The Ed Show for Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Saturday show
THE ED SHOW
May 11, 2013
Guest: Lawrence Wilkerson, Michael Eric Dyson, Karen Finney, James
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: You know what? We`re going back to work.
And going around America is a big part of telling the story.
Fire in the hole, baby.
We should be talking about infrastructure investment.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A thriving, rising
middle class --
SCHULTZ: Invest in education.
OBAMA: -- and a dynamic cutting-edge economy.
SCHULTZ: And going round two on health care.
I`m going back with a serious note and kind of an edge.
JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I want to repeal the law of land.
Is that clear?
SCHULTZ: We will not back down from that fight.
BOEHNER: What the president doesn`t seem to understand is that it`s
his policies that are undermining economic growth.
SCHULTZ: This isn`t right, this isn`t left. This is fairness, because
the political conservative movement in America understands one thing,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The perception that we`re the party of the rich
unfortunately continues to grow.
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: There are 47 percent
who are with him who are dependent on government who believe that they are
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s frustrating.
SCHULTZ: They play for power and not the people. That`s their world
but that`s not the real America. That`s not the real America.
New York City here we come. Let`s get to work.
Well, safe landing in the big city. Here we are. We`re back on THE
ED SHOW. Glad to be with you, folks. Not a whole lot has changed in the
last few months. I haven`t changed and I want you to know that, and
neither have the issues that I care about and what has made THE ED SHOW the
years we`ve been here at MSNBC. Matters that are important to middle class
So I thought on our first weekend show we would talk about something
that I keep hearing on the road wherever I go. It`s health care. When you
talk about families, when you talk about business, it`s health care. It`s
important to keep in mind that John Boehner, Eric Cantor and the
obstructionists in Congress are still concerned about only one thing,
taking away your health insurance.
BOEHNER: ObamaCare is going to drive up the cost of health care,
drive up the cost of health insurance and make it harder for small
businesses to hire workers.
We believe that at the core, I believe that at the core of who I am
and I`m going to do everything I can to make sure that we don`t wreck the
best health care delivery system the world has ever known.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you`ve called this the law of the land.
BOEHNER: Well, that just happens to be a fact. I want to repeal the
law of the land. Is that clear?
SCHULTZ: I don`t know how he says it with a straight face. How can
he believe that? And that`s what I want to focus on tonight because, you
see, the template of the Righties has not changed a bit. John Boehner and
the Republicans are still lying about health care.
On Friday, the president on the offensive, he set the record straight.
OBAMA: The same folks who fought tooth and nail four years ago and
tried to make political hay out of ObamaCare, they`re still telling tall
tales about its impact. Some small businesses are being told their costs
are going to go up even though they`re exempted from the law or they
actually stand to benefit from it.
And whenever insurance premiums go up, you`re being told it`s because
of ObamaCare, even though there`s no evidence that that`s the case.
SCHULTZ: And we all know that the insurance rates never went up under
the previous president. You know, I did a Voices of America tour, started
out in Madison, Wisconsin. We`re going to do a lot of these around the
country. And I`ve talked about my wife`s recent battle with cancer and how
important it is for everyone, not just to be lucky but for everyone to have
I know more about cancer today than I`ve ever known in my life. I
know more about anguish, I have more compassion today than I`ve ever had
because I`ve been through a life experience that I didn`t expect.
And when your wife tells you that she has ovarian cancer and the
outlook isn`t good, all of a sudden things change in your life. Now to
relate, we all relate to personal experiences that happen to us, whether
it`s our job or whether it`s something traumatic with our kids or a best
friend down the street. It has an effect on us. We`re human. We`re
Americans. We care about our next door neighbor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we do.
SCHULTZ: We care about our community. There are times when we don`t
see political battle lines. The only thing we see is what has to be done
in front of us and we set our goals to make it successful, to make it
happen, because we don`t have any other choice.
And so when we went through this battle battling cancer, and you start
thinking about what`s really going on in America and when you get a bill in
the mail for $22,500, then you get another bill for $14,500 and another
grand for 90, another one for $9,800, and they just keep coming, and then
you see your insurance, it`s all paid for except for $145.
And then I get another insurance, it`s all paid for except for $275.
It`s a pretty damn good deal. OK? Insurance is real important. We
actually have a political party and a force in this country that thinks
it`s the right, morally correct thing to do to have a vote and to take
insurance away from a fellow American.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SCHULTZ: That`s who the Republicans are. I didn`t take the vote.
