updated 1/19/2011 12:23:59 PM ET 2011-01-19T17:23:59

Guests: Rachel Maddow, Joe Crowley, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Eric Boehlert, Joe Madison,

Heidi Harris, Carolyn McCarthy, Jim Warren

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour 

Breaking news.  Two U.S. senators announce that they will not run for reelection.  “The New York Times” I s reporting that Independent Senator Joe Lieberman and Democrat Kent Conrad, two senators who played a major role in slowing down and watering down health care reform, have decided not to run for reelection in 2012. 

We‘ll have that story tonight. 

In the meantime, Republicans have started their new effort to repeat, block and undermine President Obama‘s policies.  Today, trying to take down the health care law, even though it will save lives and a ton of money for this country. 

Commentary on that and live reaction from Congressman Joe Crowley and Katrina vanden Heuvel of “The Nation.”

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are vowing to stand up to the new Republican majority.  Rachel Maddow sat down with Pelosi today.  Rachel will join me live here tonight to talk about the Democrats and their plan to fight back. 

And Sarah Palin says she‘s not going to shut up.  Isn‘t that good?  In a rambling and bitter interview, she lashes out again at her critics, and took no responsibility for her words.  Eric Boehlert of Media Matters will be here tonight to break it all down. 

But this is the story that has me fired up first tonight.

The John Boehner cut-and-grow agenda kicked into high gear today.  At this hour, Congress is debating the repeal of what they call the “job-killing” health care law. 

Folks, the game plan is pretty simple.  They‘re going to cut 32 million Americans off health care if they have their way and grow the bank accounts of the insurance executives who donate to their campaign. 

It‘s a pretty simple strategy, isn‘t it?

Well, this is nothing more than political theater, is what it is.  John Boehner knows this repeal has no chance in the Senate, and the president will never give it the light of day. 

Republicans are wasting your time, your taxpayer dollars, and doing a dog and pony show to do what?  To satisfy and pay off politically the Tea Party. 

And they showed up today with their own facts, as Democrats quickly pointed out. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA:  Many of my colleagues across the aisle have rebuffed this analysis from Congress‘ own budgetary referee, the Congressional Budget Office, because it doesn‘t fit the Republican narrative or campaign promise to tackle the deficit.  However, while they may be entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.  Health care repeal is the epitome of fiscal irresponsibility. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole is trying to repeal health care because he thinks the American people want him to do it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TOM COLE ®, OKLAHOMA:  The American people, quite frankly, have never liked this bill, as they demonstrated last November.  You can‘t find a poll where it‘s ever cracked 50 percent in approval. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  See, they‘re less than honest. 

The last election was not about health care reform, it was about the economy.  And the fact of the matter is the CBO score says this bill will save money. 

Here are some facts Republicans don‘t want the American people to know. 

A new Associated Press/GFK poll shows 62 percent of the American people want this law as it is, or made even stronger. 

Congressman Cole, you know, I don‘t now how you do math down in your neck of the woods, but the last time I checked, 62 is more than 50. 

The American people need to know some other facts that the Republicans are hiding.  Take a look at these. 

At this moment, it‘s illegal for insurance companies to deny children coverage because of a pre-existing condition.  It‘s also illegal for insurance companies to drop people because they got sick. 

Lifetime caps on insurance payouts are also against the law.  Another good one. 

The law also lets kids stay on their parents‘ policy until they turn 26. 

The Republican crusade to destroy health care has never been reality-based.  It‘s never been about facts.  “The Tan Man” posted this on his Web site—he says, “Repealing the job-crushing health care law is critical to boosting small business job creation and growing the economy.” 

Really?  If Boehner was any kind of a leader, what he would do is strip the word “killing” out of the bill first, the same way he did on his own Web site.

Republicans are cooking the books again when they say that this is a law that will kill jobs.  It will not. 

Now, a report by Boehner and other Republicans says “Independent analyses have determined that the health care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy.” 

Really?  The report goes on to say that the law will eliminate 650,000 jobs. 

You know, you‘ll never believe where they got that number—the Congressional Budget Office.  That‘s right, the same Congressional Budget Office Republicans have vilified over the last month.  But, you see, there‘s a problem.  The CBO never produced that number. 

So they‘re wiggling again.  Notice I didn‘t call them liars.  I‘m really trying to tone it down. 

Here‘s a fact the CBO did produce.  Repealing the reform law would drive up the deficit by $230 billion in the first decade alone. 

Let‘s go to Republican “Young Gun” Paul Ryan for a moment.  Ryan, here he is, the new chairman of the House Budget Committee.  He‘s worried about passing debt on to our grandchildren? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN ®, WISCONSIN:  I want to be in control of my and my family‘s health care.  I want individuals to be in control of their health care and their destiny. 

