The Ed Show for Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: Jim McDermott, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Keith Ellison, Laura
Flanders, Scott Hennen, Bill Press, Al Sharpton
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour
Well, I‘ll call timeout right away.
Liberals, are you ready to fight this? I am.
“The Tan Man” has got the gavel. So now I want to know, where are all the jobs?
Boehner and the Republicans, they‘re already reversing on promises.
And he‘s pretending to be a real man of the people.
Well, I‘ve got a commentary on that, plus reaction from the House, coming up.
Senator Bernie Sanders told me today that this will be the most radical Congress ever. And it could be extremely dangerous for minorities. Reverend Al Sharpton is going to be sounding of on that tonight, and I think he‘s going to be saying something everybody‘s going to want to hear.
“Psycho Sister” Michele Bachmann, ooh, she‘s a big thinker. She‘s thinking about running for president. She‘s radical. She‘s a liar. That‘s documented.
I think she‘s nuts. But you know what? I think Democrats should pay close attention to this woman who raised a ton of money in her last race.
Keith Ellison weighs in on that tonight.
But this is the story that has me fired up off of the bat tonight.
John Boehner has just become the Speaker of the House. And America, I think, is going to live to regret this.
“The Tan Man,” well, you know, this guy was in tears before he even got up to the podium to give his acceptance speech. I mean, it‘s pretty bad when you can call it before it happens, huh?
Speaker Pelosi handed over the gavel to Boehner, and then he tried to act like a real fighter for the people.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Our aim will be to give the government back to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Really? Does that mean we‘re going to speak up against this Supreme Court ruling and try to reverse that some day? Not at all.
Boehner has absolutely no idea what the American people want. This is the guy that led his party fighting every jobs bill, every health care bill, every proposal that was out there, and he proved that he really didn‘t give a damn about the deficit when all he could talk about was extending the Bush tax cuts. And oh, by the way, we have got to make them permanent.
But “The Tan Man” spent all last fall running around the country yelling like this—
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Where are the jobs?
Where are the jobs?
Where are the jobs?
Where are the jobs?
Where are the jobs?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, you know what‘s interesting about this? And I was paying close attention to this today. During his acceptance speech, Boehner didn‘t mention anything about job creation, not once.
Boehner and the Republicans knew they would get the power in the House months ago, right? But they still have not offered a single idea on how to create jobs.
Well, they don‘t have a pre-game show because they‘ve got no game, they‘ve got no plan. Instead, they‘ve laid out a laughable agenda for the first few days in session.
Now, you‘ve got to feel good about this one. On Thursday, they will be reading the Constitution by members of the House, followed by a resolution to cut the congressional budget.
I think it‘s by a few thousand bucks per office. Big deal. Window dressing.
Then on Friday, they plan to introduce a resolution for repealing the “job-killing health care law act.”
Then they‘re going do what? They‘re going to duck out of town for the weekend. That‘s their commitment.
The new Republican-controlled House has absolutely punted on the jobs issue. But Nancy Pelosi today still has her eye on the ball. She laid down this challenge to “The Tan Man” and the new Republicans --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Our most important job is to fight for American jobs, to make it in America, and so Democrats will judge what comes before Congress from either side of the aisle, as to whether it creates jobs, strengthens the middle class, and reduces the deficit, not burdening future generations.
When the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and the new Republican majority—and congratulations again—come forward with solutions that will address these American challenges, you will find us a willing partner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right. Don‘t hold your breath, folks. The Republicans are already breaking the promises they made to their Tea Party.
Now, in their “Pledge to America,” the Republicans vowed to cut $100 billion out of the budget in the first year alone. Remember that? That was back in September.
Now Think Progress is reporting Republican aides say that the $100 billion figure, well, that was hypothetical. Even Fox News is pressing Republicans on this flip-flop.
Watch Congressman Mike Pence backpedal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the “Pledge to America” during the election, Republicans said that they would pledge to this country that they would cut $100 billion in short order, which meant a one-year period.
Are they going to stick to that promise?
REP. MIKE PENCE ®, INDIANA: I know “The New York Times” today is talking about with what remains in the fiscal year, we‘re not sure in this fiscal year. Look, people are number crunching.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me ask you this—is $100 billion over 12 months starting today a reasonable target?
PENCE: Well, no. I think it‘s a good start. I mean, you know, a lot of Washington is trying to parse the words here and go, well, the fiscal year ends in October—
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but I don‘t think Americans care about that. I think if you gave them a one-year period, you know, that was the promise in the “Pledge to America.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Fox is going to have to fire that anchor. Hell, she‘s almost a Democrat! She‘s actually asking somebody a question over on the right wing.
