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The Ed Show for Friday, June 8, 2012

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Guests: Robert Reich, John Fugelsang; James Peterson; Joe Watkins; Ari Berman

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to

Today, Mitt Romney pulled back the curtain on one of the great
Republican secrets of all time.

This is THE ED SHOW -- and as Ed would say -- let`s get to work.


sector has been doing a good job creating jobs.

DYSON (voice-over): President Obama is out defending his jobs record
and Republicans are too happy to tear it down.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He said the private sector
is doing fine. Is he really that out of touch?

are still asking the question, where are the jobs?

DYSON: Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is here to set the record

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You have to ask yourself, whenever
these leaks take place, who benefits -- who benefits from it?

DYSON: Republicans are trying to blame Obama for leaking classified
documents for political gain. The White House is firing back.

OBAMA: The notion my White House would purposely release classified
national security information is offensive.

DYSON: Richard Wolffe gives it the context it deserves.

And Chris Rock lets loose on late night.

CHRIS ROCKS, COMEDIAN: The Mormons, Mitt Romney`s crew, they believe
black people were the devil until 1978. What changed `em, Bootsy Collins?

DYSON: Political comedian John Fugelsang with the latest funnies from
the campaign.


DYSON: To paraphrase my man Jay-Z -- allow me to reintroduce myself.
I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in Ed, who has the night off.

President Obama held a news conference on the economy today. With an
economic crisis facing Europe, the president wants Congress to act on
shoring up the U.S. jobs force before it`s too late.


OBAMA: Given the signs of weakness in the world economy, not just in
Europe, but also softening in Asia, it`s critical that we take the actions
we can to strengthen the American economy right now.

Last September, I sent Congress a detailed jobs plan full of the kind
of bipartisan jobs ideas that would have put more Americans back to work.
It had broad support from the American people. It was fully paid for. If
Congress had passed it in full, we`d be on track to have a million more
Americans working this year.


DYSON: The plan sent to Congress would help boost public sector jobs
which are greatly needed. Since President Obama was elected, the public
sector has lost a net of 600,000 jobs. The unemployment rate would be 7.8
percent with those jobs added.

Public sector jobs remain the drag on the national economy. While
private sector growth has continued uninterrupted, government jobs continue
to be in the red. The president made this point today.


OBAMA: As I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27
months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing
fine. Where we`re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state
and local government, often times cuts initiated by, you know, governors or
mayors who are not getting the kind of help they have from the past from
the federal government.


DYSON: It didn`t take long for Republicans to pounce on President
Obama`s comments. Mitt Romney made sure to take care of the two words
"doing fine".


ROMNEY: He said the private sector is doing fine. He said the
private sector is doing fine. Is he really that out of touch? I think
he`s defining what it means to be detached and out of touch with the
American people.


DYSON: The House Republican leaders had Mitt Romney`s back during
their own news conference painting the president as out of touch.


BOEHNER: Mr. President, I used to run a small business. And Mr.
President, take it from me, the private sector is not doing well.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: My question would be to the
president, are you kidding? Did he see the job numbers that came out last
week? The private sector is not doing fine.


DYSON: And, of course, the 24-hour media arm of the Republican Party
had a field day with President Obama`s out of context remarks.


private sector is in good shape seems to be completely disconnected from

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: They don`t feel fine. And they want a
president who understands that they are not fine. Just because they`re not
a cop or firefighter doesn`t mean that they are not -- that they are fine.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: To say, you know, the private sector is doing
just fine and that sort of stuff -- I mean, it does dishearten some of his
most loyal allies.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, FOX NEWS: You can`t tell us that the economy is
OK. We all know the truth. You might as well just come clean on it.

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS: I think he just lost re-election. Right now
on this day, mark your calendar -- this is the day President Obama lost.


DYSON: Since they love Ronald Reagan so much, let`s go to him again.
There they go again.

FOX News took several opportunities to compare President Obama to John
McCain in 2008 by playing this clip.


MCCAIN: Our economy, I think, still the fundamentals of our economy
are strong but these are very, very difficult times.


DYSON: My friends, only those suffering from political amnesia would
forget that John McCain made those comments after the collapse of Lehman
Brothers and Merrill Lynch. McCain was saying the economy was strong and
didn`t need to bailout the financial industry. Indeed, the president`s
remarks were becoming so deliberately misrepresented, he felt the need to
reiterate later in the afternoon.


OBAMA: It`s absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.
That`s the reason I had the press conference. That`s why I spent
yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this past month, and
this past year talking about how we can make the economy stronger. We`ve
actually seen some good momentum in the private sector. We have seen 4.3
million jobs created, 800,000 this year alone, record corporate profits.
And so, that has not been the biggest drag on the economy.


