Skip navigation

The Ed Show for Friday, January 31st, 2014

Read the transcript to the Friday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

January 31, 2014

Guests: John Fugelsang, Jared Polis, Leo Gerard

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed
Show live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

We start this show with breaking news tonight. There has been a major
development in the Chris Christie Bridgegate scandal.

According to the New York Times, Christie appointee David Wildstein is
saying, "Governor Christie knew about the lane closures."

The Ex-Port Authority appointee released a letter through his lawyer
today describing the closures as the Christie administration`s order. The
letter said, "Evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having
knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were
closed, contrary to what the governor states publicly in a two-hour press

The letter went to say, "Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of
various statements the governor made about him and he can prove the
inaccuracy of some."

On January 9th, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey flat out denied
any knowledge of the lane closure during a two-hour press conference.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I`ll say one last thing just so
we`re really clear. I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in
its planning or its execution, and I am stunned by the abject stupidity
that was shown here. I had no knowledge of this of the planning, the
execution or anything about it and then I first found out about it after it
was over.


SCHULTZ: The very next day, January 10th, David Wildstein, the
appointee, took the fifth in front of the state assembly committee
investigation of the George Washington Bridge story in lane closure.

At this point, it appears it`s Wildstein`s word against the
governor`s. It`s important to point out this letter marks the first
signal, an accusation to the governor of New Jersey may have been aware of
the lane closures.

MSNBC has reached out to Governor Christie`s office for a response on
the latest development and we are waiting a response.

Joining me tonight, Steve Kornacki, host of Up with Steve Kornacki and
also with us is MSNBC Political Analyst Jonathan Alter. Gentlemen, thanks
for your time tonight.

Steve, you have done yeoman`s work on this from the start, your
thoughts on this latest development. You just heard the sound bite. This
is an accusation saying that the governor knew about it. Where does that
take us tonight?

continuation of what we`ve been seeing and hearing from David Wildstein for
a few weeks now starting with the -- when his records were subpoenaed, what
he presented, what he gave back was a very heavily, very carefully, and
very strategically, I think redacted, set of e-mails and text messages that
was, I think intentionally designed to raise all sorts of questions to
point the questioning, to appoint the investigation into all sorts of
different directions and to offer the possibility that need a lot of
answers to those questions that were raised.

And then when he appeared before the assembly of committee a few weeks
ago, he didn`t provide any testimony, he took the fifth. At the very end
of that you`ll remember his attorney said that Mr. Wildstein will be a lot
more helpful and could provide a lot more information if he was given
immunity. His attorney subsequently repeated that claim, repeated that
promise essentially about a week or two later and now this letter reads to
me. I know the pretense of this letter is this is David Wildstein, I`m
writing to the Port Authority objecting to their decision not to coverage
these expenses but he`s asserting things in this letter. You highlighted
some of them.

I mean just, you know, it is also come to light the person within the
Christie administration communicated the Christie administration`s order
that certain lanes in the GW Bridge were to be closed. He`s asserting as a
fact essentially that what Bridget Kelly was doing was following orders
from somebody higher up in the Christie administration. That is something
that, you know, sort of in the public sphere right now is a contested

He`s asserting it as fact here. He`s really -- this thing really
reads to me as another attempt and a very strong attempt to communicate
with the US attorney to say, "There are things I know. There are things
that I can prove that will bring this a lot higher up in the food chain and
if you give me some kind of a deal I can tell you those things and I can
provide you the evidence." That`s what this reads as to me.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Jonathan, there was no gray area in the governor`s
press conference several weeks ago. He said he was hurt, disappointed,
sad, what kind of legal jeopardy could he be in right now if Wildstein`s
telling the truth?

legal jeopardy. It`s hard to asses how much but there`s no quibbling about
the political jeopardy that he would be in if this charge turns out to be
true. Not only would it end his presidential campaign but it would end,
possibly end, his governorship if the lie was that flat and that obvious
and that public.

But I think we need to be careful here and not to jump to conclusions.
There`s some things, many unanswered questions about this letter. It`s
really almost on the order of like fishing for something, as if Alan Zegas
who is David Wildstein`s attorney was fishing either for a deal from Paul
Fishman, the US attorney from New Jersey, in which case raising the
question, "Why didn`t he seek that deal in private rather than in the New
York Times?" or .


ALTER: . you know, obviously fishing for indemnification, payment of
his legal fees by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey .


ALTER: That`s his main goal is.


ALTER: He`s facing big time legal fees and he needs to get -- he
wants to get the Port Authority to pay those legal fees.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s very clear here. The letter said .

ALTER: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: Evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having
knowledge of the lane closures. That goes totally opposite of what the
governor said in his two-hour press conference.

ALTER: Right.

SCHULTZ: So based on what this letter says, we have a major
discrepancy here between the two parties .

