The Ed Show for Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Guests: James Hoffa, Robert Menendez, Jan Schakowsky, Karen Hanretty, Laura
Flanders, Bob Shrum, Joan Walsh
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” and on the table at this hour.
I need some clarity from President Obama. I don‘t know about you, but he says shipping jobs overseas to India isn‘t a problem, it‘s just a bogeyman? Come on.
Now, I don‘t think so. I will get some “Rapid Fire Response” on this, and we will be interviewing the Teamsters president, James Hoffa, in just a moment.
All right. The Republicans are coming for this president. The incoming chairman of the Oversight Committee says he plans to hold hundreds of hearings next year? Is that what 15 million unemployed Americans want?
This is nothing but a disgusting political witch hunt on the part of Darrell Issa. I will blast off in “The Battleground” story at the bottom of the hour.
And Michele Bachmann, we know she‘s a psycho-talker, but she is taking crazy to a new level, even for her. She thinks she put the gavel in John Boehner‘s hands? She is delusional and she lands in “The Playbook” tonight.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight, folks.
Mr. President, American workers need clarifications on where you stand when it comes to shipping jobs to other countries around the globe.
Now, folks, I just can‘t let this one go. I don‘t mean to be critical of the president, but we need some clarification.
I want him to stand up and tell the American people exactly where he stands on outsourcing. When he was running for office, President Obama campaigned on keeping American jobs at home and penalizing U.S. companies who ship jobs overseas.
Well, in late September, not long ago, every Republican voted against an anti-outsourcing bill on the Senate floor. The president hammered them about this a couple of weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the last four years alone, Republicans in the House voted 11 times to continue rewarding corporations that create jobs and profits overseas, a policy that cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year. That doesn‘t make a lot of sense. It doesn‘t make sense for American workers, American businesses, or America‘s economy.
A lot of companies that do business internationally make an important contribution to our economy here at home. That‘s a good thing. But there‘s no reason why our tax code should actively reward them for creating jobs overseas. Instead, we should be using our tax dollars to reward companies that create jobs and businesses within our borders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. Well said and on point. But are we seeing a shift?
It sounded different earlier this week at a joint press conference with the Indian prime minister.
(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 stereotypes that have outlived their usefulness.
Our countries are 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. Now, without being too critical, hope we‘re not wordsmithing here, but those two pieces of sound, in my opinion, just simply don‘t match.
I want to believe President Obama is on the side of the American worker, period. But it appears he is just another typical politician when it comes to outsourcing.
This president is quickly turning into the Republicans‘ dream. He talked about trade deals that were just cut that will create 50,000 American jobs, but when you subtract those jobs from the number of jobs that have been shipped off of American soil over the years, there‘s no net gain here.
Nobody has a solid number. Nobody has a solid number of how many American jobs have been shipped to countries like India because big business, you see, they want to keep that a big secret from the American people.
Well, the Alliance of American Manufacturing has put a number on some of those outsourced jobs. They say big American companies like Motorola, GM, Microsoft and Intel have shipped thousands over to India, and there are probably hundreds more of other U.S. companies who have done the same thing. But where are the numbers?
Well, we really can‘t get them. You see, Republicans have paved the way for big business‘ race to the bottom line at the expense of the American worker.
President Obama lashed out at Republicans who wanted to give tax breaks to American companies who ship jobs to India last May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It‘s a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York. We will stop letting American companies that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You might say they‘re different. No, I think they‘re very much connected.
I didn‘t hear the president talk that game when he is on foreign soil. And at this hour, he has millions of American workers pretty much scratching their heads, saying, what the heck is going on here?
Now, I know the president is trying to get the economy going again, but he can‘t sell out on this issue. We have to consider what the economy would be like if other countries weren‘t recruiting our production and leaving American workers behind.
This country, the United States of America, cannot accept a “new normal” of 10 percent unemployment. It can‘t be that way.
We‘ve got to be certainly more than just a service industry or a financial paper-shuffling industry. Can‘t we all come to a left, right, center, blue, green, whatever position that America needs to make things again? And, of course, the free traders, they love to talk about emerging markets, but they have no solution for the void that they are leaving behind.
President Obama, please, clarify your position on this. The Republicans are after you, but the American worker is not. The American worker voted for you and put you in office, and those sound bites tonight leave us, I believe—me at least—confused on exactly where you stand.
