THE ED SHOW
September 9, 2013
Guests: Ben Cardin, Jonathan Alter, Tommy Vietor, Wesley Clark, Jumaane Williams, Brian Sims
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We`re not talking about war.
HILLARY CLINTON, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: If the regime, immediately
surrendered its stockpiles to international control.
KERRY: Turn it over. All of it. And without delay.
CLINTON: That would be an important step.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us this evening folks.
Thanks for watching. So let`s put this in perspective here.
The G20 meeting was last week, and the first Monday after the G20 and,
oh by the way the first Monday the Congress comes back to work. The
Russians happen to have a proposal to settle all of this.
I find it very, very interesting, a lot of commentary last week about
the G20 had just about how effective the President was going to be. Now,
reporters don`t hear everything. I`m sure some leader, somewhere of a
country went to this guy right here and said, "You know what? He`s going
to strike Syria. You guys better get involved in this." And Putin says,
"Well, Monday morning, we`ll probably do something about it."
Sure enough, here we are. Oh by the way, the Congress came back to
work today. Make no mistake the President needs all the help he can get on
Syria. Number one, he doesn`t have the votes right now, it doesn`t look
good. He doesn`t have the momentum at all. He needs a momentum shift big
time. He might have gotten it today with Hillary Clinton. And now, he is
in a midst of a fever pitch PR campaign to turn the tide.
After meeting with President Obama today, former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton stepped out in support of the President, and qualify the
most recent diplomatic developments made by the Russians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I`d like to say a few words about Syria.
A vigorous and important debate is underway in Congress, and around
kitchen tables all over America. This is a challenge that has catalyzed
the kind of debate that I think is good for our democracy. As you know,
this is a fluid situation with statements from Russia, Syria and others in
the last several hours. I just come from a meeting with President Obama
where we discussed the latest developments and three points in particular
are at the heart of the decision our country and our Congress has to make
in the days ahead.
First as the President has said, the Assad regime`s inhuman used of
weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children
violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order and therefore it
demands a strong response from the international community led by the
Second, the international community cannot ignore the ongoing threat
from the Assad regime`s stockpiles of chemical weapons whether they are
used again against Syrian civilians or transferred to Hezbollah or stolen
by other terrorists. This is about protecting both the Syrian people and
our friends in the region. The world will have to deal with this threat as
swiftly and comprehensively as possible.
Now if the regime immediately surrendered its stockpiles to
international control as was suggested by Secretary Kerry and the Russians,
that would be an important step, but this cannot be another excuse for
delay or obstruction. And Russia has to support the international
community`s efforts sincerely or be held to account.
It is very important to note that this discussion that has taken hold
today about potential international control over Syria`s stockpiles, only
could take place in the context of a credible military threat by the United
States to keep pressure on the Syrian government as well as those
supporting Syria like Russia. Achieving a political solution that ends the
conflict is in the interest of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, the question is, is that going to be a game changer
for the President. I think it`s certainly going to help. The White House
seems to be allowing for one last ditch effort of diplomacy, but the
President hasn`t stopped his all out push for a strike. President Obama
met with congressional democrats on Capitol Hill earlier today.
Let me point out, that the President doesn`t go to Capitol Hill very
often on bended knees saying, "I need your support." Normally, it`s the
other way around with this President because he`s so popular and he just
knows how to win. But this was a significant move today that the President
went up to talk to the Democrats. He wants and needs the Democrats to
support him on a military strike.
Most lawmakers are still leaning against a military strike. They`re
hearing it at Town Halls and have them the last several weeks.
The latest whip count by the Washington Post shows 223 House members
are a "No" or "Leaning No" on a strike. Only 26 are for action and 160 --
126 are undecided.
All right, in the Senate, the numbers are these. 28 members are
opposed or likely opposed to military action. 23 senators are for the
strike. But this is a big number. 49 people in the Senate, half the
United State Senate doesn`t know what to do about Syria or are they afraid
to do something about it.
The latest poll shows 63 percent of Americans opposed military action
on Syria, up 4 percent from last week. He can make the case. The momentum
is with the people. Lawmakers and the American people want 100 percent
certainly that Assad used chemical weapons against his own people and I
President Obama and John Kerry, Secretary State said that they have no
doubt that sarin gas was used by the Syrian government. There`s no doubt.
