The Ed Show for Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: Maryann Woods-Murphy, Mike Papantonio, Bob Casey, Barry Lynn, John
Feehery, Laura Flanders, Larry Cohen, Christina Bellantoni
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories on the table and really hitting “My Hot Buttons” tonight.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cares about really two things—money and power. He thinks the key to education is cutting teacher‘s pensions and doing away with job security.
The guy is an anti-union dude, anti-worker, and he‘s trying to raise his political profile on the backs of workers. My commentary, and New Jersey‘s Teacher of the Year is also going to be here to sound off on all of that.
Newt Gingrich is trying to fire up the Tea Party nut-jobs by calling President Obama a threat to our basic way of life. And then he‘s preaching about values? His cry for attention really at this point is pretty sad, isn‘t it?
And after talking about mice with human brains and monkey evolution, I was wondering where Christine O‘Donnell actually went to school. It turns out she doesn‘t even know. Some big-time lies uncovered on her academic resume. That‘s coming up tonight.
All right. This is the story that has me fired off tonight. And I want to call timeout off the top, because if I push to hard on this, I‘m going to be accused by conservatives of being angry. I think that there are some angry parents in the state of New Jersey, and there‘s going to be angry parents all across America if this is the template for reforming education in this country.
Education has been one of the big pillars of the progressive movement in the Democratic Party for decades. Can we agree on that? But, you see, that, too, is under attack by the conservatives.
America‘s newest Republican golden boy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, is trying to build his political chops on the backs of public school teachers and poor kids in his state.
After spending the last week just basking in the sun, bask in the glow of the national media, Christie came back to New Jersey to break out his education reform agenda. Christie‘s attack on the teachers include, what? Well, let‘s scale back the pensions, tighten the standards in stripping teachers of tenure.
Well, this is how Christie described tenure for bad teachers --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY: Your performance was awful, you didn‘t do what we asked you to do, you didn‘t produce the product we wanted you to produce, but we don‘t look at that. All we look at is are you still breathing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes, you still breathing? You know, the arrogance just drips off this guy. He‘s just broad-brushing the whole situation.
This spring, Christie proposed cutting public education by $820 million. Now he wants to be judge, jury and executioner for New Jersey‘s 113,000 school teachers. Christie claims he‘s not going after teachers. You see, he has a bigger target.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I do not bash teachers. I bash their stubborn, self-interested union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Union. That‘s what it‘s all about, union-busting.
Christie and the rest of the Republicans have been on a 40-year crusade to destroy organized labor in America, and I don‘t believe that Christie cares about what kind of education New Jersey kids receive. This is all about the almighty dollar and power.
Christie wants to give—listen up—a billion dollars in tax breaks to the top two percent while he threatens the jobs of middle class teachers? The average New Jersey school teacher makes $57,467 a year. Christie wants to throw them under the bus and base salary teacher—and strictly make it all on—strictly on merit pay. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: Any type of compensation based on anything but merit should be gone. In other words, if you have a salary guide or a compensation policy that rewards seniority, then you get paid just because you‘re there another year, and you get paid more and more and more every year you‘re there, we should pass a law in New Jersey that prohibits seniority being a basis for compensation alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Just because you‘re there you get more and more and more.
I‘ve talked to educators in New Jersey that say that‘s not the way it is. Christie‘s Draconian approach to education puts pressure on teachers to be absolutely 100 percent responsible for their students across the board.
Now, ask yourself the question, folks, are teachers—should they be responsible for the product that comes into the classroom? You know, the one thing about public education is when the doors open, everybody‘s welcome. Here come the gifted, here come the challenged, here come the rich, here come the poor. And Christie is going to make it so the teachers are going to be responsible for what kind of home life the kids have.
You know, single moms who might be having some personal issues, don‘t have the money, the dad hasn‘t been around, how many of those situations are out across not only in New Jersey, but across America? Let‘s not ignore the fact that the structure of the family in this country has changed dramatically over the last several decades.
And so now to come up with a new system that is going to hold teachers accountable 100 percent for the students‘ performance I think is really wrong-handed and overbearing. If teachers can‘t do the impossible, Christie wants to cut their pay or eliminate their jobs all together.
Christie is part of the party that just hates public education. They vilified it for a long time.
President Obama thinks America needs to treat teachers a heck of a lot better.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things I want to do is lift up the teaching profession to honor it the way it needs to be honored in our society. And by the way, when I travel to China, for example, and I sit down with the mayor of Shanghai, and he talks about the fact that teaching is considered one of the most prestigious jobs, and a teacher‘s getting paid the same as an engineer, that I think accounts for how well they‘re doing in terms of boosting their education system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Who do you think understands the problem better, Chris Christie or President Obama?
