Guests: Jon Ralston, Heidi Harris, James Clyburn, Richard Durbin, Ron Christie, Bill Press, Jonathan Alter, Alan Grayson
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW, live from Sin City, where Sharron Angle and Harry Reid have 24 hours to seal their fate.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Well, for the Democrats tomorrow, will it be high winds or a hurricane? And do they have disaster relief in the final hour?
I‘ll talk to the top journalist here in Nevada, and the only reporter Sharron Angle will face.
Across America, 10 Senate races are too close to call within the margin. Do the Democrats have the late-inning magic? We‘ll get reaction from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin out of Illinois, and I‘ll ask House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn about the Republican plan to impeach the president.
And more harassment on the campaign trail. This time it was against Alan Grayson, his supporter down in Florida. I‘ll show you the tape and we‘ll get to the story with the congressman later on in the show.
And the Vikings have cut Randy Moss. Wow!
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
I‘m coming to you live from Las Vegas, Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is on the ropes and really in a political fight for his life. This is the most important race in America, not just because the most important and most powerful man in the Senate may lose his seat, but because of who just might defeat Harry Reid.
I‘ve known Harry Reid for 10 years. This man is a fine gentleman. He‘s a hard worker, honest and sincere. And quite honestly I just cannot believe that he is in a dead white psycho-talking, Tea-Partying, press-dodging, politically dangerous candidate.
Sharron Angle is a heartbeat away from knocking out one of the most powerful Democrats in America. The latest Mason-Dixon/”Las Vegas Review-Journal” poll shows Angle ahead 49 percent to 45 percent within the margin.
Now, Harry Reid is used to nail-biters on election night. Take it back to 1998. He beat then-Congressman John Ensign by only 400 votes. Tomorrow‘s election should be no different. That‘s why I‘m here.
When I came out here a couple of weeks ago to interview Harry Reid in an exclusive, local political observers told me that this race could come down to less than a thousand votes. And I‘ve asked Reid that, and when he answered me, you could see it in his eyes. He knew what he was up against.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So she‘s lied about you.
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Oh, has she lied about you.
SCHULTZ: Sharron Angle has lied about Harry Reid?
REID: And fact-checkers prove it. Her anti-immigrant ads that she‘s run are baseless, without any foundation. The thing she said about my family, without any truth and veracity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Reid‘s seat is the biggest surprise for the Republicans in this election. They would like nothing more than to politically scalp the second Senate Democratic leader in six years.
Of course, Karl Rove is from Sparks, Nevada. He took out Daschle in 2004, and he has poured a bunch of outside money into this state trying to knock off Harry Reid here in 2010.
More than $50 million has been spent in this election, with most of it coming from out of state and corporate money. Those dollars have been the political steroids for Sharron Angle. It has not been the ground game.
She has spent them on TV, just hammering away at Harry Reid and deliberately destroying his record. And in the meantime, she has run one of the most unorthodox and amateurish campaigns I think we‘ve ever seen in American political history.
Media in this state have been reduced to airport journalism. She said there was a 2nd Amendment solution for taking the country back. She said it wasn‘t her job to create jobs. She told Hispanic kids they look like Asian kids.
And she wants to phase out Social Security, eliminate the Departments of Energy and Education. And let‘s not forget the IRS. She wants to repeal health care and every other part of the Obama agenda.
Angle wants all of this, but she doesn‘t think she needs to explain anything to anyone. She‘s the master of the Tea Party duck-and-cover strategy with the press. She is probably one of the most inaccessible candidates throughout this entire midterm season, someone who is seeking higher office.
And she wants to be one of the most powerful people in the country, the top 100, but refuses to talk to even her local media. It‘s all by selection. The only person Angle seems to be willing to talk to is our fellow talk show host, Heidi Harris, who is with me here tonight.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think.
Now, tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think a Republican-controlled Congress would help America? 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 Jon Ralston, The Las Vegas Sun‘s chief political columnist and the host of “Face to Face,” and Heidi Harris, radio talk show host here in Las Vegas, and the only journalist who regularly has access to Sharron Angle.
Mr. Ralston, good to have you with us. We‘ll start with you tonight.
You have recently written a column saying that you think that there is a way that Harry Reid could pull this out. Explain that to us.
JON RALSTON, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, “LAS VEGAS SUN”: Well, you mentioned the Mason-Dixon poll. There‘s a couple of other polls out just today, Ed, one that shows Angle up by one, another by three. But I don‘t believe any of this public polling. They all have problems with the samples.
So why do I think Harry Reid might pull this out? I think a few reasons.
One, he‘s the most resilient guy in the history of this state. You mentioned the Ensign race. He has had at least a couple of near-death experiences.
His turnout machine did manage to blunt the Republican enthusiasm in early voting. And those early voting numbers, even though a lot of the Republicans won‘t admit it, look pretty good for him.
