Guests: Byron Dorgan, Anthony Weiner, Scott Paul, Jack Rice, Heidi Harris,
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Mike Papantonio
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Mr. President, the American people picked you to run the country.
They want you to be in charge. So stop kowtowing to the Republicans.
You get tough, you‘ll get a better outcome. I guarantee it. I hear the voices every day on the radio show.
My commentary on that, plus straight talk from Senator Byron Dorgan on that issue in just a moment.
Future majority leader Eric Cantor is refusing to take a complete shutdown of the government off the table.
Now, folks, you do know that if this were to happen, it would seriously hurt millions of Americans. Congressman Anthony Weiner, he‘ll be here to sound off on that.
And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is leaving the door wide open for a presidential run in 2016? No, no, no. It‘s 2012. That‘s what I think. And just remember, this guy across the river, he‘s after the New Deal. He‘s just what they want on the ride.
This is the story that has me fired up tonight. Republicans are already calling the shots in Washington. And President Obama, I think, needs to remember that he is still in charge.
Less than a week after the midterms, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell, well, they‘re just on the offensive every day, drawing lines in the sand and telling their constituents this is how we‘re going to really do it to the president. You know, we‘re going to get our agenda through. It‘s making the president, I think, look weak.
Now, he‘s overseas doing what he‘s got to do. No question about it. Very presidential and it‘s very important. But the fact is, here at home it‘s just a daily chip away at the Democratic agenda.
For starters, Republicans are on a mission to make all the Bush tax cuts permanent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER: We‘re willing to start talking about getting an extension of some kind so that taxes don‘t go up on anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR ®, MINORITY WHIP: I am not for raising taxes in a recession, especially when it comes to job creators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: Let‘s make sure we extend all of the current tax rates for all Americans. That will begin to reduce the uncertainty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Does it sound like compromise to you? If Republicans, if they get their way, it will blow a $4 trillion hole in the budget over the next decade.
You know, when you‘re in business, you have, like, a one-year plan, a three-year plan, a five-year plan. Well, here‘s the 10-year plan.
That number, $4 trillion, is more than the Iraq War, the stimulus package, the auto industry loan, and the health care bill. Let‘s just throw them all into one. You think that‘s big spending?
Now, President Obama has all of the facts on his side, but it seems like he‘s constantly on defense. Steve Kroft asked the president about the Bush tax cuts on “60 minutes.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE KROFT, “60 MINUTES”: Congressman Boehner offered you a compromise back in September. He suggested extending the tax break for the wealthiest for two more years and rolling back discretionary government spending to levels before the bailout in 2008.
Is that something that you could live with?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that when we start getting specific like that, there‘s a basis for a conversation. I think that what that means is that, you know, we can look at what the budget projections are. We can think about what the economy needs right now, given that it‘s still weak. And hopefully we can agree on a set of facts that leads to a compromise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But, you see, weeks ago that was that was suggestion. Now it‘s for all Americans. Now the Republicans have changed the goal post on us.
Compromise? Boehner isn‘t interested in facts. He knows that he‘s got the president backed into a corner.
The Republicans draw a line in the sand on every single issue, and they have done that over the last two years. And President Obama, to me, anyway, seems to keep backing away from it.
Kroft went on to ask the president about his relationship with the new leadership, McConnell and Boehner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KROFT: You, I would say, don‘t have a very close relationship with Mr. McConnell, Senator McConnell, and Congressman Boehner. What do you think of these guys?
OBAMA: Both John and Mitch are very smart, they‘re capable. They have been able to, I think, organize the Republican caucus very effectively in opposition to a lot of the things that we tried to did over the last two years, and that takes real political skill. You know, my assumption is that we‘re going to be able to work together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wow. I‘m sitting at the dinner table last night, I‘m watching this, and I almost choked on my spaghetti, which is a hard thing to do. The president thinks it takes political skill to say no to everything?
I mean, I think for the president to come out and say he wants to work with Republicans, obviously it‘s the diplomatic thing to do. He‘s the president of the United States. He can‘t be the obstructionist. But the time for statesmanship in this new era of politics in Washington, that ended a long time ago.
There‘s no way in hell the Republicans are going to do anything when it comes to compromise, especially with this president. And I think that he knows it, but he feels the need to try to change the tone in Washington.
But at this point, Mr. President, Americans don‘t care about tone. They care about jobs. They care about economic fairness. They care about trying to get rid of the people who are trying to destroy your administration and every accomplishment that you‘ve had.
And the clock is ticking on the Democratic majority. Unless Congress acts, millions of people are going to lose their unemployment benefits by December 1st. And if they don‘t pass a stop-gap funding measure by December 3rd, the government‘s going to go broke.
