The Ed Show for Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
June 19, 2014
Guest: Joe Sestak, Jane Kleeb, Ruth Conniff, Jerry Greenfield, Lena
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Here at home, Iraq sparked the big risk debates.
MEGYN KELLY: Do you think that President Obama is dangerous?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, [R-OH] HOUSE SPEAKER: The White House is known for
months about the situation in Iraq.
OBAMA: We will be prepared to take targeted and precise, military action.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, [R] ARIZONA: What is the United Sates of America done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama`s withdrawal have all cost policy
regarding Iraq, has prove big play harm.
OBAMA: American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama has sated repeatedly that terrorist
OBAMA: We have kind of terrorism interest. We will remain vigilant and we
will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security of the
United Sates and the safety of the American people.
BOEHNER: The spread of terrorism has his increased exponentially under
this President`s leadership.
OBAMA: Rather than try to play whack-a-mole, wherever these terrorist
organizations may pop up. What we have to do is to be able to build
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president who refuses to recognize that there is
such a thing as a war out there.
BOEHNER: You look at this presidency and you can`t help to get a sense
that the wheels were coming off.
OBAMA: What`s clear from the last decade is the need for the United States
to ask hard questions before we take action abroad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, ED SHOW HOST: Good to have you with us tonight folks, thanks
for watching. Just so we`re all on the same page as we start this ED Show
tonight. We`re spending more money on Iraq. We don`t have money for jobs
package. We don`t have money to build roads and bridges in this country.
In fact, we don`t have money for anything.
In fact, the middle class has to take more cuts. Medicate, Medicaid risk,
social security. You name it. But we got money for Iraq. Does it just
kind of make you boil just a little bit? This is 2014. Did you believe
back in 2003 that there would be a press conference to the White House
exclusively on Iraq? It`s been along times since President Obama has had
to do this one. But you know what today was? Today was mop up. That`s
what today was.
Today was the mop up for America. This is mopping up Iraq. He didn`t have
anything to do with it. He became elected twice, re-elected, elected, re-
elected. He`s dealing with it and here`s what we`re going to do. You
know, what`s interesting is watching the president today. I thought about
previous press conferences within the last 11 years. Bush use to come out
and say, "Its hard work." Everybody accepted it. He held another press
conference, "You know, it`s going to take a long time, its hard work."
Then Romney over at the Pentagon, he`s interview himself. "Do I think
we`re going to be there for along time? I don`t know. Are the Iraqi
people on favor of this? I think they are." He gets so frustrated, he`d
So today, from the President, we didn`t get any alibis. And President
Obama didn`t come out today and interview himself. He came out, I thought
in total command of the situation with the sound track of Hecklers.
So we have to start tonight with this major situation in Iraq, but I think
if you go to the middle of the country, I`m not sure everybody is thinking
about this because their sickness, spend money on the Iraq.
Earlier today, President Obama came out and he mopped up. He outlined the
new United States plan of action to take care of the Iraqi government, get
them a fighting force, get them back together so they can fight the
terrorist group ISIS. It`s pretty clear the president as I saw it anyway,
has a real good academic understanding of what`s going on and I think he
has commanded the issue.
Today you could say was the end of cowboy diplomacy. Somebody is actually
thinking about what we`re going to do. Meanwhile, the Hecklers understands
-- well they just can`t keep their mouth shut. John McCain came out this
morning just quick as he could after morning coffee and gave his expert
opinion on national security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: And what is the United States of America done? Today we say on
the front page of the Washington Post, "U.S. sees risk in Iraqi air
strikes." The President of United States goes for fund raising and golfing
and now is kittling while Iraq burns. We need to act Mr. President but we
also need to understand why we are where we are today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Of course Bush never play golf, did he.
Next, John Boehner also had jump in. When was on last time you`ve seen
Boehner really comment hard on Iraq or even ever show any real concern
about what was going on in Iraq. He`s just been running around saying,
"Where are the Jobs? Where are the jobs?" Well he jumped in today. He
slammed the president for not taking care of Iraq sooner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: They have a terrorist marching toward Baghdad, we`ve asked the
President for a strategy to reverse the momentum and spread of terrorism.
