updated 5/28/2013 12:04:23 PM ET 2013-05-28T16:04:23

THE ED SHOW
May 26, 2013

Guests: Sherrod Brown, Bob Shrum, Joe Sestak, John Garamendi


ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW,
live from New York.

Thanks to the Republicans, bridges are crumbling in America.

Lindsey Graham is absolutely tone deaf over the war on terror.

And Bob Dole, a blast from the past, he`s talking trash about the Grand Old
Party.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about all of the bridges and the roads we`re
driving on this Memorial Day weekend, it`s kind of frightening.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s no reason for
Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If something goes wrong with the key structural
element, you may have a catastrophic result.

OBAMA: Building better roads and bridges and schools, that`s not a
partisan idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government is so slow and plodding to get these
things fixed.

GARY JOHNSON (R), FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR: My next-door neighbor`s two
dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Shovel-ready project my
Astroturf, yes, right.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: We need solutions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe private bridge companies could help out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a service that local news could do, identifying
the bridges in your town that pose a problem. It`s kind of frightening.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I`ve worked very
diligently over the last couple of years to try to grapple with our
infrastructure problems here in America.

OBAMA: You know what, if you believe --

If you believe --

If you believe --

Speaker Boehner --

Let me tell you, I`ve got a bridge to sell you up in Alaska.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.

This is the story that has me fired up tonight. It`s the story that caught
my attention, as soon as it happened. This is what is wrong with
Washington, right here. This is exhibit "A" of what`s wrong with our
political system.

We have bridges falling down and we don`t want to do anything about it.

You know what this is about? This is about American jobs. This is about
the manufacturing of steel in this country. And this is about public
safety.

But we have a political system that just can`t deliver the steel.

Millions of Americans are hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, and
every one of them, I think, is taking a real risk by crossing bridges and
roads in this country that need desperate help. No question about it. But
this is what the Republicans keep telling us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BOEHNER: Washington has a spending problem. You know, for 55 of last 60
years, we spent more money than what we brought in.

RYAN: We`re not balancing the budget as an accounting exercise. We`re not
just trying to make the numbers add up. We are trying to improve people`s
lives.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: We`re not interested and
will not reduce a penny less in spending than we promised the American
people we would a year and a half ago.

RYAN: How do we do this? You know, it`s really pretty simple. We stop
spending money we don`t have. Go figure.

MCCONNELL: Washington has got a spending addiction, and it`s time to begin
to deal with that addiction.

BOEHNER: I think we can do a whole lot better.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: Doesn`t that just make you want to tell them to shut up?

America, we love to say that we`re a great country. Well, I think this
story would give someone pretty good material for debate that we`re not a
great country. We have potential to be a great country. But we have
allowed things like this to happen, because we have distorted priorities.

America doesn`t have a spending problem, Republicans. It has an
infrastructure problem. You know, we`re so worried about kids getting shot
up at schools, but we`re not too worried about their buses crossing
bridges, are we?

This is unacceptable and it`s a result of Republican austerity and their
absolute attitude towards what infrastructure is all about in America.

So, you know the story, a truck hid a girder on Interstate 5 Bridge in
Washington state on Thursday, causing a massive collapse, dumped a few cars
into the river. The good news is, everybody survived, three people.

And the bridge is, I don`t know, what do you call that? I call that
destroyed.

It was considered functionally obsolete. This was a major bridge, my
friends. It was a main route, stretching from California to British
Columbia.

The numbers are staggering: more than 67,000 drivers use this bridge every
day. An accident could cost at least $45 million a week in economic impact
to the region.

And Washington`s governor says, what? Well, it would cost $15 million to
fix the bridge, but thanks to the Republicans and our austerity philosophy,
there just not money to go around in the budget to fix it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYNN PETERSON, WASHINGTON STATE SEC. OF TRANSPORTATION: So, at point,
under current fiscal constraints, there is no intent at this point to
rebuild the entire bridge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: Actually, they need a few more sections to fall down first.

There`s not enough money, because congressional Republicans hijacked the
last transportation funding bill. The Republicans simply refused to spend
money to make our roads and our bridges safer. The Federal Highway
Administration says, we need about $190 B, billion dollars, just to keep
the nation`s infrastructure in shape. The Republicans agreed to spend
almost a third less on roads and bridges last year.

Now, engineers, you know, we have a big discussion about education in
America. We need more doctors, we need more scientists, we need engineers.