ALTER: Major.

SCHULTZ: . which is not jump into conclusions.

ALTER: Right. Now, that we`ve established. I just -- all I`m
cautioning here, Ed, is that there`s a tendency in these big explosive
stories when there`s a bombshell like this to kind of get too far ahead for
the public to get too far ahead of where this is going.

What this is indicating is that the gentleman, Mr. Wildstein, who
Chris Christie basically threw under the bus in his press conference, is
indicating that he has more ammunition.

It does raise the question, "Why didn`t he release this in the past?
Why is he holding out for more? And if he has such great stuff, why hasn`t
he already been granted immunity from prosecution?"

SCHULTZ: Well, it would seem to me that the governor would step back
out again and reiterate his position on this and counter this because if
the evidence -- I mean the evidence exist or doesn`t, Steve Kornacki .


SCHULTZ: . there`s no gray area here. Your thoughts.

KORNACKI: Right. Well, first of all, why he wouldn`t have come out
sooner? It think, you know, he made it clear or his lawyer made it clear
in his testimony before the assembly committee when his lawyer said he
would have much more to say if you were to give him immunity.

Now, there`s an open question as Jonathan says, "OK. Why doesn`t he
have immunity at this point?" I think part of that might be there are a
lot of potential sources of information out there for the US attorney`s
office. There are a lot of potential people out there who could be
valuable to the US attorney`s office whether it`s potentially David
Wildstein or Bridget Kelly, Bill Stepien although certainly based on his
action state that doesn`t look like Bill Stepien to likely kid (ph) and if
that anymore.

But there are 20 outstanding subpoena`s from this -- from the joint
committee in the legislature right now. There are a lot of people who
potentially could be valuable at the US attorney`s office. So it maybe
that the US attorney`s office is not at the point right now where they`re
ready to start giving out anew, they want to see what their of .

ALTER: Sure, that`s a very .

KORNACKI: . and I think what`s .

ALTER: That`s a very, very important point because it might be that
Fishman, the US attorney, wants both Wildstein and the higher ups and
possibly including Governor Christie. So why give Wildstein total immunity
when he might be able to have his cake and eat it too and get more than one
person investigated in this case.

KORNACKI: But it is -- it is very .

ALTER: Well, of course .

KORNACKI: Yeah. Go ahead.

SCHULTZ: Well, as far as Bridget Kelly is concerned, it would seem to
me that this would change the legal dynamic with other people who are
allegedly involved in this who have lawyered up, Steve.

KORNACKI: Well, right. So I mean there`s three sort of principle
players at this moment in terms of keeping an eye on who maybe could say
something really revealing about Christie.

You got Wildstein who was basically saying in here -- he is basically
-- he is saying now that there was an order from high up in the Christie
administration about closing down those lanes. He is saying that he can
prove the things Christie did at the press conference are untrue. He`s out
now saying and he`s all but offering himself up to that with immunity.

He had Bill Stepien, you know, the former campaign manager for Chris
Christie who is taking a very different act today, who was telling the
committee, the investigative committee in Trenton, that he has not going to
be providing any documents that they subpoenaed, that he`s not going to be
testifying -- he`s not going to be testifying before him or anything. This
is a guy who clearly seems to be preparing for a trial.

And then the other one, the wildcard in this that he say is Bridget
Kelly. And Bridget Kelly`s strategy has shifted dramatically in the last
week where she originally when Chris Christie held that press conference
and fired her and called her a lawyer.

Originally, she was represented by a lawyer, a defense lawyer named
Walter Timpone. Walter Timpone is very close to Chris Christie, Chris
Christie world, this is a Christie sort of a lawyer from the Christie
universe who after about a week of representing Bridget Kelly he decided he
was off the case. He left Bridget Kelly, she`s no longer represented by
him and she`s now represented by a defense attorney named Michael Critchley
who was like one of the -- if not the top defense attorneys in all of New

So you could see that there`s potentially a strategic shift there on
Bridget Kelly`s part where .


KORNACKI: . originally it was maybe about let`s see if we can protect
our self here without doing anymore damage to Chris Christie. Now, this
is, you know, going Michael Critchley that`s a, "I want to save myself"

ALTER: So, Ed, just .

SCHULTZ: OK. And if you .

ALTER: . once in a larger point that people should keep in mind, and
this relates to Chris Christies political faith, the wheels of justice as
the old saw (ph) has it grinds slowly. So what today indicates is that
this story is not going away, not for a long time .


ALTER: . because once .


ALTER: . it get matched in this legal machinery, it will dug Chris
Christie for many months to come.

SCHULTZ: Well, this will force the hand of other people who are
involved in this. Legally, there`s no question about it. Again, if you`re
just joining us according to the New York Times, Christie appointee David
Wildstein is saying Governor Christie knew about the lane closures and he
can prove it.

