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The Ed Show for Friday, June 15, 2012

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Guests: Robert Menendez, Chuck Rocha, Joe Williams, Ari Melber, Marcia Dyson, Ron Christie, Lisa Brown

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.

A right wing activist crashes the president`s big announcement in the
Rose Garden, but he`s still leaving the dream.

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


immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift
the shadow of deportation from these young people.

DYSON (voice-over): President Obama takes a huge step in immigration

OBAMA: They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every
single way but one -- on paper.

DYSON: Right wing media wastes no time insulting the president.

OBAMA: Excuse me, sir, it`s not time for questions, sir. Not while
I`m speaking.

DYSON: And the nativists are getting restless.

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: It is certainly a preemptive attack, if
you will, on Senate Bill 1070.

DYSON: Tonight, Senator Robert Menendez and Chuck Rocha of The
American Worker, Latino Project on today`s bold immigration announcement.
And "Politico`s" Joe Williams on a reporter`s unprecedented disrespect for
President Obama and the office he holds.

And the war on women in Michigan takes a shocking turn. A lawmaker is
silenced by Republicans for these remarks.

STATE REP. LISA BROWN (D), MICHIGAN: I`m flattered that you`re all so
interested in my vagina but no means no.

DYSON: Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown will have her voice
heard here tonight.


DYSON: Nearly 800,000 young people no longer live in fear of being
deported for a decision their parents made. President Obama announced a
major immigration policy change in the Rose Garden today.


OBAMA: These are young people who study in our schools, they play in
our neighborhoods, they`re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to
our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every
single way but one -- on paper.


DYSON: With legislation stalled by Republicans in Congress, the
president said the temporary policy change will be made through enforcement
by the Department of Homeland Security.


OBAMA: It makes no sense to expel talented young people who for all
intents and purposes are Americans, they have been raised as Americans,
understand themselves to be part of this country, to expel these young
people who want to staff our labs or start new businesses or defend our
country simply because of the actions of their parents, or because of the
inaction of politicians.


DYSON: Students rallied on both coasts in support of the new
measures, including these young people in Los Angeles.


NEIDI DOMINGUEZ, CAME TO U.S. AT AGE 9: For me, it means I can
finally take the right step forward, that he`s responding in the way that
we`ve been wanting him to respond and that he`s listening and that we are
now full of hope.

RICARDO MUNIZ, CAME TO U.S. AT AGE 7: We`ve been fighting for so long
that it`s a surreal moment right now that we`re living, so it`s a policy
change so hopefully they follow through with it.


DYSON: But not everyone had a positive reaction, including one person
who was in the Rose Garden.


OBAMA: It is the -- it is the right thing to do. Excuse me, sir.
It`s not time for questions, sir. Not while I`m speaking.


DYSON: The conservative heckler in the audience was a writer for the
right wing Web site "The Daily Caller."

The writer yelled out, why do you favor foreigners over Americans?
President Obama addressed him a few minutes later.


OBAMA: Because we are a better nation that one that expels innocent
young kids. And the answer to your question, sir, and the next time I
prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question, is
this is the right thing to do for the American people. I didn`t -- I
didn`t ask for an argument, I`m answering your question. It is the right
thing to do for the American people and here`s why.

Here`s the reason: Because these young people are going to make
extraordinary contributions and are already making contributions to our


DYSON: I`ll have more on this stunning display later in the show.

But, first, we should note Mitt Romney`s reaction to the president`s
latest move.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the action that the
president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term
solution because an executive order is of course just a short-term matter.
It can be reversed by subsequent presidents. I`d like to see legislation
that deals with this issue. And I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he
looked at this issue.


DYSON: Interesting that Romney would align himself with Marco Rubio
who called the new policy, quote, "welcome news for many of these kids."

Other Republicans weren`t so forgiving.


BREWER: This delivery of this message today was pandering to a
certain population, and I believe it was very, very political.


DYSON: Get your finger out of my face.

And on FOX News, Karl Rove was tipping the scales of hypocrisy.


KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This is nothing but a politically
motivated and cynical act.


DYSON: Really, Karl? So this was a politically motivated and cynical
act, too?


RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I believe in the idea of
amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here, even
though sometime back they may have entered illegally.


DYSON: The immigration reform supported by Ronald Reagan gave amnesty
to three million undocumented immigrants. Republicans like to forget about
that. They also want to ignore the potential impact of immigration reform
on the economy. The Congressional Budget Office said the dream act would
increase federal revenue by $1.7 billion over 10 years. The deficit would
be reduced by $2.2 billion. These benefits already put Republicans behind
the eight ball when it comes to their opposition to reform.

But from the looks of the right wing messaging out there today, it
doesn`t appear they are ready to win over minority voters any time soon.