Now, the Republicans don‘t care about any of that. They‘re on a mission to destroy the middle class, grab power back, and blame it all on President Obama for his policies.
I mean, I think it‘s long overdue. We‘ve got to stop glad-handing the right, glad-handing Boehner and McConnell, and just don‘t go down that road. I want the president to be somewhat of an obstructionist, to draw some lines in the sand.
Now, remember, if we can‘t get a line in the sand on tax cuts, what are we going to do? I mean, if we‘ve got this terrible fiscal situation that the country‘s facing, and we‘re not willing to pay for it, then who‘s going to pay for it? And when is that going to happen?
Remember Senator Ted Kennedy when he was on the Senate floor fighting for minimum wage? He said, “When does the greed stop?” If the Democrats can‘t answer that question now, when are they going to be able to answer it?
This is time between now and the next session of Congress. And I know there‘s going to be a lame-duck Congress coming up here in the next few weeks, until the first of the year, and they‘re going to maybe do some things. But this is a real time for the Democrats and progressives, liberals in this country to do some serious soul-searching about what we want to do about the way they want to run this country.
They are after the New Deal. They are out to wipe off everything and wipe out anything that FDR had put into this country, and also what President Obama has tried to maintain.
So the soul-searching has got to come from all of these folks who are out there on the Internet, all of these folks that are upset that President Obama and the Democrats didn‘t do enough and that‘s why they stayed home. That‘s why we lost so many seats, because we‘re down at the mouth.
Wait a minute. If we get some strong leadership, I think a lot of things can change. But I don‘t see it coming right now. And there‘s a story about outsourcing that we‘re going to do later in this broadcast that I just—I can‘t believe what I‘m hearing.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think on this issue tonight.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you agree with President Obama that Republican leaders want the best for the country? 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 North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, who is leaving the Senate. He‘s the chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. And after 40 years, he‘s going to go have another life and another career.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH DAKOTA: Hey, Ed.
SCHULTZ: There seems to be a real culture that has developed that the Republicans not only say no to everything, but they give ultimatums.
What do the Democrats have to do to stand up to this? What has to change? What has to happen, in your opinion?
DORGAN: Well, look, the president has been right on this tax issue all along. What he has said is there is no excuse for us to continue to give $80,000-a-year tax cuts to people that make $1 million a year when we have a $13 trillion debt and a $1.3 trillion annual deficit. And yet that represents the Republican leadership‘s highest priority.
I mean, you‘ve lost your claim to talk about you‘re concern about the federal budget, debt and deficits if you‘re pushing for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. It makes no sense to me, and the president‘s been right about this all along.
SCHULTZ: Don‘t you think the president—or I don‘t want to put words in your mouth, but I think the president is somewhat naive if he thinks that the Republicans are going to work with him on anything after working with him on nothing.
DORGAN: Well, the clip you showed, I think the president was being diplomatic. I think that‘s what you suggested. And I‘m sure that‘s the case.
But the Republicans have blocked almost everything for two years now. And, you know, what I think the president needs at this point is some help from the American people.
I hope the American people who hear this debate will jam the phone lines of those people who are saying, our highest priority at a time when we‘re up to our neck in debt is to give more tax cuts to people that are at the highest income levels in our country. That ought not be the highest priority. It ought to be the lowest priority. Let‘s have them pay their taxes and help get this country back on track.
SCHULTZ: Along the lines of ideological beliefs, 41 percent of Republicans think it‘s important to stick to their beliefs. I mean, I find that a very high number. And then 59 percent of Democrats think it‘s more important to compromise.
Now, there‘s a time to compromise, but then there‘s a time to say no, we‘re not going to do that. I think that there are a lot of liberals in this country who think that President Obama can‘t put the hammer down on these guys and is constantly going to be saying, well, let‘s compromise, let‘s work on it, and come away with nothing.
I mean, shouldn‘t President Obama, for the sake of his own base, get tougher on these guys, even in the first week?
DORGAN: Yes. He‘s not going to go give up on this, but he needs some help from the American people as well, Ed. I mean, we need people to weigh in on this. The absurdity of very large tax cuts going to the wealthiest Americans at a time when we‘re choking on debt makes no sense.
If I may make one other point to you, the other thing we ought to do, we‘ve got these tax breaks that go to those that ship American jobs overseas. All the Republicans voted against my efforts to shut down those tax breaks. What I‘d like to do is shut them down and use the money from that to be able to incentivize American companies that stay here and hire American citizens here and produce products that say “Made in America” here.
That‘s the way to put this country back on track.
SCHULTZ: But, Senator, if they do that, then we‘d actually create jobs, and then President Obama would get credit for it, and that‘s not the mission. The mission is to defeat him.
Do you agree with that?