So, maybe we can pay attention to these engineers. They say that we
actually need $3.6 trillion, over the next seven years to fix failing roads
and bridges, to make them safe again.

You know, this is not a new problem. This has been around for a while.
Maybe the country needs to remember this incident -- a bridge falling in
2007, in the state of Minnesota, in the middle of the country. The I-35
Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed during rush hour and dropped into the
river, and over a hundred cars were involved.

We only lost 13 people. Only 13 people died. And 145 were hurt.

This disaster, you know what it should have been? It should have been a
wake-up call to everybody in this country, but then there`s this thing
called the Republican Party. Instead, the Republicans, what did they do?
No, we have to raise taxes if we`re going to fix these bridges. We don`t
want to do that.

So here`s a look at what millions of Americans will be driving over this
holiday weekend. This will make you feel warm and fuzzy. Twenty-five
percent of bridges in America are functionally obsolete. Just like the one
that fell down in Washington state.

Here`s a number for you: 30 percent, 30 percent of the bridges that we have
in this country have outlived their so-called design life.

Now, I`m a pilot. There is a thing in aviation called structural defects
and you can only put so many hours on an airframe -- I mean, ask yourself
the question, if you`re a little spooky about flying on airplanes, would
you like to know that Delta Airlines or some of the other major carriers
might have an airplane that has so many thousands of structural hours on
it. Would you feel good about getting on that plane? Probably not.

Well, then, why in the hell would you feel good about crossing bridges that
are lousy?

Eleven percent of the bridges are structurally deficient in this country.
And an engineer on the scene at the Washington state bridge collapse put
all those numbers for us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GOLDBERG, TRANSPORTATION FOR AMERICA: There are more structurally
deficient bridges than already McDonald`s restaurants in the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president has repeatedly, time and time again, repeatedly,
over and over and over and over, asked Congress to beef up infrastructure
funding, because it`s safe and it creates jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: So if you`ve got the chamber and the unions agreeing, then the
politicians should be able to agree too. Building better roads and bridges
and schools, that`s not a partisan idea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: No, it isn`t.

As usual, Republicans do a good job of offering their thoughts and prayers
for victims and bridge failures, but finding more money in the budget is
just simply out of the question.

Funding for roads and bridges has hit rock-bottom since George W. Bush took
office. Public construction spending is lower than it`s been for more than
20 years, which means construction workers are hurting as well.

Here`s another issue, and this is a big issue. The company in charge of
fixing one of New York City`s biggest bridges is going to use Chinese
steel.

Today, the head of the International Steelworkers` Union, Leo Gerard, asked
the MTA to rethink the decision and use American-made steel instead of that
Chinese crap.

Now, you folks in New York, you`re going to elect a new mayor. I`d like to
see the candidates running for mayor in New York to step out and say, you
know, I think we ought to have Americans and American steels fix the
Verrazano Bridge in this city. It would be a pretty good issue. I think
most New Yorkers would probably want the American stuff, because of what
happened in California.

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

Tonight`s question: are Republicans` efforts to block infrastructure
dangerous for Americans? I think so. I`ll text "A" for yes, text "B" for
no to 67622. You can go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We always appreciate
it when you leave a comment there. We`ll bring you the results of the poll
later on in the show.

Joining me tonight: Democratic senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown. Senator,
good to have with us tonight.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Ed, good to be with you. Thanks.

SCHULTZ: The word "neglect" just comes into the conversation, I think.
What do we have to do, Senator, to turn this around?

BROWN: Well, this is one I would figure there`d be bipartisanship, because
as the president said, it`s the Chamber of Commerce, it`s the AFL-CIO, it`s
people that understand that infrastructure is an investment.

You spend money to build better infrastructure. We used to leave -- we
always led the world in water and sewer and bridges and community colleges
and ports and harbors and all of that. You invest money in that now, it
creates trades jobs, it creates manufacturing jobs if you buy America like
you say and it creates a found -- builds a foundation for long-term
economic growth.

I mean, we were the -- we had the best infrastructure in the world in the
`50s and `60s and `70s and `80s and as a result, we had the most prosperous
country in the world, and they`re related/

SCHULTZ: You know, that just brings up, what kind of country are we going
to leave our kids? We`re going to leave them a rag tack operation that
simply does not fix anything.

I guarantee you, guarantee you, people are going to cross bridges in the
next five years and they`re going to die in America. That`s how dire this
situation is.

