The Ed Show for Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: Howard Fineman, Michael Eric Dyson, Sophia Nelson, Gov. Dan Malloy,
Randi Weingarten, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight live from Washington, D.C.
Republicans say there`s no such thing as income inequality. Mitt
Romney says President Obama is killing jobs. And Vice President Joe Biden
is letting him have it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They don`t get us!
They don`t get who we are!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We can hear you loud and clear, Mr. Vice president.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
BIDEN: If my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire, they
could be a millionaire. My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Joe Biden lets loose today in Ohio. He`s
fighting harder than ever for the middle class.
BIDEN: That choice is about whether or not we`re going to rebuild
the middle class or continue to help those at the very top.
SCHULTZ: Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is spreading lies like wildfire.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Rather than putting out
that spending fire, he has spent more and borrowed more.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, we debunk Mitt`s bogus theories with Ohio
Congressman Tim Ryan.
New numbers show the independents want the president to crack down on
BYRON DORGAN (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: The biggest financial
institutions in this country cannot be involved in casino gambling, and
that`s exactly what they`re doing.
SCHULTZ: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on the regulation we need to
present another disaster.
John Boehner tees up another debt ceiling show down.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I will insist on my
simple principle of cuts and reform greater than the debt limit increase.
SCHULTZ: Plus, another establishment candidate falls victim to the
Tea Party. Howard Fineman on the rough road ahead for the Republican
And Republicans across the country are waging a war on public
education. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy will tell us how his state put
an end to it.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
Vice President Joe Biden went to the bread basket of this election
today, Youngstown, Ohio. He delivered a wake-up call to Democrats and
middle class voters. The vice president took Mitt Romney to task for
Romney`s latest attacks on President Obama`s record.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I have great respect for Governor Romney. He`s a patriot,
he`s a generous man, he gives to his church. He has a beautiful family.
But he doesn`t get it. He doesn`t get what`s at the core of all
this. It`s about people`s dignity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This goes right to the heart of this campaign, don`t you
think? Workers play a role in business, the middle class plays a big role
in this economy, if we`re going to turn it around, and everybody gets a
fair shot and everybody plays by the same rules.
Vice President Joe Biden says Mitt Romney just doesn`t see it that
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Then there`s the Romney philosophy. The Romney economics,
which says, as long as the government helps the guys at the top to do well,
workers and small businesses and communities, they can fend for themselves,
but the country will be OK, if the big guy is doing well.
Nobody knows better than the people of the valley the consequences of
that kind of philosophy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And the consequences are documented. Pretty well, too.
Romney`s former company, Bain Capital, bought up manufacturers like GST
Steel in Kansas City. The company was $13 million in debt when with Bain
took over in 1993. What happened? Well, eight years later, the debt
multiplied by 40 times. The company was $533 million in the hole when it
Let`s talk about Dade Behring Medical Supply in Florida. They only
lost 850 jobs when Bain took over. The company went bankrupt there, but
Bain sold $242 million worth of shares before it went under.
Vice President Joe Biden laid these facts on the table today. He
spoke directly to the part of the country Mitt Romney would hit the
hardest, the working class.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I resent when they talk about families like mine, that I grew
up in. I resent the fact that they think we`re talking about -- we`re
envy. It`s job envy, it`s wealth envy. That we don`t dream
My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be
president of the United States, I could be. I could be vice president.
My mother and father believed that if my brother or sister wanted to
be a millionaire, they could be a millionaire. My mother and father
dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams. They don`t get us! They don`t get
who we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, people in this country are mad. And Vice
President Joe Biden is giving their voice, the anger that is being
displayed in many corners of this country.
Vice President Biden is trying to focus on their rage. He`s one of
The official Twitter account of the vice president put out this
message today. "In Ohio, one in eight jobs relate to the automobile
industry. That`s 848,000 Ohioans whose jobs are more secure thanks to
That can cuts to the chase, don`t you think? Those numbers are on
the money, according to the Center for Automotive Research. In fact,
automotive jobs account for 12 percent of Ohio`s total workforce.
Success in manufacturing has put Ohio ahead of the national average
when it comes to employment. Total unemployment in Ohio is 7.5 percent.
President Obama was at a sandwich shop in Virginia today, talking
about small business tax credits.
But Mitt Romney, again, hammered the president over the national
debt. Romney still has not delivered a comprehensive plan for the middle
class. He continues to exploit frustration and confuse Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: We have got to take, you know, this bull by the horns and
wrestle to the ground this extraordinary deficit. It`s getting larger and
larger. It`s hurting job creation now. It`s going to crush our kids in
the future. We`ve got to wrestle it down.