White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, good Minnesota guy, middle of
the country, level headed dude. He appeared on all the Sunday talk shows
this weekend to keep pushing this claim. He said, "Multiple times, the
White House has been pretty certain that Assad used chemical weapons."
However at one point, McDonough contradicted the Administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENIS MCDONOUGH: Now, do we have a pitcher or do we have irrefutable
beyond the reasonable doubt evidence? This is not a court of law. And
intelligence does not work that way. So what we do know and what we know
the common sense test says is, "He is responsible for this, he should be
held to account."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So we`re now to the level of, "It`s not a court of law."
We`re not really sure. A common sense point is his in direction. You know
folks, I`m right here. I want to be a member of the 100 percent society.
I want absolutes. I want -- I hate to say it -- slam dunk. They can`t
give that to us because they don`t know. And any bit of doubt is
unacceptable to the American people at this point. And let me be clear, I
personally think that Assad used chemical weapons but it`s not our fight as
a civil war.
And I do believe that we need the 100 percent society to speak up,
which I think they are. We need absolutes. We don`t need high confidence.
That`s not good enough, that not a reasonable doubt what is that? What was
the reasonable doubt, you know? So what do you say we take shot at him? I
think we got to be a little bit or direct in that. We need to be certain
Assad used chemical weapons and nobody else did it, except him.
If we can`t be a 100 percent sure, everybody in Congress, I believe,
should vote against, to vote "No" on a Syrian strike. We can`t afford to
guess. We can`t afford to be wrong. The stakes are too damn high. We
need to exhaust every diplomatic channel here and there is still no
certainty of what the response is going to be. And I`ve talked to, at
least, a dozen lawmakers in the last week. That`s their sticking point.
That`s the fence they can`t get over.
What`s the response? It`s the day after, but this might be a game
changer. Today, Syria said it welcomed the Russian proposal to turn over
their chemical weapons to the international monitors. The White House said
that they`re going to take a hard look at the Russian proposal.
We know where the Russian stand on Syria. They have the sided with
Assad every step of the way even saying evidence pointed to rebels using
chemical weapons, what evidence so they have. This is a two-way street.
They have repeatedly warned the United States against military action
calling evidence of the chemical attack absolutely unconvincing.
Well, in the meantime, Syrian leader, Assad, spoke with Charlie Rose
and he`s trying to convince the American people that this is the wrong
thing to do with a very chilling warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE, PBS HOST: Will there be attacks against American bases
in the Middle East if there`s an air strike?
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: You should expect everything.
You should expect everything. Well, not necessarily through the
government. It`s not only the government -- not only -- not the only
player in this region. You have these different parties. You have
different faction. You have different ideology. You have everything in
this issue now. So you have to expect that.
ROSE: Expect? Tell me what you mean by expect everything?
AL-ASSAD: Expect every action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, the question that we have to ask ourselves as
Americans, do we want to believe this guy? Is he credible? Well, if he
used chemical weapons on his own people, then he says, "We have to expect
everything." I don`t know. I think we ought to kind of listen to him and
exhaust every diplomatic effort we possibly can.
Get yourself cellphones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question, has President Obama convinced you, the United States
needs to strike Syria? Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can
always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later
on in the show.
For more, let`s turn to Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland who sits on the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator, good to have you with us
SEN. BEN CARDIN, (D) MARYLAND: Ed, it`s always good to be on your
SCHULTZ: Senator, what I find so striking is that I know there`s been
a lot of phone calls, a lot of intelligence briefings, a lot of sharing of
information from the administration and the Intel community to Capitol
Hill, but I`m confused as to why aren`t there more surrogates for a strike
if the evidence is so overwhelming? I don`t seem to see too many, Senator,
from your chamber. In fact, there`s 49 of them who are undecided. I don`t
see anybody coming out in full throat and saying we have to do this. What
do you make of that?
CARDIN: Well, there`s no good options here. As you pointed out,
there`s a lot of uncertainty. I must tell you the evidence is overwhelming
that Assad did and was responsible for the use of chemical weapons and over
1400 lost their lives. I think it`s also clear that the international
community needs to respond to the use of chemical weapons, but our
objective should be to deter, to track, to make much less likely that
chemical weapons will be used in the future. So, the offer that was made
today, if it`s any validity to that if we can get control, the
international community can get control of the chemical weapons, that`s the
best case scenario for us.
So, I think the concern today is can we achieve a mission that really
will degrade Syria`s ability to use chemical weapons in the future, is
there a way to make it more certain and that is the case.