Now, I realize you can‘t go over to India and take a sharp stick and put it in their eye and say, hey, we‘re going to take all of your jobs. And I realize the dynamic that we‘ve got to make sure that China knows there are other economic options out there. But greasing the skids for companies to ship the jobs everywhere else is hurting the very people that put you in office.
Democrats need to champion this issue. Why? Because it‘s on every kitchen table in America, across America tonight.
Why do they need to champion this issue? Because the Republicans never will.
The Republicans have never been for the middle class. They are never going to be for the middle class. And they just don‘t feel the pain because they‘re at the country club.
Now, we as a country are at a crossroads when it comes to deciding whether we think this is a big issue or not. Now, on my radio show today, I asked listeners—you know, I don‘t want to come off as negative, but I think if the president doesn‘t lead on this issue, and if he isn‘t crystal clear on where he stands on the issue of outsourcing, Democrats, we‘ve got nothing.
If we can‘t stand for the American worker, what difference does it make what the rest of the progressive platform is? If we can‘t stand up for the little guy anymore, if we can‘t advocate for the rights of the workers, where do we go?
God rest his soul, we do miss Ted Kennedy. There was no greater fighter for labor in this country. And maybe we‘re still as liberals in search of that next great leader when it comes to sticking up for American workers and taking it right to the Oval Office.
I know in my heart after doing 30-some town hall meetings over the last four years, I know what Americans think about this, and I can say it with confidence tonight. We are on a slippery slope.
And if you think that these unemployment numbers are going to shift, folks, Ed‘s telling you tonight, it ain‘t going to happen. This is a new normal that is very dangerous for our economy. And if we are going to incentivize companies to continue on like this, hell, we‘re our own worst enemy when it comes to jobs.
You can pass stimulus package after stimulus package, you‘re not going to turn this thing around. This new normal is dangerous for this country, and we are headed in the wrong direction.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Do you think President Obama has done enough to stop American jobs from going overseas? Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
And let me say up front that the president can‘t do it all. He needs Democratic help, big time. He needs every liberal in this country to support him. But if he doesn‘t hear our message, what kind of message is he going to take overseas next time?
Joining me now is James Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters Union.
Mr. Hoffa, good to have you with us tonight.
JAMES HOFFA, PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS UNION: How are you doing, Ed? Good to be here.
SCHULTZ: I‘m doing great, sir.
The 50,000 jobs that the president is talking about that are going to be created because of our trade dealings with India, do you buy that? And where are these jobs?
HOFFA: It‘s a drop in the bucket. Let‘s look at the entire picture that you have been talking about.
We‘re losing millions of jobs. It is not 50,000 jobs. We have lost millions of jobs to Mexico, India, China, and it continues today.
Last month, Whirlpool closed down a plant, 1,300 Americans laid off in Indiana, and they moved it to Mexico. It‘s going on as we speak right now. It hasn‘t stopped.
And when we talk about outsourcing, that‘s an easy word. It sounds—
“outsourcing,” it sounds like it doesn‘t hurt anybody. We‘re closing down plants of workers in America.
Your fellow Americans are losing their jobs. They‘ve worked there 30 years. They‘re closing the plant down, most of the time taking all of the equipment and moving it to Mexico, or somewhere else.
We‘ve got to stop this hemorrhaging. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And the jobs that are leaving America are the good jobs, the high-paying jobs, the manufacturing jobs, the union jobs, where people make good wages, they have good health care, they have pensions.
Those are the jobs that are being shipped out of this country. We‘ve got to stop this.
You know, when the president ran, he talked about renegotiating NAFTA.
That was a great issue.
When you go in front of workers as you have—you‘ve done town halls, I do it, too—you talk about, NAFTA‘s bad, NAFTA‘s cost jobs. Everybody can say that‘s right. We‘ve got to make sure that trade agreements open up and create jobs, not lose jobs. And what‘s happened is that the previous administrations going back to Bill Clinton have lost their way when it comes to trade, when it comes to NAFTA, CAFTA, China PNTR.
These have been terrible mistakes that have basically cost us millions of jobs, and we continue to hemorrhage jobs. The jobs aren‘t coming here, the jobs are going there. And every time they buy a company, they close it down, they put everything on a boat, and they take it back to China, or it goes on a railroad car to Mexico.
So, if we want to talk about jobs, let‘s talk about stopping this hole. Let‘s talk about negotiating good trade agreements that are ones that create jobs, instead of sending jobs overseas.
Take Korea right now. Korea basically is one of the most walled-off countries right now. They won‘t let American cars in, they won‘t listen, you can‘t let different types of products, agricultural products, because they‘re a closed economy.