And so, more federal spending is not the right way to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Last night, we showed you how most of the national debt is
a product of unpaid wars in the Bush tax cuts and handouts to big pharma.
But Mitt Romney is also wrong to blame President Obama for excessive
Here are the numbers. Government spending, taxes, and deficit are
all lower today than when President Obama took office in 2009. Righties, I
know you don`t like that, but that is a fact.
Mitt Romney hasn`t offered any solution to decrease the deficit
except for what? More tax cuts?
We already know how Romney feels about increasing tax rates, even if
it means spending cuts in return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MODERATOR: Say you had a deal, a real spending cuts deal. Ten to
one, as Byron said, spending can cuts to tax increases. Speaker, you`re
already shaking your head.
But who on this stage would walk away from that deal? Can you raise
your hand if you feel so strongly that you would walk away on a 10 to one
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Romney is portraying himself as the guy who will turn the
economy around, but he has no answers.
And here`s what this guy is trying to do. He`s trying to wordsmith
his way to the presidency. He`s coming up with a gimmick conversation, but
he doesn`t have the devil in the details for the American people, except,
of course, tax cuts for the rich.
The American people -- angry. No question about it. And I think a
lot of people in this country are tired of being stereotyped.
And Joe Biden today, I think, unleashed what a lot of emotion is
being played out on a lot of Americans across this country.
It`s the right wing that`s playing the class warfare busy. It`s us
against them. That`s how they`re playing the game, and all you have to do
is look at their policies, the Ryan Plan, and what they really want to do
to the middle class in this country, and who they want to sacrifice more --
the middle class.
They have no plan for the middle class. They have no plan for
workers in this country. They are attacking labor worse than any other
Republican outfit ever has.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: who understands the needs of the middle class? Text "A" for
President Obama, text "B" for Mitt Romney, to 622639. And you can always
go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave a comment. We`d love that. We`d
love to hear what you have to say and we`ll bring you the results later on
in the show.
Now, joining me tonight is the congressman from the bread basket of
this election, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Great to have you with us.
REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Tell you what, I`m watching Vice President Biden. I`m
SCHULTZ: I mean, I haven`t seen one like that one before. Why do
you think he did that?
RYAN: Well, you`re right, all reports I`ve gotten from phone calls
back home, from labor leaders and business people back home, was he was on
fire. Someone said it was the best speech they`ve ever heard a politician
ever give. So he was on fire.
I think it`s the fact that the administration has been treated so
unfairly in so many ways. Here is you are, right, miles away from an auto
plant, and you have Mitt Romney saying that he would have let the auto
industry collapse. Now, you`re in the backyard of a lot of these auto
workers, and they know what has happened, and they know what the difference
is between a Romney administration and an Obama administration. They`ve
already benefited from it.
SCHULTZ: That crowd wanted that today. Is that fair to say?
RYAN: Yes, they want someone to fight for them. And I think they`re
starting to see that this administration has been fighting for them, and
it`s becoming more apparent that the other side is doing everything that
they can to try to stop them.
SCHULTZ: So how does Mitt Romney and the Republicans -- how do they
compete against that? I mean, everything Vice President Biden said was
factual. You see the success in your state, the number of jobs that are
affected by the automobile industry. They really believe, the Obama team
really believes this is the heart and soul of the election, Ohio.
Can you win Ohio?
RYAN: No doubt about it. I think when you look at the auto
industry, as you just pointed out, one of every eight jobs. If you look at
what the president has done on China, which is a big issue on Ohio too, put
tariffs on Chinese steel tubing coming into the country, put tariffs on
tires coming in from China, played tough with China. And this has led to a
boom in manufacturing, not just in the auto industry, but in the steel
And our area of the country has led for a couple of quarters
manufacturing growth in the entire country, Youngstown, Ohio. And we`ve
been -- it`s been said that we`re one of the top 10 best places to start a
I think what you saw with Biden wasn`t just a speech, it was where he
was at. He was at an advanced manufacturing facility called M7 in
Youngstown, Ohio. It used to be an older manufacturing facility. Mike
Garvey and his wife took over, converted it. They`re doing metrology now,
three-dimensional imaging now, it`s a great new company and people realize
that`s the future.
SCHULTZ: So where are the Democrats weak in Ohio? With what do you
have to do?
Now, your friend Sherrod Brown, trying to get another term as a
senator -- they`ve already thrown $6 million at him.
SCHULTZ: I mean, heck, it`s not even June 1st. I mean, they`re
throwing money at him like crazy.
So is that the weakness, maybe not being able to match the money?
What do you think?
RYAN: Well, you have these roaming billionaires who want to get
involved in these races, whether it`s against Sherrod Brown or somebody
else. So, the bottom line is we`ve got to be organized.