I heard a little bit about Iraq yesterday but the White House has known for
months about the situation in Iraq. And when you look, it`s not just Iraq,
it`s Libya, it`s Egypt, it`s Syria. The spread of terrorism has increased
exponentially under this President`s leadership.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, what`s interesting is this, is that this guy right here
forgot to mention how much golf this guy plays. It`s like the want the
president to fail. They`re looking for any opening they possibly can find.
The whole mission in congress is to make President Obama look bad and
weaken the Democrats for the next election that we don`t know what`s going
on when it comes to national security and we can`t protect the country.
You know, nothing stops at the water`s edge anymore. Have you noticed
that? Later in the day after meeting with national security advisers,
President Obama came out with a clear plan of action. Now, this is how
it`s going to unfold. First, the president said, the United States is
working to secure our embassy and personnel that`s working Iraq, kind of an
important thing. There`s a lot of Americans over there right now.
Second, the president of United States announced that this country will
increase its intelligence and surveillance assets in the region. The
president says the United States would keep a close eye on what is
happening with ISIS. And if you read between the lines on that one folks,
these guys, ISIS, they`re not going to be able to make a move without us
knowing about it. And all these securing American interests, that`s got
drones written allover it.
Third, the president said, the United State would increase support to Iraqi
security forces. He said joint operation centers would be created in Iraq
and up to 300 military advisers would be headed to Iraq. So increase
military support, these security centers and 300 people over there making
sure that when we start using drones on ISIS we`re going to be hitting the
right targets. Yeah, that`s what`s common.
Fourth, that the President said additional military assets have been
repositioned in the region any positioned in the region. President Obama
said that he is prepared to take targeted and precise military action if in
when the situation on the ground requires it. I`ll stop there. Think
about that. Where have we heard President Obama talk like that before?
If the Pakistanis are unable or unwilling, we will get Osama Bin Laden. I
think what he said today parallels exactly what he said on that debate with
Mitt Romney being crystal cleared to the American people. If we got to
shut at him we`re going to take it.
If military action is needed, the president will consult the congress.
This is where it gets sticky. We`ll see how many of these Republicans are
going to line up with the president when the shooting starts.
Finally, President Obama made clear that there will be a strong diplomatic
effort obviously. But here is the bottom line and the president made it
crystal clear that the Iraqi leaders, they need to step up and do their
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Above all, the Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and
come together around a political plan for Iraq`s future. Shia, Sunni,
Kurds, all Iraqis must have confidence that they can advance their interest
and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence.
National Unity meetings have to go forward to build consensus across Iraq`s
different communities now that the result of Iraq`s recent election has
A new parliament should convene as soon as possible. The formation of a
new government will be an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue and forge
a government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis. Now,
it`s not the place for the United States to choose Iraq`s leaders. It is
clear though that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are
going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together and help them
through this crisis.
Meanwhile, the United States will not pursue military actions that support
one sect of inside of Iraq at the expense of another.
There`s no military solution inside of Iraq, certainly not one that is led
by the United States. But there is an urgent need for an inclusive
political process, a more capable Iraqi security force and counter
terrorism efforts that deny groups like ISIL a safe haven.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: There is no military solution in Iraq. Is that make you feel a
little bit easier about the situation? Not if you`re a conservative.
See the President also made a very clear that there will be no U.S. combat
troops on the ground, probably because we can`t afford it. Iraq is a
sovereign country. It is up to them. The question is, how do you get
somebody to fight for themselves? And what if they don`t fight for
themselves, what is your responsibility, meaning our responsibility? This
is where the American people are and this is where the majority of congress
Although House Foreign Affairs chairman Ed Royce said the President of
United States that his plan underestimates the seriousness of the threat I
bet he picked that one up from Cheney.
