The Ed Show for Thursday, September 26
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
September 26, 2013
Guest: Sherrod Brown, Terri Sewell, Bob Shrum, John Nichols, Jim Wallis
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That a trade deal that will be far larger than
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NAFTA Debate
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Steel was engineered by the first Bush
Administration and passed by the Clinton Administration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been a good deal. Both have become more
competitive in the world marketplace as a result.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there is a tooth fairy and there is an Easter
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will allow us to
create a high standard, enforceable, meaningful trade agreement with
essentially two-thirds of the world markets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s look at reality instead of theory.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST MSNBC: It sounds like a super highway to outsourcing
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Trans-Pacific Partnership has giant
implications for working families .
SCHULTZ: This is another NAFTA disaster waiting to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You need to scream and shout about this one. We`re going to
have a lot on health care later in this broadcast. But we`ll get to of
more lies that are thrown out there on the Right Wing. But folks, let me
tell you something. Progressives, we need to pay attention to this because
this is the next big battle on the horizon.
Now, as our country has been focused on a wacko bird senator from
Texas Ted Cruz, this major issue is sitting under the radar screen and
should be out in front of every American for conversation. This is not
about union labor. This is about American labor -- American jobs across
the board. This will lower the bar. I`m talking about the Trans-Pacific
Partnership. It is a free trade agreement being discussed right now in the
shadows of Congress, not out in the open.
If this partnership passes, it will be the largest free trade
agreement in the history of this country. It will be NAFTA on steroids.
The consequences could be absolutely devastating for workers in this
country and the environment. Outsourcing of good paying American jobs will
probably be the result. Somebody needs to explain to American workers that
this is such a good deal. Why are they doing that?
The partnership could consist of as many as 12 countries including the
United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, and Australia.
These are new territories for emerging markets. Emerging markets means
cheap labor. And make no mistake this deal is dangerous for America. All
negotiations have been held behind closed doors. Congress has been
provided limited access to negotiation documents. The Obama Administration
has barred Congressional members from discussing specific terms of this
deal in public.
Now, Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts sent the White House
a letter calling for transparency on this agreement. Here, here.
Meanwhile, President Obama, he has not been shy about his support for the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We know that we can do even more when it comes to exports
which is why I`m out there negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership and
now a Trans-Atlantic Trade Partnership that will allow us to create a high
standard, enforceable, meaningful trade agreement with essentially two-
thirds of the world markets which is going to be incredibly powerful for
American companies who up until this point have often been locked up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, it has to be pointed out that the President made those
comments last week at the business roundtable with all the business
executives. I mean, this is music to their ears. Now, we can get
President Obama thinking correctly on this. He`s done a lot of things
right, but we can`t let him stray on this one. If this deal goes through,
it would be an absolute race to the bottom for workers. Corporations would
be given free reign and outsourcing could become another major problem --
not that it`s not right now. And a number of unions have come out against
the deal including the Communication Workers of America and the AFL-CIO.
The AFL-CIO put out a -- put together this web video highlighting the
dangers of this partnership.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDEFTIFED FEMALE: TPP could mean that I feel less to care.
UNIDEFTIFED FEMALE: TPP could mean that global corporations get
worker against worker in their rights to the bottom.
UNIDEFTIFED MALE: TPP can make it harder to organize workers.
UNIDEFTIFED MALE: TTP could mean deforestation.
UNIDEFTIFED FEMALE: TPP could mean more over issue (ph).
UNIDEFTIFED FEMALE: TPP could mean we lose our voice.
UNIDEFTIFED FEMALE: Workers` rights, environmental protection, access
to medicines. We urge you to ensure that the agreement would be balanced
in stages on people`s needs not simply the needs of corporations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Critics are calling this bill a corporate giveaway. Florida
Congressman Alan Grayson said the agreement, listen to this, "Hands the
sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests." And according to
a leaked document, foreign corporations operating within the United States
would be permitted to appeal key American legal rulings in an international
tribunal. What? This is according to the Huffington Post.