Isn‘t Pence—he‘s a former talk show host—isn‘t he kind of slick, mincing words? He‘s a really ex-wordsmither. You know what I mean? Keep in mind, this is the guy that ran around the country and said if you voted for Democrats, they were going to stick in the Fairness Doctrine.
Pence is backpedaling. And let‘s not forget this “Pledge to America” that came out last September. They can‘t even keep the first pledge.
They don‘t even know what the numbers are. And now they‘re saying it‘s hypothetical.
Come on, Tea Partiers. Where the hell are you tonight? Where‘s the next march? I want to join.
If they don‘t hold Boehner‘s feet to the fire on this one, it will prove, once and for all, that the Tea Party was only about one thing, and that was hating the president of the United States. Boehner and the rest of the new Republican Congress has snookered everybody on this one.
They have nothing for the middle class. Nothing. And they‘re treating the Tea Party like a bunch of fools.
This is how Boehner and the Republicans plan on running the Congress. And if this is the way it does go, it‘s going to be hell-bent for election for 2012.
You know, I told the team today—I said, “You know what? Here‘s what I want to do. I want to pick one sound bite,” and just let Boehner say—one sound bite, we‘ll pick, and I‘ll pick it apart. Damn it if he didn‘t offer it up.
I mean, this is like shooting fish in a barrel, folks. Listen to what Boehner said today about money, the budget and priorities. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: We gather here today at a time of great challenges, when nearly one in 10 of our neighbors is out of work, health care costs are still rising for American families. Our spending has caught up with us, and our debt soon will eclipse the entire size of our national economy. Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Boom. Here we go, out of the park. Class is now in session.
99ers, don‘t you feel good that he almost came to tears talking about one in 10 Americans out of work?
“We gather here today at a time of great challenges, nearly one in 10 of our neighbors is out of work.”
Excuse me? You‘ve been against every single extension of unemployment benefits, and you have fought job creation all the way, tooth and nail, against this White House, period.
Secondly, repealing health care reform for 32 million people, that‘s what you want to do. You want to tell people with a pre-existing condition that they can‘t get insurance.
That‘s what they want to do.
And of course the debt. Well, let‘s forget about the two wars that were unfunded, let‘s forget about the tax cuts that weren‘t paid for, let‘s forget about Medicare Part D that was never paid for. And now Mr. Boehner is coming back telling us that we‘re just spending too much money as a country.
Hell, they drove us in this hole. And now they‘re standing up saying, well, you know, government‘s too big. We‘ve got to cut—what? Here it comes—Social Security, Medicare. Every entitlement program that you‘ve ever paid into as an American in the past generation, they‘re going to go after. They‘re after the New Deal.
Now, here‘s what Boehner‘s going to do to set up 2012. He‘s going to give his righty buddies something to vote on.
Repeal health care, it will pass, it will never go anywhere in the Senate. Of course the president would never sign it anyway.
Then, of course, Michele Bachmann‘s going to come up with repealing Wall Street reform. Well, that might pass the House. It will never go anywhere in the Senate. And, of course, President Obama would never sign that.
So the Republicans will go out on the campaign trail, and it‘s going to start real soon. You know, we‘re trying to repeal Wall Street, we‘re trying to fix Wall Street, we‘re trying to help American taxpayers. We‘re trying to repeal and fix American health care, but the obstructionists now are the Democrats because they‘ll let it die in the Senate.
That‘s where this whole thing is going. It‘s all about the next setup. It‘s all about the next political push. It‘s all about taking down President Obama.
They don‘t want to create jobs. They‘re not about that at all. And I guarantee you, if you do see the numbers change, which I believe they will, you won‘t hear Boehner or any of these new righties give one ounce of credit to the last Congress for fighting like hell for a jobs bill.
This is an ideological war. I say it on camera tonight here on MSNBC. I will fight these bastards every night at 6:00 because I know what they‘re up against. I know what they want to do.
They want to take down American workers. They want to outsource jobs. They want to destroy the American dream. Concentrate the wealth to the top and control minorities, that‘s what they‘re about.
And so now we have a new bartender in chief, a new bartender of the House. Maybe he does have some issues. Another show coming up on that.
Get your cell phones out tonight, folks. I want to know what you think in tonight‘s text survey question.
Do you think John Boehner has any idea how to create jobs? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: It‘s good to be back, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Your take on this ceremonial handing of the gavel today? Do you think Mr. Boehner will be a different Speaker than he was a minority leader?