Ultimately, I think Chris Christie is trying to bully public school teachers to build his credentials toward a higher office. Today he was the featured speaker for House Republicans on Capitol Hill. How cute?
If Republicans take his lead on public education, America will fall even farther behind than other countries. By the way, do we want to compete with China?
Republicans want to privatize the public school system and make a profit on your kid‘s future. That‘s not the country I grew up in.
I think Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is public enemy number one to school teachers in his state and dangerous to the rest of the country when it comes to the value of public education. You see, the conservatives view it this way—the more we can vilify something, the heck of a lot easier it‘s going to be to cut.
Just cut, cut, cut. Cut your way into a profit.
Let‘s check on Christie‘s background. Let‘s see here.
He was a lawyer, he was a lobbyist, and a Wall Streeter. Is this the new expert on education reform in America?
Mr. Christie, have you ever taught a class? I‘d like to know. It doesn‘t say anything in your background that you have.
Maybe you have. I don‘t know.
Have you ever done anything administratively with public schools in America?
And let me address this tenure issue, if I may, my friends. This is the easy target. Ooh, you‘ve been around too long. You‘re not getting the job done.
You want to go down the road of the tenure issue, you‘re going to turn political real quick in the local school district, because it is all about the money. Because someone‘s been on a job too long we‘ve got to get rid of them, bring in the young kid for a much cheaper price. Instead of paying somebody $85,000 a year, who has earned it and earned the pension, it‘s just a heck of a lot easier to bring somebody in at $38,000 a year—oh, you know, they‘ve got better blood, they‘re fresh taught, you know, just out of college, and they‘re a cheaper cut. They‘ve got so much enthusiasm and they‘re willing to work afterwards.
You know, this is a culture that is permeating throughout every profession in this country. If we could get it cheaper, it‘s just going to be a hell of a lot better.
I don‘t buy that. And I don‘t think American families buy that. And I really think that we do a disservice for not standing up for minorities and asking them.
Mr. Christie, I‘m curious. I‘m just ask think the question, have you gone in to the economically challenged neighborhoods and asked the parents of the teachers that you were going to cut, what would you like us to do in the public school system? Have we gone really into the devil in the detail as to who these thousands of teachers are that we cut? Did we cut any good ones, or was it all about the money and merit pay?
Well, what do you say we have merit pay for politicians? Let‘s see how many great teachers Mr. Christie can turn out under this new plan, and let‘s judge his salary on that since he‘s America‘s new expert on public education.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s text survey is: Do you think Republicans care more about saving money than educating kids? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Maryann Woods-Murphy, New Jersey‘s Teacher of the Year and strongly against Governor Christie.
Maryann, what do you make of this PR tour that this man has taken all over the country? What has he done in New Jersey, in your opinion?
MARYANN WOODS-MURPHY, NEW JERSEY TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Well, right now teachers in my state are really feeling horrified because the emotional toll that this is taking—the attack on education, the attack on public school teachers and our representatives through our association—is really, really insulting and upsetting to us. The people down in Trenton are elected representatives, and we appreciate their efforts and we‘re sorry that this is happening.
SCHULTZ: How many teachers have been cut in the state of New Jersey?
WOODS-MURPHY: Well, we‘ve had over 10,000 educational professionals cut in New Jersey. And this is horrifying. This means larger class sizes, programs that are cut. This is a terrible devastation for our state.
SCHULTZ: You think it‘s all about the money?
WOODS-MURPHY: Well, I think that the money has made it difficult for us to retain these positions, but I also note that there‘s a hostile tone which is unnecessary, completely. It baffles me and it hurts me and my colleagues.
I don‘t understand why we have this tone in an atmosphere when we‘re looking for synergy between parents, teachers, students, administration to create the education for the 21st century. That‘s what we want.
SCHULTZ: Does it offend you that Governor Christie seems to be, in his speeches that he‘s giving, that he‘s just broad-brushing --
SCHULTZ: -- throwing all the teachers in there—they‘re all bad, and we‘re going to get your pension, and we‘re going to have a new system of evaluation? What about that?
WOODS-MURPHY: Absolutely. I‘m horrified by that, and also, it seems kind of ironic when Secretary Duncan just put out an initiative yesterday to recruit new teachers.