And most of all, I think—and you mentioned some of the things, Ed -
what they‘ve been able to do to Sharron Angle in this scorched earth campaign that he‘s run against her since she won the primary on June 8th I think has given people enough pause that they will not vote for her. At least that‘s what I said as I crawled out on this prediction limb.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, how do you feel about that call by Mr. Ralston?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think there‘s some truth in what he‘s saying. As a matter of fact, I had a conversation with somebody just today who said, “I don‘t like Harry Reid, but I just can‘t make myself vote for Sharron Angle.”
So there are some people who feel that way, and I try to explained to him, “Hey, if you don‘t vote for her, you‘re giving Harry Reid another six years.” Some people just can‘t put the lever. Some people may have to hold their nose and vote for her like a lot of us did in 2008 with McCain.
This is an issue. But I think there are so people who are so mad at Harry, that they‘re willing to vote for Sharron just to get him out. And of course those numbers will be the ones that are telling.
And another thing to consider is that Sue Lowden had a three-point advantage in the early voting during the primary, and then Sharron came back and beat her by 14 points on Primary Day. I mean, who would have thought that would have happened?
So there‘s no way to know how many people will actually come out tomorrow. That will be the most telling, obviously.
SCHULTZ: I want to ask both of you, how do you think that this airport journalism that the media has been reduced to when it comes do accessibility, that they‘ve had to stake out at the airport to even get a glimpse of Sharron Angle, and then follow her and try to get some type of audio from her, I mean, fair-minded folks here in Nevada, Jon and Heidi, how does that play with fence-riders, do you think, with people that maybe haven‘t made up their mind that, if she‘s not willing to talk about the job that she wants, then why in the heck should we even vote for her?
What do you think about that, Jon?
RALSTON: Well, Ed, I think that the last incident in which she wouldn‘t answer questions about foreign policy and then said that she wouldn‘t give those answers until she was a senator, I think if people were fence-riders, if there are any of those left, that they might not have reacted well. But I have a real problem with the whole thing, Ed, because I think people might put those in our possession even below politicians and don‘t like the way that we confront people sometimes.
It‘s sad, but it‘s true. So I‘m not so sure that it doesn‘t got other way with some people. Yes, Sharron, stand up to the media. And so I‘m not sure that that really hurts her as much as you think it might.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Heidi?
HARRIS: Yes, I agree. I‘ve talked about it on my show, and I‘ve had a lot of people say, you know, “Cheers to you, Sharron, for not wanting to talk to the press.”
You know, we all know about that incident that happened with Joe Miller in Alaska, when some of the reporters were caught on tape trying to plot and scheme ways to make him look bad. And these are the kind of things that go around the country. I‘m not talking about any specific reporters here, but it does go on, and this is what makes a lot of candidates leery, because they feel as if the press is out to get them, and a lot of members of the press are not entirely fair.
SCHULTZ: Well, what about that? Let me ask both of you, do you think, Jon and Heidi, that the media here in Nevada has tried some underhanded scheme to try to get to Sharron Angle? I mean, has she been treated so poorly, that she won‘t even come forward and talk to reporters?
Jon, what about that?
RALSTON: I can‘t believe that Heidi‘s accusing me on national television of scheming against Sharron Angle, Ed. I‘m shocked and dismayed.
I actually interviewed Sharron Angle. I‘ve known Sharron Angle for years. I don‘t think that she thinks that, but I do think that there‘s a bunker mentality. And a lot of these Tea Party candidates, that it‘s the mainstream or lame stream media out to get them.
But the real story here is that a lot of them don‘t want to answer questions about basic policy because they want to stick to their talking points—the Constitution, Obamacare, bailouts, stimulus, and they can‘t get much beyond that. That is a fact. It‘s not spin. And so they don‘t want to answer those questions.
Now, I‘m going to give Heidi credit for something that a lot of these other conservative talk radio show hosts don‘t get credit for. She actually will try to push back on Sharron Angle.
Now, I‘m not saying that she‘s going to be confrontational, but she will ask good questions. Now, does she let them off of the hook?
I think there‘s a scheme going on there, Heidi.
HARRIS: Well, I can answer questions. But as you know, Ed, you do this for a living, the same thing that I can do. You can ask a horse all the questions you want to, but you can‘t make them answer the question. I mean, that‘s how it is, and I‘ve learned that a long time ago.
I had an event that I told you about a couple of weeks ago where I sat there for an hour and a half and asked Sharron in a room full of people, about 500, 600 people, every question under the sun about policy, and let her expound on her particular beliefs on it. Now, the press wasn‘t invited, but the public was there.
It‘s not that she‘s afraid to talk to the public. It‘s that she doesn‘t want to talk to reporters.