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

Tonight`s question, would Republicans support any kind of immigration
reform? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. Or go to our blog at I`ll bring you the results later in the show.

I`m joined by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez.

What`s your reaction, first of all, Senator, to the president`s

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, I applaud the president.
This is exactly the action that I and a series of my colleagues in Congress
have been calling for -- to use the administrative relief he decided to use
today. I know the administration has been listening to our voices for some
time and trying to lay the legal framework to be able to achieve this goal.

I believe they have that legal framework. There is precedent by
Republican and Democratic presidents who have given classes of immigrants
at different times pending status in this country. Ninety-five law
professors recently sent a letter to the president exactly speaking of that

And so, today, these young people, who came to this country through no
decision of their own, came here -- most of them very, very young -- the
only flag they ever pledge allegiance to is that of the United States, the
only national anthem they know is the "Star-Spangled Banner" -- have an
opportunity to further contribute to America. And to do so in a way that
can both help us intellectually. I`ve met so many of these students from
my own home state. Many times they are the valedictorian, salutatorian,
whole host of community activists, giving a lot back to their communities.

DYSON: Sure.

MENENDEZ: Others want to wear the uniform of the United States and
serve in the armed forces and defend the country. So, it`s a great day for
them, even though it doesn`t give them the total dream that they wanted.

DYSON: Sure. But let`s clear up some misinformation because a lot of
things have been floating out there and we want to clarify them.

The Department of Homeland Security has five requirements for
exemption. It protects those who came to the U.S. under the age of 16.
They must live in the U.S. for at least five years. Students, high school
grads and discharged veterans are exempt. They must have a record clear of
felonies and they must be under 30 years old.

So we just want to clarify that so that people won`t make these errant
comments about the situation for those people who are the children of

Are these fair requirements in your mind?

MENENDEZ: I think they are. We are trying to reach a class of
students who came to this country very young, who have a clean record,
meaning they have no criminal background, who must continue to have a clean
record as they move forward, and who will be law abiding and contributing
citizens to our society.

And I think, you know, we`ve already made, Michael, major investments
in them in terms of public education. Now that we have the ability to use
their intellect on behalf of the country or their service to the defense of
the country, we certainly should.

DYSON: No question.

The president pointed out that today work on the DREAM Act is still
necessary. Let`s take a listen.


OBAMA: Precisely because this is temporary, Congress needs to act.
There`s still time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year, pause
these kids deserve to plan their lives in more than two-year increments.


DYSON: Certainly what the president did today was bold and
imaginative and certainly goes a long way. But do you believe the DREAM
Act can ever pass through this Congress?

MENENDEZ: In this Congress, I`m not sure, Michael. Let me just say
that the DREAM Act would be law today if we didn`t have the Republicans in
the United States Senate filibustering it when we had the vote over a year
ago. At that time, 55 senators, including a couple of Republicans, joined
us. That is a majority of the United States Senate.

But because Republicans insisted on filibustering it, the procedure in
which they try to stop just about everything, we would have needed 60
votes. A majority of the Senate agreed at the time.

So it`s Republicans that have stopped this. And that`s why I laugh
when I see Mitt Romney saying lack of leadership. It`s his party that has
shown a lack of leadership in this regard and whose language is so punitive
as it relates to the immigrant and Latino community in this country that
I`m not surprised the polls read what they do.

DYSON: All right, Senator Robert Menendez, thank you so much for your

MENENDEZ: Great to be with you.

DYSON: Now let`s turn to Chuck Rocha, executive director of The
American Worker, Latino Project.

Mr. Rocha, thanks for coming on.


DYSON: What does today mean for young people who are living in fear
of deportation? Give us an existential, a kind of sense of what that means
to them in their hearts and in their minds.

ROCHA: Michael, I`m glad you asked me that question. I had a
conversation today with some friends of mine in northwest Arkansas, in a
rural part of Arkansas, a young woman who came to this country at 7 years
old with her family, went to high school, graduated with honors, got to go
to college in Arkansas, went halfway through college and then the governor
there changed the rules and said because she was undocumented, she had to
pay out of state tuition.

So, her and her family and the college, I give full credit to, helped
her raise the means to graduate that college, even though she had lived in
Arkansas since she was 7 years old.

She was ecstatic today and says this movement gives hope to all
children, all these dreamers who have been doing collective actions and
working hard to make their voices heard because they are a fabric of

DYSON: Sure. Well, weaved intimately into the fabric of what we mean
as a nation. But some Americans, as you know, are saying that what the
president did today was possibly illegal. How do you answer that?

