The Ed Show for Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Guests: Jason Levesque, Heather Hanson, John Callaghan, Dominick Marino,
Bob King, Shira Toeplitz
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW, tonight from New York.
Now, this week, we have focused a lot on one man‘s job. But, you know, around the country, millions are focused on finding a job. I haven‘t forgotten this story.
The White House? Got to wonder if they‘re paying attention. The numbers they see and we all see, pretty awful out there, aren‘t they?
And tonight, President Obama hopefully is leading the way on the economy.
This is THE ED SHOW. Let‘s get to work.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The bully from New Jersey is after collective bargaining rights for state workers. Teachers and firefighters are fighting back, and they will be in my studio tonight.
Today in Michigan, Mitt Romney doubled down on his plan to let Detroit go bankrupt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just don‘t believe bailouts are the right way for enterprises to get strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We‘ll see how the head of the United Auto Workers feels about those comments.
Anthony Weiner is still hanging on and he‘s talking again. He‘s refusing to resign. We‘ll play you the tape.
And the new GOP darling, Herman Cain, is spewing so much garbage we just might have a super-sized “Psycho Talk.”
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight.
Here is the first thing that has me fired up this evening and it‘s not
the Anthony Weiner story. We‘ll get to that later on. Here‘s what, here‘s
you know what the Republicans are focused on? They‘re focused on this number: 9.1 percent national unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate in this country is not good. We know how bad it is for Americans out there. It‘s pretty horrible. I hear it every day on the radio.
It also happens to be the number that Republicans are absolutely feasting on. They want this number to stay the same.
You know how I know that? Is because they won‘t work at all with President Obama with the Democrats when it comes to a jobs package. It‘s all about waiting the president out. It‘s all about running out the clock.
And what infuriates me is when I hear people talk down the economy and say, “Well, you know, we really could be headed for a double dip recession. And the next one could be just a real dandy.” I thought there was a story out there that said we were sitting on trillions of dollars of assets, but these corporate boys don‘t want to do anything with the money because they want to make sure that they get the tax rate they want and they know the Democrats aren‘t going to give it to them.
We‘ve been hearing a lot about this number next: 54,000 jobs added to the economy in May. Now, look, we all know this isn‘t the number we want. And we all know that it could be better.
But it‘s not going the wrong way. It‘s a dismal number because of—we just have high hopes and aspirations.
But it‘s another number the Republicans are looking at and they are licking their chops saying, see that? Only 54,000 jobs.
Hold it right there. When you talk about gas prices in this country, and we could go back to July of 2008 when it was the highest gas price under the Bush administration, how many jobs did they add in July of 2008? Well, they added 9,000 jobs.
So, look at this number -- 54,000 jobs is what they have added, created jobs under the Obama administration?
Look, we are headed in the right direction—but for some reason Democrats and liberals are afraid to say that. We are headed in the right direction. For 15 months, we have had private sector jobs added to the economy.
Is that positive? Yes. And when the bad job numbers come out, they pretend on the other side to be all serious about creating jobs, don‘t they?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We‘re serious about creating jobs in America, we can‘t raise taxes on the very people who create jobs and keep spending money that we don‘t have.
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: The House Republicans unveiled our plan for America‘s job creators last week. We are serious about growing this economy. We are serious about re-instilling some optimism on the part of small businesses in the middle class in this country. This president continues to give speeches as if he is there for the middle class and the small businesses. But somehow the rhetoric falls short.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: Mr. Cantor, if you ever were to appear on this show I would eat you for lunch—because not one time have you ever talked about tight credit. Not one time have you ever talked about getting money to small businesses.
Not one time have you and the Republicans in your caucus ever come out and said, you know what we got to do? We got to give small businesses a chance in this country and we got to get them access to money. Because if a small guy, if a little guy out there who wants to take a chance and do the American dream—man, you got to have some cash.
But you see? You‘ve got this concentration of wealth in America and you got the tightening of credit and you‘ve got the Republicans saying it‘s all Obama‘s fault. All he‘s doing is giving speeches.
Hold the phone. I need a Republican to stand up and say, we are going to get money to small businesses. Why? Because the number of unemployed Americans is nearly 14 million—and we want to do something about it. Almost half of them have been jobless for a year or more.
Now, stop and think about that for just a moment. The level of frustration and desperation, what‘s it like out there for those folks? Ninety-niners, I haven‘t forgotten you.