We‘re going to need so many new teachers with the baby boomers retiring. So at the very moment when we need to be thinking about ways to recruit, attract and retain new teachers, young people all over are saying, why would I want to go into this field? We‘re hearing such terrible things, people are not appreciating our work.
SCHULTZ: Maryann, quickly, the tenure system in New Jersey, are teachers evaluated? Do they have to meet certain standards, or do they just check the carotid artery and say, hey, you‘ve been around for a while, we‘re going to give you a raise?
WOODS-MURPHY: Yes, teachers certainly do more than breathe to get a job. Teachers work very hard and are evaluated systematically by their administrators on a regular basis. Many schools have walk-throughs which ascertain on a daily basis how teachers are doing. Teachers are working hard to keep their jobs and working hard for the children.
SCHULTZ: Maryann Woods-Murphy, thank you for joining us tonight. I appreciate your time. And congratulations on being New Jersey‘s Teacher of the Year.
WOODS-MURPHY: Thank you so much.
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated “Ring of Fire.”
Mike, is this the new normal for the conservative party when it comes to vilifying public education? Is he the poster child? What do you think?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, “RING OF FIRE”: He‘s a perfect Republican.
Let me be more vocal about Mr. Christie.
Mr. Christie‘s paid $175,000 a year by taxpayers. Taxpayers put him in his house. Taxpayers pay for his car, for his drivers, for his pensions. Taxpayers, as a matter of fact, through his salary, put his kids in private schools. That‘s a really interesting twist that Mr. Christie probably doesn‘t want to address.
Given the choice about the importance of Mr. Christie and his governorship to society, versus the importance of teachers who educate, counsel, nurture New Jersey‘s children for an average of about $50,000 a year, this guy is really self-inflated where it comes to his self-image. You have to understand where he came from.
Christie got all of his training as a lawyer who represents not consumers, not represented average-working people, but who represented corporations who polluted the environment, corporations who engaged in consumer fraud, corporations who manufactured defective products that crippled and killed people. This guy has nothing in common with the average American.
Christie, you might remember, was one of the Alberto Gonzales crowd who was involved with the witch hunt in the prosecutor‘s office. Trends follow a guy like Christie. He was also willing—
SCHULTZ: Is he beating up public education and trimming the budget any way he can, seeking higher office to get the big profile? What do you think?
PAPANTONIO: Absolutely. Well, that‘s exactly what it‘s about.
If you look at his profile, look at his background, he is setting himself up for that bigger picture. We think that we can change his attitude. I know that teachers think they can have an arm‘s length conversation with Mr. Christie. But really, you can‘t.
Christie‘s entire career shows us the picture of this reptilian predatory quality. It won‘t simply go away now that he‘s a governor.
PAPANTONIO: You know, you can dress him up like a governor, you can call him “Governor,” but that follows him. And Republicans like this personality that Mr. Christie has. This—because he really is—he‘s emblematic of the Republican Party, the attitude about consumers and Americans in general.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, we‘ll see you on Saturday on the One Nation March. Thanks, buddy. Appreciate your time tonight.
PAPANTONIO: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Newt Gingrich‘s a delusional, fear-mongering has been. He‘s trying to rally the Tea Party nut-jobs by preaching about American values. This is just too easy to hit out of the park. We‘re going to light him up in “The Battleground” segment tonight.
And Sharron Angle rails against health care reform, but she gets her health care from the government. “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
All that, plus Fox businessman John Stossel is losing it in the “Zone,” and Meg Whitman gets sued.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.
You mean we actually agree on something? Americans of all political stripes agree on one issue—free trade is bad for America?
Now, according to a new NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll, 53 percent of Americans think trade agreements have hurt the U.S. economy. Only 17 percent think that trade has helped America.
Check this out. A whopping 86 percent think American companies are outsourcing too much production to foreign countries where wages are lower. Eighty-six percent? You mean that many Americans think that we‘re doing the wrong thing when it comes to trade and shipping jobs overseas, and the Senate won‘t do anything about it?
Not one Republican voted for Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act. They care more about their donors over at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce than they do the 86 percent of the American people who say what they said in that poll.
Now, trade has decimated our manufacturing base—can we agree on that? -- and caused millions of Americans to become unemployed. Fact? No doubt.
The Republicans kicked the unemployed one last time before they headed home to campaign for their jobs. Now, Senator Debbie Stabenow, who I talked personally with last week about this, called for a unanimous consent on the bill on the floor to provide help to millions of 99ers, and it happened this afternoon.
