The Ed Show for Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE ED SHOW
March 19, 2014
Guests: Joe Sestak, Jon Soltz, Barbara Boxer, John Wilkinson, John Youngberg, Maura Collinsgru
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from New York. Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Russia
continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I think Vladimir Putin must be encouraged
by the absolute timidity.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ve heard this
theory about, you know, everything was just fine when until we arrived.
To disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave
That we`re going to stir up the hornet nest theory. These are opening
stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign.
OBAMA: I was elected to end wars, not start them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we say never again, we mean never again.
BUSH: Any left freedom and with nations which embraced freedom, are you
with the enemy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for watching.
Are we ready for this again? Is this what it could come to possibly
another confrontation? Putin is a little bit different from Saddam. The
circumstances are different. But when a country goes something -- goes
through something so horrific, there`s just no forgetting and we learn
something from it.
Ironically, 11 years ago today, our country made one of the biggest
mistakes in American history. The United States invaded the sovereign
country of Iraq. Now, on the evening of Wednesday, March 19th 2003,
Americans came home to find this man on their TV screen, the President of
the United States George W. Bush delivering this disturbing message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets
on military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein`s ability to wage war.
These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP
SCHULTZ: Not to over react but could you imaging President Obama saying
something like that about Putin?
This man and his administration`s reckless cowboy foreign policy --
diplomacy left a scar on America and I don`t think we`re ever going to
forget it. We lost over 4,000 American soldiers, nobody happy about that,
we`re still debating whether it was worth it. And make no mistakes, we
were lied into the Iraq war by this crowd, right here. The propaganda
campaign from the Bush Administration basically hoodwinked the American
Isn`t it just hard to listen to this? Can we do it again?
Here`s just an example of the lies being told by the Bush Administration
leading up to the confrontation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of
mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use
against our friends, against our allies and against us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States knows about Iraq`s weapons of mass
destruction, as well as Iraq`s involvement in terrorism which is also the
subject of Resolution 1441 and other earlier resolutions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The problem here is that there will always be some
uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapon. But we don`t
want this smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Smoking gun, mushroom cloud, the good old days. The lies and the
scare tactics took us to Iraq.
Now to this day, our nation is still struggling to recover from George W.
Bush`s war of choice. Now, 11 years later, the United States is facing a
serious problem with this guy, Vladimir Putin. Different motives? Maybe
The invasion of Crimea is something that should not be taken lightly by any
American. You don`t where this is going to go. President Obama I think is
playing this very close to the vest. I think the president is playing it
exactly right. He has to. He`s not jumping to any conclusions or jumping
on the gun or anything like that. He`s using diplomacy and sanctions and
exhausting, I think, every diplomatic effort. It`s the right thing to do
but because of Iraq, he`s been cornered I believe.
Meanwhile, Republicans don`t like the way President Obama has been handling
this situation in the Ukraine. Righties have been calling him, "Well, he`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: This president`s response, I don`t know how it could have been
weaker besides doing nothing.
REP LOUIE GOHMER, (R) TEXAS CONGRESSMAN: What you`re seeing, Bryan, is
what you get when a community organizer takes on a KGB-ation. It didn`t go
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: We have a weak and indecisive
president that invites aggression. President Obama needs to do something.
RUDY GIULIANI, (R) FMR. PRESIDENTTIAL CANDIDATE: Putin decides what he
wants to do and he does it in half a day, right? He went ape, decided he
got to go to their parliament, he went to their parliament. He got
permission in 15 minutes.
He makes a decision and he executes it quickly then everybody reacts.
That`s what you call a leader. President Obama, I got to think about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, it`s still shoot (ph) from the hit mentality for this crowd.
Very predictable because President Obama isn`t doing it the way Bush did
it. Well, I guess he`s just weak.
President Obama and his administration have been clear on where they stand
and at this point, it really is all about allies. Vice President Joe Biden
made it clear that there are limits to what Putin can do.
Here`s what the Vice President said in Lithuania earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: The reason I traveled to the
Baltics was to reaffirm our mutual commitment to collective defense.
President Obama wanted me to come personally to make it clear what you
already know that under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, we will respond, we
will respond to any aggression against the NATO ally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We will respond. Alone or with NATO? Or will NATO respond?
We`ve heard lines before. We want some definition here. Looking back on
the 11 years since the Iraq war, I`m glad President Obama is using caution
in dealing with Russia. It`s a good thing that we don`t have a trigger-
happy president right now because we can`t afford it. We`d be talking
about offsets and who`s going to pay for all of this.