And in your state of Ohio, there`s some pretty tough numbers there, because
the federal money hasn`t come. Now, you`ve got only 14 employees covering
109 dams, 42 percent of your state`s roads are in poor or mediocre
condition, 2,462 bridges are structurally deficient, 4,211 of those bridges
are structurally obsolete.

Now, we`re talking about generations of neglect, Senator.

BROWN: Yes, we have the same kind of governor and legislature that it`s
always more tax cuts for the wealthy. And if you don`t spend money on
infrastructure or -- not to mention Head Start or education or health care,
so be it.

I mean, the fact is, when you invest this money like this, you`re building
for the future. And as I said, it creates jobs today. It sets the
foundation for more economic growth.

SCHULTZ: So what would it take to get the Republicans to think that this
is an important story?

BROWN: Well, I think it`s going to take a push from conservative
Republican businesspeople, who tell the Republicans who sign this pledge to
Grover Norquist, I`ll never, ever, ever, ever vote for a tax increase, that
they`ve got to step up and rebuild this country.

I look at the kinds of infrastructure building and everything from medical
research, and that`s about infrastructure, to airports and everything in
between, the kinds of investments that are made in the developing world,
the kinds of investments made in Europe. The increased investments they
are making and we`re not and we`re going to pay this price for it. And
we`ll be a poorer country as a result.

As much as I think we should worry about the debt, the fiscal debt, the
budget deficit we leave our children, the debt, but we also should be
equally concerned or more concerned about the infrastructure deficit and
the debt that we leave our children -- everything from community colleges
to highways to public transit to water and sewer systems to broadband.

SCHULTZ: Well, I look at this story and I know a lot of people are so
excited about the IRS and Benghazi and the Justice Department. If we are
serious about the economy, this is the first thing we can do when it comes
to manufacturing, when it comes to jobs, and when it comes to public
safety.

We`ve had a big discussion in this country about public safety. This
should be proof positive that the Republicans, they don`t give a damn.
They really, really don`t. They don`t even want to address this problem.
And I think it speaks volumes.

And it -- it`s not going to get fixed with the climate the way it is in
Washington right now.

So what do we do? Just turn it over to the states and say it`s every state
for themselves?

BROWN: Well, you can`t turn it over to the states, because you`ve got the
same problems. The interstate system, that`s part of the problem.
Republicans in Washington said, let the states do this. It`s up to them to
do highways.

No, the interstate system happened because of federal involvement,
coordination with local and state officials, and businesses and labor
unions. You need the same kind of commitment.

You need pressure on Republicans that never want to spend money on
anything, you need that pressure from the business community to say, this
kind of investment is what really matters for our children and
grandchildren. And it is. As you point out, Ed, it really is a public
safety issue.

SCHULTZ: Getting money shouldn`t be a problem. There`s plenty of money
floating around. You`re one of the leading voices against the too big to
fail banks. You know, why do we bail out banks, but we don`t do it for
infrastructure?

BROWN: Well, the banks are probably beer organized than some of the people
that are building these bridges and people driving across them. That`s
part of the problem.

After Dodd/Frank passed the Senate, the banking reform bill, three years
ago, a major bank lobbyist said, now it`s only halftime. In other words,
you might -- we might have lost on passing this bill that actually makes
the banks, makes the financial community a little safer, the structure a
little safer, but we`re going to continue to lobby and continue to try to
weaken the rules and allow the banks to continue to get better.

That`s why it`s so important to put capital requirements on these banks,
because they`re not just too big to fail, they`re too complicated to
manage, they`re too large to regulate, and in many ways, as we saw, they
were too big to jail. Nobody -- people in Washington were afraid to
prosecute them, because of their power.

SCHULTZ: Only a good friend of Ed would work on a Sunday out of the
Senate. And I appreciate your time today, Senator.

BROWN: Glad to.

SCHULTZ: Thank you so much. Thanks for being here on THE ED SHOW on the
Sunday edition.

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.

Republican war hawks. They swoop down on President Obama`s foreign policy
and a former GOP leader weighs in on the party`s current state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Could you make it in today`s Republican Party?

FORMER SEN. BOB DOLE (R), KANSAS: I doubt it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Our political panel will tackle both these topics, coming up on
THE ED SHOW.

Stay with us. We are right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We must finish the work of defeating al Qaeda and its associated
forces. In Afghanistan, we will complete our transition to Afghan
responsibility for that country`s security. Our troops will come home.

Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless, global
war on terror, but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to
dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, it was pretty clear, President Obama knows a thing or two
about executing the war on terrorism. He`s done more to dismantle al Qaeda
in one term than Bush and Cheney did in two.

