The Ed Show for Thursday, February 2, 2012
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Guests: Michael Eric Dyson, Ezra Klein, Caroline Heldman, Sam Stein, John Nichols, Leo Gerard, Terry
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
Mitt Romney, I mean, this dude can`t take the heat. Thirty-seven
hours after he said he isn`t concerned about the very poor, Mitt Romney is
doing a flip-flop again. I`m not going to let him off the hook.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The highest form of
charity is to do our part to help others stand on their own.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The president continues to run circles around
Republicans. While the guy who likes to fire people gets an endorsement
from a guy who fires people on TV.
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: It`s my honor, real honor, and
privilege to endorse Mitt Romney.
SCHULTZ: We`ll have all the fallout from today`s circus with Ezra
Klein, Sam Stein, Michael Eric Dyson, and Caroline Heldman.
The radical Republican attack on workers in Arizona continues. Now,
there`s a Scott Walker connection. And there might be a recall movement
brewing in the desert.
And the backlash against the Susan G. Komen Foundation is exploding.
ANDREA MICHELLE, NBC NEWS: Your Facebook page has people cutting pink
ribbons in half.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The responses we`re getting are very, very
SCHULTZ: The president of the National Organization for Women is
outraged, and she is here tonight.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
The contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney couldn`t be more
stark. Their differences were on display while they were thousands of
miles apart from each other.
This morning, President Obama joined members of Congress for the
National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. He spoke about the message of
shared sacrifice, and how it`s rooted in his Christian faith.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: When I talk about shared responsibility, it`s because I
genuinely believe in a time when many folks are struggling, in a time when
we have enormous deficits, if I`m willing to give something up as somebody
who`s been extraordinarily blessed, give up some of the tax breaks that I
enjoy, I actually think that`s going to make economic sense. But for me,
as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus` teaching that from to whom
much is given, much shall be required.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president spoke about something we have heard a lot
about in the last 24 hours, the poor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It`s also about the biblical call to care for the least of
these, for the poor, for those of the margins of our society, and for
others that may reflect the Jewish belief that the highest form of charity
is to do our part to help others stand on their own, living by the
principle that we are our brother`s keep, caring for the poor and those in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This sets up a clear comparison with the man who is hoping
to be the Republican nominee for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m in this race because I
care about Americans. I`m not concerned about the very poor. We have a
safety net there. If it needs repair, I`ll fix it.
I`m not concerned about the very rich. They`re doing just fine.
I`m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95
percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I`ll continue to take
that message across the nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It`s not the first time this week the President Obama drew a
big distinction between himself and Mitt Romney. Yesterday, the president
spoke about home foreclosures, saying it`s wrong for anyone to suggest that
we should let the housing market bottom out. Although it was Mitt Romney
who told a Nevada newspaper to let the foreclosure process run its course.
On Tuesday, President Obama toured the Washington Auto Show. Mitt
Romney, famously said -- famously said let Detroit go bankrupt. Now, G.M.
is back on top and President Obama has a different message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It is good to remember that the fact that there was some folks
who were willing to let this industry die, because of folks coming
together, we are now back -- back in a place where we can compete with any
car company in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president is getting an early jump on the general
election. He`s letting voters know the clear lines between him and Mitt
Romney is also showing America where he stands. He stood side by side
with the all-American nobody Donald Trump today, the guy who fires people
on TV, supporting the guy who likes to be able to fire people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s my honor, real honor, and privilege to endorse Mitt
Mitt is tough. He`s smart. He`s sharp. He`s not going to allow bad
things to continue to happen to this country that we all love.
So, Governor Romney, go out and get `em. You can do it.
ROMNEY: Thank you.
ROMNEY: There are some things that you just can`t imagine happening
in your life. This is one of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes? We just have to cherish the moment, don`t we?
President Obama`s campaign team was thrilled with the endorsement.
The campaign`s Twitter feed posted video of Trump and Romney with a helpful
note saying, "in case you missed it".
The timing couldn`t be worse for the Romney campaign. Yesterday
Romney said he`s not concerned about the very poor. Now, he`s endorsed by
a guy who is concerned about one thing, and that`s being very rich.
And get this, the "Washington Post" reported 25 percent, a quarter of
the money amassed by Romney`s campaign in an allied super PAC, has come
from 41 people, each of whom has given more than $100,000, nearly a dozen
of the donors have contributed $1 million or more. The pro-Romney super
PAC even got a $250,000 donation from a company with only a post office box
for a headquarters and no known employees. Go figure. It is the
A very small number of very rich people are really making Mitt Romney
the next nominee, don`t you think?