This is who the GOP really is. Next week Republicans will vote again
to repeal ObamaCare -- count it -- for the 38th time, even though they know
it`s absolutely impossible to repeal this law. Now, millions of Americans
and millions of doctors know that repealing ObamaCare would just be a huge
And I asked the doctor in New York -- there were three of them that
were caring for my wife after she had surgery at Mayo, what do the --
Doctor, what do the people do that don`t have insurance?
I didn`t get an answer. I got this.
It hurts those in the medical community to see fellow Americans who
don`t have the resources to fight something that has been cast upon them
out of no fault of their own.
Michele Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and John Boehner, they want
to take health care away from 30 million Americans next week. And they
have only one solution for those people.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Congressman, are you saying that society
should just let him die?
REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: No.
SCHULTZ: Republicans in Washington are wasting time and taxpayer
dollars stealing health care from 30 million Americans. Now in the House
when they vote, if they had their way, they would see it through the
Senate. They`d see the president sign it.
This is their world. For example, Eric Cantor spent his time creating
this image, bragging about hurting middle class Americans. Let me remind
you what Eric Cantor`s health care solution is.
In 2009 Cantor said a woman dying from tumors should find a charitable
organization to save her life -- charity or letting people die is no
answer, my friends.
Meanwhile efforts to roll back ObamaCare have not gone unnoticed by
the president. On Friday President Obama reminded Republicans in the
country what they`re up against.
OBAMA: The same folks who fought tooth and nail four years ago and
tried to make political hay out of ObamaCare, they`re still telling tall
tales about its impact. It`s now been three years since Congress passed
the Affordable Care Act and I signed it into law.
It`s been nearly a year since the Supreme Court upheld the law under
the Constitution and, by the way, six months ago the American people went
to the polls and decided to keep going in this direction. So the law is
here to stay.
SCHULTZ: Just a few months ago John Boehner actually agreed with the
DIANE SAWYER, ABC HOST: You had said next year that you would repeal
the health care vote. Is that still your mission?
BOEHNER: Well, I think the election changes that. It`s pretty clear
that the president was reelected. ObamaCare is the law of the land.
SCHULTZ: Well, Mr. Boehner wants to give these guys a vote again
because there`s 70 people, he says, in the House that have never voted on
ObamaCare before and he wants to give them the chance. Hell, let`s go back
and vote on women`s rights. They still vote. Want to have a vote on that?
Maybe we should do something on civil rights or the Voting Rights Act.
These people aren`t living in reality. The country has voted twice
for Barack Obama. There is no doubt that the Supreme Court gave the ruling
which is best for the country, for the greater good, which is in the
Constitution and we will never give up this fight to make sure that every
American has a chance at decent health care coverage in this country.
Liberals, that`s who we are. We care about our neighbors. America, I
know, has been focused on firearms and a big discussion there because of
Sandy Hook and immigration, which is important, and other issues, but my
case is that health care is on every kitchen table.
Thirty million people would be denied health care if the Republicans
got their way. Let`s say half of them are women. That`s 15 million women
without health care if the vote were to go through and it was the new law
of the land.
Do you know that in breast cancer one in 10 women in this country are
going to get breast cancer in the next year? Ovarian cancer, one in 70
women will get ovarian cancer within the next year. These are new cases.
You like those odds? You think those odds are good?
Republicans don`t seem to be bothered by it. Lung cancer is the
number one killer of women in America. You know what the Republicans want
to do? They want to bring back the preexisting condition. They want to
give the strength and the power back to the insurance companies and let
them decide whether you should be covered or not.
You know, "Time" magazine had a very interesting cover this week, me,
me, me. That`s what was on there. Me, me, me. That`s who the Republicans
are. They only care about themselves. This is what we`re teaching younger
Americans when you have a vote after a vote after a vote after a vote. You
teach these younger Americans that it`s every person for themselves.
That is not America. That has never been America. So how do we fight
back, liberals? If they`re going to keep holding all of these votes, what
is the best thing we can do? Well, here on THE ED SHOW I guess we could
just tell the story again and again.
I need a volunteer. I need someone out in our audience to go to my e-
mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org off my radio show and tell me how
you`re fighting cancer without insurance because I know there`s millions of
you out there.
I know that there are hundreds of thousands of families across America
that have lived with the anguish of no insurance and seen a disease come in
to destroy everything. So next week on this program we will find a
volunteer during the week.