DYSON: I mean, anybody who was paying attention to the president this
morning didn`t need that clarification.

The president made clear what is dragging on the economy.


OBAMA: One of biggest weaknesses has been state and local governments
which have laid off 450,000 Americans. These are teachers and cops and
firefighters. Congress should pass a bill putting them back to work now
giving help to the states so those layoffs are not occurring.


DYSON: I mean, I must confess -- it was good to see mitt loosen up a
bit from his stiff wooden image. But he was having so much fun mocking the
president he didn`t realize that he gave away the big secret of the
Republican Party`s economic plan for Americans.


ROMNEY: Instead he wants to add more to government. He wants another
stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more
firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Didn`t he get the message of
Wisconsin? The American did. It`s time for us to cut back on government
and help the American people.


DYSON: I hope you heard that. When Republicans say they want to do
away with government jobs, they want you to think they are talking about
some faceless bureaucrat stuck in some musty office in the corner. But
this is who they are really talking about -- teachers, firefighters, police

Last year alone, 194,000 education jobs were lost. Make that 194,000.
People doing public service jobs are not doing fine. President Obama is
calling on Congress to act and get these people back to work. Corporate
profits are at record levels. Taxes are at the lowest rates since the `50s
and Mitt Romney says we don`t need anymore teachers, or firefighters or
police officers.

By the way, Mitt Romney, he`s doing just fine.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: who`s job remarks was worst? Text A for Mitt
Romney, text B for President Obama, to 622639. Or go to our blog at I`ll bring you the results later in the show.

Joining me now is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. He`s a
professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley, and
author of the book, "Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy
and Our Democracy and How to Fix It".

Welcome back, Secretary Reich.


DYSON: Let me ask you this. Look, the president has added 847,000
jobs to the economy this year. That`s about 169,000 per month. Certainly,
it`s slowed a bit to the last two months of 90,000. But that keeps it
really above barely above the unemployment rate or at least keeps it from
going up higher. So, the man has done a remarkable job in terms of what
he`s able to do with the private sector.

Isn`t that what he meant when he said, relatively speaking, they are
doing fine and the public sector has lost these jobs because of the
obstructionism of the Republican Party?

REICH: Well, you know, you can expect when the Republicans start
taking the president`s words out of context and bending them into pretzels,
and then trying to make fun of the president, and they are doing it because
they have no arguments. They have no ideas.

What they are saying about jobs is basically the same thing that
President Herbert Hoover was saying about jobs in the late 1920s and after
the great crash of 1929. That is, all you have to do is cut government.
Cut government payrolls. Cut government contractors. Cut public budgets.

I mean, this is the same tune they`ve always been using. And it is
wrong now, and as wrong now as it was in 1929 and 1930, because when you
have so many unemployed, when you have so much of America in terms of
industry and factories generally and store fronts and offices that are
vacant, what you have to do is stimulate and boost the economy.

That government payroll is very, very important because those people
when they have money in their pockets and have jobs turn around and buy
things. When they don`t have money in their pockets, they can`t buy
things. And that means that are going to be fewer jobs in the private

DYSON: Sure. Love that Herbert Hoover antecedent. Gives new meaning
for Herbert Hoover vacuum.

So, do you think the doing fine comment will damage the president or
did he do enough to put this thing in context because they are trying to
make hay out of this?

REICH: Well, look, we`re in a kind of silly season. We`re going into
a silly season of politics. The Republicans are going to say what they are
going to say. I think the president will do well to keep on his message.

I mean, the Republicans have said no to everything he has proposed --
his jobs bill, the original jobs bill, the next jobs bill. They are the
neutering nabobs of negativism.

And what the president needs to say is, look, I have plan. I have
ideas. I know how to move this forward. But these guys just say no.

If they are just going to say no, we`re going to get nowhere and
you`re going to replace them with people that are going to say yes.

DYSON: You`re two for two with the great quotes, William Safire and
the mouth Spiro Agnew like that.

The president said that major job problems are happening on state and
local levels. Here is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie responding.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: It`s an outrage to have the
president of the United States stand up and say to hard working governors,
Republicans and Democrats around this country, that state and local
government hiring is moving in the wrong direction, and we`re to blame
because the economy is not growing.

He`s the one who put forward an ineffective wasteful stimulus plan
that did nothing to help this economy. He`s the one who saddled us with
all these federal rules and regulations that don`t allow governors to have
the freedom to do what we really want.