DORGAN: That‘s the mission. That‘s what majority leader—excuse me
Minority Leader McConnell said, the highest priority. Think of all the problems and challenges we face. The highest priority for him is to make sure that the president doesn‘t get a second term? That‘s unbelievable.
SCHULTZ: Senator Byron Dorgan, good to have you with us tonight.
DORGAN: Thanks. Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: It sounds like Democrats have definitely got to get a strategy before next year. Thanks so much.
Coming up, Eric Cantor is, I think, a coward. I mean, he‘s already angling for a government shutdown and blaming it on the president.
Congressman Anthony Weiner, we‘ll call him out on that in just a moment.
President Bush is sucking up the “Slant Head” across the street and throwing “Shooter” under the bus. Boy, have times changed. I‘ll show you the tape and get reaction from The Nation‘s Katrina vanden Heuvel coming up in “The Playbook.”
Plus, righties are ripping Sarah Palin. And Lindsey Graham wants to neuter Iran?
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Well, coming up, a year ago President Obama screamed for jobs in Buffalo, not Bangalore. But all I saw today was him playing nice with the prime minister.
He praised India for creating American jobs and blamed outsourcing concerns on stereotypes? What?
Mr. President, with all due respect, U.S. companies are shipping jobs over to India. That is a fact. Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing, sounds off on that in “The Battleground” story coming up.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
We‘re not even a week out from the midterm elections, and the Republicans are already threatening to shutdown the government.
Here is the future majority leader, Eric Cantor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”:” Are you willing to say right now we‘re not going to let the country go into a default and we won‘t allow a government shutdown?
CANTOR: Well, look, Chris—look at this now. The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government. This person certainly, as he, in his own words, took a shellacking by the voters. They‘re looking at him to try and come to the middle and set aside this extreme agenda.
WALLACE: So you‘re saying, to flip it around, if there were to be a default on the debt or government shutdown, it‘s his responsibility, not yours?
CANTOR: I would say, Chris, it‘s as much as his responsibility. In fact, he is the one who sets the agenda as the chief executive and as the president of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What a coward. The president can‘t spend a dime. I mean, for Republicans, a government shutdown is just a political car bomb, in my opinion. I mean, they want to create dysfunction in Washington, as if there isn‘t any right now, and blame it on the president.
Eric Cantor doesn‘t give a damn about you or the middle class. A government shutdown would mean seniors would not get their Social Security checks.
How‘s that sit with you?
That Medicare payments, well, they‘d be stopped. Hundreds of thousands of civil employees and their families would be just left hanging until somebody in Congress decides, well, ,maybe we shouldn‘t do this.
Folks, this is the new Republican majority at work.
For more, let‘s bring in New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Congressman, is this government by fear? What is this? I mean, this is ludicrous, to threaten American families with financial strife because they want to get their political way.
What‘s your call?
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Well, I don‘t know why you‘d expect anything else. Let‘s remember the campaign they just ran. It‘s basically being against anything, a deconstructionist message to the extreme. So it should come as no surprise that they‘re against raising the debt limit.
Now, you left out one important thing when you were talking about the apocalyptic outcome of someone not raising the debt limit or not letting government function. You know, the full faith and credit of the United States currency is based upon the idea that we‘re good for our debts, and of course that we are. But if you start screwing around with that, they said they‘re not going to raise the debt limit, which is going to be kind of required for the government to keep functioning. They say they won‘t do that either.
But this is no mystery. You know, when you campaign for months and months on the things that you‘re against, and never lay out an affirmative agenda for what you‘re in favor of, of course you‘re probably not in favor of government continuing to run or our currency being supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. That should come as no surprise.
SCHULTZ: What should the president‘s response to this rhetoric be?
What should it be? What should he be saying now?
WEINER: You know, I just think that it‘s time for him to start punching back. You know, we should hit these guys with so many lefts, they‘re that begging for a right after a while.
I mean, I just think you‘ve got to start saying, look, they‘re bringing a challenge here. And their vision of government is to privatize Social Security, make Medicare into a voucher system, not raise the debt limit, and shut down the government. The president‘s agenda is different.
Now, you know, you‘ve got to dust yourself off at a certain point and
start pushing back for the things that we believe in. You know, I watched
that “60 Minutes” interview like you did, and too much of it was us saying
the president saying, oh, yes, oops, I‘m sorry about that. I‘ll try to do it your way a little bit more.
I don‘t think that‘s the tone that we should have right now.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Congressman, you watch the videotape of President Obama on the campaign trail, and then you watch that interview on “60 Minutes,” I know it‘s two different arenas, but it‘s almost like two different people.
I mean, last night the president did not tell the American people here‘s where we are and here‘s where we have to go, and this is what I want for America. And if he can‘t have resolve in every opportunity that he has to communicate with the American people, especially on a platform like that, how are we as liberals supposed to say, hey, we‘re in great shape for 2012?