CARDIN: So, it`s not just the evidence of the use of chemical
weapons. Its how does the United States work with the international
community, how can we achieve our objectives.
SCHULTZ: Senator, do you think that the Russians are honest brokers
at this point? Do you think that they really want to intervene and do you
think that they can get something accomplished on an international level?
CARDIN: Let`s be clear. In the recent months, the Russians had been
anything but helpful in regards to the United States and in regards to the
SCHULTZ: So, you look at their proposal with skepticism?
CARDIN: Absolutely, but I would like to pursue it because I think if
we can achieve international control of the chemical weapons, that`s the
best possible outcome right now of the weapons that are in -- the chemical
weapons that are in Syria.
SCHULTZ: Senator, give us a sense of the President`s mood on Capitol
Hill today. How eager is he to see this thing through and strike the
Syrians? He met with you in Caucus and the rest of the Democrats. He --
And he can`t get this done without your support.
CARDIN: Well, the Senate Democrats will be meeting with him tomorrow
but I could tell you in conversations I`ve had with the Administration,
they are all out in trying to make sure that the members of Congress
understand what`s at stake here, that this is a -- if left unchallenged,
there is a risk that we`ll see more use of weapons of mass destruction.
However, we want to make sure we get this right. And there`s a lot of
members in Congress who say, "Look, where`s the international community?"
SCHULTZ: All right, Senator, you just said something very
interesting, you think that if we don`t act that Assad will use chemical
weapons again, it will be something greater. I mean that`s the line that
Senator -- that Secretary of State Kerry has been pushing in a big way.
CARDIN: I think there`s a real risk that if there isn`t a response to
the use of chemical weapons where 1400 people were killed, where it was
clear that it was used that it -- there is no response that is more likely
the chemical weapons will be used in the future.
SCHULTZ: Are you a yes vote?
CARDIN: My vote in the Committee to move the resolution to the floor,
so, I believe we have to act. I have some of the same concerns that you`ve
expressed, but at this point I think we`ve got to come together and engage
the international community. And we cannot let this attack go
SCHULTZ: Assad says in an interview that we have to expect
everything. What`s your response to that?
CARDIN: Well, we already know that Assad is very unpredictable.
Look, the international community has the capacity to deal with this issue.
We want to deal; with it through diplomacy if we can.
SCHULTZ: OK. But he says that where -- he`s going to strike back. I
mean that`s basically -- we have to expect everything. I mean he`s
basically saying that United States is going to get hit.
CARDIN: It`s a -- well, look, it`s a dangerous world. We have to be
on -- we have to be prepared. We are -- We have to be prepared before this
use of chemical weapons and after this use of chemical weapons. We know
that we were attacked on September 11. That date`s coming up this week.
So, we know that America -- very open democratic society has it`s
vulnerabilities, but we are much better prepared today that we were a
decade ago. And we will be able to defend Americans.
SCHULTZ: But, you don`t .
CARDIN: . so we will be able to defend Americans.
SCHULTZ: You don`t think Assad`s comments are a game changer in
CARDIN: No, not at all. I -- He`s saying what he has to say.
SCHULTZ: We shouldn`t be alarmed by that at all?
CARDIN: I think we should always be prepared and understand the
vulnerability of an open society and we always have to be on our toes, but
I think President Assad has lost his legitimacy in the way that he has
governed in Syria, and that`s not just a United States Senator saying that.
The international community is saying if the leaders in our region are
CARDIN: So it`s time for change in Syria. Right now, our objective
is to deal with the use of chemical weapon.
SCHULTZ: All right. It`s time for change in Syria, but we`re for
regime change but we certainly don`t want to get boots on the ground.
SCHULTZ: OK. And clearly they read it clearly, this has to be done
in a way that doesn`t draw us in, has to be very, very narrowly drawn.
Take a look at the language that came out on Senate Foreign Relations
SCHULTZ: I did.
CARDIN: It`s very tightly controlled.
SCHULTZ: It is tightly controlled, but Assad is not, at least as we
could expect everything. That means there`s going to be response which
brings us the American people, I think, despite being, you know, what`s the
response to the response?
CARDIN: Well, I mean, obviously we .
SCHULTZ: We don`t know?
CARDIN: . we`ve thought, no, we thought this out and we believe that
we have the capacity to protect American interest. It`s not just the
United States is our allies in the region. All of them are concerned but
all of them recognize that this goes unchallenged if the international
community does stand off.