I don‘t get it, but then I talk for a living and I‘m not afraid I‘m going to say the wrong thing. I‘m in a different situation than a candidate whose words can be taken out of context. They can say whatever they want to me, they‘re not going to make me lose my job, so I‘m in a whole different realm.
I don‘t understand this whole campaign strategy, but here again, I‘m not on the inside of the campaign. So—
SCHULTZ: See, I don‘t think any part of the country has any lock on great people. I think you can find great people in Illinois, great people in New York, great people in Florida, great people all over America.
I think, you know, fair-minded Americans know that this country has thrived on debate. And we have been so insulated in past years from the truth.
And I really think from what I saw of Sharron Angle at the airport, she didn‘t not only not want to talk to the media, she didn‘t want to talk to anybody that came up to her and said, “Hi, Sharron.” She just kept walking right on through like she was afraid that there might be a “gotcha” moment, almost to the point of being paranoid.
Now, this is a picture of when I saw her in the airport. I went right up next to her there, and I was smiling because I knew what she was thinking. I knew how she was being so protective and the people around her were so nervous.
I‘m just wondering if there might be that 11th-hour voter that might just say, you know, I don‘t think I‘m getting the real deal with Sharron Angle here. I mean, I might not like Harry, but Harry‘s done some good stuff, and maybe this isn‘t the change we‘re looking for.
A final comment from both of you on that.
What do you think, Jon?
RALSTON: Well, I think it‘s a cumulative effect, Ed, in the sense that this whole bunker mentality of her campaign that started after the primary, because they were whipsawed between letting Sharron Angle be Sharron Angle, which could be a real problem, because while she‘s very sincere in some of her views, I think they don‘t help her in the general election. And trying to then change or massage some of those views, so it eventually got to the point where she started avoiding the media, stiff-arming the media.
And during the last 10 days, there‘s no doubt that the Reid campaign has tried to push that theme out there into the mainstream to get those, as you mentioned, 11th-hour voters and say, wait a second, she won‘t even talk about her plans on foreign policy. She says that she won‘t talk about her plans until she‘s a senator. They have pushed that, but to some extent it‘s a legitimate issue.
HARRIS: Well, a lot of the people who are going to vote for Sharron Angle listen to my show, and they hear her every single week address whatever particular issues have come up that week. So it‘s not as if she‘s speaking to the voters.
Maybe she‘s not speaking to the reporters as much as they want, obviously, but I don‘t think the voters care that much. As long as they‘re getting the answers they want from her, I think they feel as if they‘re getting what they want from her.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, am I hearing you say on THE ED SHOW that you think you‘re going to get Sharron Angle elected here in Nevada? Is that what I‘m hearing right here?
HARRIS: You know what? I hope she does get elected.
You know what? The fat lady ain‘t singing yet, but she‘s warming up, Ed. Wednesday morning we‘re all going to be partying here because Harry‘s going down. We‘re going to take out the trash tomorrow here in Nevada. I can‘t wait.
SCHULTZ: Jon Ralston, your call on that? What do you think?
RALSTON: Well, Ed, I think the real thing you need to do is if you have Dick Durbin on, ask him if he‘s in Nevada walking door to door for Sharron Angle. I‘m not so sure he and Schumer want Reid to be re-elected.
HARRIS: Yes. It‘s unseemly for Dick Durbin to be sitting up on the poll like a (INAUDIBLE) waiting while Harry Reid is riding. That‘s not nice.
SCHULTZ: I think Harry Reid has got one last big political swing in him, and I think he‘s going to pull this thing out.
Jon Ralston, Heidi Harris, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, “The Tan Man.” He‘s freaking out because President Obama called Republicans enemies? Oh, I love it. That‘s exactly what they are.
The Rand Paul stomper might be going to jail, but more Republican thuggery just exploded in Florida. I‘ll show you the tape and get reaction from Congresswoman Grayson.
Plus, Joe Miller thinks there‘s a sex offender conspiracy against him?
And Sarah Palin is the GOP establishment‘s worst nightmare.
It‘s all coming up.
Stay with us. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW, live from Las Vegas, here on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
On the eve of the midterm election, the forecast for the Democrats, well, it‘s not looking good. Our final NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll shows that 49 percent of likely voters want Republicans to control the Congress, while 43 percent favor the Democrats.
Well, there is nothing good about losing the House. This is, as I‘ve said all along on this program, about power and not governing, if this is what happens.
House Republicans are promising what, subpoenas? They may even be launching an investigation into the president‘s birthplace. It will be a rebirth of the Birthers, I think. And I think it—they might go so far as to try to impeach President Obama.
This is who they are. And my next guest predicted total gridlock in the Congress if Republicans take over the House.
Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the House majority whip, joins us here.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
What is your gut feeling going into tomorrow? There‘s been so many predictions out there. Will the Democrats keep the majority, in your opinion, in the House?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), MAJORITY WHIP: Well, Ed, thank you so much for having me back.
Let me say this—I have seen the polls that you just quoted. I‘ve also seen polls that indicate that if registered voters were to show up in the ratio that they are in the population, then they‘ll favor Democrats by two points.
So the question is, do we energize the voters to the point that they will show up at the polls tomorrow and keeping with their presence among registered voters? If that were to happen, we will maintain the majority in the House. Now, if only likely voters show up tomorrow, then I suspect that a wave will sweep over us. I just hope it will not be a tidal wave.
SCHULTZ: So, the bottom line here is that you say that the House is still within reach for the Democrats to maintain the majority.
Now, if that doesn‘t happen, do you think that they‘ll be as radical as some of the sound bites have been? Michele Bachmann talking about subpoenas, investigations. The Birthers have been out there from time to time swirling, saying that maybe impeachment is the route to go.
Do you think they‘ll go down that road, Jim?
CLYBURN: Yes, I do. I would hope that cooler heads will prevail. It will be up to the leadership to keep that from happening, but if the leadership is so intimidated by these Birthers, by these Tea Party people, until they react the way they have been reacting in the past, then we will be at total gridlock, there‘s no question about that.
I would hope that on both sides, cooler heads will prevail and we can have an orderly government going forward. That is true no matter which one of us were to retain or be in the majority, because it‘ll be close. And it‘s going to be so close, a couple of votes on either side could very well tilt the outcome of any issue. So it is going to be incumbent upon the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans to try to keep sanity involved in this process.
SCHULTZ: Well, how much sanity is in this comment? John Boehner, if he becomes the Speaker, this is what he said recently on a cable show.
“This is not a time for compromise. And I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles. To the extent the president wants to work with us in terms of our goals, we‘d welcome his involvement.”
Isn‘t that an ultimatum, that we‘re going to iron—we‘re going to govern with an iron fist and it‘s going to be our way or the highway? Isn‘t that how you take that, Congressman?
CLYBURN: Yes, that‘s exactly how I take that. And there‘s always time for compromise, always room for compromise.
I hope that‘s just political rhetoric. The fact of the matter is, that sounds a little bit like Newt Gingrich to me, and we all know what happened with his leadership.
So I would say to anybody who is approaching, legislating, trying to run this country, there‘s always going to be your way, there‘s only your principles that are involved, we all have sets of principles. We all have a sets of experiences, and all of us are just as intelligent as the other when it comes to governing.
So we ought to be sitting down, listening to each other, working with each other, treating each other as we would like to be treated. And I think we can have a good, sane governmental process going forward. But this stuff that we will not compromise our principles, I‘ve got principles, too.
SCHULTZ: We will see how it all plays out, to see if that resonates with progressive voters in this country, if they take a disliking to that heavy-handed comment by John Boehner.
Jim Clyburn, congressman from South Carolina.
Great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW. Good luck to you. I appreciate it.
Coming up, Tea Party lightweight Tom Tancredo wants to get paid for doing nothing? Well, we‘re going to punch his time card into “The Zone,” where he belongs.
That‘s next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, it‘s “Tommy the Tankster.” Former congressman Tom Tancredo, well, he wants to return to government work as Colorado‘s next governor. But like most of his Tea Partying buddies, he doesn‘t think government should actually do anything.
Listen to what he told David Asman on Fox Business the other day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ASMAN, FOX BUSINESS: There is this arrogance, this sort of thing, I don‘t care what you think, I‘m going to do what I think is best for you. We see it up from the top, from the White House. We see it from Congress.
TOM TANCREDO ®, COLORADO GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I spent 10 years in Congress. I can certainly see it there.
There is this sort of elitist idea that seeps into the head of a lot of people who get elected, and they begin to think of themselves as really there for only one purpose, and that‘s to make laws. And why would you make laws? Well, because you know better than anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tancredo thinks it‘s elitist for lawmakers to want to make laws?
Now, if you were interviewing for a job and you said, “Please hire me, I‘m the best person for this position, I promise to sit around and do nothing,” now, you‘d be laughed out of the interview, right? Well, that‘s how the real job market works.
But this is exactly what these Tea-Partying righties are doing. They want you to elect them so they can go to Washington and do nothing. They want to be a party of the government so that they can shut it down? All right.
For Tom Tancredo to say it‘s elitist for lawmakers do their job, that is “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, it‘s the Ali/Frazier of the political arena right here in Las Vegas. Will Sharron Angle throw a last-minute sucker punch at Harry Reid, or will Harry Reid float like a butterfly or sting like a bee?
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin will give us his take when we come back in “The Battleground” story tonight.