WEINER: Right. And also, let‘s remember something else.
First of all, with all the votes cast in the country on Tuesday, November 2nd, it was about 55-45. The Democrats got beat. We got beat handily.
If even half of the president‘s supporters from 2008 showed up, half the amount of that gap showed up, we‘d be back to 50-50. Half the country doesn‘t believe what Eric Cantor wants to do. That‘s the bottom line.
And we have to stand up for that half of the country at the very least. And the point is this—you know, the president has to realize that the Republicans who are coming to town are basically the same that he‘s been dealing with for the last two years.
SCHULTZ: Exactly. Yes.
WEINER: They‘re going to vote “no” on stuff as long as they get away with it, even if it means shutting down the government.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, weigh in on the leadership battle that‘s starting to wage for the Democrats in the House. Will it be Nancy Pelosi? Will it be Steny Hoyer as the whip, or Jim Clyburn?
What do you think?
WEINER: Look, I think Nancy deserves to be able to make this decision. She‘s decided she‘s going to be our leader.
Let‘s remember something—before she was the Speaker, she was a heck of a minority leader that led us into the promised land. She‘s one of the most impressive people I‘ve ever met in public life.
As for the Hoyer/Clyburn race, my watch is running a little late. I think it‘s time to go soon.
SCHULTZ: Too tough to call. It‘s a hot political potato, no question about it.
Congressman, good to you have with us tonight. Thanks so much.
WEINER: Thanks, brother.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Russell Pearce, the father of Arizona‘s psycho racial profiling law, well, he‘s taking a crack at health care. How about that? Well, we‘re going to give him some intensive care next in “The Zone.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, the guy who wrote the Arizona immigration bill is back and more powerful than ever.
State Senator Russell Pearce already alienated his state‘s Hispanic population by basically legalizing racial profiling. Now he has been elected president of the Arizona Senate, and he‘s working on destroying the state‘s Medicaid program. He says he wants to turn down $7 billion in federal funding that would keep the program going.
Pearce was asked about it recently on a local news show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, are you saying that you‘re willing to let the one million people who get health care from the state through access just fend for themselves?
RUSSELL PEARCE, ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: What I‘m saying is you sometimes can‘t afford to take the federal money. Again, put it into context.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to say no to billions?
PEARCE: Hang on. It‘s like going to Dillard‘s. You don‘t have any money, but it‘s a great sell, so I‘m going to buy, ,but I have no money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you are willing to say no to those billions of dollars --
PEARCE: I don‘t think they‘ll—
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the one million people on access, what‘s their future?
PEARCE: Well, probably OK. That‘s my whole point. They‘ll probably be OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They‘ll probably be OK. Hell of an answer.
More than one million people use the state‘s Medicaid program. They can‘t stake their lives on probably.
This is what the Republican Party is all about as of late. They are more interested in playing political games than they are about helping people they are supposed to represent and help.
Putting the health of more than one million people in jeopardy so you can take an ideological stand against the federal government is nothing more than heartless “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, the president looks like he had a grand old time in India. Here‘s the reason why he shouldn‘t be kicking up his heels—American companies are shipping thousands of jobs overseas. That‘s next in tonight‘s “Battleground” story.
And Republicans are eating their own. Sarah Palin‘s on the menu. She‘s being blamed for destroying the party and not getting that Senate majority.
I‘ll have my take on that.
And, of course, George W. Bush. Well, he just felt the need to remind us that he‘s not Shakespeare.
And Chris Christie‘s thinking big about 2016.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. It‘s all coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Our “Battleground” story tonight, President Obama was over in India this weekend visiting all of the American jobs. But at a joint press conference with the Indian prime minister, he went out of his way to downplay the threat of outsourcing. He even praised India for helping create American jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I don‘t think you‘ve heard me make outsourcing a bogeyman during the course of my visit. In fact, I explicitly said in my address in Mumbai to the business council that I think both countries are operating on some stereo—some stereotypes that have outlived their youthfulness. Our countries have matched up in a way that allows for enormous win/win potential. So you mentioned that some of the deals that we have struck are ones that will create jobs in the United States. That‘s absolutely true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right, the United States says a series of new trade deals with India will create more than 50,000 jobs here in the United States. That‘s great. Trade is important, but American companies are still sending jobs overseas and it‘s devastated our economy over the past few decades. The bottom line is this, outsourcing is a direct threat to the American middle class. The president cannot afford to sidestep this problem and he‘s got to tackle it head-on.
Joining me now is Scott Paul, the executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing. He used some interesting phraseology there in that sound bite, Scott. What do you make of the president? Have we created more jobs here or have we shipped more jobs over there in dealing with India?