I want to play a clip of Governor Chris Christie talking about
Wildstein in his January 9th press conference. Here it is.


CHRISTIE: And how do I feel about David now? Listen, what I read
yesterday makes me angry. That`s the one bit of anger I felt. That
language and that callusing difference in those e-mails from David
yesterday? Are just over the top and outrageous and should never ever
happen written or uttered by somebody with a position of responsibility
like that and those sentiments.


SCHULTZ: Steve, we can only be curious about what kind of evidence
and what kind of proving Mr. Wildstein can do. Is it phone records? Is it
an e-mail chain? Is it a text message? And it takes us back to the
original story that broke on this about the "got it" when talking about we
need some traffic problems at the Bridge and got it.

I mean, this story today matched up with the first story that broke on
this. Certainly, I think the public maybe drawing some conclusions here.
It looks not good at this point. This is a big development as I see it.
If this man is coming forward to an attorney saying that he can prove some
things and a clear denial by the governor and also characterizing his
Wildstein relationship which he was distancing himself from Wildstein

And so, I think the plot really thickens here. Why would he take the
fifth if he didn`t have legal jeopardy? That too is a big part of it all.
It`s fundamental as it is.

KORNACKI: Yeah. And I think the other thing .


KORNACKI: . the other thing to keep in mind here just to understand
all the relationships as we talked about David Wildstein and Chris Christie
as being, you know, they did go to high school together not in the same
class but same town. They were in high school for some of the same years
but we -- I think it`s a mistake when we start talking about how, you know,
they`re old friends and they`re old allies and they`re all of that.

I bet you, Christie this past week, this past month, this past however
many weeks has really been kicking himself for the decision to send David
Wildstein in the Port Authority in 2010 because that decision -- the reason
why David Wildstein went to the Port Authority because David Wildstein is
close to Bill Baroni.

Bill Baroni is the other Christie appointee who resigned back in
December. Bill Baroni was close to Chris Christie and he was Chris
Christie`s pick to be the sort of New Jersey pointman at the Port
Authority. And it was Bill Baroni and David Wildstein to sort of came up
with the idea -- let`s bring Wildstein into -- there was not a long-term
close political partnership, political alliance between David Wildstein.
Again, I did work for David Wildstein in one point in the past.

There`s not this long standing close political .


KORNACKI: . alliance between the two of them. And as I always point
out to people -- as a matter of fact when the website that I worked for
that David Wildstein own, when David Wildstein sold that website, this is
only about five years ago. When he sold it, he sold it to a family that is
basically the sworn arched enemy of Chris Christie. You know, and Chris
Christie took down Charles Kushner, he`s a real estate developer, sent him
off to prison when he was US attorney.

Well, David Wildstein sold that website to the Kushner family. So
this is not, you know .


KORNACKI: . if Chris Christie`s rule without the kind of
recommendation that I think Wildstein got from Bill Baroni. Wildstein
never would have been at the Port Authority. And when this whole thing
started to break, I was telling people, Wildstein is the one to watch here
because there isn`t that -- a lot of people who were appointed places by
Chris Christie have a lot of loyalty to him. I don`t think David
Wildstein`s one of them.

ALTER: A quick thing on a character point about David Wildstein that
people need to keep in mind when they assess his credibility. This is a
man who at 6 AM on September 13th went to the George Washington Bridge for
what purpose? To make sure that the traffic was snarled. That is some
sort of .


ALTER: . civic depravity, some kind of really sort of sick public
act. And so, we need to keep that in mind when we assess the charges that
he made today.

SCHULTZ: Well, as we said previous in this broadcast that we have
reached out to Governor Christie`s office for a response to the story.
We`ve yet to hear back. If we do, we will bring it to you here on MSNBC.

Again, the letter went on to say that Mr. Wildstein can test the
accuracy of various statements the governor made about him and he can prove
the inaccuracy of some.

Steve Kornacki, Jonathan Alter thanks for your time tonight. We`ll
stay on this story as we have here on MSNBC. We`ll bring you more on the
Chris Christie and the national spotlight falls on New Jersey ahead of this
weekend`s Super Bowl. Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We are continuing to follow
the breaking news in the New Jersey bridge story.

One of Governor Chris Christie`s appointees, David Wildstein, now says
the governor knew about the lane closures when they were happening. We are
still awaiting a response from the Christie administration. We`ll have
more on this in a moment.

But first, here are today`s top Trenders voted on by you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s immature toilet humor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three Trender, Super Bowl potty.

GOV. JERRY BROWN, (D) CALIFORNIA: We`re facing a serious drought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go down the hole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials say 2013 was California`s driest year
since record sort of being kept. California`s drought has the governor
calling for commode conservation. One conservation option some cities and
counties are turning to is called toilet to tap. The process filters water
that`s flushed and then returns it to the drinking supply.