And add people who are working part-time but really need a full-time job. And add people who have simply given up looking for a job.
And how about another number? Twenty-five million people in this country underemployed in America and that includes the unemployed. You know how many families, how many kids this number affects? I don‘t think we‘re ever going to have the right number—like the only thing the Republicans are really interested in is spending cuts and tax cuts, and helping up the corporate boys.
Washington, in my opinion, is running empty of ideas. Washington doesn‘t have the motivation to help small business. Washington has no intention of helping small business because all they want to do is keep these numbers high so they can roll into November of 2012, blame the president of the United States and get that power back.
Now, what are we going to do as Americans? I think my job here is to keep talking about it. I think my job here is to bring on as many hardworking, average Americans, or maybe bring people to the screen that live this number.
I just can‘t give up hope on America—and I get furious when I hear people talk down the economy because I am a small businessman. I have to meet payroll. I have to do bonding and construction.
I know what that‘s like when people don‘t pay their bills. And I know exactly what it‘s like when a guy out on the job busts his ass all week long and he can count on getting a check on Friday.
We‘re supposed to look at solutions, aren‘t we?
Mr. Cantor, I challenge you to come on this program and talk to me about solutions and knock off the damn bullet points about tax cuts for the rich and the job creators. America is so frustrated with that kind of garbage. They want money in their hand so they can go do the American thing and take a chance that you damn Republicans aren‘t doing anything about it to help small businesses.
This is the story that does not get enough attention in this country.
And today, we hear the Obama administration—well, you know, let‘s go try this thing again. Let‘s try another stimulus measure. Let‘s see if we can get this thing going. Possibly a temporary tax cut for—you know, like payroll taxes paid by businesses. Maybe we can slack up there.
White House spokesman Jay Carney was very clear today, the administration is not satisfied with the pace of this economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Don‘t you risk that you appear too sanguine about the economy?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are not remotely sanguine about the economy. This recession caused 8 million jobs to be lost. We have emerged and created more than 2.1 million.
But we are still in a hole we need to continue to dig out of caused by this recession. That‘s why this president wakes up every morning thinking about what he can do to continue economic growth and expand it and continue job creation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Do you think that this man right here gets up every morning thinking about the American people and what he can do to create jobs? Or does he wake up every morning thinking about how he can complain about the Democrats and the president of the United States?
Mr. Boehner, outside of tax cuts for the rich and giving breaks to the corporations, I‘d like to know what the hell your plan is, because small businesses need access to capital. But cutting payroll taxes for businesses—that might appeal to the Republicans. It might also spur job growth, but God knows Republicans we al know they love to talk about small business. But to me, it doesn‘t seem like they want to do anything about it.
They talk a good game. Lots of hat. No cattle.
Listen up, Mr. Boehner. We have someone on THE ED SHOW right tonight who has an idea and I want America to listen to it tonight.
President Obama, if your administration is open to some new ideas on spurring growth, I know you‘ve had a lot of meetings and talked to a lot of people—I want to talk to some of those folks tonight, too, because I want you to consider this one.
Let‘s bring in this gentleman named Jason Levesque. He is from Denver, Colorado.
This is the first time I‘ve seen Jason. He was a caller to my radio show. He‘s a young guy.
How old are you, Jason?
JASON LEVESQUE, BUSINESS OWNER: I just turned 39 last Monday.
SCHULTZ: Doggone it, you‘re right in the demo, my man. You got a lot of years to work left. Don‘t you? I mean, you plan on working at least another 20, 25 years, don‘t you?
SCHULTZ: You bet. He is the president of Visceral Solutions, a small payroll and human resources company in the city of Denver, Colorado.
I want you to meet another American tonight.
Heather Hanson—Heather Hanson, who is unemployed and looking for work in Madison, Wisconsin.
Hi, heather. Great to have you on THE ED SHOW tonight. Thank you for calling my radio show the other day.
HEATHER HANSON, JOB SEEKER: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I think you got a great story to tell. How many resumes or how many applications for a job did you put out in the past week?
HANSON: Seventeen resumes.
SCHULTZ: OK. And you‘re a single mom and you are out there just doing everything you possibly can to be employed. And I understand your employment benefits are going to be running out in September, correct?
I want to start with Jason.
Jason, give me an idea. You have the attention of the Republicans right now. And you have the attention of the White House. Give us your idea.
I asked the question the other day: what would you like to see Washington do if anything for small businesses in America? What‘s your idea?