MCDERMOTT: No. He was against everything for the middle class whether you‘re talking about health care or you‘re talking about unemployment insurance, or you‘re talking about aid for students to go to school, every single thing he voted against.
Now he‘s in charge. He has to come up with the plan.
And what does he have—if you look at his plan for the next three weeks, it‘s all about a silly stunt that they‘re doing to try and repeal the health care act. It has nothing to do with jobs whatsoever.
In fact, they know it‘s going to fail. And they‘re just going through this because they think that the Tea Party leadership is so stupid, they won‘t understand that this stunt is just to get them to think that they were on their side.
SCHULTZ: Bernie Sanders told me today that he thinks this is going to be the most radical Congress ever. Do you agree with that?
MCDERMOTT: I do. I think that up to this point, they‘ve talked about, they‘re only going do things if they can repeal Social Security or get private accounts, if they can privatize Medicare, if they can—they simply are destroying the New Deal. That‘s the whole point here.
SCHULTZ: That‘s it.
MCDERMOTT: And I think that they are going to try do that, but they‘re going to wind up discovering that the American people are not stupid, and they are listening, and they‘re going to say hey, wait a minute, we‘ve bought a pig in a poke. This guy said he was going to bring jobs, and what he‘s doing is taking away our safety net and making it worse for us. That is not going to sell in 2012.
They are intent on bringing down the president. That is their one and only goal. That‘s what Mr. McConnell said, and I don‘t think it‘s any different in John Boehner‘s head. But we will have to—the American people will have to discover that for themselves.
SCHULTZ: They will, and it‘s going to hurt, because I think that their agenda is going to be brutal for American workers.
And as I said in my commentary, it‘s all about setting up the next election. They want to call you, the Democrats, the obstructionists. That‘s what this vote is all about, because we all know it‘s not going anywhere in the Senate. Correct?
MCDERMOTT: It‘s absolutely how I see it. They‘re going to—if they don‘t change the rule on the filibuster in the Senate, they are going to put a bunch of baloney over there which is going to be put on hold or put on some kind of filibuster hold, and it will never be brought to a vote.
I think if the Senate changes their rules and forces these guys to come out and actually stand there for hours and hours and hours and debate it in front of the public, make them own these filibusters—they can‘t just send a letter in—“Well, I put a filibuster on this,” they‘ve got to go out on the floor for 10 hours, or 15 or 20, and argue it, it will become clear how vacuous, how empty, how nothing their plan really is.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to you have here tonight. Keep up the fight.
MCDERMOTT: Don‘t worry. We‘ll be here.
SCHULTZ: It is going to be a very passionate fight. And I just—no, I haven‘t had anybody in my ear piece since I started tonight, and management‘s not saying I‘m over the top. I just referred to the Republicans as a term I probably shouldn‘t have used, but I know what—they just infuriate me.
I don‘t think they‘re honest brokers. I think they‘re out to destroy unions. I think they‘re out to destroy the working folk of America. I think they have nothing on the table for middle class, the middle class Americans out there who haven‘t had the breaks that the top two percent has had.
So, if I offended some of you by that term I used a few moments ago, I apologize. Maybe I‘ve had too much TV.
Coming up, I‘m not done with the Speaker. He‘s doing everything he can to fool everyone into believing he‘s a man of the people. What a fraud. Wait until you see the tape that we found today.
“Bat Crazy” Bachmann is thinking about running for president. You know, I should say tonight, if she runs, I‘ll run. No, I can‘t think about that.
She‘s radical and she lies. We know that. And she just might be a perfect fit for the Republicans.
Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota sounds off tonight.
Plus, New Jersey‘s bully governor Chris Christie, which everybody on network TV just loves to love, except me, is talking about beating Barack Obama in 2012.
Keep dreaming, big guy.
And a member of the professional left joins me to talk about Robert Gibbs leaving.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
John Boehner‘s trying to desperately pass himself off as a man of the people. Can you believe that?
And today he kept throwing out the rhetoric about this being the people‘s House. But don‘t be fooled, folks. “The Tan Man” is and always has been corporate America‘s man in the House.
Back in the 1990s, Boehner even handed out checks from the tobacco lobby on the House floor in an effort to save tobacco subsidies. He admitted it in a 1996 interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: (INAUDIBLE) asked me to give out a half a dozen checks quickly before we got to the end of the month, and I complied. And I did it on the House floor, which I regret. I should not have done.
