updated 1/21/2011 12:45:49 PM ET 2011-01-21T17:45:49

Guests: Rep. Chris van Hollen, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Wanda Moser, Scott

Paul, John Feehery, Bill Press, Steve Israel, E.J. Dionne

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans and welcome to THE ED SHOW. 

Tonight, coming to you live from the nation‘s capital, Washington, D.C.  Breaking news at this hour, you‘re looking at a live picture of the House Floor with the Republican-led Congress just voted to repeal the health care law, the final vote just in, 245 to 189, three Democrats voted with the Republicans.  

Harry Reid has already said that it wouldn‘t even get voted on in the Senate.  It‘s not coming to the Floor.   We know it‘s going nowhere, but that, of course, is the top story that has my buttons going tonight, no doubt about it.  They did it.  It‘s a campaign promise to the Tea Partiers and they lived up to it. 

But folks, Eric Cantor took the GOP, I think, to a new low today on this health care debate.  He blamed Harry Reid‘s Senate for promising to block the legislation.   Earth to Cantor, where were you when the Republicans were blocking unemployment insurance and everything else that the Democrats put on the table?  I will have commentary on that and live reaction on the vote from Congress with Chris van Hollen and Dennis Kucinich ahead here on THE ED SHOW. 

Righty fight Senator Jon Kyl have a new talking point.   They say they deserve credit for improving the economy.  Well, it‘s fantasy land, it‘s fantasy time and we wouldn‘t let them rewrite history tonight on this show. 

President Obama welcomes China‘s president and he says we got to have a level playing field when it comes to job creation and manufacturing, but the key is pushing China to live up to agreements in order to protect American workers.   We‘ll talk about it. 

Plus, President Obama‘s approval rating, it‘s going through the roof, folks.  E.J. Dionne here tonight to tell us what the Republicans can expect going ahead.  

But this is the story, of course, that has me “Fired Up” at this hour.   At this hour, Republicans are putting American lives at risk by playing political games with your health care.  Now, the Republican-led House just voted moments ago, 245 to189, to repeal the health care bill that, of course, would help 32 million Americans. 

The repeal bill now goes to the Senate where Harry Reid basically is going to pull the plug on the Republican dream of killing President Obama‘s signature accomplishment. 

Now, this is the first step, my friends, in a long line of what I think morally bankrupt bills that are going to be presented by the Republicans over the next couple of years.   They know this bill has absolutely no chance of passing, but House Majority Leader Cantor is already cracking up and bringing in the blame game on Harry Reid. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR, MAJORITY LEADER:  I have got a problem with the assumption here that somehow the Senate can be a place for legislation to go into a cul-de-sac or a dead end.   And Leader Reid continues to say that he is not going to bring this up for a vote in the Senate.  

The American people deserve a full hearing.  They deserve to he see this legislation go to the Senate for a full vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

SCHULTZ:  Now, folks, I know we‘re all concerned about rhetoric and we‘re all concerned about tone in America right now, but I have to call him out on that.  That - what he just said is shameful.  This guy and the Republicans think you‘re stupid.  They think the health care repeal deserves a vote in the Senate?  Think about that.  

The American people didn‘t deserve a vote on a record number of Republican filibusters over the last four years.   Is that how we interpret that?  Republicans didn‘t think 9/11 responders, they deserved a vote.   They didn‘t think the unemployed deserved a vote.  How are you 99ers feeling tonight?  Feeling left behind?  I think so. 

It took the Republicans all of two days to repeal a bill that was debated for 15 months, went through countless committee hearings, hours of testimony and five separate votes.  Now, they want Harry Reid to step up and get on the gas pedal and put a bill on the Floor that the president has said all along that he would veto.  

Cantor, my friend, you are delusional.  I mean, this guy, he thinks he has the pulse of the American people?  Think again. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

CANTOR:  I think the American people deserve to see a vote in the Senate and the Senate ought not be a place that legislation goes into a dead end.  And that‘s the point here.   We‘re talking about doing things for the American people, delivering results.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  You know what, that‘s exactly what the Democrats were saying in the Senate when the Republicans were delivering a record number of filibusters.   Gosh, it‘s just amazing how this whole thing turns around, isn‘t it? 

What Cantor is selling, it isn‘t going work, because these are the real numbers that are out there.  A new “Washington Post”/ABC News Poll shows that, folks, only 18 percent of Americans want to entirely repeal the health care bill.  Sixty-two percent of the American people want to keep this law or go out and make it even better.  But the Republicans, you think they pay attention to that? 

You know, see, what they want to do is they just want to clear the beach.  It‘s all about them and power and putting the Democrats on the defensive.   The Republicans, in my opinion, are completely out of touch with the American people on this issue.  They always have been when it comes to health care because they never had anything on the table. 

