The Ed Show for Monday, March 26, 2012
Read the transcript to the Monday show
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
One month ago today, Trayvon Martin was gunned down on the streets of
Sanford, Florida. Tonight, new details are emerging about the events of
that night and the conservative media is smearing the reputation of a dead
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Even in death, they are still
disrespecting my son.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The parents of Trayvon Martin say authorities
are demonizing their son.
SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: They`ve killed my son. And
now, they are trying to kill his reputation.
SCHULTZ: New details on the Martin killing have been released and
George Zimmerman`s defenders are spinning his racist remark.
JOE OLIVER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FRIEND: It`s a difference between a C
and G from what I understand. And goon is apparently a term of endearment
in high schools these days.
SCHULTZ: We are going to Florida for the latest.
The right wing smear machine is attacking Trayvon Martin. Turner
Clayton of the NAACP is here with reaction.
History was made inside of the Supreme Court today. Outside, it was
another political circus.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you really want
Obamacare repealed, there is only one person who can make that happen.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Cohn of the "New Republic" was inside the room for
today`s argument. He`s here with the latest.
And it`s Tebow time in New York. We`ll show you what happened when
Tim Tebow met the New York press.
TIM TEBOW, NEW YORK JETS: I thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ
because that is the most important thing to me. But I don`t think all the
attention is just because of my faith.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
The effort to smear Trayvon Martin is in full tilt. One month after
the 17-year-old was killed, police have suddenly released part of their
investigation. And sources have leaked other selective information to the
The city of Sanford, Florida, has posted police reports on the Web
site. In it, one officer described the shooter George Zimmerman this way:
"I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass,
as if he had been lying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also
bleeding from his nose and the back of his head."
Trayvon Martin can obviously not defend himself but George Zimmerman
can. According to the "Orlando Sentinel" newspaper, authorities say
Trayvon Martin approached George Zimmerman from behind as Zimmerman was
walking back to his SUV. They exchanged words and then Trayvon bunched him
in the nose, sending him to the ground and began beating him.
But "The Miami Herald" raises many questions about the police
investigation. One of the witnesses who heard the crying said she called a
detective repeatedly but said he was not interested because her account
differed from that of Zimmerman`s.
Trayvon`s parents obviously dispute this and believe it is all part of
character assassination of their son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN: Even in death, they are disrespecting my son.
FULTON: The only comment that I have right now is that they have
killed my son and now they are trying to kill his reputation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Information about Trayvon`s suspension from school was also
leaked. He was suspended because traces of marijuana were found in a
plastic baggy in a book bag. The family attorney responded to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Whatever Trayvon Martin was
suspended for hold absolutely no bearing on what happened on the night of
February 26th. If he and his friends experimented with marijuana, that is
still completely irrelevant to George Zimmerman killing their son on the
night of February 26th.
Once again, law enforcement is attempting to demonize and blame the
victim by releasing bits and pieces of their ongoing investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: A friend of George Zimmerman, Joe Oliver has also been
making the rounds. He says he wants to diffuse the situation?
Here is what he says about Zimmerman`s alleged racial slur in the 911
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVER: To me, it`s a matter of interpretation of whether he`s saying
coon or goon. There are a lot of parts of this country where people
proudly call themselves coon asses in Louisiana in particular. I don`t
know too many people who, younger than 40, who use that term as a racial
slur. As for as that other word, goon, I`ve been informed by my 17-year-
old daughter that that among her peers that is a term of endearment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: In almost every interview, Oliver has said he finds it
unusual the police are so slow to release information.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVER: There`s a gap there still even with all this other
information about how the two met. There`s still a gap that`s missing that
hasn`t been released about how the gun went off. I don`t understand why
this information is taking so long to come out, given the past practices of
Florida law enforcement and releasing information in a high-profile case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Today, there was another rally in Sanford, Florida. And
Martin`s parents appeared at a city commission. Tonight, the overwhelming
theme was people were asking -- why hasn`t there been an arrest in this
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will George Zimmerman supporters be able to paint him as a
Text A for yes, text B for no 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 am joined tonight by Trymaine Lee, senior reporter of the
"Huffington Post," and also, Walter Zalisko, president and CEO of Global
Investigative Group and a retired police chief from Florida.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
First of all, Trymaine, I understand that you have been with the
family for most of the day. How are they responding to this leaked
information, which obviously is trying to paint their son as some kind of a
TRYMAINE LEE, THE HUFFINGTON POST: The legal team had prepared the
family for this. They said as the case rolls along, there will inevitably
be push back and some attempt to discredit their son. But I spoke with
Tracy Martin, the father this evening, and he said no matter, they are
committed to continue the fight because the whole world is watching. If
they stop, then everyone else will stop.