America does not want or need another war. And Putin knows that at this
point. So what if he has the upper hand? We`re not committed yet. And
we`re looking for allies in all the same places, NATO.
Let`s take a look at the map of the region. This is what we`re dealing
with. Why in the world would Putin be so aggressive here? Look, Putin is
an international business guy. He likes deals, he loves wealth, he loves
power. If you look at what`s going on here, you would think that, "Well,
this is really all about energy." If you think it`s about energy, you`re
right but it`s not about gas and oil or natural gas. It`s about coal. 95
percent of the domestic resource of the Ukraine is coal. It`s lower in
sulfur than some of the coal here in the United States. It`s easy to get
to. It`s an unregulated industry over there. It`s the Wild, Wild West so
to speak. There`s a lot of mob activity. It`s very profitable and it
employs almost a million people. And all of these coal reserves are on the
eastern portion of this country.
If Putin were to be able to get in there, it would be very profitable. He
could also generate a lot of goodwill by giving stability to the coal
industry, the biggest resource in the Ukraine. So if you think it`s about
energy, you`re right but it`s about coal.
Then of course there`s the military options. Putin needs this. If he is
ever going to build a navy of what they once had, they really don`t have it
now, he needs access to the seas. This is the best and only open access to
the big seas. So geographically it was an important move for them
Then there`s the economic impact. We really don`t know how much of an
impact all these sanctions are going to have in the short term and it seems
that Putin is moving a little bit faster than we want him to move on the
diplomatic front and also on the military front.
But the economic impact is going to have an impact on the United States
too, these sanctions. In fact today, the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, he
had quite an interesting visit with some of the people at the business
round table who do business in Russia, they want to know where this is all
So I would advice that every American should be paying attention to this
because if this is going to come to a head, it`s going to come to a head
over resources. Sound familiar? Is this kind of Iraq all over again? Not
We are seeing true aggression from Putin. The question is can we slow him
down, what are his intentions, and what is our reaction going to be? Are
we going to be talking in the coming days about arming the Ukrainian people
who want absolutely nothing to do with Russia, that they want their
independence? Is freedom still on the march America? You got a stomach
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Will Americans ever let a president lie us into another war?"
Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622, you can always go to our blog
@ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
For more on this, I want to bring in Former Navy Admiral and Former
Pennsylvania Congressman who is running for the Senate, Joe Sestak.
Admiral, good to have you with us tonight.
FMR. REP. JOE SESTAK, (D) PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you, Ed. Thanks.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Your take on this, will the sanctions on these 11
Russians have an impact? And then -- is there an impact back on the
American business side?
SESTAK: These sanctions we`ve already imposed aren`t going to have an
impact in the short term. But over the longer term, as we do more
sanctions it certainly can have an impact. Look, this is a kleptocracy
there. They have $230 billion, the cronies of Putin stashed in Western
economies. A lot of that money was done by laundering. A lot of that
money was gotten by crime.
And by using our treasury department, in order to clamp down and begin to
hurt those who are Putin`s cronies can do a lot of damage. But, Ed, also
understand that this may have some impact upon our economy, but I don`t
believe it`s going to be that major at all. Russia only imports $11
billion of U.S. goods every year, my gosh, in the next four or five days
our defense department will spend that.
SESTAK: It`s less than 0.1 percent of are GDP. And if we don`t act Ed, it
means someone like China, and I mean economically act upon and not
militarily. Someone like China who`s had conflict with Vietnam over the
Spratly Islands might say, "Jeez, I can just can go ahead and clamp down
and put my forces to insure the Spratly Islands under which are trillions
of dollars of minerals, energy that you talk about." That`s why these
sanctions have to be tough.
SCHULTZ: Do you believe that it is about resources? It is about the
stability of Russia being able to provide for its people that this coal
industry that I talked about is a big player here?
SESTAK: I think first and foremost, it`s about a lieutenant colonel who
used to be in the KGB, that has false dreams, that somehow he can hold on
to Russian-osaurus type of empire that only now they have Belarus and
Ukraine left to them.
SESTAK: That`s what I really -- number two though, is it about the economy
and energy? You bet it is. It`s about that natural gas, about that oil in
Western Siberia and Eastern Siberia and only in the east are they able to
get that out to the ground, they need our technology to get Western
Siberia. And that means we have a chance here to clamp down and make sure
they don`t get the technology to export in the future natural gas and oil.