Now, these Hecklers understand, I think need to show the president just a
little bit of respects. This is the reason John McCain was not elected
president. It shoot from the hip mentality that`s over with. We got to
think about this. I thought the president had very solid command today of
what he wanted to do. He has got Democratic support on Capitol Hill. He
has got a whole on the situation without over reacting to what could be a
threat. It hasn`t gotten to that point yet but you could easily make the
case that this man right here has done one hell of a job on counter-
terrorism. We haven`t been hit.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Who do you trust more to handle the situation in Iraq, John
McCain or President Obama? Text A for McCain, text B for President Obama
to 67622. You can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. Leave a comment
there. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show. What is the
reaction to the president on Capitol Hill? Is this enough? Let me bring
in NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O`donnell.
Kelly, thanks for your time tonight. What is the chatter on Capitol Hill
in the wake of this press conference today?
KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ed I think
there has been kind of a changed across the day. Some of the Republicans
that you pointed out spoke this morning in a very coordinated way. Senate
Republicans on the floor before it was known that the president would be
coming out and making his statement and answering question. So that was a
structured argument that they were trying to sort of free bat whatever
decision would come from the White House knowing that the President had
telegraphed, it would be a period of days and knowing that leadership from
both the House and the Senate had been meeting with the President late
So that was part of the day. Since the president has come forward, there`s
been a limited response from Democrats, only a handful of formal statement
coming out, most of them focused on the president`s discussion of the
political solutions required from within Iraq, really pointing sort of the
next steps to Iraq itself, the Maliki government and others. Siding that
Democrats are saying that they are supportive of the idea of some limited
military advisers but really wanting the focus to be on a political
solution. The Democrats do not believe is within the purview of the
American military to resolve.
Now, from Republicans, some different responses, there is some positive
statement from both McCain, Graham, Marco Rubio and other saying that this
is a good first step. It shows the President by sending those 300 military
advisers is beginning to take this threat seriously, so to speak, to pick
up on the point you had made from the earlier comments and yet there are
still some concerns. I would say that Republicans are still concern. Is
this going to become something bigger? And will more action be needed?
And then later today, Ted Cruz gave a lengthy speech on the floor talking
about his concerns that Iran is a part of this conversation with President
Obama. And other saying that perhaps Iran could play a constructive role,
being a Shia nation with the dominate Shia, a population of Iraq. Could
there be some partnership there? Ted Cruz very flatly saying, Iran is an
enemy of the United States and it would be foolish to suggest they could be
a part of the solution.
So there is some affirmation for the President`s position, some criticism
and a lot of wait and see here on Capitol Hill. Ed?
SCHULTZ: OK. Kelly O`donnell, NBC News Correspondent. Great to have you
with us tonight. Thanks so much. Let me bring in Former Navy admiral and
Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak. Joe, good to have you on
tonight. Thanks for your expertise on this.
How do we know that this isn`t the beginning of escalation? I have to ask
the question. How do we know that this isn`t going to spiral out of
FMR. REP. JOE SESTAK, [D] PENNSYLVANIA: Because we have a president who
has made it very clear Ed. This isn`t going to be combat troops that we`re
sending 10ths of thousands of them. He had set the end limit of what we`re
going to do. And there`s two things he`s done, he`s made a prudent
decision that we`re going to have 300 advisers in there that are going to
provide the intelligence and their (inaudible) that only we will give our
own people coming from satellites above in order to hand over to the
And second, he`s recognized that ISIS, this revel force is almost out of
gas. It stretched with 11 thousand fighters from all the way in middle
Syria all the way down to close to Baghdad. And now, they`re up against a
military force of Baghdad itself. These are the best troops they`ve got,
So what he is doing is putting in our ability to provide intelligence and
if necessary very limited air strikes in order to be targeted appropriately
prudent and the right to decision.
SCHULTZ: So do you think that our military expertise, our Intel and these
resources that are being allocated could really make a difference that
would turn the tide and maybe turn these terrorist groups back then maybe
ISIS would be second thinking about the Security of Maliki.
SESTAK: Well, I think there`s a probability that now that they`ve started
to besiege, so to speak, Baghdad that Malachi`s forces along with the Shia
militia that standing up would be good enough to keep them where they are.
This is not a great force that`s coming in against this well trained
American forces because the forces that have been rounded already there are
once that were put into Sunni forces as areas and they weren`t even like by
the populous out there.