We have to ask ourselves when we create these new programs, how much of our children‘s future, of our grandchildren‘s future, are we willing to sacrifice to give them this mountain of debt that is getting worse by the passage and creation of this law?  This, of all reasons, is why we should vote to repeal. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  No.  No.  He is completely wrong on that. 

This is a guy who went on the floor and gave misinformation to the American people.  Notice again I didn‘t call him a liar.  I‘m really trying to tone it down. 

So hold it right there.  Whenever I hear the Republicans talk about passing debt to our grandchildren, don‘t you want to puke?  I‘m not going to do that tonight.  I feel pretty good. 

But this is the same party who wants to pass $4 trillion worth of debt in Bush tax cuts to the same grandkids he‘s talking about?  Let‘s see, they‘ve also put us through two wars that were off budget, a prescription drugs bill that is going to be put on the kids‘ credit card as well. 

Republicans don‘t want their voters to pay attention to the facts. 

They just want them to believe. 

It‘s this twisted belief system that, if we concentrate the wealth to the top and we deprive and discriminate, we‘re going to be a better country.  I find this really, really hard to believe, that there‘s no number the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, can put out that they would agree with unless it favors them. 

Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: Do you think the effort to repeal health care is just a political stunt?  Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no.  I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me now is Congressman Joe Crowley of New York.

Congressman, let‘s go right to one of the favorite right-wing bullet points that this is a job-killer.  You are a small business owner.  Will you cut payroll because of the this health care bill? 

REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK:  Well, the reality is I would never have chosen those types of words, “job-killer.”  I think it was politically inappropriate. 

But having said that, it‘s also baseless.  It is baseless.

This is not a jobs-killer bill.  What this bill will do is ultimately create jobs.  Its estimate over the next 10 years, four million people will be employed because of the passage of this bill and this law—becoming law. 

So Mr. Boehner‘s verbiage, I think, should be doubled-checked.  It shouldn‘t be used at all.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Let‘s get this fact out there.  If you were at $90,000 a year or less in income, you will qualify for a government subsidy to help you buy insurance. 

Is that correct? 

CROWLEY:  That‘s correct.  And the reality is, what we‘re trying to do here is to give to the American people that which we members of Congress have. 

You know, Ed, I‘m a father.  I have three kids.  I work hard every day to put food on the table, to ensure that they have the best opportunities possible, including health care.

I‘m like any other American.  But my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle, they want to take away from the American people that which we have here in Congress.  That is choice.  That is the opportunity to purchase insurance for their families and give them coverage. 

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.

You heard testimony today.  This is Stacie Ritter, a health care beneficiary, at the hearing today.  This is what it‘s about. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STACIE RITTER, FAMILY HELPED BY REFORM LAW:  -- daughters Hannah (ph) and Milan (ph), whom I brought with me today, are childhood cancer survivors.  After recovering from cancer, children can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.  That‘s one of our biggest fears in the future. 

What are they going to do?  Do they deserve to worry if they‘re going to be able to be insured or not?  Not in my country. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  These kids of stories are shifting public opinion.  One of the latest polls out there by The Associated Press, it was 47 percent of the American people opposing it, now it‘s down to 41 percent. 

Will you be able to beat back the Republicans in the sound chamber on this issue? 

CROWLEY:  I think we‘re already doing that, Ed.  I think the American people understand just what is at stake. 

And the more this bill goes into effect, the more they realize what they stand to lose if this bill is repealed like Mr. Boehner and the Republicans want to do. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

CROWLEY:  It‘s not only—that‘s a very heartfelt story about that child with cancer, but you have other pre-existing conditions for children that is now outlawed.  You have young people who are able to stay on their parents‘ insurance until 26.

People like those things.  And repealing that is going to do away with that. 

And, Ed, I ask this question: What does that family do now?  That child has had insurance for the past few months. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s over.  They don‘t have any options.  That‘s the key to this whole thing. 

CROWLEY:  And do they have to pay it back?  Do they have to pay it back?  Who pays it back?  Who pays back the $250 that seniors have received in terms of their—to pay their pharmaceutical expenses? 

SCHULTZ:  You‘re on point.  Congressman, you‘re on point. 

Congressman Crowley, good to have you with us tonight.  Keep up the fight. 

CROWLEY:  Thanks, Ed.  Will do.

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s bring in Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation.”

You know, Katrina, this just might be the issue again that re-ignites the base to head in the correct direction in 2012. 

Is there a silver lining in this debate? 

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”:  Yes.  I mean, this is the health care debate Democrats should have been having. 

I mean, listen, let‘s be honest, Ed.  If we lived in a country we wanted to live in, we would have a not-for-profit health care model, Medicare for all.  But in the country we live in, it is important for Democrats to stand up for these protections, for people like the woman who just—you showed testifying. 