Well, Florida Republican Senator George LeMieux blocked the bill, saying, “We don‘t put this debt on our children and grandchildren.” LeMieux and the Republicans care more about the national debt than the personal debt of people who haven‘t had any source of income for years?
Stabenow‘s bill would have provided an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits. Now those people will have to cross their fingers and pray the Republicans don‘t win back the majority.
Joining me now is Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
Senator Casey, good to have you with us tonight.
SEN. BOB CASEY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Thanks, Ed. Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: It‘s over for the 99ers until after the election. That‘s basically where we are, right?
CASEY: Well, it looks that way, Ed, but I think we‘ve got to continue to fight. These are folks that are trying to get from here to there, meaning get from joblessness to a job.
We know the impact on workers that unemployment compensation has allows them to get over the hump, so to speak. But it also has a jump-starting effect on the economy overall.
Unemployment insurance, food stamps, all of those efforts to help those out of work through no fault of their own has an economic impact as well. We should do that. We should do everything we can to help them.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s talk about the “no” votes (ph) if we can. There‘s a lot of unemployed people that are saying that they‘re going to check out. They wanted some action.
I‘ve been told that this is sufficient action, that you tried on get it done, but the Republicans got in the way. Correct? I mean, that‘s the bottom line.
CASEY: Absolutely, Ed. And you listed a few things Republicans have blocked.
They blocked our efforts to try to keep jobs here instead of offshoring them. And a lot of companies wanted help on that. Through the tax code we could have given them that help, but they blocked it. They even blocked debate on it.
They also voted unanimously against the small business bill, which would had been $12 billion in direct tax cuts to small business. They voted against that.
On issue after issue that will help us create jobs and help strengthen the American economy, there‘s a wall of Republican opposition in the Senate. And that‘s one of the things that I think a lot of voters are just tuning into now.
SCHULTZ: What is going to happen as the outsourcing continues in this country? How in the world are we going to create jobs if we are giving incentives to company to ship these jobs overseas?
This, in my opinion, my humble opinion, this should be the number one story for everybody in this country right now. I mean, we‘ve got economic problems and we are shipping jobs overseas in a very callous manner. And even when the Democrats try to do something about it, the Republicans say no.
CASEY: Oh, Ed, I heard this all across Pennsylvania. I was in about half the counties of our state in the course of the end of August, early September, small towns, rural areas where they have high unemployment rates. We‘ve got 585,000 people out of work.
Every place we went we heard about jobs. We also heard about the outsourcing, and no efforts, at least from the perspective of real people out there, taxpayers and others, no effort by Washington to stop it.
We finally get to the point where we have a strong bill and a lot of agreement, and the Republicans block it. If they really care about and are worried about shipping jobs overseas, they should support an effort. Or if they‘re against our effort, they ought to come up with a strategy to prevent that from happening.
But they have no bills to do that, just like on job creation. I can‘t think of a single bill that they‘ve supported in the United States Senate on the Republican side --
SCHULTZ: There isn‘t one.
CASEY: -- that will create or preserve jobs.
SCHULTZ: There isn‘t one. Senator Casey, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
CASEY: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Fox businessman John Stossel thinks young people, well, they don‘t know anything. So we shouldn‘t care if they vote.
I‘m voting him and his mustache into the “Zone” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, a tough one. There‘s so much “Psycho Talk” out there today.
The Beckster‘s over there saying that the president is evil. Evil.
Whatever happened to all of that God talk that was on the Mall?
Well, Fox Business host John Stossel and his mustache, well, he shows up on O‘Reilly‘s show last night, so he goes to the “Zone” today. You see, the 63-year-old Stossel and the 61-year-old O‘Reilly, they were flapping their jaws and their gums about Hollywood campaigns aimed at getting the youth vote out.
Here‘s the Stossel take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN STOSSEL, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: Why do we have these campaigns saying we have to get all the young people to vote? Young people often don‘t know anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know that‘s like saying guys with ‘70s porn mustaches don‘t know anything about voting when it comes to issues in voting.
And John, most of your friends over at Fox, they don‘t know anything either. But I don‘t see you trying to keep them away from the polls.
John Stossel saying we shouldn‘t try to get young people to vote because they don‘t know anything is undemocratic, complete “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Newt Gingrich is ramping up his own “Psycho Talk.” He slams President Obama as a radical who rams things through with no regard for American values?
Reverend Barry Lynn is teaching Newt a thing or two about values in “The Battleground” story tonight. We‘ll need some time for this one, won‘t we? The list is long.