SCHULTZ: So what do you think it will take for the United States to act?
SESTAK: I think it has to first of all make sure doing exactly what Vice
President Biden is there to do today. He is making sure first and foremost
that a message is sent, that the United States is in the forefront of
leading NATO in its response to the Ukraine.
And second, he`s reassuring all our allies there that we are here to say.
Look, we have moved F-15 and F-18 into Latvia. We have moved them into
Poland in the last couple days, just to reconfirm to our NATO allies that
Article Five of the NATO treaty, an attack on one of them is attack against
all of us is firm.
SCHULTZ: So we`re moving military hardware now to .
SESTAK: It`s been a show of force, absolutely. Look, over the last few
years, we`ve even done exercises in Ukraine. We have won with our army and
14 other nations scheduled in Ukraine this summer. We`re going to be
there. We`re going to remain out there with our military. But Ed,
militaries can`t stop a problem. We can`t fix it.
SESTAK: If we`re going to fix this, it`s the economic diplomatic financial
SCHULTZ: Joe Sestak, what about this option? Arming the Ukrainian people
because they don`t want to anything to do with Putin, they want their
independence. Do we do that?
SESTAK: I think you are going to see NATO as a whole, led probably by
Poland that is going to give definitely non-lethal aide and yes some lethal
aide. It will be done primarily through training, giving them
intelligence, helping them how to station forces, in order to show that,
you know, they`re not alone, we may -- we will not defend them militarily,
much like we did in -- for Budapest or the Prague spring when the old
Soviet Union went in.
SESTAK: But they know that there`s limits beyond which they can do and
that limits have to be demonstrated Ed, by our economic financial
SCHULTZ: All right. Joe Sestak, we will have you back on this. Great
resource, Admiral. Great to have you with us on the program, love your
SESTAK: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: We want to turn now to Jon Soltz. He is a veteran of the Iraq
war who is also Chairman of VoteVets.org. Jon, good to have on tonight.
This dynamic between Iraq and Ukraine, it`s totally different, the reasons
are going to be different. Do you think the American people would accept
any kind of military advancement by the United States to protect NATO`s
JON SOLTZ, VOTEVETS.ORG: That`s an interesting question. We always say
the military, we train to fight one war and we continue to train that way
after the war is over and doesn`t prepare us for the next one. And I think
unfortunately here and what I find so ironic about the Republican rhetoric
out of CPAC in regards to Ukraine and how the president`s been weak is that
really their inability to deal with Iraq and the fact that the public was
so against it overtime and we never found weapons is really hindering or
would be the largest hindrance this president has to any type of aggressive
action against Russia.
So the president is really dealing with war fatigue from Iraq and
Afghanistan, which was a war that the Republicans lead us into and now
they`re sort of, you know, hammering him for not being stronger but he just
doesn`t have a lot of support in the American public for any type of
SCHULTZ: Well, if we`re moving military hardware and the vice president
speaks the way he did today, where does that leave us? As a vet, how does
that make you feel when you hear comments like that and then also match him
up against what the Republicans are saying about how President Obama is
SOLTZ: Well, I don`t think the president`s been week here at all. I mean,
in fact the president`s been rather more aggressive than I think a lot of
people think. I mean, look, we took over an oil tanker outside of Lebanon
or Libya last week. He went into almost essentially unilaterally intervene
Sure, we`ve moved hardware over there and that`s gives us a certain amount
of projection of force capabilities from an air power standpoint, but it
doesn`t mean we`re close to intervening militarily. He`s sending a message
to our allies in NATO that were there to protect them and that the NATO
alliance is strong and really essentially drawing a line and saying it to
It`s more or less a show of force but it doesn`t mean that we`re close to
any type of military altercation in Crimea whatsoever.
SCHULTZ: What are Putin`s military objectives in your opinion?
SOLTZ: Well, I mean Putin`s all about the sea, right? I mean, when you
look at Syria for instance and I know you and I talked about this for a
long time. I mean, there`s a certain amount of strength that Bashar Assad
has. And he is actually getting that support from Putin and that has to do
with the Russian naval installation that`s in Syria.
So when you look the Crimea region and you look at that naval base, I mean
I think your analysis is rather correct. He cares about his navy in this
projection of force but this is really started years ago, I mean I served
with the Russian army actually at -- in Kosovo. I know we always talk
about it we always talk about Iraq, but .