This bill should be called “take insurance away from 30 million people,” or “kick young kids off their parents‘ insurance plan.”  Let Democrats go to the country and tell Americans about the protections this bill gives them and ask them, do you want insurance companies back in charge, to discriminate in these times, when corporate profits are at all-time highs?  Do you want that? 

SCHULTZ:  Speaking of those stories, right out of Eric Cantor‘s back yard, Wanda Moser from Richmond, Virginia, says this: “ I added my 24-year-old son to my dental plan and his father added him on his medical plan.  If the health care were to be replaced, he would be without coverage.” 

Now, you think about kids coming out of college today, getting strapped with debt.  If they have some kind of illness, they have no coverage, they can‘t afford it, that‘s the bottom line here. 

I think the Democrats, Katrina—and you give your take on this—they have to position this that the Republicans are denying.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  They are taking away.  They are discriminating. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  They are discriminating, they are denying, they are rolling back, they are gutting, and they‘re not offering any alternatives that make sense for millions of Americans in this country.  The Democrats need to tell real-life stories.  They need to bring people back into this process and blanket this country with tales of those whose lives have been improved. 

And listen, Bill Kristol, over at Fox, commentator, he knew that the fight to stop health care, which he fought hard in the Clinton administration, he knew that if you brought forward a health care plan you could build on and strengthen, you would bring in a generation into a different mindset in this country. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  And that‘s what we need.  And the hypocrisy of these Republicans who go on about the deficit all the time, and then do faith-based politics when it comes to the Congressional Budget Office, come on.  It shows, though it‘s not the most important, in my view—the most important is helping people live a healthy life in this country, live in decency and dignity. 

It shows that it will save $230 billion over 10 years.  That‘s serious money. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I know the Chinese are in town in Washington this week, and that is a big story as well, but I really think President Obama has got to take this, and take this fight right back to the American people and lay it on the line, because there obviously is a big strategy that the Republicans have got laid out to take this whole thing down. 

Katrina, great to have you with us tonight.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Always a pleasure.  Good to have you on. 

Coming up, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are vowing to fight Speaker Boehner‘s repeal agenda.  Rachel Maddow interviewed Minority Leader Pelosi today.  She joins me live just ahead with how Democrats plan to fight back against the Republican majority. 

Sarah Palin says she won‘t shut up—well, I think that‘s good for cable—and that liberals are trying to stifle debate.  Well, I‘ve got a commentary on that. 

Plus, Bill Clinton stumps for Rahm Emanuel in Chicago despite warnings he‘ll lose support from the black community. 

And new evidence that the Tea Party is plummeting. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  Lots coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight. 

Well, we know now what the Republicans are all up to when it comes to Democratic policies.  Just get rid of all of them.  But Democrats are planning on fighting back. 

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be leading the charge.  She is ready to fight to protect health care reform and to expose the Republicans, and to put her party back in the majority in a couple of years. 

MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow, she sat down with Nancy Pelosi for an exclusive interview today, and Rachel joins us tonight, here on THE ED SHOW.

We‘ll get to that in a moment, but first, this is a sound clip from that interview. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER:  Whatever the situation is, we have to deal with it.  We cannot let our democracy be bought.  We have to fight back on that. 

And I think that maybe what we failed to do in the election, which was to make the proper contrast and to say, this is what is in store if the Republicans are in power, maybe more eloquently portrayed by the Republicans and the actions that they take.  And let them be themselves. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Rachel, great to have you with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. 

Thanks so much.  And great interview.

MADDOW:  Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  The bottom line here is, I think, liberals want to know how much fight is in the Democratic Caucus. 

MADDOW:  You know, I think that we saw when Nancy Pelosi decided she was going to run for Minority Leader, when she decided that, for the first time in 55 years in Washington, she would leave the Speaker‘s office and not go quietly into the good night, but rather join the leadership fight to get Democrats back into the Majority in the House.

I think we saw that she still had the fight in her. 

In this interview with her day today, I could not believe how confident she was, how fired up she was, and how persuaded she is that Democrats will not only be able to hold on to the legislative achievements they were able to rack up in the last two years, but they will be able to win politically by doing so. 

They see this Republican effort to repeal health reform, I think, as a political gift.  I think that‘s essentially what Nancy Pelosi was saying today. 

SCHULTZ:  Rachel, when you see the makeup of all of this, isn‘t the challenge for Nancy Pelosi to hold her caucus together in saving health care reform?  I mean isn‘t she really going to need everybody in her caucus to vote to keep this bill? 

What do you think? 