BROWN: Don`t flush more than you have to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it`s yellow let it mellow.

BROWN: At the end of the day, we need water. The first source is to
not waste it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two trender, ready to run.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they figure in Democratic politics is calling
it quits. Henry Waxman has represented his L.A. area district for 20 terms
in Congress.

Georgetown University law student has announced that she is considering to
run for Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sandra Fluke considers a run to replace
Congressman Henry Waxman.

MINSKOVSK: Fluke told reporters quote, "I`m flattered that I`m being
discussed as a potential candidate. I`m strongly considering running.
I`ll be making my decision soon."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, running interference.

CHRISTIE: It`s a pretty busy week for me.

SCHULTZ: There are currently investigations looking into Bridgegate
and an investigation looking into accusations Christie`s administrations
withheld Hurricane Sandy relief in Hoboken, New Jersey.

CHRISTIE: What the hell do you think I was talking about?

SCHULTZ: Americans are losing trust in New Jersey Governor Chris

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a problem for the Republican Party,
generally, right now.

CHRISTIE: Yeah, you figured he played in Jersey long enough to get
the way it works on that side of the river.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie`s side line scandal with Super Bowl

CHRISTIE: We`re ready for Sunday. I believe Denver`s going to win
the game. I think it`s going to be a close game, a good game.

In 2016, I plan to run for President of the Super Bowl Selection

On topic, on topic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie everybody.

CHRISTIE: Thank you.


SCHULTZ: Joining me now is John Fugelsang, Liberal Commentator and
Comedian. Great to have you with us tonight.

You know, this is a real twist. What would you say on this stump in
front of a crowd, that Chris Christie needs a big Super Bowl probably more
than anybody else with this Friday information? What about that?

JOHN FUGELSANG, LIBERAL COMMENTATOR: I certainly think he does and
the people of Jersey deserve one since -- well, they`re paying for it after
getting their pension /400 million into the med alliance and 18 million in
subsidies to pay for this thing.

This was Christ Christie`s big debutante party. And it`s not turning
out the way he`d planned. I think we`re really seeing that the New Jersey
governor`s office is the spinal tap and drummer of government jobs.

SCHULTZ: What is this new information from David Wildstein regarding
the George Washington Bridge lane closures mean for Governor Christie when
all eyes are on the Super Bowl? I mean, he needs a distraction. He might
get one this weekend.

FUGELSANG: I know. It`s a great question to ask a comedian because,
I mean, Chris Christie`s going to buy me a boat this year.

You know, it`s kind of funny, Ed, that this is all happening. I think
we can predict a very chilly high school reunion for this two sometime in
the future in Jersey.

But it`s kind of fitting that the only public appearance is the
governor has made was a call in to a sport show in Philly about the Super
Bowl and then bizarrely enough to show up for Boomer Esiason`s Roast at the
Friars Club in New York City the other night which was actually great
because I`m looking forward to Chris Christie`s roast. It won`t be funny
because everyone`s going to be speaking under oath.

SCHULTZ: That`s for sure. The governor is suffering in the polls.
More Americans view him negatively than they did before Bridgegate and he`s
lost favor among Republicans when it comes to 2016.


SCHULTZ: Is his brand too damaged? Is his brand, do the Christie
brand, the style too damaged at this point for him to turn things around .


SCHULTZ: . with or without today`s news?

FUGELSANG: It`s so interesting, Ed. I get asked this all the time
and I ask all my friends and family in Jersey about this. And I`m in the
minority. I actually don`t think he`s necessarily done.

If Mr. Wildstein`s claims are proven to be true, then he`s finished in
Jersey politics and politics forever. But, you know, Americans love to
forgive public figures if they`re popular enough , `m looking at you Chris
Brown, and what Chris Christie`s always been facing, his big menace is not
Hillary Clinton, it`s not the Democratic Party and it`s a bridge scandal.

It`s the fact that the Tea Party despises him because he cares about
his own state more than he cares about hating Barack Obama. And for all
the misused of Hurricane Sandy funds, that`s not why the Tea Party distrust
the good governor. They distrust him for insufficient hatred towards the
president. That`s the hurdle he has to overcome.

The sick irony could be, if Governor Christie dodges this bullet, he
can hold himself up as a hero of the liberal media or rather a hero that
liberal media try to take down. And worse case scenario, I think, the Tea
Party will say, "He`s a guy who hates New York, doesn`t care about New
York`s economy, killed the Hudson River tunnel project, and really abuses
authority, I think I like him now."