DYSON: To paraphrase President George W. Bush, is our politicians
learning yet? Care to give Governor Christie a reality check, Secretary

REICH: Well, look at the fact. I mean, you know, there`s a lot of
rhetoric. And Governor Christie is, as good as any with regard to
rhetoric, the fact of the matter is last month, we lost 13,000 government
jobs, most of them state and local jobs. That adds to the total of
hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been lost at state and local
government levels and also federal jobs that have been lost. Those are
jobs that once they are lost, they are not contributing to the economy.

And Governor Christie is wrong. He needs to look at the facts. It`s
happening in New Jersey. It`s happening in California. It`s happening all
across the nation because 49 out of the 50 states cannot run budget
deficits, which means if they don`t have the revenues because, let`s face
it, a lot of very wealthy people are paying lower tax revenues than they
have paid and a lot of people are unemployed and paying no tax revenues at
all. Then obviously, the state will have to let people go.

It`s not the fault of president. It`s not even necessarily the fault
of governors. What the president was saying is a fact. That is we have a
fiscal drag on the economy and it`s coming primarily from state and local

DYSON: Well, these Republicans don`t want to hear anything that would
criticize the very rich and they don`t want to talk about dealing with
ramping up, if you will, the public sector. The president was warning us
about Europe, wasn`t he?

What will happen, for instance, if our job numbers stay where they are
now and the financial crisis in Europe worsens?

REICH: Well, the big danger is that the Republican plan -- to the
extent that there is one -- is the same fiscal austerity that Europe is
adopting. That is whack public budgets.

And what we`ve seen in Europe is if you cut public budgets, what you
essentially do is you take more stimulus out of economy. It`s kind of an
anti-stimulus measure, which means that you have more unemployment, which
means you have fewer government revenue, which means the public budgets are
even more stressed and your deficits grow.

I mean, that`s why Europe is going into recession because they adopted
Republican style austerity economics over there. Angela Merkel, the
chancellor of Germany, is saying and doing the same things Republicans want
to do in the United States and look what`s happening in Europe.

DYSON: Well, we know that whacking public jobs -- budgets means that
you have a whacked economy and that`s purely whack.

Robert Reich --

REICH: It`s whacky.


DYSON: Thanks for joining us and taking time out of your schedule

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. I want to know what you

Coming up, keeping secrets. Find out why one question really got
under the president`s skin, and why the Republicans just keep droning on
about it.

Later, I`ll show you how president`s evolution on gay marriage is
helping his chances in a big swing state. You won`t want to miss it.


DYSON: Coming up, Senator John McCain is accusing the Obama
administration of allowing security leaks for political gain. Richard
Wolffe joins me.

Republican Governor Rick Scott is still thumbing his nose at the
Justice Department with his outrageous voter purge. Ari Berman will weigh

And Chris Rock cracks a joke about the Mormon religion`s recent
history of discrimination. We`ll take a closer look.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Welcome back.

A question about security leaks drew President Obama`s ire today
during the news conference he held.


OBAMA: The notion that my White House would purposely release
classified national security information is offensive. It`s wrong.


DYSON: I don`t know if you`ve been keep can go up with President
Obama, but those are fighting words for him, offensive.

Top Republicans claim someone leaked classified information to make
the president look good. The publish reports detail a covert U.S. cyber
attack targeting Iran and a kill list in the U.S. drone program.

Senator John McCain wants a special prosecutor to investigate the
White House.


CAIN: The only conceivable motive for such damaging and compromising
leaks of classified information is that it makes the president look good.


DYSON: Tsk, tsk, tsk. It`s a little hard to stomach the Republican

Remember this guy? Lewis Scooter Libby who was a trusted advisor to
Vice President Dick Cheney. He was convicted of leaking classified
information and trying to cover it up?

Libby leaked the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, after
her husband Joe Wilson exposed Bush`s lies about the Iraq war. After years
of legal wrangling at the taxpayers` expense, Libby was convicted in 2007.

What was President Bush`s response to this high level security breach?
Was it out rage?

He was saddened and he commuted the sentence so he wouldn`t have to
spend any time in prison. Compare that to President Obama`s response today
to mere allegations of a leak.


OBAMA: We`re dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and
security of the American people, our families, or our military personnel,
or our allies. And so, we don`t play with that.


DYSON: While the Republicans were scooting away with Libby, the Obama
administration has filed criminal charges in no less than six leak-related
cases. That includes the court-martial of Private Bradley Manning. He`s
accused of feeding information to WikiLeaks.

As for this case, Attorney General Eric Holder`s appointed two U.S.
attorneys to investigate the alleged leaks. The FBI is investigating, so
is the House Intelligence Committee. Senator Dianne Feinstein wants to
crack down on security clearance.

The Republicans think the president needs to leak secrets and risk
American lives to look good. But they`re wrong.

President Obama got Osama bin Laden. End of story. End of case.
It`s closed. His unclassified record speaks for itself.