And we all know Christine O‘Donnell is no scholar, but she thought that she could fool us. I‘m starting to think she‘s a pathological liar. Where did she go to school?
All that, plus President Obama talks Christianity; Sharron Angle‘s a hypocrite—what else is new? Well, David Vitter‘s (INAUDIBLE) scandal exposed in a new political commercial. And I admit tonight on this show that I‘m fat.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The “Battleground” story tonight, Newt Gingrich is cranking up the volume on his psycho anti-President Obama campaign. He‘s saying President Obama and the Obama administration is the greatest threat America has ever faced. I didn‘t know that. And he‘s launched a campaign to mobilize 10 million conservative voters ahead of the midterms. He kicked it off with a fear mongering video. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I don‘t remember anytime in American history where we‘ve had such a threat to our basic way of life. A genuinely radical secular socialist machine ramming things through with no regard for American values or the beliefs of the American people. Again and again, this administration and its allies in Congress simply run over the beliefs and values of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Why didn‘t we use that for psycho talk tonight? Newt, do you really want to get into your background? And after being reprimanded and fined for the House ethics violations, you know some think you‘re a loser. You know some people say the way they do it over there. You‘re the last guy who should be lecturing us about values, Mr. Gingrich?
Let me bring in reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.
BARRY LYNN, AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: Nice
to be back.
SCHULTZ: Here we go! Mixing religions, scaring Americans right back to the voting booth and President Obama is evil.
LYNN: You know I always wonder, where does Newt Gingrich get his values? I think, possibly, from—he gets them in dreams after really bad fish dinners, because frankly, let me give you some numbers. The American people, 75 percent of us believe, for example, that gays should serve openly in the military, 75 percent. Newt Gingrich says, no, no, no, no they shouldn‘t. The majority of Americans in polls and in elections say no to those school vouchers, the things that Governor Christie in New Jersey wants to implement in order to destroy public education. The majority of Americans oppose it. Newt Gingrich wants it.
In other words, if the American people want all the things that I would say, normal people want, why is he an outlier, why is he promoting values that most Americans don‘t want? This guy always had bad ideas. We know that when he was speaker of the house. He was always playing fast and loose with morality and ethics. But now he is using religiosity to try to convince people, he‘s changed. But the fundamental core of this man is a man who hates public schools, who thinks the poor are poor because they just don‘t work hard enough and who is simply living on another planet with a different constitution.
SCHULTZ: President Obama yesterday was asked about being a Christian. This is his response, which I thought was very powerful. I want your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I‘m a Christian by choice. You know, my family didn‘t—you know, frankly, they weren‘t folks who went to church every week. So I came to my Christian faith later in life. And it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead. Being my brothers and sisters keeper. Treating others as they would treat me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Reverend Lynn, if you didn‘t know President Obama, how good is that answer?
LYNN: It‘s a great answer. Because it is what more and more Americans do. They are—there‘s a lot of movement in how we grew up and what we become later in life as a religious matter. We choose what seems to fit, what makes sense, what are the policies of a religious organization that we think are good ones. Now, what people on the far right do is they say, well, you know, maybe we could be our brother‘s keeper but not the government. The government shouldn‘t have anything to do with it. Maybe we‘ll be nice people, but we don‘t want the government to implement policies that are really going to help the people who are at the bottom of the heap.
Usually by the way, put at the bottom of the heap because of other policies that the government has put in place, so that the right wingers have gone crazy over what that clip that you just showed. Said, always, just trying to make excuses. He knows a lot of people think he‘s a Muslim and he just wants to show this. What he said is authentic Christianity as many of us develop it.
SCHULTZ: And the response today from the Beckster and some of the righty talkers was referring to him as the ayatollah.
SCHULTZ: And also saying that he‘s evil.
LYNN: It‘s so insulting. You know, they condemn secularism, secular governments.
LYNN: Of course we have to have a secular government. The alternative is to have a sacred one, a religious one, where the majority religion gets to make off the rules. That has never worked. Anywhere on this planet, it certainly wouldn‘t work here. Newt Gingrich the other day said, he wants a new Federal Law. I know that some people say that he‘s a naysayer but he wants a new Federal Law to bar judges from using Sharia Law in their decisions. Now, that‘s a big issue, isn‘t it? Do people call your radio show, Ed, and say, you know, I just lost my job today because of Sharia Law, my house has been foreclosed by the Sharia Law. Of course not. The point is, this is a man who‘s looking for these fringe issues to try to scare people when there isn‘t even a problem there in the first place. And by the way, if somebody said, oh you don‘t have Christian values governing constitutional law either, you‘d probably say, oh well that‘s different from Sharia. He‘s totally hypocritical.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Barry Lynn, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
LYNN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight.