And what`s good about Ohio, we`ve just come off the collective
bargaining campaign last year. And so, the coalition of police, fire,
teachers and others, nurses, are all together and ready to do the deal
again this year.
SCHULTZ: Your thoughts on, guy from Ohio, House Speaker John
Boehner, setting up this fight for the debt ceiling again?
RYAN: Yes. Big mistake -- I think it`s a big mistake. Obviously,
the generic polls are showing that the Republicans are obstructionists, and
I think it would be better for him to sit down with Obama and cut a deal.
SCHULTZ: But isn`t there strategy to do this and let Mitt Romney
heckle from the stands, saying, see, the Democrats aren`t serious about
RYAN: Well, they think people are stupid. I mean, Obama, clearly --
and you just showed a clip -- not $1 in revenue from Warren Buffett, even
if there`s $10 in cuts. Obama has been sincere, even to the point of
frustration for some people, that he wants to make a deal, and Boehner is
walking right now the same lane he walked down a few months ago.
SCHULTZ: Tim Ryan, good to have you with us. Thanks for coming in.
RYAN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Answer to tonight`s question there at the down at the
bottom of the screen. We want to know what you think. Share your thoughts
on Twitter @EdShow.
And, of course, Romney defends JPMorgan and says no new laws or
regulations are needed. Really, dude?
Senator Bernie Sanders has got something to say about that. We`re
going to give him plenty of time to do it.
President Obama comes out in support of marriage equality. And now
some African-American leaders in the community are at odds with his
position. Michael Eric Dyson and Sophia Nelson (ph) will join me for that
debate on that issue later in the show. You won`t want to miss it.
Stay tuned. We are coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up: the JPMorgan mess puts spotlight on tougher bank
regulations. Do you think the Senate can do it? Senator Bernie Sanders
has been calling for more regulations, he`ll join me for that discussion
John Boehner threatens another debt ceiling debate, and another Tea
Party Republican wins a Senate primary race. Howard Fineman will break it
all down for us later on and what it means.
And while Republicans are slashing education budgets just about
wherever in this country, trying to make the budget work -- in the state of
Connecticut, there is a bipartisan effort to invest in public schools.
That`s right, I said invest in public schools. I`ll talk to the
Connecticut governor, Dan Malloy, later.
Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. We`re coming right
MADDOW: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
JPMorgan`s $2 billion blunder has one potential upside. It could be
good timing, because regulators right now are writing a version of the
Volcker rule which could prevent this kind of risky bet from happening in
the future. We can only hope.
JPMorgan Chase`s CEO, Jamie Dimon, was one of the voices against a
strong version of the Volcker Rule. But, of course, Congressman Barney
Frank now sees this as a big opportunity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Mr. Dimon wanted a version of
the Volcker Rule that frankly wouldn`t do very much. I think we now have a
stronger argument for a Volcker Rule that says no to a bank -- your main
job is lending and managing the money of your clients. You should not put
your own money at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The JPMorgan mess is also reminding voters how Wall Street
nearly sent us into a depression four years ago and it gives President
Obama no doubt an opportunity to do something about it in this election
But a recent poll should make the president take notice. In five
potential swing states, large majorities agree with the statement:
"President Obama has not done enough to hold the banks accountable for
their role in the housing collapse." The collapse of the housing market
and Wall Street`s meltdown four years ago is still very much in the
forefront of people`s minds in this country. President Obama should be out
there, front on this issue, no doubt -- especially since Mitt Romney still
doesn`t get it.
Here`s what Romney said today about JPMorgan.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I would not rush to pass new legislation or new regulation.
This is, in the normal course of business, a large loss, but certainly not
one which is crippling or threatening to the institution.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That is just total denial.
Joining me tonight, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Senator, good to have you with us.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: The circumstances surrounding JPMorgan, how big an
opportunity is this right now?
SANDERS: I think it calls attention to the recklessness and the
greed of Wall Street. It reminds people that four years ago, these people
on Wall Street forced this country into worst recession since the 1930s,
forced us to have to bail them out. And while Dodd/Frank was a step
further, it did not go far enough.
The American people are angry with Wall Street. You know what? They
want our financial institutions to invest in the real economy. They want
Wall Street to be lending money to businesses, so we can create jobs. They
do not want Wall Street involved in a gambling casino, waging risky bets,
and losing substantial sums of money and threatening the entire economy.
SCHULTZ: How hard is it going to be for the Senate to do what the
American people want them to do when Wall Street is so terribly influential
and some say the banks own the Senate?
SANDERS: Ed, let me tell you what many others might not tell you.
You know, some people think, well, gee, the Congress regulates Wall Street.
I think the truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.