This tribunal would be granted power over American law, circumventing
American law, giving up our sovereignty for free trade. There is no doubt,
free trade agreements have gone aright for this country and bad for
American jobs. Since NAFTA was passed in 1994, it`s estimated that 680,000
jobs have been lost or displaced because of this agreement.
Here is what I want to focus on tonight with American workers out
there. This is not about unions. It will affect unions, no doubt. But
this is about American labor. This is about the bar being lowered to
standards. And let me ask you redneck farmers and ranchers in the middle
of the country who think that the Republicans hang the moon and they are
the only option out there politically. Why in the hell should I buy your
beef when I can get it from Vietnam for $0.10 on a dollar? Do I have your
This is a bad deal for America and it needs to be vetted. There needs
to be a debate, there needs to be open discussion. This is a highway to
outsourcing and it`s going to be unfair to the American system across the
board. And you know what, labor in Vietnam goes for $0.25 an hour, see at
manufacturing. I think one of the reasons why other counties are attacking
us when it comes to trade and that`s exactly what this is. They`re going
right to the bottom. They don`t have the environmental standards that we
have. They don`t have the pollution standards that we have.
Well, what they have done is they have seen what we have done as a
country when it comes to the revitalization of the American automobile
industry. They know we can do it. They know when can be players. And so,
they`ve got to come up with now another trade agreement that`s going to
involve emerging markets, notice in the countries that I mentioned, there
wasn`t China and there is a China component here too, and there is fear
that China is going to go cut a deal with everyone of the countries that
were listed in this Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement. It`s been done in
600 corporate consultants have been involved in this. But, probably,
your representative or senator doesn`t know very much about it. Why is
President Obama doing this? The White House has to step out and explain
exactly what this is going to do for the middle class. And I would
challenge Democrats across America, don`t be going home to your districts
talking about how you`re supporting the middle class and the middle class
is the survival to our economic engine of this country. If you turn and
you vote for something like this, you need to explain Democrats. You know
the Republicans are going to be for the corporatists, but if the Democrats
of the Progressive Movement need to be on the same page on this one.
If you vote for this, you will be gutting the middle class. And if
I`m wrong on this, then you need to step out as a lawmaker. And number
one, question that lack of transparency on this, and number two, explain to
us the American people, the wage earners. Explain to the American producer
out on the land with ranchers and farmers how this is just going to be the
catch all for them, it won`t be. That`s why they`re not talking about it.
And it was very apropos for President Obama to step out in front of
the business roundtable and say, "You know, hey, I`m really working on this
thing." That`s exactly what they want to hear. There are corporate
executives who are all about out a race to the bottom line.
We`re going to become like them. They`re not going to become like us.
Our standard or living is going to be like them. It`s not going to be like
us. Whose side are you on?
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, Should America give up its sovereignty for a trade agreement?
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 this show.
It`s one of those things you`re either with us or you`re against us.
And I think it`s very curious that it`s just not getting a lot of
For more on this, let`s turn to Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight. I have given my commentary.
I`d like to hear your commentary. Explain this steel, what you know about
it, the upside, the downside, the bogeyman, and all of this. Your take,
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D) OHIO: Yeah. I`m concerned. First of all, I -
- we don`t seem to learn much in this country. I mean, the public does but
the Congress and Administration of both parties don`t seem to have learned
much about trade when you know, it was NAFTA, it was PNTR with China, then
it was a host of smaller countries then it was CAFTA then some other since
then each time they promise jobs, each time our trade deficit grows and
it`s a combination of bad trade law and bad tax law.
My three -- my first of first of three concerns I have is what this
means for auto. 5 percent of the auto sold in Japan, my understanding are
American made, 55 percent of auto sold at the United States are foreign
made. We went to a Korea trade agreement. I thought it was a bad idea, I
voted no, but that clearly didn`t open -- pry open the Korean market for
cars made in United States or other vehicles.
So I`m concerned about that. I`m concerned as you are about investor
state where a company can sue -- a company has the right to sue another
country, to actually sue the government of another country that undermines
all kinds of democratically attained health and safety rules and
regulations. And I`m concerned about sort of the incursion of big tobacco
in this agreement.