As I just said, President Obama spoke about his faith during a backyard discussion in Albuquerque, New Mexico, yesterday saying that he was a Christian by choice.
Sharron Angle is a hypocrite. She says, she doesn‘t want the government involved in health care but it turns out, she gets coverage through her husband‘s federal employee health program.
And Democrat Charlie Melancon is pulling out the constitution card in his bid to unseat Louisiana Senator David Vitter.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, host of Grit TV and Free Speech TV and author of the upcoming book “At The Tea Party.” Also with us, republican strategist John Feehery. John, what did you make of the president‘s statement to the question about his faith? How does that that play in your opinion, as a conservative?
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Hey, listen, I‘m very happy that President Obama is a Christian. I thought that his comments about why he became a Christian were fitting for what he believes and I thought that was all well and good. I don‘t disagree with President Obama on those types of issues. What I disagree with him on is his role as president. I don‘t think that he‘s a very good president and I don‘t think he‘s showing the right leadership and I don‘t think he‘s showing the right focus on jobs which I think is the number one issue face in the country.
SCHULTZ: Strategically, this was a very tactful way of pushing back on the birthers, wasn‘t it, Laura?
LAURA FLANDERS, HOST, GRIT TV: Yes, absolutely. And the other point that I think he needs to be said and that maybe he‘ll get some props from his critics on the left, is that he said this is a country of people of all faiths and of no faiths, even mentioned agnostics and atheists, so that‘s good. And he also made the point of saying, this is why I do what I do, which I think is more of what we need to be hearing. We‘re going to be hearing it this Saturday. I‘ll be there at the One Nation, Free Speech TV and I will be covering it live. I hope that you‘ll come over and talk to us but I hope there, we‘ll going to be hearing from a lot more people who explain the personal connection to the choices they‘ve made about policy.
SCHULTZ: Yes. John, I need you to make a phone call for me. Would you call Sharron Angle and ask her to give up her health care because it‘s government-run?
FEEHERY: Well, Ed, what she has is—her husband has retirement benefits that include health care. That‘s all well and good. She is opposed the health care plan which is extraordinarily popular in Nevada and once again, this campaign decision by the Reid campaign is a distraction from the fact that 14 percent unemployment in Nevada and that‘s why he might lose to Sharron Angle.
SCHULTZ: She‘s taking over the government dollar, Johnny, come on. She‘s taking us taking government dollar. She doesn‘t want anybody else to have it.
SCHULTZ: She‘s got the government health care program. Laura, what about that?
FLANDERS: She‘s made the point that I don‘t want to cover my sister, if you want to put it that way, her mammogram over there. The point is we have been covering her health care through her husband‘s pension plan and I‘m OK with that. That‘s the difference between the, we want to care for the least of us attitude to society, and it‘s all just for me and none just for you. This is the kind of thing that I think—I hope, even Sharron Angle supporters on the right will blanch out because this is not just hypocrisy, it‘s cruelty.
SCHULTZ: John, is it hypocrisy?
FEEHERY: Not at all. I think there are two different things. You could be against the Obama health care law and understand that there are government benefits when you work for the government. There‘s not hypocrisy at all.
SCHULTZ: OK, so if the Republicans get in and cut it back, then she‘s going to be OK with that. That will be interesting.
All right, let‘s go down to Louisiana. We all know about Senator Vitters‘ issues in the prostitution scandal. He has admitted it, this was months ago. He said, he was sorry. Reconciled with his wife but his opponent who was behind Congress Melancon is playing this card. Here is the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: David Vitter won an election to the United States Senate as a proud family value‘s politician but under the surface, Vitter was battling his own demons. A former French quarter prostitute gave an interview exposing details about her sexual relationship with Vitter.
UNIDENTIFIED PROSTITUTE: He went in, took a shower. Spoke very
little to me at first. He did his thing. He wasn‘t there 15, 20 minutes
at that. I was $300
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Laura Flanders, what do you make of this? Is this fair play especially when he‘s behind by double digits?
FLANDERS: At least the advantage that the Democrats has here is she‘s telling the truth, this is not a made up scandal. But if I were advising the guy, I know he‘s in trouble but come on. I mean, the threat that Vitter poses is not that he‘s going to pooch your prostitutes, it‘s that he could privatize your Social Security in order to give tax cuts to the super two percent richest in the country. This is what I wish more Democrats would be focusing on and I think it‘s actually sad to see the approach the guy is taking.