SESTAK: So my take is yes. This is going to able to stop them and help
roll them back.
SCHULTZ: OK. And the President today talk about how Maliki`s going to run
his country. Because we`re not going to do it for you, we`re not going to
prompt anybody up running like that. But the fact to the matter is that
he`s got to be inclusive. How much of wake up call is this the Maliki?
And how much time does he have?
SESTAK: I don`t think he have a lot of time. But I can`t tell you Ed,
this is going to be a great wake up call. Base upon my own meeting with
Prime Minister Maliki in 2007, five people were in the room. I was there
with (inaudible), Secretary of Defense Hagel.
I watch this senator tell Maliki almost word for word what we`re telling
him now, "You have got to get a whole of your government and you have got
to be inclusive." A 15 minute meeting went to an hour in half. And the
man didn`t change. But I tell you they Ed, if this I.S.I.S the ISIS force
were to takeover Baghdad and we`re to take over the government, I`d be a
heck of a lot worst.
This is not worth one American life. But there`s a very low possibility to
lose a life in this because we have our unique capability to do things from
the air and our Special Forces. And I think that`s why this is prudent
SCHULTZ: OK. I want to play this clip of Ted Cruz earlier today on the
senate floor. And I want your reaction to this the acquisition being made
about the President. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CRUZ, [R] TEXAS: Has the Obama administration ever armed ISIS? Has
the administration given little weapons to ISIS? We are doing so. Two
rebels who are fighting along side ISIS in Syria and it`s an obvious
question to ask whether we had in fact armed this radical Islamic terrorist
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Your reaction to that Mr. Sestak?
SESTAK: Well, as you know Ed, many of this ISIS forces left Iraq to go
into Syria. And they left with arms that under the Bush administration as
well as the Obama administration they had been given. They already had
arms. That said, I do think Ed, that if we been a bit more quick of arming
with small arm, the moderate forces there, we may not have given this ISIS
force the ability to grow to where they then felt they could come back into
SESTAK: But I think that we can not permit our ability to not be use, to
make sure that this very harsh Islamic rule doesn`t take over that country.
SCHULTZ: All right. Admiral Joe Sestak, good to have you with us tonight.
SESTAK: Good to be with you Ed.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time. Thank you. Remember to answer tonight`s
question there at the bottom of the screen, share your thoughts on Twitter
@EdShow and on Facebook. We want to know what you think.
Coming up, here it is, prosecutors in Wisconsin ties Scott Walker to an
alleged criminal scheme, this is huge, big development, will have all the
detail ahead. But first new movement on the Keystone XL battle front.
Trenders is next. Stay with us, we`ll be right back on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: What`s hot, what`s not, time now for the Trender. Social media
join the Ed team, Facebook.com/EdShow, Twitter.com/EdShow and ed.msnbc.com.
You can get my podcast @wegoted.com and also in rawstory.com. And of
course it`s available free, 24/7.
Ed Show social media nation has decided, we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, Black party.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We use to traffic Dems but not ones that are caused
SCHULTZ: This duck dynasty rules the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100,000 ducks flooding a rural road in Thailand. It`s
kind of like they running up the bulls (ph). It is unclear where the ducks
came from or the reason for the stampede. Wave after wave the query of
ducks never seem to ends there.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, bumble mouth.
TERRY BRADSHAW: I`m not exactly the a guy that he`s going to, you know,
split Adams (ph)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terry Bradshaw has called America`s favorite dumb
BRADSHAW: I highlighted my notes. Yeah, I even read this stuff.
SCHULTZ: The blonde bummer drops a few expert opinions on Fox News.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you trust Hillary Clinton?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we`re waiting.
BRADSHAW: Not really.
If you tell the truth, you don`t have to worry about covering up some other
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what`s your point man?
BRADSHAW: That she`s going to decide to run for president, she don`t have
to answer about the Benghazi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t keep up your day job.
BRADSHAW: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s it.
SCHULTZ: And today top Trender, Slick politics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a win for Senator Mary Landrieu.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate Energy Committee passed a bill to force
MARY LANDRIEU: This pipeline is ready to go.