Joe Miller, I‘ll tell you what, he just dished out another dandy. He‘s accusing the media of smearing him with a sex offender scandal. Now, why should I believe this liar? We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response.”
Plus, more Republican thuggery caught on tape. And I prove Christine O‘Donnell is not ready for prime time as expected.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC, live from Las Vegas. Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW from Las Vegas tonight, “The Battleground” story this evening, well, the U.S. Senate is up for grabs. Many races have tightened to virtual dead heats in the final weeks. Democrats are hoping their ground game will make the difference against all this money that‘s pouring into all these Senate seats across the country. But even if they stay in control, Democrats could be facing a major leadership change if Majority Leader Harry Reid loses here in Las Vegas in Nevada, to Sharron Angle. They could also be forced to deal with the newly empowered Tea Party contingent led by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
Folks, we could be looking at an unprecedented levels of extremism and obstruction in the United States Senate. For more, let‘s bring in Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. In this 11th hour.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN, SENATE MAJORITY WHIP: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. You‘ve known Harry Reid for a long time. Is he going to win this race and with why should people vote for him?
DURBIN: I think Harry Reid is going to win. He‘s waged a spirited campaign and there are two good reasons for him to win. He is a son of Nevada. He loves that state. And every time he talks on the floor of the Senate about national issues, it‘s in the context of Nevada and the people that live there that he represents. Secondly, in a struggling economy in a state like Nevada, needs Harry Reid in Washington. Harry Reid delivers, bringing back the resources and projects that are creating good-paying jobs of Nevada. I think that‘s something that in this economy, people really appreciate.
SCHULTZ: Why is he going to win? You‘re saying tonight, Senator Durbin, that you think Harry Reid is going on win. Why do you think he can pull it out against all of these millions of dollars that have poured in from around the country? Karl Rove heading up these groups that are just targeting the Senate majority leader.
DURBIN: Well, it goes beyond the fact that he‘s wage aides strong campaign and he has a great get-out-the-vote effort. Take a look at some of the positions his opponents has taken. I mean, this idea of privatizing or eliminating Social Security? You know, that‘s an idea rejected by the Senate a few years ago and the Tea Party candidates like his opponent have suggested that they want to go back to this idea. Privatize Social Security, if we would have done that three years ago, the Social Security trust fund would have gone broke on Wall Street. We don‘t need to have that happen. Harry Reid understands how important Social Security and Medicare are, for not only seniors, but their families all across America.
SCHULTZ: Senator, a lot of experts are predicting that it‘s going to be a big bloodletting for the Democrats tomorrow. Do you see it any differently?
DURBIN: We‘re going to lose some ground, I‘ll be honest with you, most of year elections, the president‘s party loses some ground in Congress. At the end of the day, I think the Senate‘s are—the Senate will still be in the democratic majority control. I think Harry Reid is going to be re-elected from Nevada. And I believe that we‘ll be ready to work with the president, with those on the Republicans‘ side who want to work with us. We really need some people, Ed, who will step across the aisle, and try to work with us to solve some of the important problems solving our country.
SCHULTZ: Well, Senator Durbin, that isn‘t the attitude that‘s been portrayed by the Republicans. In fact, across the aisle, Mitch McConnell is gone so far to say that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” I mean we‘ve got a jobless situation in this country that is unbelievable right now. What‘s your response to that kind of an attitude and that‘s really the only part of the comment we‘ve got it here is the most important single thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president, how do you take that?
DURBIN: Well, I was disappointed by that statement but I wasn‘t surprised. If you look at Senator McConnell‘s approach with the republican leadership in the Senate over the last two years, that‘s exactly what their agenda has been. They‘ve opposed us on everything. They‘ve refused to sit down and work with us in creating jobs across this country and the recovery program. They refuse to sit down and work with us in trying to reduce the cost of health care for families and businesses in every level of government.
They refuse to work with us so that we can straighten up the mess on Wall Street and not face another recession because of some of the misdeeds that we‘ve seen in the past. In not one single instance would the republican leadership step up and work with us. So I wasn‘t surprised by that comment, it really reflects what Senator McConnell‘s attitude is been. He just says no to everything.
SCHULTZ: Senator there‘s been some real tough primary fights leading up to this midterm. One of them in Colorado, Andrew Romanoff and also Senator Bennet. That race is too close to call right now. Buck is leading. How extreme is Buck, and how big of a loss would this be, seeing some of the things that he has said, which I think is in the neighborhood of Sharron Angle?
DURBIN: Well, I can tell you this, I don‘t know Mr. Buck very well at all but I sure know Michael Bennet, this is a quality person. When it comes to education reform across the United States, he was a national leader, he knew that basically we had to reach a point where we reformed our schools, provide better education, prepare our kids for the jobs in the 21st century. And he brought that background and that knowledge to the United States Senate. Michael Bennet is an important part of our future in the Senate. I hope the voters in Colorado will give him a chance to return and be the senator for the next six years.