LEVESQUE: Well, I think what started it is I reached a point in my life cycle as a company, a small business, here and I need to hire somebody to help me grow my client base, and I just don‘t have the budget or the capital to do that. And I thought, you know, what if I could borrow somebody for 20 hours a week and in somewhat jest.
And I realize, you know, we‘ve got this huge pool of small businesses 2-1 in Colorado I believe is the number versus the currently unemployed. I would call them prospective employees rather than unemployed. I would love to hire one of those folks to help me grow my business.
And I thought—what if there is an opportunity to create an avenue for small businesses and the unemployed to get together because right now I‘ve paid my unemployment taxes. The government is doing a wonderful job of offering unemployment benefits to the unemployed. But there‘s only so many—I mean, resumes you can put out in one week as she just said.
And so, if you had 20 hours a week where you could give that to a small business owner like myself, I‘d guarantee you that frees up the time for me to go out, find new business, talk to potential clients, show them why I think I‘m better at doing payroll and H.R. than anybody else., and I can guarantee you, I‘d have a full-time position for that person in a three to six-month period.
SCHULTZ: Heather, how does that sound to you? You need a job. You want a job. Would you take something for 20 hours a week and transition just to stay sharp and to move to the next job? Would you do that?
HANSON: Absolutely. And I would work my tail off for him.
I think that‘s something that a lot of people forget. They think once we‘re unemployed that, you know, we either: (a), don‘t want to work, or (b), we‘re just looking for a straight up full-time job.
And for me, if there is a solid 20-hour a week job someone can guarantee me for a potential for a full time work as Jason mentioned the other day on air, I would take that in a heart beat to provide for my family. That is one of the most important things in my life. Absolutely.
SCHULTZ: Heather, would you relocate? I know you‘ve got friends that are probably struggling in the job force as well. Do you think your gut feeling is that there would be a lot of Americans who would relocate for a job?
HANSON: I think it depends on the situation to be honest, Ed. I‘m a single mom and devoted to where my daughter is in the school system and the wonderful school system in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. So, that‘s really important to be there for her and have a stable environment.
So, for me, personally, I wouldn‘t relocate. But I think there are a lot of people out there who would dedicate themselves and relocate if they had the ability to move. Absolutely.
SCHULTZ: Jason, taking a look at an opportunity to grow a business, if you had more access to capital, would you take the risk?
LEVESQUE: I wouldn‘t actually. I‘ve done that before. I did have a small business that I did take on some loans and I decided to do something more service-oriented, so I didn‘t have to do that. Personally, I‘d rather have a set of hands than a handout.
I mean, I think that‘s something, if I could access more resources, people that have skills that I need, that they‘re already being paid for through unemployment, to allow me to borrow that 20 hours a week, maybe it‘s 15 hours a week. That‘s all I need to add a new full-time person because it‘s going to let me go out there and find new business.
It‘s a free training program. I mean, it doesn‘t have to be somebody that has payroll experience. It can be somebody that‘s interested in payroll or interested in human resources.
I bring them on. My H.R. person spends some time teaching them a new skill. They‘re still collecting the same amount of money they were prior through unemployment, but I‘m giving them an opportunity to get in the door to my company. There‘s I think a half million small businesses by definition of the SBA in Colorado right now, that would love to have access to these folks, to train them, to help them grow, and create a new full-time position over time.
SCHULTZ: But we‘re just not viewing Americans as a resource maybe the way we used to. And we need to access people such as Heather who was willing to go do something.
And I want America to take a real close look at these two wonderful Americans in the prime of their life who are just looking to make things better for them and their family.
But for some reason, we‘re talking about deficits and we‘re talking about budgets and we‘re talking about spending cuts. We‘re not focused as a country on people and I think as a country, if we refocus on people and the desires of people and how hard they want to work and how they want to be a part of this economy, we‘ll be a heck of a lot better.
Great to have both of you with us tonight. Jason Levesque and Heather Hanson—best of luck to you. Thanks for telling your story and giving some insight.
Now, those are—basically, you‘re going to work a long time in your life, aren‘t you? I mean, most people are going to be working well into their 60s. They‘re a long way from that.
LEVESQUE: Thank you.
We‘re a long way from that. They are a long way from ending their careers and they‘re right in the prime of their careers.
Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s question is: should President Obama fight harder against Republicans who block jobs programs? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. And you can always go to our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
So, how far will Americans go to get a job? I think we just heard part of that answer. This country needs to grow business in a way that we need to be hiring more people and we need access to capital. We have businesses like Jason‘s that want to do what they can to help build and move forward. We know there are people out there like Heather who would grab at an opportunity in a heart beat to get a job.
But is anyone in Washington creating these opportunities? They say, well, it‘s not the role of government to do that. Really? It‘s not the role of government to do that?
Well, then, tell me about the automobile industry. What role did the taxpayer play in the rebounding of the car industry? We‘ll talk about that later in the program tonight.
Stay with us. We‘ll be right back on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight.
You know, if you‘ve seen our promotional spots here on MSNBC, and our “Lean Forward” promos, this image, I‘m sure, looks familiar to you. As I‘ve said, these shipping containers—well they represent American jobs. And unless we recommit to the manufacturing sector in this country, these containers are just going to sit here.
Well, we need to fill them up and we need to ship them out. Well, today, we found out these containers—well, they are filling up and they are shipping out. And there are some positive numbers out there.
The Department of Commerce reported $175.6 billion in goods and services shipped overseas in April. That‘s an increase of 1.3 percent from March in most exports from the United States on record?
Now, how come the Republicans aren‘t saying anything about this, doggone it? It must be those terrible Obama policies.
“The New York Times” said that the numbers reflected greater sales of industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and consumer goods. Now, these exports aren‘t going to erase the 9.1 percent unemployment overnight, but economists say these numbers could lead to a modest increase in the GDP.
That‘s good news for the American workforce in a sluggish economy.
Just thought you might want to know what those numbers are.
Up next: a governor who shows disdain for his state‘s workforce and is actually being begged by people around the country of his party to run for president.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY: There are lots of people who run just because the opportunity presents itself. And I‘m not stupid. I see the opportunity. I see it. That‘s not the reason to run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Not now anyway.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said all along that he‘s not running for president. He could easily change that.
But that hasn‘t stopped Republicans from trying to convince him to run and get into the race. Last week, Iowa donors flew to the Garden State to woo Christie in a private meeting. Well, Christie reportedly told them, no, not going to do it.
Now, Republicans from South Carolina, they are in the mix—making a public move. State lawmakers say they‘re holding a press conference next week to urge Christie to run.
One state representative tells “The Huffington Post” that Republicans, quote, “need someone with attitude and tough leadership.”
I‘ll give you the attitude part. I don‘t know about the leadership. And working folks in New Jersey know all too well exactly what that attitude and tough leadership is all about.
Christie is still going after his favorite target: public workers. He has reached a deal with the Democratic Senate president that would make state employees pay more for their pension and health care benefits. Fortunately, assembly Democrats have refused to go along with the plan, putting the bill in jeopardy.
But Christie has made his intentions crystal clear, hasn‘t he? He thinks it is perfectly OK for workers‘ health care to be legislated, not negotiated.
Joining me now to discuss this plan are two New Jersey residents:
Dominick Marino. He is the president of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, and John Callaghan, an 8th grade social studies teacher at Christopher Columbus Middle School in Clifton, New Jersey.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
DOMINICK MARINO, PROF. FIREFIGHTERS ASSN. OF NJ: Thank you, Ed.
JOHN CALLAGHAN, SOCIAL STUDIED TEACHER: Thank you for having us on, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Dominick, what‘s happening in New Jersey?
MARINO: Chris Christie is coming after labor—unionized labor—throughout the entire state. He makes no bones about it. He says he wants to negotiate but all he wants to do is dictate.
He‘s got no—he has nothing to do with labor, will not speak to us. He refuses to call us, refuses to talk to us. All he wants to do is push labor out of the state of New Jersey. And as far as we know, he wants to make it a right to work state. He doesn‘t want any collective bargaining at all.
SCHULTZ: Key point here—he hasn‘t met with you or any of the labor organizations?
SCHULTZ: Not for a few minutes?
SCHULTZ: You mean, he‘s met with people from Iowa, but not labor leaders or labor functions?
MARINO: I have not met the governor since he has been elected.
John Callaghan, of course, public education is getting nailed all over the country but it seems that this governor seems to be leading the way. He‘s fired 6,000 teachers in the state of New Jersey. What‘s happening?
CALLAGHAN: Ed, he came in and he said I‘m going to balance the budget but he‘s doing it on the backs of the middle class. Tax cuts for millionaires he promises to veto. But he had no problem cutting $820 million out of New Jersey‘s education fund, his first month in office.
