The Ed Show for Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
March 12, 2013
Guests: Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Joseph Crowley, James Hoffa, Richard Wolffe, Jonathan Alter, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW form New York.
My favorite senator has a plan to protect the big three. And tonight,
I have a major announcement that will have America buzzing tomorrow.
This is THE ED SHOW. Let`s get to work.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: It is morally wrong and
economically bad policy to balance the budget on the backs of those people
who are already hurting.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Bernie Sanders has had enough. He`s
threatening a filibuster on the grand bargain to protect the big three.
SANDERS: It`s greed -- reckless, uncontrollable greed. It`s almost
like a disease.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders brings us his
Democratic plan to protect the middle class.
Plus, there`s a radical takeover of city government in America`s
heartland. James Hoffa is outraged and here to react.
The big soda ban debate heats up in New York City.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK CITY: Seventy thousand
Americans will die from obesity, 5,000 here in New York.
SCHULTZ: The most obese state in the nation is not impressed and
they`re fighting back with loads of food.
The big panel weighs in on the Southern food fight and much more.
Ted Cruz brings back Mitt Romney`s worst nightmare.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think it was two words: 47 percent.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee tells us why Cruz has no
right to use those words.
And THE ED SHOW is making a major announcement. It is guaranteed to
have you talking tomorrow. You don`t want to miss it.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
Well, warning, here we go. It`s the beginning of the big cave. At
least that`s what I think. And I`m afraid of this.
Today, President Obama met with Senate Democrats, all part of the
latest effort to reach a grand bargain.
Where was -- during the election, this big conversation, "Hey, we just
have to get this grand bargain with these Republicans. This is why you
have to vote for me. I`ve got to have this grand bargain"?
We go to war, we don`t pay for it. We do big pharma, we don`t pay for
it. We do tax cuts, we don`t figure what it`s going to do to the economy.
But you, you might have to pay for it.
There is one senator prepared to filibuster to protect the big three -
- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Senator Bernie Sanders will join
me in just a moment.
But President Obama, he went to Capitol Hill today for a closed door
meeting with the Democrats.
Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, she revealed a plan with new
revenue and spending cuts -- nearly $1 trillion each over the next 10
years. President Obama will meet with both parties on Capitol Hill over
the next two days.
Meanwhile, Chairman Paul Ryan over on the House unveiled his budget
plan today. And listen carefully to how Ryan describes Republican
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: The most important question isn`t how
we balance the budget, but why. A budget is a means to an end. An end is
the wellbeing of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The most important question is actually the reverse. The
most important question is how we balance the budget and making sure that
we don`t balance it on the backs of middle class Americans who put the
Democrats in power in the White House and in the Senate.
Congressman Ryan also made an unfortunate slip in discussing health
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: This to us is something we`re not going to give up on because
we`re not going to give up on destroying the health care system for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That`s an instant classic. We`re not going to giving up on
destroying the health care system for the American people. You believe
Chairman Ryan`s plan to repeal Obamacare has already been panned by
one FOX News host. Another FOX host took aim at Ryan`s budget today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS: Paul Ryan is saying his idea in his budget
is to eliminate Obamacare, that`s not practical. Even though you might
want it, the Supreme Court has spoken. That`s never going to fly.
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: Well, I raised the same point yesterday.
I think you`re exactly right. How would he factor this in?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Maybe Paul Ryan doesn`t understand the process. Who knows?
Meanwhile, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee says the Ryan
plan doesn`t contain any olive branches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: This doesn`t budge an inch.
This is totally an uncompromising approach to the budget because it`s a
totally lopsided approach to the budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, the Republicans aren`t going to budge at all in the
House, and they, of course, can stop everything. It`s just what we`ve been
talking about here for a long time.
So, no new revenue. They`ve said that all along and now, Van Hollen,
his analysis is that well, no budging at all.
Now, this brings us back to President Obama`s bargaining position,
don`t you think. The president reportedly wants a grand bargain by the end
of July, according to an official, President Obama`s message to Republicans
will be, "We can compromise without you folding on the values, fundamental
to your policy perspective."
And his message to Democrats is going to be similar: "We`ll be able to
compromise without giving up on everything we believe in"? You mean we
have to get up on something, Mr. President? Just because we went to war
and then pay for it?