But what do they do to our country? They‘re shipping Hyundais over here, all kinds of cars are filling our highways. And they get away with it. We can‘t send one car there.
That is wrong, and we have to have people that will stand up for the American worker and have good trade agreements that, when you go over there, you‘re going to say you‘re going to open up your economy and you‘re going to be able to buy American products. That‘s the solution.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Hoffa, has your expectation and has labor‘s expectations been diminished with this president and the Democratic Party? I mean, the only people that can change trade agreements and push change at this point are the people in charge and the people in power, and it was not a good day at the office one week ago tonight for wage earners in this country.
What are your expectations right now?
HOFFA: Well, the answer is it‘s obviously a lot darker now because we have lost so many Democrats that were standing up for the American worker. Now, we‘ve got the Republicans you talked about that can hardly wait to send more jobs overseas. They are pawns of big business.
So they are basically eager to send these jobs overseas. So it‘s going to be harder. But I want you to know that organized labor are the ones that are standing up and saying, no, we are going to make sure that we don‘t pass these trade bills that send American jobs overseas.
You know, the idea is, with this administration and other administrations, any trade deal—a trade deal is good. Well, that‘s not true. A trade deal that sends American jobs overseas and, basically, ,we don‘t get any access to their markets, that‘s not a good trade agreement. And nobody can get that through their head in Washington.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Hoffa, thanks for speaking up tonight. It‘s a story that we are just not going to let go, and because this is going to go on.
And I‘m afraid that the Democrats are fallen prey to the corporations and the right wing of this country that can‘t get enough of getting rid of jobs in this country. It‘s who we are, it‘s where we are as a country now. It is an identity crisis when it comes to how we feel and how we view the importance of American workers.
Thanks, James. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
HOFFA: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Republicans don‘t seem to give a damn about the middle class, but they are too chicken to say it. Democrats might have a plan to expose them, we hope. Senator Bob Menendez sounds off for the tax cut fight next, here on THE ED SHOW.
Psycho-talking Michele Bachmann, well, she‘s taking credit for giving “The Tan Man” the gavel. She is driving the Republicans crazy. I kind of love it. That‘s coming up in “The Playbook.”
Plus, W visits Oprah, Arnold sparks a controversy, and Chris Christie‘s living large on the road.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Republicans, well, they are on a mission. They have ordered up hundreds of hearings and investigations. Maybe all they want to do is create controversy so Fox can run with it for two years to make sure that everybody thinks that this is the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States.
Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky knows how the righties play the game and how they operate. She will fire back in “The Battleground” story.
Stay with us. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Republicans are holding middle class tax cuts hostage, but Democrats may have to come up with a plan to stop them. All the righties seem to care about is a huge tax break for the top two percent. The Democrats want Americans to see how selfish and greedy they are.
Now, they basically want two different votes, one on tax cuts for billionaires and one for everyone else. It‘s a chance for Democrats to put some steel in their spine and force the Republicans to blink on this one.
This will be the issue in the coming weeks, and I think they are all a bunch of chickens when it comes down to. I‘m talking about the Republicans, obviously.
For more, let‘s bring in New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.
Senator, good to have you here tonight.
What, in your opinion, do you think the Republicans are going to do?
Do you actually think that they would compromise on the Bush tax cuts?
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, right now they are holding the middle class tax cuts, the permanent extension of the middle class tax cuts, hostage. And they keep talking about only having all tax cuts extended for a year, maybe two.
The reality is there is no reason for the middle class tax cuts, which we as Democrats want to make permanent. Great infusion for the middle class in this country, great infusion to the economy, for people to know that they will have those tax cuts made permanent, and it shouldn‘t be held hostage to the wealthiest tax cuts that, if you listen to the Republican leader in the Senate, he wants to make those permanent, and that package is a $4 trillion package.
You can‘t be responsible about spending and then talk about $4 trillion you don‘t have.
SCHULTZ: So, Senator, it sounds like the Democrats are going to move on these tax cuts. In other words, you are just not going to let this legislation expire and do nothing. That, on the surface, the Republicans are going to get their way from the start, it‘s just a matter of how far it‘s going to go.
MENENDEZ: Well, we want to move the middle class tax cuts permanently, and I think that‘s critically important. And I think the debate should be clear who stands on behalf of the middle class tax payers in this country, which are the Democrats trying to make those middle class tax cuts not just temporary, but permanent in nature, a great asset for middle class families as they try to meet the challenges every day around the kitchen table, and who is holding them hostage to making tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country permanent?