It‘s not a violation of the House rules, but it‘s a practice that‘s gone on here for a long time that we‘re trying to stop. And I know that I‘ll never do it again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were the checks from tobacco companies?
BOEHNER: I think if my memory serves me correctly, I think it was a tobacco check, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel about that episode looking back on it?
BOEHNER: It‘s a bad practice. We‘ve got to stop this. This is just not something that ought to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, if his memory serves him correctly. I guess he‘s a good guy to be around if he‘s got money in his hand. He just hands it out.
So, after he got caught handing out checks to his colleagues, he decided it was a practice that—well, it ought to be stopped.
Folks, don‘t believe all this Republican talk about how they‘re in Washington to serve the American people. They are there to serve their corporate buddies. And Boehner, with his subsidized, supersized gavel, will be leading the charge.
Joining me now is 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: Lots of generic talk disguised by the corporate interests.
That‘s how I would frame up today‘s speech. What do you think?
VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, I mean, John Boehner has shown a fanatical willingness over these last years to sell off our government to corporate and banking interests. This is a man who, when the financial regulatory reform was—legislation, was being debated, flew to Washington to meet with Wall Street bankers to say, support us, we‘re on your side. On the eve of the first floor vote on the financial regulatory legislation, Boehner convened 100 lobbyists and conservative activists behind closed doors.
Ed, do you think the people‘s business was being done behind closed doors? I don‘t.
SCHULTZ: Is this going back to the Tom DeLay mindset, in your opinion?
VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes. I mean, Boehner is very much in the Tom DeLay mold in the fact, you know, great presidents have had brain trusts, people of mind, of ideas. John Boehner is notorious for having a very close circle of corporate titans.
He‘s flown on their corporate jets, he goes golfing with them. And I just hope, Ed, just like you did, that the media in this next period gets behind his tan, gets beyond those tears, and looks at the policies which are going to make millions of Americans cry, because this guy is not a protector of the people‘s interests.
I mean, just in the lame-duck session, he sided against a food safety bill. I mean, what kind of—what is he, for salmonella versus the people?
This is not a protector of the people‘s interests. And we‘re going to need a lot of exposing, because he‘s going to look smiley, and he‘s going to talk a good game, but, you know, talking the talk, look what the they‘re doing.
Their first act is to walk the walk of repealing a health care bill which would save this country about $140 billion over the next 10 years. Where‘s the deficit reduction, John Boehner?
SCHULTZ: The humble tone, I think, is a hoodwink. I think they‘re going to be brutal. And it‘s going to take a real effort by the progressives in this country to mount the grassroots charge again. And we were bruised in the last session of the Congress, not getting everything that we wanted, the way we wanted, but I think these folks are dangerous.
VANDEN HEUVEL: It‘s going to take tough, principled, organizing journalism. And, you know, Ed, it‘s the progressive community, but there is a cross section—I believe a cross section in this country of citizens of conscience who understand that this Congress wants to repeal New Deal reforms, civilizing reforms that have provided Americans with just a bit of humane, decent security. And that‘s what I think a lot of people are seeking, not a lot of pap, a lot of talk, a lot of symbolism, which I think we‘re seeing in the first hours.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, great to have you with us tonight.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Keep up the fight. Thanks so much.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, this freshman lawmaker from South Carolina is clearly not ready for prime time. This guy must be taking cues from his buddy Jim DeMint down there in South Carolina.
I‘ll show you how clueless he is in “The Zone” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, in honor of the new Congress, we‘ve got a newbie lawmaker in “The Zone” tonight.
Meet Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina. Now, he‘s already fallen in line with the rest of the righties, threatening to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. But he admits he has really no idea what it would mean for the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICK MULVANEY ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: We don‘t make structural changes. If we don‘t actually send the message to the markets, to the people, to businesses that we‘re going be fiscally responsible, yes, then I won‘t vote to raise the debt ceiling. I have no difficulty doing that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think would happen if the debt ceiling wasn‘t really raised?
MULVANEY: Well, I don‘t know. You know, I‘ve asked that question.
I‘ve asked that question a lot.
I heard Goolsbee on Sunday saying it would be catastrophic. I‘ve heard other people say that over the last couple of months.
And I asked the question, OK, what does—what does that mean? What is a catastrophic event mean? And no one seems to be able to answer the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you mean no one has the answer? All you need to do is find someone who was around back in the 1990s.
When Newt Gingrich and his minions refused to raise the debt ceiling, it ended up costing taxpayers, old buddy, $800 million. And let me tell you what would happen if the righties did it again today.