Cantor and his buddy, John Boehner, they‘re launching their own health care plan, starting tomorrow.  I can‘t wait.  The Tan Man doesn‘t want - get this, any timetables.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  We‘ll have a resolution tomorrow instructing committees to have a replacement.  I don‘t know that we need artificial deadlines set up for the committees to act.  We expect them to act in an efficient way, allowing all of their members on their committees to be heard, both Democrats and Republicans.  

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

SCHULTZ:  Very interesting verbiage there, Mr. Boehner.  Boehner doesn‘t want artificial deadlines.  Doesn‘t want artificial deadlines.  

Now, when it comes to the kitchen table in America, when it comes to Americans dealing with health care, Americans face very real deadlines every single day.  You know, take for instance when a kid with a pre-existing condition needs life-saving surgery, life-saving surgery, and an insurance company drops him.  Is that a deadline, Mr. Boehner?  When people go bankrupt because a family member gets sick and they can‘t make their mortgage payment at the end of the month, is that a real deadline or is that an artificial deadline? 

Can the American people go to their doctor, go to their hospital, go to their banker and say, oh, you know, it‘s just kind of an artificial deadline, isn‘t it?  We‘ll - we‘ll get to it some day. 

I‘ll tell you what, the Republicans, they‘re not even in the real world on this.  Mr. Boehner, you have no idea and you have no answers for when it comes to the deadlines that you talk about.  It‘s your schedule, not the American people‘s? 

Folks, let me tell you something, this last election was about frustration and fiction.  There were a lot of people across America, in my opinion, who believed a lot of things that simply were not true.  Now, the Republicans have the power.  They lived up to their promise to the Tea Partiers and they delivered 245 votes to repeal health care.  But do they - do you think they really know what they did? 

The Republicans basically, as I see it, have a pre-civil rights attitude when it comes to health care.   They want to deny - they‘ve already repealed, they want to deny.  They want to openly discriminate against people because they‘re sick.  That‘s what today‘s vote was all about.  They want to tell people, well, we‘re going to favor the insurance companies instead of you.  They‘re going to tell young people with this vote that, no, you can‘t be on your parents‘ policy, you can‘t do it.  It‘s discrimination is what it is.  They are taking away the opportunity of Americans to get health care with their attitude. 

This takes us back to the ‘60s.   They want to deny.  They want to deny people an opportunity to get better them.  They want to exclude.  They want a two-class society.  Now, if you got money, you‘re OK.  You don‘t have to worry about health care if you got money.  Hell, you can just go out and get any kind of policy you want.  Is this the America we want?  Is this what we want? 

Now, Mr. Boehner says that they‘re going to be showing up with a new plan of health care.  You know what?  I can‘t wait and I commend the president for saying today that he‘s willing to work with the Democrats and the Republicans on fixing health care in America.  The bill that was repealed today, this bill was just a start.  It was a great start.   But, of course, we have to roll it back because it‘s all about political credit and it‘s all about obstruction.  

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think about all of this tonight.   Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think the health care repeal deserves a vote in the Senate?  Text A for Yes, text B for No to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining us now is Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen.  He‘s a

ranking member of the House Budget Committee and former chairman of the

DCCC.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  What is your

response -

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, BUDGET CMTE. RANKING MEMBER:  Hi, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  What is your response to the attitude that Eric Cantor has provided this country today with those comments about Harry Reid should bring it up for a vote after they obstructed so much over on the Senate side after you guys passed, what, 250-some-odd bills under Nancy Pelosi?  What about all this? 

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, Ed, first of all, I‘m glad you‘re worked up about this.  Every American, be - you should be worked up about this. 

And the reason support around the country to repeal this bill is

dropping every day is because millions of Americans are recognizing the

patient and for - the consumer protections that have been built into the

bill that you just talked about.  This provides the patient and the

consumer a lot more power against the insurance companies to make sure that

their kids don‘t get kicked off their plans with pre-existing conditions -

SCHULTZ:  But the Republicans don‘t care. 

VAN HOLLEN:  -- and all those things. 

SCHULTZ:  The Republicans don‘t care, do they?   

VAN HOLLEN:  And - and the message - the message that‘s being sent today is that they‘re not listening to those Americans.  In fact, we asked them to have an official hearing, to begin to listen to those people who were seeing the very real benefits.   They refused to have an official hearing.   We had to hold a hearing of our own. 

But to your point about what Eric Cantor is saying about the Senate, look, the Senate has become the graveyard for many very important pieces of legislation that was passed by the House on jobs, on the disclose act so that Americans would know who was paying for and running all those ads that were out there, all sorts of legislation that Republicans have blocked in the Senate.   And so now, to hear the Republican Leaders in the House call upon the Senate to try and block a piece of legislation that has helped millions of Americans is, as you say, a dramatic turnabout and that‘s just putting it nicely.  

