The Ed Show for Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
January 31, 2013
Guests: Lawrence Wilkerson, Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe, David Corn, Wade Davis
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
Republicans have the audacity to attack a highly decorated veteran and
label him as a dove?
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I`m pleased to see an old friend here
before the committee.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Hagel hearing started out friendly and got
MCCAIN: We are correct or incorrect? Yes or no?
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: My reference to the surge
MCCAIN: I`m asking you a question, Senator Hagel.
SCHULTZ: McCain, Inhofe, Graham, and Cruz -- all trying to destroy
the president`s pick for secretary of defense, who just happens to be a
Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson breaks down today`s bizarre
Plus, Jonathan Alter on the new Democratic plan to take back the House
using Citizens United.
Another big-time Republican reveals his disgust for moochers on Social
Security and Medicare.
Richard Wolffe, Howard Fineman, and David Corn break down the GOP`s
ongoing problem with half of America.
And in center left America, it is no longer OK to be a homophobic
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To let all LGBT teams know that it gets better.
SCHULTZ: We`ll tell you about the inspiring backlash to a 49ers`
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
You know, if you had lunch with somebody every Tuesday for 12 years,
do you think you`d feel like you have kind of got to know them a little
bit? Chuck Hagel must have felt blindsided today by old Senate friends.
Because today, Republican senators looked like they were competing for an
They tried to see which one could act the most outraged at President
Obamas defense secretary nominee. Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel
was grilled during his confirmation hearings.
Senator John McCain took the lead and set the tone early on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Our concerns pertain to the quality of your professional
judgment and your worldview on critical areas of national security,
including security in the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: John McCain did not always have grave concerns about Chuck
Hagel`s worldview. In fact, he named Chuck Hagel a co-chair of his 2000
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGEL: My fellow Americans, I introduce you to a great Republican, a
great American leader, my friend, John McCain!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How come McCain didn`t get that kind of greeting, huh? Or
Hagel, should I say.
Not only were Hagel and McCain good buddies, John McCain wanted to
give Hagel the exact job he`s up for right now. He told voters in New
Hampshire, "There`s a lot of people that could be secretary of state --
secretary of defense. One of them I think is Senator Chuck Hagel."
But McCain sure has a different view of Hagel today. He still can`t
get over Hagel`s opposition to the surge in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Do you stand by that -- those comments, Senator Hagel?
HAGEL: Well, Senator, I stand by them because I made them.
MCCAIN: Were you right? Were you correct in your assessment?
HAGEL: Well, I would defer to the judgment of history to sort that
out. But I`ll --
MCCAIN: The committee deserves your judgment as to whether you were
right or wrong about the surge.
HAGEL: I`ll explain why I made those comments and I believe --
MCCAIN: I want to know if you were right or wrong. That`s a direct
question. I expect a direct answer.
HAGEL: The surge assisted in the objective. But if we review the
record a little bit --
MCCAIN: Will you please answer the question? Were you correct or
incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign
policy blunder in this country since Vietnam? Were you correct or
incorrect? Yes or no?
HAGEL: My reference to the surge being --
MCCAIN: Are you answering the question, Senator Hagel? The question
is were you right or wrong? That`s a pretty straightforward question.
HAGEL: Well --
MCCAIN: I would like the answer whether you were right or wrong, and
then you are free to elaborate.
HAGEL: Well, I`m not going to give you a yes or no answer on a lot of
MCCAIN: Let the record show that you refused to answer that question.
Now please go ahead.
HAGEL: Well, if you would like me to explain why --
MCCAIN: I actually would like an answer. Yes or no?
HAGEL: Well, I`m not going to give you a yes or no. I think it`s far
more complicated than that. As I`ve already said, my answer is, I`ll defer
that judgment to history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, put yourself in Hagel`s position. Did that man just
show a tremendous amount of discipline? I think he did.
There is still no consensus about the so-called success of the surge.
After the surge, the U.S. still lost nearly 1,000 troops along with an
unknown number of Iraqi civilians, not to mention cost an additional
trillion dollars. Hagel wanted to get out and refocus on Afghanistan.
But another reason Republicans wanted to stick it to Hagel is because
they just dislike the president of the United States. In 2008, Hagel
helped burnish Barack Obama`s candidacy by traveling to the Middle East
with him. Senator Lindsey Graham also calls himself a friend of Chuck
Hagel. Today, he was anything but that.