SCHUTLZ: The energy committee sends Keystone approval through the Senate
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All Republicans on the panel voted to clear the
pipeline, joined by Chairwoman Mary Landrieu.
LANDRIEU: The cleanest barrel of oil produced in North America.
SCHULTZ: All we`re looking for is a source senator.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Senator Mary Landrieu says her top priority is
getting the Keystone pipeline built.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, would have to bring
the bill to the senate floor for a vote.
LANDRIEU: It`s hard for us to even understand why there`s a question as to
whether this infrastructure is in the national interest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight by phone, Jane Kleeb, executive director of
Bold Nebraska. Jane, good to have you with us tonight on short notice.
This is interesting, the timing, because the permit in South Dakota runs
out within a week, yet the Senate Energy Committee is taking a vote,
leaving the impression that we`re just so close. What`s the situation?
What`s the dynamic here?
JANE KLEEB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BOLD NEBRASKA: Yeah, you know, this is
clearly a political move by Senator Landrieu, she needed a kind of another
talking point for her latest web ad or TV ad. And so that`s all this is,
it`s never going to see the light of day on the U.S. senate floor. But
you`re right, it is very interesting timing, TransCanada is facing yet
another barrier to getting approval of their Keystone XL, the South Dakota
permit expires on June 29th, so they`re without a permit in Nebraska,
they`re going to be without a permit in South Dakota, so they actually
further behind than when they first started.
SCHULTZ: Should Harry Reid bring this to the floor of a vote in the
KLEEB: No. You know, Harry Reid should not, he`d be playing obviously
rate (ph) into the Koch brothers, ASP (ph) and the Republican`s hands on
this. There is just -- the pipeline is not in the national interest.
And, you know, they follow the policies and procedures under George W. Bush
with the State Department and all Federal agencies having weigh in. we
should obviously continue to process under the president as well.
SCHULTZ: Oil prices are going to up a little bit in the last few days
because of the tensions in Iraq. I would assume that the Keystone
conversation were not far away from hearing how the pipeline has to be
built to give us more energy security. Are you prepared for that one?
KLEEB: Oh yeah. That mean representatively carry (ph) is actually already
out this gate, talking about how we need the Keystone XL pipeline because
of the disruption in Iraq. And, I mean it`s just -- it`s a silly and
uninformed argument for anybody who tries to make that. You know, we have
Keystone 1 in the ground already, that obviously did not stop any
disruption in Iraq. And it won`t stop another oil pipeline. Another tar
sands pipeline won`t stop all of the crisis that`s happening in Iraq and in
the Middle East.
The only thing that can help us star to transition is to actually get off
oil and fossil fuels and start transitioning to a clean energy economy,
which is exactly what they`re President`s policies are making us do.
SCHULTZ: Finally, back to the South Dakota fervent for a moment. How hard
will it be for them to get re-permitted?
KLEEB: You know, it`s interesting, TransCanada doesn`t even want to
actually go through the process of recertification immediately, which, you
know, they`re doing that because they know that the tribes and the
landowners are much more organized and have very strong facts on their
side. You know, one other things TransCanada has not done proper tribal
consultations, so when they go to recertification and the PC opens up the
docket, they`re going to have to face that legal challenge by tribes.
They`re also crossing the Sand Hills in South Dakota. The Nebraska Sand
Hills actually go into the southern part of South Dakota and that`s going
to be a challenge by landowners. So they know that they`re facing an
uphill battle to try to get their permit recertified, which is why they
essentially are trying to say that, you know, no problem here, it`s just
the paper work in here.
SCHULTZ: OK. Just an update from Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska. Great to
have you with us tonight, I appreciate it. We`ll stay on the story for
Coming up, big developments in the investigation under Governor Scott
Walker in his campaign. Prosecutor are calling it a criminal scheme.
Rapid response panel from Wisconsin weighs in, coming up.
And later, ice cream with a sprinkle of politics on it. Ben & Jerry`s own
Jerry Greenfield, joins me live here on t he Ed Show. Stay with us.