Romney is the candidate of the 1 percent -- the Obama team knows what
the guidelines are. Make sure the American people know what this is all
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question, which candidate is more concerned about the poor?
Text A for President Obama, text B for Mitt Romney, to 622639. You can
always go to our blog at Ed. MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the results later
on in the show.
I`m joined tonight by Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst, and
Georgetown University Professor, and Caroline Heldman, professor of
politics at Occidental College.
Welcome tonight, both of you. Appreciate you being here.
Get this -- Romney is walking back his comments about the poor this
evening. He told a Nevada news program we don`t have the tape, but we got
the quote, "It was a misstatement. I misspoke," he said. "I`ve said
something that is similar to that, but quite acceptable for a long time."
Now, here are some examples of what Romney has been saying for a long
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
ROMNEY: We got to provide help to the people who have been hurt most
by the Obama economy. And that`s the middle class. It is not those at the
very low end. It`s certainly not those at the very high end.
I`m not worried about rich people, they`re doing just fine. The very
poor have a safety net, they`re taken care of.
In our country, the people that need the help most are not the poor,
who have a safety net, not the rich who are doing just fine, but the middle
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, I`ll ask you first -- was yesterday a
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Not at all. It is
consistent with what he`s been articulating throughout this entire process
and over the years. He ignores the fact that the top 20 percent of
American income earners own -- nearly earn 50 percent of the income. Those
who are poor, about 15 percent of the population, earn less than 3.4
percent. Those at the bottom are in dire need of help.
Yes, the middle class needs to be helped seriously. But those who are
poor and working poor -- and what we mean by working poor is those who work
40 to 50 hours a week, often two and three jobs and they still can`t make
ends meet and can`t rise above the poverty level. These people are not
easy. They are not disinclined to work. They can`t find gainful
And if this man wants to be president and yet he`s not concerned about
a significant population of people who are doing poorly, then God bless
those who would vote for him, but he is not the right man to fill in and
deal with the situation that is of utter necessity for those who are poor.
SCHULTZ: Well, this comment came about 37 hours ago. And he`s in
damage control right now. But after a plethora of media critique out there
in the media, he decides to come out and say, well, I misspoke.
Caroline, the Romney damage control -- is this going to work?
CAROLINE HELDMAN, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: I don`t think it`s going to
work because he very clearly said that the people who have been hurt the
most are the middle class, the poor aren`t hurting as much.
And I don`t think he understands what that means. If the poor were
doing better, they would be middle class. This notion that he is
demonizing the poor or saying that they`re not doing very poorly doesn`t
take into account that one out of five of the poor are children and the
vast majority of the poor, as Dr. Dyson pointed out, are working poor,
people who are working full time, they are disabled people, they are
elderly people and they`re children.
So, when he`s talking about the poor and demonizing them, even if he
doesn`t directly intend to, which I would argue he probably did, it`s not
going to help him come the general election. I don`t think this is
something he can talk his way out of.
SCHULTZ: There`s a real big disconnect there for sure.
Michael, what about Trump`s endorsement today? Is this going to hurt
the guy? I mean, if you look at the some polling that`s out there, a lot
of people aren`t going to be influenced by this and some negatively.
DYSON: Well, not immediately, but I think in the long run. The
calculation here is that Donald Trump will go out there and be a force for
Mitt Romney to put him in good standing with those who are suspicious of
the bona fides of Mitt Romney, is he really conservative and since Donald
Trump drummed up all of this madness about he`s the true conservative out
here, then it might help with those who are on the fence.
But I doubt that it`s going to help with the mainstream of the
Republican Party who understands that Donald Trump is a joke and a side
SCHULTZ: Professor Heldman, why would Mitt Romney go along with this
Trump circus? I mean, Donald Trump really started this whole election year
questioning whether President Obama was an American, questioning his birth
certificate, then claiming victory that he got the president to put out the
full long form. I mean, it`s really been a dog and pony show.
Why would Romney and his camp view this as such a big endorsement,
that they would play it up the way they are playing it up?
HELDMAN: Well, I think it appeals to racist Americans, those who --
birthers, those who question the president, and it allows Romney to align
himself with someone who will play up with racist folks who he doesn`t
necessarily have to directly use that language like Gingrich has been
doing, saying that blacks don`t have role models, or he`ll -- calling
President Obama a food stamp president. I think it allows him to align
himself with people who believe that, without actually having those words
come out of his mouth.