So, they want to make sure that they`re going to keep the wheels
moving regardless of what opposition they are confronted with.
SCHULTZ: And what was said at that commission meeting this evening?
LEE: Speaker after speaker, from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to
Corinne Brown to the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, all implored
this commission to either hold the police -- the Sanford Police Department
responsible and accountable for any missteps. But also, again, as we hear
over and over again, the arrest of George Zimmerman -- be it the state
police or the federal investigators they want an arrest and soon.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Zalisko, what do you make of the timing of the release
of this information via a Web site when there`s been so much media pressure
over the last few weeks? Is this standard operator procedure?
WALTER ZALISKO, GLOBAL INVESTIGATIVE GROUP: No. I don`t think it is.
The information should have been revealed much earlier in this whole
investigative process. And the fact they are just releasing bits and
pieces of the investigation is rather suspicious in itself.
But we do realize that by Florida statute and as well as some other
states, the release of ongoing investigations is prohibited and once they
complete the investigation, then they`ll be able to release the entire
But there have been some issues with the initial investigation report
and how the officers responded to the scene.
SCHULTZ: OK. Well, what are they? What`s the number one thing that
jumps out at you as an investigator and a former police chief?
ZALISKO: Well, the first thing is they responded to the scene. And
the first responding officer approaches Mr. Zimmerman. He sees Trayvon
laying on the ground and he approaches Mr. Zimmerman and he ask him if he`d
seen the suspect or the subject. Mr. Zimmerman identifies himself saying,
I`m the one that shot the individual.
You would think that the officer would ask him why, or what had
occurred? Nowhere, in his investigation report, is there any mention as to
-- if he asked him why did you shoot him? What happened here? Nothing to
that affect. And that is crucial evidence to any investigation.
SCHULTZ: And I want to ask you about this police report. None of it
matches up -- at least from what I can see, none of it matches up with any
of the 911 tape. And what about this piece of information where one of the
witnesses who heard crying said that she called a detective repeatedly but
said he was not interested because her account differed from Zimmerman`s?
What do you make of that?
ZALISKO: Well, if there is any truth to that, I think it just
reflects extremely poorly on the detective and the Sanford Police
Department. I mean, here we have a homicide investigation. I don`t think
you can get anymore serious of a crime than a homicide. And for them to
just push this back and not return calls to a witness and probably a key
witness is unquestionable.
That is totally incompetence in the investigation.
SCHULTZ: Trymaine, what was the family`s reaction to the information
that was released today?
LEE: I think the family all along kind of expected this to come. So,
they were indeed hurt, but they still had more questions. They said the
thing that people should be focused on is that their son was killed and he
And also, I want to go back to those initial reports. On March 8th, I
spoke with Chief Lee for about 10 to 15 minutes, and there was never any
mention of any of this information.
What he told me is that Zimmerman got out of the vehicle and followed
Trayvon Martin. And at some point, Martin turned around and asked what he
This is a complete shift from what I`m hearing now. But the family
again, all along, suspected that at some point, some of this information
would come out.
SCHULTZ: Trymaine, did police Chief Lee ever tell you that Zimmerman
was handcuffed and that medics attended to him in a patrol car and he was
bleeding? Did any of that -- was that ever said to you as a reporter?
LEE: Never, not once.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Zalisko, what do you make of that? That`s pretty vital
information, isn`t it? I mean, if the guy is bleeding, there`s obviously
some kind of confrontation.
ZALISKO: Well, that`s the point I was trying to make. I mean, if a
officer approached Zimmerman and he`s bleeding from the back of his head
and from his nose, the logical question is what happened here. None of
that was asked.
The only thing that is reported is that Zimmerman is telling the EMTs
that "I was calling for help and nobody would respond."
But we have to remember is that Zimmerman was not a suspect. The
police could have questioned him at that point. You know, you only have to
invoke your constitutional rights once you become a suspect.
So, I don`t understand why the police didn`t question Zimmerman more -
SCHULTZ: Well --
ZALISKO: -- at the scene. He was questioned later on in the police
station. But, I mean, you are right at the scene there. You`d get vital
information at the initial point of the incident.