Don`t worry about logistics. I`ll come get you. And we will bring
you to New York, in the studio and we will sit down and we will explain to
John Boehner and the Republicans just what it`s like to go through it.
It`s going to take courage to do it but I think there`s probably an
American out there that wants to tell this story because it will affect so
many other Americans. You know what I say? I say it`s time for round two
of ObamaCare. We won the election. The people are on our side. We`re
getting bogged down by all these other conversations.
And every time I go on the road I hear about two things, health care
and jobs. Well, let`s focus on that. I need a volunteer,
email@example.com. We`ll do the work. You can be available to come to
this program, we`ll make it happen and we`ll tell the Republicans what it`s
like for an American to go through it all without insurance.
We`re back to the basics. 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 always want to know what you think.
Up next, Elizabeth Warren wants college kids to get the same deal the
big banks gets.
Chris Christie is becoming a bigger loser.
And Bernie Sanders takes on President Obama. See which top stories
are at the top of the charts this week. And our "Rapid Response" panel is
what it`s all about, they are back.
The IRS apologizes, I don`t know why. And another Republican joins
the fight to keep voters away from the polls. Stay tuned. We`re coming
right back on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. You`ve decided, now we`re
reporting. Here are this week`s "Top Trenders" voted on by you.
JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": Let`s get to our top story
tonight, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is losing weight.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), N.J.: This is about my long-term health.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Our number three trender, New Jersey`s biggest
loser, Chris Christie. This week the government announced that he had lap
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Typically patients lose one to two pounds a week
which means the governor could be down to a healthy weight in about 100
CHRISTIE: With all due respect, everybody here, your opinions on this
issue really don`t matter a whole hell of a lot to me.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The Republican heavyweight has already dropped
40 pounds since the operation in February. And Christie says this move was
not about politics.
CHRISTIE: It`s not a career issue for me. It is a long-term health
issue. The steps I`ve taken recently are for me and Mary Pat and the kids.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): One in three Americans is considered obese. So
this guy is a real model for health. Too bad his Republican cronies in
Congress are voting for the 38th time to repeal ObamaCare.
CHRISTIE: Your opinions on this issue really don`t matter a whole
hell of a lot to me.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The number two trender, debt on arrival.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, MASS.: It`s a quiet growing problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got mine when I was 18.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got them when I was 21.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you check a student loan at 19 and now
WARREN: Today`s graduates carry more than 1 trillion dollars in debt.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wants
students to get the same breaks on loans that big banks have been getting
WARREN: The federal government offers far lower interest rates on
loans every single day. They just don`t do it for everyone.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Warren`s bill would reduce interest rates for
new federal student loans to less than 1 percent, the same rate big banks
get. But Congress needs to act by July 1st. And given their work ethic, I
predict another all-nighter on the Hill.
JOHN BELUSHI, ACTOR, "BLUTO": This could be the greater night of our
lives, but you`re going to let it be the worst.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): In this week`s top trender, Senator Bernie
Sanders, "Bernie Unchained."
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT.: Let`s get to work in saving Social
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Senator Bernie Sanders is taking on the
president and standing up for everyday Americans. Sanders tweeted, "I will
do everything in my power to block Barack Obama`s proposal (inaudible)
benefits for Social Security recipients through a chained CPI."
And the senator from Vermont is not alone in his opposition to the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The homeless, the helpless and the hapless in our
society, they`re the last that ought to be taking it in the next for
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not about just simple opposition. This is
about a concrete value that all of (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CPI was originally a Boehner-McConnell demand.
It was a bad idea then and it`s a really bad idea now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of
Senator, honored to have you on the program first as we relaunch THE
ED SHOW here on weekends at 5 o`clock on Saturday and Sunday. Appreciate
your work, what you stand for and what you do.
I think we think alike on a lot of things. But the issue now is the
president`s budget. He does have chained CPI in there. He does have $400
billion worth of cuts in Medicare. And it`s pretty ominous in my opinion.
Do you think the president, if he continues to get pushed from folks
such as yourself and some others in Congress that he would back down from
SANDERS: Well, don`t tell anybody, Ed, but I think we`re going to
beat the president on this. I think we`re in the process of not only
rallying people in the United States Congress but all over this country who
understand several facts.
Number one, when the middle class is disappearing and the gap between
the rich and everybody else is growing wider, you don`t assault the middle
class by cutting Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans.