SCOTT PAUL, ALLIANCE FOR AMERICAN MANUFACTURING: Ed, I was going to say I think there‘s an awful lot of workers in office parks who now have pink slips who would disagree with the president on this one. I mean, there‘s no question that trade can create jobs but the fact is this, we‘ve consistently ran large trade deficits with India. Our trade deficit with India is going to be probably double this year than it was last year. And there‘s a lot of jobs that were at risk of losing, it‘s not only call centers but it‘s also high-tech R&D jobs. We have companies like Pfizer, Motorola, Intel that have located major research and development standards in India because they can pay a fraction the way just the government‘s practically, you know, giving the fact the space away. And we don‘t have a manufacturing policy or an innovation policy that puts us at a distinct advantage.
SCHULTZ: Well the president says we‘re operating under old stereotypes. Now the companies you were talking about, Motorola performs 40 percent of its software development in India. GM, Microsoft, Intel. Are we seeing more investment over there in the high-tech as opposed to over here?
PAUL: I think we‘re seeing a lot of investment in India and in China at the expense of things that should be happening in the United States.
SCHULTZ: And they could be happening here.
PAUL: And they could be happening here. I mean, after all, we‘re the folks that invented a lot of this technology, Ed. You know, we invented the semiconductor, the computer, telecommunications, yet we don‘t make a single cell phone. A lot of the patents and innovations are going to come from south Asia. And it‘s because we‘ve just missed the boat. We‘ve missed it on trade.
SCHULTZ: So what are these 50,000 jobs that President Obama is talking about with India? A new trade deal.
PAUL: Well, it is a—you know I think that there will be some business-to-business deals that will create some jobs but they‘re going to get washed away by the torrent of outsourcing that‘s happening in everything from radiologist reading x-rays, to accountants doing taxes, to those call centers which are kind of the stereotypical outsourcing jobs, but there are millions of jobs that are at stake. I think the challenge is this, Ed, you know, America knows about China and the threat it is to American manufacturing. But I think we need to also wake up to the fact that those office park jobs in the suburbs can leave just as well if we‘re not careful.
SCHULTZ: They have a steel policy in India. We do not. Is that a problem?
PAUL: It‘s a huge problem. I mean they have a pretty naturalized steel industry or having government involvement in the steel industry. They have a lot of barriers to trade and getting American steel under the Indian market. And it‘s a challenge and it‘s not only in the steel industry. If you look at the trade report that the Obama administration does and every administration has to do every year, you know, there are pages upon pages of barriers to trade with India and I think we need to have an honest discussion when we‘re over there about what the challenges are and not try to sugarcoat it.
SCHULTZ: I mean, I‘m just dumbfounded that the president isn‘t willing to say that outsourcing is a major problem for our economy.
SCHULTZ: Now I realize that you‘ve got to go over there and you can‘t take a stick and poke it in their eye, but I mean, to me this is total denial. I mean, is he serious about this?
PAUL: I have a hard time imagining what he‘s thinking, in part, because even President Bush, for as clueless as he was on these issues, managed to get rid of his economic adviser, Greg Mankiw who has said, outsourcing is a good thing and here we have the president saying it‘s not such a bad thing. And I‘m thinking, you know look at the results of the Tuesday election and the top of mind issues for voters.
PAUL: And you know, Ed, we have, you know, 9.6 percent unemployment. People care about where their jobs are going to be. And the fact is if you lose your job to outsourcing whether it‘s in manufacturing and office parks, you‘re likely, if you‘re lucky, if you‘re lucky, Ed, you‘re going to end up in a job that pays considerably less. That‘s going to knock you out of the middle class and is going to limit the opportunities for you and your family for years to come and it‘s a problem that Washington needs to deal with. I don‘t think we heard from President Obama the words that needed to be spoken today.
SCHULTZ: Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
PAUL: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is calling for a preemptive war to “neuter” Iran? OK.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie closed the door to a 2012 presidential run but he left the door wide open for 2016. I still don‘t believe it.
And the front page of “The Boston Herald” today was “Run, Scott, Run!”
Encourage Senator Scott Brown to challenge President Obama in 2012.
With us tonight, Jack Rice, criminal defense attorney, talk show host and former CIA officer. And also Heidi Harris, radio talk show host in Las Vegas. Good to have both of you with us tonight. Let‘s talk about Lindsey Graham. Jack, what in the heck is he talking about?
JACK RICE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is out of control. I mean let‘s think about it, we already have two war fronts going on right now and those aren‘t going particularly well. Now let‘s look at Iran. Seventy five million people, three times the size of Iraq, oh yes, they can also pull triggers with Hezbollah and Hamas and elsewhere across Europe. If we decide to stick our foot or our nose or anything else into that hornet‘s nest, it‘s going to get so much worse to call that irresponsible doesn‘t even do us justice. This is an outrage. It‘s ridiculous and I guess at the end of the day, we‘ll have to borrow the money to do that, too. We‘ve already done that way.