You know, if you talk about a year, that‘s one thing to get through the process. But we want our tax cuts to be permanent. We don‘t want the others to be permanent because that would blow a huge hole in the nation‘s debt.
SCHULTZ: That rings hollow with these Republicans. They don‘t care about it. I mean, $4 trillion, heck, that‘s nothing. They just want the concentration of wealth.
Do you think that they will stand strong and go to bat for the top two percent? I mean, they want the whole enchilada. They want everything. They want the whole meal. And it doesn‘t sound like compromise is in any way, shape or form in their vocabulary right now.
MENENDEZ: Well, you know, this is going to be crystal clear for the electorate to see. You know, $4 trillion, you can‘t constantly, you know, talk about how responsible you are going to be on spending, and then seek policies for the wealthiest in the country that cost $4 trillion, when we want middle class tax cuts that can be paid for and ultimately be made permanent. I mean, it‘s crystal clear.
And so I think we have to run this to a test and a vote at the end of the day. I‘m certainly for that. And hopefully they will understand that they are going to be on the side of a few versus the many.
SCHULTZ: Well, if they extend it for two years, if you come to that agreement, we‘re going to be right back here in October of 2012 with the same old argument, extending the tax cuts, and we‘re going to go through all this again.
MENENDEZ: Well, no, Ed. I think that the answer is, if we get ours permanently—
SCHULTZ: Yes, OK.
MENENDEZ: -- and they get maybe a year or two possible, but otherwise it‘s not going to be that we make them all temporary at the end of the day. I think that that is certainly not a good recipe for the nation‘s economy, not a good result for middle class taxpayers.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
MENENDEZ: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, wacko Governor Rick Perry served up some Texas-sized bull last night, and Greta fell for it, as usual. They will two-step their way into “The Zone,” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, the people of Texas just re-elected Rick Perry for a third term as governor. And, of course, he responded like a true Texas politician by immediately leaving the state to go on a book tour.
Last night, he was on Greta Van Susteren‘s show over on Fox. Rick Perry is a rabid Tea Partier, remember, and a Tenther who has floated the idea of secession. But Greta ignored all that and just threw a bunch of softballs at him.
Here‘s a highlight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, “ON THE RECORD”: There are some—many things that surprised me in the book. I never sort of compared California to Texas, two states that have a lot in common and very different in terms of their situation right now.
California has a horrible problem with money. I mean, it‘s no secret. I mean, we‘re constantly doing reports asking whether California‘s financially going to fall into the Pacific Ocean.
How are you doing in Texas?
GOV. RICK PERRY ®, TEXAS: Well, we have a balanced budget amendment in the state of Texas. Our per capita debt is very low, and we will have a balanced budget at the end of the day without raising taxes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you what, he needs to get on the Fox payroll.
He‘ll fit right in. That is hogwash.
“The Dallas Morning News” reports, “Texas faces a budget crisis of truly daunting proportions.” They have a deficit of as much as $24 billion to $25 billion, or about 25 percent of the current spending. In fact, the gap is now proportionately larger than the deficit California recently closed.
So, Governor Perry‘s rosy attitude about the Texas economy, well, in Fox form, it was a flat-out lie. If he wants to balance the budget without raising taxes, he‘s going to have to make some painful cuts on the backs of workers.
But Greta, of course, she‘s a pro. And I knew that she would know the facts and follow up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: We‘ll have a balanced budget at the end of the day without raising taxes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Next, more with Governor Perry. He has a story about Governor Sarah Palin, and we guarantee it will make you laugh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Nothing. She let it go. Fox News thinks a funny Sarah Palin story is more important than finding out how the governor of one of the largest states in the union plans to balance a budget that‘s in worse shape than California‘s.
Greta and Rick are both guilty of some serious financial “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa—we might have a nickname coming on here, folks—he‘s on a mission. He‘s planning for a massive expansion of government oversight, hundreds of hearings on the horizon.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky will return fire in tonight‘s “Battleground” story.
Chris Christie, I‘ll tell you what, this guy will do anything to save money, except when taxpayers are bankrolling him to live large. What a hypocrite.
We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response.”
Plus, the “Psycho Talk” is still gushing from Tony Hayward‘s mouth, Oprah gets a piece of W, and Michael Steele knows he‘s on thin ice.