And the second point that the American people understand is that
Social Security has not added one nickel to the deficit, has nothing to do
with deficit reduction. In fact, Social Security today has a $2.6 trillion
surplus, is paid for independently by the payroll tax. And what we should
be doing is in fact lifting the cap on taxable income for Social Security
so that it`s strong for the next 75 years.
SCHULTZ: Where would you put the cap?
SANDERS: Not cutting it.
SCHULTZ: Senator, where would you --
SANDERS: What you do is you lift -- the cap is now at 113,000
dollars. Somebody who makes a million contributes the same as somebody
making 113. If you lift the cap and you don`t even have to start at 113.
Start at 250,000 dollars. Just do that. Social Security will be strong
for the next 50 years, paying out 100 percent of the benefits.
And then, by the way, do you know whose idea that was during the 2008
campaign? A guy named Barack Obama; we want to remind him of that.
SCHULTZ: Well, why has he done this reversal, in your opinion? Or
is he just trying to get a deal with the Republicans? Because Senator,
I`ve been around the country the last couple of months, I`ve been in front
of a half a dozen crowds. And I can tell you there`s no appetite for this.
In fact, there is a rousing support against this budget to even get it into
the conversation and onto the table. So what`s the message?
SANDERS: Well, Ed, clearly this is really bad public policy because
you`re going after people who are already hurting.
But I think as you`ve indicated, it is terrible politics as well. I
held a press conference with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse a couple of months
ago. This is who we had there. The AARP and every senior group in
America, the AFL-CIO, the National Organization for Women, every veteran`s
organization, American Legion, VAV, VFW, disability groups.
The American people are saying loud and clear, do not balance the
budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
Now why is he doing this? I think the president continues for some very,
very strange idea to keep believing that if he makes major concessions to
the Republicans that somehow he`s going to get something back in return.
I really don`t know why he continues to think that. It hasn`t worked
up to now. I don`t believe that it`s going to work in the future. What he
has got to do loudly and clearly is tell the American working families he
is standing with them; he`s going to take on the Republicans.
He`s going to take on the big money interests and, by the way, Ed, on
all of these issues, we have the vast majority of the American people on
our side. We can win these fights. We could put these guys on the
SCHULTZ: Well, that is a key point. Because after winning the
election, you`re supposed to own the conversation and the direction of the
country. Now we`ve had some horrific things happen since. There`s no
doubt about it that that the gun conversation has kind of thrown the
country off track.
There`s no doubt that illegal immigration, to me, anyway, it looks
like they`re going down to road of 2007. We`ll touch on that later.
But the key is jobs, it`s jobs and health care and it`s middle class
families because that`s what the president ran on and now he puts out a
budget that goes right after the very people that put him in office. I
don`t get it.
SANDERS: Well, here`s the point, Ed. And I think you put your finger
on the problem. Look, the president has done a strong and good job in
dealing with issues like gay rights; he has done a good job on dealing with
gun control. He is doing a good job in a number of other social issues.
But on economic issues which, at the end of the day impacts tens of
millions of families, it is whether people can live in dignity and security
or whether they`re going to have to live with despair and severe tension
every single day about putting food on the table, about whether their
mothers and dads can afford prescription drugs or whether their kids can to
go to college.
On those issues we have to be honest and say the president has not
been strong. And Social Security is just one of those areas.
And we have got to tell him to stand with the people who elected him,
that is the working families of this country who are seeing a decline in
their standard of living with the young people in this country, where
unemployment rates are off the charts, with the veterans` community who are
have their share of problems -- and I speak as chairman of the veterans`
committee -- stand with working families, that`s the right thing to do and
it`s good politics.
Help us take on the big money interests so that this country doesn`t
end up to be an oligarchic form of society, where a handful of families
like the Koch brothers own the economics and the politics (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: And there is a moral component to all of this as well.
Senator Bernie Sanders, great to have you with us on the first ED SHOW
as we return to MSNBC. Thanks so much, I appreciate it.
SANDERS: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
The fleece is off, Chris Christie is back to showing his true colors.
The "Rapid Response" panel weighs in. And later the dark side rides again.
But next I`m talking your question. "Ask Ed" live is just ahead. Stay
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Oh, boy, tonight in our "Ask
Ed" live segment, we`re going to do this. We`ll just do one question
tonight. And I just found out what it was just a moment ago. Viewer is
Mike Fassano (ph).
Ed, are you considering running for public office?
Well right now the answer is not no, it`s, hell, no. I mean, look, I
do not think that it`s a good job. You can`t get anything done. You
constantly have to raise money and you really are so tied up to the public.