Let`s bring in MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe.

Welcome to the show, my friend.


DYSON: What did you make of President Obama`s comments on the
security leaks today? You know him. You`ve written two books. He was
kind of piping mad in a very calm and cool way.

WOLFFE: Yes. Well, those of us that have seen him mad, no that
wasn`t terribly cool for him. You know, yes, he`s steamed about this and
with good reason. Let`s split apart what people are talking about,
because, you know, when you hear Senator McCain talked about these things,
he`s really mixing together new stories, the kind -- what they call in the
business, the tick tocks about what the president said to who and when,
with the disclosure -- the legal disclosure of classified information, they
are two different things.

We may all them leaks, but they are different. And I suspect what the
president was most steamed about was the story in "The New York Times"
about the cyber attacks. This was a covert plan. And we assume it was
executed by the United States against Iran using computer technology.

That opens up a whole different area of worry and concern for the
United States. Both in terms of the techniques and the challenge that Iran
represents. And that`s got nothing to do with making the president look
good or bad in the newspaper.

DYSON: When you take the techniques and consideration together, with
the challenge, think about Senator Dianne Feinstein, she`s against bringing
in a special prosecutor, because she says it will take too long and we need
to plug the leaks immediately.

Do you agree with that? And do you think that benefits the Obama`s
administration`s attempt to try to clean this up rather clearly?

WOLFFE: Well, I don`t think you need a special prosecutor into a
White House. But we do already have news today, this evening, that
Attorney General Holder has appointed to federal prosecutors, U.S. attorney
from Washington, D.C. and Maryland, to go after leaks.

We don`t know what they were. I suspect this is about very
specifically the disclosure of classified information here.

Once you get professional prosecutors going into this, they`re going
to find someone. That`s how Scooter Libby was caught. The U.S. attorney
gets into this and they smell blood. They want to go after this.

DYSON: Well, comparatively speaking, much more and much more quickly
than the Republicans. It seems the Democrats are willing to be self-
critical, to scrutinize their own practices so they can be above board. Do
you think that bodes well for Obama`s pledge to be open and sunshine and
have full disclosure as possible about the goings-on and the internal
machinations of the government?

WOLFFE: There`s going to be plenty of people that don`t want to see
this happen at all. You know, reporters have to push up against classified
information all the time. For those of us who covered the Bush
administration, the hold build up to the war in Iraq, there was always the
barrier, the curtain they could drop down and say, this is classified, we
can`t talk about that.

So, journalists are always coming up against it. There are going to
be journalists, good journalists like David Sanger at "The New York Times"
who are going to will get wrapped up into this.

And, you know, there`s a tension there. There`s a complete conflict
between our desire to get stories out and the administration`s need for
national security. You know, I do think, though, we have to point out,
when you get the president making decisions about drone attacks, we all
knew there were drone attacks. Pakistanis know there are drone attacks.

So, there`s a difference here between journalists telling stories
about what goes inside the White House and this kind of national security

DYSON: All right. He should know. He`s one of the great journalists
of our time.

Richard Wolffe, thank you so much for joining us.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

DYSON: Is the voter purge in Florida really dead? The secretary of
state doesn`t think so. Ari Berman of "The Nation" has the latest, next.

And Chris Rock jumps into the world of politics again. You don`t want
to miss his take on Mitt Romney`s Mormonism and the economic recovery.
Comedian John Fugelsang -- if I can get that right -- Fugelsang is here to
weigh in.

Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Since the year 2000, the state of Florida has recorded just
178 cases of alleged voter fraud. Of those reports, there were only 11
arrests of millions and millions of votes. Eleven arrests.

Bottom line: there`s no real problem with voter fraud in Florida. But
the governor and the secretary of state today are insisting their voter
purge go forward even though the Justice Department says what they are
doing is illegal and state election officials say they won`t go along with
the plan. Now, that`s hard (ph).

Democrats say the voter purge unfairly targets blacks and Latinos.
And the numbers support that claim. "The Miami Herald" uncovered that 72
percent of the people targeted by Scott`s secretary of state were eight
black or Latino. But blacks and Latinos made up just 26 percent of the
total Florida electorate in the last general election. Now, that`s some
fuzzy math.

So, blacks and Latinos who voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in
2008 have been singled out three to one over whites in this voter purge.

Today, Florida secretary of state said he will continue the voter
purge. He also claimed he had no political or racial motive.


individual`s ethnic, religious, sexual, origin, democratic party,
Republican party, independent. This process is looked at independently as
to whether somebody is a citizen or noncitizen and the idea of anybody`s
ethic origin or party to be part of this process is totally incorrect and
the wrong assumption.


DYSON: Yes, that should have been accompanied by a big wink.