MADDOW:  Yes, and I think that task is actually going to be significantly easier than when she was trying to hold them together to vote for it.  We saw some of that when some of the anti-health reform conservative Democrats decided that even though they voted against it before, even though they maybe even campaigned against it during the November elections, and the lead-up to the November elections, they weren‘t going to vote with Republicans to repeal it. 

They‘re not stupid.  They can see the writing on the wall. 

They can see that repeal isn‘t even popular anymore among Republicans.  The sort of zealotry to tear this thing down is really dissipating once people realize what this policy does.  And I think that‘s why you see the excitement in somebody like Nancy Pelosi right now. 

SCHULTZ:  And I‘ve got to ask you about the breaking news at the top of the hour.  Joe Lieberman, it‘s being reported by “The New York Times” that he is not going to run for reelection in 2012.

Your take on that?  Are liberals happy with that one tonight? 

MADDOW:  You know, liberals, I think, are probably having as complicated feelings about Joe Lieberman as they always have. 

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW:  Yes.  Go ahead.

SCHULTZ:  Well, you know, Harry Reid had a proposal on the table to bring health care, Medicare down to the age of 55.  And it was Joe Lieberman who went on the Sunday talking heads and deep-sixed that idea and caused a lot of problems.  Also, Kent Conrad really slow-played the public option big time. 

Here are two Democrats stepping out on the very first day that the Republicans in the House are out to repeal it.  That‘s a tough one, isn‘t it?

MADDOW:  Right.  Well, you know, you look at a case like in North Dakota, you look at Kent Conrad, and it‘s unlikely that another Democrat is going to have an easy time taking that seat.  Certainly, lots of people are going to fight for it, but it‘s going to be tough. 

In Connecticut, another Democrat will win that seat.  That will happen.  It will not be a Republican senator replacing Joe Lieberman.  So, in the long run, I think that affects some of the way you think about these things. 

Joe Lieberman was a neocon on national security, a demagoguing neocon, and essentially functioned as a Republican both in political tactics, the way he sided with John McCain, and on economic issues.  On the other hand, Joe Lieberman was a hero on something like “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” and on a lot of other civil rights issues.  So, mixed feelings. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

And Rachel, I‘m remiss if I don‘t ask you, did you address the issue of tone with Nancy Pelosi?  Did she offer any kind of comment on tone? 

MADDOW:  You know, she brought it up herself.  At one point she was talking about Republican ideas, Republican—not only policies, but tactics, and she reined herself in and said, “What‘s the right way for me to say this given the new tone of civility that we have in Washington?”

And she was not being sarcastic.  I saw her actually do it.  And I think it was actually—for me, it was sort of a moving moment, to see that in action with somebody as powerful and as fired up as the former Speaker was with me today. 

SCHULTZ:  Honored to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight, Rachel.  Thanks so much.  Looking forward to that interview.

MADDOW:  Thanks a lot.  Appreciate it. 

SCHULTZ:  I want to remind our viewers that you can watch Rachel‘s full interview with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi tonight on “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW.”  That starts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on MSNBC. 

Coming up, Sean Hannity‘s research for the big interview with Sarah Palin, it went as far as Google.  I‘ll show you his search engine failure next, in “The Zone.”

Come on, Sean.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, our first repeat offender of the year, Sean Hannity. 

“Slant Head,” he had a big exclusive with his buddy Sarah Palin last night.  Did you check it out? 

Hannity did some really in-depth research before the interview.  He used Google. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:  Governor, I Googled your name.  And I put in the words “Sarah Palin, Tucson shooting,” and it came up nearly 10,000 times in 10,000 instances where you connected to this. 

When did you first realize you were being connected to this tragedy? 

SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR:  Well, right away, unfortunately. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  It doesn‘t get any deeper than that, does it? 

Now, Hannity, I know you‘re not big on the prep.  You know what I mean?  So we decided to help you out here tonight, because there‘s some more harsh, hard-hitting Sarah Palin Google results out there that you might want to try for your next big interview. 

Google the words “Sarah Palin, alien invasion.”  You think 10,000 is a lot?  Sixty-two thousand results. 

Google the words “Sarah Palin, bubblegum.”  Holy smokes -- 918,000 results! 

Google the words “Sarah Palin hates clowns,” 796,000 results.  Figure this out.

If Googling the words “Sarah Palin, Tucson shooting” proves she is unfairly connected to the tragedy in Tucson, then you know what?  She must be able to be connected to an alien invasion.  She likes bubblegum, but hates clowns.  Can‘t figure that one out.

Sean Hannity, to use Google to protect Sarah Palin is nothing more than lazy, electronic “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Sarah Palin refuses to back down, and she suggests the Tucson shooter may have been leaning left.  Really? 

Eric Boehlert from Media Matters on this bitter and defensive interview. 

The Tea Party movement is losing steam, and I would say big time.  My panel on that hot story tonight. 