SCHULTZ: Well, I wonder how many sound bites from his prayer
breakfast today are going to be played by the conservative media. They
have accused him of not being a Christian. The president was very clear
about his faith today.
Does this serve the president well, Michael? What do you think?
DYSON: Well, yes. I mean, every time he gets a chance to stand up
and take a swing at some of these ill-informed ignorant people who contend
that he`s not a Christian, he`s been saying this forever that he`s a
Christian and it`s not that other people, you know, Muslims, Jews, whoever
else are part of the religious American landscape are not to be treated
seriously, it`s just the fact that he happens to be a Christian and they`re
trying to call him everything but literally a child of God.
They celebrate Tim Tebow who bows down on a field to pray to God and
yet here is a man who is trying to put into practice based on biblical
principles some concern for the poor and he`s dismissed out of hand.
I think probably our own moral values have to be examined but I think
this helps Obama in the long run to make the steady stream of consciousness
that, hey, I`m a Christian, I`m rooted in the Bible, I`m doing what I think
God wants me to do and that`s best I can offer.
SCHULTZ: And, Caroline, you can`t deny -- I mean, I was -- I watched
the whole thing this morning when it was happening. There were clear
political parallels here. But what the president was saying and the
stories of the week.
What did you make of that?
HELDMAN: Well, I think it is very clearly responding to Romney and
Gingrich who have been demonizing the poor. Gingrich more than Romney, I
would say. And talking about, you know, how people -- poor children and
specifically children of color need to get a job, and don`t have role
models and his NCAA comment and food stamps.
I think that the president is directly responding to that and I think
it`s a message that will resonate with Americans, 75 percent of whom want
to see taxes, fair taxes for the wealthy and are not into this poor
The fact, you know, when a couple million people can`t get employment,
it might be on them. But when 20 million Americans are underemployed or
unemployed, it`s a systemic issue, I don`t think this demonization is going
SCHULTZ: Professor Michael Eric Dyson, Professor Caroline Heldman,
great to have both of you with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW -- thanks so
Remember to answer tonight`s question there on the bottom of the
screen, share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We want to know what you
Republicans attacked President Obama on the deficit. But Ezra Klein
gets to the truth. And Sam Stein joins me for the politics of it all.
And later, I`ll show you how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker taught
Arizonans how to bust unions. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Ezra Klein and Sam Stein set the facts straight
on the deficit and how Republicans will spin the latest CBO report.
After we broke the story about teachers working without pay in a
Pennsylvania school district, it`s gotten attention from the White House,
and the media. Find out what Ellen DeGeneres did and it`s great what she
did for this school.
And the Susan G. Komen Foundation is facing more backlash after
pulling grant money from Planned Parenthood. The president of the National
Organization of Women joins me tonight.
Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: And I`m going to work very, very hard to make sure that the
people in this country have a brighter future than that just being
projected by the CBO. Driven by the policies they`re seeing from a
president who is failing. He`s frequently telling us he did not cause the
recession and that`s true. But he made it worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This segment is going to make your head spin a little bit,
so be prepared.
Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And thanks for watching tonight.
Republicans, well, they have what they think is a new club in their
hands that they can bash President Obama over the head with. There is a
new CBO report that says that the deficit will top $1 trillion this year.
Now, it means President Obama will be the first president to have a deficit
over $1 trillion every year in office.
Now, of course, much of the deficit comes from a recession that the
president of the United States right now did not create. Ezra Klein has
broken it down. The actual cost of President Obama`s policies would total
about $983 billion in terms of what it adds to the deficit. Compare that
to the cost of Bush policies during his time in office, more than $5
trillion added to the deficit. We got to talk about it.
Let`s turn to MSNBC policy analyst and "Washington Post" columnist
Great to have you with us tonight, Ezra.
EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Good evening.
SCHULTZ: I also have to start out with this, that the House GOP
declares unanimously that the Bush tax cuts did not blow up the budget.
Every House Republican voted Thursday to reject the proposition that the
Bush tax cuts added to the deficit.
I mean, this is revisionist history. And I -- I view this as -- we
now have a lie that is into the record.
Your thoughts on this?
KLEIN: The Bush tax cuts, number one, $2 trillion from about 2001 to
when Obama came into office and if we extend them again, they`ll be about
$4 trillion with the growth of the economy.
But you want to know how you know the Bush tax cuts added to the
deficit. You mentioned this piece, the way I did this piece was I worked
with people on Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to create what we
call a baseline in which we took everything, every policy that Obama didn`t
do and sort of put it to the side, and then looked at every policy Obama
has done or has signed into law on its own and projected its cost out.