It‘s all coming up.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. “Battleground” story tonight. Just ask yourself this question, is this really our best issue as a country? Now, witch hunting season is officially open on Capitol Hill. Incoming oversight Chairman Darrell Issa is telling the media about just how many hearings he plans to hold. Issa told Politico that he plans to hold seven hearings a week that is roughly 300 hearings a year, not on creating jobs or small business help but on investigating the stimulus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA ®, CALIFORNIA: His administration received $700 billion worth of walking with around money in the stimulus and used it just that way, a great deal was used for political payback. His administration has a lot of explaining where the $700 billion went, where investigations that should have gone on, particularly into ACORN, an organization that he had passed influence with and should be willing to do and a lot to and I think those have to be dealt with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This story is going to infuriate, this one might give me a heart attack before it is all over with. I can‘t believe we are going down this road. But this is what they want. I want an investigation into the time and it taxpayer money that will be wasted on this absolute nonsense. This is an effort to score political scalping. The Republicans did it with President Clinton and now they are going after the Democrats. I keep telling you, this is the republican Congress at work.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Chicago.
Congresswoman, good to have you back on the program.
JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Glad you got re-elected.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You are a fighter for lefties in this country and you speak truth. Is this all a get back in the—because of the work that Henry Waxman did during the Bush years when we had no-bid contracts and issues with Halliburton and all kinds of Intel issues. I mean, you know, what we went through in the Bush years, this a get back?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, actually, Henry Waxman in the whole two year that he chaired that same committee only had something like 206 oversight hearings. Darrell Issa is talking not just about 280 hearings, seven subcommittees, a hearing a week, he says one or two. That could be 560 hearings in 40 weeks. The man is on a—you know, he is on a hunt right now, really a witch hunt, I think. And, you know, every time he makes these accusations, somebody has to come along, put their hand over his mouth and he has to walk it back. He called Barack Obama one of the most corrupt presidents ever. That the perspective that he is coming from. Of course, now he is trying to walk it back.
But instead of looking at, for example, there is a lot of things he could investigate, why the insurance companies are continuing to raise their rates. I would be for that. But no, I think it is going to be more like Dan Burton. I was on that committee when Dan Burton chaired it and he had over 1,000 hearings looking into every tiny little aspect of the Clinton administration. And I fear that we are going to have the same kind of witch hunt occupying all of the time and just a bunch of nonsense, frankly.
SCHULTZ: Well, he is talking about the stimulus package. Governors are involved in dishing out the money for the stimulus package.
SCHAKOWSKY: That is right.
SCHULTZ: And I hope he goes that far on republican governors as they sat on a lot of these dollars in their state budgets and didn‘t disburse the money out to get these projects going. So, I‘m going to follow this investigation that Mr. Issa is doing.
SCHAKOWSKY: I‘m looking forward to that, too, because, you know, a number of those governors who said , oh, I‘m against the stimulus, don‘t give me any money and then, of course they took the money and went to all the ribbon cuttings of the projects that actually created jobs. Let him look at it but what a waste of time, there really are things that need to be looked at in government, you know, the Defense Department has a number of project, et cetera, that may be not worth spending and we could make some legitimate cuts there, he wants to reduce the size of government. Even the secretary of defense agrees with that. He could help us with that. But no.
SCHULTZ: All of this, congresswoman, is based on a hunch. This is all based on they want to just go in and see if they find anything. There really hasn‘t been any overt laws broken or anything that‘s been politically or publicly out there?
SCHAKOWSKY: No, no. Ed, this is not about a hunch, this is about a strategy. Mitch McConnell said it very clearly. He said that our job now for the next two years is to defeat Barack Obama.
SCHULTZ: And hopefully that would take us down the road of impeachment.
SCHULTZ: I mean, Darrell, you know, he‘s saying that‘s really not what he‘s looking for, the hell it is. And also he‘s arrogance. He says in the Politico article, as Clint Eastwood says, a man needs to know his limitations. What is this, a dirty Harry movie? We‘re going to nickname him dirty Darrell now doing all these investigations, for what, wasting taxpayer dollars?
SCHULTZ: And if they find nothing who pays the price, President Obama either way, because there‘s going to be the talking point out there, the speculation that he ran a crooked administration.
SCHAKOWSKY: You know, that is the plan, but I really have a feeling that there is going to be buyer‘s remorse sooner rather than later. Darrell Issa is one of the most partisan members of the Congress. He has overstepped so many times, as I said. There‘s somebody in the wings always having to put their hand over his mouth and then, he has to go walk it back. I don‘t think that this strategy is going to work. I really don‘t.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, great to have you with us.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time tonight. You bet. Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories.