Plus, controversy surrounds former president Bill Clinton stumping for Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Stay with us.  We‘re right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  “Battleground” story tonight, Sarah Palin says she won‘t sit down or shut up.  She did her first interview since Tucson on Sean Hannity‘s show last night.  Even in the safe haven of FOX, she had a bitter and defensive demeanor, I thought.  But she‘s still pushing the buttons of the conservative base using graphic words and twisted facts.  Here‘s what Palin said at the start of the interview. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  The number one thing to remember here is that lives were lost, people were injured, a crazed gunman that I and you and others had nothing to do with influencing him.  He is the sole person, I believe, to blame in this. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  A crazed gunman is the sole person to blame for Tucson.  Now, just remember that.  Now, Palin was asked about the graphic on her political action committees Web site that had crosshairs over Gabby Giffords‘ district. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  The graphic that was used was crosshairs, targeting the different districts.  And again that‘s not original.  In fact, Democrats have been using it for years.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Palin admits they were crosshairs.  The Palin camp has changed their message.  Now the line is yes, it was crosshairs, but we just stole it from the Democrats, bun then Palin slipped in a truly stunning remark. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  And I don‘t know if the Democrats have taken down theirs in these ensuing days, but again, you know, knowing that had absolutely nothing to do with apolitical or perhaps even left-leaning criminal who killed these innocents.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What did she just say?  Can we play that again?  Here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  An apolitical or perhaps even left-leaning criminal. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Palin, no rhetoric there at all, folks, claiming the shooter might have been left-leaning, a liberal.  That is complete right-wing fiction, but Palin then described her critics on the left.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  I know that a lot of—those on the left hate my message, and they‘ll do all that they can to stop me, because they don‘t like the message.  And as many of them have promised to do, they‘ll do what they can to destroy the message and the messenger. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Hate on the left that seeks to destroy her and the country?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN:  They‘re not going to shut me up, they‘re not going to shut you up, or Rush or Mark Levin, if they were ever were succeed in doing that, then our republic will be destroyed.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Did she name some talk show hosts there?  Nothing about the fairness doctrine in there at all, is there no agenda at all.  When Palin started her interview, a crazed gunman was the sole person to blamed for Tucson.  But as she talk, you know, she spun it into a left-leaning criminal.  And hate on the left wants to destroy her and the public, and talkers?

For more, let‘s bring in Eric Boehlert, senior fellow, Media Matters for America.  She seems pretty nervous on the home feel to me.  What do you think? 

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  Well, it‘s amazing it took five days for her to come up with that utterly predictable response.  I mean, that controversy over the “blood libel” comment, erupted last Wednesday and she waits five days to respond, and her response was, as you point it out had to—look, there‘s a couple things, this is a perfect example of the invaluable resource FOX News provides for the Republican Party.  They‘re sort of a political backstop for that party, and they‘re there to—they‘re there to stop any wild pitch that somebody uncorks. 

So Sarah Palin ignites this fire storm about “blood libel” and what does FOX news do?  It carves up a spot on its primetime for her to have the sort of cream puff interview with Sean Hannity.  He sort of takes her hand and walks through this damage control effort.  You know, last year was Rupert Murdoch writing million dollar checks to the Republican Party.  Now, it‘s FOX News sort have been rehab mode for Sarah Palin.  

SCHULTZ:  Eric, the crosshairs, the admission, how do you play that? 

How do you receive that?

BOEHLERT:  Well, you know, this is what started the trouble for her.  People aren‘t saying that she is responsible.  Media Matters is certainty not saying she‘s responsible for the murder of what happened in Tucson, but people are saying that ad was a big deal last year.  People were sort of aghast at it.  And so, that is how she became part of the story.  There‘s nothing wrong with reporting that Gabby Giffords herself was concerned about that ad, and then her spokesperson after the shooting sort of tried to walk it back, and that was you point out, Palin admits it was cross hairs, so it continues to be a problem, but here‘s the other point. 

Not just FOX News being a back stuff for the Republican Party, it‘s FOX News and Sarah Palin who,  remember, works for FOX News, has shown in the last ten days really not an ounce of reflection about what‘s  happened, about the state of violent antigovernment rhetoric.  They have no—they have no indication that they want to change what they‘re saying in terms of these conspiracy theories, in terms of all of this gun language.  In terms of all these paranoid rhetoric.  Again, in the last ten days, they‘ve been throwing themselves a pity party and have shown no indication that they‘re at all concerned about the rhetoric. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the “blood libel” comments I found very amazing.  She never really gave a good definition, and then she went into budget deficits.  That‘s one hell of a connection.  But she‘s going to be around.  I think obviously it‘s not for the money, it‘s for the fame and the power she wants to run.  And I find it very interesting that nobody in the Republican Party is denouncing her at all.  As goofy as she gets, as much as an unguided missile she is in interviews, no one is denouncing her at all, saying you know what?  This isn‘t where we‘re going.  What do you make of that?  