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, it‘s going to pain me but I‘m going to have to agree with Jack Rice. I don‘t know what Lindsey Graham‘s talking about. Has he looked at a map lately? What is he going to do, going to Iran with ground troops? What is he want to do? Is he kidding? Actually, I like the way Israel‘s handled it. Apparently, they‘re the ones who sent that little worm over there that‘s screwing up all of their computers so they can‘t use their nuclear computers. That worked really well without firing a shot, so I don‘t know what Lindsey Graham is talking about. I would not be for this at all.
SCHULTZ: All right. Who is going to be running for the Republicans? Who will be their candidate against President Obama? Here‘s Mr. Christie on “Meet the Press.” Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY: I love being governor and I‘m going to be governor until 2013 and then we‘ll see what the verdict of the people is of the job that I did in 2013.
DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”: So, fairly to say the door is opened beyond 2012.
CHRISTIE: I‘m going to need a job David after 2013, you know? So, whether it‘s going to be governor of New Jersey or doing something else. I have four kids between seven and 17th, I‘m working the rest my life anyway. So, it‘s going to be doing something, David, so maybe it will be that. Who knows?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Jack Rice, what do you think?
RICE: It‘s incredible, isn‘t it? I tell you what, 2016 that‘s my year. Is that where we are? To be honest let‘s face it, nobody knows. Nobody knows where we‘re going right now. That is so far away here in Minneapolis right now, Tim Pawlenty is sitting here watching the thing, wait a second, 2012, I‘m the guy but if you look at the latest polls. He hardly shows up. You‘re still seeing a lot of people who are looking at the likes of Sarah Palin. Who knows how this plays out but you know what, bottom line, I think that the Republicans are going to have to produce here in order to have some kind of success coming up and I really question whether they can do that. I don‘t think they can.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, I think this guy‘s biggest quality is that he looks like the guy next door.
HARRIS: Yes, yes.
SCHULTZ: He doesn‘t look threatening but I‘ll tell you what, some of his policies are very threatening to the liberal base in this country.
HARRIS: That‘s good, that‘s what I like about him. I think he was terrific. Although, what I think he needs to do is lose some weight. I don‘t care how much people weigh, don‘t misunderstand me but in the TV age you‘ve got to slim it down a little bit if you want to run for president. I think he‘s terrific and I think if he turns New Jersey around, heavily taxed state as you all know, a state in terrible shape, if he could turn New Jersey around, then that will have repercussions through the whole country. Everyone will be watching him. He can make his mark and why not? Why not have the guy run for president? I think his terrific.
SCHULTZ: The newspaper up north today, “The Boston Herald” is asking Scott brown to run for president. It says, “Run, Scott, Run!” I‘m starting to think that the best presidents don‘t come out of United States Senate. But that‘s—I guess the story for another day right now. But is this guy viable? I mean, if the conservatives can get into the northeastern portion of the United States, the liberal bastion pocket that they‘ve always been able to rely on, it would seem to me that they‘ve got a pretty good foothold everywhere in the country. What do you think, Jack?
RICE: I don‘t think so. I think right now what we‘re seeing is the Republicans are not just going centrist. They‘re going extreme right. The idea that they would go for somebody like that, I don‘t think plays at all. They‘re going further and further and further to the right, convinced, convinced, I mind you, that the country is going with them. And, frankly, I don‘t buy that for a second. So, I don‘t think they‘re going to go down that path. Not yet anyway.
SCHULTZ: The only thing I know about this guy is he‘s got a pickup truck, that‘s the only thing I know about him.
RICE: I s that good enough?
HARRIS: I wouldn‘t call Scott ground at the standard bearer for extreme right wingers. You know, my advice to Scott Brown would be don‘t outrun your headlights, pal. You just got to the Senate. So I don‘t think he should be running for anything beyond Senate at this point. Stick with what you‘ve got.
SCHULTZ: Jack Rice, Heidi Harris, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, George W. Bush is back in the spotlight. And he‘s in rare form. He‘s ripping shooter, sucking up the Hannity and drinking the tea. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation,” responds next in the “Playbook.” 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 agree with President Obama that republican leaders want the best for the country? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639, results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, George W. Bush is out of hiding. His new memoir comes out tomorrow. So, he‘s making the rounds. Taking every opportunity to talk to folks and he‘s talking about how Dick Cheney‘s anger to the war in Iraq, a lot of subjects. And an interview airing tonight, he told NBC‘s Matt Lauer this picture of him flying over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was, quote, “a huge mistake.” Then he ran over to talk to his old friend slanthead Hannity at FOX and he was right back into his old form with this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is the emergence of the Tea Party in America today? And you see rallies all around the country?