They have untold, unlimited amounts of money, money which is used to
get the deregulation -- you recall during the `90s, in a bipartisan way, to
get the deregulation which drove us into the brink of financial collapse.
They have all kinds of lobbyists on Wall Street. They make all kinds of
campaign contributions, so it will be hard.
But on the other hand, as your polls show, the American people
understand how dangerous Wall Street can be. They want Congress to stand
up and if we do what the American people want, it will be the right thing.
SCHULTZ: All right. What do you want to do? You want to break up
SANDERS: Here`s what I want to do. For a start, you need to re-
regulate. You need to re-regulate. You need to bring back Glass-Steagall.
You need to say that if we`re providing federal insurance for large
banks, you know why? You can`t go gambling. You`ve got invest in the
SCHULTZ: Commercial and investment banks have to be designated.
SANDERS: If investment banks want to invest, get involved in Las
Vegas-type activity, let them do it, but not with federal insurance.
SCHULTZ: And how big a chance is that becoming a reality?
SANDERS: Well, I think our friend Jamie Dimon may have made it
SANDERS: So here`s the point, Ed.
SANDERS: So invest, whatever you want to do, but don`t come crawling
from the federal government for insurance. That`s the key issue here.
SCHULTZ: Well, you have the big getting bigger after what happened
on Wall Street.
SANDERS: All right. Here`s what you got -- and I want the American
people to hear this. Today, you have three out of the four largest banks
bigger than we were before we bailed them out.
SCHULTZ: Three of the four?
SCHULTZ: Bigger than we were?
SANDERS: Yes. Significantly, also, you have the six largest
financial institutions have assets of over $9 trillion, which is the
equivalent of two-thirds of the assets -- equivalent to two-thirds of the
assets of GDP of the United States of America.
So stop for a minute. When you have institutions that large,
JPMorgan Chase, over $2 trillion, while some will say, we`re never going to
bail them out again, right? We`re going to let them fail -- I don`t think
that`s the case. That`s the danger, when they`re that big, if they go
under, with they will be bailed out again.
Number two, if Teddy Roosevelt was alive right now and saw that the
top six banks provided half the mortgages in America and two-thirds of the
credit cards, what do you think a good Republican like Teddy Roosevelt
would have said?
SCHULTZ: We would have gone after it, no doubt.
SANDERS: He would have said, break them up. They`re dangerous to
the economy. They`re dangerous to us (ph).
SCHULTZ: Sixty-nine percent of the American people own homes.
Doesn`t common sense come to play with lawmakers, why would you want to
gamble with that part of the economy? Why would you give people the
license to do that?
Now, they could go back tonight and do it again. Byron Dorgan was
here last night, and he says they`re all doing it.
SCHULTZ: When`s the Senate going to wake up? You`re there. Where`s
the other 99?
SANDERS: Let me just say again what many people will not be happy to
hear. Wall Street is extraordinarily powerful. Congress doesn`t regulate
them. The big banks regulate what Congress does.
SCHULTZ: Is it a political winner for the president to just hammer
this on the campaign trail?
SANDERS: Ed, in my humble opinion, if when the president first took
office -- and I`ve got to tell you, Byron Dorgan and I and others went to
the White House, a half a dozen of us, we went and said, this is three
years ago, "Mr. President, you`ve got to stand up to Wall Street."
You tell me, Ed, how many of these guys have gone to jail?
SCHULTZ: Well, none of them have gone to jail.
SANDERS: What kind of punishment has been rendered for the
horrendous damage they have done to millions and millions people? Nothing
at all. Virtually nothing at all.
And what they are coming back stronger than ever with Citizens
United, they now have unlimited sums of money to political campaigns.
Now, there`s another issue that I want to touch on. And that is you
have a situation where the Fed, of course, is supposed to be regulating the
large financial institutions, and then you have the absurdity of having
somebody like Jamie Dimon, a member of the New York Fed.
SCHULTZ: You want to get him out of there. You`re going to
introduce legislation to do that?
SANDERS: We`ll have legislation next week ending this absurd
conflict of interest.
SCHULTZ: OK. Senator, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
SANDERS: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: It is a subject that we have to spend a lot of time on and
I hope the American people get it.
House Speaker John Boehner says he hasn`t threatened default again,
but it sure sounds like it. Howard Fineman joins me.
And Wisconsin Democrats are getting swamped by Scott Walker lies on
the tube. Tonight, I have a message to the Democrats in this town. You
won`t want to miss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Democrats would have to
break a filibuster, I guess, to declare the sky blue or the earth is round
and pass even the most common sense, and senseless legislation could take
weeks or months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
That was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He now says he made a
mistake in is not supporting filibuster reform. If there were anything
that ever need changing in this body, it`s the filibuster rules, because
it`s been abused, abused, abused.