ROCHA: You know, you`re going to hear this from the other side.
Because he did the right thing, and it was the right thing no matter what
the color of your skin, no matter where you were born. But the actions you
take as a young adult, by playing by the rules, coming to another country
as a small child and doing good things, just like that sister in Arkansas.

They can`t stand to see the man do the right thing because it`s good
for everyone and then in politics, that`s hard to run against. That`s
exactly why you heard it that way.

DYSON: Well, do you think a Republican president would ever overturn
this policy?

ROCHA: You know, there`s a lot of things, as you have well described
in your show. You don`t know what the other side will do for a political
ploy. I think that there`s a very good chance a Republican president could
overturn this and there were people on the other side today saying just
that. That just wait, when Mitt Romney is elected, we won`t have to worry
about that, we will make things right.

When in America is it right for a young person to not have their
papers? When is it right for a dreamer not to dream?

DYSON: Well, one of the characters that we can certainly depend upon
hearing from in these circumstances is Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Today, he
responded to the president`s announcement in Arizona. Listen to what he


JOE ARPAIO, ARIZONA SHERIFF: We`re still going to enforce all those
illegal immigration laws in this state. So if this is not a law, we won`t
enforce it. It doesn`t mean I don`t fully agree with it. I do have
compassion for the younger people. By the way, this is up to 30 years old,
they`re not kids.


DYSON: That intransigent is just remarkable. Are you concerned that
local law enforcers like Joe Arpaio won`t cooperate with Homeland Security?

ROCHA: I think you`re going to see community action. Now the
dreamers get to come out of the shadows. They get to come out and say we
are here, you need to hear us.

Then, you`re going to see people like me, who are born in America, who
are U.S. citizens, who are voters. Who are going to hold accountable these
politicians and these sheriffs and these elected leaders who want to stand
against us and make sure we do the right thing by making sure that we vote,
make sure that we`re informed and make sure that there are repercussions
for statements like you just heard.

DYSON: All right, Chuck Rocha, thank you so much for your time

ROCHA: Thank you, Michael.

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

Today`s incident of disrespect toward the president is part of a much
larger problem he`s been experiencing for years. Political White House
reporter Joe Williams will weigh in, next.


DYSON: Coming up on THE ED SHOW: today wasn`t the first time the
president was disrespected by right wing activists. We`ll explore the
overt conservative disdain for the president with "Politico`s" Joe
Williams, next.

A Michigan lawmaker is censured for saying the word "vagina" on the
House floor. Today, Republicans are saying she had a temper tantrum.
State representative Lisa Brown is here to respond tonight.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using the #EdShow. We`ll be
right back.



OBAMA: Because we are a better nation than one that expels innocent
young kids. And the answer to your question, sir, and the next time I
prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question, is
this is the right thing to do for the American people. I didn`t -- I
didn`t ask for an argument, I`m answering your question. It is the right
thing to do for the American people and here`s why -- here`s the reason:
because these young people are going to make extraordinary contributions
and are already making contributions to our society.


DYSON: Welcome back. That was President Obama being interrupted by a
conservative activist from "The Daily Caller" today.

Anyone paying attention knows disrespect towards the president has
been an issue since day one. Back in 2009, South Carolina Congressman Joe
Wilson interrupted the president`s health care remarks by yelling "you lie"
in the middle of his speech. In January, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
pointed her finger directly in the president`s face while greeting him on
the tarmac.

Earlier this afternoon, Brewer gave her expert opinion on today`s
interruption in the Rose Garden.


BREWER: I believe that it was probably inappropriate maybe for a
reporter to act that way.


DYSON: Well, she should know about presidentus interruptus. She is
right. But it`s also inappropriate to wag your finger in the president`s

Today on FOX News, some were critical of the actions by "The Daily
Caller" activist, but they shouldn`t pretend they have a clean record.


OBAMA: I don`t think we should pretend otherwise.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: But Mr. President, this Monday --

OBAMA: Let me finish.

BAIER: There are a lot of people who have a problem with this
process. You called it an ugly process.

OBAMA: Bret, you got to let me finish with my answers.

BAIER: But, I know you don`t like the filibuster.

OBAMA: Well, I`m trying to answer your questions and you keep on

BAIER: You wanted to change Washington, Mr. President and now we are
doing --

OBAMA: Bret, let me finish my answers here.

BAIER: Mr. President, I`m getting wrapped up and I don`t want to
interrupt you.


DYSON: How fortunate America is to have a president that patient
because I know a bunch of more brothers who would have been very, very
intemperate at this time.

For more of this, I`m joined by Joe Williams, White House reporter for
"Politico," who`s not one of those brothers, I`m sure.

As a White House reporter, brother Joe, how out of line was this
conservative activist from "The Daily Caller" today?