The Justice Department has accused New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of living large on the taxpayer‘s dime while he was a U.S. attorney.
A Tea Partier who just won a House seat in Mississippi threatening to shut down the government if the president doesn‘t repeal the health care law.
Michael Steele says, well, there‘s been a concerted effort by Republicans to oust him as the head of the RNC.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, host of Grit TV and editor of the book, “At The Tea Party.” And Karen Hanretty, republican strategist with us tonight.
All right. Let‘s get into Mr. Christie no matter how you look at it, this guy has got personality, he‘s got the moxie, it is not afraid to do budget cutting. He obviously is a good interview, he loves the camera, looks like the guy next door. Karen, listen to all these positive things I‘m saying about this guy. I just want to know if he was living large on the road and was he—I mean, is this a witch hunt? We were just talking about witch hunts. What do you think about this?
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You left one thing out, he also has higher approval ratings in the State of New Jersey than President Obama. So, the people of New Jersey are quite happy with him. And, you know, this report, I‘m not going to say it is nothing because, you know, we should always be very mindful of the taxpayer dollars but we are talking about $2,000 that you want to go after and liberals want to investigate in light of the millions and millions of dollars that we don‘t know where they went with the stimulus funding and you‘re criticizing any sort of transparency and investigation into millions of dollars on where you are tonight dedicating an entire segment to—about $2,0000 of dubious hotel room expenses where they or may not have been—of a hotel room.
SCHULTZ: You know what, Karen? If the Justice Department called up Darrell Issa and say, you know, I think, you ought to look at this, I would be all for it. But that isn‘t the case, Laura?
LAURA FLANDERS, HOST, GRIT TV: No, but you know what is happening here is people are calling out Christie for being the guy that said I‘m not going to let New Jersey spend beyond its means. And when he wasn‘t responsible, he was there spending $500 a night at the four seasons in Washington. But I do agree it is not his spending at this point, that is a problem, it is his cuts. And if Karen so concerned about where the money is, New Jersey is so concerned about where the millions of dollars are lost to the state and now owed to the Federal Government with the cancellation of that tunnel project. That and the fouling up with the race to the top application have cost New Jersey and something like $700 million, I hope Karen is worried about that.
SCHULTZ: OK. And the numbers in New Jersey, would Governor Christie make a good president, this is what they are saying in that state, a quarter of the people say yes, 61 percent say no and 15 percent don‘t even know, so.
HANRETTY: Governor Christie himself has said, actually said over the weekend, he doesn‘t want to run for president, he doesn‘t think he is ready to run for president, he is focused on being governor of New Jersey.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
FLANDERS: He needs to create some jobs in New Jersey. Meanwhile, he‘s got New Jerseyans looking at the bill to the federal government for jobs they never got.
HANRETTY: A bill that would have been extraordinarily higher if they had moved forward with that project.
FLANDERS: Good jobs, yes.
HANRETTY: They would have had loans, millions of dollars of loans to be paid to the Federal government.
FLANDERS: Did I say jobs? And jobs.
SCHULTZ: All right. Here comes the Tea Partier. This sound coming from a newly elected member of the Congress, Alan Nunnelee, he says he is going to threaten to shut down the government if the president doesn‘t wipe the health care bill off the books. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you willing to participate in what would lead to a shutdown of the Federal Government to stop this monstrosity from going down the tracks?
REP. ALAN NUNNELEE ®, MISSISIPI: I agree with Congressman Boehner. We need to do whatever is necessary to make sure this bill never goes into effect.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you willing to participate in a shutdown of the Federal Government if that‘s the only way to get the president to come to the table?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Laura, what do you think?
FLANDERS: Well, I mean, yes, on the one hand, Republicans are desperate to do away with this bill because heaven forbid we have more Americans with a government program that they actually feel wedded to that they enjoy, that they get something from, like Medicare, like Social Security. But the point here is that I think we are set in above very high for government servants if the standard of good government service is to believe the government should not be shut down. I think that is a problem. It is not just that we don‘t want government shut down. We need to look at how this new Congress is going to run government and everything you were talking about in the last segment, what they do in government is as much of a problem as do they shut it down? I don‘t think that should be the question.
HANRETTY: They are not going to shut down the government, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You‘ve got to have response to this. You‘ve got every—this is a southern good old boy, push him hard enough, yes, we‘re going to shut down the government. I mean, come!