Graham harped on a comment Hagel made in the past about the Israeli
lobby. Hagel has since apologized for the comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Name one dumb thing we`ve
been goaded into doing because of the pressure from the Israeli or Jewish
HAGEL: I have already stated that I regret the terminology --
GRAHAM: But you said back then it makes us do dumb things. So give
HAGEL: That`s what I was referring to.
GRAHAM: -- an example of where we`ve been intimidated by the
Israeli/Jewish lobby to do something dumb, regarding the Mideast, Israel,
or anywhere else.
HAGEL: Well, I can`t give you an example.
GRAHAM: Thank you. Do you agree with me you shouldn`t have said
something like that?
HAGEL: Yes, I do. I`ve already said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: When Hagel`s old friends weren`t settling scores,
conservative senators were trying to make names for themselves. Senator
James Inhofe opened the hearing saying he will oppose Hagel no matter what.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: I believe he`s the wrong person to
lead the Pentagon at this perilous and consequential time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz tried to gin up an old
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I`d like to draw your attention to an
interview you did in 2009 with Al Jazeera.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But here`s the real reason. These guys don`t want Chuck
Hagel in the Defense Department. This is the bomb bomb Iran crowd.
You see, McCain and Graham have led the charge for possible war
against the Iranians as well as Syria. Chuck Hagel sees war as an absolute
last resort. It` that`s why President Obama picked him. The two share
similar views in philosophy as the Obama administration attempts to define
the role of the United States in the transition to a post-superpower world.
Their philosophy is this: the United States must get out of these
massive land wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, and if possible avoid future
Despite all of the posturing and star craft, Hagel`s nomination --
well, is not in jeopardy. Not one senator who previously voiced support
for Hagel has changed his or her mind. I think a lot of this has to do
Chuck Hagel has an extraordinary background, very diverse. It all
starts with being a combat veteran in Vietnam and, of course, educated
under the G.I. bill. He understands veterans` issues and the possibility
of what military war does, of course, to the guys on the ground. He has
experience in Washington and in the business world unparalleled to anybody
on that Senate Armed Services Committee. He`s a self-made guy in American
This man has a resume most of these senators wish they had. He never
did anything as reckless as John McCain did when he picked Sarah Palin to
be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Gosh, I wish he could have
reversed the questioning today.
If you ask me, this opposition to Hagel is nothing but sour grapes,
jealousy and envy. This man is qualified. He has impeccable integrity.
He would be perfect.
He also knows how to manage people, departments, and he`ll be able to
get his arms around the Pentagon budget and maybe they can finally audit
themselves, as we`ve had senators on this program say the Pentagon is so
big, they can`t even audit themselves.
Give Hagel a shot. He deserves it, because he was shot at in Vietnam
and he knows what troops go through.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: do Republicans want a defense secretary who would
just lead us into more wars? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. You
can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave a comment there. We`ll
bring you results later on in the show.
Joining me tonight, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former staff -- chief
of staff of the State Department during Colin Powell`s term and is
currently a distinguished visiting professor of government and public
policy at the College of William & Mary.
Colonel, good to have you with us tonight.
You bet --
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON, COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY: Good to be here,
SCHULTZ: You bet. Did Chuck Hagel deserve the treatment that he got
from these senators today? Was it out of line in any way?
WILKERSON: It`s a pretty rough world, and I`m sure Senator Hagel,
whom I`ve known for almost two decades, realized that, and knew because of
his previous moderate positions within his party, moderate positions
becoming as scarce as almost anything in the Republican Party, he was going
to be taken to task.
I want to say that the most encouraging remarks I heard from him were
in his opening remarks. I didn`t think that as a 31-year enlisted officer
veteran of the United States Army I`d ever hear a secretary of defense
candidate say the kinds of things that he did -- the eloquent things that
he did in his opening remarks, where he addressed the grunt, the
infantryman, marine and soldier, who bears the brunt of this country`s
wars, bears the brunt of the dying and the bleeding on the battlefield.
Those were such eloquent remarks that I think for that alone Senator
Hagel deserves a great deal of acclaim and should have had more deference
from the members of that committee, most of whom have never been where he`s
SCHULTZ: Is there any difference between Chuck Hagel today and the
Chuck Hagel who was one of John McCain`s campaign co-chairs?