Look, the fact of the matter is if this bill were to be repealed, and the only good news today is that the Senate is thankfully not going to repeal it.  And, of course, if it ever got out of the Senate, the president would veto it.  So that‘s the only good news today.  

But if - we‘re going to have an opportunity now to talk to the American people again about what‘s in this bill.   And as we‘re learning, the more they find out the bill - the protections in the bill against abuses by an insurance company, the more people like it. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Chris van Hollen, good to have you with us tonight.  You‘re fighting a good fight.  No doubt about it. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Thanks.  

SCHULTZ:  For more reaction on this, let‘s go to Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  Congressman, we‘ve had a big conversation about tone.  What‘s the tone at the table of your constituents tonight when they find out what happened here? 

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  Well, my constituents have a serious need for health care.  And right now, there are so many people who are losing their homes or going bankrupt, even people who have insurance, Ed, are going bankrupt because they can‘t afford the medical bills that come after that. 

The American people want a positive response from Congress and this action today is not a positive action.  However, it‘s not going to result in a repeal of the bill.  Now the action goes to the Senate.  I think Senator Reid has made it very clear they‘re not going to bring up the bill.  And so what it means is in 2012, it will be a battle royal for the Senate.  And I think at this point, the Democrats need to hold the line on health care and hopefully we need to open up the door to get the states involved in single-pair as Vermont is doing and I intend to do everything I can here to keep pushing that.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, that‘s the question, are the Democrats going to go on the offensive with a lot of legislative proposals and make sure that this story stays out in front of the American people and put the Republicans on the defensive?  What about that? 

KUCINICH:  Health care is not going to go away as an issue.  I mean,

the insurance companies keep raising the rates.   More and more people are

having difficulty even qualifying for insurance under this new bill.  And

so -

SCHULTZ:  True, but what are the Democrats going to do about it? 

KUCINICH:  We need to keep fighting to enlarge the number of people who are eligible for health care.  We need to make sure that we strengthen Medicare.  We need to make sure we help senior citizens get better benefits out of the Prescription Drug Plan.  And so that‘s our mission.  That‘s what we have to do.  And I‘m hopeful to be one of the leaders who will help push the direction toward single-pair so we‘d get out of this for-profit model which frankly is doomed to fail.  It is - it is all about insurance care.  It‘s not about health care.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

KUCINICH:  I want to see health care.  

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

KUCINICH:  Good to see you.  Thanks. 

SCHULTZ:  Good to see you down on THE ED SHOW. 

KUCINICH:  Thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Republicans have turned the health care debate into a Washington political game, but there are millions of Americans whose lives will be turned upside down.  Wanda Moser is one of those Americans.   Her story is one that you need to hear coming up on THE ED SHOW. 

Tonight, the White House hosts a state dinner for Chinese leader, but the Republican leaders are refusing to attend.  They want to undermine President Obama, folks.  That‘s what they want to do.  I think it‘s un-American.  

Plus, new poll numbers show President Obama is surging while Republicans are trying to take credit for the economic turnaround?  All right.  How could they do that?  We‘ll explain. 

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up on THE ED SHOW, the American labor force is taking a beating from China.  Just this week, another American company packed up and sold out to china. 

President Obama hosts a state dinner for China‘s President Hu tonight.  And this issue needs to be on the table.  We need to speak with one voice and stand together for jobs in America. 

That story coming up.  Stay with us.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

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

We come to you from the nation‘s capital tonight where the Republicans have just voted in the House to repeal health care.  And this Republican assault on health care reform, folks it‘s all about politics.   It‘s about keeping their Tea Party base happy.  It‘s all about telling the insurance companies to, hey, keep that campaign money coming in, will you?  Republicans aren‘t thinking about, I believe, real people sitting around their kitchen tables trying to deal with this, trying to figure out how to protect their families.  People like Wanda Moser. 

Here‘s one for you, folks, one of the millions of Americans out there across this country who would be hurt if the Senate were to go down this road of repealing the health care bill the way the House just did.  She lives in Virginia, in the district, interestingly enough, of Majority Leader Eric Cantor. 

Wanda, thanks for joining us tonight.  If you - if the Senate were to move forward and repeal this health care bill, what would it do to your family? 

WANDA MOSER, SUPPORTS OBAMA HEALTH CARE LAW:  Ed, it would totally impact my family.   I have three adult sons and none of them are in jobs that offer health insurance, and that‘s really scary.  But the good news was that my youngest son, who is 24, we just added him to my ex-husband‘s medical and my dental through our employers.   And if it were repealed, he would lose that coverage.  And you know, as a mom, you - you just worry all the time.  You pray that nothing bad happens.  