Next I`m taking your questions, Ask Ed Live, coming up next on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, Ask Ed, my favorite segment.
First question tonight comes from Twitter user doubtingtomfmi. He wants to
know, "$20 billion it seems we wasted training the Iraq could have saved
Detroit. How does that make you feel?"
Not real good because I think if the conservatives had their way, they do
the same thing all over again and they don`t give a damn about Detroit.
That`s the sin of it all as I see it.
Our next question, from Facebook user Cheri, she wants to know, "What
single question would you ask Cheney about the Iraq war?"
Well, instinctively, I really have no desire to talk to the man. None.
But since you asked me, since it`s well-documented, Mr. Cheney, the waste
fraud and abuse, does that bother you at all?
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next.
MARY THOMPSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Mary Thompson with your CNBC Market
A mixed day for stocks, the Dow closing at 14 points, the S&P gaining two
to close yet another record high and the Nasdaq falls three.
Oracle shares are lower after hours, the company`s revenue and earnings and
its estimates. Filings for first time jobless claims fell more than
expected last week dropping 6,000 to 314,000. And Atlantic City`s Revel
Casino says it`ll shutdown this summer if they can`t find a buyer. It
filed for its second bankruptcy in two years.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker`s
hopes for the White House may have just ended today.
Prosecutors in Wisconsin today are now alleging Governor Scott Walker
personally oversaw what they are describing as a criminal scheme to
illegally coordinate fundraising and campaign activity among conservative
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting a federal judge received
documents today where State Prosecutors described a criminal scheme to
skirt state election laws by Walker and his campaign during the 2011, 2012
Prosecutors alleged Governor Walker, conservative groups and campaign
allies of the governor were working in coordination. One of Walker`s
campaign allies is named R.J Johnson. In the newly released documents, the
prosecutors cite a 2011 e-mail sent by Governor Walker to none other than
Karl Rove. The e-mail reads, "Bottom line, R.J. helps keep in place a team
that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running nine recall
elections and it will be like nine congressional markets in every market in
R.J. Johnson is a top adviser to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. This could
be the beginning of Walker`s downfall. What Democrats have been accusing
Walker of all along now has prosecutors alleging Walker broke the law.
For more on this, let`s turn to our Rapid Response Panel tonight Wisconsin
State Senator Lena Taylor and also Ruth Conniff, Editor-in Chief of the
Progressive Magazine. Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Ruth, you first, the state law in Wisconsin is very clear on this. Tell
our listeners tonight what is Walker up against.
RUTH CONNIFF, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Well, we haven`t
got a conviction here, Ed, but we have major, major smoking gun. This is
what didn`t happen in the first John Doe investigation, which ended with
six convictions of Walker`s closest aides and associates. But Walker
himself was never directly implicated in this illegal coordination.
Today, we have this e-mail from Walker showing that he himself as that
Milwaukee Journal headline says is at the center of this illegal scheme and
that`s what prosecutors are alleging. And, you know, it`s Walker`s own
words. So that is a major, major deal. That is a smoking gun.
And it shows that he was talking to Karl Rove about coordinating the whole
state of Wisconsin bringing in this, you know, millions of dollars from
outside groups into the state. And these will tiny raises around the
state, these nine districts that he lays out either congressional
districts, this is going to benefit Rove and the entire nationwide right-
wing Republican apparatus to pour money into Wisconsin to get involved in
these raises. And that coordination is illegal and that has been the
subject in this investigation all along.
SCHULTZ: Well, on page 144 today it says, prosecutors argue that this
scheme "pervaded" nearly every aspect of the campaign activities during the
2011 and 2012 elections. Say, Senator Taylor, what`s your response to
SEN. LENA TAYLOR, (D) WISCONSIN: I`m not surprised, Ed, of the
allegations. In some sense, I`m surprised maybe that the Journal Sentinel
has said something that is not favorable of Scott Walker. But I`m not
surprised because this is a pattern that has plagued him and his campaigns
frankly since he was in college.