SOLTZ: . you know, we`ve been moving east for a long time in regards to
NATO expansion, and when we took Kosovo, the Russian paratroopers were in
Pristina in about five minutes. In fact, they got there quicker than we
could, we modify the army because of it. And I serve with them out on the
south boarder, I mean they`re out there shooting dogs, you know, they`re a
third-rate military at some level.
And anything that has to do with NATO expansion, the U.S. expansion east,
into the eastern European states, it always makes Putin very nervous .
SOLTZ: . and reacts with this idea of going to back to sort of the old
school soviet dynamic.
SCHULTZ: And I want to tell our audience, this is just now coming to us,
an interview with NBC affiliate, KNST, President Obama says the United
States will not get involved in military excursion in Ukraine. Jon, your
response to that.
SOLTZ: Yeah, I think that`s accurate. I mean, there`s absolutely no
support in the American public for this. And the Republican rather, it
bothers me, I mean last week, Ed, there was a bill in the United States
Senate supported by every veteran service organization, $22 billion to the
VA and the Republicans voted against it, yet they want to spend money on
missile defense. I mean .
SOLTZ: . the Bush Administration response in Georgia was weak. And in
fact, President Bush relied on the French to cut a deal with the Russians.
So, you know, it`s been a long sort of process that`s led us to this point
in multiple administrations. And I think the president right now has made
the right decision, because until we`ve given diplomacy a chance then we
shouldn`t be engaged militarily.
SCHULTZ: Jon Soltz, VoteVets.org, great to have you with us tonight.
SOLTZ: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
Coming up, the American steel industry is the best in the world. The
investment U.S. steel puts into creating the highest quality product, pumps
jobs and money back in the local economy. More from out series coming up,
"Fighting Chance: American Steel".
But first, the big 10.10 support for minimum wage increase grows across the
country, but business leaders are pushing back. Senator Barbara Boxer
joins me next.
Stick around, we are right back on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders social media. This is where you can
find us, be a part of the gang, Facebook.com/EdShow, Twitter.com/EdShow and
also ed.msnbc.com, love to hear from you. And you can listen to my radio
show on Sirius XM Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3 PM. May
radio podcast, you can get it at wegoted.com.
The Ed Show social media nation has decided we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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SCHULTZ: The half-term governor starts her second term as a reality TV
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I`ll try to find you some and I`ll bring them to you. Get red, wild and
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quick change the channel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top trender, wage wars.
OBAMA: It`s time to give America a raise.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re talking about moving people out of poverty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As business leaders push back on a minimum wage
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the chief financial officers of this
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minimum wage would jump to $10 an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cities across America push forward to help workers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Richmond City Council voted to raise the city`s
minimum wage to $12 and 30 cents an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wonder if the hopes to raise the minimum wage in
Davis to $15 an hour.
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to minimum wage to 12.25 an hour. The unemployment drop will be negligible
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50 percent more per year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight California`s Senator Barbara Boxer. Senator,
great to have you with us tonight.
This has become still a -- it`s still a hot conversation and it`s
interesting to see how many cities around the country are moving on this,
for instance your state of California, the minimum wage is going to move to
$9 an hour in July, in 2016 .
SENAOR, BARBARA BOXER, (D) CALIFORNIA: Yes.
SCHULTZ: .it`s going to go to $10 an hour. Is this it the model? Is this
how we have to do this if we can`t get federal action?
BOXER: Well, certainly it makes a lot of sense. And in California, you
know, there`s no distinction between the tip minimum wage and the regular
minimum wage where as the federal law is $2.13 imagine for a tipped worker
hasn`t been raised in 22 years, Ed. We need federal action.
And while I so encourage the city in the State to move forward. The
pressure should be on these Republicans who brought about in my view under
George W Bush because of their policies a horrific economic crash.
President Obama got on top of this. Remember we were losing 700,000 jobs a
month. We`ve had all these months of job creation, we`ve cut the deficit
in half, we have some credibility and I believe there are three things we
can do now to get this economy rocking and rolling. And one of them is to
raise the minimum wage, the other pay unemployment compensation to those
long-term unemployed, and third, pass an immigration bill.
BOXER: And those three things would get us really moving. So I`m not
going to sit back and say let the cities and states do it. I`m going to
push as hard as I can and I think we`ve made the case.