JOE WILLIAMS, POLITICO: Well, it`s interesting because it is always
imperative upon the press to speak truth to power to try to get questions
answered. But to me, the view here was it`s basically stunt journalism,
for lack of a better way to put it, because the question not only was not
designed to elicit any kind of an answer, it was basically designed to call
attention to the person asking it and also try to throw the president off
of what he was saying and disrupt the whole process.

People in Washington are very frustrated sometimes because the press
gets a bad rap. This is one of the reasons why. You may not necessarily
get your question answered but certainly at all times you have to respect
the office and that is usually job one for most journalists. Respect the
office, try to get your question answered but never try make yourself part
of the story.

This was disrespectful. It was a bit of a stunt -- well, it was a big
stunt and it was something that blew back on "The Daily Caller" for most of
the afternoon.

DYSON: And it interspersed itself into the very comments of the
president without permitting him the courtesy to finish. The "you lie"
incident by Wilson, Brewer with her finger wagging, this seems to be part
of a larger issue.

And I`ve got to ask the question here -- does it have anything to do
with the fact that this is the nation`s first black president and the level
of disrespect is alarming and stunning?

WILLIAMS: It`s very, very difficult to place race outside of this
context, mostly because a lot of the interruptions, a lot of the disrespect
has been unprecedented. We haven`t seen anything like this before. A lot
of people will suggest that it`s because the Republican Party has moved so
far to the right that they`re willing to do things that were unthinkable.

But certainly in my experience, it`s hard to divorce that because this
president doesn`t look like the others. And not only do we have a lot of
these sort of interruptions, a lot of disrespect towards the office in more
than my view -- I mean many people in the Twitter sphere and a lot of
practicing journalists were agog (ph), they were aghast at what had

But you also have the promotions of the Tea Party, where they`re using
racially tinged imagery and racially tinged statements to get their point
across. You have a lot of members of Congress on the Republican side who
feel like they can do whatever or talk about whatever. Have you ever heard
of a president being talked about in the way that this Congress has talked
about him where you say our job is to make sure that this guy serves one
term as opposed to our job is to see that the best interests of the country
are served?

DYSON: Sure.

WILLIAMS: So given all that evidence, it`s hard to divorce that. A
lot of people will defend it as saying other presidents were disrespected,
but in my view none so publicly.

DYSON: Certainly not that flagrantly and not that crudely.

So do you think "The Daily Caller" could be banned from future White
House press conferences? I mean, who could blame the president or the
White House from doing that?

WILLIAMS: Well, I know that FOX News had taken a hard line against
the president and they had received some circumscribed access to the White
House. Basically, the White House has got to be fair here. I mean, they
can`t afford to ban "The Daily Caller" completely. But certainly they can
some things in their tool kit to make it more difficult for "The Daily
Caller" to get access.

I don`t think they`ll ban them completely but I do think that if
anybody tries to get into the White House with the words "Daily Caller"
after their name or after their professional calling card, they will
probably not get the access other people would and that will harm their
ability to cover the White House I think pretty much.

DYSON: Well, it does amaze me that the right wing, which prides
itself upon responsibility, never wants to take its own responsibility in
these sorts of situations.

Thank you so very much, my friend --

WILLIAMS: My pleasure.

DYSON: -- Joe Williams, for coming on.

Coming up, President Obama`s new immigration policy was not just the
right thing to do, it was a political master stroke. The big panel of Ron
Christie, Ari Melber and Marcia Dyson will join me to watch Mitt Romney

And you knew it was coming, the Romney ad about President Obama making
himself a one-term president. We`ll look at how the president will fight


DYSON: Still to come on THE ED SHOW: the big panel weighs in on
today`s news on immigration and much more. Ari Melber of "The Nation,"
social activist Marcia Dyson and Republican activist Ron Christie will join
me next.

Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Today President Obama described
one of the most common sense notions we can imagine. It`s something most
Americans fully understand. No child brought into this country -- brought
here against their will, without their permission, brought to this country
illegally by his or her parents should be punished for that. When those
children attend our schools, get degrees, even serve our country, they
should not be treated as criminals.

Despite that common sense idea, the president did not grant amnesty or
immunity for them, but he did something quite simple. He made it possible
to defer legal action against them in two-year increments and made them
eligible for work permits.

Let`s bring in "The Nation`s" Ari Melber, social activist Marcia Dyson
and Republican strategist Ron Christie. Ari, the president`s new
immigration policy today is not amnesty. Will the Republicans succeed in
trying to portray it as amnesty and therefore gin up the alarm system here.

ARI MELBER, "THE NATION": I don`t think so. The Republican primary
is over. And hopefully some of the ugliness is over. But Bill O`Reilly
this week said that this is a humane and logical policy. I don`t think you
get very far in America saying that we should punish children for anything
their parents did, no matter where they`re from.