And so I got a blockbuster response from a guy named Keith Hennessey,
a very smart guy. He was George W. Bush`s National Economics Council
director at the end of his presidency.
And what Keith said was your baseline doesn`t work because Obama`s
going to add trillions of dollars to the deficit when he extends the Bush
tax cuts in a year. Now, that`s not in there because we don`t know if he
will extend them. We don`t know if the deficit reduction, I can`t put in
things Obama hasn`t done yet.
But he`s right, if you extend them, you will extend the deficit. And
the fact that he and James Pethokoukis others are criticizing the baseline
from that direction shows that Republicans know perfectly well the Bush tax
cuts are a budget buster.
SCHULTZ: Sure. So when Obama`s opponents come out, when the
president`s opponents come out and say he`s responsible for $4.7 trillion
in deficits, what is the short answer here in the bullet point culture?
KLEIN: He`s not. Barack Obama is responsible for the deficits in his
policies have put into place. But the fact of the matter is when you cut -
- when he came in two weeks before he came in, so January 9th, 2009, the
CBO put out a report and said deficits now for the next year, for first
year of Obama`s presidency but before he was inaugurated will be $1.2
trillion, that was with all Bush policies, with the recession, Obama had no
control over that.
The other point I want to make here, it is important to say this, it
is not always a good idea to reduce the deficit. Barack Obama, President
Obama and the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress do need to figure
out a way to solve deficits in the coming years. But when you are in the
massive recession, when the economy is collapsing, you do not cut
government spending then. You cannot do that. You`ll send us into a
And what we did was successful. There was a report from McKenzie
Global Institute and what it showed is we are further along in our
recovery, further along in households and businesses getting rid of our
debt and a big part why that was is the government stepped in aggressively
to keep the growth going so they could begin to deleverage.
SCHULTZ: And we have seen the stimulus package work.
Ezra Klein, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.
KLEIN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to Sam Stein, political reporter for
Sam, the politics of this is pretty ugly. It`s easy for the
Republicans to go out and distort the deficit numbers, don`t you think?
SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: Oh, yes, and I think Ezra hits all the
right points. The difficulty, of course, is actually spelling out the math
here and how Obama inherited a lot of the problems.
Also, you know, one of the simpler ways to solve the deficit problem
is to get more people back to work and one of the easier ways to get more
people back to work is to inject even more government spending. Going
through that cycle though is a tough sell for the American public because
the Republicans have made it difficult to argue in favor of more stimulus.
So, we`re in a cycle where he gets blamed from the debt and he`s
prohibited from doing anything to solve it.
SCHULTZ: You pointed out in your work today, in "The Wall Street
Journal" donors are -- not the "Wall Street Journal," the paper, but the
Wall Street donors, the people that work on Wall Street.
SCHULTZ: They seem to be really flocking to Mitt Romney with their
money and their support. But haven`t they done really well under President
Obama? I mean, back in March of 2009, the market was just over 6,000. Now
look where it is today. I mean, and plus the bonuses they`re bringing in.
How could Wall Street not like this president?
STEIN: Correct. Bonuses are up. The Justice Department under Obama
has been notoriously slow, if they moved at all in doing prosecutions. The
culture on Wall Street is back to relatively normal.
And yet the street doesn`t really like this president. And when you
ask around, the explanations you get are that his rhetoric is very tough,
the policies he`s outlining now, specifically on millionaire taxes are
against their interests.
But let`s be honest here, they also have a vessel that is much more
beneficial for them and that`s Mitt Romney.
And so what we did is we looked at the 68 most politically active
firms, we`re talking about hedge funds, private equity firms and banks and
so on and so forth, and what kind of donations they made over the fourth
quarter, that`s October into December. And my colleague and I found out
that Mitt Romney received $1.49 million in donations during that three
months time period. Barack Obama received $127,000. It is 11.7 to 1
disparity. It`s amazing.
SCHULTZ: Let`s turn now to Newt Gingrich. He said something rather I
think alarming today. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Both Governor Romney and
Barack Obama seem to believe that a, quote, "safety net" is all the poor
need. I don`t believe that. What the poor need is a trampoline so they
can spring up and quit being poor.
Nothing is better for somebody who is poor than getting a job and
getting a paycheck and having a chance to rise and having their children
see that it is OK to go to work. And that it is part of being an American.
(END VIDEO CLI)
SCHULTZ: Having their children see that it is okay to go to work?
More dog whistle politics? What do you think?