I spoke with the US Trade rep yesterday. He had some answers. I`m
not yet satisfied I think there`s a little progress on our side on that.
But, normally (ph), Ed the burden of proof is on the Administration and the
support of this agreement to show Congress that something actually about
this trade agreement is significantly different from the ones in the past
that have been part of the reason we lost 5 million manufacturing jobs.
The first decade of this century and 60,000 plants closed. I don`t blame
it all in trade agreements, but surely they haven`t served this country
SCHULTZ: Senator, why is the White House keeping this deal so secret
and why have there been so many consultants who know what senators don`t
BROWN: Well, there`s been -- there`s nothing much attention paid.
The US -- the Administration will tell us that members of Congress have
access to this if we work to get it. I`m not sure of that. But I do know
that these trade agreements start off with what US corporations want. It`s
not about what small a small business in Dayton or Springfield or Mansfield
or to lead Ohio wants companies that maybe sell into a supply chain and
auto supply chain or an aerospace supply chain when a large company moves,
the small companies are stuck back home laying off 3 percent of their
workforce because they`ve lost their biggest customer. And this trade
agreement typically serves the largest investors that could move money
You know Ed, the amazing about this is never in world history that I
configure or nobody has ever told me otherwise. If we seen the general
business plan for hundreds and hundreds of businesses is shut down
production in Steubenville and Youngstown and Columbus and move it to
Wuhan, Shiyan or Beijing and sell -- then sell the production back into the
original country into the US. That`s never been done to my knowledge.
BROWN: That`s what this trade agreement could result and that`s why
there`s so insidious and, you know, again, I want to look at this when I
want to know more, but the burden of proof is on them to convince the
American people that this actually is in our national interest.
SCHULTZ: OK. So you want more transparency, you want more detail,
you want a debate on this, I mean, it would seem to me that the
multinationals have got a pretty good grip on exactly where American trade
policy is going to go. And this .
BROWN: You know, I want.
SCHULTZ: . goes -- go ahead.
BROWN: Well, I was just going to say, I want to know this isn`t more
of the same. I know what happened in Korea with .
BROWN: . -- a failure, it`s a laud (ph). That`s what we want to
know. And so far, I haven`t been even close to convince that this is an --
more of the same on trade policy that we saw. The old Bush senior days --
Bush senior days, Clinton days, Bush junior days and Obama days so far.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Well, its just the way -- it seems right now, there
is no way the Democrats can run around talking about saying that they are
proponents of the middle class and then will allow something like this go
by, certainly, without the devil on the details being unveiled to the
American people. And there -- this does across a number of different
areas. There are provisions in here dealing with agriculture that we have
to take so much food.
And what kind of standards are these food standards and -- are going
to have. And I don`t understand why it`s been done in secret. I don`t
know why that the President has been so quiet on this. I think he`s got a
lot on his plate, no doubt, but this to me, and I don`t want to use Right
Wing bullet points but this is not going to create jobs from what I can
BROWN: Well, so far .
SCHULTZ: Senator ...
BROWN: . we know that these trade agreements haven`t -- I remember
hearing President Obama, then Senator Obama, debating Senator Clinton in
Cleveland in 2008 sitting with my wife watching the debate in -- at
Cleveland State and both of them said -- both of them had some pretty good
things to say about trade, kinds of things you`d say ED, and I`d say and I
want to hold the Administration to doing the right thing.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. We have to move the President on this. Progressives
of this country, we need to move the President on this. Senator Sherrod
Brown, great to have you with us tonight, I appreciate your time.
BROWN: Thanks Ed. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of
the screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter on this subject. And
of course, add Ed Show in on Facebook. We want to know what you think
about this about -- about then. And our text question tonight, should
America give up its sovereignty for a trade agreement? I`d say, "Hell,
Coming up. What the unions really think about ObamaCare. A lot of
misinformation out there. This has been a major Right Wing talking point.
Now I`m going to get to the bottom of it tonight. Plus, a new dawn for
workers in the Golden State.
Stay with us. You`re watching the Ed Show in MSNBC.