Joining me is Ari Berman, contributing writer for the "Nation" and
"Rolling Stones" magazine who has been over the voter suppression story for
day one. He is also the author of "Herding Donkeys."

Welcome to the show, my friend.

Thanks for having me, professor. And congrats to "the Ed Show" for
their great work on this topic.

DYSON: They have done a great show. Ed is all over this.

Brother, to me, this is a bald face and diabolical scheme to deny
minorities and Democrats the right to vote. It seems so clear to me, and
steal an election from Barack Obama. From your reporting can you tell me,
possibly, that I`m wrong?

ARI BERMAN, AUTHOR, HERDING DONKEYS: No, I do think you are correct,
professor. If you look at what Republicans did, they looked very clearly
at how Barack Obama won in 2008. The coalition of the ascendant that he
turned out which was young voters, Hispanics and African-Americans. And
these voter suppression laws that were passed by Republicans across the
country since the 2010 election are aimed at that group of voters making it
harder for them to vote, making it harder for the president to get elected,
for Democrats to win office and for young voters to vote in the next

DYSON: Well, this is the headline from today`s "Miami Herald."
Florida county election supervisors will not resume voter purge.

Every election supervisor in that state including 30 elected
Republicans say, they will not proceed throwing voters off the rolls. So,
why is the secretary of state still going on television and insisting he
can move forward if his own state is rejecting his efforts? Is there any
chance he`s trying to suppress the vote simply by keeping this conversation

BERMAN: Well, I think this purge is dead. I think it`s dead for two
reasons. Number one, the justice department has said to Florida very
clearly this violates not only the voting rights act but the national voter
registration act. And in the Florida election supervisors themselves, all
67 of them, have denied - they are not going to implement this purge. They
are denied the governor`s express.

So, basically, what Rick Scott is doing right is he is pandering to
the tea party. He`s trying to put up a fight. But, for all intensive
purposes, he has lost this battle. With the federal government and with
his own election officials.

DYSON: Any sense of on the ground what progressive force is in
alliance with other black and Latino groups are doing to really fight back
against this?

BERMAN: Well, they`ve been successful in terms of legally and the
public outcry. It`s also important to remember, Rick Scott when he became
governor did three major things to suppress the vote. He disenfranchised
ex-felons who had the right to vote under the previous Republican governor,
Charlie Chris. He made it hard for like the group of league of women
voters and rock the vote to do registration drives and he cut back election
on Sundays before the election when African-American churches is doubling -
historically mobilize their constituents.

The good news is that, a federal judge blocked what Scott was doing to
shut down voter registration drives and the league of women voters and rock
the vote can resume voter registration activities in Florida.

Now, it`s very late in the game. They obviously lost a lot of
progress. We know from the "New York Times" 80,000 fewer voters have
registered in this election compared to 2008. So, there`s a lot of work to
be done. But at least the tide is turning now on this voting issue.

DYSON: Well, they are certainly trying to avoid a repeat of what
happened with Gore V. Bush.

Ari Berman, thank you so much for joining us, my friend.

BERMAN: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

DYSON: There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour on "the Ed
Show." Stay tune.


DYSON: Gay marriage is gaining support in the black community and
president Obama had everything to do with it. I will talk to Dr. James
Peterson about the new bend toward justice.

And Chris Rock lights up late night.

CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: The economy is getting better every month for
almost two years. Everybody is complaining it`s not going fast enough.
It`s like - like complaining that your team keeps winning by one.


DYSON: Political comedian John Fugelsang joins me.



DYSON: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

Saturday will mark the one month anniversary of the first time any
president of the United States spoke about social justice for our gay
brothers and sisters, equal right to get married.


concluded that, for me personally, it`s important for me to go ahead and
affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.


DYSON: At the time President Obama`s evolution on same-sex marriage
appeared to be a political lightening rod. Members of the African-American
community were some of the harshest critics. This is what pizza mogul and
failed presidential candidate Herman Cain said at the time.


as if I`m frustrated. Who does he think he is? He`s not God. He is the
president of the United States. And that`s what`s turning a lot of people


DYSON: He isn`t God and you isn`t Jesus. As usual, Herman Cain is
absolutely wrong. Mr. 9-9-9. Take a look at these numbers, sir.

Now, a record number of Americans say gay marriage should be legal.
Throughout the month of May, many African-American members of the cloth
took to the pulpit to criticize President Obama`s shift toward gay

My friend, Bishop Harry Jackson, also predicted it would hurt the
president in the polls. Listen.


an African-American it`s been specially difficult to feel like you`re being
called like uncle Tom. You must be against your own race simply because
you disagree with him on manners of principle. So, I believe this is going
to shift. I believe marriage is the issue that will make it shift.