It`s only going to get worse as the Republican Party sends more
extremists to the Congress. The latest anti-establishment Republican in
Nebraska won her party`s nomination for the Senate, Nebraska State Senator
Deb Fischer won the primary in an upset. It`s another reminder of more
Republican extremists possibly headed to Washington.
Richard Mourdock clobbered the incumbent senator, longtime senator,
Richard Lugar, in Indiana, and Mourdock says that Republicans shouldn`t be
compromising with Democrats at all. That got the attention of former
President Bill Clinton.
Here`s what President Clinton said about Mourdock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: But he said, I`m totally
against any compromise, our world views are irreconcilable, and we just
have to keep fighting until someone wins it all. And if that were the
view, there would never have been a Constitution, there never would have
been Bill of Rights, the Capitol would never been moved to Washington,
D.C., the federal government would not have assumed the debts of the
colonies from the Revolutionary War.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That`s telling it like it. So let`s put it in perspective.
Republican in Congress are already the most obstructionist in modern
industry, thanks to the Tea Party freshman. House Speaker John Boehner is
already setting up another fight over raising the debt ceiling early next
year. It`s a strategy to give the Republicans the red meat they need out
on the campaign trail to go against President Obama.
It`s a way for Mitt Romney to complain about the way President Obama
is doing things and just heckle from the stands. Speaker Boehner was asked
today if he is, once again, threatening default, and here`s what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I am not threatening default.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Howard Fineman. The fact is, he has been
talking about spending cuts if he doesn`t get his way on the debt ceiling
or the debt ceiling, vice versa. Howard Fineman, NBC News political
analyst, editor "Huffington Post," great to have you with us.
What do you make of us this circus now? I mean, how much of Boehner`s
conversation about the debt ceiling may play into Romney`s campaign
HOWARD FINEMAN, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": I think it`s all a piece on
the Republican side. I think the Republican leadership, and I`m talking
about both elected and behind the scenes -- I`m talking about Mitch
McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Karl Rove. They`ve all decided that
Mitt Romney needs a whole phalanx of people, kind of like "the Avengers,"
only Romney`s the one Avenger who has no special powers.
They all think they do and they`re going to use the Congress and
they`re going to use the independent spending and they`re going to push a
very hard line, a no-new-taxes, cut-spending, Tea Party line. Even if Mitt
Romney wanted to carve out an independent third way, even if he wanted to
play -- sort of triangulate between those two, there`s no chance that he
They`re the only energy that Mitt Romney`s got.
SCHULTZ: Doesn`t this debt ceiling conversation and this looming
fight over what to do about spending cuts just feed right into what these
Tea Partiers are doing out in the Heartland? And this is why they`re
getting the victories.
FINEMAN: Ed, this is what they want. This is the strategy that they
-- and I`m talking about the whole Republican party, because there`s hardly
anything left of the old Republican party. As you pointed out, the victor
in Indiana, the three way -- that was a three-way Tea Party race in
Nebraska. All of them were Tea Party people.
The state senator who won was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Herman Cain.
And she was considered the least radical of the three. This is what the
Republican party is. I was in Boston last week at Romney headquarters. To
me, it doesn`t feel like the senator of the Republican effort. It`s more
broad than that.
But the Romney people I talked to said, no new taxes under any
circumstances, the Republicans in Congress, and we will hold the line.
SCHULTZ: Contrast that to the Obama campaign. You go to their
headquarters, it`s all about the president
FINEMAN: It`s all about the president. So it`s flipped around. So
the personal side with Obama, it`s all about Barack Obama, what he`s done,
what he wants to do, or what shortcomings there have been, that they`re
going to talk about how to get over. It`s about him.
For the Republicans, it`s all about the Republican orthodoxy. There
is a Republican orthodoxy now, from the House all the way through to the
Senate to the presidential candidate. And Mitt Romney is very much a part
of it, but he`s being pushed along by it.
SCHULTZ: Filibuster reform, Harry Reid coming out saying what he`s
saying. Did he miss a big opportunity at the start of the Congressional
session? And will he get another shot at it?
FINEMAN: Will Harry Reid get another shot at it? I don`t really
think there`s going to be much of one. I was talking to Hill people today.
In terms of a big, serious discussion about what to do about our fiscal
situation in the country, how to re-order tax policy, how to reform taxes
and spending in a decent, humane way, it`s going to be all grandstanding,
I don`t see any realistic possibility of a real adult deal of any kind
until after the election. It`s going to be all lines drawn in the sand
from here through November.
SCHULTZ: Howard Fineman, great to have you with us. Thank you so
FINEMAN: Good to see you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Lots more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Especially in the black community, and it is
very -- a difficult conversation to have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The black community is split on the issue of gay marriage.