DYSON: So, Ron, Romney clearly had no idea how to deal with this.
His tepid response literally matches that of Senator Marco Rubio. Do you
think he was caught off guard here and didn`t know what to say?

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It`s not that I think he didn`t
know what to say. The question is was this the right policy for the
president to have done. I think we can all agree children who are brought
here by their parents, their parents bear the responsibility for those
children being here. But the president had a two-year super majority in
the Congress. He had the ability to have pushed for comprehensive
immigration reform, something that he didn`t do.

My former boss, President Bush, tried to do it. He couldn`t get it
done. It just looks to me, doc, that folks are going to say, did the
president do this for politics or did he do it for the right policy reason,
less than 150 days before the election.

DYSON: Well, we can debate that later, because some of the people are
going to say look, he had Blue Dog Democrats. He had Lieberman against him
on other issues, especially on health care. So he didn`t have that super
majority you`re talking about, but point taken.

So Marcia, even Fox News seemed conflicted how to deal with this. Fox
Latino showed an adorable child. But Fox Nation showed people clearly
meant to look like criminals, even though they later removed the photo from
the article. Do you think that the right wing has no idea how to handle

MARCIA DYSON, SOCIAL ACTIVIST: They don`t have the right idea how to
handle most things, Michael. But when you look at this -- the mini Dream
Act, it`s more than a wink. It`s Langston Hughes, how do you -- what --
what do you do with the dream deferred? It wasn`t denied. We`re into the
finals of the NBA. They debate on the players play, debate on if they can
take a two shot or a three shot. It wasn`t a three shot, but it was a two

Where I think that the Republicans are forgetting the spectators, no
matter what, even though you`re in the final of the game, you anticipate
the next season. President Obama did right. He`s anticipating the next
season. It`s ridiculous to say if a candidate is doing it for policies or
for -- you know, to win a vote -- yes, you are, because you`re the
president of all Americans.

And these immigrants who have come here, paid their rights as far as
veterans or getting their GED or high school education -- and not only
that, they`re paying a fee to stay here as well. So we`re also generating
some revenue for our country and them having their dream a little bit set
off for another two years, at least a start, something that other people
did not finish.

DYSON: Yes. And the point of revenue, you know, the studies were
done and said, look, billions of dollars are going to be put into the
economy, and that`s an interesting point. Even former President Bush, Ari,
knew we needed a decent immigration policy, but he couldn`t get his party
to go along. The GOP just seems to be out of step here, no?

MELBER: I think they`re out of step. And then I think, to pick up on
Ron`s point, the idea that well, this has to be done through executive
order, why is that? The Dream Act was introduced 11 years ago by Senator
Durbin. We`ve had three years, but we had a filibuster on this like we had
a filibuster on so many proposals.

So a super majority isn`t enough because you had 55 senators, that`s
pretty super. That`s a super democratic majority, a small D, but it wasn`t
enough, because like so many other pieces of legislation, it was held down
by the filibustered.

Now, to be clear, those are the rules. And in politics, you`ve got to
play by the rules. So Republicans are playing hard ball in the Senate.
But they should not be surprised when this president, after having an
outstretched arm, comes around and says, I have other powers, I`m going to
use them.

DYSON: Right.

CHRISTIE: Well, let me just say this. I think there`s one little
document that we need to take a look at that folks haven`t talked about,
which is the Constitution. The Constitution clearly has the ability to set
our immigration policy, not the president through executive fiat. It was
not an executive order.

The thing that you`ve heard about in the media was the president acted
by executive order. He did not. He directed his secretary of Homeland
Security to take this executive action, which I think the American people
want to see the president faithfully executing the laws. We can disagree
on the policy.


DYSON: But it`s called bully pulpit as well.

MELBER: Can I briefly get in on that? I have it here. It is a
letter from Secretary Napolitano. It is within the president`s powers.
Anyone who knows the law knows that prosecutorial discretion is some of the
greatest power that an executive office leads. What he`s saying is don`t
go after the kids first, we have other higher priorities.


CHRISTIE: As a lawyer -- as a lawyer this is very important. The
president can act under his Constitutional powers under an executive order.
That is not an executive order.

DYSON: All right. But look, we`ll leave that debate --

CHRISTIE: But that`s the Constitution.

DYSON: No, no, but I`m saying what`s clear here is that the president
exerted his own presence as the president. So that`s his bully pulpit.
But Marcia, tell us what do you make of this "Daily Caller" reporter who`s
just out there savaging the president`s presence there and disrespecting
him? What do you make of that? What do you think that emerges from?