FUGELSANG: Trust me. The Tea Party is who we really is looking at.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think one of Christie`s biggest attributes is when
he`s in a crowd. If the people like him and he likes them and he`s not
berating anybody, he`s a good natured bubbly kind of guy. I mean, we have
seen him this week promoting the Super Bowl and now talking about it as the
Boomer Esiason roast, as you mentioned.

Does this rehab the image? I mean, no doubt, it gets peoples` minds
off of whatever kind of trouble he`s in and they get a view on the guy and
they think, "Well, you know, he can`t be all that bad."

FUGELSANG: You`re exactly .

SCHULTZ: What do you think?

FUGELSANG: I think you`re exactly right, Ed. Chris Christie wisely
this week tried to remind us of why people liked him as a figure in the
first place by being that guy next door, by being that, you know, somewhat
gregarious fellow, although if I was someone who`s home and been damaged by
Sandy and I found out where the funds went, I don`t know if I`d be as warm
to him as I was a month ago.

But this is exactly why he`s a great candidate for president. He`s a
dynamite public speaker, a better one than Secretary Clinton, if I may say.
And again, for comedians we need this guy on that wall. We want this guy
on this wall.


FUGELSANG: Who we want to have in his place? The third silliest Bush
brother? No.

So, I do think that Chris Christie can survive this.

SCHULTZ: And of course the story we`re covering tonight a report in
the New York Times, Christie appointee David Wildstien is saying that
Governor Christie knew about the lane closures. The Ex-Port authority
appointee released a letter through his attorney today describing the
closures as the Christie administrations order. This gentleman also took
the fifth in front of one of the investigating committees in New Jersey.

The letter said, "Evidence exists." Well, that`s pretty direct
language, John Fugelsang, this would really I would think prompt a legal
response from the governor at this point that would certainly trump the
Super Bowl when it comes to people putting their eye on big news in New

FUGELSANG: And to trump the call.

SCHULTZ: John Fugelsang, great.

FUGELSANG: Just remember, Ed, he`s not done until Roger Ailes puts a
"D" after his name on Fox News, OK. Have a great weekend.

SCHULTZ: That`s right. It isn`t third and long for Christie. That`s
the question this weekend.

John Fugelsang, good to have you with us tonight. Thank you so much.

FUGELSANG: Enjoy the game.

SCHULTZ: The president rallies to get long-term unemployment back to
work fast.

Plus, some big time support from college football players looking to

But next I`m taking your question Ask Ed Live is just ahead. Stay


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love hearing from our
viewers tonight in our Ask Ed Live segment.

Our first question comes from Tom. He wants to know "What are your
Super Bowl plans?"

Well, first of all I can`t stand pre-game shows. I`ve never been a
big pre-game show guy. And I think the pre-game show starts probably on
Friday night, doesn`t it? So I`ll probably miss all of that.

I am going ice fishing before the kickoff for a few hours, going to be
chilly up here in the North Country, but I`ve always had pretty good luck
ice fishing before the Super Bowl. So, I hope we could pull some crappies
out of big Detroit here in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Then, of course,
there`s going to be a big pot of chilly which I`m working up. It`s the big
Eddie recipe. We do it every year. It will be fantastic. And it`s going
to be a fun game.

Our next question is from Sean Smith, "Broncos or Seahawks?"

I`m rooting for the Seahawks, but I think the Broncos are going to
win. I`m not, you know, terribly emotionally involved in this Super Bowl.
I`m going to watch it. I hope it`s a fourth-quarter finish. I hope it
goes down the wire. But I just think that Peyton Manning has just said
such an extraordinary year if he decide (ph) it could be a long day for the
Seahawks. But Seahawks can make big plays and their defense hangs in
there. But I`m rooting for the Seahawks, but, I think the Broncos are
going to win. How is that for politicking (ph)? That`s what I think.

There`s a lot more coming up with the Ed Show. Stick around. We`ll
be right back.

MARY THOMPSON, CNBC ANCHOR: I`m Mary Thompson of your CNBC Market
Wrap. The DOW ends off session lowest and down a 149 points, the S and P
sheds 11, and the NASDAQ was its 19.

One of the factors weighing on stocks is a slew of disappointing
earnings from the likes of Chevron, Amazon, and Mattel.

In the meantime, Walmart cut its fourth-quarter gut (ph) and claiming
a number of factors including cold weather. And the University of
Michigan`s consumer sentiment index flip this month as markets fell. This
was the worst month for the DOW and the S and P since May of 2012.

That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.



people back on the job faster is one of our top priorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For our coast to coast pep rally.

OBAMA: We are stronger when America fields a full team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m ready for this my whole life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can give them that shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all come together.


OBAMA: Do not screen people out of the hiring process just because
they`ve been out of work for a long time.

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: But, the longer they are unemployed,
they`re less likely are ever to get a job again.

OBAMA: This is an illusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great moments are born from great opportunity.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: Where are the jobs?