SCHULTZL: So this would be repeated hits then, this would just not be
-- this would be an open-ended campaign. It`s not going to stop in 30
days. I mean we`re going to take his ability to use chemical weapons
CARDIN: No. We believe -- I`m not the military expert.
CARDIN: But the military you`re telling us that they`ll be able to
achieve a mission which will significantly deter, and degrade Syria`s
ability to use chemical weapons. That`s the objective.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right. Senator, great to have you with us tonight.
CARDIN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Appreciate it. Senator Ben Cardin with us here on the Ed
Show. Remember to answer tonight`s question here at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Tweeter. The Ed Show 63 percent of
the American people are not in favor of hitting Syria. We want to know
what you think.
Coming up, race and the race to become mayor in New York City.
Bloomberg takes a dig in the front runner`s campaign. And in Trenders,
blazing saddles, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, burning his home state
support. Wait until you see who he was hanging out with this weekend.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back. The Ed Show. We love hearing from our
viewers. A lot of Twitter activity as of late tonight in our Ask Ed Live
segment. Question comes in from Suzanne Daniel (ph) and she says, if
Republicans are talking impeachment now, won`t rhetoric heat up if Syria
action goes wrong?
Absolutely it will. The Republicans who were voting no on Syria are
just looking for an opportunity to discredit this President. Remember
impeachment is a political action. There is no doubt that they will do
anything to damage this President`s legacy, slow him down legislatively and
turn the tide on his Administration.
Our next question comes from Daniel Kramer and he says, do you think
it will hurt Hillary in 2016 if she supports the President on Syria?
Well, I want to say and I meant to say this in the opening block.
Today was a real test of loyalty on the part of Senator -- former Senator
Clinton -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She`s speaking
exactly what the President wants her to say, but it is a statement of
record. It is also a policy position. I thought she was crystal clear and
I bet there`s a lot of liberals that probably weren`t too happy about it.
So this is really a big political card that Hillary Clinton played
today to step out the way she did in support of the President and in
support of striking Syria and holding Syria accountable. Let me say that I
think that this will be a player, the outcome of Syria in 2016. Stay
tuned, we`ll have a lot more coming up on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back. Td Show. Today, President Obama granted
separate sit down interviews to six different major television networks.
He`s working the room in order to make the case on Syria. Tomorrow, the PR
offensive continues. The President will take his plans directly to the
American people in a live prime time speech at 9 p.m. You`ll see it right
here on MSNBC.
The question is, can the President get Congressional approval and
support for a strike based on assertions of high confidence and admissions
of reasonable doubt that Assad used chemical weapons on his own people and
he`s a threat to the world.
Joining me now for the discussion, our Rapid Response panel, MSNBC
Political Analyst and Journalist, Jonathan Alter. Tommy Vietor, former NSC
Spokesman and Co-founder of Fenway Strategies, and also retired Four-Star
General and Former NATO Commander, General Wesley Clark.
General, let`s start with you tonight. This most recent development
that the Russians are willing to intervene on an international level and
try to convince the Syrians to have some oversight, your thoughts on that.
Can the Russians be trusted? Are they honest brokers?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FMR. NATO COMMANDER: No, but I think it`s an
opening that you have to exploit and it wouldn`t have happened if the
President haven`t had the leadership to put forward his intent to strike.
The Congress needs to get behind him, need resolution for both Houses of
Congress and hold the Russians speak (ph) to the fire, this is diplomacy
backed by the threat of force. It`s exactly the right way to do it.
SCHULTZ: So General, if the President doesn`t get a Yes vote and
approval of Congress to do the strike, where does that leave him?
CLARK: Well, I think first of all, he`s going to get some kind of a
resolution of support. And I think it`s, you know, it`s about the American
people really and understanding. This President is showing leadership, a
lot of leadership on this. He get lot of criticism from the phrase leading
from behind even though that wasn`t what he was doing, or he is leading
from way out front on this when -- and I think he needs the support of the
American people, both Houses of Congress and both parties. This is about
the international system. It`s about keeping together a system of laws and
moving toward a system where nations can work peacefully with each other.
That`s what America can contribute to the international community. This is
SCHULZ: Jonathan Alter, how heavy a lift is this is going to be?