It`s the same kind of behavior that we`ve been stating consistently that
he`s been slippery and been able to evade. And in the end, it really means
that he is doing everything other than trying to really hear the voice of
the people. He is trying to drown the voice of the people by outside
dollars and coordination that is inappropriate, illegal based on our laws
So, I would suggest, right? I would suggest that people might want to
listen to what we`ve been saying, you know, since way back in 2011.
SCHULTZ: What`s your anticipation, Senator, of Republicans? What -- are
they are ready to stand, do you think with Scott Walker?
TAYLOR: Oh, they`ve been standing with him the entire time. I mean, the
fact that individuals who were 20 feet away from him, you know, got
convicted for inappropriate illegal behavior at the county level but he
says he didn`t know.
You know that people have been taking a fall for him or a bullet for him or
whatever you want to call it for him, covering for him .
SCHULTZ: Well, when does that end?
TAYLOR: . for a long time. So I actually believe -- I don`t know, Ed,
whether or not it is going to end. The amount of money we`ve seen pouring
in, in this state in order to try to defeat Mary Burke who is an honest and
wants to bring the kind of transparency and the kind of really confidence
that people can have not only in their governor as a leader but also for
our state as a whole. We don`t want out elections to be tainted by this
type of behavior .
TAYLOR: . that our governor continues to be tainted with.
SCHULTZ: Prosecutors .
TAYLOR: I hope that Republicans wouldn`t stand with him but it looks like
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Prosecutors also pointed out on page 126, even the
National Club for Growth raised concerns about the coordination. If that
is the case, Ruth Conniff, what does this do to the governor`s raise? What
does this do for Mary Burke?
CONNIFF: I think this is a huge blow to Scott Walker. And I think the
important distinction to make here is between Republicans -- particularly
Republican voters in the state of Wisconsin and these great big money
groups like the Club for Growth in Wisconsin.
And the Wall Street Journal, you know, weighed in with an editorial telling
Scott Walker essentially threatening him and saying, "Do not cut a deal in
this investigation to save yourself and sell out this big interest who have
been supporting you." It was a stunning admission, basically, by the Wall
Street Journal on behalf of these right-wing groups like, "Listen Scott
Walker, remember who you`re working for."
Well, Republican voters in Wisconsin have no desire to see these massive
interests come into our state and take control of it. So I think that`s an
important distinction to make. And I think that people are going to really
pay attention to this and it looks really bad for Walker.
SCHULTZ: Senator, isn`t this the time for the State Democrats to go for
the jugular here? I mean, what about impeachment? What about a real call
for Scott Walker to come clean on his involvement and see if he has the
character to fess up to these e-mails?
TAYLOR: Our question, if the governor has the character to step up and
take accountability in that regard. But what I will say is this. During
the recall, people wanted to let him, you know, have his moment. He hadn`t
done anything illegal.
Well now, the rubber is hitting the road. And I think Ruth is, you know,
said it best in the sense that I believe that in the end both Republican
and Independent voters across Wisconsin will not want to stand for this
type of leadership, this type of cloud, not only over Republicans but
frankly over Wisconsin as a whole. And I would hope that individuals are
going to stand with us as we continue to say that what this administration
has done has not been appropriate and the kind of coordination that has
happened not just with the governor`s campaign.
I frankly believe that it`s happened across the board in other ways. And
it`s one of the reasons why, you know, it`s so hard to get the computers,
and so hard to get collect data, and collect information. Now that it`s
coming out, I`m hoping that the people will see. And we will continue, Ed,
to share that story, knock on doors, go to every county in the state, and
tell individuals what has been happening and hope that people at this point
say, "Enough is enough. And we`re going to take back Wisconsin and move
SCHULTZ: Well, the Republicans .
TAYLOR: With transparency and integrity.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. The Republicans now have two governors that definitely
have seen better legal days and that might be the guy from New Jersey
coming up next, who knows? I don`t know but this is definitely a real
dynamic that is going to be one to watch playing out in Wisconsin.
Great to have both of you with us tonight, Ruth Conniff of the Progressive
Magazine and State Senator Lena Taylor, thank you so much.
Still ahead, a win in the fight against genetically modified food. Jerry
Greenfield of Ben and Jerry`s ice cream joins me live with a scoop.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, washed up, Marco Rubio.