SCHULTZ: Desperation, John, is that what it is?
FEEHERY: Well, of course it is, Ed. And the big problem for Democrats is they are using this type of campaign tactic all over the country because they know that they can‘t really talk about the issues because they know that the American people are ready to throw them out of Congress.
SCHULTZ: But does it say anything about character? Rush Limbaugh was always on Bill Clinton saying that character counts. Doesn‘t it in a round about way question the character of Senator Vitter?
FEEHERY: This is a slimy ad. And I think he‘s going to rebound against Mr. Melancon in a big way. And I don‘t think, he‘s going to win the case, he‘s going to win anyway but this kind of slimy ad is going to go down in history. One of the worst that I have ever seen.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Laura?
FLANDERS: Well, you know, it‘s slimy but again the slime is coming off of Vitter. It‘s his social policies. It‘s his economic policies. There‘s slime there to talk about. I hope that the next ad focus is there.
SCHULTZ: Laura Flanders, John Feehery, always a pleasure. Laura, we‘ll see you on Saturday at the One Nation march.
FLANDERS: See you on Saturday.
FEEHERY: I won‘t be there, Ed, unfortunately.
FLANDERS: Come on, come on!
SCHULTZ: You know, John, since you‘re such a good guy coming on this program, I want to make a public, you know, invitation to you, John Feehery, I got a seat right next to me if you show up.
FEEHERY: Well, maybe we‘ll go for a beer, afterward, Ed.
SCHULTZ: We all one nation, buddy. Good to have you on.
FEEHERY: Thank you very much.
SCHULTZ: Up next, false prophet Beck restored absolutely nothing in his rally last month. We‘re going down to Washington this weekend to make a real difference for jobs, for education, for our future. Larry Cohen president of the Communications Workers of America is behind the rally. We celebrate the American worker, next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think Republicans care more about saving money than educating kids? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, we‘re counting down to our One Nation rally this Saturday at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of people will gather to compact corporate greed and call for good jobs in America in the right for a good education. For more, let‘s turn to the president of the Communication Workers of America, Larry Cohen, who is helping organize the One Nation rally this Saturday. Larry, why are you involved in this?
LARRY COHEN, PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA: Well, it‘s a chance for all of us to build a big tent to talk about economic justice issues, that—the fight for change that we started in 2008. A lot of is still unfinished, thanks to the Senate rules and the failure in the Senate to really take up a progressive agenda in this country. So, we‘re determined to come to Washington, show that there are hundreds of thousands of us, talk about November 2nd when the buses going down and going back. Then fight for change on Election Day and take that fight onward, talk about issues like changing the Senate rules and bringing democracy to the U.S. Senate.
SCHULTZ: So, October 2nd is all about November 2nd, very clear, right?
COHEN: All about November 2nd. Absolutely. It‘s all about, you know, folks from the 16 states, where most of the people are coming from, and as well as across the country, saying we are here, we are united, we are, you know, the progressive majority in this country, and we are committed to working together. Those are really the keywords, One Nation, working together. We‘re going to be work for economic justice. Not just for jobs, but jobs with justice as long as that takes.
SCHULTZ: What do you say to those who are criticizing the rally that some of the groups that are involved in this are fringe?
COHEN: Well, this is a democracy and you don‘t turn people away. But the groups that are behind us, are the key civil rights groups, the key labor groups, the key green groups, people of faith, women‘s groups, students, there‘s nothing fringe about us.
SCHULTZ: Amen to that, brother. I‘m glad that you‘re part of it. You are the president‘s base, the Democratic Party base. You didn‘t get everything you want. And the question has come up, how motivated are wage earners in this country? What‘s your—what are your thoughts on that?
COHEN: You know I think our folks—our union alone by the way has 10,000 people on buses already—you know, committed to riding those buses. I think that our folks are fired up that change is difficult in this country, as you‘ve said so well. The corporate greed is at an all-time high and that kind of motivation we need, everyday people to stand up, to shout out, to make a difference, to turn out not only Saturday, but to go door-to-door, to go into the work site to talk to our members and work with our allies, which is really what this is about, that there‘s a lot of us together here, for the change that we voted for, that we still believe in, and that we can accomplish it if we stick together and work together in the days ahead.
SCHULTZ: Larry, good to have you with us. We‘ll see you Saturday.
Looking forward to.
COHEN: Look forward to seeing you, Ed. Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: For more information on the One Nation marching, go to my website wegoted.com. There‘s a mission statement on there and also listed all the logistics about the march coming up on Saturday.