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)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey men, who`s doing that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three trender, follow me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is (ph) a big Twitter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cory Booker gets touchable with the stripper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, he loves social media
and his interactions on Twitter reportedly included a stripper from Oregon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They appear together in the Twitter movie Follow
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s real.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lynsie Lee. Who works at a club called Casa
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first Vegan Strip Club in the world.
LYNSIE LEE: I spend a lot of my time tweeting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Booker wrote, the East Coast loves you and by
the East Coast, I mean me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lynsie`s fault.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, now I`m blushing when he wrote back with a
LEE: (inaudible) on Twitter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most shocking part of the story was learning
that there is a Vegan Strip Club in Portland.
ERIN FAULK: There`s no way we`re going keep seeing the Vegan Strip
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to know the truth about California?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out here. Will show you how we roll.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two Trender, gold rush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let`s see if Governor Jerry Brown leads the
nation on this one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California raises the minimum wage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The law gradually raises California`s current
minimum wage of $8 an hour to $9.
GOV. JERRY BROWN, (D) CALIFORNIA: It`s a matter of justice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then on January first of 2016 that would jump to
$10 an hour.
SCHULTZ: You see by raising the minimum wage we directly address the
growing levels of income inequality in this country.
BROWN: We`re doing that wage into $10 an hour wage is a wonderful
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brown said in his the statement that the minimum
wage has not kept pace with price and cost.
BROWN: It`s my goal and it`s my moral responsibility to do what I
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top trender.
SCHULTZ: False witness, Canadian Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has
successfully made a fool of himself.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: There`s a reason the Teamsters are saying
this is a nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now as I`m spoken to him I think he`s crazy.
SCHULTZ: Ted Cruz twists James Hoffa`s word.
CRUZ: ObamaCare is such a train wreck, such a nightmare. James Hoffa
said he couldn`t seat silent anymore.
SCHULTZ: Here`s the bottom line, unions are not against ObamaCare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the truth shall set you free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight, John Nichols Washington Correspondent of
The Nation magazine, the lies and deception certainly are abound right now
in the media being filtered from things put out from the Right Wing, and of
course as you`ve seen Ted Cruz.
John I want to point this or tell you this quote "James Hoffa
President of Teamsters responded to Ted Cruz and for evoking his name
during his attack on ObamaCare." He said, "I call on Senator Ted Cruz and
Senator David Vitter and others to cease and desist from misusing our
constructive comments in their destructive campaign to hobble the President
and the nation."
What`s your reaction to this? I mean I think we all know that if the
unions didn`t like ObamaCare they would`ve have never let it pass and the
fact is they -- everybody may have a pinch or two with this law, but is it
being mischaracterized and are the unions being misused here? Your
JOHN NICHOLS, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It`s absolutely being
mischaracterized and the unions are absolutely being misused. Understand
this, Ted Cruz supports right to work laws, so called right to work laws,
so we take away a lot of union protections. He`s been a huge ally and
advocate of anti-union efforts and yet suddenly in his speech he is crying
tears for whatever supposed damage might be done to unions.
Here`s the bottom line. The unions including Jim Hoffa -- Jimmy Hoffa
who has been quoted here have said, "Look, back off cease and desist."
They have said that because what Cruz is doing is taking a legitimate and
needed discussion about how to improve ObamaCare and turning it into some
sort of anti-ObamaCare initiative.
The unions have concerns, their legitimate concerns, they ought to be
addressed. What they want to make sure is that corporations don`t gain the
system to try and undermine existing health care protections. That should
be discussed, but they are not saying that ObamaCare is the ultimate
nightmare and it`s -- and, you know, and that basically it`s going to be
defunded in and taking down in the way that Ted Cruz is.
So this is a real mischaracterization.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, this all has to do with negotiated benefits, organized
labor does not want to go in there and make a case and do a deal and have
good health care then all of a sudden have it undermined. And I think that
that is something that they`re going to be able to work on.
But can Ted Cruz backup the ObamaCare attacks with any validity?