M. DYSON: I`ve lived six decades. And of course, I`ve been following
politics for at least four decades. And I have never seen the blatant
disrespect for a president in any arena, whether it`s on the campaign trail
and truly during a press conference, for him to make the sort of outcry
that he did and disrespect the Office of the Presidency.

President Bush -- and I remember when a former anchor on this network
said something and I was highly offended, because no matter what, we must -
- you talk about respecting the Constitution. We must respect the Office
of the Presidency. And here he is saying wait until your proper turn in
order for me to answer the question. He wasn`t trying to put it aside, but
in its proper moment and not during the time in which he`s giving his

DYSON: Ron Christie, do you have any defense for him?

CHRISTIE: No, I don`t. I think we have seen similar actions like
this before. I think Sam Donaldson was very rude to President Ronald

DYSON: But Sam Donaldson criticized his guy.

CHRISTIE: We`re all going to agree on this. I think Sam Donaldson
was rude to Reagan. But you have no right in the Rose Garden of the White
House to interrupt the President of the United States.

DYSON: It`s not a parallel, right, exactly.


DYSON: It`s unprecedented. Ari, what do you make of this. Because
as Mr. Ron Christie has indicated, there`s nobody -- as Marcia Dyson said,
nobody has been subjected to this kind of thing. We`re not trying to ring,
oh, my God, it`s the race card. But the reality is he`s the first black
president. The degree to which people have descended into the vineyards of
viciousness seems to me unprecedented.

MELBER: I think it`s of a piece with a delegitimatization campaign
against the president that we are all familiar with, that`s very
unfortunate, and that relates to racism and the otherness. The other point
is it`s not isolated to this sort of no-name "Daily Caller" guy, who`s a
sorry excuse for a wannabe media figure, right?

If it were just him, I really wouldn`t care this much because he would
just be sorry. But I heard Lou Dobbs today saying isn`t it nice to see the
president challenged for a change by the media. The problem doesn`t stop
with "the Daily Caller." It doesn`t stop with Tucker Carlson. It`s anyone
on the right, not everyone on the right -- and I appreciate what you said.
But anyone on the right who wants to stick up for this crap.


DYSON: We`ve got to take a break. Ari, Marcia and Ron, stay with us.

Next, Mitt Romney tries to paint President Obama into a corner, but
the president is not so easily moved.

And the Michigan lawmaker silenced for daring to speak the word
"vagina" on the state house floor will get her chance to speak on THE ED
SHOW here tonight. Stay tuned for the dialogue.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. We`re talking to Ari Melber,
Marcia Dyson, Ron Christie. We were into some juicy topics. We`re not
finished juicing that thing up yet. So Ron Christie, you were making a
point before we left and then during the break and it was unkind to the
viewers. So let`s let them have in on it. You are saying that you are
feeling that we`re being a bit hyper sensitive here and that it`s not about
race. Tell us why.

CHRISTIE: I think there`s -- any time there`s criticism of President
Obama, the first thing you hear is, oh, it`s because he`s a black man and
therefore it must be racism. You can look and see that there was
disrespect shown. I worked for the president of the United States. I
don`t think that you demean the office by shouting down the president or
not letting him finish his statement before letting him take questions.

DYSON: You don`t?

CHRISTIE: No, I don`t think you do that. But to suggest
automatically that oh, there must be say racial element to it, I think it`s
a worn out narrative.

DYSON: Give me an example of any other president you`ve seen shouted
out before he could finish his statement, while he was making it, by an
ostensible reporter.

CHRISTIE: We`ve seen this many, many times. Sam Donaldson made his
career shouting down Ronald Reagan and being very, very rude.

DYSON: But not before he finished his statement.

CHRISTIE: There were moments that the president was actually making
comments and then Sam Donaldson jumped right in there.

DYSON: But after the point.

CHRISTIE: Again, you can be disrespectful. I just get tired of the
race card being trotted out by the left --

DYSON: Let me ask you that. Why is the right so loathe, so
disinclined to acknowledge -- Ari and Marcia, you can jump in here. Why is
the right so unwilling to acknowledge the plain sense before our noses.
That is to say if this is the first African-American president and these
are unprecedented things we see, that there`s at least a correlation
between the two, if not a relationship of causality.

So why is it that you can`t even admit, you know what, it does seem
pretty much to be the case that Obama is subjected to this unprecedented
level here.

CHRISTIE: Can I say one last thing to that?

DYSON: Very quickly.

CHRISTIE: So we have the president of the United States, George W.
Bush, in Iraq, where you had a gentleman take off his shoe and throw it at
him. And you had a lot of folks on the left laughing.


CHRISTIE: That was a journalist during a press conference. I`m
drawing a correlation to suggest that people can be rude to the president
in a press forum.

DYSON: But you know what, we`re talking about in America. We`re
talking about in Georgia. We`re talking in Arizona, my brother.