You know, I`ve never been in public service. Everybody dreams about
But you know, what you do you got to do well and I`m not convinced
that I would be a great politician, because I have a bad habit of telling
it like it is. Besides that, what would you rather do, would you rather go
fishing or would you rather be an elected official? That`s what I would
I`d rather go around the country and find out just what the heck
people are doing and what they`re thinking and bring their story to the
camera. I appreciate the question. We will be right back on THE ED SHOW.
CHRISTIE: But if you`re saying to me how do I feel as a Republican?
I`m a damn good Republican and a good conservative Republican who believes
in things that I believe in.
SCHULTZ: Governor, I`m sold. New York Governor Chris Christie is
proving that he`s back in the family. The Republican establishment, you
know, they start out a little bit worried about this guy when he got buddy
buddy with the president right after stormy Sandy. Christie showed his
true Republican colors as of late in loyalty by blocking early voting in
Now who is against early voting? Come on. Christie says it`s not --
uh-oh, here`s a Republican bullet point -- it`s not cost-efficient and also
says the process would be too hard and new to implement before the next
Give me a break. Here`s what`s happening: 19 other states are
working to expand voter access but Chris Christie and New Jersey joins four
stubborn Republican governors who seemed to be just hung up on the fact
that it can`t work and telling voters, especially in New Jersey, forget
Let`s bring in our "Rapid Response" panel tonight, Michael Eric Dyson
is with us; Karen Finney and James Peterson. Always a pressure to have you
with us as we start things out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. It`s good to be back.
Michael, what about Christie on this? Here we have another Republican
governor saying that early voting can`t be done.
MICHAEL ERIC CYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all,
welcome back, Ed. It`s so great to see you on and have your voice back on
these air waves.
Yes, look, this is how you prove your bona fides as a Republican. You
got to diss somebody. You got to beat up on the marginal. You`ve got to
reassert your legitimacy as a heartless, compassionless person.
So the reality is that Chris Christie is feeling that he`s alienated
from his base or at least one of them, so he`s got to prove that he`s
really a Republican, that he`s true conservative by proving that he`s
against early voting.
And we know the codes here, we know the dog whistles. We know who`s
most vulnerable here. And again, despite the fact that such tactics in the
past galvanized the African-American voter to record unprecedented levels
of turnout, the Republicans still haven`t learned their lessons and
continue to lick their chops but refuse to engage in, I think, some
sensible kind of politics.
Karen, the one thing, he is in favor of mail-in votes, which, of
course, favor heavy conservative response, especially from the older
Is this a strategic move by the governor?
KAREN FINEY, MSNBC HOST: Well, of course it is. And welcome back by
the way. And I agree that this is about street cred and bona fides. But I
think there`s actually -- I`m going to take a slightly different viewpoint
I think this is an actual opportunity for Buono (ph), the woman who --
the Democrat who will be running against him. One of the challenges that
we`ve been talking about that she would have because Christie`s popularity
was so high in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, and yet she was trying to
remind voters, wait a second. There are a lot of things about his record
that we don`t like, that are classic Republican moves.
And here it is. This is an opportunity for her to remind voters that,
at the end of the day, this is a Republican governor who has subscribed to
a certain set of policies that are not always in the interest of working
SCHULTZ: Well, Dr. Peterson, look at Ohio, look at Florida. Early
voting is what it`s all about for the Democrats. He isn`t going to let
that happen in New Jersey.
DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: That`s the thing. Remember,
Chris Christie is a governor of a fairly blue state. And so the stakes are
really, really high for him for early voting, because when you look at
early voting look at the demographics that sort of use it and deploy it
,those are going to be Democratic voters coming out as the older voters,
voters of color.
But here`s the thing that really, really important. We should think
about this at the national level, Ed. We need to expand voting, period.
We`re a democratic nation that has abysmally low percentages and turnouts
even for presidential elections.
So the move, the trend really should be statewide and nationwide to
move towards making voting more accessible for everybody. That two-week
lead time would increase voter participation exponentially in a state like
New Jersey. And I think we should all be supportive of that as a
SCHULTZ: They`re doing it in North Carolina as well. It`s amazing
what`s happened. It`s the only way they know how to win because they can`t
fight the demographics.
All right. "Rapid Response" topic number two, IRS is apologizing to
conservative groups over a number of audits. I asked the question why.