GEORGE W. BUSH ®, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
HANNITY: You see people holding signs. You see people thinking America‘s moved out in the socialist path.
BUSH: Yes, I see—here‘s what I see. I see democracy working. People are expressing a level of frustration or concern and they‘re getting involved in the process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes. How about those racist signs? For more, let‘s bring in Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Editor of “The Nation.” Katrina, good to you have with us tonight.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I take—I don‘t mean to say that in a joking manner at all. Some of the signs that at the Tea Party rallies were absolutely deplorable and disgusting. I‘m surprised the former president went down that road. Your thoughts?
HEUVEL: My thoughts are if the Tea Party really got its act together, they would be protesting President Bush whose reckless deregulatory policies led to the Wall Street catastrophe which has led to millions of people being out of work and homes foreclosed. You know, he talks democracy. I think of this book tour, Ed that he‘s doing is the no regrets, no responsibility book tour, democracy. There‘s no graver sin than a president can commit against democracy than misleading a nation, a Congress, good men and women, into a war that didn‘t need to be fought. And you know, you listen to Matt Lauer, put aside Hannity because he‘s sort of, you know, FOX, it‘s not really news.
But you know the media also were enablers. They were complicit in letting this administration mislead us into a war that continues to be a disaster and that will loot our treasury and has damaged our men and women and killed millions around—killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, so this is a no regrets, no responsibility tour by what historians consider the worst president in United States history.
SCHULTZ: He also defended his decision to go into Iraq saying the world would be more unstable if Saddam was still in power.
HEUVEL: That is a folly. We look out at a world, a region which is unstable. Iraq is a sectarian bloodbath. Iran is empowered as a result of President Bush‘s Vice President Cheney‘s folly. And Afghanistan a war we should find our way out is a war that might be over now if President Bush, President Cheney had not been consumed with the need to fight in Iraq. And by the way, President Cheney, what‘s coming out is what we knew, I think. This is a man who had ready prior to 9/11 and this administration had ample warnings not only about 9/11, also about New Orleans, city that drowned because of their incompetence and worse. But President Cheney had plans drawn up before 9/11 to expand executive power and the rule of law has been shattered and damaged in this country and we need accountability. Don‘t let this country be the United States of amnesia. We need accountability and never forget what this administration did to this good nation.
SCHULTZ: This is the exchange with Matt Lauer and the president, former president, talking about his decision not to pardon Scooter Libby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: It shows to let the jury verdict stand after some serious deliberation. And the vice president was angry.
MATT LAUER, HOST, “THE TODAY SHOW”: Yes. When you went to him and you told him, you said, he was furious and he said I can‘t believe that you‘re going to leave a soldier on the battleground.
BUSH: Yes, he did.
LAUER: Has your relationship with Dick Cheney ever recovered from failing to give a pardon?
BUSH: It has. I‘m pleased to report it has.
LAUER: You‘re friends today?
BUSH: We are friends today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, the whole deal about this is that Valerie Plame was outed and it was a clear plan that they had to shut her husband up after some the things that he had said after going overseas and finding out things that were a heck of a lot more relevant than what they were telling us. I find it amazing.
HEUVEL: David Corn, who was then the Washington editor of “The Nation” was the first to disclose that Robert Novak leaking in “The Washington Post” had been given information by Scooter Libby. Scooter Libby was authorized by Vice President Cheney to leak classified information in order to target and discredit a leading critic of the world, Valerie Plame‘s husband Joe Wilson. President Bush is also misleading the nation again when he said that he let that grand jury, that verdict stand, because Scooter Libby never spent a day in jail and he would have if that had stood.
And Vice President Cheney, five deferments later to use the word soldier is an obscenity, an accountability. We need it. This president—
President Obama talks about moving forward but you know, we need a bipartisan commission to look into what Cheney and Bush did in terms of violating the convention on torture which the United States not only is signatory too but created and a whole slur of other things. Because if we‘re going to stand tall in this world, we‘d better stand for real law and not taking the nation into a war that not need to fight.
SCHULTZ: Katrina Vanden Heuvel of “The Nation.”
HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Always a great resource. Good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
Some final pages in the playbook tonight. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, of course Bush used to call him Puti, test drove a Formula One racing car over the weekend. He spent several hours driving the yellow race car and reached speeds of up to 150 miles an hour. Putin said it wasn‘t bad for the first time driving a car and then he joked about how small it was inside.