Another senior administration official said that President Obama will
be very pragmatic and that scares me. He says President Obama is willing
to change the formula for how benefits under Social Security, Medicare and
other programs are calculated, chained CPI in exchange for higher taxes?
Keep in mind the senator, this senator made a big slash filibustering
13 hours over an issue answered with one sentence.
If the big three are threatened by a grand bargain, it might be time
for a filibuster over something that really matters.
Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: do you want Bernie Sanders, the senator,
independent from Vermont, to filibuster to protect the big three? Text A
for yes, text B for you to 67622. You can go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com,
and, of course, we`ll bring you the results later in the show.
I`m almost starting to get the feeling I`ve got a very unpopular
position here that we should protect the big three at all costs because
that`s what this election was all about. It`s about making the wealthiest
Americans pay more, but to get them to pay more, we have to cut into the
middle class and elderly who didn`t cause these financial problems. I
don`t buy it.
Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
The question of the hour -- are you prepared to filibuster if it goes
to the big three?
SANDERS: Well, I am prepared to work with other progressives to do
everything we can to make sure that the budget is not balanced on a
collapsing middle class and on 46 million people who are living poverty and
on many elderly people who are barely keeping their heads above water
Look, Ed, the position that you and I have talked about forever is the
position that the vast majority of the American people support. They
understand large corporations are seeing record breaking profits and yet,
one out of four profitable corporations pays zero in taxes, losing $100
billion a year from these corporations and wealthy individuals offshoring
their profits in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Do you think there`s any state where people would want to cut Social
Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or close those loopholes?
SCHULTZ: Well, don`t you think the president knows that? I mean,
what you`re saying is basic stuff to the point. It`s been verified by the
American people. Where`s the president? Why would he consider this?
SANDERS: Well, we chatted about that a little this afternoon.
And on top of that, you got every senior organization, you got AFL-
CIO, you got every veteran`s organization, you got the National
Organization of Women, saying do not go for a chained CPI, which will make
devastating cuts, not just on seniors who are on Social Security, Ed, let`s
not forget and I speak as chairman of the Veterans Committee disabled vets.
Do you want a cut benefits for disabled vets, men and women who have lost
their legs in Iraq and Afghanistan or their widows? I don`t think we do.
SCHULTZ: Do you think Democrats will mount the charge and send a
strong message and generate support across the country to stop this?
SANDERS: Well, I am going to do everything I can. We now have a new
petition up on our Web site, Sanders.Senate.gov. I`m prepared to go around
the country to raise the issue that the vast majority of the people
What about Medicare means-testing?
SANDERS: I don`t agree with that and I`ll tell you why, because once
you start saying, you know, it`s very easy to say, you know, Warren Buffett
doesn`t really need Medicare. Warren Buffett should pay more.
Once you`re into that, your right wing Republicans will do away with
the universality of Medicare and what they will do is over a period of
time, make it into a welfare program or voucherizing.
I think we do best when we progressively pay for these programs rather
than have cuts in there for wealthier people.
SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, you feel like a lot of
people in this country are counting on you. This election was not about
going after the big three. This election was not about that anywhere in
any Democratic circles.
It pains me to say it, but President Obama really could be the
president to start the undoing of the New Deal? Wow.
SANDERS: We`ve all got to work together to make sure that does not
SCHULTZ: OK. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
Let`s turn now to Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California and
Congressman Joseph Crowley of New York, who is in the House Ways and Means
Maxine, your reaction to what you are hearing tonight and what you
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, first of all, let me just
say this, that Bernie Sanders is somebody we can count on. I`ve worked
with him over here on the House side. He`s a good progressive and I know
he`ll stand up for seniors. He will be fighting to make sure that we do
not decimate Medicaid or we do change Medicare as we know it, and protect
our seniors with Social Security.
And I stand with him and others who have signed on to petition, who
have made it very, very clear we`re not going for any cuts or any changes.
These are the most vulnerable people in our society.
WATERS: And they deserve to have our support.
And all of the polls say that they do not want us to have chained CPI.
They don`t want us to have vouchers, they don`t want us to block --
SCHULTZ: But the president thinks -- the president seems to think he
has to give some of that up to get revenue. Is it worth it?
WATERS: Well, you know, I know that negotiations take place, but this
president was re-elected by the people because they have faith in him.
That he will stand up, not only for the least of these, but stand up for
what is right.