HANRETTY: Yes. I think this one freshman congressman is going to single-handedly bring Washington to a screeching halt. Of course that‘s absurd. I tell you what, Ed, if you listen to every single freshman coming into town over the next couple of months, you are going to have a heart attack, you are going to be in the hospital, I would be happy to host your show for you. I mean, they are not going to shut down government and I know it‘s difficult to accept the fact that Republicans are now in control.
SCHULTZ: No, no.
FLANDERS: Just because they don‘t shut down government doesn‘t mean it is OK what they are doing in government. Can we talk a little more about that? I mean.
HANRETTY: Yes, let‘s talk about what I hope they do, which is repeal a lot—a big part of this health care bill. I think that‘s what the American people want.
SCHULTZ: No, they don‘t want.
HANRETTY: If you ran at the Democrats and voted for it, you lose.
SCHULTZ: Karen Hanretty, Laura Flanders, great to have you with us.
No, we didn‘t lose, we just want reconciliation to get it and will stand.
Great to have you with us tonight, both of you.
Coming up, that crazy Bachmann, well, she‘s bragging about putting the gavel in Boehner‘s hands. I think she is still in a trance from election night. Stay with us. We are right back.
SCHULTZ: It‘s still not too late to let us know what you think. The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think President Obama has done enough to stop American jobs from going overseas? Press one for yes, press two for no. Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. We are right back.
SCHULTZ: And in my playbook tonight, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann out of Minnesota claims that she should be the chairwoman of the republican conference because she is actually—she actually thinks she is responsible for the Republicans winning the House. Bachmann told Politico, quote, she told them this, “I have been able to highly motivate people from disaffected Democrats to independents to Republicans to nonpolitical people. There was a real question with even 18 months ago about whether the Tea Party would become a third party. I have been able to bring a voice and motivate people to, in effect, put that gavel in John Boehner‘s hands.” But the tan man isn‘t ready to give Bachmann credit for his job promotion. In fact, so far, none of the republican leaders are endorsing her.
For more, let‘s bring in Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum, professor at New York University. Bob, good to have you with us tonight.
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Glad to be here.
SCHULTZ: She is pretty thirsty for power, don‘t you think?
SHRUM: Yes, and she‘s awfully modest in that quote from Politico. Look, it wasn‘t Michele Bachmann and Tea Party that won it for the Republicans, it was the economy. And John Boehner understands, and a lot of Republicans strategists understand that they no more want her as the caucus chair than they want Sarah Palin as the republican nominee for president. Some of them, and a lot of them believe, and one of them at least has said publicly that the Tea Party actually cost the Republican Party the Senate. See, a lot of these Tea Party folks could burrow in these congressional races, they didn‘t get huge exposure in the free media, so, they won. People didn‘t know how crazy they were, like this guy you had on earlier who is saying, let‘s just shut down the government. They won because they didn‘t get the same kind of exposure that O‘Donnell got, Miller got, Sharron Angle got and that destroyed them as candidates.
SCHULTZ: Are the Republicans making a mistake by dismissing her? She is a media darling on the other network. She comes up—she knows how to get attention but most of all, she can raise money. What about that?
SHRUM: Well, they are going to try to satisfy and apiece the Tea Party folks without giving them what they want. Let me give you an example. I talked to a republican in Washington today who says, sure, we are going to have a vote in the House to repeal the health care bill. We know that the House is probably going to pass it. We know the Senate is not going to pass it and that‘s going to be the end of it. There then be some token bills to change this provision or that provision but we are not going to shut down the government. And Republicans are not going to jump again into the Gingrich abyss. They have been there before it would destroy them and they know it.
SCHULTZ: So, there may be more problems than solutions between the GOP and the Tea Partiers before this is over with. It is not going to be a big happy camp over there.
SHRUM: Well, I don‘t think so but look, the Tea Partiers don‘t have any solutions. The Tea Partiers have a whole set of illusions. I mean, they have—from thinking that the health care bill has death panels and rationing to think you can have gigantic tax cut, balance the budget, cut the size of the Federal Government in half. I mean, Rand Paul was on television the other day talking again about Social Security and how we really had to cut Social Security, really had to put Medicare on the table. Let me tell you something, the Republican Party does not want to become the party that cut Medicare and cut Social Security.
SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, always a pleasure.
SHRUM: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us. One final page in the “Playbook” tonight, BP‘s former CEO Tony Hayward is out of hiding after getting his life back. In an interview with the BBC, he said all the fumbling and incompetence was because of the media?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. TONY HAYWARD, BP‘S CEO: The network anchors who descended on BP in Louisiana and it was an enormous feeding frenzy. We tried to be open and transparent. We gave access to the operation but the reality is we were completely overrun. And just not prepared to deal with the intensity of media scrutiny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Access to the operation? I don‘t think so. On top of that, he said he has no regrets taking off on a yacht as oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. What a loser.