Now instead of invading countries, President Obama wants to attack specific
targets posing a threat to America. Not surprisingly, warmongers on the
Sunday talk shows were outraged by President Obama`s remarks.

Here`s what they had to say about the president who took out bin Laden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: This war is going to continue. And we have
still tremendous threats out there that are building -- not declining --
building. And to not recognize that, I think, is dangerous for us in the
long run and dangerous for the world.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think it`s just stunningly,
breathtakingly naive. He says at one point, wars have to end.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: When he showed this lack of
resolve, talking about the war being over, what do you think the Iranians
are thinking? At the end of the day, this is the most tone deaf president
I ever could have imagined, making such a speech at a time when our
homeland is trying to be -- attacked, literally every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s set the record straight. First, here`s the
president`s statement about "ending the war."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Our systemic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must
continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That`s what history
advises.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president did not say, we are ending the war on terrorism,
right this very minute, not right away. He was very clear about that. The
fight is going to continue.

Secondly, I want to replay his new strategy to fight terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We must define our effort not as a boundless, global war on terror,
but rather, as a series of persistent, targeted efforts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And may we point out that the bin Laden raid was a targeted
effort. And I think it worked out pretty good. No American lives were
lost. And we didn`t have to invade any countries to get this thing done.

I`m joined by Bob Shrum of "The Daily Beast," MSNBC host Karen Finney, also
with us tonight, and former Navy Admiral Joe Sestak.

Great to have you all with us.

Joe, you first, what`s your reaction to the right-wing outrage over the
president`s speech. It seems like there was a total misinterpretation of
the whole thing.

JOE SESTAK, FORMER NAVY ADMIRAL: I agree, Ed. I don`t think they remember
that militaries can stop a problem, but we can`t fix a problem. So, after
the defeat of fascism, the war was over. And yet we kept a semblance of
stability out there, as the other elements of our power, we constructed
Germany into a democratic power on our side today.

And so, this is what the president has said. Look, we have decimated the
core of al Qaeda in Pakistan. We -- it`s metastasized, to some degree, to
Yemen and Northern Africa. But they`re focused to do damage within those
countries. We will use our drones and other policies, as he laid out
specifics on it, to continue to go after them.

But he now understood that the United States has other national security
challenges, as he pivots, for example, the United States Navy, to the
Western Pacific, where the center of gravity of America is. No, this
president very well understands how to use the weaponry of war.

SCHULTZ: Bob, what do you think about the president`s new strategy of
attacking specific targets? And it seems like there is going to be a
toning down and a less of a resource on a global effort and it will be
targeted and it will be mobile. Your thoughts?

BOB SHRUM, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I think that`s exactly right. And it`s
actually what we`ve been moving toward in the last few years.

I mean, compare that with what happened under the Bush administration,
where we mishandled Afghanistan, let bin laden get away. In fact, he was
on the loose for years. We went into Iraq, a war we never should have
fought, which was a disaster, on the basis of either bad intelligence
and/or lies.

President Obama has cleaned this all up. He`s adopted a very tough,
targeted policy for which he`s been criticized by some in his own party and
some in his own base. And I think he`ll continue to prosecute that policy.

But, you know, when I look at Newt Gingrich talking about, you know,
breathtaking. He`s a breathtaking bloviator. I don`t know what he`s doing
on television, talking about this. He`s totally predictable.

SCHULTZ: He has no credibility. He doesn`t know. He`s not on any intel
briefings. He has no clue what the hell is going on.

Karen, you get the politics of this. Hasn`t the president been very clear
that we`re still going to be attacking terrorists?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST: Yes, of course he has. And I want to speak to
this point, that I think what the president was laying out was a reflection
of the changed reality of the nature of the threats that we`re facing.
We`re not talking about, you know, deploying massive number of troops
anymore. We`re talking about, as he said, let`s rely on diplomacy and
intelligence efforts and Special Forces.

And we`ve been talking about this concept of the light footprint, that
which is a more strategic, targeted approach, which also is actually about
prevention. And I think that`s also reflective of the political reality
that Americans are war-weary. We`re not going to approve of a president
sending massive number of troops just to babysit another country.

SCHULTZ: Here`s a clip from Congressman Peter King, saying that he was
bothered by president`s moral anguish over drones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman King, does the drone program need to
change?