We know this old budget that Ryan has put out is the same old budget
that he had last year. It has not changed and it does the same thing. It
decimates Medicaid. It undermines Medicare and, of course, we don`t want
the president offering up a chained CPI for Social Security when that`s not
even in Ryan budget. So --
SCHULTZ: Congressman Crowley, you heard Chris Van Hollen. His
analysis is there is no wiggle room at all in this budget.
And if that`s going to be the blueprint for the Republicans in the
House, where`s this going to end up? You`re in Ways and Means.
REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: Well, I think it`s interesting,
Ed. It`s as if the election never took place. We have a regurgitation of
almost an identical budget, but a few changes here and there.
But, you know, I want to remind Mr. Ryan and the Republican Party that
the American people rejected a similar budget in that last election. The
state of Wisconsin, Paul Ryan`s home state, rejected that budget. His
hometown rejected that budget when they supported the president.
So, I think we have to stop you know, these shenanigans as though is
the budget --
SCHULTZ: But, Congressman, we need to get to a deal and the
fundamentals of the deal is that the president wants a grand bargain. He`s
not going to get a grand bargain unless he chips away at the very things
that the American people want him to protect.
CROWLEY: Ed, a budget is about not only numbers, a budget is about a
vision for America.
And the Republicans continue to not have a vision. There`s not a
mention of jobs, maybe outside the preamble of this budget. There`s
nothing about job growth and that`s what the American people are desperate
They see the stock market at 14,500 points. Yet, it doesn`t reflect
itself in job growth in this country. People are out of work. They want
to know what this government is doing for them to get them back to work.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Waters, could the Congressional Black Caucus
send a strong message to President Obama that he`s in dangerous waters
dealing with the Republicans when he wants to give up something on the big
WATERS: Well, as you know, many of the members of the Congressional
Black Caucus have signed on to letters and petitions that basically says to
the president, do not block-grant Medicaid, do not turn Medicare into a
voucher program, do not mess with Social Security.
We`re very clear for the most part. We represent constituencies that
have been very clear with us. They have not only petitioned us and urged
us to fight for them, but this is what we do. This is why we`re here.
This is why they sent us here.
WATERS: To stand up for them.
And so, our message to the president and everybody else is very, very
SCHULTZ: Here`s Paul Ryan plan basically lip service to the needs of
the poor. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: But the people who a debt crisis hurts the most are the poor,
the elderly, the people who need government the most. They`re the ones who
get hurt the first and the worst in the debt crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Quickly. Congressman Crowley, your response to that.
CROWLEY: Well, it`s interesting to hear him trying to protect the
poor. What I would suggest and I think Maxine would agree as would Bernie.
It was the Democratic Party, Democratic Congress, Democratic president,
that created the big three. And it will be a Democratic Congress and
president that will protect the big three. I`m convinced of that.
CROWLEY: And I know Maxine and Bernie are dedicated to that as I am
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate having you
both on. Maxine Waters and Joseph Crowley, thanks so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question at the bottom of the screen.
Share your thoughts wit us on Twitter @Show and on Facebook. We`re always
looking for your comments.
Tonight, I have a major announcement about a story that will have this
country talking for days to come.
SCHULTZ: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg`s attempt to ban large
sodas has one state fighting to keep big government away from their big
gulps. The big panel hops in on that one tonight.
And America`s newest Tea Party senator is talking about the 47
percent. You`re going to want to see this one.
You can listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio Channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook
and on Twitter using #EdShow.
We`re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s get brilliant on the basics here when it
comes to democracy. Your city, you elect a mayor to handle your city`s
finances, to oversee the schools, and the police force, public services.
Now, imagine the mayor`s powers were taken away by the state
government. The state government puts in an emergency manager in charge of
your city and that person has the power to overrule the city council who
are locally elected. They could kill collective bargaining agreements,
throw out union contracts, actually change any agreement. Close or
privatize entire departments and sell off city assets.
That scenario is being played out in five cities and three school
districts across the state of Michigan, in the middle of the country.
This is our infrastructure crumbling. The city of Detroit might be
the next to go.
Earlier this month, Republican Governor Rick Snyder announced his
intention to appoint an emergency manager to oversee Detroit because I
guess they didn`t know what the hell they were doing. So, today, the city
got a chance to fight back.
So, the officials pleaded with state authorities for more time to
implement changes. Snyder is expected to reject the appeal, a decision
with big implications.