JONATHAN ALTER, POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s very heavy and the outcome is
very much in doubt. I turned out to be wrong about this. I thought that
people would rally behind and, especially Democrats. I`m really surprised
that more democrats have not understood what General Clark has been talking
about and also not taking a closer look at those pictures on television, of
those children who are gassed. And people really need to understand that
if we don`t take a stand, if we don`t act or at least have the country
behind the President`s threat to act, then it lets a genie out of the
bottle that will kill a lot of people. These are terrifying weapons used
against civilians. They`re actually not of much use on the battlefield.
They`re used against .
SCHULTZ: But, don`t you think the American people is upset (ph) now
ALTER: They do and I think a lot of Americans are just not thinking
this through enough in trying to understand that if we don`t act, there are
serious consequences. And by the way, at an institutional level beyond the
-- in a moral strategic and political questions and in institutional level,
if Congress doesn`t back the President on this, why would Barack Obama or
any future president ever go and ask Congresses` approval again? This will
be a huge shift in power from a Congress to the presidency and Congress
will have very, very little role in foreign and national security policy in
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Tommy Vietor, you`ve been very close to the
President, worked with him as a senator and was in his Administration. The
day after, everybody in Congress I talked to is so concerned about the day
after. How is the President going to sell this?
TOMMY VIETOR, FMR. NSC SPOKESMAN: I think he has to make two cases in
American people. The first is a moral case. Like Jonathan said, I think
if you understand that these are 400 children gassed indiscriminately in
their bed, murdered in a way that is more akin to torture than getting
shot. It`s one of the most horrific things you can imagine. Make that
moral case and I think also make a case about what this isn`t. This is not
Iraq, this is not US boots on the ground. We`re talking about a time
limited, smaller in scope narrow mission to hit CW sites, command and
control sites, military sites, and this would not be an open and in
SCHULTZ: General, is this an active war? I mean, you know, one
missile, 200 missiles, whatever it is we would be striking Syria.
CLARK: No. No, it`s not an active war. It does come on to the war
powers resolution. It`s not an active war.
It`s actually an attempt to have diplomacy backed by the threat of
force. But if you don`t authorize the President to raise the hammer, then
you can`t get the diplomacy.
The Russian offer would never come -- have come forward if it had not
been for the threat of force.
SCHULTZ: Well, I pointed out that I think it`s very interesting that
it comes right after the G20. The Monday after the G20, somebody must have
said something to Putin, you know, he`s serious, he`s going to hit him and
if they have interest to get involve here, I mean no question about it.
But, General, what do you say to the people, the members of Congress,
numbers of one`s that I`ve spoken to. They`re worried about the response,
they`re worried about what the chain .
CLARK: Remember when Saddam Hussein said it was the mother of all
CLARK: I mean, this is the Middle East. What would you expect Bashar
Assad to say? "Gee, we`re really weak. Please don`t hit me." No, he`s
going to say, "We`re big and tough. We`re going to clean your clock." You
know, its trash talk. Yes, he`s got some capabilities. I`m sure there
maybe some efforts of terrorism, and I`m sure the Iranians have some
capabilities. We`re pretty darn good, and we have to move forward in this
is stage .
SCHULTZ: Well, there is an Iranian component here, General, what
CLARK: . it`s extremely important.
Sure, there is an Iranian connection. But the Iranians are using
Bashar Assad in a drive to get to the Mediterranean. I mean their
objective is not limited to Syria. They`ve got Hezbolla and Lebanon. So
yes, it`s a big Iranian power play, and there`s lots of geostrategy
involved in this. But let`s not take our eye off the ball. Their
immediate issue here is chemical weapons .
SCHULTZ: OK, and also .
CLARK: We put out to world -- we put up this system in the world. We
said no chemical weapons. It`s our system .
ALTER: . we`re the leaders, we`d enforce it.
SCHULTZ: We didn`t respond to it when Saddam used it in the Iran-Iraq
ALTER: That`s true but one more important about Iran right now, this
will embolden them if we don`t act, if Congress doesn`t act. And it will
give them an almost some kind of a green light almost to move forward with
impunity on the assumption that the west will not react. And that is a
very dangerous proposition.
SCHULTZ: Tommy Vietor, would President Obama hit Syria without
VIETOR: I mean, I don`t know. I think we should the Congress the
chance to vote. I would say that, I don`t think there`s anyone in the
country that wants a war in Syria less than this President. This is not
something he`s doing because he has broader designs in the region, because
of ideology. This is because of the gassed little children with chemical
weapon and we .