M. DYSON: I think the president is facing a double negative. Not
only is he black, but he`s a Democrat. One thing I don`t like about this
acidic conversation that goes on which really impacts the mobility of our
citizenry here in America is the fact that if you say that you`re Democrat,
that you`re from some other place and from some alien.

So I think it`s the most vicious game in the political fight that I`ve
ever seen in my years of observing politics. So it`s a double negative.
If you want to go black first and then his party. But I think that that
needs to really stop. I think you can`t say throwing a shoe in a foreign
country in the Middle East is totally different, since it has a culturally
sensitive act -- place of meaning to it. Absolutely.

MELBER: I think Ron is coming from a genuine place and sharing with
us a different perspective. I think one of the questions is how do you
identify coded attacks, which by their very nature of coded. So I have a
couple handy right here. Donald Trump went off on the birth certificate
over and over. We`ve never had a previous president who happened to be
white ever challenged in this way.

Donald Trump said he wanted to investigate President Obama`s grades in
college, which was a coded attack about affirmative action and legitimacy.
And it`s an attack that Condi Rice and others have faced in pubic life.
And he also said that President Obama should get off the basketball court
and focus on the economy.

Now different people will hear different things. In the same way you
might not mean to be sexist and a colleague might say, the way you say that
made me feel demeaned. If you care, and you actually want to deal with it
in a serious way, you try to hear them out and figure that out.

There are other things that are maybe not over that line, like we hear
a lot of attacks that the president is in over his head. If you say that
to some people in some contexts, particularly from marginalized
communities, they might feel that if they are highly educated, won a
campaign and killed Osama bin Laden, they`re not in over their head.

Now, I think it`s hard to pick out each coded one. But out of the
ones I mentioned, I think several do clearly cross the line.


DYSON: But wait, hold on. But here`s the point.

MELBER: We`re speaking about these Republican attacks.

DYSON: But here`s the point as well. They multi-evidential. That
means they can swing both ways. They can count on both sides, as you know.
You`re a lawyer. And then secondly, plausible deniability. That is to
say, hey, I didn`t mean that, you`re hypersensitive.

So you thrust the burden back onto the person who is actually the
victim of the particular offense. So as an African-American man in
America, certainly even as a Republican, you`re not exempt from some of the
same things that other brothers on the other side of the aisle have faced.

So let me ask you this question straight up. Are there instances and
occasions in American culture where you as a black Republican understand
that you`ve been victimized or some other black person has been victimized
by a racial insult or injury?

CHRISTIE: Victimized? I wouldn`t call myself a victim.

DYSON: A victim of, a recipient of.

CHRISTIE: The racism that I experience on a daily basis on the
Twitter feed and through the Internet for people who say that they are
Jesus Christ followers, people who are on the left liberal, every single
day, death threats, evil mail. So I`m not going to sit here and say it
doesn`t happen in America. I get it on the right. President Obama gets it
from some whacko elements on the left.

My whole issue that I think we would all agree with is that we need to
have civility in our discourse. We can politely agree to disagree. You
don`t have to bring race into it. You don`t have to try to bring somebody
down. Let the policy and let the substance speak for itself.

DYSON: Look what you`re doing. You`re saying bringing race into it,
as if race is not already there, number one. Number two, the preposition
is wrong. But number two, you`re drawing a false equivalency between
sides, as if --


DYSON: Let me finish. We`re all combatants on an equally distributed
field that has equally distributed histories. And we know what Ari has
just indicated and what Marcia Dyson indicated in their long years of
history here, is the fact that the racial animus that has been generated in
this country has not been equally distributed. Therefore, it makes sense
that we would be sensitive to the existence of this toward a figure like

Let me tell you what I find most offensive here. If you can`t be
satisfied with Barack Obama as a brother, there ain`t a brother in America
that`s been made that you`re going to be satisfied with. Here`s a guy who
said -- now let me finish my point first. I know some brothers like you or
some others would have said, look, I`m going to break you off something
proper on the side if you want to step out here. And I`m going to give you
an African soup bone to let you consider while you`re doing it. Or to tell
Jan Brewer, let me break that little finger of yours off and give it back
to you.

So there are ways in which we know that disrespect is so deep and
profound. And we expect Obama to behave as if he`s above the fray.
Because he`s such a master of that situation, we sometimes mask the
severity of the offense to him.

M. DYSON: I think that what we have to really realize, we have said
it over the years that America is a melting pot. But I think that what
this discourse is talking about, we only want one ingredient. OK. So you
can`t have that when you have the diversity of ethnicities and cultures in

DYSON: All right, Ari Melber, Ron Melber -- Ron Christie and Marcia
Dyson, I want to thank you. But there`s somebody else. These two
gentlemen are wonderful, but this young lady, Marcia Dyson, received an
award, Shine Your Light Award from the Global Syndicates Organization for
her extraordinary philanthropic work in Haiti and we want to celebrate you
here tonight.