SCHULTZ:  This is Mr. Cantor responding in your district to a story of a woman uninsured.  Here it is.  And I believe it was you.  Here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

CANTOR:  If we look at the uninsured right now, there is probably 23 - 24 percent of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program.  Beyond that, I know that there are programs, there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

SCHULTZ:  Charity care.  He wasn‘t speaking directly to you in your situation, but how do you feel about your representative, with the situation that you‘re in, basically telling people, your neighbors, your constituents, to go get charity? 

MOSER:  You know, Ed, he really seems out of touch to me.  I don‘t think he understands the average middle class family.  And - and frankly, I just don‘t understand why he became a Congress person.  He doesn‘t seem to think that government has any role in helping solve the problems of our society.   So, why did he become a Congress person?  I mean, doesn‘t he want to govern?  Doesn‘t he want to help America be a better place? 

SCHULTZ:  Well, this bill if it stays in place, will help you, as you

said, your son on your husband‘s policy, your other son also on your

policy.  And I understand that one of your sons had a motorcycle accident

and was uninsured and he still owes medical bills.  Now, had that accident

-

MOSER:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  -- happened when he was covered, it would have been a totally different situation for your family.  This is one of the things that frustrates me as a broadcaster and as an American taxpayer is the callousness of some of - many of the Republicans collectively to do this to families like this. 

What do you think the Democrats should do?  What do you think the opposing party should do?  What do you think the proper strategy is to fight back against - against this, Wanda? 

MOSER:  Well, I think that if the Democrats were to emphasize all the things that are just now taking effect and are going to take effect, I think as people realize that, I mean, January 1st my son went on my dental.  You know, February 1st, he‘s going on medical.   As people learn about those things, more and more people are going to realize that this is a good thing and that we should probably, actually even take it further. 

SCHULTZ:  Take it further - that‘s what the Democrats want to do. 

Wanda Moser, thanks for telling us your story tonight.  I appreciate it. 

And, you know, the reason why I love this story tonight is because it‘s not about bringing professional talkers on who are going to be so terribly dynamic to tell an unbelievable story and really capture people‘s attention.   This is one of these stories where you have to go out and grab people and ask them to speak up about, well, how‘s it going to affect my family, what does this really mean? 

And this is what infuriates me about the Republicans is that they don‘t have anybody coming out in front of the cameras, only their slick politician and only their slick talking heads saying that we have to repeal.  Bring the people out, Republicans.   Where are the people that say that we have to repeal this? 

You went against the people.  Only 18 percent of the American people wanted to repeal this and you went ahead and did it.  The ideological fight continues in this country. 

Coming up, Republicans are trying to take credit now for the economy improving.  Can you believe that?  I‘m breaking open some bad credit reports in the zone next.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk”, tonight, well, let‘s check the schedule here.  The new Congress has been in session barely two weeks, and the Republicans, they‘re on a roll.  They‘re already ready to rewrite history. 

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl led the charge in an interview “Bloomberg‘s” Al Hunt.  Now, Mr. Hunt mentioned how great a year 2010 was for big business and Kyl revealed the newest and latest GOP talking point. 

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) 

AL HUNT, EXECUTIVE WASHINGTON EDITOR, BLOOMBERG:   Corporate profits are soaring.  Goldman Sachs named 110 new partners, bonuses are flowing, S&P has risen more than in any three-year period since the debt bubble.  General Motors is - the IPO. 

SEN. JON KYL ®, ARIZONA:  Some of the results that you just talked about I suspect are - are coming from the fact that we extended tax rates that the president did not want to extend but was willing to do so at the end of the year last year. 

(END VIDEOTAPE) 

SCHULTZ:  Hold the phone.  Wait a minute.  The keyword here “at the end of the year”?  John Kyl is trying to make us, the American people, believe that the corporate success of 2010 are because of a tax cut that didn‘t go into effect until 2011?  Hold a second, right there. 

This Republican Congress was against everything President Obama has tried to do to jumpstart this economy.   Back in March of 2009, Mr. Kyl, where was the stock market, and where is it today?  People‘s retirements, their pensions, their education funds, their savings?  You guys have fought everything. 

And Kyl is not alone with this delusional brand of “Psycho Talk.”  The new chairman of the House Rules Committee, Congressman David Dryer, he‘s taking credit for the December job numbers where unemployment dropped from 9.8 to 9.4 percent and the economy added 103,000 new jobs.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

REP. DAVID DREIER ®, CALIFORNIA:  We can get our economy growing and we‘ve gotten some positive numbers.  I think it‘s in large part because we‘ve won our majority and we‘re pursuing pro-growth policies.  

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

SCHULTZ:  Buddy, come on.  Is there any honesty at all in the Republican Party?  Any of these guys?  That you won the majority less than three months ago? 