SCHULTZ: How much does Hillary Clinton helped?
VIETOR: I think that Hillary Clinton is a critical messenger to talk
about this issue in any form of policy (inaudible) frankly.
SCHULTZ: And Jonathan this now becomes a 2016 play the way the former
Secretary of State came out today. What do you think?
ALTER: Well, we don`t know where things will stand in 2016, it`s way
too early. But I do think that it`s significant that people like General
Clark, and Hillary Clinton, and General Petraeus, and people who we really
have a lot of respect for when it comes to the national security of our
country are unified on this .
ALTER: . and it`s the others who are dissenting right now.
SCHULTZ: General Clark, speak to the American people. How -- What if
we don`t get this right?
CLARK: Well, let me speak to the American people and say, "Let`s get
this right. The President has it right." He`s asking the Congress to
support his use of force. Why? He has the authority to use the force by
CLARK: . it`s a more powerful diplomatic message if he`s got both
houses of Congress behind him. He`s taking the lead. This is what we are
expecting as current (ph) President, take the lead.
CLARK: He wants the American people behind him, then he gets the
international community behind him, and then we put chemical weapons behind
SCHULTZ: All right.
CLARK: That`s the message here.
SCHULTZ: And we hope that they don`t respond if we do hit them,
General Wesley Clark, thank you so much.
CLARK: We`ll deal with the response here.
SCHULTZ: All right.
CLARK: We can deal with it.
SCHULTZ: Well, that`s what American`s afraid of.
Tommy Vietor, Jonathan Alter great to have you with us. I appreciate
the discussion, thank you.
You`re watching the Ed Show in MSNBC, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. The Ed Show social media nation
has decided and we are reporting. Here are today`s top Trenders voted on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a long time sufferer
of foot and mouth disease.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayor Bloomberg takes a shot at frontrunner Bill
De Blasio`s campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: De Blasio`s campaigns seem as his decision to keep
his interracial family a starring role is "Class-warfare and racist."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the one thing if I didn`t thought he was
like some boring, white guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: De Blasio is using his family to gain support.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mayor should never have made those comments.
BILL DE BLASIO, PUBLIC ADVOCATE, NEW YORK: I also realized that it
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams.
Mr. Williams good to have you with us tonight.
JUMAANE WILLIAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of this? I will have any commentary here.
I want to hear what you have to say about what Mayor Bloomberg said about
Bill de Blasio`s family?
WILLIAMS: Well, first the Mayor`s greatest strength in the
administration was his ability to try new things, and of course his biggest
weakness was he didn`t listen to this hint (ph) and unfortunately he
couldn`t say when something was wrong.
I think what`s happening here as we see telling (ph) him of his
administration is he`s just realized he`s lost complete control of the
people who would say yes all the time, and people who wouldn`t fight back,
and that`s gone. He`s losing -- I think he`s just losing his grasp from
reality, and it was probably one of the most divisive things that he said,
it really didn`t make any sense. And actually he`s suffering from third
term billionaire`s disease before and I think this is just another symptom
SCHULTZ: Third term billionaire`s disease?
SCHULTZ: He wants the third term, and he can`t buy it. The law won`t
WILLIAMS: Well, this is -- yeah, he bought his third term and now
SCHULTZ: OK, so he is saying that he`s doing class warfare, Bill de
Blasio is doing class warfare. All right, well if -- how could that be?
WILLIAMS: Well, I always .
SCHULTZ: He`s talking about his family, it`s an interracial marriage?
WILLIAMS: I always find it interesting that people -- a lot of people
call, people say they`re doing class warfare and things as such. I`m
talking about people who are describing the situation and generally when
people are talking or are saying those things out are the ones who
perpetuated the situation.
So some of its policies and some of the things that he`s done actually
perpetuated class warfare, and Bill de Blasio had described the problem
that exist. So it`s funny to me, and almost just a bit hypocritical that
he would say that to him just for putting his family out, just for
describing the situation in New York City right now.