The IRS says that there`s been a surge of applications for tax exempt
status since 2010 from groups with Tea Party or Patriot in their title
names. So the IRS admits it`s singling out those groups for audits to make
sure that they are real nonprofits.
Now, look, this is all because of Citizens United. All of these
groups cropped up; it was new to the Internal Revenue Service and the issue
is how they`re spending their money, Dr. Dyson. What about it?
DYSON: Well, look, they need to apologize to a whole bunch of people,
not just the Tea Partiers, then. Apologize to everybody else they
financially profiled. Apologize to me when Brian Williams cited me,
criticizing President Bush and I was profiled and audited for the next four
to five years.
So there are a whole bunch of groups out here who have been subjected
to arbitrary whim and caprice of the IRS it seems. The bottom line is, are
we as American citizens free to speak our minds and to organize as we see
What about all those groups who have been racially profiled or
ethnically profiled or profiled because of gender? So the reality here is
that I think this is much ado about nothing. On the other hand, if we want
a broad democracy where we share in the fruits and -- of our labor, then we
have to understand that the --
SCHULTZ: They want to plant the seed that the White House picked up
the phone and called Ogden, Utah, and said get on these guys.
DYSON: Yes, of course, and that`s ridiculous. There`s no way --
first of all, we know that Obama doesn`t have that kind of juice. We know
that the Republicans and all of the other people in the government aren`t
going to listen to him.
SCHULTZ: Karen, this isn`t going away. I mean, these groups aren`t
going away but how they`re spending their money is a real question mark
about whether they`re nonprofit or not.
FINEY: No, I mean, that`s exactly right. Look, I think it was a
bone-headed move on the part of the IRS and I actually believe them when
they say this was a career person who made this decision. I don`t think
they`re saying it was not a political decision. Obviously the Republicans
are going to beat this thing to death to try to get to what they`re going
to say at the bottom of this.
But I think if anything, this is a reminder why we need real campaign
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
FINEY: Because we know that a lot of groups, I mean, abuse these
rules and regulations because they`re not that worried about the penalties
that they going to have to pay after the fact. They figure we`ll deal with
it after the election because hopefully we will have won by then.
SCHULTZ: Topic three tonight, we got Bill Clinton delivering the
commencement address at Howard University. Here`s some of what he had to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even with the
employment situation, the economic challenges, virtually all of you have
the power to choose what you will do to earn a living. It may sound self-
evident, but most people who have ever lived, including hundreds of
millions, even billions of people on the face of the Earth today never had
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: James Peterson, there`s a lot of young unemployed people in
this country, a lot of them coming out of college end up working at a
coffee shop with a lot of debt.
Where are we going? What do we have to do to turn this around?
PETERSON: Well, one of the things -- and I`ve been listening to the
former president`s address and he talks a lot about shared sacrifice and
understanding inequality at both the local, national as well as the global
And so I think he`s calling for patience and calling for a certain
kind of approach to it, but we also need for college graduates to engage in
the civic and political battles that will pressure our government to make
sure that infrastructure and the kind of green economy in the future, the
kind of things that our Congress has not been willing to implement, we need
these graduates to step into the fray and help support this president and
also support all of the initiatives that are trying to make jobs a
possibility for the future of this country.
SCHULTZ: The corporations aren`t hiring the way they should, Michael
Eric Dyson, so we`ve got to have some kind of jobs program targeted at a
DYSON: Absolutely right. I mean half of people -- you know, one of
two black men in New York City is not working. When we look at the abysmal
record of black unemployment among people who are even college educated
it`s even more exacerbated by the fact that we don`t have a political bully
pulpit out there speaking for them.
So while I acknowledge that the former President Clinton is out here
giving lessons, saying, hey, we should be patient, Martin Luther King Jr.
said we should we (inaudible) and we should talk about kind of
revolutionary approach here that says --
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Karen?
DYSON: -- all that stuff. We`re ready to go.
FINEY: You know, I just want to add something to that. It goes to
what we were talking about before in terms of voting. That is where people
can show their power. We know money will always be spent in campaigns; the
way we can overturn that is by voting.
And what did we see in the last election? Record turnout from African
Americans. And so my challenge to the African-American community and the
Latino community is what are you going to do to leverage that electoral
power that you`ve now demonstrated you have? You`re going to have to make
sure you show up again in midterm elections and in presidential elections
when you don`t have Barack Obama.
But part of that kind of turnout then has to be to say we`re going to
demand a program that is going to deal with some of these problems.