SCHULTZ: Trymaine, another thing that bothers me about the police
report, they knew who the slain victim was. They knew who Trayvon Martin
was. It says how much he weighed, how tall he was. You know, obviously,
they must have had a driver`s license or something. But none of -- there
was no follow-up to find his parents anywhere.
Why didn`t they go door to door?
LEE: I think that`s what has so many people confused and perplexed.
Why not go door to door? They also had his cell phone. Why not call the
last numbers he called.
And for days on end, Trayvon Martin was probably listed as a John Doe.
So, these -- it`s the mounting questions that keep plaguing the family.
And tonight at the city council hearing, they implored the commission, what
would you want done if this you your child, if this was your son or
And that`s the part that I think having spent some time with the
family that bothers them the most. They don`t have any answers and it
doesn`t seem like anyone as of yet is pressuring the police department or
those initial investigators as to why they allowed George Zimmerman to go
home with the DNA evidence on his shirt, if there was blood or evidence on
And so, again, these questions are mounting. This is really
disturbing the family.
SCHULTZ: All right. One more thing I want to bring up with both of
you is this Joe Oliver who seems to be going out doing the media rounds.
Trymaine, is he credible? Does he -- does he know Zimmerman and what`s the
LEE: I`ll have to say, like so much in George Zimmerman`s life,
there`s a fog here. So I have to admit, I don`t know much about the
connection between Mr. Oliver and Mr. Zimmerman at all. But it doesn`t
surprise me that none of us know much about him because there`s still this
wall that I think we`re all trying to break through.
And as bits and pieces come out, we are learning more. But still,
like so much in this case, more questions than answers.
SCHULTZ: And, finally, and Mr. Zalisko, does this police report today
cloud the picture even more, or do you see anything being cleared up as a
positive step towards justice?
ZALISKO: Well, I think this whole investigation is cloudy right from
the beginning. No matter what they put out now is always going to have
some question about the validity of it.
SCHULTZ: Is it a good old boy network at work?
ZALISKO: Well, you know, let`s face it, central Florida has a history
of good old boys here. And, you know, you would hate to see this be the
case here, but, you know, it is what it is.
SCHULTZ: Trymaine Lee and Walter Zalisko, thanks for your time
tonight. I appreciate it so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter. We, of course, want to know
what you think.
Coming up, right wingers are trying their best to demonize Trayvon
Martin. Turner Clayton, Jr. will be joining me later. He is the Seminole
County NAACP. He will join me to talk about it.
And years of right-wing attacks on health care reform have finally led
to the -- gone to the Supreme Court. Three days of hearings kicked off
today. Jonathan Cohn of "The New Republic" was in the chamber and he will
join me tonight.
Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up: the right-wing attacks Trayvon Martin`s character
in an attempt to defend George Zimmerman. I`ll talk with the president of
the Seminole County NAACP, next.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush defends the "Stand Your Ground" law
he signed back in 2005. Former State Senator Dan Gelber will weigh in on
And Paul Ryan just can`t find a way to pay for his budget, but it`s
not stopping Mitt Romney from endorsing it. Robert Reich will be here
later in the hour to talk about that.
Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow. We`ll be right
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Let`s examine why we had a test on the
victim rather than the one that was the aggressor. Let`s not play this
double standard of trying to demonize who`s dead and sanitize who was the
cause of the death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was Reverend Al Sharpton earlier today down in Sanford,
Florida. Some right wingers will do anything to defend Florida`s "Stand
Your Ground" law and they have no problems smearing an innocent kid in the
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote that progressives are
trying to turn Trayvon Martin`s death in to a racial litmus test? Adding
that President Obama`s very personal remarks on the matter poured gas on
Yet, Malkin had no issue fanning the flames on her right wing Web site
by posting this picture claiming the African-American kid in the photo was
Trayvon Martin. It turns out it was not. The Web site has since
apologized. But needless to say, it was ruthless and reckless.
I`m joined by Turner Clayton, Jr., president of the Seminole County
branch of the NAACP.
Mr. Clayton, good to have you with us tonight.
The new developments on the press release that is out, the report that
is out by the police department, sheds some light on it. And some seem to
be using that as an effort to defend George Zimmerman.
What do you -- what do you make of this personal attack that`s taken
place in the characterization of the victim?
TURNER CLAYTON, JR., PRES., SEMINOLE COUNTY NAACP: Well, we expected
the right wing to come out that way. But when you look at all of the
evidence, you will find that actually, Mr. Trayvon Martin was actually
defending himself, and the fact that the "Stand Your Ground" statute does
not even apply in this case.