If Detroit receives an emergency manager, a little less than half of
the state`s African-American population will be governed by unelected
leaders. People who will be appointed to make things right no matter what
the people say.
Now, don`t get me wrong. We all know that Detroit has got some big
issues, big problems. The city is now a shadow of itself. Less than half
the size it was decades ago, but isn`t that an opportunity for progress?
Nearly two in five residents live in poverty, that`s right, here in
America. And after decades of mismanagement and bad decisions, Detroit has
a cash crisis on its hands and a staggering long-term debt problem.
And as "The New York Times" reports, by pushing costs into the future
while its population is shrinking, Detroit has left the people least able
to pay with the biggest share of the bills. As one consultant put it,
Detroit is a microcosm of what`s going on in America. It will come to a
town towards you, somebody. That`s my ad lib.
Expect America can still print money and borrow. That`s right. You
see, the United States, we can print it, we can borrow it, to get ourselves
out of debt on a federal level, but Detroit doesn`t have the liberty or the
wherewithal to do that.
So we`ll just send people in, circumvent local elections, take the
power away from the local people and we`ll just run it the way we want to.
Is that America? It is now. Is it democracy? Hell no.
Let`s turn to James Hoffa, general president of the Teamsters.
Mr. Hoffa, good to have you with us tonight.
JAMES HOFFA, TEAMSTERS: Good to be here.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of what`s going on here?
HOFFA: Well, it`s incredible. You know, the background also is that
there was proposition 1 in November where the people of the state of
Michigan voted to end emergency financial officer. It took it off. It`s
Snyder Schneider came back, the Republican governor came back in a
lame duck session and put the bill back in and then turned around, went
right after Detroit.
Detroit is mostly African-American. They voted for Obama and, all of
a sudden, they`re in the sights of this guy. It`s unbelievable.
Instead of working with Detroit to make it, get it through the crisis
it`s in right now, they`re going to set up an emergency financial manager
that`s going to come in and take out the elected officials, going to take
out the mayor. It`s going to avoid collective bargaining agreements. It`s
going to avoid the city council and all the people that are elected.
And instead of doing what has to be done is collect the money that`s
owed, there is millions of dollars in traffic tickets that haven`t been
collected, real estate taxes. Let`s do that.
Then, why isn`t the state helping us instead of hurting us? But,
right now, there`s no democracy there. They`re coming after us and it`s
going to be a disaster, and it is going to happen. But most importantly, I
think, the people in the state of Michigan said no financial manager and he
came right back and did it. That`s something that`s been lost in this
SCHULTZ: So, what is the solution here? You just mentioned traffic
tickets -- and can the city be managed into a profitable situation?
HOFFA: I think they basically have to have this helping the state, the
federal government, but there are tons of money that haven`t been
collected. They don`t even know where the traffic tickets are. They`re
not collecting traffic tickets. There`s millions of dollars in real estate
taxes that are due that haven`t been collected. They`ve got to organize to
start doing that.
But the idea of taking out and getting rid of democracy, getting rid
of the mayor, getting rid of the city council, voiding collective
bargaining agreements is not the answer. There`s a way to manage Detroit
and it`s not what he`s doing, especially since the people of the state of
Michigan said they do not want the emergency financial.
SCHULTZ: Some business leaders view this as a positive move for
Detroit. What`s your response?
HOFFA: absolutely not. We`ve got to basically keep Detroit what it
is and this is going to be a trend right now. And especially you know, in
the light of the fact he`s really going against the state of Michigan
because the lame duck session of a Republican House and Senate basically is
not the people of the state of Michigan.
What he does, he comes back, he fights what the people have said and
said we`re going to have this. And then basically shoves it down the
throat of the people of Detroit. I think we`ve got to basically -- let`s
do what got to be done, let`s collect the taxes and let`s get Detroit
moving again and get some good people in there.
SCHULTZ: You said something about the federal government. You think
the federal government should get involved here and float assistance to
HOFFA: Absolutely. They bailed out -- look at TARP. We bailed
corporations when they were in trouble. This is a major city. And why
wouldn`t they come in here and do loans like they did for all the big
SCHULTZ: What about every city in America?
HOFFA: Well, if they have trouble, I think we should do that. But we
can`t make it everywhere. We want people to do the right thing. They want
people to manage the city`s properly, if there`s enough income.