On a more serious note, this just in, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a hypocrite in my opinion. He‘s going around the country raised his profile as a cost cutter. But the Justice Department‘s inspector general just release a report saying that Christie did not comply with federal travel regulations when he was U.S. attorney. The report says he engaged in a pattern of abuse by billing taxpayers to stay at luxury hotels and the costs were higher than the government rate.
Coming up, Jim ‘Waterloo‘ DeMint thinks his loser picks, like Christine O‘Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Ken Buck helped Republicans win the house back. All that Tea partying stuff going on, man he‘s got his head screwed on wrong and I‘ll tell you, he can fix all of that. Radio talk show host Mike Papantonio driving it home next with us here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and finally tonight, got to be some cool aid in that tea that Senator Jim DeMint has been drinking out of South Carolina. He thinks the Tea Party candidates were a huge success even though they cost Republicans the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREGORY: Do you think the Tea Party actually cost the Republican Party control of the Senate?
SEN. JIM DEMINT ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: That is a very silly thing on say, David. The Tea Party are responsible for just about every republican who is elected around the country. I supported all the republican candidates, including Christine O‘Donnell. Unfortunately, she was so maligned by Republicans, I don‘t think she ever have a chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated “Ring of Fire” radio show. Jim DeMint, we refer to him as the kingmaker. I don‘t know if he likes that too much but he has somewhat of an unusual view of the outcome. Your thoughts?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, “RING OF FIRE”: Jim DeMint‘s delusional right now, Ed, that‘s the only way you can put it. Look, he cost Republicans, Delaware, Colorado, not Nevada. And his own party is now have they brought out the long knives on DeMint. Here‘s the problem he has, the more strident he becomes, the more aggressive he tries to defend the Tea Party, the more—the more the discussion becomes that this is a party of lack of sophistication. They‘re really a passing aberration. And they‘re not—they‘re way too cuckoo for general consumption. Those are the things he‘s having answer right now. We‘re just seeing the beginning of this divide. The more we understand that they actually—what the Tea Party did to the Republicans is the more people understand that, the more the leadership in the Republican Party‘s really going to go after DeMint. He‘s making himself into a target.
SCHULTZ: They‘re also blaming Sarah Palin for all of this. This is congressman from Alabama, Spencer Bachus. He says, “The Senate would have been republican today except for states in which Palin endorsed candidates like Christine O‘Donnell in Delaware. Sarah Palin costs us control of the United States Senate.” What—you agree with that?
PAPANTONIO: Well, yes, absolutely. Here‘s the problem, when you take in a stray cat and you feed that cat and you give that stray cat shelter, what‘s the stray cat going to do? He‘s going to hang around and right now the Republicans have got this stray cat, they don‘t know what to do. Ed, let me tell you something, these are people, the establishment Republicans would let into the backdoor of their posh country clubs. They will let these Tea Party—they make these Tea Party types use the service elevator nut now they‘ve used them up, they‘ve gotten everything that they can out of them and now you have people like Rubio, who‘s out there saying, wait pay second, don‘t call me a Tea Party type. I‘m not a Tea Party type. I‘m an establishment republican. And that‘s happens across the board with the Republicans right now.
SCHULTZ: Well, Rand Paul seems to be the most serious of them all. And so when it comes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, where is the line going to be drawn with the Republicans? Is the Republican Party ready to go that far and cut seniors and just take this commission‘s report and just take it right to them financially? What do you think is going to happen there?
PAPANTONIO: Well, it‘s worse than that. Look, Rand Paul is coming out with some crazy positions. If you‘re republican and you‘re listening to Rand Paul say, look, we need to cut the military spending in this country. We need to cut back the military in this country. Understand, that‘s the bread and butter, war and military is the bread and butter of the Republican Party. Rand is out there right now saying that this week that we need to cut military spending. Every time you had one of these Tea Party types open their mouth, there‘s something completely contrary to the Republican Party, they have problems, just like the one you‘re talking about right there. It‘s going to be a fun ride. A fun ride, some fun to watch in the next few weeks.
SCHULTZ: All right it is. We‘ll have you back talking about the president and his trip and his comment on outsourcing. I‘m going to talk more about that on the radio tomorrow, we‘re going to be blogging it at wegoted.com. I can‘t believe what I was hearing. Thanks, Mike. Great to have you with us.
Tonight in our text survey question I asked, do you agree with President Obama that republican leaders want the best for the country? Nine percent of you said, yes, 91 percent of you said, no. I‘m a 91 percenter tonight. Tomorrow here on THE ED SHOW, we‘re going to have labor‘s reaction to the victory of the Republicans in the house. What does this mean for wage earners in this country?
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now here on the place for politics, MSNBC. Good to be back in New York. We‘re back here tomorrow night. Have a great one.
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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.>
PASTE THE TRANSCRIPT HERE