NICHOLS: Well, FactCheck.org which is a national site that very non-
partisan has said that Ted Cruz`s speech is going to keep them working
overtime for quite awhile, because there were so many misstatements and so
many mischaracterizations. He suggested at one point that the spouses of
postal workers would be, you know, just forced into exchanges and reality
it`s not that at all. The spouses of postal workers who have other
insurance will perhaps go into something else. But he took miniscule,
bits, and pieces of information and exploded them into these condemnations
The problem is that in his mischaracterizations he creates more
confusion and more chaos, that`s a damaging thing at a point when people
are trying to figure this all out.
SCHULTZ: I think it`s pretty clear. He`s trying to put the unions
against ObamaCare because without organized labor I`m not so sure that
President Obama would have been elected or even reelected. But will they
come to an agreement? I mean there`s a number of groups out there that
want to make sure that ObamaCare not only starts properly but moves
forward. Will there be a deal between the two?
NICHOLS: Look, I think the unions are right on this. I think there
are saying that ObamaCare has to have some changes. Nancy Pelosi and
others have said that they see a way through to make some of those changes.
In fact there are even some sensible Republicans who have said they`re
interested in working with the unions on this. This should be a part of
the discussion. We shouldn`t be wasting our time frankly.
You know, Ted Cruz`s talkathons, we ought to be having serious
discussions about how to make ObamaCare work. It is the law of the land.
And the unions are making constructive criticisms that ought to be listened
to, not mischaracterized.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols, Washington correspondent of The Nation, good
to have you in the Ed Show. Thanks, John.
Coming up, an ObamaCare crash course today. Professor Obama took the
stage at a community college in Largo, Maryland. I`ll tell you what you
need to know before the health care enrollment starts next week.
And still ahead why one of (inaudible) lawmaker thinks 2014 is just
going to be a great year for the rightists.
But next, I`m taking your questions, Ask Ed Live just ahead here on
the Ed Show on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, we love hearing from our
Tonight in our Ask Ed Live segment, our first question comes from
Margaret. She wants to know is Ted Cruz the new Sarah Palin? Two words,
absolutely yes. They are primetime attention seekers. They come from the
fraternal order of say anything and do anything to get attention. So I
think this is good because Sarah Palin has never been a winner and I don`t
think Ted Cruz will be either.
Our next question is from Shiloh. Could Elizabeth Warren run for
president in 2016? What are her chances of winning? Well, first of all, I
hope she does run. I hope someone from the left runs so we can have a
genuine progressive discussion in this country. And I know that if
Elizabeth Warren were to run, she would be the darling of the left because
she knows all about Wall Street. And if you want to talk about income
inequality, tax fairness and supporting the middle class in this country,
if that`s all important to you and the fundamentals of health care and
education, well, Elizabeth Warren would certainly keep the conversation
honest. Her chances of winning, who knows, who knows? I wouldn`t hold
anybody out right now. Lot of crazy things happening politics. Stick
around. Rapid Response Panel coming up next.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Now as we get closer to the
October 1st launch of the Affordable Care Act. Clearly, there has been an
unprecedented, organized effort by Republicans and special interest groups
to misinform the public on this law.
And right now, there`s scoring pretty well. This is what millions of
dollars will do for you, 62 percent of Americans say that they are at least
confused about ObamaCare. Every American deserves access to Affordable
Health Care. So we have spent a lot of time on this program calling out
Republican lies because that`s exactly what they are.
And today, the President took the stand again, one of the campaign
trails that educate folks about ObamaCare to Prince Georgia`s Community
College in Largo, Maryland. And he did some calling out of his own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: And here`s one more that I`ve heard, I like this one, we have
to -- and I`m quoting here, we have to repeal this failure before .
SARAH PALIN: Before it literally kills women, kills children, kills
senior citizens .
OBAMA: . kills senior citizens. Now, I have to say that one was from
six months ago. I just want to point out, we still have women, we still
have children, we still have senior citizen. All of this would be funny if
it wasn`t so crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It is crazy. But President Obama knows the Republican
effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it`s all about politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The fact is the Republican`s biggest fear at this point is not
that Affordable Care Act will fail. What they`re worried about is it`s
going to succeed.