The last point on this, I wanted to mention to you is I ran into Robert
Reich the other day and he said, "You know, this is the same story we hear
over and over again. Oh, we`ll lose jobs, will lose jobs". And when we
raise the minimum the wage with Bill Clinton in the White House, we created
23 million jobs. And Reich said it was great to thing do and I think he
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s 70 percent of the American people according to a
Bloomberg poll that certainly .
SCHULTZ: . want the minimum wage to move forward. It`s interesting. I
did a Town Hall down in Florida last weekend and there was a lot of support
for raising the minimum wage, but not everyone was convinced. Listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? Come on .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If 10 is such a good idea .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .let`s (inaudible) down.
SCHULTZ: Would you rather not have the minimum wage group?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. There`s a free market.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you -- do you think there should be a minimum
wage at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not at all. It`s a free market.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much that people can make in an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much do you pay these factory workers? 250 an
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t have to take the job if you don`t want it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Isn`t that what you need, Senator, the passion of the people for
this to happen? I was .
SCHULTZ: . rather taken, it was no shoulder shrugging going on when I
asked that question. I mean, they`re into it.
BOXER: Well, we need the passion of the people and we need the people to
vote, Ed, in this midterm election.
SCHULTZ: Is this an election mover?
BOXER: These are the issues that are confronting us. Oh, my God, this is
a huge difference between the parties. Sadly, it never used to be. Under
George W., we raised the minimum wage. We did it in a few steps. This
makes no sense but that`s where the parties are. You know, two-thirds of
small businesses support an increase in the minimum wage because, you know,
they`re very smart, they see that if their workers have some extra money in
they`re pocket they will spend it on the products that they sell, that they
produce. Henry Ford understood this. And I think it`s important to know
that the average age of a minimum wage worker is 35, Ed. It`s not kids,
it`s grown ups.
SCHULTZ: It is.
BOXER: And may of them -- single mom or dad with two kids, they have
minimum wage job, they`re under the poverty line of 15,000 a year. They
can`t make it. This is America and we got to do better.
SCHULTZ: Well, we`re talking about ...
BOXER: It is an election issue.
SCHULTZ: But we`re talking about helping the poor here. 10.10 an hour
which would be in three years, it`s not very lofty goal but it is certainly
moving forward. We`re still talking about somebody making under $21,000 a
year. I mean we`re .
BOXER: Yes, yes, it would.
SCHULTZ: .and hopefully this will bring upward pressure on wages to the
middle class. I hope it happens, Senator .
BOXER: No question. If you move it -- I was going to say, if you move it
to 10.10, it would be a justice for inflation from 1968.
SCHULTZ: Senator Barbara Boxer, great to have you with us tonight, thanks
Coming up, U.S. steel workers take intense pride at their jobs, product in
community. But the steel industry model for investing an American job is
facing serious challenges, thanks to bad trade deals. We`ll have more from
our series "Fight Chance: American Steel".
And later, Governor Chris Christie lashes out at a healthcare policy
advocate. Maura Collinsgru during a New Jersey Town Hall, she joins me for
an exclusive interview coming up.
But next, I`m taking your questions. Ask Ed Live just ahead on the Ed show
on MSNBC, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight. I love hearing from our
viewers. Tonight in our Ask Ed Live question, our first question comes
from Bert, "Who has the bigger ego: Scott Walker or Chris Christie?"
They`re equal, very equal. That one`s does surprise me. I guess I wasn`t
expecting a question like that. Scott Walker has got a huge ego and so
does Chris Christie. Who`s bigger? I don`t know. They`re the same.
Let`s -- the next question comes from Mitch (ph), and he wants to know,
"Could Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear be a viable 2016 Vice Presidential
Yes, he could. There`s no doubt to that. He`s on yeoman`s work on the
healthcare. He`s on a good job with the economy. But the question is, can
he bring Kentucky with him?
Part three of our series, "Fighting Chance: American Steel" up next. Stay
SEEMA MODY, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Seema Mody with your CNBC Market Wrap.
Stocks slide and worries about rising rates. The Dow falling from 114
points, the S and P off by 11, and the NASDAQ dropping 25.
Comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen unnerve investors. She said interest
rates would remain near zero for a considerable time or about six months
after quantitative easing ends.
And on the earnings front, FedEx posted revenue and earnings that we`re
below estimates. The company`s full-year guidance also disappointed.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business world wide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. The culture of steel in America has
always been about industry and workers operating hand-in-hand to make it
happen. In the midst of bad trade deals, that synergy is more important
than ever before. But in order to be successful, Congress needs to take
action to support what the industry is trying to accomplish in America.