M. DYSON: Thank you.

DYSON: I think there`s a unanimity of my left and right.

CHRISTIE: That`s exactly right. Job well done. Congratulations.

DYSON: All right.

Coming up, Michigan Republicans are now telling us what we can and can
not say about abortion. We`ll talk to the Democrat who broke their rules
and said the word "vagina." Stay with us.


DYSON: Welcome back. The Republican leadership in Michigan offered a
new defense for its decision to silence a Democrat. Apparently it`s not
because she said the word "vagina." It`s about rape and the Republican
leaders are offended.

The controversy started Wednesday. State Representative Lisa Brown
gave an impassioned speech against some anti-abortion legislation. She
ended with this.


Speaker, I`m flattered that you`re all so interested in my vagina, but no
means no.


DYSON: The House speaker censured Brown for that. She wasn`t allowed
to speak on a teacher retirement bill the next morning. The legislative
session is over. She`s done until fall. Brown thought using the word
"vagina" was what got her into trouble. And the Republicans didn`t deny
it, at least at first.

Representative Mike Callton told reporters, "what Brown said was
offensive. It was so offensive, I don`t want to say it in front of women.
I would say that in mixed company." He meant vagina, right?

Tonight we got a new answer. The House speaker`s press secretary
insists "it has nothing to do with her using the word "vagina." It was
judgement at the time that when she finished her statement by referencing
her vagina and then saying "no means no," that was drawing a rape
reference, and the speaker felt that crossed the line."

Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown joins us now to talk about
her controversial comments. Welcome, representative.

BROWN: Thank you.

DYSON: So were you making or did you intend to make a rape reference
there at the end?

BROWN: No, not at all. As you said, I think they`re just coming up
with another excuse. If this was the case, why didn`t they say something
to me and ask me if that was my intention on Wednesday when I made my
statement. How long has it been since I made that statement that they have
now come up with this spin of their story?

DYSON: Right. I mean obviously and clearly the word "vagina," which
is the technical name for the female sexual organ, both biologically and
anatomically, suggests that that is off limits. So it seems to be that
your offense was, perhaps, being a woman and speaking in charge of her own
sexual identity, which is what the abortion debate was about.

So tonight the spokesman for the House speaker sent out a letter to
the press saying you weren`t censured based on your gender or your religion
or your stance on the abortion legislation. Then he said this. "I would
urge you not to become too distracted by temper tantrums designed to score
political points."

Do you have a response to that?

BROWN: I didn`t -- I haven`t had a temper tantrum. You know, I don`t
know that he`s referring to me. I did have another colleague -- I have
another colleague who was also banned from speaking. You know, first of
all, it`s degrading to say that. We`re adults. We don`t have temper
tantrums. So I don`t think --

DYSON: It also seems to be sexist to portray women as somehow out of
control and hysterical and little girls.

BROWN: Absolutely. Obviously the Republicans view us as incapable of
acting maturely or even making decisions in regards to our own health care
and our bodies.

DYSON: Sure, that`s a critical point. So when will you be allowed to
represent your constituents and speak on the House floor again?

BROWN: I don`t know. I -- you know, I found out Thursday morning --
as I said, those statements were said on Wednesday. We started session on
Thursday. No one from the Republican caucus has contacted me. They
haven`t told me really why I was banned. I`m only hearing it through the
media as to their new spin on the story, as I said.

I haven`t been told what I did wrong, how long I`m going to -- how
long I`m going to be banned from speaking.

DYSON: Wow. Well, we wish you good luck with that. Clearly, this is
a gross injustice and we certainly want you to be restored to full voice --

BROWN: Thank you.

DYSON: -- there in the Michigan house of legislation.

BROWN: Thank you. Thank you.

DYSON: Well, this is THE ED SHOW. Michigan State Representative Lisa
Brown, we want to thank you so much. We`re grateful for this opportunity.

I want to thank. Ed will be back here on Monday. This is my last
night. I want to thank Ed from the bottom of my heart for the
extraordinary opportunity to be able to sit in for him. It takes a big-
hearted man and a great guy who has the ability to open his heart and his
mind and his soul and his space to a guy like me to come in here and to sit
in here for a week. And I`m extremely grateful for this wonderful

And as you might imagine, it`s much more difficult than it looks when
you`re sitting there at home, so I really want to thank Ed for the vote of
confidence that permits me to be able to do this. He`ll be back on Monday.
In the meantime, you have a great weekend and we thank you so very much for
tuning in.


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