But where there`s a crisis like Detroit, if we have TARP, if we have
bailed out all the big corporations and big banks on Wall Street, why can`t
we help a city like the city of Detroit?
SCHULTZ: OK. You`re here in New York to discuss equal pay for school
safety agents. Tells us about that.
HOFFA: Well, it`s unbelievable what`s going on here. We have over
5,000 members of the Teamsters union here basically who are working very
hard in the schools.
They`re the school safety agents. And they`re out there basically
making sure that they`re taking away guns. They`re taking away machetes.
They`re taking away clubs from kids. And they are paid $5,000 less than
similar people, similarly situated that are in, that are basically called
And what we want to do is to talk about that inequality between the
SCHULTZ: Why are they not paid as much?
HOFFA: Well, it`s just be -- because we don`t have the collective
bargaining power to collect that situation. And what`s happening is the
people are basically female and Latinos and people of that type and the
other people are male. So there`s a disparity between the way people --
SCHULTZ: There`s discrimination here?
HOFFA: Discrimination, you know, based on gender. And we`re bringing
a Title VII lawsuit to correct that in the courts.
SCHULTZ: OK. Mr. Hoffa, good to have you with us. Thanks for your
HOFFA: Great to be here.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Mississippi is fighting to keep their label as the most obese state in
the nation. The big panel takes a bit out of that one, next.
And next, a major announcement.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Blockbuster time. Pay attention. Mitt Romney is back in the public
eye. The former presidential candidate celebrated his 66th birthday today
and he`s speaking at the CPAC convention later this week.
But no matter what Mitt Romney does for the rest of his life, he will
probably always be remembered for this. A fund raising dinner back in May
of 2012 and at this dinner, Mitt Romney said that really what he really
thinks about the 47 percent of Americans. Romney said 47 percent of
Americans believe that they are victims. He said they depend upon
government. He said it`s not his job to worry about these people. And if
Mitt Romney had his way, no one would have heard these comments whatsoever.
But thanks to one man, the world saw the real Mitt Romney. One man
recorded a video that changed the course of the election in 2012. One man
who I had a chance to talk to today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How big a decision was it for you to release the tape and to
go through all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was tough and I debated for a little while.
And you know -- but in the end, I really felt like it had to be put out. I
felt I owed it to the people that couldn`t afford to be there themselves to
hear what he really thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That`s right, folks. This is the man who shot the secret
fund raiser video of Mitt Romney. It`s the first time his voice is being
heard in a public setting. Tomorrow night, exclusively here on THE ED
SHOW, you will see his face. He will tell you his name. He will explain
the full story of the 47 percent video.
Tomorrow night, you will meet the man who changed political history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: In case you hadn`t noticed, I
watch my diet. This is not for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The soda ban debate rages on in New York City.
Sarah Palin declares victory. And Mississippi moves to increase their
record obesity rate. The big panel weighs in on this and more.
And Ted Cruz thinks he knows why Mitt Romney lost the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think it was two words, 47 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee will tell us why Mitt Romney
SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight. Big Panel coming up.
Now the nation`s first ban on big drinks was supposed to go into effect
today. But a judge blocked it. And some Republicans are bubbling with
New York City, of course, tried to cap the size of sugary drinks, but
a judge said the law couldn`t be applied fairly. Sarah Palin, of course,
she got into the action. She Tweeted "victory in New York City for liberty
loving soda drinkers. To politicians with too much time on their hands, I
say, government, stay out of my refrigerator."
The mayor doesn`t want to regulate anyone`s fridge. Bloomberg
compares regulating sugary drinks to regulating smoking. One study shows
that for the first time in world history, more people will die of obesity
related illnesses than of hunger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLOOMBERG: It was not a setback for me. This was a setback for the
people who are dying. In case you hadn`t noticed, I watch my diet. This
is not for me. The cost of health care is running away with the budget.
And obesity is going to be one of the primary drivers if the current trend
continues. Just cannot afford it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, apparently Mississippi can afford it. And even though
the state has the highest obesity rate in the country, lawmakers passed the
Anti-Bloomberg Bill to stop cities from enforcing calorie counts on menus,
caps on portion sizes. And the bill keeps toys in kid`s males. The
governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
I`m joined tonight by Richard Wolffe, MSNBC.com executive, and Alex
Wagner, host of "NOW WITH ALEX WAGNER," at noon here on MSNBC, and Jonathan
Altar, all around good guy and "Bloomberg View." I`ve always wanted to say
that. And you, too, Richard. Alex, I won`t leave you out.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: I`ll take it.