WILKERSON: Not a bit. And I take your point. It would have been my
point had you not already made it. How dare John McCain question the
professional judgment of Chuck Hagel? That`s just unbelievable, that those
words came out of John McCain`s mouth.
SCHULTZ: Is McCain bitter? I mean, McCain really went after him.
It looked like Hagel was caught off guard, like John, you and I have
been friends for a long time. I did some good things for you. I supported
you when I needed it. And you know I`m qualified for this job to be the
head of the Pentagon, defense secretary.
It was almost like he was stunned by it.
WILKERSON: I think you`re right. I think it was very personal. I
was stunned by it, too. Especially the way McCain kept pursuing it and
Clearly, John wanted Chuck to say, yes, I was wrong and you were
right. And, of course, the verdict of history, as Hagel tried to say, is
still out on that. And frankly, in my view as a soldier, the surge had
almost nothing to do with the actual increase in American troops.
What it had to do was the coincidence of a number of things that were
already moving in Iraq. Not least of which was the awakening. And it had
to do with very frankly a general by the name of David Petraeus taking
advantage of this in order to enhance his own reputation. And as far as
I`m concerned, the increase in troops had nothing to do with the change in
the situation in Iraq except that it got a bunch of them killed, as Senator
Hagel was careful to point out.
SCHULTZ: And that is paralleling his opening comments, which you
talked about, about how he cared about those soldiers. There was no
guarantee that the surge was --
SCHULTZ: There was no guarantee the surge was going to work. The
popularity of the war had dwindled dramatically in this country. And Hagel
was asking basic questions at the time that simply were not being answered.
And so, it brings me to this point -- go ahead.
WILKERSON: I just have to say, that`s what I like about Chuck Hagel.
He asked the right questions. Whether he`s right or wrong ultimately in
his own position is not as important as he knows how to ask the right
And you`ve put together a good team, which I think President Obama is
trying to do. And that`s the essence of good decision-making, is asking
the right questions.
SCHULTZ: Will he be a good secretary of defense?
WILKERSON: I think he`ll be an exceptional one. And I look forward
to his being confirmed.
SCHULTZ: All right. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, good to have you
with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @EdShow and on Facebook.
We want to know what you think.
Coming up, a Democratic super PAC launches an effort to retake the
House of Representatives. But we can`t forget Citizens United is still
polluting our democracy. But the Democrats are jumping in the game.
Jonathan Alter joins me for the discussion and so much more.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Well, a massive storm system brings destructive tornadoes to
Georgia. Let`s see. Both Georgia senators voted against Sandy relief.
But I`ll explain why the constituents of Georgia shouldn`t have to wait for
federal assistance if they need it.
And a San Francisco 49er is apologizing after his comments about gay
players. I`ll talk with a former NFL player, Wade Davis, about the
changing attitude toward gay athletes in professional sports.
You can listen to my radio show on SiriusXM Radio Channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m.
Certainly, we want you to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook
and on Twitter using #EdShow. And we are coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Democrats either swim or get eaten up in the world created by Citizens
United. If you`re going to play in this fishbowl, you`d better be the
Citizens United is still a very horrible decision. It created super
PACs, which threaten our democracy through the secret money and powerful
corporate interests. But Democrats, what else are they going to do?
They`ve got to get in the game, until something changes.
A progressive super PAC has already targeted ten Republican House
members for defeat in 2014. The House majority PAC has a 70 percent
success rate in 2012 elections. So their goal is to help return the House
to Democratic control despite a heavily gerrymandered playing field.
The 10 candidates targeted by House majority PAC for 2014 include
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
We have a situation where the right-wing super PACs fared much worse
than the Democratic super PACs in the last election cycle. Karl Rove`s
American Crossroads had a 1.29 percent return on investment, spending $104
million. Compare it to the House Majority PAC`s 70 percent success rate on
$30 million. Another Democratic super PAC, Majority PAC is what it was
called, had an even higher success rate.
Democratic super PACs did better in the last election because
basically, they had a better message, with policies people actually cared
It seems to me the Republican super PACs were all based on a power
grab. They had more money. But the money is meant to protect those at the
very top, the wealthy. It`s power versus populism. And this time around I
think we did pretty well. I guess you could say that the Citizens United
beat Citizens United based on where people were.
But President Obama`s remarks three years ago are so true to this day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last week the Supreme
Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for
special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit
in our elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: To spend without limit in our elections.