BOEHLERT:  Well, a couple of things.  FOX News loved it.  This morning Chris Wallace was on TV saying, he loved the interview “FOX & Friends” was just gushing about it.  But what interesting though is we have this FOX primary Newt Gingrich often also on FOX all the time, he did stepped forward basically saying, she needs to think before she speaks.  So, we‘re getting this greenroom tension within FOX News.  Now we have Newt sort of criticizing Palin, we‘ve had Huckabee criticizing Palin.  It‘s going to be interesting how FOX News deals with this as all their employees possibly run for president of the United States. 

SCHULTZ:  Eric Boehlert, great to have you on tonight, thank so much. 

Now, let‘s get some rapid response from our panel on these stories.  Here‘s some news, the righties will just hate to hear.  President Obama is in a much stronger position now than Ronald Reagan was at this point in his first term.  

And a new poll shows the Tea Party is sinking, a majority of Americans now disapprove of the movement. 

Joining us tonight, Joe Madison, XM Satellite talk show host.  And Heidi Harris, radio talk show host out of Las Vegas.  Great to have both of you with us tonight.  I want to go to the Dick Cheney interview if I may.  Dick Cheney said this to Jamie Gangel predicting that President Obama would be a one-term president.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT:  His overall approach to expanding the size of government, expanding the deficit in giving more and  more authority and power to the government over the private sector, his lack of sort of the feel for the role of private sector in creating jobs, in creating wealth, and getting our economic back on track.  Those are all weaknesses, as I look at Barack Obama, and I think he‘ll be a one-term president.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Joe, what do you think?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I‘m certain he‘ll have a different tone, let‘s hope so, when the president talks with the Chamber of Commerce, as he plans to.  He‘s got people on his administration who are very much pro-business, and quite honestly, that‘s all it is, is a prediction.  I mean, he might as well set up there in that interview and predicted who was going to win between Green Bay and the Chicago Bears.  I mean, he might as well go to Las Vegas with Heidi and place a bet somewhere with the bookie and a casino because that‘s about all it amounts to. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, I was hoping he‘ll tell us who is going to be President Obama, I was kind of curious. 

MADISON:  First of all, they got to have a candidate.

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, yes, they have to have a betting line on that here in Vegas somewhere here, somebody‘s casino.  You know what?  I think Dick Cheney is right about Obama‘s approach, it‘s a government, but I also think that Obama is wildly starting to do at almost every other politician does, they start to tackle a little to the middle when they start to lose some of their power.  He‘s lost his majority obviously in the House, he‘s tacking to the middle, he gave a great speech last week, everybody knows that.  He‘s talking about business now, although I don‘t know why he‘s doing with China.  That‘s a whole other issue.  So, it‘s going to largely depend on who the candidate is going to be in 2012.  There are some really good possibilities out there, and that‘s what it‘s all going to hinge on.  So, there‘s really no way to know.  I mean, that‘s eternity in politics, as you both know. 

SCHULTZ:  Joe, hasn‘t this president done more for small business than anybody in our lifetime—not to mention Wall Street has gone through the roof?

MADISON:  Hey, the fact that he‘s offered them loans and who opposed it, but again, Republicans, small business administration now is wide open, tax breaks for small businesses.  The list is extremely long, but here‘s the other thing, if you take all the leading republican candidates at this point in time, he beats them all. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, and comparing them to Ronald Reagan at this time of their presidencies, from the “New York Times,” unemployment under Reagan was 10.4 percent, under President, it‘s 9.4. 

MADISON:  Ed, why do you confuse people with facts?

SCHULTZ:  Well, job approval at 37 percent for Reagan, 54 percent for President Obama, as he‘s surging back.  Re-election at 59 percent, President Obama the question market.  Heidi, you know, what do you make of these numbers?  I mean, the fact of the matter is the president has got the economy going back in the right direction, and Republicans love to quote Ronald Reagan, but yet they love to predict that President Obama is going to be a one-termer.  What do you make of it?

HARRIS:  I don‘t know if he‘s got the economy going in the right direction at this point.  I think it remains to be seen.  And a lot of the aspects of Obama-care, that the right is very much concerned about the tax increases and those kinds of things haven‘t taken effect yet.  So, as I said, it‘s eternity in politics and other year in a half.  It‘s going to depend on a lot of things, just going to depend on what happens internationally, you know, one international incident can change a presidency.  Obama is largely doing better this week because as I said, he gave a great speech last week.  Shock, he gives a good speech.  That‘s not leadership.  That‘s a good speech at a memorial service, which Democrats turned into a rally. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADISON:  No, no, that is good leadership.  Kennedy knew that was good leadership.  Ronald Reagan, when he said tear down that wall, that was good leadership.  And what he‘s done is what every good president does, he follows up with good policy.  