SCHULTZ: Very talented panel here. Why should I even be here? All
right, why did Bloomberg take on this fight? And he really is trying -- in
the eyes of some, trying to dictate what people consume. Good or bad?
RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Public health, public
health policy has always been about trying to shift the pendulum in terms
of where the broad population is, whether it`s about clean water, safe
food, weights and measures. Government has traditionally played this kind
And you could say that smoking was just a matter of choice and
liberty. How much more American could it be than tobacco? Even before you
had white people coming to these shores, there was tobacco, right? But, in
fact, it`s bad for people`s health. Is that a role for government? Is it
a role that -- is he actually saying you cannot consume these kinds of soft
drinks and the kind of sugary calories? No. Anyone can do that.
You know, if a Republican, a moderate Republican says this is OK, then
Mississippi will come along down the line.
SCHULTZ: Alex, I remember on talk radio the fever pitched attitude
amongst the American people when we were told we had to put a seat belt on.
Then we went through the state decisions editions about, if you have a
motorcycle, you have to wear a helmet. Even the Nurse`s Association got
behind that because there were so many injuries and it was bringing up
health care costs. This is paralleling that, isn`t it?
WAGNER: That`s a really important point. The Mississippi case is
really interesting, insofar as it`s about -- the conservative argument for
a really long time has been about state`s rights versus federal rights.
And here is the governor of Mississippi saying, these states, districts,
counties, cannot take action to limit state`s -- citizens` consumption of
sugary foods or fatty foods or whatever.
At the same time, there`s pushback on the federal level. But at the
end of the day, taxpayers are going to be footed with the bill. So the
question is would you rather pay now or would you rather pay later. And
this is the problem for the Republican party on a number of issues. But
it`s about the long view versus the short view on this. And I think that
the Republican party can actually literally paint themselves into a corner
on this, on any number of arguments.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan, can the government stop people from getting fat?
JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": Actually, it can. Not any
individual, but public policy has consequences if it`s properly structured.
Look at how we`ve cut the consumption of cigarettes, the smoking of
cigarettes. By taxing something and regulating it, you can change
What I don`t think that the debate is focused enough on are the costs.
Everybody pays when somebody overweight, obese goes to the hospital with
diabetes. And this is the major cost that we face as a society. It`s at
the root of the entitlements debate. It`s all about rising health care
costs and rising health care costs, a big chunk of that is about one
And the sugar industry is hugely powerful. They work with these
Republicans who are against the so-called nanny state. And they make it
very hard for progressive social policy to move forward.
WAGNER: Can I also say something? There -- food is a really loaded
subject in America. It`s a cultural issue as much as a political issue as
much as it is an economic issue. And it`s something -- we all eat.
SCHULTZ: Because of how we produce it. There`s controversial
techniques being used in how we produce it.
WAGNER: But a battle of Coca-Cola, a can of Coca-Cola means something
to the American sort of cultural identity more than almost anything else
that we have. So this is a really freighted subject, at a time when
there`s a sense in this country about divisions, coastal elites, arugula
eating, you know, denizens of New York and Washington and the coast, versus
the Heartland, people who like Big Macs and Coca-Cola.
Whether or not that`s true, this argument I think is really -- it`s
emotionally loaded and freighted because of those -- because of the
cultural touchstones that are involved in this debate.
ALTER: Generally, you want to go with what`s called nudge -- the
nudge approach. Cas Weinstein (ph), who used to work in the White House,
came up with that, where you don`t actually compel different behavior. You
just encourage it in certain ways. And these regulations on the size of
soda serve somewhere between coercion and nudging, and so it`s subject of
reasonable debate. But the basic issue of trying to do something about
this problem should be beyond debate.
SCHULTZ: Does this end up in the halls of Congress?
WOLFFE: Probably. I mean, it`s going to go through the courts as
well. I just want to say, though, the American government has been
interfering in America food policy for decades now. Whether it`s
agricultural subsidies or military policy -- in times of war, the American
government has said, we think you should eat this, because we need a
healthy population with the resources we have.
Today, military leaders think that the recruits that come through the
door are not healthy enough. So, you know --
WOLFFE: A long tradition of American interference in what we eat.
Michael Bloomberg`s position is no more radical than what the United States
military did in the Second World War. In fact, it`s less so.
SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe, Alex Wagner, Jonathan Alter, great to have
you on tonight. Thank you so much.
WAGNER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: More on our ED SHOW exclusive next. And Ted Cruz is talking
about the 47 percent. Keep it here. We`re right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Has there been a time where you feared for your life?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was up against the most powerful and richest
people in the country. And it was certainly -- the stakes were pretty
high. And I knew that, you know, you never know what could happen.
Whether -- there`s nuts out there. There`s -- you just don`t know. I`ve
certainly had threats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And if you`re just joining me, that was the man who shot the
infamous 47 percent video of Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential
election. I had an exclusive opportunity to speak with him at length today
about the video, about how his life has changed, all the dynamics that
surrounded the whole thing.
And tomorrow night exclusively here on THE ED SHOW, this man will tell
his side of the story for the first time. You will find out who he is, why
he did it, how it happened, and how his life has changed. I think you`ll
be amazed at his story. It is remarkable.
Tonight in our survey, I asked you, do you want Senator Bernie Sanders
to filibuster to protect the big three? Ninety eight percent of you say
yes; two percent of you say no.
Coming up, Republicans still haven`t learned the lesson of the 2012
election. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joins me next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, the Republican party likes to
blame its failures on what they call a marketing problem? After the 2012
election, they launched a rebranding effort, claiming they just needed to
communicate a little bit better. Don`t be fooled. The rhetoric might be
different, but they`re selling the same old stale ideas that the public
Case in point, Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz is trying to
blame Republicans` failure to court Latino voters on the fallout from Mitt
Romney`s 47 percent comment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I think the reason why Republicans did so poorly in the
Hispanic community this last election was actually not primarily
immigration. I think it was two words, 47 percent. What I mean is the
narrative of the last election. The narrative of the last election was the
47 percent who are dependent on government, we don`t have to worry about
And I got to tell you, I can`t think of an idea that is more
antithetical to what we believe as conservatives and Americans than that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Cruz claims the GOP`s problem in the last election was the
narrative. But Cruz is recycling the same old garbage. He says the 47
percent who are dependent on government. By now, we all know he`s actually
referencing the 46.4 percent of American households that pay no -- that
would be zero federal income tax.
Republicans love to paint these folks as just absolute free loaders.
In reality, over 28 percent of those Americans paid payroll taxes. The
rest were mostly elderly or those with incomes under 20,000 dollars, which
is just over minimum wage.
Republicans need to accept the facts. They need to start rethinking
the policies voters rejected in 2012, and stop trying to rebrand them.
They`re trying to rebrand the public`s thinking about who they are. It`s
not going to work, but it is rather comical to watch.
Joining me tonight, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.
Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Ed, it is good to be with you and
SCHULTZ: If this is the conversation on the right, if this is the
conversation in Republican circles, that it was just the narrative, and
that they`ve just got a messaging problem, where does that leave the
Democrats going into the midterms?
JACKSON LEE: In a very good position because it underestimates the
intelligence, the knowledge and the interests in improving their lives of
the people who are lumped together in the 47 percent. They`re not looking
at narratives. They`re looking at facts. They`re looking at
And what they see and they saw in the 2012 election was a sharp
contrast, those who are going to condemn and those who are going to lead to
a pathway of opportunity. Veterans benefits, opportunities for higher
education for our veterans, children`s health insurance, dollars for the
disabled, Social Security solvent, Medicare solvent, and of course a view
toward the future.
If you`re a single mother, it`s not whether you have a narrative and
whether you`re seeking your vote. It`s whether or not, in reality, you`re
voting on someone that is going to have your back. And when have your
back, you`re going to be interested in making sure that Pell Grants are
funded, that your school stays open. As I was getting on the plane today,
Ed, I had someone who makes minimum wage. And they says, is there any way
you can raise our wage to nine dollars?
She said, do you know the job that I have? Not only am I making
minimum wage, seven dollars plus, but I have to pay for parking. These
voters want reality. They don`t want to be placated to. And they don`t
think they are victims. And they want to see action, not just words.
SCHULTZ: How can Republicans like Senator Cruz claim that they want
to help the 47 percent while they`re supporting something like Paul Ryan`s
budget? As Chris Van Hollen said in an interview, there`s just no wiggle
room. There`s no budging at all by the Republicans in Ryan`s budget. But
yet they claim they`re there for the 47 percent. Put that together for us.