Now, I totally get the fact that you are unwilling to give President Obama a slice of credit for any of it which he totally deserves.  But you have actually held the majority for 15 days and now you‘re trying to say that this economic turnaround is on your hands?  And while in the majority, let me remind you that you have passed zero pieces of economic legislation, and you haven‘t proposed any. 

So, for you and your righty buddies to take credit for the economy turning around is nothing but rewriting history and it is cheap “Psycho Talk.” 

Coming up, Chinese President Hu arrives at the White House for a state dinner.  President Obama talked today about leveling the playing field.  What does that mean?  He needs to act fast on this, in my opinion. 

And the Republican Leader Boehner and McConnell, well, they snubbed the president again.  My panel will respond to that tonight. 

Plus, Sarah Palin‘s likability numbers have really gone down, as President Obama‘s really gone up.   You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  We are with right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The “Battleground” story tonight, America‘s China‘s problem.  Now, the president is hosting a state dinner for the Chinese president.  Now, we have done a great job, I think, of making nice with the Chinese, don‘t you?  I mean, heck, what else can we do for them?  We are sending them all our jobs, we‘re buying all their stuff.  When it comes to enforcing trade agreements and stopping currency manipulation, you know what it is?  It is a different story.  China just seems to get whatever they want from the United States.  This afternoon, President Obama, the Chinese president, had a meeting with more than a dozen American business leaders.  Bloomberg reports the issue of China is taking U.S. manufacturing jobs.  That issue was raised in the conversation.  And the president‘s response was that the United States‘ relationship with China is complex.  I‘d say.  After the meeting, the president held a joint news conference where he flat out said that the United States can‘t be in a win/lose situation with China. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES:  And so with respect to China, what President Hu and myself and our delegations have discussed is, how do we with make sure that, in fact, our trading  relationship is fair and a win/win situation as opposed to a win/lose situation?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, the word “outsourcing” never came up. 

For more, let‘s bring in Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.  Scott, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time. 

SCOTT PAUL, PRESIDENT, ALLIANCE FOR AMERICAN MANUFACTURING:  Good to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  The word “outsourcing” was not brought up.  This is the story, jobs going to China.  The story in Massachusetts, factory shuts down, Solar Panel factory, after getting state help from Massachusetts, how do we turn this around and how important is this visit?

PAUL:  Well, I think it is important on a number of levels.  And what we didn‘t hear today from the president were consequences for the Chinese if they keep on cheating.  And let‘s be clear here, the outsourcing, the job loss to China, we estimate 2.4 million jobs lost to China just over the last eight or nine years.  It is not because of market forces.  It‘s because of China‘s cheating.  They cheat on currency, on industrial subsidies, on investment, and intellectual property.  And those are the fundamental issues that have to be raised with the Chinese and it seems like we go through the same dance every couple of years with them and we don‘t make any progress.  

SCHULTZ:   We owe them a boat load of money.  We owe them—we can‘t function without their financial help because we are constantly going in debt.  So, how tough do you want President Obama to get? What can he do?

PAUL:  Well, he can be a lot tougher than he has been.  And yes, China holds a lot of U.S. debt.  In fact, almost $1 trillion.  But at the same time, there are a lot of buyers for U.S. debt, believe it or not, the dollar is still a good deal.  What China can‘t replace is the U.S. market.  They need the U.S. market for their employment, for their products to come here.  We have about a $250 billion trade deficit with China right now and a great outcome of this meeting, Ed, would have been, we are going to lower that trade deficit down to zero in ten  years, won‘t see anything like that.  

SCHULTZ:  We do not have a manufacturing strategy in this country, do we?

PAUL:  No, we do not.  China has a manufacturing strategy. 

SCHULTZ:  They do?

PAUL:  It‘s not one that we want to replicate. 

SCHULTZ:  They do we don‘t, because obviously, our human rights position is far different.  Our workers are valued, their workers aren‘t.  The fact is it is affecting our market.  So, what strategy should we have to turn this around?

PAUL:  Well, I think a couple of things.  I think the Congress needs to pass currency manipulation legislation.  It would get overwhelming bipartisan support, in fact they got 350 votes in the last Congress and Senator Schumer, Senator Graham, others support it.  Bipartisan support. 

SCHULTZ:  So, Republicans and Democrats are on the same board with that?

PAUL:  Absolutely.  It is nice to see that. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, it is. 

PAUL:  So, we also need the president I think to designate China as a currency manipulator, April 15th if China is not moving on currency.  That‘s the next deadline for report they supposed to file.  He needs to do that, and we need to hold the Chinese to their promise.  