SCHULTZ: All right. Michael Eric Dyson, James Peterson and Karen
Finney, we are looking forward to your first show coming up on June 8th,
4:00 pm, just before my fat mug gets on here on MSNBC. Although, what do
you think? Do you think I`m better looking? Do you like the tie? What do
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, we`re getting there.
FINEY: I love the tie, Ed. I love the tie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look great, Ed. You`re doing great, looking
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
Tonight in our survey I asked, should the Democrats push for round two
of health care? Ninety-six percent of you say, yes; there is four
Republicans out there that are watching the program tonight, they say no.
Still to come, this guy becomes the first ED SHOW pretender. You
can`t miss this one.
And Republicans are cranking up the old Clinton vast right-wing
conspiracy machine three years early. There`s a lot more coming up on THE
ED SHOW. Stick around. We are right back.
SCHULTZ: All right. Here on THE ED SHOW we have "The Trenders",
which you saw earlier. We also have a segment called "The Pretenders.
In our "Pretenders" segment tonight, we`re hearing from failed vice
presidential candidate and dumbbell enthusiast Paul Ryan out of Wisconsin.
The congressman just received an award from a right-wing think tank.
In his acceptance speech Ryan described the progressive movement as
well intentioned but in his humble opinion arrogant and condescending.
Really? I`m offended by that. It must be quite a workout for Paul Ryan to
push that load of garbage. Don`t you think?
He`s -- there`s nothing humble about slashing somebody`s Medicare,
Medicaid, Social Security, going after people on fixed income and food
stamps and taking marching orders from right-wing think tanks to do it as
the blueprint. Paul Ryan seems to be confused on what the word arrogant
means. Let`s see if we can help him out a little bit.
REP. PAUL RYAN, GOP VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What I`ve been trying
to do indict the entire vision of progressivism. This is really a cancer -
I`ve put out a budget plan to get a consensus of one person in
Congress -- me.
So we`re going to a majority of takers versus makers.
And what I think the president is trying to do is create more of a
permanent class of government dependents.
The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal ObamaCare, because
it represents the worst of both worlds.
SCHULTZ: Well, Paul Ryan and the rest of his arrogant buddies are
still pretending they won the election but the American people aren`t
fooled. And if Paul Ryan thinks his special brand of deceitful, smug
arrogance can be pushed off on anyone else, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us. Final segment tonight. The
Republican effort to make the September 11th attack on Benghazi into a
scandal is really about one thing and one thing only.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The secretary of state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The secretary of state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The secretary of state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you listen to the other side you`d think it`s
time just to move on from this. They would agree with Secretary Clinton.
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes, it`s nothing but a big distraction. Republicans
are looking to smear Hillary Clinton and distract us from the issues that
Americans really care, about which is why on Wednesday Republicans held
their -- count them -- ninth hearing on Benghazi. It was a 6-hour hearing
and Republicans still failed to produce a smoking gun.
This is all an attempt to manufacture an Obama administration cover-up
to derail his agenda and fire up the Republican bases as we head into the
midterm election cycle. But who needs evidence for a right-wing conspiracy
when you got shooter around throwing out the flame thrower? You know what
I mean? Here is in an interview, Dick Cheney with the U.K.`s "Daily Mail."
Cheney called the Benghazi attack a failure of leadership. And the
Obama administration, he said, should have been ready before anything ever
happened. That`s right, folks, Dick Cheney, the vice president during the
biggest national security failure in United States history wants us to talk
about failures of leadership?
Let`s focus on the diplomatic safety issues during the Bush
administration. Let`s talk about the 64 attacks on American diplomatic
targets during those years, if we`re going to be fair about it. I`m just
asking. Where was the Republican outrage then?
House Republicans voted to cut the administration`s request for
embassy security funding by $128 million in 2011 and $331 million in 2012.
Thankfully, negotiations from the Democratic controlled Senate, Democrats
restored about $88 million of that administration`s request.
But where was the hearing on that? This boils down to a bureaucratic
tug-of-war over talking points between a couple of agencies. If there was
any error on the part of the White House, I think it was just to cogitate
to make sure that the correct information came out. Although I could be
wrong. But it just doesn`t seem like there is a cover-up. There`s a lot
of rehashing of information at these hearings.
Joining me tonight is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of
staff at the State Department during General Colin Powell`s term and
currently a distinguished visiting professor of government and public
policy at the College of William & Mary.
Colonel, good to have you with us tonight.