STEIN: Yes, there is always -- there is always that.
SCHULTZ: Come on, Newt.
STEIN: At this point, he`s assigned every child to go be a janitor,
though. So I don`t know if they`ll be there to see their parents work.
You know, it`s silly. But he -- I will say this, he gets at a point,
which is that what Mitt Romney said yesterday was tone deaf and the idea
that, you know, we shouldn`t concern ourselves with the plight of the poor
and they can be handled by the safety net, fundamentally is a
misunderstanding of how poor the safety net is -- safety net is right now.
SCHULTZ: Tell you what? These Republicans, they don`t know how to
relate to people that are going through economic strife. They don`t know
how to relate to people that are actually working, but they`re just not
getting paid very much. They can`t relate to them. And they try to box
them in and stereotype them and it is just -- it is just -- it is deep
sixing them like crazy. I think with the American people.
STEIN: Yes, you`re right. The thing that separates Gingrich from
Romney, though, is Gingrich is at least talking in a language that is about
self-improvement, that`s about getting a job and in terms of people want to
STEIN: Romney was basically dismissing a section of the populous
saying: forget that, they`ll have the social safety net to deal with.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Sam. Good to have you with us tonight. Sam Stein,
Pennsylvania teacher Sara Ferguson worked for free to keep her school
open. Now, she`s taking her fight to save public schools to the Ellen
DeGeneres show. We`ll have the highlights next.
China`s trading policies have put over a million Americans, their jobs
at risk. What can the president do about it? We`ll visit with Leo Gerard
when we come back.
SCHULTZ: A few weeks ago on this program, we introduced you to a
teacher from Pennsylvania named Sara Ferguson. She was one of a number of
teachers who volunteered to work for free when her school district ran out
of funding and the state refused to help. Since then, Sara attended the
State of the Union address as a guest of the first lady.
And today, Sara appeared on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" to tell her
story and she walked away with a big surprise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA FERGUSON, PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER: The love that we have for our
students and our city is priceless. And we will not stop fighting for our
children. We won`t. We won`t.
If we don`t step up for our children here in the United States, it is
going to hurt all of us.
ELLEN DEGENERES, "ELLEN": Yes, it will. I don`t know how we don`t
see that. It is going to hurt all of us. This is -- they`re our future.
FERGUSON: Every child deserves the right to attend a great public
school. And they need to have a good teacher in front of them.
DEGENERES: I want to make sure that you`re treating yourself, because
you`re helping everybody else. So just for you, I want to give you a 5,000
dollars gift card to go to JC Penney. And whatever you want to get.
They`re going to give you a little bit of help to help your school
out. You`re going to get a check for 100,000 dollars for your school.
FERGUSON: Oh, thank you so much!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That`s pretty cool, Ellen. No doubt about it. Sara
Ferguson is fighting the good fight, bringing attention to one of the most
important issues facing this country. I hope these governors who insist on
slashing education budgets are paying attention.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer`s crackdown on public employee unions is really
Wisconsin on steroids, if you look at the detail. Brewer`s Republicans
want to do away with unions across the board. Done, over, out.
And Governor Scott Walker, believe it or not, has been teaching them
how to do it. In November, Walker made a trip down to Scottsdale, Arizona,
to encourage members of the right wing Goldwater Institute to follow his
union busting lead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: They want their hands on the
automatic dues. That`s what this battle is about. It is not about
workers` rights. We need to make sure that there are freedom-loving
Americans all across this country who are willing to stand up shoulder to
shoulder and arm to arm and say, we`re not going to back down.
Tonight, you might say I`m preaching to the choir with a bunch of
fellow conservatives. But I guess on the last request I`d tell you on that
point is the friend that my dad had said I`m preaching to the choir because
I want the choir to sing.
So tonight, I`m asking you to sing if you believe in what we`re
talking about. Tell the message in Arizona and all across America that we
can do things better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The Goldwater Institute took Walker`s advice to heart.
Their website features this headline, "Bigger than Wisconsin, Reforming
Government Unions Will Save Taxpayers Billions."
But Arizona Republicans are not reforming public employee unions.
They are out to eliminate them. They want to outlaw collective bargaining,
automatic payroll deductions for union dues and compensation of public
employees for doing union work.
Arizona is not only following Scott Walker`s anti-union example, but
they are really kicking it up a notch. Let`s turn to John Nichols tonight,
Washington correspondent of "The Nation Magazine."