To avoid defaulting on the national debt, the budget would have to be balanced immediately. So what does that mean? Well, it means more than 40 percent of all federal government activities would have to stop.
Those cuts would have to include crucial programs like—well, the FBI, homeland and border security, air safety, unemployment insurance, student loans, the lot, which means less basic safety and more job losses, not to mention possible worldwide financial panic.
So Mickster—you‘re being dubbed “The Mickster” on “Psycho Talk” your first night out. How does it feel?
You may want to do some research before blindly following your right-wing buddies down right into the ditch. Saying you‘ll vote against raising the debt ceiling without having any idea what consequences it would be for the United States is completely irresponsible, but predictable, Republican “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, tranced-out Tea Partier Michele Bachmann. Well, she might be getting into the 2012 circus. Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, he knows what she‘s all about. And he‘ll weigh in on that next on THE ED SHOW.
And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went on talk radio and showed just how arrogant he really is. He‘s blasting President Obama, saying that he could have his job. We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
Plus, Howard Dean slams President Obama‘s aides. Darrell Issa calls the Obama administration corrupt, again.
And Reverend Al Sharpton has a warning for Mr. Boehner. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us, lots coming up.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. “Battleground” story tonight, well, the 2012 republican presidential primary race may be getting an extra dose of crazy. Psycho-talking Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is reportedly thinking about throwing her hat into the ring. She‘s going to Iowa this month to give a speech and cozy up to the state party leaders. The move could pit Bachmann against her good old buddy Sarah Palin. But unlike Palin, I think Bachmann actually has a shot at the republican nomination. She‘s proven that she has the fund-raising chops. You can‘t deny it. She raised $13.2 million during her 2010 campaign, the most ever by a House candidate. Conservatives like her.
And more importantly, unlike her Alaskan friend Michele Bachmann, well, she‘s not a quitter. She‘s a lawyer who‘s dead serious about doubling down on anything she says and she plays to win, so I‘m all for it. I think Bachmann would be great for the Democrats. She‘s so radical, she would peel off a lot of moderates from the Republicans‘ side, and leave a lot of room for President Obama‘s re-election. She could also cause some real problems for other Republicans running for president since she‘s a Tea Party favorite, and won‘t be afraid to take shots at other Republicans. I think candidates who write her off, well, I‘ll tell you what, I think you‘re doing it at your own risk. She has a following, and she could make an impact. I think she‘s a primetime player and by the way, have you noticed she really likes the camera.
For more, let‘s go to Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. Keith, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Always a pleasure. How are you doing, Ed?
SCHULTZ: Great. Agree or differ me, what do you think, does Michele Bachmann have the national prowess to mount a campaign? What do you think?
ELLISON: I think she has as good of a shot as anybody who has thrown their hat out here. And I think that she‘s demonstrated an ability to raise money. And she‘s articulated a clear agenda. Now I disagree with 100 percent of that agenda, but she has articulated a clear agenda. I think that it is a mistake to say that she‘s not viable. And in fact, I encourage Michele to run because if she really believes in the values that she shares with the rest of us, she should put them to the test by putting in front of the American people. Let‘s just see if in fact Americans will support a candidate who believes that Wall Street reform should be repealed.
Let‘s just see if Americans want to support a candidate who opposes “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.” Let‘s just see if nobody thought that the stimulus was a good thing, all those roads, bridges and jobs, let‘s see somebody run against those things particularly in a couple of years when those projects have been completed. Let‘s just see if people want a candidate who‘s against stopping people for being excluded for pre-existing conditions. I think she should put her ideas in front of the public and see how far they go and I‘ve—I dare her to run.
SCHULTZ: Yes, she is going to introduce a bill, repealing Wall Street reform.
SCHULTZ: It‘s pretty much predictable. How much support do you think she would get? And you know, there‘s going to be some Palin followers and some Bachmann followers. Where would they go? Would this create a divide?
ELLISON: Well, I don‘t know. I can tell you this that Sarah Palin is essentially become sort of a celebrity. She‘s more of a TV personality. She‘s demonstrated a distinct distaste for governing. I don‘t think she really wants to run anything other than her promotional agency, but Michele Bachmann is a real politician. And she‘s been a state senator. She‘s raised a lot of money as a state—as a U.S. congressperson and she‘s a real candidate. So I wouldn‘t—I think that Michele Bachmann would be viable, and I think that Sarah Palin better not try to challenge Michele Bachmann because she would probably end up on the losing end of that. Of course, maybe Michele Bachmann doesn‘t agree—I mean maybe Sarah Palin doesn‘t agree, so I‘ll just let the two of them fight it out.