JACKSON LEE: Ed, you took the words out of my mouth, but I think
that`s another oops moment. There`s my point. Let`s not have placating.
Let`s have action. Paul Ryan`s budget today is a nonstarter. Eliminating
the Affordable Care Act, going on the backs of those who receive Medicare
and Social Security -- and the revenue that he gains, 60 percent of it is
taking money out of health care for middle class and poor Americans, 60
percent of the revenue, and no revenue coming from the other side of the
coin, which is closing loopholes or using other methods to enhance revenue
in the top one percent.
So it really is a question of people listening not only to the so-
called heart of the new thinking of Republicans, but where`s the real
action? How can you possibly come out with a budget today that lost in the
2012 election, that again is even worse because in his last budget, it was
a 20-year balanced budget. Now, it`s a 10 year balanced budget, which
means that there`s going to be more harm and more hurt to the people who
are the most vulnerable.
But in actuality, the 47 percent may not even be the number, because
you`ve got a bunch of folk, about 20,000 or so, that pay 200,000 dollars,
and because of deductions pay no taxes. And so a lot of people pay no
taxes because they`ve deducted out, where other people don`t pay it because
they make under 20,000 dollars, as I heard you say, but they`re a family.
They have two children. And they`re not -- in essence, they`re not
eligible to pay taxes. What do they even have to pay taxes? Maybe they do
pay payroll taxes.
So I guess the story or the question has to be, it`s not just because
you didn`t try to become attractive to Hispanics, African-Americans or
single women. You didn`t give them the opportunity that you suggest that
your party stands for. You didn`t give them the educational opportunity.
You didn`t give them the job opportunity. You didn`t give them the hand up
JACKSON LEE: You didn`t give them an opportunity.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, have -- has the country lost sight of why
we`re here having this budget battle? I mean, you have to look back at the
last 12, 13 years of what has transpired, how we have gone from surpluses
tow here we are financially right now, how we have given breaks to the
wealthiest Americans. And that didn`t work out with the job creation. How
we went into wars and didn`t pay for it. How we did a deal with big Pharma
and Medicare Part D, and then of course the deregulation of Wall Street
back in the late `90s, took us right into the housing problem and actually
the criminal activity that took place on Wall Street that has not been
I mean, all of these things have built up. And we all know that. But
the Democrats don`t seem to be pounding this every day to the American
people, that what the Republicans are after, the big three and the poor and
the elderly and the middle class Americans, they had nothing to do with any
And -- and give me your closing comment here. Are the Democrats
losing the narrative here? Is the White House losing the narrative on the
cause of why we are where we are and who ought to be paying?
JACKSON LEE: Well, you`re right. In 2000, there was a five billion
dollar surplus at the end of the Clinton administration. What I would say,
Ed, is the fight is in us. We realize that the voters are tired. They
want to know what is the future, what is the solution.
But it`s always good -- there`s a phrase that said, if you don`t
remember the past, you`re doomed to repeat it. It`s always good to refresh
our memories on costly wars, big tax cuts, Medicare Part D. I remember
that. That was a six-hour vote. And there were Republicans chasing people
around the walls of the House of Representatives trying to get that last
vote. And of course, the crisis on Wall Street -- by the way, as you well
know, they`ve regained all the money they lost on the principles of
I know that he has a heart of caring. We`ve just got to restate this
principle. And you are right. It`s our commitment and the Progressive
Caucus commitment. We`re not letting go of Medicaid, Medicare and Social
Security. Medicaid is a premise of the Affordable Care Act.
SCHULTZ: Even if it puts you at odds with the president?
JACKSON LEE: Let me say this, I`m always an optimist. And I truly
believe the president has a real good heart. And I believe that he`s still
willing to listen.
We`re against the chained CPI. We`re standing against that. But
we`re keeping the doors open. We want to hear what the president has to
say. And I also believe that he has an open mind and an open heart. But
it`s up to many of us to keep the fight going for our constituents.
SCHULTZ: We are going to find out. No question about it.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, thanks for your time tonight on THE ED
SHOW. I appreciate it.
JACKSON LEE: Thanks.
SCHULTZ: And that is THE ED SHOW. And a reminder, tomorrow night at
8:00 Eastern, my exclusive interview with the man who shot the 47 percent
video. You won`t want to miss it. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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