Let`s bring in MSNBC political analyst and "Bloomberg View" columnist
Great to have you with us tonight.
It`s a new age of politics. It`s all about the money. The Democrats
are in this game, but we know many of them, it turns their stomach to do
it. Is it a must?
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It is, unfortunately. It`s
a necessary evil. Otherwise, you`re fighting with one hand tied behind
Now, the thing to understand is that taking back the House for the
Democrats is not likely to happen in 2014 because of the way these
congressional districts have been drawn.
SCHULTZ: Isn`t that amazing?
SCHULTZ: That`s just amazing to think about that.
ALTER: You have to take a state like Pennsylvania, which is a blue
state, went for Obama both times. They have 13 Republican congressmen and
six Democratic congressmen. The lines are all drawn by the Republican
legislature to favor the Republicans.
And it`s very hard to do anything about that. That`s why there are
only 10 that have been targeted. That`s not enough to take control.
But what it would do is if they could pick up those 10 seats in 2014,
then in 2016, they would only need another, you know, seven or eight for
them to get control back. And it would be more doable.
But some of these ones that they`re trying to get back they lost by 10
points or more.
ALTER: Not Michele Bachmann. They only lost that one by one point.
SCHULTZ: Well, it is rather amazing how the liberals made use of their
dollars versus the lack of success that the conservatives had. Why is
ALTER: Well, I think that, you know, the ads were better, to start
with. So the pro-Obama super PAC that was run by Bill Burton, who used to
work in the White House, his ads were breaking through on Bain and some
other subjects, whereas the Republican super PACs were spending much, much,
much more money but their ads didn`t cut at all, they were poorly done, and
so the Democrats kind of caught a break at the presidential level.
At the senate level, they had some terrible candidates to work with
and they did not deploy their resources well on the Republican side, and in
both presidential and Senate races they made a lot of poor media buying
decisions. So some of these were kind of technical areas where the
Democrats were just smarter than the Republicans.
That might not stand up. Ultimately, it may be that when the
Democrats don`t have the White House anymore at some point in the future,
or if more Republican super PACs come in, then some of the nightmares that
the Democrats had this past year might come true, where the money will just
blow them away.
SCHULTZ: Some political professors that I revere and talk to from
time to time tell me that because the Democrats had the House for 40 years
that the Republicans want it for 40 years and the only way that they`re
ever going to have it is to make sure that they jury-rig all the --
gerrymandering that they`re doing -- to make sure they have a chance to do
that. It`s part of their long-term strategy.
ALTER: So, this is why local elections are so important. For anybody
out there who says, well, I don`t vote for the state representatives, I
only vote for the presidential. The gerrymandering decisions, which come
from, you know, in the 18th century it`s a combination of Elbridge Gerry,
who was the governor of Massachusetts, that drew maps that looked like
salamanders, you know, peculiarly shaped. Why does that happen? Because
one party controls the process.
So after the 2010 mid-terms, the Republicans picked up so many state
legislatures that they were able to essentially rig the 2012 election --
SCHULTZ: They saw an opportunity, they took it.
ALTER: Democratic candidates got 1.1 million more votes for the House
of Representatives in 2012, and they lost the House by a substantial margin
because the maps rigged the process. The only way to change that is to
elect Democratic state legislators so that those maps at the next census in
SCHULTZ: So that money`s going to have to be spent on a state level.
I mean, this national money --
ALTER: Absolutely. Remember, it doesn`t get redrawn until 2020 and
the new census. So between now and then it`s going to -- it`s an uphill
fight for the Democrats to get the House back.
SCHULTZ: All right. Jonathan Alter, great to have you with us
tonight. Thank you.
ALTER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up tonight, a massive string of storms could have
Republicans who voted against Sandy relief asking for federal aid. I`ll
bring you the details.
And a Republican rising star echoes Mitt Romney`s 47 percent comments.
Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe, David Corn all weigh in.
Stay with us. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for staying with us
After Republicans voted no on hurricane Sandy relief, a huge wave of
severe storms could have them in a real rough spot and a tough spot for
them to explain why they voted the way they did. You see, on Wednesday a
1,000-mile stretch of dangerous storms swept across the East Coast, all the
way from Georgia to Vermont. The storms caused severe flooding, high
winds, power outages, tornadoes, and left two people dead. Twenty
tornadoes were confirmed in eight different states.