SCHULTZ: Keith Ellison, let me ask you one more question, Congressman, your thoughts on John Boehner. Will he be the same speaker that he was minority leader?
ELLISON: Well, you know what, John Boehner, I think is a person who‘s a responsible republican. What that means is that he‘s for cutting taxes, he‘s for the corporate community, he‘s for industry, he‘s not so much for working people, and—but he‘s a traditional corporate republican.
ELLISON: And I think he‘s going to be dealing with some people who are not of that ilk on the radical extreme, and I‘m curious to see how he‘s going to manage those people. I think he‘s got his hands full and his caucus is not going to demonstrate the same kind of discipline that it has in the past and his leadership talents are going to be sorely pressed.
SCHULTZ: Well, rule number one for 2011 on this show and on the Ed Schultz radio show, there are still Republicans. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
ELLISON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet. I appreciate you being on the show. Now let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories, Congressman Darrell Issa, this guy‘s doubling down on his claim the Obama administration is one of the most corrupt in history? He went on slant head show last night and accused the president of misusing T.A.R.P. funds.
And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie jokes about a new poll out showing that he‘s the only republican who could that beat President Obama in 2012.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, host of grit TV, and editor of the “At The Tea Party.” And conservative radio talk show host Scott Hennen with us tonight.
Folks, thanks for joining us. Laura Flanders, and Scott, let‘s play this, this is Mr. Issa on Hannity‘s program last night doubling down on what he said earlier after he softened his first response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA ®, CALIFORNIA: I mean it‘s one of the most corrupt presidencies. This president has used trillions of dollars as walking around money to take care of pet projects and pet organizations. One good example is when he used the T.A.R.P. money to bail out, not the bondholders of General Motors or Chrysler, but in fact, the unions. This was a misuse of funds that were given to President Bush, specifically to help with the financial crisis. It was never intended to bail out labor unions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Laura Flanders?
LAURA FLANDERS, HOST, GRIT TV: Most corrupt, you wonder where he was for the last administration. But really, you know, while Issa‘s setting himself up as this grand inquisitor, what‘s really going on is of course a huge cover-up. This isn‘t about discovery, all of these investigations that Issa has the authority, sadly, to initiate are really about distraction. We know what happened. You had a handful of corporate criminals and politicians who rewrote the laws for them that drove our economy off a cliff. Rather than looking into that, he‘s going to be looking into Fannie Mae, Wikileaks.
FLANDERS: Loans to poor people. We need to be investigating banks who are right now putting people out of.
SCHULTZ: Scott, what do you think?
SCOTT HENNEN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think elections have consequences, so I‘ve been waiting a long time say that actually since the first Tuesday in November and Darrell Issa has a job to do, representing the American people, to ultimately get to the bottom of these questions. I think he‘s dead on right, it was walking around money and by the way, let‘s not forget where Barack Obama is from. He‘s a part of the Chicago political machine, you know, our duty is better than anybody. And that‘s what he‘s done here. Plain and simple.
SCHULTZ: Well, walking around money, I mean that‘s a pretty inflammatory statement. Seeing that the Congress did vote on the stimulus package.
FLANDERS: I mean, it‘s not what we‘re looking at here, it‘s what we‘re not looking at. We need to be looking at what has happened in our economy? What exactly is going to right now with foreclosure fraud? And instead we‘ll going to be doing this other crazy stuff. If you like the Clinton administration, what, 140 hours investigating, hearing testimony on the Christmas Party list? You know, we‘re really in for quite a ride.
SCHULTZ: All right, here‘s Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey, joking about a poll that‘s out, saying that he could beat President Obama. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY: Well, I think that‘s good news for the president since I‘m not running. That‘s about the only thing that I could say about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Scott, would you like to see him run?
HENNEN: I would and I tell you what, it tells you a lot about the state, the Democratic Party today that you‘ve got a republican governor of the state of New Jersey, who is beating the president of the United States when Barack Obama who what, two years ago was political rock star, the messiah going to depart the sea. And a governor from New Jersey that is A republican, and B, beats him in a presidential poll? It tells you the political world has changed big time.
SCHULTZ: Laura, what do you think?
FLANDERS: I look at that completely opposite. I mean, here you got a blue state governor who is the last best chance of independents since somewhat kind of moderate Republicans. This was also the state of Christie Todd Whitman but, you know, while Chris Christie comes across big and blustery on that very little YouTube screen, he‘s really going to be seeing, the people of New Jersey going to be seeing the high cost of his policies over the next few years and you know, while he‘s in Disneyland, they‘ll going to be digging out of unbelievable cuts to schooling, to education, to public services, and women‘s health, among other things. So we‘ve got a long way to go with Chris Christie.