OBAMA: I`ve been asking CEOs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll ask you one last time.

OBAMA: . to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at new

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this team, we fight.

OBAMA: The congress made that harder by letting unemployment
insurance expire for more than a million people.

BOEHNER: No, no, no. No, no, no. Hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shot them down because we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we`re not just the opposition party.

OBAMA: But America does not stand still and neither will I.


SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show.

President Obama has made it very clear. He wants to raise the minimum
wage and extend unemployment benefits. The president is sick and tired of
the Republican obstruction. And now, he`s taking matters into his own

Earlier today, President Obama held an unemployment event at the White
House and called out Republicans for letting unemployment insurance expire.


OBAMA: Getting people back on the job faster is one of our top
priorities but I have to confess, last month, congress made that harder by
letting unemployment insurance expire for more than a million people.

In each week, the congress fails to restore that insurance roughly
72,000 Americans will join the ranks of the long-term unemployed who`ve
also lost their economic lifeline.


SCHULTZ: The long-term unemployed are in a really top spot right now
in this economy. Unemployment insurance has been cut off for 1.6 million
Americans. And there`s a new study up that shows if you are out of work
for 8 months or longer, you`re 45 percent less likely to get a job. That`s
a downer.

Employers are flat out discriminating against the long-term unemployed
to this country. And the president is taking action to fix this without
the help of Congress.

Today, the president hosted 23 big and small business leaders in the
White House. President Obama urged these business owners to give long term
unemployed Americans a fair shot.

The companies included VISA, Ebay, Boeing, Yahoo, Twitter, Google, and
Facebook among others. These businesses, along with roughly 300 other
companies, signed a White House pledge to promote policies that give the
long-term unemployed a fair shot in the work place. This is the right
thing for these companies to do just because you`ve been unemployed for a
certain amount of time, doesn`t mean that you`re not qualified for the job.


OBAMA: Statistically, the long-term unemployed are oftentimes
slightly better educated, in some cases, better qualified than folks who
just lost their job. Just because you`ve been out of work for awhile does
not mean that you are not a hard worker.


SCHULTZ: President Obama is also directing the federal government to
take action. At the end of today`s unemployment event, the president
signed a federal commitment to help the long-term unemployed. He said
government must lead by example.


OBAMA: It`s only right that the federal government lead by example.
So today, I am directing every federal agency to make sure we are
evaluating candidates on the level, without regard to their unemployment
history because every job applicant deserves a fair shot.


SCHULTZ: President Obama also plans to announce $150 million in
federal grants for organizations who help the long-term unemployed find
work. In the State of the Union Address, President Obama promised action.
And now, he`s delivering right on.

Republicans blocking unemployment extension and they`ve turned their
back on the long-term unemployed in this country.

President Obama is doing the right thing. Just like he said, he would
by doing everything in his power to help those Americans while Congress
sits and does nothing, the Republican Congress, in the House.

For more, let`s bring in Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado who is a
businessman, who is the founder of ProFlowers.

Congressman, I got -- I wanted you on the air tonight because you`re a
guy who has met payroll, you`re a guy who has dealt with employees, dealt
with wages.

This is a very interesting strategy by the president. Instead of
being heavy-handed about it with the congress, he`s going to the resource.
He`s going to the job creators. He`s going to the people that sign checks
and meet payroll. What do you think of the strategy and can it work?

REP. JARED POLIS, (D) COLORADO: First, from the heart of Broncos
country, we appreciate your confidence, Ed, if not your support, for the
upcoming game.

Look, this is the kind of leadership that businesses react well to.
It`s saying, here are some best practices that are in your interest. Many
small and mid-size companies don`t have the ability to put together a
thoughtful approach to personnel to make sure they get the best person for
the job.

The president say, "Look, in your advertising, in your interview
process, here are some best practices that you can, as an option, we`re not
forcing you, we`re not saying you have to, you can adapt to make sure that
the long-term unemployed get fair consideration so you as an employer can
hire the best person for the job." It just makes sense.

SCHULTZ: Well, it seems to me that the president is exhausting every
angle to bring wages up in this country. Do you think this pledge to give
a closer look and not discriminate against the long-term unemployed is
going to have an impact on their lives?

POLIS: Well, yes. You know, the answer has never been just renew
unemployment insurance, renew unemployment, renew unemployment. We should
need to do that out of compassion. We`re talking about people that could
lose their homes and their livelihoods. But the real answer is let`s find
a way where they can get back to work, how that sense of pride support
their families. And let`s make sure that the fact that they`ve been out of
work for two years, for three years, doesn`t count against them and
actually prevent them from getting their job as it does in all too many

SCHULTZ: You know, congressman, there are roughly 4 million Americans
still unemployed right now who have been out of work for 27 weeks or
longer. When you get under 27 weeks, it`s roughly 2 million Americans.
How big a problem is this as you see it?