I mean, think about it, if it was as bad as they said is going to be,
then they can just go ahead and let it happen and that everybody would hate
it so much. And then everybody vote to repeal it and that would be the end
of it. So what is it that they`re all so scared about? They .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right, joining us tonight on our Rapid Response Panel
Bob Shrum, the Daily Beast, and also Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama,
great to have both of you with us.
Bob, you first, let`s get the push in politics on this. Why does the
President have to campaign for something that`s already a law? What do you
see him doing here? Why is he doing it?
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, he`s out there really telling
people how this law is going to work, calling out the Republican lies.
Look, ObamaCare is not going to be defunded. It is going to be rolled out.
There will be glitches by the way as there were glitches with Medicare
which is now one of the most popular programs in the country. And I think
the same thing will happen over time with the Affordable Care Act. You
know, he said -- he had a great line in that speech, Ed, he said, "Someday
they`re not going to be calling it ObamaCare anymore because it`s going to
work." And they`re going to say, "Well, I voted for that thing. Or that
thing is safe with us."
So I think he`s out there making the case to the American people and
you have to do it because there`s a flood of money on the other side that`s
-- and a flood of invective on the other side that`s distorting the facts
and scaring people.
SCHULTZ: Terri Sewell, how invested are your colleagues in this to go
home and make sure that the information is correct? How far or deep does
this really run where it would have an impact of negativity on Democrats if
there is any?
REP. TERRI SEWELL (D), ALABAMA: I think that it`s really important
that all of us who are supportive of the Affordable Care Act get out there
and make sure that our constituents get the right information. So I was
very happy that the President was on the stamp (ph) today. You know, they
spent over $40 million in negative campaigning on this. If we had a
fraction of that money explaining to people how they can enroll and the
benefits of ACA, we would be doing well.
So I just think it`s really imperative that all of us are vested in
making sure that the ACA .
SEWELL: . rolls out well.
SCHULTZ: Well Congresswoman if I look at the income levels and the
socioeconomic makeup of Alabama, Alabama is a big state in this, there`s a
lot of people that are going to benefit from ObamaCare and this health care
law. Where does that take you?
SEWELL: Absolutely. You know, 600 -- over 600,000 Alabamians are
uninsured and so -- and a disproportionate number of that is in my
district. So I think that we as Alabamians should not be on the forefront
trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We need to be trying to enroll
our constituents in making sure that this works. We also have lots and
lots of folks who have preexisting conditions in my district and I know
that they would benefit immediately from the ACA.
SCHULTZ: All right. The President made it personal today. Take a
listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I remember the fear of Michelle and I felt when Sasha was a
few months old and she got meningitis and we raced to the hospital. And
they had to give her a spinal tap and we didn`t know that was wrong and we
were terrified, never felt so scared or helpless in all of my life, but we
were fortunate enough to have good health insurance.
And I remember looking around that emergency room and thinking, "What
about the parents who aren`t that lucky? What about the parents who get
hit with a bill of $20,000 or $30,000? And they`ve got no idea how to pay
for it. What about those parents whose kids have a chronic illness like
asthma and have to keep on going back to the emergency room because they
don`t have a regular doctor and the bills never stopped coming." Who is
going to stand up for them?
In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should go broke just because they
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum, how do the Republicans compete with that?
SHRUM: Well, they don`t really that`s why they`re telling all of
these horror stories that started with death panels a few years ago. This
is the fundamental dividing line on this issue. Whether you believe health
care is a right and not a privilege and whether it should be a right in
this country. That`s what ObamaCare takes us a long way toward and you`re
going to say -- and by the way Ted Cruz in that endless filibuster where he
said or bloviation where he said not much that made sense, said one thing
that was exactly right. That once this thing takes effect, it`s going to
be impossible to repeal it.
It`s going to be impossible to repeal it because the lies the
Congresswoman is talking about can`t stand when people are experiencing it
in real time. When they experience it .