SCHULTZ:  Do you think President Obama tonight a dinner, or sometime through in this visit, should say to the president of China, you know, you cheat, you‘re cheating.  Is it going to take that or is that‘s just too much of a diplomatic tight rope?

PAUL:  Well, I tell you what, we have treated China with kid gloves for far too long, whether it comes to human rights or to trade.  And China had a blank check basically for the last decade because President Bush never enforced the trade agreements.  President Obama has done a better job of enforcing the trade agreements but China seems to think they can get away with this.  And I think the president needs to be—needs to be a bit more confrontational, saying, look, this can be a two-way street but we need some give on your end.  

SCHULTZ:  They step up with their government subsidies in dealing with wind and solar.  We are over here in the United States saying, hey, the private sector is going to step up and really compete and it is not happening.  We are way behind them.  And then of course, we go through this haggling discussion about we don‘t have enough tax cuts, we don‘t have enough tax breaks, we‘re not doing enough for the people that want to invest.  In the meantime, China is eating our lunch. 

PAUL:  That‘s right.  We are talking about the wrong issues.  And the Congress is doing nothing.   Meanwhile, China investing in high speed rail, investing in solar, investing in wind, now has the world‘s fastest super computer, we‘ll file more patents than the United States this year. 

SCHULTZ:  File more patents than the United States this year?

PAUL:  And in fact, they may pass the United States in manufacturing output this year and next and we are dawdling. 

SCHULTZ:  Scott Paul, always great to have you with us tonight. 

PAUL:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Thank you so much.  

Now let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories.  Republican leaders, McConnell and Boehner, well, they are snubbing President Obama‘s invitation to attend tonight‘s state dinner. 

And Sarah Palin‘s unpopularity hits an all-time high, but of course, the Tea Partiers, they still love her.  

With us tonight, Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and also with us tonight, John Feehery, republican strategist and president of Quinn Gillespie Communications. 

Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.  The state different, OK, now, John, I got to go to you first here tonight, I know where you stand on this, but, you know this is now not Boehner, it is McConnell, it‘s the whole republican clan that doesn‘t want anything to do with the country that we absolutely have to do business with.  Can you defend them on this?

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, there is only one slight problem with your story, Ed, and that is Harry Reid is also not going.  The Senate majority leader.  So the fact is this. 

SCHULTZ:  He is out of town, but that‘s OK. 

FEEHERY:  Well, well, Mitch McConnell just got back from Pakistan and he is in Kentucky.  John Boehner has other things going on.  You know, this is not a snub of the president.  This is not a snub of the Chinese.  The fact of the matter is that Harry Reid is the guy who called the Chinese president a dictator.  You know, this is not really—you‘re making—manufacturing a story where there really is so no story, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, they‘re not there after being invited.  So, I didn‘t manufacture the invitation and I‘m not telling Boehner and McConnell, you know what they had to do, they‘re not going to listen to me on that issue, that is for sure.  The fact of the matter is, they have to be part of the equation if we are going to create jobs in this country and deal with China, deal with the issues that Mr. Paul just talked about.  

FEEHERY:  Well, of course, and John Boehner‘s meeting with the president—President Hu tomorrow.  He is meeting with him.  So, this is a, you know, the fact of the matters is the Republicans understand that you got to positively engage with the Chinese.  

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Look, look, nobody manufactured this dinner tonight, John. 

FEEHERY:  A story. 

PRESS:  I want to go you one further, John.  I think Harry Reid ought to be there, I think Mitch McConnell ought to be there and I think John Boehner ought to be there.  There are certain duties and responsibilities that come with the territory.  I think it is important.  Nancy Pelosi, by the way, nobody has been a bigger critic over the years of the Chinese than Nancy Pelosi.  She is there, she knows that, I think, it is important to show a bipartisan face for the United States when you‘re entertaining a head of state.  Now, John Boehner‘s problem is that this is three in a row for him.  He didn‘t go to the dinner for India, he was invited, not to the one for Mexico or this one or not for this one.  So, you know, if you don‘t like the ceremony, John, why did you run for speaker?

FEEHERY:  Bill, he hasn‘t been to one of these days, but one of his dinners with his wife was in 2007.  He just doesn‘t do these things.   And you know what?  It is not that big of a deal, it is really not that big of a deal. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  The deal with China, it is not a big deal to deal with China?  I really find that amazing.

FEEHERY:  It is a big deal to deal with China, missing this dinner is not a big of a deal. 

PRESS:  This is the United States on display. 

FEEHERY:  They‘re not going to make any business arrangements at this dinner, Bill, Ed.  This is just ceremony. 

PRESS:  Ed, Chris Christie is at this dinner tonight, the republican governor of New Jersey.  If he can come down from Trenton, right?  John Boehner can come down from Capitol Hill. 

SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, how aggressive should President Obama be with the Chinese president when it comes to trade, when it comes to cheating on trade agreement, when it comes to currency manipulation, John, what do you think?

FEEHERY:  I think he should be very tough, I think he should be very tough on intellectual property, they‘re stealing our patents, they‘re stealing our movies, they‘re stealing our—all kinds of products that we bring in.  We need to be very tough on that.  I think we need to be tough on currency manipulation.  I think that is a big problem.  And I think.  

SCHULTZ:  Bill, what do you think?

PRESS:  Listen, I have to agree with John on this one and I was disappointed today on the human rights issue, Ed.  I was there at this news conference, seeing the video of it now and I was disappointed the president didn‘t mention the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last year—this year not allowed to go to Norway because he is sitting in a prison cell in China and I think he should have directly confronted President Hu about that. 

FEEHERY:  Hey, Ed.  Let me—on this.  Ed, Bill is absolutely right.  That was an outrage that they kept that guy in jail, and, you know, something should be said about that. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  John Feehery, Sarah Palin, she is going in the tank in the ratings, except for the Tea Partiers.   Is she going to be able to politically recover?  You‘re a strategist, what do you think?

FEEHERY:  Well, you know, that is a great question.  I don‘t know what she is trying to do, I don‘t know if she wants to be a reality show star or he wants to be a serious political leader.  She seems to be making movements in both directions.  You know, she‘s got some work to do, independent voters can‘t stand her.  Obviously, more moderate Republicans have some problems, women voters have problems with her.  So, she is going to—if she wants to become a political leader in this country, she needs to go beyond her Tea Party base. 

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, unfavorability rating is an all time high, sitting now at 56 percent.  

PRESS:  Yes, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Can she recover between now and probably the next six months is when she is going to have to make a serious move to run for the nomination for the Republicans.  Can she do it?

PRESS:  Well, not if she continues the way she is, Ed.  I think only Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity are failed to realize that she really blew it with that video.  I mean, the “Washington Post” poll, 78 percent say President Obama responded well after Tucson.  Thirty six percent say, Sarah Palin.  Ed, I said this the other night on your show, she has got to decide that she is going to move beyond the fringe.  She hasn‘t done it yet, and if she does, I think she might have a future.  But so far.

SCHULTZ:  Bill Press, John Feehery, great to have you with us fellows. 

Thanks so much.

PRESS:  All right, Ed.  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, the Democrats found a way to expose the republican hypocrites today.  They forced them to refuse their government-run health care.  Unbelievable.  The DCCC Chairman Steve Israel talks about the health care hypocrites next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.                

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it is not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s tech survey question is, do you think the health care repeal deserves a vote in the Senate?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639.  We have got results coming up.  Stay with us.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, Democrats showed some real back bone today and exposed the republican hypocrisy for all Americans to see up front.  

Joining me now is chairman of the DCCC, Congressman Steve Israel.  Steve, what was the move today? The vote before the vote to repeal I think is a big statement to the American people.  Take us down that road.  

REP. STEVE ISRAEL, CHAIRMAN, DCCC:  Well, you know, I used to call these republican acts of hypocrisy stunning acts of hypocrisy, now I call them standard acts of hypocrisy.  What the Republicans did today is they voted to keep their own federal employee health benefits package but take it away from their constituents.  We offered an amendment that simply said, that if you are going to repeal health care for all Americans, then at least the majority of the House and Senate should give up their own health care, and every single republican said, no, we‘ll take it for ourselves but we‘re going to take it away from our constituents.  So, if you are a member of Congress and you have a 25-year-old who wants to stay on your health care, you get that protection but your constituent doesn‘t, if you‘re a member of Congress and you have a pre-existing condition, you get that protection, your constituents don‘t. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  I think some of the comments made today on the floor really should be an eye-opener to Americans, this is Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann basically laying out the game plan where they want to go the next two years.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  Obama-care, as we know, is the crown jewel of socialism.  It is socialized medicine.  And to those across the United States who think this may be a symbolic act, we have a message for them.  This is not symbolic.  This is why we were sent here and we will not stop until we repeal a president and put a president in the position of the White House who will repeal this bill, until we repeal the current Senate, put in a Senate that will listen to the American people and repeal this bill. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, congressman, there you have it, repeal the president, repeal the Senate.  This is all about power and it‘s all about messaging.  Your response to that?

ISRAEL:  Well, Michelle can run for president, but she can‘t hide from her own hypocrisy.  She calls health care a socialist, is she a socialist because she takes the federal employee health benefit package?  Is she a socialist when she goes to the attending physician to have a check-up?  If that‘s socialism, then she‘s the head of the club.  And all we‘re seeing is what‘s good for you should is good for your constituents.  She‘s going to have to spend the next two years explaining to her constituents in Minnesota why she tried to repeal their health care but voted to keep her own. 