Final page of the Playbook tonight, billionaire republican candidate for California Governor Meg Whitman doesn‘t think you can buy elections? This coming from the eBay CEO who has spent $119 million of her own money on the campaign. That‘s more than any other campaign in the history of the United States. And it‘s a good thing she has—she has all of the money, you know? Her former housekeeper of nine years announced today that she‘s suing Whitman for wrongfully firing her. Whitman fired her for not having the right papers for employment right before she started her campaign. Now, that timing really doesn‘t sound like a coincidence to you, does it?
It does to me.
Coming up, Christine O‘Donnell, well she said, mice have fully functioning human brains, so it‘s no wonder some universities are freaking out, because she falsely claimed she went there. O‘Donnell‘s lies, next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us and my announcement. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Delaware‘s Tea Party and Senate candidate Christine O‘Donnell is not only a psycho talker, she‘s a liar. She‘s padding her academic resume online and she‘s been caught. The “Washington Post” first reported. Her misleading claim of attending the University of Oxford on her linked in profile. Then a radio producer in California found out that she never attended Claremont Graduate University which is also listed in her profile.
Claremont Graduate University tells talking points memo, quote, “Claremont Graduate University has no student or education record for any individual named Christine O‘Donnell.” Eight years ago, she did receive a fellowship from the Claremont Institute, a conservative think-tank with no affiliation with the university. As for Oxford, an O‘Donnell spokesperson told the “Washington Post” that she took a course, on the Oxford campus ran by the Phoenix Institute. A Phoenix spokesperson said, quote “We never represented it as a course ran by Oxford University. It wasn‘t sponsored by Oxford University, we rented the space. It‘s misleading.”
Today, O‘Donnell said the information that was posted by someone else. Someone else posted that stuff. She wants the site to remove the profile and I think that this is the biggest bunch of baloney I‘ve ever heard. And I can‘t believe this candidate.
Joining me now is the reporter who covered all of this in the story. Christina Bellantoni of Talking Points Memo. This is one to follow, isn‘t it? It gets more interesting as she go along. Where did she go to school anyway, and did she ever graduate?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, TALKING POINTS MEMO: Hi, Ed. Well, Christine O‘Donnell did attend Farrell (ph) University and received her degree actually just a few weeks ago right before she defeated republican Mike Castle in the primary in Delaware. But there‘s a bigger issue here and that is just late-breaking news. That links did take down this profile. They said that they are not verifying whether or not it was a true profile created by the O‘Donnell campaign or O‘Donnell herself but the campaign did request that it would be taken down, so they‘ve done that tonight and more. Really trying to get to the bottom of this because it‘s difficult to see who created a profile. There‘s obviously a lot of privacy issues involved but certainly there‘s something going on.
SCHULTZ: All right, she suggested in a lawsuit that she was pursuing a master‘s degree at Princeton University. What‘s happening with this? Did she ever attend class at Princeton?
BELLANTONI: No, this was a lawsuit where she alleged that she‘d been discriminated against for her gender, and in the very detailed lawsuit in which she at first filed by herself and then had a lawyer amend the lawsuit, she said that her employer had prevented her from attending graduate course work at Princeton. Now, this is also, she at this point, had not earned her undergraduate degree, as we just mentioned, she just received that a few weeks ago. So, she now says that that was an error by her lawyer and now, of course as I mentioned she filed it herself and then got a lawyer later. So, there‘s a lot of sort of passing the buck here of what it was and it could all just be a big misunderstanding but when you put all of the instances together, it does cause reporters to ask more questions about her background.
SCHULTZ: Christina Bellantoni, great to have you with us tonight from Talking Points Memo. Thank you.
BELLANTONI: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our text survey I asked, do you think Republicans care more about saving money than educating kids? Ninety two percent of you said yes, eight percent of you said no. And before I say, that‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz.
I want to say this, there was a time in my life when I was 263 pounds but I‘ve really worked at it and I‘m down now to 247. But I want all of you to know that I‘m not only fat, I have red hair and grown up, they really picked on redheads where I came from and I‘m not offended by any of you who think that I‘m a fat slob.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on this Saturday‘s One Nation march in Washington, D.C., you can go to my website wegoted.com. You can see the mission statement and all of the logistics, all the information there listed for you. I‘m going to be featured speaker there. I‘m looking forward to it. In fact, I just can‘t wait until October 2nd because it‘s all about November 2nd. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now in the place for politics, MSNBC. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.
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