SCHULTZ: Senator Durbin, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.
DURBIN: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories. The Nevada Senate race is too close to call, but the Democrats are already asking, who will take over for Harry Reid if he loses to Sharron Angle? That‘s way ahead of the curve but we‘ll talk about it.
The republican establishment is conspiring to keep Sarah Palin from jumping into the 2012 presidential race? That‘s about the smartest thing I‘ve heard them doing in a long time.
And Joe Miller‘s campaign is accusing a local news station of trying to smear him with stories involving sex offenders and campaign violence.
With us tonight, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, my friend, Bill Press, and also Ron Christie, republican strategist. Ron, you‘re my friend too we just disagree.
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: All right, gentlemen.
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: He‘s my friend too.
SCHULTZ: .here we are. Let‘s take a look at the numbers in Nevada, if we can. Sharron Angle, 49-45. She leads in the last poll, Jon Ralston said, there‘s some new polling out here today, locally that shows Harry Reid is within one. Considering how he has won close races in the past, Bill Press, how do you call this one?
PRESS: I call it for Harry Reid, Ed, for a couple of reasons. Number one, you know the culinary workers union owns Las Vegas. The biggest union, most active union, one of them in the country, they‘ve got a tremendous operation out there that they‘ve built for the caucuses for Barack Obama. I think they‘re going to turn out the vote, we‘ve already seen it in the early voting. And secondly, I‘ve been out there lately a couple of times. They‘ve really been hard hit in this economy. I don‘t think they‘re going to trade the most powerful man in the United States Senate who can deliver for Nevada for a woman who will have no respect, won‘t even be able to find her way to the lady‘s room in Washington.
SCHULTZ: Ron Christie, how big a blow to the Democrats would this be if they lost the majority leader, their democratic leader, for the second time in six years? They‘ve got Daschle in ‘04, they could get Harry tomorrow here in Nevada in ‘10, how big of a loss would that be in your opinion for the Democrats?
CHRISTIE: I think it would be a huge repudiation of the policies and politics that we‘ve seen out of the democratic majority for the last two years, Ed. I think the fact that Harry Reid is not been able to break 50 percent approval rating in his home state for about the last year now is very telling. I do agree with Bill that the unions are going to do everything they can to go out and set out the vote and get people to go—mobilize and go to the polls but it underscores a bigger problems with Democrats right now. The democratic—the last two majority leaders as he pointed out have been repudiated and I think particularly if the Republicans win the House tomorrow night, President Obama is going to have to change course, otherwise he could find the same fate to befall him in 2012.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Bill?
PRESS: Yes, well, first of all, let‘s wait and see what happens. But look, you know, if the Republicans were to win the House tomorrow, everybody says, Obama is going to have to change course from the beginning, Ron. President Obama has tried to reach out to Republicans on health care, on Wall Street reforms, on immigration reform that they supported under George W. Bush, the very same program, they supported then, they don‘t support now. So I don‘t think how it can get any worse for President Obama than they‘ve treated him the last two years. It‘s going to be total—if they take over, it‘s going to be total gridlock, total obstruction, nothing done.
CHRISTIE: Which would be a mistake. Go ahead, Ed.
SCHULTZ: OK, Ron, let‘s talk about Sarah Palin. Would it be wise for the republican establishment to try to deep sick Sarah Palin when it comes to getting the nomination in 2012? What do you think?
CHRISTIE: Well, I think, this is a headline in the Politico without a real story behind it. If you look at this story, they said, oh the republican establishment wants to sidetrack her and sideliner, there were no quotes attached to that. Look, I think that all three of us would agree. If you have something to say and if you want to criticize Sarah Palin or praise her, put your name behind that quote but these unnamed sources and these unattributed quotation marks I think are cowardly. I do think Sarah Palin has a very important to playing the feature, it‘s going to be up to her to see what that is. But I personally don‘t think she‘ll going to run for president. I just don‘t see it.
PRESS: You know, Ed, I have to tell you, I agree with Ron, it‘s
really chicken for these guys to say, we‘re out to get Sarah Palin without
without saying it publicly. But, I‘d also warn them that they‘d be careful with what they‘re doing here, because look the republican establishment went out and they lost in Alaska. They lost in Delaware. They lost in Kentucky. They lost in Colorado. You know, and probably a couple of other states, right? So the republican establishment hasn‘t been so good yet in taking on the Tea Party.
CHRISTIE: Bill, we agree. We agree. You‘re absolutely right and that‘s the danger that they have. They‘re too many people in Washington. I think they have been around too long. They could get swept out themselves that they ignore. The Tea Party and people who feel the government is out of touch.