DYSON: In the word offense a great song, it isn`t necessarily so.
The religious conservatives in the African-American community have seen a
shift. A shift towards justice. Fifty nine percent of African-Americans
now say they support same-sex marriage. That`s an 18 jump point from just
last fall. That`s quite a shift, my good friend, bishop Jackson.

Let`s bring in the director of African Studies and associate professor
of English at Lehigh University James Peterson, and also Republican
strategist, Joe Watkins, who is the pastor of Christ Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Philadelphia. Both of these men are in the city of love. We
expect love all the way around.

Pastor Watkins And Dr. Peterson, thank you.

Pastor Watkins, why are you losing this fight?

that we`re losing the fight. I said earlier, and so a lot of shows in
MSNBC, that I didn`t think this was going to be the issue that was going to
determine the presidency, that African-Americans were not going to vote
against President Obama because of his stance on gay marriage.

That being said, as pastor of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I stand by
what the bible says. And I love everybody. We all love everybody as God
loves everybody. It`s just that God, in his word, doesn`t like everything
that we do and doesn`t sign off on everything that we do.

DYSON: Yes, buy as you know, Pastor Watkins, Jesus said if you right
hand offends, you pluck it out with your right hands offends, you cut it
off. Talk about drinking poisoning and ham and stakes. You know that
nobody is literally interpreting the bible to the extent that they excludes
common sense and the interpretation of a kind of moral principle to
understanding of the words.

So, in other words, can`t people disagree with you and still be

WATKINS: Anybody can disagree with me because I`m not God. I`m just
a follower. That`s who I am. I`m a follower. I choose to believe the word
of God.

DYSON: So do people who disagree with you, is what I`m saying.

WATKINS: Yes. And there are people that disagree with me who may be
also say that they believe God`s word. Maybe they don`t see it the way I
do. Maybe they don`t read it the way I do.

DYSON: You`re good. You`re not being arrogant. Some people can
disagree with you and still be a believer.


WATKINS: If I were the judge, I`m not the judge. I`m just a follower
of the master. I`m a follower of Christ. And I won`t be judging anybody
on judgment day. It`s not my place to judge anybody. God is the judge of
us all. I`m a follower. And I love people. God`s word says what it says.

DYSON: Let`s bring professor Peterson who also, I know, attends
church, Alan Waller (ph) in a Philadelphia. He`s a believer as well.

So, tell us professor Peterson, why are so many African-American
members of the cloth so out of touch with it seems to be the progressive
views of members in their pews?

PETERSON: Well sure. First, let me be clear, I don`t speak on behalf
of my church. But I think that the disconnect has a lot to do with the mix
up around this particular issue. This is not a political issue. Remember,
our president is Christian but he`s also civilly and civically minded.

And for him, this is a civil issue. This is about civil rights. It`s
not about his religion or Pastor Watkins` religion or my religion or your
religion. It`s really about equal rights and equal opportunities for all
Americans who whether or not you observe any religion. Remember, this
affects people that don`t even observe religion. They don`t have the same
beliefs that we have.

And so, we can`t Christianize the civil rights process in America.
And that`s why I think it`s the conversation around we listen is actually
not --

WATKINS: Well, for people of faith, Brother Peterson, it`s a
challenge. They may like the president as I know many do, but they may not
agree with the president on this issue because they may believe the bible
says that marriage is between one man and one woman.

PETERSON: They`re entitled to those believes but the bottom line is
everyone doesn`t have them. And in this country, we have freedom of
religion and freedom from religion.


WATKINS: But for Christian people, and for asking American civil
Christians, it is still remains
a fact just to whether or not they wish to follow what they may believe the
bible says as I believe the bible says we are not be able to follow with
the president.

DYSON: But, wouldn`t that be for some? You saying black people who
are Christians, you`re a follower of the master. There are people that are
follower of the master. Those people who are Christian.

Martin Luther King Jr. denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus at 14.
He had a much more comprehensive some are deliver theological perspective
that permitted him to pull upon the genius of the world without being in
trapped by the gospel message in liberal terms.

Would you just simply agree that there are people that disagree that
there were people - because you are a very reasonable person, Pastor
Watkins, would you agree that there are people who disagree with you, who
are also Christian, who also follow Jesus who happen to have a different
perspective on this and can we come to the agreement that professor
Peterson said, beyond our religious purview, is a civil and civic rights
question that all people need to be protected, we can all agree on that?