SCHULTZ: Other right wingers are trying to tie the New Black Panthers
to this story. Is this race baiting in your opinion? And what do you make
CLAYTON: Yes. In fact, we don`t condone the action of the Black
Panthers. The fact that they are offering a $10,000 bounty for Mr.
Zimmerman, we don`t condone that.
And I understand they are also saying to bring him in dead or alive.
That is not what we are all about. We are a nonviolent organization. We
want justice to prevail in the courtroom.
SCHULTZ: Zimmerman`s attorney and friends are out there painting
Trayvon Martin as a villain. How sad is that?
CLAYTON: That`s very sad. He was a victim who lost his life. But
yet, they are trying to defend the perpetrator who actually did the
Now, Mr. Zimmerman, who was in pursuit of Mr. Martin, was asked by the
police dispatch, "Are you following this kid?" He said, "Yes, I am." "We
don`t need you to do that."
Mr. Zimmerman should have stopped at that point but he didn`t. By
continuing on, now, Mr. Zimmerman is beginning to stalk Mr. Martin in this
particular case. And, of course, he got out of his vehicle and approached
Mr. Martin. It was not the other way around.
And, of course, if you are the aggressor, then you are the one who is
perpetrating the crime. That`s what happened in this case.
SCHULTZ: Well, in the police report, it says that Zimmerman was
allegedly bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, and that the
officer thought that he had been laying on the ground because he had grass
on his back. But none of the 911 audio matches up with any of that. And
of course we haven`t heard all of the audio.
Then, of course, the lady, who`s been trying to contact detectives and
they apparently didn`t want to hear her side of the story.
What do you make of all of this?
CLAYTON: Well, I think that`s poor investigation. Apparently, she
tried to make a statement earlier that the night and, of course, they only
took a brief statement from her. And, of course, they were supposed to go
back and get a more detailed statement, which they refused to do.
And, of course, this is not the way you conduct an investigation in a
SCHULTZ: Joe Oliver appears to be going out there, trying to explain
what Zimmerman actually said on tape. He said it`s a difference between a
C word with and a G word.
How does that ring with you? And what does it mean to you?
CLAYTON: Well, I can take Mr. Oliver`s word with a grain of salt. I
don`t believe anything he is saying. He`s just did it in order to try to
credit Mr. Zimmerman and discredit Mr. Martin.
SCHULTZ: Well, in the sound byte we played earlier in this program,
Mr. Oliver said that he knows that word is a term of endearment. Goon is a
term of endearment in high schools. Now, I thought the shooter was 28
years old. How would he know what George Zimmerman was saying and what it
So, how credible is Joe Oliver out there drawing conclusions? I mean,
it just really plays in to some kind of coordinated offensive that`s being
put out by Zimmerman`s camp to discredit the victim.
CLAYTON: Yes. That`s all it is. In fact, I think this is just a
rehearsal for Mr. Oliver in order to try to make Mr. Zimmerman look good in
the light. But at the same time, he`s also making him look bad because
there`s nothing that Mr. Oliver can say in order to try to change that was
on the 911 tapes, or the evidence that should have been collected by the
police department that night.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Clayton, give us the mood of the community there. A lot
of intense media pressure, meetings, demonstrations, advocates speaking
out. What`s the mood of the community? And tonight`s meeting?
CLAYTON: Well -- yes, the mood is they are very unhappy at the
moment. There`s a lot of unrest in the community. And, of course, we are
trying to provide some type of way they can actually vent that frustration
without taking it out on other folks in the community.
This is our community. We have to live here. I understand that a lot
of national figures are going to be coming in and revving the community up.
But once they are gone, we are the ones that have to put the flames
out. So, yes, the community is in an uproar at this moment, but we are
doing everything we can to try to contain that.
SCHULTZ: Turner Clayton, Jr. -- thanks for your time tonight. I
appreciate it. Thanks for joining us on THE ED SHOW.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed "Stand Your Ground" law in to
law in 2005. Now, he is breaking his silence on the Trayvon Martin case
and defending the measure. Former Florida State Senator Dan Gelber will
join me on that.
And later, Paul Ryan punts on how to pay for his tax cuts for the
rich. Could this guy be the Republican vice presidential pick? He says
he`d do it.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Former Governor Jeb Bush is finally breaking his silence on the issue
down in Florida, the Trayvon Martin case. Bush is defending the "Stand
Your Ground" law, a measure he supported in 2005 and signed with the
lobbyist from the NRA at his side.