SCHULTZ:  Tell it like it is.  Steve Israel in New York, great to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time. 

ISRAEL:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, new poll numbers show President Obama is surging.  You have to wonder if the righties really expected this kind of turnaround early on in January.  E.J. Dionne, Washington Post talks about the president‘s comeback, next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And finally tonight, you know, less than three months since the president‘s party got shellacked in the midterm elections, there are signs tonight that President Obama has engineered a pretty remarkable turnaround.  The new NBC News/Wall Street journal poll just released tonight shows President Obama at 53 percent approval, an eight-point jump from the last poll.  Just 41 percent disapprove, a drop of seven points.  And there are other numbers to suggest that this president is in a much stronger position than the Republicans expected right after the mid-term elections. 

Joining me now tonight is E.J. Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, and a columnist for “The Washington Post.”  Great to have you with us. 

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  Great to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  How do you read these numbers?

DIONNE:  Well, you know, if you think of the last two elections, Obama won over McCain 53-46.  Democrats got shellacked, in his words.  They still got 45 percent of the votes.  You‘re talking about a 10 percent swing in the electorate.  And Obama pulled those folks back.  I think there were a bunch of reasons for that.  One, think of the environment before those December numbers.  Tens of millions of dollars of attack ads, you know, from all of the republican groups against Obama, against health care, against Democrats.  That‘s gone.  In a neutral environment, he does pretty well.  Because people basically like him.  His approval rating first of all, has always been above his job approval rating. 

Second, he‘s coming off one of the most nonpartisan moments of his presidency.  That speech he gave after the Tucson tragedy appealed to everybody.  I have conservative friends who said wonderful things about Obama for the first time in months and months.  Third, you had the lame duck, there was something in the lame duck that happened that I didn‘t like, like extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  But the fact is, a lot of stuff got done.  Republicans got that, Democrats got the unemployment, they got “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell.”  You know, I think the first responder‘s bill was kind of an American bill.  Everybody in the end was, you know, should be for that.  So you have a Washington that looks like it‘s functioning, and a much less negative environment surrounding it. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, but the view of the president is also very important.  Views of President Obama, 45 percent of Americans think he‘s a liberal, 40 percent think he‘s now a moderate, 11 percent conservative, but 40 percent moderate.  That puts him in good place making a run for re-election, doesn‘t it?

DIONNE:  It does.  You know, I always think, Ed, that voters on the whole are rational people.  If you ask a question, what are Barack Obama‘s politics?  He‘s a moderate liberal.  He‘s not a left wing liberal, and I think those numbers suggest that.  And I think some of these moves, certainly that, you know, the moment after the Arizona tragedy gives him a kind of very moderate image.  Because he‘s being presidential, he‘s not being political. 

SCHULTZ:  And they‘re moving forward, after going through a record number of filibusters in the last session of the Congress, in moving forward, this is what Nancy Pelosi said to my colleague Rachel Maddow in her interview with Nancy Pelosi.  Pelosi thinks this is the strategy that needs to be used. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRATIC LEADER:  I think maybe what we failed to do in the election, which was to make the proper contrast and to say this is what‘s in store for you if the Republicans are in power may be more eloquently portrayed by the Republicans in the actions that they take.  And let them be themselves.  And God willing they‘ll do something good for the American people.  Job creation is tax cuts for the wealthy, which is what it has been up until now, which has not created jobs, then this is, you know, we will—it will be clear to the public by the actions of the Republicans than the words of the Democrats. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The country likes this president.  But if they don‘t create jobs in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, what happens?

DIONNE:  It‘s a real problem.  I think it‘s about the new Middle America which is—it‘s an old Nixon term, but the fact is, if you take from upstate New York, all the way through Illinois and Minnesota, Wisconsin, that‘s where the election is going to be decided.  But that contrasting Pelosi talks about, I think politically put aside the substance where I disagree with them.  Politically, the Republicans made a mistake right out of the box on repealing the health care bill without in House, without putting up an alternative.  You‘ve never seen Democrats, there were 13 Democrats in the House voted against it.  Only three voted to repeal today.  And people are saying, hey, there is some stuff in this bill I liked after all. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  E.J. Dionne, it‘s a pleasure.  Great to have you with us. 

DIONNE:  Good to see you.

SCHULTZ:  Thank you.  Tonight in our tech survey, I asked, do you think the health care repeal bill deserves a vote in the Senate?  Nineteen percent of you said yes.  Eighty one percent of you said no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  And I want to hear from you.  Tell me what you think on facebook.com/edschultzshow, or talk to me on Twitter, at twitter.com/wegoted. 

“HARDBALL” starts right now on MSNBC with Chris Matthews, the place for politics.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.

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