Michael Eric Dyson says it should be legal. The Grio`s Sophia Nelson says
no way. Tonight, they debate the issue.
Angry Badgers want the DNC to join the recall fight in Wisconsin.
We`ll have the latest.
And Republicans are attacking public education across the country.
Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut will tell us how to stop them in their
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. President Obama`s announcement
last week on same-sex marriage, marriage equality, really was a defining
moment in this election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Over the course of several years, as I talked to friends and
family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in
incredibly committed, monogamous relationships, same-sex marriages, who are
raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or
Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf, and yet feel
constrained, even now that Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell is gone, because they`re
not able to commit themselves in marriage, at a certain point, I`ve just
concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and
affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And a week after that sound bite, we are still calculating
just what kind of an impact that`s going to have on this election. The
first sitting U.S. president endorsing marriage equality. But the issue
has divided some in the African-American community in America. And now
those who oppose same-sex marriage find themselves at odds with the
Let`s turn to Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst and
Georgetown University professor, and Sophia Nelson, a contributor for
TheGrio.com and the author of the book, "Black Women Redefined: Dispelling
Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama."
Welcome to both of you. Great to have you with us tonight. Michael,
I know you covered this issue last week when you hosted this show.
Anything you want to add to that? I mean, you had a lot on the table.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: I did. I had a lot on the
table, but I want to first begin by saying I want to apologize to Sophia
and Jamal and Roland. In a fit of passion, I called my friends, in the
spirit of love, to say, hey, we can do better than this. I shouldn`t have
called their names if they weren`t here to do defend themselves. So I
apologize to Sophia, to Roland, and to Jamal.
What I was trying to argue -- I conflated two issues, the marriage
equality, which is a very serious and a significant issue on the one hand,
and the black homophobia, as I perceived it, within black communities.
Homophobia is not something that is endemic to black people. It`s across
the globe, so to speak.
But in this case, black homophobia fuels I think the beliefs about
black gay and lesbian people and whether or not they can get married. I
think the two issues are related, but separate, and I wanted to address
both of them.
SCHULTZ: Sophia, your response to that. You`re both friends. In the
heat of the moment of the debate, this says that there is a division in the
African-American community in this country. How intense is it?
SOPHIA NELSON, THEGRIO.COM: Well, first let me say, thank you to you
for having me here, and thank you to MSNBC. You`re fair and balanced, and
I like that. If I may say that. I had to throw that in, Ed.
To Michael, who`s my friend, like a family member.
NELSON: He and Marcy are like family to us. And he`s my brother in
SCHULTZ: But you`re in different with this. You don`t believe in
marriage equality, is that correct?
NELSON: If you`ll let me just finish, I`m going to get to that, I
promise. I just want to say to Michael that you`re my brother in Christ,
so I forgive you and I thank you for that. And we`re going to learn and
we`re going to show people how to act as Christians.
To your question, the issue to me -- and I would like to address this,
if I could, to my fellow Americans who are gay, lesbian and transgender. I
want to say to them specifically that those of us who oppose same-sex
marriage do so as a matter of faith. Those of it who oppose it on faith
reasons, that is.
And it`s not because we think you`re different or your less than or
you`re not right or you`re other or something that`s insidious like that.
I know that offends me personally. I think it offends people of
And someone like myself, Michael, and why I was so upset about your
rant, was that if you look at my record on this, Ed, I support hate crimes
legislation for people that would abuse or hurt gays and lesbians. I
support same -- the civil unions. I support adoption. I support them
being able to visit their loved one in the hospital.
So there are people like me of faith who don`t agree with same-sex
marriage for the faith reason, the Biblical reason, the definition of a man
and a woman being married. But I also support a lot about the agenda.
SCHULTZ: But you`re a man of faith. Why don`t you see it the way she
DYSON: I`m an ordained Baptist minister for over 33 years. And I
think that my point is that we can`t interpret the Bible literally. The
real culprit here is the Biblical interpretation that is literal. So that
when Sophia refers to marriage as between a man and a woman, we know
marriage was a complicated affair. It`s evolved over serious -- the last
several centuries in a very complicated fashion.
It`s not just one man and one woman. It`s been polygamy. It`s been
homosexual marriage that had to be banned at a certain point. So my point
is, we don`t take the Bible literally.
The Bible says in Leviticus that if somebody is gay, they ought to be
killed. I don`t think Sophia Nelson is promoting the Biblical
interpretation that says that gay and lesbian people should be killed. If
she is, then hasn`t put that forward. If she doesn`t, she doesn`t take the
NELSON: I do take the Bible literally, but I`m not a theologian and
I`m not a pastor, so I`m not going to argue that with you. The reason I`m
here tonight is because you called people of faith sexual rednecks and
DYSON: That`s not what I said.