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: If it does change, it should be changed for
moral reasons. That`s what bothered me about the president`s speech, this
moral anguish he was going through. Listen, every soldier who`s -- every
soldier, every cop who is faced with a decision to make a life-or-death
does the best he or she can. And I think our country has done more than
any country in the history of the world to limit civilian casualties.

So I think that just offended me, that whole tone of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joe, as a former congressman and a former naval admiral who
worked intel, what`s your reaction to that?

SESTAK: Well, I think the commander in chief was absolutely right to
consider moral force as well as armed force.

Somebody said it pretty well, out there on the battlefield, morality is not
a substitute for armed force, but it is a great reinforcement. Men and
women are willing to do something where they`ll lose their life for fear of
letting their buddy down next to them.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SESTAK: And families back here at home, having lost almost 7,000 men and
women in these two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, want to believe and hold
on to that correct belief that they did it because the war was fought for
the values of America.

So, at the end of the day, if our commander and chief had not considered
what is the enduring -- that doesn`t change at all -- certainty in all our
wars, which is morality, while the physical part of war, whether it`s Agent
Orange in Vietnam or whether it`s drones today, does change, if he had not
done that, he would not have been a proper commander-in-chief.

FINNEY: Ed, you know --

SCHULTZ: I think the Republicans would be praising President Bush if he
were executing the war the way President Obama has been able to execute
this and defend the country.

Bob, Karen, and, Joe, stick around. We`ve got a lot more to talk about
today.

Harry Reid could go nuclear this July. I`ll ask the panel if filibuster
reform really has a shot?

And this weekend, we remember the members of the military who fought for
our freedom. Now they`re fighting another battle here at home. We`ll have
the details coming up.

But next, I`m answering your questions. "Ask Ed Live", it`s an original.
It`s next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. We love hearing from our viewers
tonight in our "Ask Ed Live" segment.

Our first question is from viewer Ramon Perez. "Why hasn`t there been more
talk about raising the minimum wage?"

Well, first of all, this is a real heavy lift, because it takes a lot of
advocates in the Senate to get this done. There`s a lot of advocates on
the business side as well. The Chamber of Commerce has got a big lobbying
effort. They do not like raising the minimum wage.

I think it`s absolutely atrocious that we treat low-wage workers the way we
do in this country and it`s such a political heavy lift. If the Democrats
had the White House, the House, and the Senate, and they had 60 votes, you
would see a different economy, because the minimum wage would definitely be
raised.

Our next question comes from John Franz. "Could you explain how poor white
people in red states vote against their own interests?"

You know, I don`t know if race has anything to do with it, but being
partial to the radio business, I think that 600 right wing talk show hosts
in rural America getting nothing but that kind of audio probably has some
effect on red state America.

Stick around. We`ll have more with our panel, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Right back with you here on THE ED SHOW.

This morning, a voice from the past stepped forward to give his party
counsel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: What do you think of your party, of the Republicans today?

DOLE: I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors
that says, "Closed for repairs" until New Year`s Day next year. And spend
that time going over ideas and positive agendas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Does the voice of experience matter?

This is coming from the former Senate majority leader, Bob Dole, a
conservative statesman from middle America, a Republican who served in the
Senate for almost 30 years.

The 1996 Republican presidential nominee, Bob Dole, says he doesn`t even
recognize his own party anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: You describe the GOP of your generation as Eisenhower
Republicans, moderate Republicans. Could people like Bob Dole, even Ronald
Reagan, could you make it in today`s Republican Party?

DOLE: I doubt it. I doubt Reagan could have made it. Certainly, Nixon
couldn`t have made it, because he had ideas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Bob Dole is right on the mark. The mainstream and moderate
Republicans of the past have no place in today`s modern and radical
conservative movement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MCCONNELL: Our top political priority over the next two years should be to
deny President Obama a second term.

BISHOP E.W. JACKSON: Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to back
lives than the KKK as ever was.

MODERATOR: Are you saying that society should just let him die?

AUDIENCE: Yes! Yes!

FORMER REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: No.

JACKSON: And the Democrat Party and their black civil rights allies are
partners in this genocide.

PALIN: We don`t have leadership coming out of Washington, we have reality
television.

(MUSIC)

PALIN: You betcha! Yes!

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporations are people,
my friend.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: Joining again tonight, Bob Shrum, Karen Finney, Joe Sestak.

Karen, what about the Republican Party? They seem to still have an
identity crisis, but could a Bob Dole be a voice of reasoning that might
cause for some conversation and caucus with them?

