend the 14th—change the 14th amend?  Why bill McCollum is doing this?  Why they did it in Arizona?  It is all cheap politics at the expense of Latinos.  Republican Party does it every election cycle and you can‘t deny it.  

CHRISTIE:  Well, as a native Californian, I look at what Prop 187 said.  I think, again, it‘s racially neutral on its face.  If you look what Arizona tried to do.  

(CROSSTALK)

PRESS:  Unconstitutional.  

CHRISTIE:  It only comes up for a bigger solution here which is the Federal government has failed.  Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma, states across this country are saying enough.  The Federal government enforces the boarder. 

SCHULTZ:  But Ron, I want you to admit tonight that one of the reasons why the congressional numbers are so low is because John Boehner‘s playing way too much golf.  

PRESS:  You got that, Ed.  John Boehner‘s my friend.  I think John Boehner.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  He‘s with the corporate boys on the tee box.  He‘s not down there with the ground keeper. 

PRESS:  Hey, Ed, and he‘s orange. 

CHRISTIE:  He‘s not orange.  Oh, look at you guys.  You‘re trying—you got to get me smiling again. 

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, Ron Christie, always a pleasure.  Good to have you with us tonight. 

Coming up, Newt Gingrich‘s comeback may have hit a speed bump.  A shocking story reveals the dark side.  The reporter who wrote it joins me in just a moment.  And the love fest between the Maverick and Snooki is flat out disgusting.  You won‘t believe what McCain just said about her.  That‘s next in the Playbook.  Stay with us.                    

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you agree with Congressman Alan Grayson that Robert Gibbs should be fired?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us.    

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, Newt Gingrich is trying to make a political comeback, but his scandalous personal history may get in his way of 2012 presidential dreams.  His second ex-wife, Marianne spilled all in an interview with “Esquire Magazine.”  She said, Newt asked her to marry him before he divorced his first wife.  And then 18 years later, he asked her to tolerate his affair with a woman who‘s become his third wife.  Marianne said, she asked Newt, how could he preach family values in the middle of an affair?  He allegedly replied, “It doesn‘t matter what I do.  People need to hear what I have to say.  There‘s no one else who can say it, what I can say.  It doesn‘t matter what I live.” 

Joining me now is the author of the article, John Richardson of “Esquire Magazine.”  Mr. Richardson, good to have you with us tonight.  Were you somewhat surprised at some of the answers you got from his ex-wife? 

JOHN RICHARDSON, “ESQUIRE MAGAZINE”:  Sure, I‘m completely surprised. 

I hadn‘t heard any of it before.  

SCHULTZ:  What was her demeanor?  Was she vindictive or just a matter of fact about it all?

RICHARDSON:  No, I think, she was trying to—she had been thinking about it for ten years and I think she was trying to figure out or trying to say exactly what she meant.  She was pretty sincere about it.  There was nothing vindictive or angry or anything like that.  She was sort of a Christian lady and I think he‘s come to peace with all this stuff.

SCHULTZ:  As a reporter, did you sense that she was very conflicted by his words in public and his personal actions?

RICHARDSON:  I‘m not so sure that she was so disturbed by a lot of the things that he said in public because I think she believes a lot of the things that he said, still believes in a lot of the conservative ideas.  But she definitely came to be upset about the way he conducted his personal life for sure.  

SCHULTZ:  Did she think he could be president now?

RICHARDSON:  No, no, she thinks he‘s sold his soul basically.  

SCHULTZ:  And you also visited with the former speaker, did you not?

RICHARDSON:  I did.  

SCHULTZ:  And what was his response to these comments?

RICHARDSON:  Well, I talked to Marianne after I talked to him.  So, and he‘s already, his version of the marriage is on record and he‘s spoken quite a number of times to James Dobson and other people about his regrets, about his infidelities.  So, his story was on the record.  I gave Marianne a chance to say hers after 12 years of silence.  

SCHULTZ:  You wrote, he comes across like both a big thinker and a complete phony.  Does his ex-wife think he‘s a phony?

RICHARDSON:  Yes, I think she does.  I think she does—I think, you know, the infidelities and the family value beliefs, the contrast between that I think really upsets her.  She takes her morality and Christianity pretty seriously and I think she—well,  she kept using the phrase, everything that—when she found out that he was cheating on her, she said and the way he handled it had, she said, everything that was good turned bad and everything that was bad turned good.  And I guess, a lot of divorced people probably have this feeling like you wonder, did I know what was going on?  Was I a complete fool?  How did he fool me?  Was he always that way or did he change?  So, I think in some respects, it just takes your world away from you.  It was a revolution for her.  

SCHULTZ:  But what he says in public and how he acts in his private life clear little are two different worlds.  

RICHARDSON:  And apparently always have been. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

RICHARDSON:  You know, I don‘t necessarily think that you have to be completely consistent in life.  There‘s been great leader who had complicated personal lives. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you sense that he really wants to be president?

RICHARDSON:  I sensed that he did, very much so.  

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

RICHARDSON:  Great, thanks very much.  

SCHULTZ:  A couple of final pages in our Playbook tonight.  America‘s favorite flight attendant Stephen Slater is free.  He posted his had $2500 bail and avoided an all-expense trip to Rikers Island.  Slater popularity, I mean, is just going through the roof.  One hundred and 30 thousand people are following this guy on Facebook, and fan sites are popping up all over the internet.  The guy is becoming and now clearly is a working class hero.  Take this job and shove it.  