NELSON: We can play the tape. Michael, my turn to talk. All I`m
saying, brother, is that those of us who are coming from a faith
DYSON: So am I. You keep dividing --
NELSON: No, you`re dividing. You called names, Michael.
SCHULTZ: Am I coming from a faith perspective?
NELSON: In your opinion, you are.
NELSON: Obama had my position for eight years, until he changed it
two weeks ago.
DYSON: When white Christians are ask, is Obama -- when Franklin
Graham was asked, is Obama Christian, he says, he says he is. But when he
DYSON: I`m asking about me. Are you telling me I`m not a man of
NELSON: No, I believe you`re a Christian.
DYSON: So the people of faith can disagree?
NELSON: So why would you call us names because we disagreed?
DYSON: No, this is what I said: when I said sexual rednecks and
sexual bigots, I quoted Howard Thurman, who said a bigot is a person who
makes an idol of his commitment. The reason you have a faith problem with
gay and lesbian people, you`re throwing them a bone by saying, look, I
believe in civil unions and the like, but what you`re not addressing is the
fact that your faith fuels the belief that to be gay is to be automatically
To be gay is to be outside of the covenant of God. And I`m arguing
that that already disqualifies gay and lesbian, transgendered and bisexual
people as your equals in the faith. And I think that`s a bigoted position.
NELSON: May I speak to that? I don`t think it`s bigoted for me, for
a Catholic, for a Muslim, or for a Jew -- all of those texts, the Koran,
the Torah, the Bible, all define marriage as between male and female.
Jesus says in Matthew 19.4 -- if you want to go Bible, we can go there. We
go back Genesis 2 and First Corinthians 9. We can go to Romans 1, Michael.
I don`t want to argue faith with you, but what I do want to say, Ed,
is that you cannot say that our faith is causing us to be homophobic or
bigoted, because the Bible itself defines this. I didn`t. Your issue`s
with God, brother. It`s not with me.
SCHULTZ: We will continue this discussion in round two, because she
makes a very interesting point that President Obama saw the world the way
she sees it right now on this issue, until a week ago. So I think the
political -- that`s where the political --
DYSON: But it`s the undercurrent, Ed. All I`m speaking to is the
fact, Jesus said if your eye offends you, cut it off, if your hand offends
you, cut it off. I don`t think Sophia wants to do that. We`re
interpreting the Bible literally.
SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson and Sophia Nelson, they`re still friends,
folks. Thank you for joining us tonight.
And you will not believe who is supporting Scott Walker. I`m going to
give a wake-up call to some labor guys next here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Twenty days before the
Wisconsin recall election, Democrats are facing an uphill battle. In a
brand-new Marquette University poll, Governor Scott Walker leads Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett by six points, 50 to 44. That`s a hard number.
The Milwaukee -- or the Marquette poll comes on the heels of a PPP
poll giving Walker a five-point lead. Now, those numbers are disappointing
to millions of Americans across America who want to see this union-busting
governor get bounced out of office.
There`s a shocking number inside the PPP poll as well. Our friend
John Nichols of "The Nation" points out 39 percent of union households --
what, 39 percent of union households are backing Scott Walker? Hold the
phone. Thirty nine percent of union households back a man who wants to
kill unions, divide and conquer unions, and turn Wisconsin into a right to
I just find that absolutely amazing. Democrats, this is the real
deal. It`s wake-up time. Citizens United is winning in the state of
Wisconsin right now. It`s time for every Democrat, including President
Obama, to get in the game. The numbers say you have to do that, Mr.
According to the Marquette poll, President Obama is now tied with Mitt
Romney in the Badger state. Yes, Citizens United is working. Scott Walker
is outspending the Democrats to date -- here are the numbers, 25 to one,
using his money to lie and confuse the public.
Wisconsin Democrats area crying for help. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman
Schultz says that she hopes to get to Wisconsin, but it might be too late.
She wants to go there for a fund-raiser. Well, they have asked for 500,000
dollars for ground operations. Sources tell me the DNC could cut the check
tonight. What`s the holdup?
Over 100,000 people have signed an online petition asking Wasserman
Schultz and the DNC to help. It is a serious political SOS. Democrats,
you got to wake up. This is going to be a template on how to defeat labor
in this country. It is going to be a template for how to defeat the middle
class in America. This is a big election. And I won`t let go of it.
Tonight in our survey, I asked you who understands the needs of the
middle class. Ninety eight percent of you say President Obama; two percent
of you say Mitt Romney.