FINNEY: You know, I don`t think they`ve listened to any voices of reason
recently. And I think the most dramatic example we have of that, Ed,
actually, was something you started your show talking about.

I mean, think about what we saw happening in America this week. We saw the
storms in the Midwest and people trying to put their lives back together.
We saw people in New Jersey, trying to put their lives back together as the
summer deny --

SCHULTZ: We used to not fight over those things.

FINNEY: That`s right. And we saw the bridge collapse.

Those are all things that Congress are supposed to be working on, right?
They`re supposed to be looking at, where are the problems that need to be
addressed in this country? What are the issues that need to be worked on?

Instead, they have become so ideological, and frankly, so much of it has
become about, you`ll hear them say, they don`t want to give Barack Obama a
win.

You know, fixing our bridges and our roads and addressing the problems of
this country, that`s not about a win for Obama, but, yet, they don`t seem
to see that.

So, to your question about, you know, voices of reason, when you`re so
ideologically bound, I don`t think there`s a voice of reason they`ll pay
attention to.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

Bob Dole took the Senate to task for abusing the filibuster. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: In your first two years as a senator, there were seven motions
filed, cloture motions, to end debate. In the last two years, there were
115 cloture motions.

Is the filibuster being abused, where it now takes 60 votes to pass
anything?

DOLE: No doubt about it. There are some cases where you can probably
justify it, but not many.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, what do you think?

SHRUM: Well, I think we ought to get rid of the filibuster, at least on
confirming people to these jobs in the federal government.

Bob Dole is a remarkable person. I worked with him a long time ago in the
Senate and with Senator Kennedy and Senator McGovern and they work on the
food stamp program to try to reduce hunger in America.

And Dole is right. For that, today, he would be a pariah in the Republican
Party.

Secondly, the GOP has this phrase, RINOs, Republicans in name only. That`s
what they call Dole. That`s what they call Nixon.

But the truth is, they`re the real RINOs. They`re Reaganites in name only.
They love to invoke Reagan, but this is a guy who made a deal with Tip
O`Neill to save Social Security, worked with Ted Kennedy to reform
immigration, made peace with the Soviets. Those things would be great
offenses today inside the Republican Party.

The only reason we haven`t moved faster on the filibuster is because Harry
Reid is worried about trying to hold together a fragile coalition on
immigration reform, which even if it passes the Senate, will probably go to
the House to die. But when we come back in July, we ought to do this.

SCHULTZ: Look at how many judgeships we have open in this country. Look
at the National Labor Relations Board. It`s almost their strategy to make
sure they can take it down.

So, this is kind of working good. So Bob Dole is a Republican of the past.
And, you know, it just seems to me that it`s going to be real hard for them
to get power again in the Senate, because this faction just isn`t
connecting with enough people.

Demographically, Karen, they`ve got all kinds of problems with their way of
thinking.

FINNEY: Well, absolutely. And every, you know, new thing we see, they`re
sort of further alienating women voters, Latino voters, African-American
voters, young voters, which supposedly, I thought Reince Priebus said post
the autopsy post-election, that they were going to try to reach out to
people. Instead, I don`t see that happening.

SCHULTZ: Bob Dole also gave his take on the unprecedented obstruction in
Washington. And, Joe, I want you to comment on this, because bringing
people together, it`s almost like a lost art. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOLE: It seems almost unreal, that we can`t get together on a budget or
legislation. I mean, we weren`t perfect by a long shot, but at least we
got our work done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: We`ve lost the art of compromise in Washington. Joe, how do we
get it back?

SESTAK: Well, you really do have to change out the people. It`s like
Karen said, I think the rules of the Senate were set up when we had
reasonable people back a hundred, 200 years ago. And we don`t have
reasonable people today.

The unfortunate part of Washington, D.C., we only confront our challenges
when in crisis. And we`re partisan before Americans in the United States
Senate, so that we`re beginning to careen from crisis to crisis.

And what we`re losing is the most precious national treasure of all, and
that`s the trust of the American people.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SESTAK: So we begin to not even understand, begin to break that national
unity of what we stand for and who we are about. And that can only be
changed by changing the people down there.

SCHULTZ: And I think we are teaching a younger generation of Americans
that this is the new government, this is the way it works. This isn`t the
way it`s supposed to work, Bob. I mean, you know, this -- we`re poor
examples right now.