At an education forum in Texas, Bush told a group, "Applied properly,
I support the law."
"Stand Your Ground" gives Florida residents the right to use deadly
force and call it self defense. The law has allowed George Zimmerman to
walk the streets as a free man after shooting and killing an unarmed
Bush now says it is "always good to review laws" and doesn`t believe
Zimmerman`s defend will hold up. The "law does not apply to this
particular circumstance. `Stand Your Ground` means, stand your ground. It
doesn`t mean chase after somebody who`s turned their back."
Joining me tonight is Dan Gelber, former Florida state senator and
former federal prosecutor.
Mr. Gelber, good to have you with us tonight.
What do you -- how do you feel about this law now that we`ve seen all
of this unfold? Did this law have any connection to the result of February
26th in your opinion?
DAN GELBER (D-FL), FMR. STATE SEN.: Well, no matter what Governor
Bush says, at the end of the day, Mr. Zimmerman`s defense lawyer is already
seeking its refuge. The initial investigators from Sanford thought it
applied. And there is no question that that law is going to make it more
difficult to convict Mr. Zimmerman, because it says, and the jury is going
to hear it in the jury instruction -- it says that Mr. Zimmerman had
absolutely no obligation to try to stay away from the situation, and that
he was free to use lethal force without ever having to walk away.
And that`s going to be something that you`re going to hear from his
defense attorney after Mr. Zimmerman`s gives his account, or somebody does,
as is already happening.
SCHULTZ: Well, does a former governor, any governor who signs a law
of this nature have blood on his or her hands in the wake of these kinds of
tragedies? I know that`s an open-ended question. But the final authority
in a state is going to be the governor to determine whether a law is put
into place, with his signature, unless there`s a veto override. What do
you make of that?
GELBER: I think there`s a lot of blame to go around. And I
understand why a lot folks who were for this terrible idea are backing off
of it right now. Because the truth of the matter is -- and I said this to
you the other day, there was no one in Florida who needed this law. This
was one of these things that they do, that the NRA and ALEC did nationally,
just trying to get states to pass it.
There was no one in Florida who claimed that they had been wrongfully
charged or acquitted or wrongfully convicted and needed this protection.
This was done solely because the NRA asked the legislature to do it and
they have a lot of sway with the legislature.
It is going to make it harder for Mr. Zimmerman to be charged if he is
charged, and convicted
SCHULTZ: You know, that`s powerful that just statement you made. And
you reiterated what you told us the other night. I mean, it seems to me,
not pointing this at you, but the media I think has a responsibility to go
to these governors and these lawmakers who follow ALEC and follow the
National Rifle Association like puppets on a string, and ask them why did
you sign it, if there`s no clamoring in the public for this?
I mean, I think we have a real responsibility to follow up on this.
We`re passing laws because some industry wants it to be passed. In the
meantime, they are contributing to the thought process of someone who`s got
a firearm in the middle of a confrontation. And also, in this case, I
think you could make the case that Zimmerman thought he was doing what the
law was going to allow him to do, to chase this kid down.
GELBER: This was really -- listen, about 20 of us -- I was in the
state house at the time and 20 of us really voted -- not only voted against
it, but we said this is sort of crazy. We`re -- and the fellow who was
actually promoting the bill was the same legislator who promoted the
Schiavo legislation, Terry Schiavo at the time.
And so I made the point over and over again that this really devalues
life. It really says to people lethal force is your first resort if you
want it to be. It doesn`t have to be your last resort. And the -- and now
because of this outcry, all of a sudden, people are looking at it. But
think about this for a second: had there not been this attention, there is
no question that this case would have been long over.
It would have been declined and nobody -- no special prosecutors would
have been appointed. Everybody would have just gone along their way. It`s
only when people started to look at it and stop the trains and -- that all
of a sudden people are trying to understand it and actually potentially
But even after this episode, I`m not sure you can count on the
legislature or this governor, Governor Scott, to do anything about it.
SCHULTZ: Ninety three cases, 65 dead people since it went into effect
in 2005. Dan Gelber, appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This bill has far reaching
consequences for the economic health of this country and for basic liberty
in our society.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The republican circus swarms to the Supreme Court, as they
begin the review of the health care law. Jonathan Cohn of "The New
Republic" has the latest.
Martin Sheen teams with Democrats to fight the Ryan Plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: What is their goal? Simply to sacrifice
Medicare in order to give tax cuts to special interests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is here.