Now, this year, he‘s taken credit for giving back $200 million. I still see us as $600 million short.
SCHULTZ: What do you gentlemen think when you hear of South Carolina representatives, Iowa advocates—I mean, they‘re just singing this guy‘s praises, Dominick.
MARINO: They can have him. He can go anywhere he wants out of New Jersey. All he is is talk. All he is is talk.
He says a lot of things. He goes around the state of New Jersey telling everybody all the troubles they have and all he is is riling them up. He‘s not giving them the facts. He‘s not telling the truth.
He‘s just telling them how to—he‘s just saying things to rile them up against unionized labor in the state of New Jersey.
SCHULTZ: John, what do you—
CALLAGHAN: And it is right wing propaganda. None of it that seems to come out of his mouth is true.
I would tell people in other states, be careful what you wish for, because if this is what they want, be careful of what you wish for. And again, he‘s going after the middle class, you know, to take care of the people that got him elected.
SCHULTZ: What about the tax cuts he‘s given to the millionaires? How do you feel about that? Is that a fact? Has he done that? I want to hear from you.
MARINO: He has. He will not institute the millionaires‘ tax in the state of New Jersey. He refuses to. He‘s putting the burden back on the middle class.
All the people that make up New Jersey, the ones that are paying for all the faults of Wall Street and the millionaires in the state of New Jersey.
CALLAGHAN: Same thing. He‘s out for one thing. He wants to take care of the people that got him elected. As I said the last time I was on, I think this is a big push from the right, using New Jersey as an example, attack the middle class, and if you repeat a lie often enough it starts to become the truth.
SCHULTZ: Do you believe him when he says he is not going to run for president or not going to seek the Republican nomination?
CALLAGHAN: I think like a typical bully, I think he‘s waiting until he knows he has a sure deal. I think he‘s a little bit afraid that he may not—once things come out, that he‘s not going to be able to balance the budget, that teachers are opposed to him, and his poll numbers have gone down recently.
Tax cuts for millionaires—there was a recent Rutgers University poll that said 72 percent of New Jerseyans would not mind paying—would not mind seeing millionaires pay higher taxes. That‘s 72 percent. So, is he not listening to the voter?
SCHULTZ: What‘s the future for firefighters?
MARINO: Future for firefighters is, we are—our numbers are reducing as we speak. We don‘t have enough man power throughout the state of New Jersey as members are retiring because of the uncertain future as to what the governor is proposing. And the municipalities are not rehiring.
So, they‘re asking us to do a lot more with a lot less and in our profession. doing a lot more with less firefighters is dangerous to our health and welfare, and also dangerous to the citizens of New Jersey.
SCHULTZ: Attitude of the employees?
MARINO: They‘re very disgruntled. The morale is extremely low. We put our lives on the line every day for the citizens of New Jersey and visitors of New Jersey.
SCHULTZ: And you—both of you gentlemen are in a profession where you got to have a good attitude because you affect so many people‘s lives especially in the classroom.
CALLAGHAN: We do fight to overcome, you know? We don‘t—I don‘t take it to work with me. Ask any of my students. They know how much I care.
Ed, I do believe this began even before he became governor, because I think if you look at what Mitch McConnell said, his number one job is to make sure President Obama fails. I have a 10-year-old son who you met, and my 10-year-old son when he heard that said, “Dad, isn‘t that treason?”
What happened to caring about the country and caring about the impoverished and the people left behind? Isn‘t that—what is the purpose of government if it is not to take care of the citizens?
SCHULTZ: That is the 64 dollar question. John Callaghan, Dominic Moreno, great to have you with us. Thank you very much.
Mitt Romney heads home to Michigan. But after saying the government shouldn‘t help the auto industry in 2008, he is not getting a real good home coming, so to speak.
After days of porn stars and embarrassing overexposure, Anthony Weiner still refuses to step down. That‘s next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. A reporter from the “New York Post” caught up with Congressman Anthony Weiner in midtown Manhattan this morning. Here‘s how it went.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I betrayed a lot of people and I know it. And I‘m trying to get back to work now and, you know, try to make amends to my constituents and, of course to my family, of course.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you headed today?
WEINER: Going back to go back to my community office and try to get some work done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not planning on resigning?