But Georgia, the good old state of Georgia, was hit the hardest. A
massive tornado rolled through the town of Adairsville, Georgia, leaving
roughly 100 homes destroyed in the area. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal
declared a state of emergency for counties affected by the storm. And
there are currently 21,000 customers right now without power in that state.
My heart goes out to these folks, to have no power, to be
inconvenienced like that. It sucks.
But it`s important to point out Georgia might be in need of some
federal aid. And this could be -- you know, really put these Republican --
the Republican delegation from this part of the country in kind of a tough
spot, because remember, both Georgia senators, Saxby Chambliss and also
Johnny Isakson, voted against hurricane relief for Sandy victims.
And besides Congressman Jack Kingston, every single House Republican
from Georgia voted against helping the Northeast in their time of need.
Pretty heartless move, don`t you think? Well, things sure turn around,
Republicans voting against Sandy aid and slowing down the process had
members of congress from the northeastern portion of this country outraged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Over two decades, the Congress
has looked at these set of disasters and said it`s an emergency. But when
it comes to the northeast, somehow it`s not an emergency.
I can`t look at the face of a fellow New Jerseyan and say, I still
can`t tell you what the government will do to get you back in your home.
And I would suggest to any of my colleagues that you wouldn`t want to look
at the face of your citizens and have to be in the same position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senator Menendez of New Jersey is exactly right. The people
of Georgia and every state in this country deserve federal aid when a
disaster hits. But if Georgia does not end up needing federal aid, I think
every Georgia Republican who voted against Sandy relief should go to the
floor. I think Saxby Chambliss and also Johnny Isakson should go to the
floor and explain to the American people why their state deserves relief
right now, but the people in the northeast don`t deserve their vote.
Explain that one.
You see, we have become so callous and so focused on money in our
society and in our government, we really aren`t our brother`s keeper
anymore. If a storm comes your way, as far as the Republicans are
concerned, you`re just SOL.
There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us. We`re right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: The good news is our principles are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Another big-time Republican gets busted calling Medicare and
Social Security recipients moochers. Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe and
David Corn on why the 47 percent is more than a talking point for the GOP.
An Applebee`s waitress gets stiffed on a tip and then gets fired for
complaining about it. You`re not going to believe this story.
And in center left America, it is no longer OK to be a homophobe in an
NFL locker room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let all LGBT teens know that it gets better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Coming up, we`ve got the story that`s burning up media week
at the Super Bowl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are 47 percent
of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right,
there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government,
who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a
responsibility to care for them, who believe that they`re entitled to
health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And of course those were the remarks that sunk Mitt Romney`s
campaign. Yet instead of distancing himself from the language Romney used,
the Republican party is basically embracing it. The new GOP messaging is
just like the old GOP messaging. And the party`s newest messenger is
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli.
Cuccinnelli is a rising star in the Republican party and he`s running
for governor in the state of Virginia. The "Washington Post" got a hold of
Cuccinnelli`s forthcoming book and noted that the Tea Party favorite is
adapting Romney`s views, attacking a culture of dependency and the
politicians who he believes enable it.
"One of their favorite ways to increase their power is by creating
programs that dispense subsidized government benefits such as Medicare,
Social Security, and outright welfare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, subsidized
housing, and the like. These programs make people dependent on government.
And once people are dependent, they feel they can`t afford to have the
programs taken away, no matter how inefficient, poorly run, or costly to
the rest of society."
Yet Cuccinnelli tells the "Washington Post" he`s not trying to
disparage people. "This isn`t a single vote" -- "there isn`t a single vote
in Virginia that I`m not going after," he says. Of course, he`s just
following the advice that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal dispensed to the
party last week.
But despite Jindal`s weak rebranding effort, the GOP`s policies
haven`t changed. Nor has the ideology. And that was the larger issue with
Romney`s 47 percent comments and with Paul Ryan`s makers versus takers
argument. As Greg Sargent of the "Washington Post" puts it, "there has
been a great deal of chatter among Republicans lately that they don`t
really need to change their ideas; they merely need to change their tone.
But as Cuccinnelli`s comments demonstrate, the ideas are the tone."
Let`s turn to our panel tonight. MSNBC political analyst Richard
Wolffe is with us. Also Howard Fineman of the "Huffington Post" and David
Corn of "Mother Jones." Gentlemen, great to have you with us.