SHRUM: . when they live with it, when they are covered despite
preexisting conditions, when they can buy insurance at an affordable cost
all the rest of this is going to go away. And you`re going to have
Republican candidates as I`ve said to you Ed a few -- a couple of weeks
ago, you`re going to have Republican candidates a few weeks -- a few years
from now and saying, "Oh I wouldn`t touch ObamaCare, I just want to
strengthen it except they won`t call it ObamaCare."
SEWELL: Exactly, you know, I think it`s really .
SCHULTZ: Terri Sewell .
SCHULTZ: Go ahead.
SEWELL: Now what I was going to say is I think that what the biggest
fear Republican colleagues -- my Republican colleagues had is that if
Affordable Care Act will succeed, not that it will fail .
SEWELL: . and from a personal note, you know, my dad struggled with
stroke after stroke after stroke, he`s currently wheelchair-bound. And I
know that when I campaigned three years ago, I campaigned on the slogan
that the Affordable Care Act and health care should be a right not a fight.
We shouldn`t be fighting over this. We should be providing health care for
all Americans. I think it`s a no-win situation for the Republicans to
really be advocating to 30 million Americans should be uninsured, it`s
SEWELL: . how could you stand by something like that?
SCHULTZ: It`s just a matter of time before the worm turns in a big,
big way. I just don`t think you two can trump any of those personal
stories and the President`s done a great job of putting a human element on
it not only with the faith that his mother suffered but also the experience
of his family and his young daughter at the time. I think the President,
Congresswoman, needs to do more of this. Do you think that there are
Congressional members that want to see him do more of this?
SEWELL: Absolutely. You know, the biggest and most powerful advocate
we have is the President .
SEWELL: . so I think .
SCHULTZ: Yes, OK.
SEWELL: . that we have to -- he has to continuously be on the stamp
(ph) talking about the good values and the good benefits of the Affordable
SCHULTZ: All right. All right. Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Bob
Shrum Daily Beast, great to have you with us tonight.
SHRUM: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
A man who helped steal the 2004 election claims cutting food stamps is
the Christian thing to do? I`m taking Ken Blackwell to the Church of Ed,
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight. For reference, there was a book
out not long ago, a few years back, "What`s the Matter with Kansas?" well,
let me show you, what`s the matter with Texas tonight.
Republican Blaine (ph) Wizard, Louis Gohmert, the Texas Republican
took his ObamaCare smear camp to the low rated Lars Larson, Radio Show. My
old buddy, Lars toss Louie a softball which is known for and of course
Louis took it hook, line and sinker.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LARS LARSON: It`s going to kill jobs out there. It`s going to hurt
REP. LOUIS GOMMERT, (R) TEXAS: Oh, it is.
LARSON: It`s already doing it. These companies are saying, "We can`t
afford your health care. So we`re either going to dump you on ObamaCare or
we`re going to cut your hours to where you don`t qualify anymore." And I -
- what does that mean, is ObamaCare now going to redefine full time as 20
GOMMERT: Well, I guess, you know, the Senate says, their solution is
the immigration bill they passed because under their immigration bill, it
would just nearly, I mean, companies would have a hard time not doing what
the senate bill encourages and that is firing every full-time American
employee and hiring the immigrants who have just been given legal status.
(END OF AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wow. When I was into that garbage, it reminded me of a
scene from the movie, Billy Madison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you just said is one of the most insanely
idiotic things that I`ve ever heard. At no point, in your rumbling,
incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be
considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for
having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: If Louis Gohmert thinks his scare tactics on ObamaCare and
immigration will work anywhere within a low rated conservative radio talk
show, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work.
More than 47 million people in this country are using and accessing
food stamps. That is, my friends, one in seven Americans, the line between
charity and government intervention is pouring a pretty hot debate.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell says, "Taking food stamps
away from the poor people is the Christian thing to do." He called House
Republican`s ten-year $40 billion cut to the Food Stamp Program and act of
Blackwell who is now at the Family Research Council recently told the
Christian post, "There was nothing more Christian than not locking people
into a permanent dependency on government handouts." He continues saying,
"People can "break" from the plantation of big government".
I want to know where Ken Blackwell learn Christian compassion. Bible
verse Matthew 25:35 says, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was
thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me." For
more insight on this Reverend Jim Wallis, Sojourners Magazine President
joins us tonight and author of "On God Side".