PRESS: And for the record, I hope Sarah Palin wins. I hope she is the nominee. I look forward to that.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s the fear that the establishment has.
PRESS: Of course.
SCHULTZ: That she would absolutely butcher the ticket and would walk Barack Obama right back in the White House for another four years.
SCHULTZ: All right. Gentlemen, let‘s go to North, to Alaska. This really I think is one of the most interesting scenarios that‘s unfolding in this political season. You have got Scott McAdams a relatively unknown candidate who has done the due diligence, worked hard, he‘s at 29 percent, Joe Miller now down at 23 percent. Miller is accusing a local news station now, blaming the media, for trying to smear him with—involving sex offenders in campaign violence but the numbers are telling.
Murkowski at 34 who‘s a write-in, that has to be logistically a long
shot. Because of the way it‘s got to be counted and the way it has to be -
the due diligence of it. The way they have to right the name, can‘t misspell it, can‘t take any material with you into the ballot box—into the voting booth. McAdams at 29. And Joe Miller fading. Bill Press, this could be a quick pick up for the Democrats. How do you see it?
PRESS: Absolutely. First of all, you have to throw out there too. The Republican Party as Ron though says, officially disavowed Miller. I mean, they‘re putting their money behind Murkowski now. I think Adams‘ wins it. He‘ll come in number second in the popular vote. I think enough votes could be thrown out for Murkowski that Scott McAdams is going to be the next senator or maybe Lisa Murkowski but not Joe Miller but just say one thing about that tape, Ed. I looked at that tape and that tape has Breitbart TV on it.
PRESS: And anything from Andrew Breitbart, you cannot believe. It‘s a phony tape.
SCHULTZ: Ron, what do you think?
CHRISTIE: Well, unfortunately, I think this is my race to watch for tomorrow night and it‘s not going to be decided tomorrow night. I think Lisa Murkowski was a sore loser. I think that if she‘d stayed out of this, the Republicans would have held that seat. As you pointed out, Ed, she has to run the table on this. People have to spell her name properly on those write-in ballots. I don‘t think it happens. I think Miller is fading. And I think the Democrats could pick up a seat that the Republicans never should have lost. And it‘s a shame, due to I think the arrogance and the selfishness of Lisa Murkowski. She lost fair and square.
SCHULTZ: All right. And let the record be—let it be stated here tonight that the three of us had a very civil conversation, pretty academic, going into the big battle tomorrow, but Ron, if you guys take the House, we‘re battling on Wednesday.
CHRISTIE: I‘m looking forward to it, my friend. Get ready to put your boxing gloves on, Ed.
SCHULTZ: All right. Ron Christie, Bill Press, always a pleasure.
Great have you with us.
CHRISTIE: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, all right, the tan man, well I think he‘s a crybaby. He can‘t stand the heat so he‘s whining about President Obama calling him the enemy. That‘s next on my “Playbook.”
And harassment is not limited to Rand Paul supporters. I‘ll show you your new video of another republican bully down in Florida. 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 a republican-controlled Congress would help America? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. Results coming up, stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, President Obama is stepping up the tough talk and House Minority Leader John Boehner, well, he can‘t seem to handle it. The tan man is attacking the president for talking about political enemies, while emphasizing the importance of the Latino vote in a recent radio interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we‘re going to punish our enemies and we‘re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don‘t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it‘s going to be harder and that‘s why I think it‘s so important that people focus on voting on November 2nd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tonight at a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Boehner plans to go after the president for those comments and we‘re told he‘s going to say, quote, “Sadly, we have a president who uses the word enemy for fellow Americans. Mr. President, there is a word for people who have the audacity to speak up in defense of freedom, the constitution, and the values of limited government that made our country great. We don‘t call them enemies, we call them patriots.”
There‘s nothing wrong in my opinion with President Obama calling the Republicans enemies when it comes to politics. Because that‘s what they are. Republicans have called President Obama a Marxist, they‘ve compared him to Hitler and they‘ve said he‘s a more serious threat than Al Qaeda? That was just last week. On top of that Republicans are obstructionists who have no interest in getting anything done on behalf of the American people. It‘s been a record number of filibusters in the Senate and they belong in the backseat. President Obama kept the tough talk going yesterday at an event in Cleveland, Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Republican leader of the House says, “this is not a time for compromise.” That‘s a quote. The republican leader of the Senate said, his main goal for the next two years, his top priority is to win the next election and to beat me. His priority is not to get economy moving, it‘s not to create jobs, it‘s not to reduce the deficit, his top priority is to win the next election. We haven‘t even finished this election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: For more, let‘s bring in Jonathan Alter, national affairs columnist for “Newsweek” and MSNBC political analyst. Jonathan, how does this 11th-hour rhetoric play? I mean, this is a verbiage that we have not heard the president use in recent months, and now here we are close to the election, he‘s really getting after it. How do you play it?