POLIS: It`s a big problem. And I`ve run companies. And when you`re
an H.R person in a company, there`s too much of a temptation to say, "Look,
somebody`s been out of work a year or two. We`ve got enough resumes.
We`re just going to put theirs at the bottom." There must be something
wrong with them."


POLIS: And the fact is that`s not always the case. And it takes a
president to really step up and have the courage to say that`s not the case
and he`s let over 300 businesses, Ed, who have already signed on to these
practices to ensure the people aren`t discriminated against just because
they`ve been out of work.

SCHULTZ: What are you hearing from Republicans on unemployment
extension? Is that a dead issue with them?

POLIS: You know, we hate (ph) to keep pounding and pounding and
pounding. I mean, they seem to think that people are lazy and don`t want
work. That`s far from the truth. We need to find a way to get people back
to work. In the meantime, again, people`s livelihoods, their families,
their rent depend on this and many peoples tend to lose everything if we
don`t renew unemployment insurance.

SCHULTZ: What are you hearing from the unemployed in your state, in
your district in Colorado?

POLIS: You know, I think the same things you`re hearing across the
country, I mean, that they want a job first and foremost. They`re now
looking for hand out. They`re now looking for government help. They want
a job. I think President Obama is leading the way by helping to make sure
they get a fair interview process. You know what, if they don`t have the
skills, they`re not going to get the job. They can go back and get those
skills or they can try for a different job. But if they have the skills
and the ability to excel, they ought to have the chance to excel and show
what they can do and not be discriminated against just because they`ve been
out of work.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Jared Polis, good to have you with us tonight.
Good luck to your Broncos. I do think you`re going to win the game. I
mean, I think.

POLIS: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: . that Peyton Manning has had an extraordinary year. If
he`s half is good on Sunday as he`s been all year, the Seahawks could be in
real trouble. Good luck to you.

POLIS: Thanks for your confidence, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Thank you. We`ll be right back here on the Ed Show.
Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: We want to update you on the breaking news out of New Jersey
this evening. One of the main players in the Chris Christie bridge
investigation now says the governor knew about the closures all along.

In a letter, Christie appointee David Wildstien said, evidence exists
tying Mr. Christie to the lane closures. The letter does not indicate that
the governor orchestrated the closures. MSNBC has reached out to the
Christie administration. We are expecting a response shortly.

According to the New York Times, Christie appointee David Wildstien is
saying that Governor Christie knew about the lane closures. The export
authority appointee released a letter through his attorney today describing
the closures as the Christie administration`s order.

The letter said, evidence exists as well as tying Mr. Christie to
having knowledge of the lane closures during the period when the lanes were
closed, contrary to what Governor Christie stated publicly in a two-hour
press conference.

We`ll have more on this story as it develops and we`re waiting a
response from the governor`s office.

Stay with us, more coming up on the Ed Show right here on MSNBC.


SCHULTZ: It`s time now for your Friday Punch Out. Here at the Ed
Show, we never quit working for you. So, follow us through the weekend on
Twitter @EdShow.

Now, here`s a look at what we are working on for you next week in fast


SCHULTZ: Coming in at number three, grown hog day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re anxious to help him create jobs. But we`re
not going to go over and endorse more spending, more debt, more taxes, and
more regulation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the ground talk (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I always cheat for all of this (ph).

SCHULTZ: If Congress seized off shadow, we`ll have six more weeks of

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the president sees this as a year of action,
to work with Congress where he can, and to bypass Congress where necessary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, make it fun.

SCHULTZ: Fast forward to number two, football fever.

CHRISTIE: We`re proud to be the host.

SCHULTZ: On Sunday, Jersey hosts the big game.

CHRISTIE: Super Bowl is in New Jersey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a lovely accent you have, New Jersey?

SCHULTZ: In our number one story to watch, a league of their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can I do for you?

SCHULTZ: For the first time, in the history of college sports,
student-athletes are talking about organizing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me the map (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has never been done before. What is the
Northwestern players want union representation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s about these basic protections that we are not
receiving right now.

SCHULTZ: The Northwestern University football team leads a fight to
unionize college sports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me the body.

SCHULTZ: Top gear college football teams are worth hundreds of
millions of dollars in revenue and many coaches are paid multimillion
dollar salaries

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least 26 of Northwesterns, 85 scholarship
players have to sign the petition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) just want to sit at the table. We
want somebody that`s going to be look out for us and represent with us.


SCHULTZ: Leo Gerard, President of United Steelworkers International
joins us tonight. Mr. Gerard, thanks for your time.