And Tebow Mania officially arrives in the Big Apple. We`ll show you
what the Jets quarterback had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM TEBOW, NEW YORK JETS: One, we`re at a press conference for a
football team. So it`s not exactly the platform to get up here and share
everything you believe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, the right wing negativity over President Obama`s
health care reform law has brought it right front and center of the Supreme
Court. Today, the court began three days of oral arguments on the
Constitutionality of the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Today`s hearing was about whether the Supreme Court has the authority
to rule on the law before it is completely enacted. Both Obama
administration lawyers and opposition agree. They want a ruling this year.
Tomorrow, the real fight begins, when lawyers will tackle the question of
the individual mandate.
I think there is an element of sadness surrounding all of these
proceedings, because they are taking away from the many positive components
of the law which, of course, you`ll never hear from the right wing. Pre-
existing conditions -- patients with pre-existing conditions will be able
to get coverage. Is that a good thing, do you think?
Two point five million more young people are covered because they can
stay on their parents` insurance plan. The law will close the Donut Hole
in the Medicare prescription drug programs for seniors. That is big for
them, no question.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will reduce the
deficit by more than 100 billion dollars over the next 10 years, another
good thing. But the right wing assault has negated all the good from the
conversation about the health care law. Rick Santorum, well, he took the
opportunity to do some political grand standing today, holding a press
conference on the steps of the Supreme Court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTORUM: The reason that I talk about Obamacare and its impact on
the economy and fundamental freedoms and Mitt Romney doesn`t -- it`s
because he can`t, because he supported government run health care as
governor of Massachusetts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Santorum used the hearing as a prop to try to get a few more
votes. But it`s much more serious than that. The Affordable Health Care
Act will provide coverage for 30 million more Americans. Rick Santorum has
yet to show us any plan to cover any more Americans than what are covered
right now. He wants to throw everybody on the free market.
In fact, they just never talk about health care in the Santorum camp.
Let`s turn to Jonathan Cohn. He`s a senior editor for "The New Republic,"
and author of "Sick, the Untold Story of America`s Health Care Crisis and
the People Who Pay the Price."
Jonathan in the chamber today, one of a very few allowed in there with
these oral arguments. Give us the sense of the intensity, Jonathan.
JONATHAN COHN, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": You know, it`s very interesting.
As you said, today was really a warm up act. For a while now, there`s been
a group of people who are saying the Supreme Court shouldn`t even rule on
this case right now because of an obscure law from 1867. If there was one
message that came through today, it`s that the justices of the Supreme
Court they get this, and they are eager to rule on this.
They made it very clear through their questioning, they don`t think
that law from 1867 should stop them from issuing a ruling on this. They
want to get to the -- to the real core issue here, which is whether the
government can run a program that guarantees everybody health insurance.
And I think we`re going to get that tomorrow.
SCHULTZ: And the bottom line in all of this, is the Supreme Court
going to turn around what the legislative branch of government has done.
We have a representative government. These people were sent to Washington
to do something about health care. The president was elected on health
That`s what he wanted to do. He gets it passed. Although it`s
through reconciliation, he gets it passed. The majority rules. We move
forward. And now the Supreme Court is taking this up because there`s 26
states that say they don`t want to do it probably because they don`t like
So how intense is this going to get along those lines?
COHN: Well, you know, I think it`s important for people to realize
that for the Supreme Court to step and overturn a law that was the subject
of so much work and that the Congress, as you say, voted for, that the
president signed, this would be an incredibly radical act.
The Supreme Court just doesn`t do that very often. I think everybody
understands that. And I think tomorrow, when they are debating the
individual mandate, which is really the core issue here, I think you`re
going to see some very -- very heated arguments.
You`ll hear pointed questions because I think everybody understands
the stakes of what we`re talking about here. Potentially a decision like
this, if they were to strike down the mandate, not only would they be
overruling Congress, but they could really be redrawing the lines of what
the federal government can and can`t do for generations to come.
SCHULTZ: Well, it would also redraw the lines of what the Supreme
Court can do, I mean, it would seam to me. This is all about the mandate,
which of course is going to add 30 million more people when it comes to
coverage. We`re going to get better outcomes. And it`s going to reduce
the expense to the country to the tune of 100 billion dollars over the next
Do you think those kind of things will come into play, common sense
might rule with the Supreme Court?