I see two things here, John. Number one, you`ve got Scott Walker
going around the country making a bigger political name for himself. And,
of course, on this teaching tour, if you may, but he`s also ginning up
support for his recall on a national level.
How was Walker involved in Arizona`s anti-union fight? What do you
make of all of this?
JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": Well, Walker`s very, very involved. Your
viewers and you will recall, Ed, that back in the start of November, we
were in Ohio watching as Ohioans voted 61 to 39 against an assault on
collective bargaining in their state.
Well, two days after Ohio cast its votes, Scott Walker flew down to
Arizona to deliver the speech you just have shown segments of. He spent a
whole day and a half down there, met behind closed doors with Goldwater
Institute folks and all sorts of other conservative political players down
Now what is very important to understand is that the Goldwater
Institute is funded, at least in part, by the Koch Brothers, the same
people who spent a great deal of money to help elect Scott Walker and who
are very supportive of him when he was governor.
The interesting thing is also that the Koch Brothers are big funders
of the American Legislative Exchange Council, another group that`s been
very supportive of and engaged with Scott Walker, and the American
Legislative Exchange Council had their national conference down in Arizona.
And it was there that Jan Brewer, just days after Scott Walker had come
down, started to lay out the bare essentials of the agenda for taking on
There`s a lot of connection here.
SCHULTZ: Yes, a lot of connection. A director at the Goldwater
Institute writes, "the environment, the climate that we face in Arizona is
much more receptive to these kinds of reforms than Wisconsin is." Arizona,
of course, is already a right to work state. Does that make it easier for
these laws to get through?
NICHOLS: I`m afraid it does, Ed. And one of the things that made the
fight back in Wisconsin so effective was that even though Governor Walker
only targeted some public sector unions, those unions that weren`t
targeted, police and firefighters, stepped up to support their fellow trade
unionists. And very quickly the steel workers and other private sector
unions came in.
In Arizona, many of those unions don`t have the capacity or the
strength that they have in Wisconsin, because it is a right to work state.
SCHULTZ: And because of some legislative rules that are put in place,
their window of debate is much smaller in their session than it is in most
other states. So this has been on the fast track. It was introduced on
Monday, in the conference on Tuesday. And they`re just moving quickly on
Where the unions and the workers aren`t going to be able to fight back
as quickly as they could. But they`re looking for some kind of a -- a
Let`s talk recall. I`m not real clear on what the recall guidelines
are if Arizonans wanted to recall Jan Brewer.
NICHOLS: Arizonans can do exactly what Wisconsinites are doing.
Arizona has an exactly parallel recall law. People have to gather 25
percent of the vote in the last gubernatorial election. And Arizonans have
exercised their recall power recently.
Back in November, Russell Pierce, the former president of the state
Senate in Arizona, the guy who pushed their anti-immigration law, was voted
out of office via a recall.
SCHULTZ: Well, they have been down this road before.
SCHULTZ: How -- are Wisconsinites paying attention to what Walker is
doing, gallivanting all over the country, raising money and doing these --
I guess you could say are seminars, clinics, on how to go after unions.
This is going to elevate him, no doubt. I think Jim DeMint of South
Carolina even said the other day he wishes he was president.
So they`re grooming, no doubt. John Nichols, good to have you with
us. Thanks so much.
NICHOLS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: The Susan G. Komen Foundation pulls funding for Planned
Parenthood. Was it political? Terry O`Neil of the National Organization
of Women will join me for that discussion in detail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He understands that our
economy is facing threats from abroad. He`s one of the few people who
stood up and said, you know what, China has been cheating. They have taken
jobs from Americans. They haven`t played fair. We have to have a
president who will stand up to cheaters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney earlier today praising international luminary
Donald Trump on his so-called tough position on China. I`ll tell you who a
real tough guy is when it comes to China, and that is President Obama. He
saved the automobile industry at a time when it would have been easier to
let GM and Chrysler just fail.
And now he faces yet another challenge, a key decision coming up that
could potentially save 1.6 million American jobs in the automobile
industry. China is going after auto parts. Three reports released this
week say American jobs are at risk unless China`s illegal trading practices
Lawmakers and union groups are urging President Obama to restrict
imports of auto parts from China. Their claim, "China`s exports of auto
parts which have jumped during the past decade are driven by illegal
Chinese government subsidies."
The manufacturing belt of the Midwest is at risk unless something is
done. And it is on the desk of the president. I`m joined tonight by Leo
Gerard, international president of the steel workers.
Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us tonight. The steel workers, I
understand, have filed a petition against these Chinese trade policies.
Tell us about it. Where are we right now?