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, STATE DEPARTMENT:
Thanks for having me on your inaugural show, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. And I appreciate your candor quite often, Colonel.
Is this a tug-of-war of talking points? And is that commonplace between
the CIA and the State Department? Your thoughts on this?
WILKERSON: It is very much. And let me say, I agree with you. I
think the principle reason for the Republicans, my party, making this an
elongated struggle, if you will, is to denigrate Hillary Clinton, make her
a less viable candidate in 2016 and also, as you pointed out, the midterm
But let me point out another thing they`re trying to do. They`re
trying to deflect Americans` attention from Iraq. Iraq is a basket case
right now. Wholly in Iran`s back pocket.
You had Jennifer Rubin, the AIPAC attack dog on the op-ed pages of
"The Washington Post," saying the president should get over Iraq and go on
to Syria and Iran.
Get over Iraq? I would love to drag Jennifer Rubin kicking and
screaming to Walter Reed to see the wounded warriors she wants to us get
over, to see the 900,000 backlogged cases at the VA and so forth, to see
the detritus of this war started by George W. Bush and Richard Bruce
SCHULTZ: Well, the controversy right now seems to be about talking
points and how they were changed.
Is it unusual to have talking points changed in the process?
It seems to me like the White House didn`t want to get it wrong, and
they were dragging their feet a little bit.
Or are they in on this, too? Did they let, in your opinion, the State
Department, the CIA, do their thing? What do you make of all this?
WILKERSON: I`ve only spent about 35 years, maybe a little longer, in
government looking over talking points at one time or another, and I can
tell you that generically speaking, they change all the time.
And what presidents usually make errors at and what department
directors and others make errors at -- secretaries of state, Secretary of
Defense, is going too fast, trying to get the information out to the
American people because it`s usually a very rapidly evolving situation.
So to see a set of talking points change six or eight times is partly
because people tried to do their best in getting information out and partly
due to the changing facts afterwards.
SCHULTZ: Well, Colonel, would there have been hesitation to call it a
terrorist attack because they wouldn`t want to inflame the situation
globally or maybe they just didn`t know?
WILKERSON: I think there could have been some trepidation there.
There should have been some concern.
But my biggest concern about this, aside from protecting our diplomats
as best as we can and always remembering they go in harm`s way, so they are
going to get hurt from time to time or even killed, but my chief concern in
this other than that is that the CIA was involved. And if the CIA is
involved, you can bet -- you can bet your bottom dollar there`s some sort
SCHULTZ: OK. A lot of people are taking Dick Cheney to task for
saying this, "When we were there on our watch, we were always ready on
9/11, on the anniversary. We always anticipated that they were coming for
us, especially in that part of the world."
What`s your response to that?
WILKERSON: My response to that is let me just tell you about Dick
Cheney. When we got into the transition office at the State Department, it
became clear to me from December 2000 all the way through the 9/11 attack,
that there was no one other than Dick Clark in the administration and my
boss, Colin Powell, concerned about Al Qaeda.
As a matter of fact, when Dick Clark tried to bring Al Qaeda up, tried
to tell them about the threat, tried to illuminate the terrorist threat to
America, when George Tennant tried to do the same thing, Dick Cheney, Paul
Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and others pushed them aside.
Iraq was the big threat. Iraq was what they were after. They didn`t
have any concern about Al Qaeda. So when 9/11 came around, the blame ought
to lay right where the blame should lay.
SCHULTZ: And finally, Colonel, can we do a better job of protecting
our embassies and our consulates around the world?
I mean, is it money? Does money make a difference?
WILKERSON: Money does make a difference. And the Congress has been
penurious. It`s been stingy. It`s not wanted to give money to Madeleine
Albright, to Secretary Powell, though he got more than she did, it`s just
not wanted to do this. The Krau (ph) Commission pointed out the
deficiencies around the world. We haven`t fixed them yet.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, it`s about talking points. There is, I don`t
believe, any cover-up. And tomorrow the Sunday heads are going to be
talking all about Benghazi, again disfocusing (sic) the country.
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, great to have you with us tonight here on
THE ED SHOW. I appreciate your time so much. Thank you.
WILKERSON: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: And that is THE ED SHOW. I`m going to see you back here
tomorrow night at 5 o`clock Eastern time. And remember, next Saturday,
we`re going to have a volunteer on this program who has been dealing with
cancer and does not have insurance so we can make sure that these
Republicans who vote down ObamaCare know exactly who they`re affecting.
Have a great one. We`ll see you tomorrow night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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