Tonight, I take you inside U.S. Steel plant in Lorain, Ohio to continue our
series, "Fighting Chance: American Steel."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of your quotes from last year, where you said, "The
single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be
a one-term president." So how do you respond to those Democratic lines of
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: Well, that is true.
SCHULTZ: Republican obstruction has prevented us from passing a meaningful
jobs bill or investing in our infrastructure. The Republican demand for
austerity has slashed critical budgets and left many Americans without the
safety net they desperately need.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, the Republican leadership is bringing to the
floor one of the most heartless pieces of legislation I have ever seen, a
bill to take food away from some of our most vulnerable neighbors.
SCHULTZ: In the absence of leadership in Washington, U.S. Steel is taking
the lead in investing in American jobs.
These pipes, U.S. Steel, American made. Here in Lorain, Ohio, U.S. Steel
has invested over $200 million in the latest state of the art technology.
They`re banking on American workers. They`re banking on the future. And
here in this community, over 700 workers come into this plant everyday.
And that dollar turns on Main Street. It`s what America is all about.
JOHN WILKINSON, PLANT WORKER, LORAIN, TUBULAR OPERATIONS: Still lot of the
newer equipment. This facility was built by the commission in September
2011. A lot of this is the newer equipment, the newer designs, what`s the
best to use. This industry has changed. It`s not what you saw back in the
1960s, the 1970s where you had these big hammers and the big ladles, and
what everybody think it is on TV.
WILKINSON: It`s precision. It`s intricacy. It`s being knowledgeable on
what you`re doing and understanding and caring, and we`ve always had that.
But now, it`s obviously a lot bigger. We have so much more technology.
The industry is changing. Customers are asking for more. We want to make
sure we deliver. With all these work from synchronization, we got people
involved and we`re making sure that everything is going appropriately. And
from there, it will go through our strengthener and that`s where we`re
going to make that strengthened property. To make sure as they go down
hole there`s no binds or hang ups. Make sure that it fits in the
engineering with requirements they are looking for.
SCHULTZ: If I`d come in here 10 years ago, would I see the same stuff?
WILKINSON: No, this facility wouldn`t have been here. This facility would
actually have been empty.
SCHULTZ: In the past two years, U.S. Steels projected $200 million
investment has created at least 70 full time positions at Lorain tubular
operations and hundreds of part time construction jobs. $100 million was
invested to construct the number six plant in temper line, equipped with
the latest advanced technology. Another $100 million is set to be invested
to upgrade Lorain`s seamless mill to expand Lorain to pipe production. But
these steel workers aren`t just turning out the best quality product. They
take great pride in what they do.
WILKINSON: The equipment that you use and the quality system that you have
in place. To our quality system, one, we have world class people, we have
world class equipment, we maintain it appropriately and on top of it, our
quality system is designed to make sure that we hold ourselves accountable
to our customers who are in use, the environment, because what we tell
everybody, our quality is their safety.
We have a (inaudible) product bad out the environment that endangers
people`s lives, that endangers the environment, that endangers their
overall health and their business. We`re not willing to compromise them.
So, that quality system that we have impart, just like anything else. A
piece of paper, the great document and has a lot of information, but its
people`s interaction with that.
WILKINSON: That`s where you have that great work force, get a comment and
say, this is important to me. But it`s our name on this pipe. We put it
into American soil and it means so much to us. So that quality system is a
great thing. But if the people don`t grab on to it, understand it, and
really be passionate about it, it`s just a piece of paper. And we`re very
fortunate here on Lorain because we have people like that. They really
grasp on to it. They are passionate about it. And they apply it everyday.
And that`s what differentiates us in the market.
SCHULTZ: U.S. Steel isn`t just making an investment in Lorain`s
steelworkers. They`re making an investment in the community of Lorain,
JOHN YOUNGBERG, PLUMBERS & STEAMFITTERS LOCAL: When the mills make an
investment and new processes, new equipment, there`s a lot of investment
there with, you know, hydraulics, all the different types of piping systems
that are needed to keep all that stuff running. We`ve got 40 members out
there working right now and same thing is what Mark (ph) alluded to its,
you know, its jobs.
SCHULTZ: When you guys hear that the U.S. Steel has dump $200 million to
the future, what`s it mean to you? What do you think about that? I mean,
they just made a huge investment.