I want you to -- if we can Leo, explain exactly the Steelworkers
involvement here. I understand that you`re not looking for due pay -- due
paying members. You`re looking out for the athletes to give them support
to organize this or is that mischaracterized?

right characterization, Ed. And in fact we`ve been working with Ramogi
Huma in the College Athletes Association now for over 10 years as Ramogi
try to bring change to the NCAA. And each time that he would make some
progress, the NCAA, we try to put some additional road block in front of

And just last summer, the leadership of Northwestern`s football team,
the Wildcats contacted Ramogi and said they wanted to try and bring this to
ahead because they`ve heard and seen how many of the college athletes get
treated whether it`s inadequate healthcare, whether it`s being asked to put
in 40-50 hours a week in practice and play, and having to sacrifice their
education whether it`s a game to be in putting to circumstances where they
are so called voluntary practices, but if you don`t show up, you don`t

There was all these kinds of things and they went to their team and I
can say based on the comment that you made that the overwhelming majority,
virtually almost unanimous, the Northwestern team decided that they want to


GERARD: . and break the mold at the NCAA and asked to be represented
so they can have a voice in what happens at the NCAA.

SCHULTZ: Well, you know, the student athletes produce billions of
dollars for schools which pay for a lot of things on campus across campus,
a lot of different activities. But there are safety issues in future
medical care treatment issues that come into play here. These athletes
aren`t covered after the -- if they are injured, is that correct?

GERARD: That`s absolutely correct. And Ed, let me just say that in a
lawsuit brought against the NCAA over some very terrible accidents and
concussions that took place, the NCAA in a court proceeding said they have
no legal duty to protect the health of their quote "student-athletes." And
if you take that apart, the NCAA doesn`t represent the players. The NCAA
represents the schools and the schools sit there and they make decisions
about how the players will live, how they will lit (ph), what they can do,
how much they can earn, and in reality, the average student-athlete -- the
college athlete is a short on average between $3,000 and $5,000.

SCHULTZ: Even if they`re own scholarship.

GERARD: . for their cost of their tuition.

SCHULTZ: Yeah, even if.

GERARD: Even if they`re on scholarship.

SCHULTZ: Even if they`re on scholarship, it`s cost them a lot of
money to go to school, a lot of time and effort, goes into the activity
which creates hundreds and millions of dollars for the university. Now,
we`re not talking about every athletic program of the country, but there is
that upper tier.


SCHULTZ: . of major college football and basketball which of course
produces a great deal of money. Now, back in the day when I was going to
school, we got $15 a month for laundry money. These athletes today can`t
get anything. So, what.

GERARD: They don`t.

SCHULTZ: . fixes this Leo, what fixes this?

GERARD: Well, I think what fixes this is that through the
organization that we`ve helped create, the College Athlete Players
Association, they get a chance to sit at the table. They`re not looking to
get paid in sort of their traditional way.


GERARD: . they`re looking to get full scholarship. For most people
don`t realize that the scholarships generally are given in -- for one year.
So, if you blowout your knee in the first year, you don`t have scholarship
in the second year.


GERARD: Most of the people don`t know that lots of the student-
athletes, the college athletes, they don`t get enough stipend to be able to
actually have food. One of the things that brought Ramogi into this debate
is one of his best friends, his college teammates, got two bags of
groceries given to him because someone heard that he was unable to generate
enough revenue to feed himself, and they took away his scholarship.


GERARD: . yet, you can see a coach who gets his salary butt out for
$5 million, gets a new salary for $5 million and can still do shoe
commercials or career ad commercials. And so, these college athletes want
to voice at the table, first of all, to take care of their education,
secondly, to take care of their health, and as you said, if they got an
injury that`s going to last beyond the season, they got to have healthcare,
and some of these injuries are life-changing, healthcare is needed for

SCHULTZ: They are working for the university. There`s no question
about that. Anytime you generate that kind of money, believe me, it`s
work. And it`s time that effort on their part and then they`re obvious
some of the talent. This is just how the system works and it`s time to
evolve. It`s time for the universities to catch up with flares (ph).

GERARD: Ed, it`s play-for-pay. They might not pay them in a
traditional paycheck, but they recruit them based on their talent, and they
pay them -- and they pay them through stipend, they pay them through
scholarship, and they don`t pay them through enough health protection.


GERARD: . and that`s one of the things that`s driving this. And they
want an education.

SCHULTZ: This will definitely grow. Leo Gerard, thank you for your
time tonight. I appreciate you to be on the Ed Show. Thanks so much.

We have just received a response from Governor Christie`s office
regarding allegations he knew about the George Washington Bridge closures.
It reads in part, "Mr. Wildstein`s lawyer confirms what the governor has
said all along. He had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures
before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein`s motivations were for
closing them to begin with."

For the full statement, you can go to our website at

That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening Rev.


<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2014 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

The Ed Show Section Front
Add The Ed Show headlines to your news reader:

Sponsored links

Resource guide