SCHULTZ: What`s that deal about here`s the old boss, meet the new
boss? We`ve just got to put the sign on the front door a little
David, what do you make of this? Cuccinnelli, the rising star, not
backing off from anything Mitt Romney said or did. What do you think?
DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES": Well, this is one reason why the 47
percent tape was so potent, because people saw that it showed Mitt Romney
in 67 seconds speaking candidly about how he believed and I think about how
a lot of people in his position in the Republican party on the right also
believe. You know, the speech that Paul Ryan gave at the convention, which
is very Ayn Randian, he talked about the government trying to get people
And this comes up again and again. It`s a very dark, conspiratorial
view. You and everyone on this panel have been around lots of liberal
Democratic members of the Congress and elsewhere. And I have yet to hear
one say, you know what, if we can just make people more dependent and turn
them into parasites, we`ll do better on election day.
I mean, it just isn`t the way it happens.
SCHULTZ: Doesn`t this, in a sense, really make it easier for
whoever`s going to end up running against Cuccinnelli in Virginia? I think
his name is Terry McAuliffe?
Richard Wolffe, what do you make of this? Isn`t this another silver
platter for the Democratic opponent?
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, look, it`s bad
politics. It`s bad policy. And by the way, you know, it would fit into
Bobby Jindal`s characterization of this is the stupid party. You know,
this is an old storyline for Republicans. He`s tapping into some very old
narratives about people on welfare.
And that`s how -- you know, somehow Democrats are busing people to
vote, buying up votes. We`re really talking about the inner cities. We`re
talking about African-Americans here. There are lots of code words that
might work for Cuccinnelli among a Virginia Tea Party audience. But it`s
not going to speak to the bigger things voters are looking for. How does
it speak to people`s aspirations? How does it speak to people`s attempt to
get into the middle class, to get themselves out of being in the working
poor, or cement their position in the working class?
And that`s where it`s bad politics, as well as a miscalculation about
what makes this country work.
SCHULTZ: Howard, how does this Cuccinnelli get away from these
comments and rebrand himself in any way, shape, or form?
HOWARD FINEMAN, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Well, he`s not going to, Ed.
First of all, you`ve got two fantastic political analysts who have already
spoken, David and Richard. So I`m going to do something I don`t usually
do, which is vent.
Who are the takers and who are the makers, Ed? Is Chris Christie a
taker? Are the people on the Jersey Shore takers? Not makers? Are the
people in Connecticut and on Staten Island, who were devastated by Sandy,
takers and not makers? The Congress of the United States, over the last
couple months, just voted about 60 or 70 billion dollars to repair the
devastation in the New York Metropolitan Area, from New Jersey up to
And I guarantee you that a lot of people who enjoyed the Jersey Shore
or a lot of people who lived on Staten Island might, under other
circumstances, find a message like Ken Cuccinnelli`s somewhat appealing,
about the takers in American society, about how the people who become
dependent on government. But then when disaster struck, the whole rest of
the country, through the congress, weren`t takers or makers. They were
givers. Because this is one country and this is a place where people get
together when necessary.
Now, that was one event and one disaster. But the whole idea of what
federal programs are about are not about makers and takers. They`re about
giving everybody a chance.
SCHULTZ: They sure are.
FINEMAN: That was the speech that President Obama gave in the
inauguration. And Cuccinnelli and all the others can try to play this
game. It`s a loser. Paul Ryan, by the way, who I saw the other night at a
dinner -- I said what are you up to? What are you looking at? What do you
want to do this time around? And he talked about -- he said he wanted to
look at poverty and see what he could do about poverty.
I actually think that -- this may sound silly to you, but Paul Ryan`s
a smart enough politician to know that he made a big mistake talking about
takers and makers in 2012.
SCHULTZ: No question about it.
FINEMAN: And he`s not going to repeat it. Cuccinnelli can repeat it.
Paul Ryan`s not going to.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, let`s talk about Chuck Hagel. I was surprised at
how Republicans threw another Republican under the bus today, especially
the exchange between McCain and Chuck Hagel. Howard, what did you think of
FINEMAN: Well, I think there`s a lot of Republican resentment about
Hagel. And I will say this: I think the administration, if they want to
protect Chuck Hagel, they`d better come out and do it right away. I think
he had a pretty rough time, unfairly so in many respects. He`s talking
about a new world that we know exists. You can beat up on Chuck Hagel all
you want. I think the basic propositions that Hagel is putting forth are
probably pretty unassailable.