YOUNGBERG: It`s in investment in the community.
YOUNGBERG: You know, the people that live here, the people that work here,
the people that pay taxes here, and that`s -- it means a lot to us.
SCHULTZ: And to do mentally for the community?
YOUNGBERG: Well, it really brings the community out, you know, when you
had that kind of investment. It keeps, you know, local jobs, so the
dollars turn over here in the community, because of the local participation
that we have with the trades.
MARK HORTON, OHIO FIREFIGHTERS: We need this type on investment, this type
of workers and that`s what makes this county great. We can get back to
where we were once, if we get that commitment from the workers in this
county, U.S. Steel in particular. It was an outstanding thing they`ve done
for us. It picks up everyone just to -- we have to make something in this
county other than fast (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: But the investment in Lorain tubular operations won`t pay off, if
we continue to fall victim to bad trade deals and fail to enforce trade
laws against countries like South Korea.
WILKINSON: We`re passionate about what we do. We`re knowledgeable of what
we do. Put a quality product into this market. And I watch it sometimes,
you know, be fruitless, those efforts to be fruitless because we`re being
undercut, because it`s not a fair situation. Are we scared in competition?
Absolutely not. We`ll go head-to-head against anybody any day of the week.
SCHULTZ: It`s just amazing what the American worker can do, an American
WILKINSON: Absolutely. Little support, we`ll do, we can accomplish
anything. I`ve never seen any American worker turn down a challenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So what is it about our Congress that they just don`t get that
enough? They think that a trade deal with South Korea is better for
America. The ripple effect, it is real. Lorain tubular operations employs
730 workers, and has an annual payroll of $77.5 million. Their vendor
spending in Ohio alone was over $116 million to $237 Ohio vendors.
Congress, it`s about American workers, it`s about the middle class.
Tomorrow night, we focus on the ripple effect. Still to come, Chris
Christie bullies an audience member at a New Jersey Town Hall. Again, I`ll
have an exclusive interview with the woman he lashed out at. Coming up
next, stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, Putin envy Franklin Graham, Billy
Graham`s son is ready to hang Vladimir Putin`s portrait right there over
the fireplace down there in North Carolina. Franklin Graham has never been
friendly to gay rights issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKLIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT/CEO, BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION AND
OF SAMARITAN`S PURSE: God, and makes it very clear that marriage is
between a man and woman and there`s no discussion about it.
There`s no way you can have a family with two females or two males. If you
just think biologically how God made us plumbing.
It should be a great mistake if our nation went down this road.
I`m not homophobic. I`m not against gay or lesbian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: No, not at all. Now, Franklin Graham is doubling down in
sighting Vladimir Putin as a crusader for morality. Graham says, Putin has
taken a stand to protect his nation`s children from damaging effects of any
gay and lesbian agenda. And America`s own morality has fallen.
Franklin Graham is applauding persecution, not morality. If Franklin
Graham thinks human rights violations are the moral code America needs, he
can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work. Everybody loves healthcare, except Chris
Christie. He`s back to his old bullying tactics.
On Tuesday, in a Town Hall in New Jersey, a health policy advocate took the
microphone, Maura Collinsgru, asked the governor to address his failure to
facilitate Medicaid expansion and the exchange got heated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAURA COLLINSGRU, HEALTH POLICY ADVOCATE IN CITIZEN ACTION: You have taken
what the feds have given and not put up the state resources to match .
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: That`s simply not true.
COLLINSGRU: The money .
CHRISTIE: I didn`t accept the federal resources.
COLLINSGRU: . you did not .
CHRISTIE: I didn`t accept the federal resources. I wanted to .
COLLINSGRU: .. take the savings since the Medicaid program is realizing
from the cost shifting of federal dollars needs to remain in the Medicaid
program includes .
CHRISTIE: You`re simply wrong.
COLLINSGRU: . increasing staffing. No, I`m not wrong.
CHRISTIE: No, you`re wrong that the Medicaid program has been expanded.
We`re spending more dollars today, both federal and state, on Medicaid than
we did it at the beginning of my administration. So, you`re simply wrong.
And to stand up here and to misinform people because you have an agenda is
just simply incorrect.
COLLINSGRU: No. We have a budget statement. We will be happy to share it
CHRISTIE: I write the budget. So, I don`t need to read your budget
COLLINSGRU: Well .
CHRISTIE: I write the budget. And Medicaid .