Coming up, public education under attack all across America by the
Republicans. Just look at their budget. But in Connecticut, Republicans
and Democrats actually worked together on education reform. Governor Dan
Malloy and Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers will
join me next. Stay tuned. We are coming right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: But the long debate is over and the
new beginning has just begun. We will win this battle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This might be a model for America. Welcome back to THE ED
SHOW. That was Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy yesterday before signing a
massive education reform bill into law. With public education under fire
in this country, with funding getting cut all over the place, with teachers
under attack, Connecticut has proven that reform can happen.
And it can happen with bipartisan support. And it can happen with
giving teachers a seat at the table. One hundred million dollars will be
spent on improving Connecticut schools, with the focus on low-performing
city schools. There will be also more opportunities for early childhood
education in low-income communities. That is vital.
And there will be performance evaluations for school principles,
teachers, and administrators. How did they get this done in this political
climate? Republicans and Democrats actually working together? And they
got there with the input from teachers.
The "Hartford Courant" reports that during the bill`s early stages,
lawmakers were criticized for listening to union leaders. And it turned
out keeping teachers in the loop was beneficial.
I`m joined tonight by Randi Weingarten. She is the president of the
American Federation of Teachers. And Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy.
Great to have both of you here.
Governor, you first. Governor, how confident were you that you were
going to be able to get an agreement with all the players at the table and
how hard was it to do?
MALLOY: Well, listen, making change is hard. That`s a reality. But
I was confident we could get to a package that I could support and that
everyone could support. We -- the biggest danger to democracy and the
hallmark of that danger would be a permanent underclass without hope.
That`s what we started to create for a period of time.
And I think we`re going to correct that behavior and understand that
all of our children can learn. And we`ve got to adapt and we`ve got to
change and we`ve got to work together and we`ve got to hold parents,
students and teachers accountable, along with school administrators.
SCHULTZ: Randi Weingarten, it`s about the money. What happens here?
RANDI WEINGARTEN, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: Well, look, I have
to give a lot of credit to the governor and the legislative leadership in
Connecticut, because this was a very ambitious agenda, to do a lot of
things at the same time. And what the governor realized is you can`t do
this without an investment. And that`s why there`s an investment in early
childhood, in the wraparound services, and in the wherewithal to do the
turning around of low-performing schools and the kind of continuous
evaluation and development that teachers need to be -- to improve their
SCHULTZ: Governor Malloy, why didn`t you just cut 6,000 teachers the
way your guy over in New Jersey did, Chris Christie? Why didn`t you go
down that road?
MALLOY: Listen, a year ago, I plugged a 270 million dollar hole in
the funding that would have done that. And this year, we`re putting
another 100 million dollars into schools. Listen, if you take money out of
schools, they`re not going to perform as well as they need to perform.
Now listen, we all have to get real serious about helping poor kids
learn. And we`ve got to change the way we do it. We know what works. We
have to be willing to invest in it. Early childhood is a big part of that.
Randi has some great ideas. We brought Randi to the state to talk to
us about what it would take to turn schools around. She`s really a
national leader, has done so much on this issue. And this has been a
Listen, there were some elbows thrown in Connecticut. There were some
ruffled feathers. I probably ruffled some of those feathers. But the
reality is, we got the deal done. And we`re now in a position to do
something that other states aren`t doing right now.
SCHULTZ: What`s the biggest change here, Randi?
WEINGARTEN: The biggest change was that the government and the
legislative leadership trusted that, even with the elbows thrown, that we
get to the end and do what we needed to do for the benefit of the children.
So the eyes were on, how are we going to help kids in a state that doesn`t
have unlimited money, but how are we going to target the resources and do
the four or five things that we have to do to turn around school?
So the real issue, the real story here is that Connecticut became the
model of collaboration in terms of the policy. Now the hard work starts in
terms of really doing the work in this bill.
SCHULTZ: Governor, did you have to cut jobs to get this done?
MALLOY: No, we`re not looking to cut jobs. I had the biggest per
capita deficit of all 50 states just over a year ago. We went a different
way. It was too big to tax our way out and too big to cut our way out.
And yes, we had to change some of our relationships. But we got that job
That`s why we have 100 million dollars more to put into education this
year. That`s why we`re committed to turning around the 30 low-performing
districts and the 25 lowest performing schools. And that`s why we`re going
to do this together, as opposed to trying to divide and conquer.
SCHULTZ: Quickly, Randi, is this a national model?
WEINGARTEN: This is a great model of cooperation and working
together, both in terms of developing policy and moving forward. I give
the governor and Connecticut a lot of props. Compare that to what`s going
on in a lot of places around nation of cut, cut, cut and creating real
negativity for kids.
SCHULTZ: Randi Weingarten and also Governor Dan Malloy, great to have
you on THE ED SHOW tonight. It`s a success story we like to hear.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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