But Hagel himself was on the defensive a lot today. And if the
administration really wants him, they`d better back him and they`d better
back him really fast and furious.
SCHULTZ: Richard, I thought he showed a great deal of composure.
Really took the high road when he was being attacked.
WOLFFE: Look, there`s a lot of personal animus there from John McCain
to his old friend. They went out campaigning against each other. Look,
they may have split on the question of the surge in Iraq, but the problem
for John McCain is he was the biggest -- one of the biggest advocates for
invading Iraq. And so John McCain might want to try and whitewash the
whole experience and pretend like it was all a great thing for America.
But, you know, when you look back at it, Chuck Hagel got the overall
analysis right. This was the biggest foreign policy disaster since
Vietnam, where they both served. It`s very personal.
SCHULTZ: David, your thoughts.
CORN: John McCain wants to start the conversation of Iraq at the
surge and not before that. And hell has no fury like McCain`s scorn. It
was very personal. It was very bitter. And he really was kind of a bully.
He got back to his old crotchety man routine, after having a few days in
the bright sun on immigration reform.
But I agree with Howard. I think that Chuck Hagel did not fend very
well those attacks. And they`re going to have to come out really clearly
in the next day or two to make up for that.
SCHULTZ: All right. David Corn, Howard Fineman, Richard Wolffe,
great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for your time.
Coming up, if you`ve worked in the food service industry before,
you`ve probably been stiffed on a tip one time or another. But you won`t
believe the excuse one customer got caught using. We`ll show you that
next. It`s amazing.
SCHULTZ: Beyonce belts out the "Star Spangled Banner" live at a Super
Bowl news conference ten days after lip synching the National Anthem at
President Obama`s Second Inauguration. And that`s what many of you were
talking about tonight on Facebook and Twitter.
Greg White says, "the haters are mad because Willard lost and Meatloaf
didn`t torture the National Anthem at the Inauguration."
And Ronald Brim writes, "if Republicans can`t fake governance, Beyonce
can do whatever she likes."
Go to our Facebook page right now and join and in on the discussion.
And don`t forget to like THE ED SHOW when you`re there. We appreciate
Still to come, NFL players are speaking out after one Super Bowl bound
star`s controversial remarks. Former NFL player Wade Davis joins me to
discuss the league`s changing attitude toward gay athletes. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: Imagine this. You`re a waitress. You make a base salary of
3.50 dollars an hour and depend on tips for income. Tips are great, aren`t
they? You share them with your co-workers in many places. And after all
is said and done, you average about nine dollars an hour before taxes.
It`s a situation many Americans find themselves in the working place in the
And anyone who has spent time at all in the food service industry has
a story or two over the years to tell about being stiffed on a tip. This
story might make you lose a little bit of faith. Earlier this week Chelsea
Welch, an Applebee`s employee, took to social media site Readit -- Reddit
to show a photo of a receipt left by a St. Louis pastor, Alois Bell.
According to Welch, the worker, the pastor and her party of, I should say
20, ran up more than 200 dollars worth of food, but weren`t feeling so
charitable when it came time to pay.
The pastor crossed out the automatic 18 percent gratuity charge for
groups larger than eight and wrote "I give God 10 percent. Why do you get
18?" To emphasize her point, a big zero and "pastor" above the signature.
The post immediately went viral online, which is when Welch says
Pastor Bell called her Applebee`s employer and demanded everyone working
there that night be fired. As a result, Chelsea Welch, she was laid off.
She was laid off. In a statement by Applebee`s they said, "our guests`
personal information, including their meal check, is private. And neither
Applebee`s nor its franchises have a right to share this information
publicly. We value our guests` trust above all else."
As Welch told the "Consumerist," Applebee`s "made it clear that they
would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer." As
for Pastor Bell, she claims to have left money on the table and is calling
the whole thing a lapse in judgment that has just been blown out of
proportion. I`d like to think the good pastor has learned her lesson at
But it`s worth remembering the following tip from the good book. It`s
called the golden rule: do unto others as you would want to have them do
unto you. And if you don`t want to pay your waiter or waitress a tip, then
don`t go out to eat. These people work really, really hard to get stiffed
at any job any day in the service industry.
Tonight in our survey, I asked do Republicans want a defense secretary
who would lead us into more wars? Ninety seven percent of you said yes;
three percent of you said no.