LEO GERARD, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEEL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL: Well, let
me say first, Ed, that I want to reiterate your point, that no one has
stood tougher against China than President Obama and his administration.
For every case we have brought, they have stood right by us and brought it
What we have done this week is we have started the process of going to
the House of Representatives and to the Senate to get letters of support to
ask the administration to file the trade case against China. This is going
to be one of the largest cases in auto parts against China for all their
various forms of cheating.
But when we say auto parts, that`s everything, from axles to seat
belts, from motors to crankshafts. And so this is going to be a big
project. And we think that the administration can take this on. And I`m
really pleased that President Obama has established an enforcement
committee and given Vice President Biden what he calls the China portfolio.
So this is important. And this is the first president that has stood
up on all of the enforcement issues that we have brought to him.
SCHULTZ: And this is standard operating procedure under the WTO, that
if some country is not operating correctly, you have a grievance policy to
call him out on it. And that`s basically what is happening here, isn`t it?
SCHULTZ: And it has to go to the executive level. And the president
has to get involved, just like he got involved with the tire situation,
where you had a tire grievance, and he called him on that. Did he not?
GERARD: Exactly, with 421 case. And we also brought a case we did
under renewable energy products, which the administration took up. And
they have been winning those cases, those segments. We have five segments
in that case and they have been taking them on one at a time.
I think this is a very important case. And I think the president and
his administration can step forward. You`ll end up with some people
calling us protectionist, and the usual right wing claptrap. But the fact
of the matter is that China has agreed to these rules. But even though
they have agreed to them, they violate them.
It is like saying we all agree that the speed limit should be 60, but
if China drives 85, just ignore them. That`s not what we`re going to do.
We`re going to fight for our members.
We have 350,000 members, Ed, whose product could make it into an auto
part and into an automobile. We got to stand up for them before China
steals our lunch. They`re the bullies on the block. And we`re not taking
it from the bully anymore.
SCHULTZ: And what do you make of the tough talk coming from Mitt
Romney about how he`s going to kick ass on China, and how Donald Trump is -
- has got tremendous expertise on how to deal with these trade issues?
GERARD: Well, Mitt Romney is no one that can talk about kicking ass
on anything. This guy is responsible for more job loss than anybody else.
Donald Trump just simply ran his mouth. He`s a Birther. And I won`t stay
in his hotels. So that -- this is a guy that just runs his mouth, doesn`t
know what he`s talking about half the time.
If you really want to see someone that knows what they`re doing and
stood up to the Chinese, look at what President Obama has done. We have
brought 24 cases and we have won every one.
SCHULTZ: You brought 24 cases in, and the president has supported you
on all of them, and you`ve won all of them?
GERARD: These are all cases --
SCHULTZ: What do you need the president to do now on this?
GERARD: I think what the important thing on this is to make sure that
we give the president, through the House of Representatives and the Senate,
the kind of support. We`re going to take this issue to the states. We`re
going to take it to governors. We`re going to take it to auto cities, auto
towns, where auto parts are.
We`re going give the president the kind of support that he needs, so
that he can initiate this case. As I say, it is going to be a huge case
because it is on a broad section of auto parts. And we have got to
identify, part by part. And we`re not going to let China -- we have
already lost 400,000 auto parts jobs since the recession came.
We`re not going to let them take anymore of our jobs.
SCHULTZ: OK. Leo Gerard, president of the steel workers, great to
have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GERARD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: The Susan G. Komen Foundation, creator of the Pink Ribbon
Campaign, is sparking outrage all over America, after it decided to pull
funding for Planned Parenthood. Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women, will join me. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked you which candidate is more
concerned about the poor. Ninety seven percent of you said President
Obama; three percent of you said Mitt Romney.
Tonight`s Big Finish, the Susan G. Komen Foundation faces a major
backlash from within its organization after pulling money from Planned
Parenthood. I`ll talk to the president of the National Organization of
Women on what it all means next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m just steaming over this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How dare they?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is just such disturbing and discouraging
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really awful. They should be ashamed of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It is the nation`s biggest breast cancer charity, creator of
the Pink Ribbon Campaign. And it has ignited a firestorm over its decision
to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced earlier this week that it
would stop new grants for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
The reason: Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress. The
investigation was brought on by Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns, who
led the charge in the Congress to defund the organization last year.
And now Komen is pointing to its review as the reason to stop its
funding. Planned Parenthood says Komen grants helped 170,000 women get
breast exams since 2005. None of the money went to abortions. In fact, 97
percent of what Planned Parenthood does has nothing to do with abortion.