And photos from the drugster‘s fourth wedding just came out.  Rush said that they are works of art, so he wanted them to be seen.  I wouldn‘t really call them works of art.  By the way, Slanthead and Karl Rove were at the wedding but shockingly there are no pictures of them on the drugster‘s website. 

And Senator John McCain wouldn‘t stick up for the unemployed but he will stick up for Snooki.  The Maverick told a Phoenix radio station, Snooki, quote, “might be too good looking to go to jail.”  The reality star was arrested for being drunk and disorderly on the beach last month.  What a pair these two have turned into be?  Kind of gross, isn‘t it?

And a fan at Astros game had his biggest error that I‘ve seen in a Ballpark in a long time.  Check out what this guy does.  A foul ball is coming his way, so instead of protecting his girlfriend, he gets out of the way.  Letting it smack right into her.  Is your name bozo? 

Coming up, these pictures I think are shocking and just break your heart.  This crowd is full of unemployed people who are very desperate and they have reached a fever pitch when it comes to emotion.  NBC‘s Ron Mott has a live report from the scene in Georgia, next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And finally tonight, chaos erupted in Georgia today.  These pictures show the desperate situation, millions of Americans are facing.  Over the past three days, 30,000 people showed up outside of Atlanta just to get an application for public housing.  Today, an estimated 10,000 people, 10,000 people stood in the lines for hours in 90-degree heat.  Dozens of people were treated for overheating.  This is just amazing.  Last week on this program, I showed videotape of what it was like back in the ‘30s and how desperate people were.  And recalled a story at the dinner table that my dad used to say how he went through the depression and that they had bread lines and what not and of course, we‘ve never see that again in this country.  Can we see that tape again because there are things in place.  I find this amazing.  It was a security issue today. 

NBC‘s Ron Mott, he‘s live in East Point, Atlanta, tonight with us here on THE ED SHOW.  Ron, what was it like down there today?

RON MOTT, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Ed, I‘ve got to tell you, good evening to start.  I‘ve got to tell you that the first thought that I had when we pulled up on the scene here was whether we were in America.  And I have to be very careful as a reporter not to overstep my bounds.  But this was a very disgusting scene that we saw here in metro Atlanta today.  Dozens upon dozens of people passing up in the heat, standing in the heat just to get an application to apply for public housing here in metro Atlanta.  This does not guarantee them a place to live.  In fact, they had so many applications go out today, 13,000 applications, there are exactly zero public housing units, zero subsidized housing units available in East Point, Georgia. 

A lot of these folks will never get off that wait list.  And the executive director of the house and authority acknowledged that today.  My first question to her was, could you not have come up with a more dignified process so these folks many of them were facing some of the worst times of their lives could get out of the heat, could understand fully what they were getting into here today.  They were happy, I must tell you.  They were pleased beyond words to get these applications today because at least they get into the system and at least that gives them some measure of hope of getting into federally subsidized housing.  But I got to tell you, today was not a good day for the folks who ran this.  They should be embarrassed I must say by what unfolded out here with people passing out in the heat simply for a chance to get on a waiting list that could go for years and years before your name is cleared, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Ron, was security an issue down there today?

MOTT:  Well, they had a lot of cops here.  One of the questions I asked the city manager and the police chief is why in the world would you send police here in riot gear?  That automatically will ratchet up some people‘s emotions to see that that‘s how the authorities are looking upon them.  They did not have a whole lot of issues here.  They did have one person apparently going through the crowd with a taser.  We have no idea where he got this taser.  We don‘t know who this man is.  Police say they gave chase.  But because this parking lot was a chaotic scene, they did not find him. 

They also got a package delivered to the front steps of the housing authority.  It turns out that it was a suitcase with a letter and it‘s saying, please help me.  I‘d like to get some housing.  They thought for a second there that it was a bomb or something called in.  They had to check out, unfortunately, it was not a bomb.  This is how desperate these folks are here, Ed and this is the treatment they got here today.  

SCHULTZ:  Now, are most of these folks unemployed and they‘re just destitute or they‘re street folks, what about that?

MOTT:  We don‘t know what the breakout was.  My guess is that a number of these people were in fact employed.  These are the working poor looking to get a break on their housing costs.  And that‘s what the section A federal housing subsidized program is it‘s going to cover the difference between what your landlord wants for that piece of property and what you‘re able to afford.  But government will step in and give you a voucher to pay the difference.  But it is a program that has helped so many families across the country for years and years.  But today, again, as I say, I think they deserved better than what they got today in terms of these conditions out here.  

SCHULTZ:  NBC‘s Ron Mott in East Point, Atlanta.  Ron, thanks for that report tonight.  And one can only imagine watching this videotape that we showed you earlier on this story, how many other cities have it like this across America?  And I think we have to ask the moral question, aren‘t we better than this?

Tonight in our text survey, I asked, do you agree with Congressman Alan Grayson that Robert Gibbs should be fired?  Fifty five percent of you said yes, 45 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com or check out wegoted.com, my radio website, you can catch my show on XM 167, noon to 3:00 Monday through Friday.  “HARDBALL” starts right now with Chuck Todd. 

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