SCHULTZ: I mean is Bloomberg saying that the only reason why black
people would vote for Bill de Blasio is because he`s married to a black
WILLIAMS: I hope not. I mean, I think if Bill de Blasio didn`t put
his family out. What would Bloomberg say? "Oh, he`s not putting his
family out. Is he afraid?" I just don`t know. I think Bloomberg is
terrified that there are things that we`re not correcting his
administration are going to be exposed and corrected. And so when that
would happen to a community safety act that we got to see the council, one
has to do with his -- the candidate that he doesn`t want, that seems to be
going to be at least then run off ahead, if hopefully no run off. I think
he loses control of what to say, and he helps us by keep on talking.
SCHULTZ: OK, there`s two things that de Blasio has distinguished
himself from the other candidates. Number one, stop and frisk. He`s very
clear about what he`s going to do on there. And number two, he`s going to
raise taxes on the wealthiest residents in New York. Is that going to
WILLIAMS: I think that`s playing very well, and what has to do with
profiling and stuff. The person`s been very clear that the profiling has
to stop. The man has refused to even accept that there was a problem. And
two, mayor -- the mayor`s policies have helped the richest people in New
York City, and de Blasio has said, "What we need to try to do is make sure
those who have benefited the most help those of us who haven`t."
SCHULTZ: De Blasio wins.
WILLIAMS: I believe de Blasio wins, yes.
SCHULTZ: And so he will be the next Mayor. He won`t lose in the
general. He`ll be the next Mayor of New York City.
WILLIAMS: I believe in December 31st, we`ll be celebrating the end of
the Bloomberg Administration. On January 2nd, we`ll be celebrating the
beginning of Mayor de Blasio Administration.
SCHULTZ: Do you think Bloomberg`s a racist?
WILLIAMS: No. I mean I don`t .
SCHULTZ: You got to answer that question.
WILLIAMS: Yes. No, and it`s funny when you speak to him one on one.
I think he has a right mindset to do the things to help people but his
policies just do the opposite of many things. I spoke to him in person and
I think some of his policies were classes, some of his policies were racist
but I think he himself really believes that he`s doing the right thing for
him to do.
SCHULTZ: Some of his policies are racist.
WILLIAMS: Oh yeah. Well, the profiling and stop question of risk was
discriminatory and was a racist policy.
SCHULTZ: He says the city is not going to be as safe if they don`t
have that policy. What do you say as a city councilman?
WILLIAMS: Well, we have to have the ability to stop people, but we
don`t have the authority nor should we to profile and the numbers as it lay
out. This is the only time the mayor doesn`t like to see data. The NYPD`s
own data says that the increase in stops had nothing to do with shootings,
murders, or guns being retrieved.
SCHULTZ: All right, Jumaane Williams thanks for joining us tonight at
the Ed Show appreciate it.
WILLIAMS: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: Up next. Bush brain drain. Karl Rove lands in our
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight. Captain of the Bush league Karl
Rove following the Obama Administration`s appeal to Congress for military
strike. Rove when on attack. Here`s his logic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, (R) POLITICAL CONSULTANT: The President probably should
have been better to take an action. We now have the Syrians with -- how --
God knows how many days or weeks if the United States does take action to
disperse of all these units to, you know, protect themselves as much as
possible build human shields. This is an unmitigated disaster. It`s an
amateur hour at the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Really? There`s an expert for you. Karl Rove who promoted
a war based on deceit and filled by greed. Now he wants to talk about
amateur hour. The only professional thing Karl Rove knows about is
wrangling the weak-minded. If the senior adviser, the Bush Administration
think anyone wants his advice, he can just keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed show. This is the story for the
folks who take a shower after work. Lot of talk about priorities as of
late about what we have money for. I thought tonight I`d show you where we
don`t have enough money. Millions of kids in America are heading back to
school. But in Philadelphia, one of the nation`s largest school districts,
today`s not a happy first day. Public schools are in a funding crisis in
that city. 2,000 schools were closed over the summer and the district
laid-off nearly 4,000 workers to close a $304 million deficit. 108 member
of the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus passed the budget keeping in
place nearly $1 billion and cuts to public education.
The situation is a disaster for students, teachers, and parents.
Governor Tom Corbett and his Republican allies in the House are ignoring
several options to get the state out of this mess. Until then, well,
public education just doesn`t seem to be a priority. And in Philadelphia,
they`re just going to have to take the cuts, the new America.
Pennsylvania State Representative, Brian Sims joins me tonight. Mr.
Sims, good to have you with us. What`s the solution here? Most public
schools receive funding from three separate sources. You got some federal
money possibly coming in. You got state government allocation and you got
local school district, you know, personal property taxes such stuff as
Pennsylvania is far below the average in terms of percentage of state
funding contributing only 35.8 percent. Why such a low percentage and
what`s the remedy for Philadelphia?