COHN: I hope so. I mean, if you sort of strip away the legal
arguments and you look at what`s really the question here, the mandate is
really the lynch pin to this whole act. So what we`re really asking is
whether the government can run a program that guarantees that everybody can
get health insurance and allow people who want to have private insurance to
keep that option.
That`s really the stakes here. And you would have to think that the
court would at least be mindful of that. Even conservatives who may not
like President Obama -- maybe they don`t like this plan. Maybe -- Are they
going to really take that bold step and just wipe away this whole plan?
You have to wonder, are they really going to take that step? I mean, I
guess we`ll find out.
SCHULTZ: Michele Bachmann was there today. Did you get her reaction
at all? She was I think one of 60 people who got a ticket to get in.
COHN: I didn`t see her in the chambers. There were a lot of
luminaries. I -- I -- I overheard a bit of Rick Santorum on the steps. I
thought it was interesting that he talked about this as a sweeping law, one
that would have an enormous impact on American society.
You know, he`s right about that. This is a cause of guaranteeing
health care for all Americans that progressives have pursued for 100 years.
We`re the only country in the entire developed world that doesn`t do that.
Yet we finally have created a law to do that.
And you know, I hope the judges, the justices of the Supreme Court
appreciate the gravity of that, they understand how big a deal this is, and
they think about that when they rule on the case.
SCHULTZ: Well, I was reading an article in "Forbes," not exactly a
liberal magazine, saying that Romneycare, whatever you want to call it in
Massachusetts, is very popular. Maybe someone probably should have asked
Rick Santorum about that today.
Jonathan Cohn, good to have you with us. Great work. Thank you.
Tim Tebow made his New York Jets debut today. And Tiger Woods is
back. I mean, he is back. And the Masters is just a couple of weeks away.
Stay tuned. Lots more coming up.
SCHULTZ: Arguably, a few months ago, there was no bigger name in
football. Tebow mania has officially arrived here in the Big Apple. The
Jets` new quarterback was unveiled at a press conference earlier today and
spoke to the New York media for the first time.
Tebow said he was excited to be a Jet and went out of his way to play
-- to play down any conflict between himself and starting quarterback Mark
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEBOW: I`m looking forward to my time here in New York and my time as
a Jet. I`m so honored and humble to be a Jet.
I think the exciting thing is that me and Mark have a great
relationship. We have had a good relationship for the last three years, I
think. We`ve been friends. We`ve text back and forth. We`ve talked
already. And we`re going to have a great relationship and a great working
relationship. I think we`ll have a lot of fun together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It`s good everybody`s going to be friends in New York. It`s
all about winning. Tebow might look weird wearing green, but Tiger Woods,
he sure doesn`t.
Tiger picked up his first victory in the PGA tour in 30 months. Over
the weekend, Woods won the Arnold Palmer Bayhill Invitational in Orlando.
It`s Tiger`s 72nd PGA Tour victory, which puts him one win behind Jack
Nicklaus on the all time list. It`s also Tiger`s first win since late 2009
when revelations of his affairs sent his life into a tail spin.
Tiger called the win pure joy, and it comes at just the right time.
The Masters start April 5th. Woods is in line to win his fifth Green
Jacket and his first since 2005. On Sunday night, Vegas made Tiger a four
to one favorite to win at Augusta.
Next in the Big Finish, Congressman Paul Ryan is having trouble
defending his budget even in friendly territory on Fox News. Former Labor
Secretary Robert Reich will tell us if the Ryan Plan is a political winner
or loser, next.
SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked will George Zimmerman
supporters be able to paint him as a victim? Twenty three percent of you
said yes; 77 percent of you said no.
Coming up, Paul Ryan can`t explain how he will pay for his budget.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich ways in. I`ll have commentary as well.
Don`t forget to listen to me on Sirius XM radio, channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00. Follow me on Twitter @EdShow, and like THE
ED SHOW on Facebook. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, Congressman Paul Ryan`s
budget gives three trillion dollars in tax cuts to corporations and the
wealthy. But he doesn`t have a plan to pay for it.
On "Fox News Sunday," Ryan was grilled out about how he could offset
the tax cuts. He couldn`t come up with an answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What`s you`re saying is lower the tax
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: And broaden the base.
WALLACE: And broaden he base by eliminating a lot of the --
RYAN: Loopholes and deductions, which are disproportionately used --
RYAN: -- by those taxpayers.
WALLACE: because you don`t say in the budget which ones.