Reverend good to have you with us tonight, is taking food stamps away
from poor people the Christian thing to do?
REV. JIM WALLIS, PRESIDENT SOJOURNERS: You know, Ed when I hear
something like that it makes me very sad. It means someone has gotten the
facts wrong, but even deeper they don`t know the faces behind the facts.
In the process they get the gospel wrong.
A pastor in the suburbs I was talking to recently said, "Jim I`m
worried about dependency." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Well,
you know, like food stamps. I said, "Do you know that 72 percent of all
the families who get food stamps have somebody working in the house and
they have kids and they`re on for usually less than a year. It helps them
get through a hard time, did you know that?" He says, "You should get that
So we`re trying to get it out these cuts that they`re proposing. We
cut 2.1 million families who are working with kids right away, and 200,000
kids would lose their food -- their lunch programs because they wouldn`t be
SCHULTZ: Do you .
WALLIS: . they would cut $4 billion, Ed per year, that`s about the
value of all of our church feeding programs, altogether about $4 billion a
year all over the country. These cuts would wipe us out.
SCHULTZ: Now this is a moral program. This program set up by a
country of compassion now being attacked. I mean and I don`t really have a
question, I just have a comment on your response on this. This seems to
attack. This approach seems to attack the moral fiber of our country, your
WALLIS: Well I wrote a column today saying, Pope Francis, please come
to Washington. He should do a retreat for our members of Congress. He did
two tweets recently. Let me read the tweets from Pope Francis. "The
measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those
most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty". In which
he read from Matthew 25.
Then the second tweet, "God will judge us upon how we have treated the
most needy". Matthew 25 says at the end of that text then that you read.
"As you`ve done to the least of these, you`ve done to me." So I want to
say cutting those who -- poor kids and their families, taking food away
from them is what we are doing to Christ himself. That`s what the text
SCHULTZ: What do you say that taking people -- taking these food
stamps away from the poor is the Christian thing to do and goes on to talk
about the level of dependency. Your thoughts on that, I mean is there
fraud on the food stamp program to the point that would justify these kinds
WALLIS: Well apparently Fox News found a blond surfer in California
cheats on food stamps and surfs. You can always find somebody gaming the
system, but the face of food stamps is not him. It`s the mom and her kids.
These folks are working and don`t make a living wage enough to feed their
families and food stamps are indeed temporary. They help get people over a
hard time. When the economy starts to really recover, food stamps will go
down. This is indeed the help you would get to self-sufficiency. This is
really helping to get them on their feet again.
And again the faces, those of us who know the faces who do the work, I
don`t know any pastor who knows people who get food stamps in their
congregation, in their work who knows the people. None of them were for
cutting food stamps. It`s only those who don`t really know who we`re
So stereotypes and surfers and all that emerge but what we`re talking
about is those people who are hungry and poor and the Pope says -- Pope
Francis says, "How we treat them is how we treat Christ himself".
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Well there`s no doubt the Pope has got a renewed or
certainly a different intensity in focusing on the poor and the down fraud
(ph) in income inequality. He actually spoke of income inequality last
Finally, I know you`re from Detroit and it seems that, you know,
Metropolitan areas are going to be affected this more so than other parts
of the country. What do you think this program -- this cut would mean to
the people of Detroit?
WALLIS: Well actually inequality which relates to Detroit. Here`s
we`ve said, while the income of a minority is increasing exponentially that
of a majority is crumbling that is about inequality. My hometown Detroit
is being just divided. It`s crushed. This affects -- my brother works
everyday with people on the street who were getting food stamps and so he
would say, "Mr. Blackwell, you must not know them." Let me take you to
meet some people.
I like the Pope. We should invite him to come here. He should do a
retreat from over the Congress and take them to meet the people. I want
them to meet the people that their cuts are going to affect. If they met
them maybe they would their minds.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Jim Wallis, Sojourners, great to have you on the Ed
Show tonight. Thank you so much.
That`s the Ed Show, I`, Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening Rev.
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