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it‘s great that he‘s getting very tough. I do think it was a mistake to use that word enemies because it just creates this kind of flap. It gives Boehner an opportunity to play the victim, shed these ludicrous crocodile tears that they like to do. It‘s like when Karl Rove said that Obama suggesting foreign money might make its way into this campaign was, quote, “beyond the pale.” They‘re trying to make it seem as if the Democrats are playing dirtier than the Republicans, which is preposterous, but I don‘t think it‘s helpful to give them an excuse to say that at the 11th hour.
SCHULTZ: Now, the president, he is attune where right involved in what these guys are saying, he‘s using actual quotes.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that will connect with voters?
SCHULTZ: The undecided is out there.
ALTER: Yes. I actually think that‘s helpful that last bite that we just saw because what McConnell said, well, he said, quote, this is a quote, “the single most important thing for the next two years is getting rid of Obama.” The single most important thing in our whole country? And I think to harp on that quote is really—harp on that quote, I think it‘s actually a really good idea for Democrats in these closing hours. Because it conveys the utter cynicism of the Republicans in this campaign. That they actually believe that, as the president said, that winning the next election, when we haven‘t even had this one yet, is there number one top priority. It tells you how patriotic they are.
SCHULTZ: And quickly, Jonathan, your insights on how the president and the first lady have done everything they can to help Harry Reid here in Nevada. We have seen an unprecedented amount of money and effort to take out a Senate democratic leader. How do you think it‘s going to play out, what‘s your call on that race?
ALTER: You know, I guess I think that Reid will win by a hair. But I sure wouldn‘t bet anything on it. I wouldn‘t even bet five cents on it. It‘s so close. But you got to—you‘ve got to give both Reid for what he did for Obama and Obama for appreciating and being grateful for all of the help he got for Reid, loyalty does still count in politics.
SCHULTZ: Yes, it does. Jonathan Alter, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
ALTER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: One final page in the “Playbook” tonight, Christine O‘Donnell really is not ready for primetime. Her campaign produced a half-hour TV commercial to run last night, and it never made it to air. Kind of like her campaign. But they bought the time at a local access station and they forgot to air it. It was slated to run again this morning, and believe it or not, well, they forgot to run it again. That‘s her campaign.
Coming up, thuggish behavior has erupted all over the country. Well, ahead of this election, it‘s been unbelievable. And it just happened again. This republican was caught on tape nearly assaulting an Alan Grayson supporter. The congressman sounds off, on all of it. Next on THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, the United States Congress is going to become more extreme. You have to realize that some of these Tea Partiers are going to win tomorrow night and the more level-headed members of the Congress are going to have to deal with colleagues who refuse to compromise. And whose supporters think that it‘s OK to physically attack people who disagree with them.
More republican bullying was just caught on tape. Congressman Alan Grayson supporter was nearly assaulted by a Daniel Webster supporter. You can see him ripping the sign out of his hands. What for, buddy? Chill out.
For more let‘s bring in Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida. Congressman, why are people around the country acting like this, kicking women? Cops throwing a guy up against the car? Throwing him out of a town hall that was advertised by a congressional member? Why is it like this in America, congressman?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Ed, this is nothing new. The rabid right wing has been attacking and assaulting people who look different from them or think different from them for roughly a hundred years now. I don‘t think it‘s going to stop anytime soon.
SCHULTZ: Have your supporters felt uneasy out and about with these Webster people doing this kind of stuff?
GRAYSON: Absolutely. Ed, I think any rational, normal human being would. They try to win through intimidation, physical intimidation. That‘s how they work.
SCHULTZ: Have you debated your opponent recently or has that been of the table?
GRAYSON: No, he‘s been hiding from debates. He thinks that he doesn‘t have to do that because he thinks he‘s going to be swept into power. But his shadowy right wing groups who ran $2 million of ads in my district against me, all negative, all horrible, all lying. All he has to do is stay at home through that experience and he thinks he‘s going to get it. These right wingers think they can elect a ham sandwich.
SCHULTZ: Will the House stay with the Democrats in your opinion?
GRAYSON: I think in might be close. I honestly don‘t know the polls are all over the place. And I don‘t know what to think myself at this point. But I do know that America needs the Democrats because they need a party with a conscience.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. All of the best to you in your race.
GRAYSON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: In our text survey tonight, I asked, do you think a republican-controlled Congress would help America? Twenty six percent of you said, yes. Seventy four percent of you said, no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Tomorrow night, we have special election coverage starting right here at 6:00 Eastern. I‘ll be right here in Las Vegas all night. It could be a long one. Joining us here on MSNBC. The place for politics.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on MSNBC. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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Copyright 2010 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>