WATKINS: Well, clearly Dr. King was a great man. He is somebody who
I have great admiration for. On the other hand, Jesus Christ, I believe
died for my sins. And I follow him. I believe him. I believe in him and
I trust him. And I have to stand by the word of God in good times and in
bad times whether it`s popular or unpopular. I have to stand by God`s
word. But that doesn`t mean that I don`t love people who don`t agree with
me. I think we have to have love in our hearts for everybody. And like I
said earlier, I`m not the judge. I`m a follower of the master. God is our
judge of us all. He is the judge of us all. The bible says, judge not
that you be not judge. So, I`m not judging anybody. But I`m just saying,
I believe the bible.

DYSON: Let`s get professor Peterson in.

PETERSON: Why we are seeing this demographic shift, though, is
because what the president has been effective at showing his process and
how it`s unraveled. Remember, he`s evolved on this particular issue. That
evolving and unraveling as given space for a lot of black folk who have
family members and relatives and friend who is are from the lesbian and gay
community who want to have these rights, who actually need to have these
rights. And so, they can identify with the process.


DYSON: We`re going to have the holy ghost to have another convening
of this kind of tremendous conversation.

Dr. Peterson and professor, that is, Pastor Watkins, thank you so much
for joining us.

WATKINS: Thank you for having me.

DYSON: It hasn`t happened in more than three decades. We`ll tell you
why it won`t happen again this year.


DYSON: Up next, the triple crown disappointment that has everyone
talking. And John Boehner`s inside lobbyists. We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

A couple other big headlines tonight.

First, an aide to house speaker John Boehner was a medical device
lobbyist before helping to repeal a tax on the medical device industry.
Follow me here.

The aid to Obama, excuse me, to Mr. Boehner, Brett Loeper, used to
lobby for the medical device industry. Mr. Loeper is now Boehner`s policy
chief. It`s called reverse revolving door.

Yesterday the house voted to repeal the medical device tax that helps
pay for the health care law. It won`t get through the Senate, thankfully.
Of course, Speaker Boehner has no problem with the influence of lobbyists.
Back when he was the fourth ranking Republican, he admitted handing out
tobacco lobby checks to house members while they were debating tobacco


out half a dozen checks before we got to the end of month. And I complied.
I did it on the house floor which I regret, I should not have done. It`s
not a violation of the house rules.


DYSON: On a totally unrelated note, the triple crown is proving
highly elusive from the other. Get it?

I`ll have another has withdrawn from the bellman`s takes after a
tendon injury. The racehorse had already won the Kentucky derby and the
Preakness stakes, but has now been retire. There is not going to triple
crown winners since affirm in 1978.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you whose job remarks was worse?
Ninety four percent say Mitt Romney, 6 percent say President Obama.

Coming up, Chris Rock speaks out everything from Mitt Romney`s
religion of the economic recovery. Comedian John Fugelsang will weigh in,


DYSON: Welcome back. My good friend, Chris Rock, stop by late night
with Jimmy Felon last night and weighed in on the lot more than just his
new movie.

The hit on everything - he hit on everything from the economic
recovery to taking a job at Mitt Romney`s Mormonism.


ROCK: The Mormons, Mitt Romney`s crew, they believed black people were the
devil until 1978. I`m not making this up. Right, right, right? We black
and we have to look this stuff up. `78.


ROCK: Yes. Blackapedia. Tell you what other black policies of this
religion, `78. That means Jackson 5, devil. Temptations, the devil. What
changed them? Bootsy Collins got them.

FELON: George Jefferson.

ROCK: The devil.

FELON: The devil.

ROCK: Not even the boogeyman. The devil.

FELON: No, devil.

ROCK: President of the United States.




DYSON: Wow. Bootsy Collins has a religious following. Yes, baby.
Chris is hilarious. But some of what he said isn`t funny. There are
several passages the book of Mormon which condemn black people as cursed.

For example, "after they had dwindled in unbelief, they became a dark
and loathsome and a filthy people full of idleness and all manner of
abominations." Beyond their religious text, African-Americans were not
allowed to fully participate in the Mormon priesthood until 1978.

The church had also banned black people from ceremonies that promise
exes to the afterlife in the highest heaven. Mitt Romney said how he felt
about the 1978 changed by the church on "Meet the Press" back in 2007.


ROMNEY: Jack, I can remember once when I heard about the change being
made. I heard it on the radio and pulled over and literally wept. You
know, until this day, it is emotional. And so, it`s a very deep and
fundamental in my life in my most core beliefs that all people are children
of God.


DYSON: Joining me now for more on this is political John Fugelsang.
I`ve been butchering his name. But I think I got it right, right?

Get in line.

DYSON: All right. He is a good man, handsome but articulate and a
brilliant guy. His off Broadway show guilt, a love story, he has a special
father`s day performance, Saturday, June 16th in Minneapolis, Minnesota at
the Pantages theater.