WEINER: I‘m not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: He‘s not. Congressman Weiner, since you‘re not going to resign and you‘re committed to your job, maybe you could give your constituents another press conference and explain how you‘re going to navigate through all of this? Weiner needs to clearly explain, in my opinion, how he can serve the people when members of his own party think he is a major distraction.
Allyson Schwartz is one of the leaders of the DCCC and she wants Weiner out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALLYSON SCHWARTZ (D), PENNSYLVANIA: It appalls me enough that I felt the need and importance to speak up, certainly as a member of Congress, as a woman, as somebody who is appalled by this behavior, that the right thing to do is for Anthony Weiner to resign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It‘s going to be hard for Weiner to go back to work with his colleagues next week. He lied to them, obviously, especially to the president of the United States.
David Frum is reporting four days before his June 6th press conference, Weiner had a personal phone conversation with President Obama in which Weiner aggressively denied that he had sent these notorious photos of himself in his underwear around the Internet.
Weiner‘s arrogance is giving the Republicans all the political ammunition they need. Take a look at what House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said on the low rated “Hugh Hewitt Radio Show,” “Anthony Weiner is not a Republican. Won‘t resign. There is a different standard between Republicans and Democrats.”
If Issa had any standards, he would investigate his buddy, David Vitter, or ask him to resign. There is only one person who can put an end to the garbage. And that of course, is the congressman, for him to do the right thing and step down.
Presidential hopeful Herman Cain is—I tell you what, this dude is moving up the polls. But his pattern of anti-Muslim, anti-gay rhetoric plunges him into Psycho Talk.
Chrysler has paid back its government loans. GM and Ford are turning profits. Mitt Romney still thinks that all three companies should have been bankrupt. The president of the United Auto Workers joins us to talk about Mitt Romney‘s return to Michigan. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: You want an economic success story? Here it is. But let‘s remember the history to it. When Mitt Romney said the American auto industry‘s demise would be guaranteed if car makers received a government loan, he was banking failure and he didn‘t believe.
Well, the loans were a success. And now Romney‘s 2008 “New York Times” op ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” I mean it is dogging the candidate as he makes the presidential campaign stops in his birth state of Michigan. Romney was welcomed home by a Democratic National Committee which released a web ad highlighting his position on the auto loans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should the federal government bail out the auto industry? Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and former Republican candidate for president says absolutely not.
MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no question but that if you just write a check, that you‘re going to see these companies go out of business ultimately. Let Detroit go bankrupt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm also slammed Romney in a “Politico” op-ed today, saying that if Romney had his way, almost 1.5 million jobs would have been lost. Even Republicans got in on the action today, with conservative Congressman Thaddeus McCotter blasting Romney‘s campaign swing through the state.
Members of the United Auto Workers Union protested outside a restaurant in Livonia, Michigan, where Romney was dining.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARON GARZA, AUTO WORKER: It‘s kind of hard when you write an op-ed piece saying “Let Detroit go Bankrupt” to come back and say, hey, I was really for this all along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers Union. Bob, great to have you with us. I want to play one more sound bite. Mitt Romney didn‘t back off his past statements. In fact, he doubled down on all of this. Here‘s what he had to say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I believe that bailouts are not the answer. But instead that the process of going through the normal bankruptcy reorganization, where enterprises can shed excessive costs, reestablish their customer base and their economic foundation, and emerge stronger, is the right process and would have been the right process here as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bob, great to have you with us tonight. What is your response to that?
BOB KING, UAW PRESIDENT: Thank God for President Obama, who believed in American workers and believed in American companies. He bet on us and the American public won that bet that the president made.
SCHULTZ: What would have happened if the loan hadn‘t been floated to the manufacturers?
KING: Well, millions of jobs nationally would have been lost. The infrastructure in manufacturing would have collapsed. Ford, who got the loans, would have still been pulled down with everybody else and so would have Toyota and Honda and the German auto makers, because the supplier sector is integrated amongst all these companies.
It would have been a disaster. It would have led from the great recession really to a deep depression.
SCHULTZ: How wrong is Mitt Romney?
KING: He is absolutely wrong. He‘s absolutely hypocritical. He benefited—his dad was in the industry. He benefited by the auto industry. Not to stand by Michigan workers and not to stand by American workers, to me, is outrageous and wrong.
SCHULTZ: What if we go into the campaign and there‘s not the loyalty to those who stood with the workers? Will there be the loyalty there by the workers to stand with those politicians who made this happen? Has the landscape changed?