Coming up, I can‘t believe W is still in denial over those WMDs. You won‘t believe what he told Oprah today. Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief, Salon.com, she sounds off on W, next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, former President George W. Bush is making the media rounds promoting his new memoir, “decision points.” Today, he sat down with Oprah Winfrey and he is still in denial about the lapse of intelligence failure that led to the Iraq war, he says, it is all Saddam Hussein‘s fault.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW”: Do you now feel or believe that you were misled?
FMR. GEORGE W. BUSH ®, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: No. I don‘t think so.
WINFREY: By your intelligence.
BUSH: Misled is a wrong word. I think that we made a mistake—I do think we were wrong in our assessment. Yes, I tell you what was wrong, is Saddam Hussein deceived everybody. Saddam Hussein turns out did not want people to know that he didn‘t have weapons of mass destruction, including many people in his own administration, which was strange because I made it clear that let the inspectors in or else we will remove you from power and he didn‘t believe me, sadly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief, Salon.com. From the decider to the deceiver. What should this book tour—it is getting kind of comical, what should this book tour be called?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM: Oh, I don‘t know, The Road to Nowhere, maybe because he is such a nowhere man, it is nothing, it is never his fault, nothing is his fault. That is just a stunning piece of denial. You know, I remember, we are not talking about 20 or 30 years ago. This is not ancient history. There were other people saying he doesn‘t have weapons, he is bluffing. He is a crazy man. He‘s proud man. He doesn‘t want the world to know how impotent he is. But they insisted on going ahead anyway. I mean, it has just been unbelievable how he has not been able to take real full responsibility for making a mistake on the weapons and going ahead with a pointless war.
SCHULTZ: Well, let me clarify to our audience tonight just a moment ago, I said, it is getting comical, there is nothing comical about war, there‘s nothing comical about missing the way we miss it as a country but his personality and the way he shrugs stuff off, I do find rather amusing. Here he is with Matt Lauer, talking about the mission accomplished statement. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, HOST, “THE TODAY SHOW”: He stood on the deck of that aircraft carrier and he said to the American people.
BUSH: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. And I also went on to say, there is more difficult work ahead, the problem is.
LAUER: But you stood under that banner and sent a very strong message. Mission accomplished.
BUSH: No question is a mistake. I decide to do it all over again, which you don‘t get to do when you are the president, you know, I would have said, good going, men and women, great mission, or something. I don‘t know what it is. But.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I am—he is just out in command.
WALSH: Or something I don‘t know what, right? How long does he have to think about that? He actually just wrote a book where he had to think about it and write words about it and he still so off the cuff. There was another part of that interview, I think it was with Matt, where he describes—talking about the run-up to war, Ed, he described himself as a dissenting voice and then eventually, he—I guess he got convinced but what a weird passive formation to use, right? He is the commander-in-chief. I was a dissenting voice, you know, out in the wilderness at Salon back then.
He was a commander in chief, if he didn‘t want to go to war, we were not go into war. To be a dissenting voice is again to be outside history, outside of your own power with other people in charge pulling the strings. So, this whole tour I think has been a disaster for him. It‘s reminded us of how sort of missing in action he is in a lot of ways. He was never really at the center of his own presidency.
SCHULTZ: Why is he doing this? I mean, the family has a ton of money. I mean, I find if he is not in command of where he was and so sure of his answers, I‘m surprised he is putting himself through this.
WALSH: I think he is, you know, he is looking at his legacy and he‘s also kind of a petty person. I mean, remember, he said that Kanye‘s insults was the worst moment of his presidency, a presidency that included 9/11, going to war, Katrina, many, many tragedies. There have been several points in this book tour where they‘re kind of pettiness comes out and it‘s like, gotcha, I‘m going to settle the score here. That‘s all I can think of that he will hope to do with this and I guess he is doing it.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, it‘s always a pleasure.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you on THE ED SHOW. Thank you.
Tonight in our telephone survey I asked, do you think President Obama has done enough to stop American jobs from going overseas? Eight percent of you said yes, 92 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more information on THE ED SHOW, you can go to ed.msnbc.com or check out my radio website at wegoted.com. You could blog on all the stories that are right there. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now, right here on the place for politics, MSNBC. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.
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