So, tell me, brother Fugelsang, what you made of Chris Rock`s humor?
You`re a great comedian. He is a great comedian.

guy. You know, it was very funny. I think `78 was more along the line of
Reggie Jackson and the OJ`s.


FULGELSANG: To be honest with you. Reggie got a bit more influence
on Mormons.

DYSON: Knocking that ball out the park.

FULGELSANG: It was hilarious. And you know, people say, you know,
you can`t talk about religion. I`m sorry. If you are going to talk about
Reverend Wright, you get to talk about the planet Caleb (ph), OK, where God

However, Chris was wrong. They didn`t think they were demons as you
just adequately pointed out, of course.

DYSON: Right.

FULGELSANG: They were denied the priesthood and denied access to
temple of (INAUDIBLE) in the ceiling ceremonies. I have much more of a
problem with how the Mormon church treats women now. Women don`t get the
priesthood just like in my catholic faith. Men as of age 12,
automatically, get the priesthood, but it`s the same across the books, no
knob, no job.

And if you look at it, ,most sex of the American Christianity have
race problems, historically.

DYSON: Right.

FULGELSANG: But, I`m more concerned about, you know, if this policy
was still in place about black folks not being able to be in the
priesthood, we would rightly call Mitt Romney a racist. But it`s not. He
is not. No one is calling him a sexist.


FULGELSANG: That`s same policy towards women.

DYSON: Well, that`s a good point. But, you know, historically, at
the see that plays a role here too. Because you figured in 1978 isn`t
really that long ago. So, have people really overcome the beliefs they
had. I`d love to know what Mitt Romney thought before the church changed
his mind. In other words, was he --

FULGELSANG: He was opposed to it. A lot has changed because a lot of
positive progressive Mormon folks made it change.

DYSON: And NCAA was about cutting those scholarships and Brigham
Young is the father of races.

FULGELSANG: I think that was a long time negotiating. And again,
Brigham Young is the grandfather of all Mormon races and he was a heroic
hater of black folks.


FULGELSANG: And he linked it to the Mark of Cane.

DYSON: Of course.

FULGELSANG: When God pardoned Cane, put a mark on him. Now, Brigham
Young said the mark was brown skin and a flat nose, his words.

DYSON: Right.

FULGELSANG: The mark of cane was the first time a murder was granted

DYSON: Right.

FULGELSANG: That`s what it was. The first guy to ever commit murder
and he got a pardon from the commander in chief.

DYSON: Well, look. When they used to come to my house and they told
me, you know what young man, ham is cursed. I said, I know pork is real
bad for health. Ham is the son of Noah who had when he saw his father
naked. And so, Noah passes out naked. Ham sees him and he speaks, black
folks are bad.

DYSON: Exactly right. Well, you know, Dr. Charles Adam is a great
preacher from Detroit, Michigan has a great sermon, drunk on the eve or re-
constructioning, to talk about Noah there.

So, give us a sense then, why is it that this is such a touchy
subject. You made a statement that was very important. That if we`re
going to talk about Reverend Wright then we`re going to talk about the kind
of inconsistencies, not only the racist but the sexism of the Mormon faith
which may have a role to play in politics.

FULGELSANG: Across politics. So fundamentalist, the religion, the
more women are put down.

DYSON: Absolutely right. So, tell us how do we kind a get - I would
go out of that particular predicament.

FULGELSANG: Well, you know. As a catholic, I`m always happy to see
anyone run for president trying to break the protestant ceilings. So, God
bless. But, you know, I think that there`s lots of charming things about
Mormonism that people laugh with that are harmless. Jesus hung out with
the Indians, OK. You got secret underwear.

DYSON: Fantastic, right.

FULGELSANG: I do think that, you know, people -- the pundits say we
shouldn`t talk about religion like this. I think we need to talk about
religion more because they are miles and miles of daylight between the
teachings of Jesus and the behavior of his mending unauthorized fan club.

DYSON: Yes. and that`s a very good point. Fifteen seconds, here.
So, the people in the fuse who got is much more a complexly and deeply than
the people who are the official fan club and the people who are promoting
it professionally.

FULGELSANG: Absolute. Yes, I mean, well change because a good Mormon
who made it change.

DYSON: All right.

John Fugelsang, thank you for joining us and taking time tonight.

That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Michael Eric Dyson. I want to thank Ed for
letting me sit in for him tonight.

Next, "the Rachel Maddow Show" takes viewers inside the trial of a
doctor George Tiller, a prominent Kansa City doctor who was fatally shot in
2009 by antiabortion extremist, Rick Scott Rogger (ph). The assassination
of Dr. Tiller plays like a movie. The story unfolds right before your eyes
and so do the underlying issues attached to it.

That`s next.


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