SHRUM: Well, and there`s a big danger here, because if the Republicans
pursue this policy and it works, it somehow or other damages Obama, damages
the Democratic Party, political success comes out of it, what are
Democratic strategists practically going to say when you have a Republican
president? They`re going to say, the way to bring this thing down is to
obstruct.

Now, that didn`t work in 2012.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

SHRUM: I ultimately don`t think it`s going to work for them over the long-
term, certainly not in 2016.

I think they`re going to have to change, or they`re going to die out as a
party. They need more Bob Doles. He shouldn`t be the past, he should be
the future. Or people like him should be the future of the Republican
Party.

SCHULTZ: Karen, give me a name. Who`s closest to Bob Dole do you think in
style and philosophy in the Republican Party? I`m losing a name here.

FINNEY: Living? You know, I honestly -- well, I guess, Olympia Snowe,
maybe. Although, I have to say, these guys, you know, they talk about
bipartisanship, and then they leave. We need people like that to stay and
fight.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

Bob Shrum, Karen Finney, Joe Sestak, always, great to have you with us.

SESTAK: Great to be with you.

SHRUM: Thank you.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you, are Republican efforts to block
infrastructure dangerous for Americans? Eighty-four percent of you say
yes, 16 percent of you say no.

Still to come --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was
used during the Civil War era.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is lost at sea on the issue of
diversity. We have advice for this pretender, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: For our pretenders tonight, we hear from Pennsylvania Governor
Tom Corbett, where pretending is part of state policy. Pennsylvania tried
to pretend some voices shouldn`t be heard by pushing voter ID laws, which
targeted youth and minority voters. Governor Corbett pretended he wasn`t
trying to shame women seeking abortion by forcing them to view medically
unnecessary ultrasounds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. TOM CORBETT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I don`t how to make anybody watch, OK?
Because you just have to close your eyes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now, Governor Corbett is trying to pretend the diversity in his
state just isn`t there. When questioned about the role of Latinos in
Pennsylvania and the government, Corbett fumbled!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have staff members that are Latino?

CORBETT: No, we do not have any staff members in there. If you can find
us one, please let me know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The Latino population in California has grown to 6 percent in the
last decade, becoming an integral part of the state`s culture and talented
Latinos can`t be too hard to find. After all, the governor does actually
have Latino men and women on his staff, his spokesman admitted in a damage
control press release.

This reminded me of another governor, Republican governor, that is, trying
to address diversity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: We took a concerted effort to go out and find women and they
brought us whole binders full of women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Binders work every time, don`t they? Things didn`t go so well
for him, either.

If Governor Corbett thinks this brand of Republican leadership works, he
can just close his eyes and just keep on pretending.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Manning`s (ph) claim existed only on paper, making it
immune to our advanced hacking technology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s just nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do I even have a tech nerd? Get out of my way!

Oh, oh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The claim was last seen in the mountains of
paperworkistan, but it kind of escaped to the Manhattan regional office or
maybe D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what you`re saying it could be anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It needs a little attention.

Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Memorial Day is tomorrow, and while many families are going to be spending
time at the beach or maybe barbecuing, it`s important to remember the real
meaning of this holiday -- those who have given the ultimate sacrifice,
those who have been scarred in battle, and those who will have issues for
the rest of their lives because their service to the country.

Veterans are returning home in droves. Soldiers are transitioning to get
back to life after a war, and the V.A., some think, is a complete mess.

I want to say, I think the V.A., from my experiences of having friends that
have gone through it, they give excellent care. It`s the case overload.
Veterans must wake through a backlog of nearly 1 million benefit claims at
the V.A. Many are waiting years for the benefits they were promised. And
we can`t renege.

The Department of Veteran Affairs created a strategic plan to eliminate
this backlog. Their reason for increased demand and delay: 10 years of war
with increased survival rates and post conflict downsizing of the military.
So, we have more soldiers per capita to deal with.

The lack of organization is really at the root of this problem because of
the case overload. Piles of benefit claims fill the V.A. offices. This
looks more like an episode of hoarders than a functioning government
office. It wasn`t supposed to be like this. Nobody predicted it, but this
is the cost of going into a war on faulty intelligence.

It`s 2013. The fact that paper claims are still the norm is pretty archaic
and laughable actually.

V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki, former general, claims the end is in sight.
He told Congress by 2015, the V.A. will eliminate the backlog. The new
system would process claims in 125 days or less. The solution is to make
veterans wait only four months instead of years.

For more, I`m joined tonight by Congressman Garamendi of California, who`s
a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: Always good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: This is an aftermath problem we didn`t anticipate, posttraumatic
stress disorder needs a great deal of attention. That was a number in a
cause of residual of war that we didn`t anticipate.