RYAN: That`s right. So that`s what the Ways and Means Committee is
supposed to do. That`s not the job of the Budget Committee. There`s a
trillion dollars a year of these kind of loopholes that are built into the
WALLACE: Can you give me a number?
RYAN: I can`t because we -- those decisions haven`t been made.
WALLACE: Are you willing to say that it would not only be revenue
RYAN: It is.
WALLACE: -- but also distributionally neutral, which mean that the
wealthy aren`t going to benefit and the middle class isn`t going to suffer?
RYAN: I don`t know. There`s no way to know the answer to that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That this guy ever run a business? Does he have any
executive decision? Has he ever hired or fired? Has he ever run budgets
in the private sector? I`m just asking the questions.
A total lack of specifics there. Don`t you think. Didn`t stop Mitt
Romney from endorsing Ryan`s Budget Proposal. Even the White House has
started referring to the plan as the Romney-Ryan Budget.
I`m joined tonight by Robert Reich, former labor secretary under
President Clinton and now a professor at UC Berkeley, and the author of the
Mr. Reich, good to have you with us tonight. Does Paul Ryan have any
clue about what he`s talking about when it comes to running the numbers on
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: I think he has a clue. I think
he`s purposely trying to hide exactly where all these big tax give always
to the rich are going to come from. But he also says in that budget at
least that a lot of the savings are going to come from Medicare. He`s
going to cut Medicare reimbursements for the elderly.
He`s also going to take a big, big swipe out of what`s called
discretionary spending. That discretionary spending includes Food Stamps,
Pell Grants, education funding, all kinds of things that go primarily to
lower middle class and poor families. This is reverse Robinhood, social
SCHULTZ: Ryan`s budget cuts spending on programs ranging from Food
Stamps to border control. I mean, gutting all of these programs, what do
you think this would do to the economy, to the base, to the flow of goods
and services and the transfer of the money? What do you think?
REICH: Ed, we`ve already seen what happens to this economy when the
middle class, lower middle class, working class doesn`t have enough money
to keep the economy going. I mean, apart from the questions of gross
unfairness, I mean, the Ryan Budget is going to make the economy much
worse. It is going to slower economic growth.
A lot of studies have shown that if we make huge tax cuts for the rich
and cut all of the benefits that are going to the middle class and the
poor, you`re going to not only create distributional havoc in this country,
but you`re going to really take money out of the of pockets of people that
do most of the spending.
SCHULTZ: Anybody that`s ever been in business knows that the fastest
way to affect the bottom line is to cut payroll. That`s theoretically
exactly what Ryan is doing with the budget. He`s going right after
Medicare and Medicaid. He`s going after programs that he can nail right
away, yet gives the tax breaks again to the corporations and the wealthiest
It`s that vulture chart I talk about. This is going to steroid the
top line, the red line. And for the blue liners, they`re going to be
suffering again. Mitt Romney supports Ryan`s budget. Ryan says that he
would consider a V.P. run. What would a Romney-Ryan ticket mean for
REICH: Well, the good news from the standpoint of progressives, Ed,
is it would be very clear and made very clear exactly what they stood for.
Paul Ryan, say what you want, he`s been honest about what he wants. I
mean, he`s fudged a lot of the numbers but he`s been very clear. I mean,
this is a big, big boom to the wealthy.
The average millionaire or above is going to get at least 150,000
dollars of tax cuts per year. Those tax cuts are going to be coming out of
the hide of middle class, lower middle class and poor people. Now this is
the blue print. This is the Ryan blueprint. It`s the House Republican
blueprint. And now apparently it`s Mitt Romney`s blueprint. Mitt Romney,
let us not forget, earned 21 million dollars last year and paid taxes at a
rate of 14.9 percent.
You talk about reverse Robinhood, that`s where you find it.
SCHULTZ: How could this not be a political winner for the Democrats?
How can you not easily make the case for the 99 percent with these kind of
jokers coming up with plans like this?
REICH: It will be -- it will be if the Democrats use it. The
Democrats have taken defeat out of the jaws of victory before by not
focusing on what the Republicans clearly want to do, what they are doing,
what they`ve tried to do, and who they are for.
I think Democrats ought to run with this. I mean, it`s clear. If
public looks at the Ryan Plan clearly, if the news media convey what the
Ryan Plan is, if Romney is clear about what he wants as well, I just don`t
think that the average Americans, regardless of political persuasion, are
going to go along with it.
SCHULTZ: Robert Reich, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us
tonight on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.
REICH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW
SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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