KING: I think our membership, and I think workers, union and non-union in the auto industry, in the suppliers and dealerships, they know that their livelihood is there today because President Obama, the Democrat, stood behind them and stood up for Main Street.
The Republicans stood up for the banks and Wall Street. President Obama stood up for working people and Main Street.
SCHULTZ: Does the term bailout—the word bailout bother you?
KING: Yes, it does, because it was a loan. And those loans are being repaid. The taxpayer—we are very thankful to the American taxpayer for helping us in General Motors and Chrysler and really indirectly in Ford.
SCHULTZ: So do you think it was just political theater for those in Washington to oppose it? I‘m asking that question not mentioning the other party. But let‘s face it. They weren‘t for it.
KING: That‘s right. Senator Corker, Senator Shelby, they attacked American workers. They attacked the American companies. They wanted us to fail because they thought that would hurt President Obama.
SCHULTZ: So is this going to be really a helpful boost and story for President Obama trying to win re-election?
KING: It‘s the best jobs story in America; 70,000 jobs and growing every day. We‘re recreating the auto industry because we‘re coming back. We‘re profitable. We‘re investing in new products, new plants. Plants that were shut down or said we‘re not going to reopen, like Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, is open today.
We‘re rebuilding the Chrysler 200 there. The transmission plant is getting major investment. Engines and transmissions that were out of this country coming back into this country, being built by American workers, helping American communities.
SCHULTZ: Finally, correct this record, verify this, That the United Auto Workers took a financial hair cut, that your employees took between a 7,000 and 30,000 dollar reduction in pay to make this deal work. Is that right?
KING: Absolutely did. And fight every day to make sure we‘re making the best quality products.
SCHULTZ: Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
KING: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: The Godfathers Pizza candidate, well, he is moving up in the polls. He has now moved ahead of right wing favorites like Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. But the higher he climbs, the crazier he sounds. He‘s got a ticket into the zone next.
CHULTZ: In Psycho Talk tonight, Republican presidential candidate and former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain. Cain is starting to gain traction in this 2012 race. He came in third in the latest Quinnipiac poll, trailing only Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.
But Herman Cain, let me tell you, folks, he‘s in first place when it comes to making small minded, bigoted comments, like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMAN CAIN ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe homosexuality is a sin, because I‘m a Bible believing Christian. I believe it‘s a sin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
CAIN: But I know that some people make that choice. That‘s their choice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe it‘s a choice.
CAIN: I believe it is a choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Cain isn‘t just leading the 2012 field in anti-gay remarks. He is also out in front with his anti-Muslim rhetoric. He keeps fear mongering about Sharia law creeping into American society. And back in March, he said that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet if was president.
Then yesterday, he went on his buddy Glenn Beck‘s TV show and said he would consider appointing Muslims, but only if they would pass a loyalty test.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAIN: If they can prove to me that they are putting the Constitution of the United States first, then they would be a candidate just like everybody else. My entire career I‘ve hired good people—great people regardless of their religious orientation.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you saying it is—that Muslims have to prove—there has to be some loyalty proof?
CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.
BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or --
BECK: Or to a Mormon?
CAIN: I wouldn‘t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is any of these other religions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Cain‘s brand of discrimination screams of McCarthyism. Herman Cain is one of these constitutional conservatives who conveniently forgot and forgets about the freedom of religion, part of the First Amendment.
I am keeping my eye on this guy, Herman. You see, we were slow to get him into the zone, but there is no question, you deserve to be there, Herman, with this long pattern of outrageous Psycho Talk.
Newt Gingrich‘s campaign is sinking fast. Most of the members of his team jumped ship and are waiting for Rick Perry to come up with the life boats. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You‘re an embarrassment to our party.
NEWT GINGRICH ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIADTE: I‘m sorry you feel that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don‘t you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Newt Gingrich isn‘t leaving the race. But his campaign team basically left him. This morning, Newt‘s senior staff, including campaign manager Bob Johnson, told the former speaker they quit. Fred Barnes of the “Weekly Standard” reports the last straw for the campaign staff was Gingrich‘s decision to go on a two-week cruise in the Mediterranean.
Ah, the good life. His advisers urged him not to go and take so much time from a campaign that was already in trouble. But his wife wanted him to go and she won the argument. Callista Gingrich obviously she has an appetite for the finer things in life, whether it‘s a two-week cruise in the Mediterranean or a half million dollar account at Tiffany‘s.