SCHULTZ: All right. Scott Hennen, Laura Flanders, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. Coming up, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced he‘s leaving the White House today just months ago. He took a shot at the professional left. Bill Press is a member of that professional left. He‘s at those briefings every day, he‘ll weigh in on this next.
And I‘ll tell you why Congressman Steve King is leading the pack of republican hypocrites when it comes to health care. It‘s all ahead in the “Playbook,” stay with us on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think John Boehner has any idea how to create jobs? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639. The results are coming up. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What I‘m going to do next is step back a little bit, recharge something, we‘ve been going at the pace for at least four years. I will have an opportunity, I hope to give some speeches. I will continue to provide advice and counsel to this building and to this president, and I look forward to continuing to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And in the “Playbook” tonight, President Obama‘s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced today that he‘s leaving the White House. Gibbs follows Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, out the door, all of them. Added to a rocky relationship between the Obama administration and his progressive base. Gibbs got all of us fired up in an interview with “The Hill,” a while back when he talked about the professional left saying, quote, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we‘ve eliminated the Pentagon. That‘s not reality.” And quote, “They won‘t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.” I remember those days. The president‘s critics say he surrounded himself with insiders who didn‘t care about progressives. Now is the golden opportunity for the president to load up his staff with people who will advocate for the base. Gibbs agreed his replacement needs to be an advocate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIBBS: Whoever stands here or whoever goes on television to make the case for this administration should be—should be an advocate for the decisions and the policies that are coming from this building. You certainly have to play that role.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Bill Press. A member, a proud member of the professional left and my friend who was.
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: .at the White House briefing room just about every day. Bill, good to have you with us tonight. What do you make of this move? Is this really an opportunity for the president to lean left at the podium?
PRESS: You know, absolutely, Ed. Let me tell you, Gibbs was the first one today to admit that his departure‘s part of a major White House shake-up and I think a necessary one because for one thing, I mean, this administration, you and I agree with that, they‘ve accomplished a lot over the last two years but nobody knows about it. They have not told their story well enough and Gibbs is again is just one part but he‘s a big part of that communications team. I mean most people don‘t know, 95 percent of Americans got a tax cut under the stimulus package. We‘ve got double the number of agents on the board that we ever had. They‘ve got to tell their story better. And they‘ve got to stop, Ed, ignoring or betraying their base. The professional left, if you want to call it.
SCHULTZ: Was Ari Fleischer tougher than Robert Gibbs? Ari Fleischer for Bush, Gibbs for Obama, the rub there, comparison, what do you think?
PRESS: Well, I wasn‘t around an Ari Fleischer‘s day but the answer—
I‘ve watched him, right, is absolutely, yes. Give me one good example, Ed, today, right? I went down there expecting them to come out guns a blazing, the Republicans, their number one priority, they‘re trying to repeal Obama‘s number one success and achievement, right? And I thought they would come out and say, this is terrible, it‘s going to hurt American families, it‘s going to increase the deficit, and instead they just sort of shrugged it off and said, everybody knows it‘s political theater. Well, guess what, everybody out there doesn‘t know it‘s political theater.
SCHULTZ: Well, this rub between the base and the White House is pretty clear now. Howard Dean has come out and said, most of the people who were causing the friction are either out of the White House or going. So I guess I would say there is in a process a huge senior staff shake-up going on in the White House, I think this is a very good thing and I think it help. What is he saying to the president?
PRESS: I think what he‘s saying to the president, two things. Number one, again, you can‘t ignore, you can‘t be trailer based. Ed, they‘ve learned that lesson the hard way. Because when they needed the base in the midterm‘s elections, people didn‘t turn out. I think Howard Dean is saying, or at least I‘ll say this, it comes down ultimately, though, to the president himself. He has got to be the one who‘s got to be willing to be tougher, to fight the good fight. Ed, they have not scheduled one speech for Obama this week to take on the Republicans and call him out for trying to repeal health care reform. Why not? The American people need to hear from him, not just to whoever the next press secretary is.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, always a pleasure. We‘ll keep an eye.
PRESS: All right, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
Some final pages in the playbook tonight. Republicans are vowing to repeal the health care law that saves lives. So Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley wants them to put up or shut up. He has challenged any republican lawmaker that ran against health care to opt out of their government health care in Congress. No surprise here. Only five republican congressmen pledged to practice what they preach.