Up next, a Super Bowl contender is forced to tackle a serious social
issue. Find out why this player`s apology could be a sign of serious
change for the National Football League. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: In the Big Finish tonight, we`ve been talking a lot lately
about America becoming a center-left country. We`re just days away from
the Super Bowl. And the NFL is trying to adjust to the politics of its
fans. And it`s a little painful to watch.
Here`s the guy at the center of the controversy this week, 49Ers
defensive back -- he plays the corner -- Chris Culliver, told an
interviewer that gay players shouldn`t be in the locker room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about gay guys? Have any of them approached
CHRIS CULLIVER, NFL PLAYER: No. I don`t do the gay guys, man. I
don`t do that, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any on the 49ers?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Coach Jim Harbaugh had a chat with Culliver. So today,
Super Bowl media day turned into Culliver`s personal apology tour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you welcome a homosexual teammate?
CULLIVER: If it is, then it is. You know. Everybody`s treated
equally in our locker room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think you said those things?
CULLIVER: Like I said, just -- just something that was just in a
joking manner. But like I said, definitely nothing that I feel in my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Culliver might believe there are no gay NFL players, but
statistically he`s probably wrong. The latest research finds that 3.4
percent of Americans call themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
So if you`ve got 55 guys on a roster, at least two of them could be gay, if
you go by the percentages. 49Ers safety Donte Whitner says Culliver
clearly made a mistake.
Whitner told reporters today, "who knows? There could be somebody gay
in our locker room right now that`s scared to come out, which he has a
right to be because of the other players on the team, the way they might
Whitner says Culliver should have been more sensitive. Quote,
"there`s probably a large amount of people who come to Candlestick Park who
are gay. It`s just a mistake. And I know he wishes he could take it
This picture of two 49er fans kissing made the "Sports Illustrated"
Super Bowl issue. It`s a sign the culture is changing.
Joining me tonight is Wade Davis, former NFL player and a human rights
activist. Wade, good to have you with us tonight.
WADE DAVIS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Thank you so much for having me.
SCHULTZ: What happened here? Is there animosity towards gay people
in the NFL amongst the players? Or did this player just misspeak?
DAVIS: I think that Chris made a mistake. There`s probably a few
players who may have issues with a gay teammate, but I think the majority
of guys are inclusive.
SCHULTZ: Is it hard to be gay in the NFL?
DAVIS: I would believe so. It`s a masculine space. There are a lot
of people who believe that gay men can`t play sports. So yes.
SCHULTZ: And what should the 49ers do, if anything?
DAVIS: I think first thing that the 49ers should do is make sure that
Chris, you know, apologizes, as he did. But also do some work in the
community. You know, partner with an organization where he can have the
firsthand knowledge of how his language hurts you.
SCHULTZ: Now, you were with three NFL teams, the Redskins, the
Seahawks, and the Titans. And as a gay American, did you feel at any time
that you should come out and say who you are and what you do?
DAVIS: I never had the courage to come out, but it wasn`t because of
anything that the NFL did. It was something that I believed as a child
that I could never be a gay athlete. You know, so it was something that I
just wished that I had the courage to actually do.
SCHULTZ: Was it hard for you to be in that environment?
DAVIS: I was so focused on playing the game of football, it wasn`t
hard. But when I was outside of the football spaces, in my own silence, it
was definitely harder then.
SCHULTZ: How do you think you would have been accepted if other
players knew you were gay?
DAVIS: I`ve had players who were my teammates who have been amazing.
So I`m going to trust what they said, that they would have accepted me.
SCHULTZ: Do you think we`ll see NFL players come out?
DAVIS: I think you`ll see it in the next two to four years. I think
you`ll probably see it first in the NHL, with the influx of European and
Canadian players first.
SCHULTZ: Do you think management and coaches would accept gay players
in that environment?
DAVIS: I definitely think so. And the NFL`s doing stuff right now
about diversity and inclusiveness that are kind of changing the
conversation. And we should thank Chris for his comments, because when
else would gay rights issues be being discussed before the biggest game of
DAVIS: The biggest game of the year. The coach wants his team
focused, not talking about stuff like this.
DAVIS: But we`re thankful that Chris did that.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. No doubt. Wade Davis, thanks for coming in tonight.
DAVIS: Thank you for having me.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time. Thank you so much. That is THE ED
SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. Thank you very much.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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