Callista apparently gets her way.
Newt plans to relaunch—here we go, it‘s a relaunch—whatever is left of his campaign in Los Angeles on Sunday. In the meantime, many members of Newt‘s staff are on their way to Texas to help out Rick Perry decide if he wants to run in 2012.
Newt‘s now former campaign manager, Rob Johnson, and senior adviser, David Carney, are two of Perry‘s political advisers. For more on Gingrich and Perry, joining me now is “Roll Call” political reporter Shira Toeplitz. Shira, good to have you with us tonight.
You know, Newt still has a bunch of money, doesn‘t he?
SHIRA TOEPLITZ, “ROLL CALL”: Probably not as much as he would like all of us to believe. He does have a national fund raising base. But from what we‘ve read and a lot of the reports that have come out since his staff quit earlier today, the money was running out pretty quickly. And he wasn‘t fund raising a lot.
And man, he was spending it, too. A private jet in Iowa, the works.
SCHULTZ: Well, I‘m sure he can go hire other people. How big of a shot is this to Newt Gingrich?
TOEPLITZ: This is what you‘d call an implosion. This is a huge shot. If he were to come back from this and at least be competitive in the nomination fight, it would basically be unprecedented. And to come back from this far, it would be tough.
Plus, from other reports I‘ve read, he was already having trouble hiring staff. That was before the rest of the staff quit this morning.
SCHULTZ: Why don‘t people want to work for Newt?
TOEPLITZ: I think he has made a couple very serious mistakes on the campaign trail so far. Let‘s start with his announcement. You remember a couple months ago, he was announcing and one of his supporters in Iowa said he was. And then he said he wasn‘t. And then he really got in two weeks later. That was a mess.
I think some of your viewers might remember the glitter episode, when a gay rights activist threw glitter on him. And that clip you just played in Iowa. It‘s been a series of blunder after blunder after blunder.
And then to top it all off, he went o know a cruise for two weeks with his wife. That was kind of the nail in the coffin.
SCHULTZ: This guy gets on Fox whenever he wants to. He‘s got ample political experience. He was the Speaker of the House. He was the leader of a movement that, of course, wanted to turn America around.
He‘s got all of this political experience. How can the guy have such a horrible campaign going?
TOEPLITZ: I think that‘s a really good question. But I think Newt is
Newt Gingrich is kind of an interesting candidate, too, that he is very much in his own mind. He‘s very much his own head.
I have talked to a lot of his former aides over the course of the past couple weeks, while he was in Greece and his campaign was imploding back here stateside. They say it‘s very much his way or the highway. And if his way doesn‘t work, too bad.
SCHULTZ: How quickly he has fallen in some years. He had a Contract with America. Now he needs a contract for some staff workers.
TOEPLITZ: Well said.
SCHULTZ: He really does. If he is going to patch this up—and, you know, money does a lot of things for a campaign. It didn‘t take Newt‘s ideas if he‘s got any. Didn‘t take his enthusiasm if there is anything left. Obviously, he‘s not too concerned about it, if he is going to go to the Mediterranean.
But the fact of the matter is that he can come out and probably cash whip somebody. There‘s got to be somebody that is going to step up and say OK, I‘ll take the money and Newt, let‘s see if we can make a run of it. Is it really going to be that hard to hire people?
SCHULTZ: It‘s going to be difficult to hire anyone good. If you‘ve covered presidential races, you know that a lot of candidates, especially ones that are already on shaky ground, are only as good as the staff they hire in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida as well.
And will he be able to hire someone? Sure. He can pay them six figures or whatever to run his campaign. You can do that. Will they be any good? Questionable. It‘s hard to imagine anyone with any kind of campaign talent signing on to the Newt Gingrich campaign at this point.
SCHULTZ: So I guess this means that Rick Perry is no doubt in. Is that your read?
TOEPLITZ: I wouldn‘t go that far yet. Remember, Rick Perry kind of sent the feelers already that he didn‘t want to get into the race unless he knew Palin was definitely not going to run.
SCHULTZ: All right. “Roll Call‘s” Shira Toeplitz, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.
Tonight in our survey, I asked you should President Obama fight harder against Republicans who block jobs programs? Ninety three percent of you saying yes; seven percent of you saying no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on Sirius XM radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m.
“THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O‘Donnell starts right now. And again, I‘m going fishing. Have a great weekend. We‘ll see you Monday.
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