COLLINSGRU: . the money that has been (inaudible) .
CHRISTIE: . has been expanded in the state and I`m sorry that you favor
Obamacare and I do not.
COLLINSGRU: I favor .
CHRISTIE: I mean, I`m sorry, it`s just the way it goes.
COLLINSGRU: . there is not -- no one benefits. Who benefits from the fact
that you are .
CHRISTIE: Everybody is benefitting who needs Medicaid.
COLLINSGRU: . standing in the way of connecting people to cover.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: New Jersey did not set up its own online insurance exchange.
Residents have to use the federal exchange.
Maura Collinsgru, Health Policy Advocate with New Jersey Citizen Action
joins us tonight here on the Ed Show. Maura, thanks for your time tonight.
Governor Christie says you were misinforming the public. I want to clear
that up. What was he talking about?
COLLINSGRU: Well, I think the governor just doesn`t want people to know
what the real position is of his administration. He has not done anything
to help people connect the coverage through the health insurance
marketplace. And we have hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans who are
eligible for that coverage and eligible for assistance.
SCHULTZ: Now, you -- this is a watchdog or consumer watchdog organization,
COLLINSGRU: Yes, we do. Yes.
SCHULTZ: OK. So the money that is coming into New Jersey, it`s not being
COLLINSGRU: Much of the money that comes into New Jersey is not being
allocated properly in healthcare. The governor had an opportunity to use
$7.6 billion to promote the health insurance marketplace, and rather than
do that, he sent the money back to the U.S. Treasury.
SCHULTZ: So, the savings achieved by the Medicaid expansion under the
Affordable Care Act due to the federal cost shifting should be used to
improve healthcare for low income families. That`s not happening?
COLLINSGRU: Well, the governor has an opportunity to do more of that. And
he`s not doing that. He is moving the money from the Medicaid program and
last year, he plugged tools in the general budget. We are asking him to
make this the opportunity that it really is to expand and improve
healthcare for all New Jerseyans, not use it as an opportunity to take away
some state resources.
SCHULTZ: He seems to be playing both sides of the fence here. He`s all
for kind of healthcare reform but he just can`t get too close to Obamacare.
COLLINSGRU: That -- well, I would say that`s correct. He says he`s for
the Medicaid expansion, but Medicaid expansion was part of the Affordable
Care Act. It`s one of its cornerstones. So, you can`t have it both ways.
You`re either for it or you`re not.
SCHULTZ: Does -- do the residents of New Jersey want this expansion?
SCHULTZ: So he is, in your opinion, doing what, denying the people?
COLLINSGRU: He is standing in the way of many people connecting to what
they need to be more healthy and live more healthy and productive life.
SCHULTZ: I don`t want to make this personal, but, this man loves to get up
and pontificate and he`s very combative, how do that feel?
COLLINSGRU: Well, you know, it was like going around with some of the
lawyers that I used to do that with. So, I was very surprised to be called
on. We`ve been out in the forefront of this issue for a long time, but,
you know, this is not about Governor Christie and I, this is about
connecting New Jerseyans to healthcare coverage.
SCHULTZ: Did you feel like you`re fairly treated?
COLLINSGRU: I felt he was a bit rude. But, we were glad that if nothing
else, it was a way to get the message out.
SCHULTZ: So, what do you want the governor to do totally across the board
right now as we`re closing in on this deadline? I mean, you obviously want
to see him make a shift and he`s not going to do. What could he do to make
COLLINSGRU: The governor could let people know what`s happening with their
applications. They`ve been delayed in the New Jersey family care system.
He could let them know what the status of that is and give them a
reassurance. The governor could also help to publicize the health
insurance marketplace. Why is that you can sign up and register to vote in
a motor vehicle agency when you can`t find out anything about healthcare?
Things like that really are an easy lift for the governor to do and to and
to disseminate the information through his agency.
SCHULTZ: Is he purposely dragging his feet on this?
COLLINSGRU: Absolutely. I think so.
SCHULTZ: And there`s a lot that he could be doing even he were against
COLLINSGRU: Yeah. The governor has been totally silent on this. And
we`re asking him to use his bully pulpit to tell people what the options
are. It`s OK if he doesn`t agree with Obamacare, but let New Jerseyans
decide what is that they can choose.
SCHULTZ: OK. Maura Collinsgru, great to have you with us tonight.
COLLINSGRU: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for standing up. Great work.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening, Rev.
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