Is this the best we can do? Where are we, John?

GARAMENDI: This is not the best we can do. In fact, this is despicable.

There is no reason other than lethargic action by the V.A. and, I must say,
Congress has got to appropriate the money to hire the people to get this
done. With regard to the electronic records, we`ve heard that promise
before. It does work, but it`s a long way off. We get it done in the next
year, I would be surprised but I would be absolutely delighted, also.

This has got to be resolved. I`ll tell you my office, and we do a lot of
veterans work out of my office, it goes on. It goes on.

My staff is excellent. We can get things done. But the V.A. has got to
get on top of this. They need to hire the additional people, put them in
place right now, make the management work.

This is a disgrace -- a disgrace for America.

SCHULTZ: I think that -- you know, you`re on the Armed Services Committee
in the House, but this is really an issue that every congressional member
needs to pay attention to. I know there`s a lot of committees that they
serve and they have a focal point of what they want to do and everything,
but this is -- there`s veterans in every district in this country. And
this is something that has to have attention and constituency services.

I mean, does that play a big part in all of this?

GARAMENDI: Well, certainly, my office does an enormous amount of
constituency services. We get a reputation for getting the job done and,
therefore, we get even more.

But the real problem here lies with the Veterans Administration. And I
think, also with Congress and not appropriating the money.

Back with that stimulus bill which is now four years ago, there was an
enormous amount of money that was put into the vets, that backlog actually
declined. And, when the money ran out, guess what happened? The backlog
increased.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

GARAMENDI: So we need to put the money -- we need to do more than talking.
We need that electronic system put in place. And we also need --

SCHULTZ: I want to talk about that. Let`s show the videotape again of
that room with all of the papers stacked up.

This is 2013. Information technology, I mean, we`ve got little gadgets on
our hand right now that connect us to the world but we can`t get our V.A.
to be on par with the latest technology? I mean, is it money, John?
Congressman, is it money or is it management?

GARAMENDI: Both. It`s both.

Actually that electronic thing does work. I held a veterans fair two
months ago and the V.A. brought along six of those terminals and went
through, I don`t know, 30 or 40 actual applications and did it within just
record time right there at the veterans fair.

So, it can work but it takes more money. Those things are not cheap to
buy. To bring that system into place takes money.

It also takes top management and, frankly, I think the management is
lacking here. Somebody has to crack the whip. People need to get this job
done.

But beyond that, Ed, you said something very, very important at the outset
of this segment and that is we`ve had 10 years of war. America has never
had 10 years of war before. That`s an enormous burden.

And we`re talking about men and women that had multiple deployments that
have been there three, four, five times. They`re hurting. They`re going
to be hurting for years to come. We need to recognize that.

And we also need to recognize that after all this is Memorial Day. As I
came into the studio here in Sacramento, I came by one of the big water
tanks on the south side of town and there was that American flag on top of
it, blue background, and I`m going this is America. We can do better.
Both in our warfare, that is not choosing wars that go on forever, but also
in providing the services.

One thing, Ed, that I would love to see when you go into the military, you
have your basic training -- six weeks, eight weeks. When you leave the
military, you`re given about six hours. Fill out a form, good-bye, thank
you.

We need to do more to prepare our military for the departure from the
military. Two, three weeks, are getting acclimated to not military life
but civilian life. Know what you can get from the V.A. Know what
opportunities are out there for jobs and employment. And the things you`re
going to have to do when you no longer are in the military but rather in
civilian life.

And we do have very serious mental illnesses, posttraumatic stress syndrome
and other things. It`s a huge problem that needs to be addressed, and we
can`t -- we`re spending $80 billion this year in Afghanistan. We can do
better at home.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. Congressman, great to have you with us, John
Garamendi, on the House Armed Services Committee.

If we can`t take care of our veterans, if we can`t do better, if we can`t
fix this problem, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask
ourselves the question, just who the heck are we?

On this Memorial Day, remember those -- tomorrow Memorial Day -- remember
those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and those who
sacrificed to give broadcasters the ability to sit in front of cameras and
say what they think, only in America. We do have a great country. We can
always make it better, and we can reach our potential at a higher level,
but we`ve got to do it together.

Maybe Bob Dole is the smartest guy in the room today.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. We`ll see you back here next Saturday
5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Have a great Memorial Day. We`ll see you next
weekend.


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