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS:  Good policy.

SCHULTZ:  Well, we‘re not peeling off 750,000 jobs a month, we‘ve had 12 months of adding jobs in the private sector.  Wall Street has gone from a low of what, just over 6,500 to over 11,000. 

MADISON:  And sitting on trillions of dollars.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  People‘s retirement and their education plans are in Wall Street.  Look what they did today?  This is the best closing they‘ve had I think since June of 2008.  One more thing, I just want to throw out, Heidi, I‘ll let you say the view of the Tea Party movement in this country, favorable 35 percent, unfavorable 52 percent.  You‘ll have to get one of those rallies going back out there. 

HARRIS:  Yes.  We are.  So, we‘ll do it.  We‘ll do it.  I think as long as the Tea Party members hold the—they got elected to, their principles will be final.  I‘m not worried about it. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Heidi Harris, Joe Madison, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

Coming up, the shooter from Tucson reportedly used a 30-round magazine clip in his rampage.  And today, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy is standing up to the National Rifle Association, introducing legislation to ban those high-capacity clips.  She joins us next right here on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s television survey question is, do you think the effort to repeal health care is just a political stunt?  Press one for yes, press two for no.  Again the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my “Playbook” tonight, we‘ve had a big discussion about guns in this country in the past week, and today, Congressman Carolyn McCarthy took on legislative action and took on the National Rifle Association.  She introduced a bill to limit ammunition and called on President Obama to take a stand on it.  The suspected killer in Tucson got off 31 shots before he was taken down while trying to reload.  Congresswoman McCarthy‘s bill with ban high capacity clips and limit the number of bullets in a clip to the number of 10. 

A new “Washington Post,” ABC News poll shows 57 percent of Americans support what McCarthy is proposing.  The congresswoman from New York joins us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.  Congresswoman McCarthy, thank you for what you‘re doing.  I think, we may be looking at a situation where the American people are ahead of the Congress again.  Do you feel that way?

REP. CAROLYN MCCARTHY (D), NEW YORK:  I do that way.  And I feel that what we‘re going to be doing is a two-pronged approach.  My job is certainly to go to the members of Congress, sit down and talk to them, and try to convince them, this is the right way to go.  But we also have our grassroots throughout the country and we‘ve all come together to fight for this issue.  

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman, the National Rifle Association, well known, very strong lobby, lots of money behind them, and of course you‘ve already had Senator Schumer over in the Senate say, they don‘t have the votes.  Where does that lead you tonight?

MCCARTHY:  You know, when we do the assault weapons ban, we didn‘t have the votes in the beginning either.  And it was a long hard battle.  And we won that battle and I believe that we can win this battle again.  I think when the American people understand that I‘m not touching their guns, I am only taking the large-capacity clips, that is reasoning on common-sense gun safety. 

SCHULTZ:  We‘re not having the votes on the Senate, but in your chamber in the House, do you think that there are any Republicans that would break away and vote with you on this?  What are they telling you in the holes of the Congress?  

MCCARTHY:  Well, the members of Congress actually are just starting to come back today.  So, I‘m going to be sitting number of Republicans on the floor when I go for a vote, and I‘ll be talking to a number of them.  I definitely going to go after some like-minded Republicans.  This should not be a republican and democratic issue, by the way.  This is something that doesn‘t ask, you know, when you‘re getting into those kind of killings, they don‘t ask if you‘re a republican or democrat.  

SCHULTZ:  And this clearly is a reinstatement of the clause of the assault weapons ban.  Are you going any further than that?

MCCARTHY:  No, I‘m not.  Basically what we did was took what was in the assault weapons ban, because we found all those years that it was banned, you couldn‘t buy a large capacity clip, because they basically disappeared.  And we believe that by passing this bill, they will disappear in the future and hopefully will save lives.  

SCHULTZ:  And that was from 1994 to 2004, and that sunset.  It was never challenged by the Democrats at the time.  Now, we‘ve had a number of things happens since then.  But do you have numbers that prove that this would save lives?

MCCARTHY:  We do have numbers.  I mean, look at any shootings that happened, when you have the large capacity clips in my own case, when my husband was killed and my son shot in the head, and five other families lost someone and 20 were injured, Colin Ferguson, he only had clips that had 15 bullets in each clip.  When he went to reload, three people tackled him, the same thing that happened out in Arizona.  What if that shooter was able to put in another clip with 33 bullets in it?  How many more people would have been killed?  How many more people injured?  That could have been prevented.  