BRIAN SIMS, (D) PENNSYLVANIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Ed, you started
off this segment by talking about it. It`s about priorities. There are
only nine other states in the country that has a percentage from the state
provide less than Pennsylvania is providing to its school districts. But
what`s really important here is you talked about that $305 million budget
short fall that we haven`t. There`s a package that`s been put in place.
About $140 million from those three sources just try rescue the
Philadelphia School District and, you know, only about $16 or so million of
that actually is coming from the state but it`s the state that`s really
slowing this down. You know, when you talk about the governor`s budget,
but, you know, when he got an office two years ago and cut education
funding $1 billion, this is exactly what was going to happen. So, you
know, right now you got .
SCHULTZ: So also in Michigan -- so in the state of Michigan, we saw a
Republican governing body starve Detroit. Is that happening in
SIMS: I think that`s exactly what happening. Over a decade ago,
Harrisburg, the capital, took over the Philadelphia school system. And so,
you know, we`re now in this strange position of having the governor in
Harrisburg say that because of mismanagement, because of poor performance
that they, you know, they`re concerned about giving more money to the
Philadelphia School District, but its their management and their
Over the Philadelphia School District, that`s the problem here and I
don`t know if this is an intentional raise to the bottom or not, but I do
know that when you implement a budget that has this drastic of cuts, that
these are exactly the problems that are going to arise.
SCHULTZ: So what we`re seeing is a low income and minority
communities getting hit the most. This is where the closures are just
taking place. Just like Chicago, just like Detroit and now, Philadelphia.
SIMS: And that`s the big problem. 80 percent of the students that
are impacted in Philadelphia fall below the poverty line but, you know,
Pennsylvania is one of only three states it the country that doesn`t use a
funding formula to determine how much money to give.
So, yes, the state is certainly under funding the Philadelphia School
District but it`s not even taking into account poverty levels across the
state when it`s determining that funding level.
SCHULTZ: So, what`s the solution here? I mean, you got the win the
house back, you got to get the political clot (ph) to be able to turn this
SIMS: Sure. I mean there`s a reason that this governor is largely
considered to be the most entrenched of any governor in the country right
now. And I`m hopeful that he`s going to lose his position to, you know, to
some good democratic candidates. But, there are solutions right now. You
know, Pennsylvania sits on top of one of the world`s largest reserves of
Natural Gases and we are literally giving that away. We need to enact the
severance tax that charges these companies to extract our natural
SCHULTZ: You mean to tell me .
SIMS: We need to accept .
SCHULTZ: . wait, this is a big point. You mean, for instance .
SIMS: Big point.
SCHULTZ: . in North Dakota, there is an extraction tax which of
course they whine about all the time, but of course the state of North
Dakota where the energy built is they have unbelievable surpluses in their
budget right now. Well, billions of dollars in surplus unlike any other
state. But I know Pennsylvania has the natural gas. You mean to tell me
that your state does not have an extraction tax in the energy sector?
SIMS: Ed, in -- as far as I can tell, by best estimate since 2009,
about $8 billion has been extracted in -- natural gases have been extracted
from Pennsylvania. And if we were taxing at the rate that others states
that have this type of drilling we`re taxing, we`re looking at a little
over a half a billion dollar in tax revenue that`s been simply given away.
SIMS: But it shouldn`t surprise you. I mean, in this fiscal year
alone, 2013-2014, Pennsylvania will give away a little over $3 billion,
$3.16 billion in corporate tax rates. This is indeed a priority`s issue.
SCHULTZ: And of course, the teachers, you know, they`re overpaid,
their pension is too great and they shouldn`t have any time off in the
summer time. I mean that`s really what you`re hearing, isn`t it?
SIMS: It`s always the drum beat.
SIMS: The drum beat is always that, you know, the teachers aren`t
giving enough, that the Teacher`s Union isn`t giving enough, and somehow,
we decided that it was OK to "fix our budget on the backs of people who are
providing education to our children."
SCHULTZ: They are starving public education in this country, one big
city at a time, and blaming it on the workers. That`s what`s happening,
that`s another reason why we shouldn`t hit Syria. We got a spending
priority problem. State Representative Brian Sims, great to have you with
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. PoliticsNation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now.
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