But sources tell NBC News that anti-abortion groups pressured Komen to
stop funding. "The Atlantic" reports that Komen`s policy about groups
under investigation was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut off
Penn State University is also under investigation, yet Komen continues
to fund cancer research there.
Tonight, at least one top official has reportedly quit in protest.
And there are new concerns regarding what role Komen`s new VP of public
policy, Karen Handle, played in the decision-making process. Handle is a
conservative activist. She ran for governor in the state of Georgia in
2010, advocating to defund Planned Parenthood.
Komen CEO Nancy Brinker says Handle had nothing to do with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY BRINKER, SUSAN G. KOMEN FOUNDATION CEO: Karen did not have
anything to do with this decision. This was decided at the board level and
also by our mission, Andrea. Everything that we get up and do every day is
about the mission to provide women, vulnerable populations with care,
treatment and screening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Since Komen`s decision, Planned Parenthood has raised
650,000 dollars, almost enough to cover the lost Komen grants. New York
Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged a 250,000 dollar matching grant, stating
politics has no place in health care.
I`m joined tonight by Terry O`Neill, president of the National
Organization for Women. Terry, thanks for joining us tonight on this
crucial issue, which I think has stunned a lot of people in its -- stunned
a lot of people to the point where their response is amazing.
In your opinion, was the decision political?
TERRY O`NEILL, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN PRESIDENT: I think it
was completely political. In fact, what is really surprising to me is that
someone who has formerly been so respected as Nancy Brinker has taken this
organization and fundamentally transformed it from an organization that was
-- that promoted women`s health. It is now an organization that promotes a
political agenda that is directly opposed to women having access to health
It is astonishing. But now the mask has been ripped off of this
organization. And we need to recognize that it is no longer a women`s
health organization. It is a political anti-women organization. I think
it is important for people to wrap their brains around that.
SCHULTZ: Who is going to ask them to reverse that? How would that
take place? Who would take the lead? Could it be reversed?
O`NEILL: You know, I don`t believe that it is going to be reversed.
If you look at what Miss Brinker has said, it is pretty clear that she has
dug her heels in and she is determined to keep this policy of defunding
Planned Parenthood going.
Twenty six senators, led by Frank Lautenberg and Patty Murray, have
signed a letter protesting this decision by the Komen Foundation, along
with 22 members of the House had signed a letter as of this afternoon. So
there is a building backlash.
I mean, one of the things you have to wonder is why would corporations
like Yoplait and Dell Computers and New Balance Shoes, all these
corporations that are listed on Komen`s annual report as in the million
dollar club -- they`re going to have to move away from Komen. They`re not
interested in funding a -- an organization that strictly has a political
anti-women`s health agenda like Komen does now.
So, you know, you have to think that what -- what Miss Brinker has
actually done has been really to lead this organization right off a cliff.
SCHULTZ: All right. Now last summer, Republicans held the government
pretty much hostage over Planned Parenthood funding. The outrage over
this, you know, it seems to be bigger. What is the difference?
O`NEILL: You know, honestly, I think that the difference is that it
is one thing for politicians to take aim at Planned Parenthood. Planned
Parenthood saves the lives of young women every single day. But it does so
in part by providing abortion care.
You know, one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
It is a necessary part of women`s health care. And Planned Parenthood is
one of the most respected providers of that care. It is one thing for
politicians to attack Planned Parenthood.
I think it is -- it is a deeper betrayal for Komen Foundation to
attack Planned Parenthood, simply because that`s a foundation that, until
now, has held itself out as being a foundation that supports women`s
health. Now we know that it doesn`t. And I think the backlash is really
very strong because of that.
SCHULTZ: Can they redeem themselves? This is a major PR issue for
them. And it is really -- they`re in the image business. There`s no
question about that. This is really going to hurt them.
O`NEILL: I think it will.
SCHULTZ: I don`t know how they`re going to redeem themselves on this
one with a lot of people.
O`NEILL: You know, Ed, look five years from now. My prediction is
that the Susan G. Komen Foundation will not exist, or it will be reduced to
say between 10 and 25 percent of its current size.
SCHULTZ: Terry O`Neill, National Organization of Women, thank you.
O`NEILL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to me on the
radio, Sirius XM radio channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00
p.m. You can follow me on Twitter @EdShow, and like THE ED SHOW on
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. That prediction that
the Komen Foundation will cease to exist within a couple of years, that is
strong stuff, man. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: It is big. Thanks, Rachel.
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