And there‘s no bigger hypocrite than Congressman Steve King out of Iowa. He fought the health care law tooth and nail but he says, he has no plans to give up his own government health care plan. He says, the others deserve some credit for standing on this principle. He didn‘t have any comment about his own principles.
And I‘ve had some big catches at big Eddie‘s lake house but nothing like this one, folks. I can‘t brag it because we didn‘t pull in this 750 pound-blue tinned tuna. All sold for $380,000 on an auction in Tokyo, that‘s some good eats. That shatters the ten-year old record of $150,000. The sea food wholesaler bought it, so if you‘re eating tuna at a restaurant, you never know. It might be this big old boy.
And coming up, John Boehner and his republican-controlled house are turning their backs on the minorities in this country. Reverend Al Sharpton has a stern warning for them. You won‘t want to miss it.
That‘s next on THE
ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And finally tonight, John Boehner and the republican-controlled House are on a mission to repeal the health care law that saves lives. They‘ll vote on it next week. Their plan would hit low-income families and minorities the hardest. According to the urban institute, 16.8 million low-income folks in America would be denied Medicaid coverage if they repealed it, but Republicans, I think, could care less. The good news is Harry Reid already said that there is no chance it will go through the Senate. But here‘s the bottom line, this is a new house, and that is flat out in my opinion, a threat to the minorities.
For more on this, let‘s turn to Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. Reverend, what is this vote symbolize the direction that they want to take?
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: It is a fraudulent attack on all Americans, particularly minorities, who are disproportionately impacted with the problems of health care and the insurance. To say that they‘re going to come and repeal the health care laws, that for the first time brought people in coverage that had pre-existing conditions, people that had insurance companies just canceling them with no real cause, that had a disproportionate need for that, we must begin to mobilize to let the house know that is now majority under the Republicans, that we‘re not going back. You can turn back the clock, but you can‘t turn back time. We‘re not going back, because this country has made a giant step forward in bringing all Americans together, providing health care, providing insurance and Medicaid, and for them to come in with an announced program to disenfranchise people should not be tolerated at all by the American people.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, what do you say to those Democrats who might vote to repeal it? I mean, they‘re afraid about the next election. What do you think?
SHARPTON: They ought to be afraid about the next election in terms of their own primaries and their own elections when they are declaring war on their base. Let us be very clear, there are people that are depending on this from their very lives and their very medical conditions, seniors, young people that are added to their parents‘ insurance. You can‘t play with this. This is beyond politics. This is life and death in low-income communities and minority communities, and we‘ve got to fight like it—fight this like our lives depend on it, because in many cases it does.
SCHULTZ: So, how do you view the strategy here, Reverend Sharpton? I mean, Harry Reid has said, it‘s never going to hit the floor in the Senate, of course the president would never sign it. So, what do you think John Boehner and the Republicans are trying to do? What message are they sending other than one that they really don‘t care about the folks you just talked about?
SHARPTON: I think that we‘re playing divisive politics that we‘re trying to score points, using working class people, lower income people as a backboard to try to score against this president. So here you go in late winter trying to put the president and the American people in a hostage situation to give an extension to tax cuts for the rich and you come right back after the holiday when you get the majority and say, we‘re going to take health care from working class people and from low-income people, this is a double shot a barrel shotgun blast at the American public and we can‘t see it as anything less than that.
SCHULTZ: And finally, another story I want to talk to you about, Reverend Sharpton, is Robert Gibbs‘ leaving. Does it matter who the White House press secretary is? Is there a certain makeup or some type of personality or some kind of an aggressive person that would fight for the agenda in front of the media? Do you think that‘s important for the president the next two years?
SHARPTON: I think it‘s important that the message get out, but I think that we‘ve got to understand that the problem I don‘t think was Robert Gibbs. I think the problem is that the media has been so saturated by right-wing ideologues posting as a report, posting as objective journalist, that he has had to swim upstream and whoever comes, he has do that. We have this climate where no matter what happens they‘re trying to condemn this president. And I think the people need to rise up. The spokesman can only reflect from behind the lectern. I think some of us will have to get behind the barricades and won those that are now trying to turn back the clock. Whoever the spokesman is in the White House and in our houses, we‘re not going to tolerate a backward forum in this country.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, great to have you here tonight. Thanks so much.
SHARPTON: Great to see you.
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our text survey I asked, do you think that John Boehner has any idea how to create jobs? Twenty five percent of you said, yes. Seventy five percent of you said, no. That‘s THE ED SHOW, I‘m Ed Schultz. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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