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy in New York, thanks for your time tonight, thanks for your work on this.  

MCCARTHY:  Thanks, Ed.  Keep it up, please, we still need to get that message out in the future.  

SCHULTZ:  I totally agree with you.  You are morally for this country doing the right thing.  As a gun owner, I can tell you, they don‘t need multiple numbers of bullets in a pistol.  It‘s absolutely ludicrous.  Thank you, Congresswoman.  I appreciate your time tonight.  

MCCARTHY:  Thank you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up.  Former President Bill Clinton stumps for Rahm Emanuel in Chicago today, but his appearance is making some Democrats very upset.  MSNBC analyst in Chicago columnist Jim Warren was at the event.  And he‘ll have the story next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MCCARTHY:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And finally tonight, Former President Bill Clinton is getting involved in Chicago politics.  He hit the campaign trail in Chicago today for his own body Rahm Emanuel, who is running for mayor in that city.  It‘s not without controversy.  Congress Danny Davis, an African-American who dropped out of the Chicago mayor‘s race last month said, campaigning for Rahm would risk Clinton‘s relationship with the black community, he said, “That relationship may be fractured and perhaps even broken, should former President Bill Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to this thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago‘s black community.” 

Joining me now for more on this is Jim Warren, MSNBC analyst and Chicago columnist for “The New York Times” and Chicago news cooperative.  Jim, good to have you with us tonight.  Were those the words of a frustrated congressman and someone who was in the race, or is that the reality on the ground?

JIM WARREN, MSNBC ANALYST:  Frustrated and Ed, hypocritical, if the phone call that come from Bill Clinton and Danny Davis.  Danny Davis would have been out at O‘Hare International Airport with roses and champagne to great him if Bill Clinton has said, Danny, I‘m going to come and campaign for you.  No, I think it was just chagrin that someone they know, African-American politicians known as wildly popular in that community was coming out for somebody who is running at this point in astonishingly organized, we orchestrated, well-funded campaign and I think this is a bit of frustration there.  Davis has now gotten out of the race, the only African-American left in the race and the former U.S. Senator Carolyn Moseley-Braun, who Bill Clinton picked as his ambassador to New Zealand if you remember, after she lost a real action in 1998.  And she‘s miffed that Clinton has come out for what she considers Rahm Emanuel, an outsider. 

SCHULTZ:  How does Rahm Emanuel play in the black community?

WARREN:  Well, we‘ll see.  It‘s a little too early.  I think, there‘s no doubt that his association and very close association with Barack Obama, in fact I think more people in Chicago associate him with Obama than with Clinton, even though arguably Bill Clinton owes Rahm Emanuel more than anybody on the face of the earth other than his wife Hillary Clinton as a result of tremendous fund-raising Rahm Emanuel did as a young financial aide-de-camp for Clinton in the first presidential campaign when Clinton looked to be going down the tubes possibly in New Hampshire primary, if you remember after the allegations of infidelity and draft dodging.  But I think he could play rather well because of the association‘s chief of staff with Barack Obama, but we still got a little bit time left.  The primary is February 22nd.  Well, the election is February 22nd, somebody doesn‘t get 50 percent, we‘ve got a runoff. 

SCHULTZ:  Moseley-Braun was saying that former President Clinton risks his credibility and friendship in the black community.  She said, Bill Clinton is an outsider parachuting in to support another outsider.  At the same time, former President Clinton risks his legacy and the great respect that he‘s enjoyed among African-Americans by coming to Chicago to endorse Rahm Emanuel who is running for mayor against two black candidates.  But the bottom line here is that Rahm Emanuel did a lot for Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton is loyal and he‘s not going to let his friend down, no matter what the landscape is.  

WARREN:  Yes.  I think Bill Clinton would be a total ingrate if he didn‘t come out for Rahm Emanuel.  At the same time, Clinton has been very popular in Illinois.  Obviously his wife comes from here.  Obviously the African-American community does not vote as a complete block, so they weren‘t going to vote.  They‘re not going to vote simply for a black candidates like Braun because she is African-American, and I think Carol Braun is voicing the chagrin and frustration of somebody who is up against a much better financed, much better organized person named Rahm Emanuel, who is now hauled out after bringing in Jennifer Hudson.  Andy Sandberg is Friday. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

WARREN:  The band Wilco is coming up.  The man whom the latest Gallup U.S.A. today poll says, is the third most admired male in the world by Americans.  That‘s tough to handle if you‘re an opponent. 

SCHULTZ:  Jim Warren, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  Tonight, our telephone survey I asked, do you think the effort to repeal health care is just a political stunt.  Ninety three percent of you said yes, seven percent of you said no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW, I‘m Ed Schultz, “HARDBALL” starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night. 

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