The Florida senator has gone off the deep end. Rubio says President
Obama`s time in office, well it`s done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: I saw a commentator today say that these
polls, what they reflect, is that the Obama presidency is over, and I agree
with that. I think it is in general.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Rubio quoting the media. Interesting. Rubio tried his best to
water down President Obama`s legacy, didn`t he?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Whether it`s foreign policy, or the issue on the boarder, or the
VA, or the IRS losing its e-mails, or Benghazi before that. It seems like
everyday now or every other day there`s a new crisis almost like we`re
overwhelmed by the number of crisis and conflicts that are arising as a
result of the incompetence and in some instances the design of this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh yes, manufactured crisis as I`d say. I hate to rain on
Rubio`s parade but the senator is drowning and I mean drowning in
Rubio is one president behind when it comes to the foreign policy problems,
don`t you think?
Obama is bringing terrorist to justice and bringing the troops home.
Turmoil at the border and problems with the VA are due to Republican
inaction and funding in Congress. GOP manufactured crises don`t hold water
If Marco Rubio thinks Americans will drink down this backward logic, he can
keep in pretending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL BURNS, VT PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP: By passing this law with no
strings attached, Vermont has sent a message out loud and clear that no
company, no matter how big, no matter how rich, no matter how powerful, can
deny you the right to know what is in your food.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
We finish tonight with a story that doesn`t get a lot of attention but I
believe a lot of people care about it.
Last month, the state of Vermont scored a major victory in the fight
against GMOs, Genetically Modified Organisms, by becoming the very first
state to pass a law requiring food and drink manufacturers to label
genetically modified foods. When Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the
measure into law, Ben &Jerry`s Chief Executive Jostein Solheim was out of
The Vermont based ice cream maker has become a vocal proponent for
transparency in GMO labeling. On May 30, the company announced its
intention to remove all GMOs from their ice cream flavors. That`s right.
For example, no more Hershey`s Heath bars? Oh, that hurts, but his is the
way it is, which commonly has genetically modified corn and soy. So Ben &
Jerry`s is also doing what it can to help raise money to defend Vermont`s
labeling law. They think it`s important.
Just last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and others sued to
block the law, which is due to take effect in 2016. In response for the
month of July, Ben & Jerry`s will rename its fudge brownie ice cream food
fight fudge brownie. Ben & Jerry`s will contribute $1 from each purchase
at Burlington and Waterbury scoop shops to Vermont`s Food Fight Fund. The
Vermont legislature established the fund to defend the law from expected
challenges in court by food producers. No doubt there`s a long legal
battle ahead, but all eyes will be on Vermont as it becomes ground zero in
the fight against GMOs.
Joining me tonight Ben & Jerry`s co-founder, Jerry Greenfield. Mr.
Greenfield, good to have you with us tonight.
As I said at the top, this is a story that a lot of people don`t get a lot
of coverage on but I think a lot of people are really concerned about
genetically modified organisms and exactly what`s in our food. Why did you
do this and how important do you think it is?
JERRY GREENFIELD, CO-FOUNDER, BEN & JERRY`S: Well, for us it`s simply
about a consumer`s right to know so that they can make a choice what`s in
their food. It`s not about, "Do you love GMOs? Do you not love GMOs?" It
should be, you be able to know what`s in your food. And it`s kind of crazy
that these enormous food companies are trying to block people`s
understanding of that.
SCHULTZ: Well, Unilever bought Ben & Jerry`s back in 2000 and they`re part
of this Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group representing
Monsanto and other big companies. GMA sued the state of Vermont over this,
how does this all work out?
GREENFIELD: You know, it`s interesting, we don`t always agree on issues
like this but to their credit Unilever really supports Ben & Jerry`s
ability to talk about the issue and I have a lot of respect for their CEO
Paul Polman. So I think the idea that they`re willing to have Ben &
Jerry`s screaming from the rooftops about an issue like this is great.
SCHULTZ: Do you think other states will follow Vermont`s lead on this?
And do you think that this will gain legislative strengths throughout the
GREENFIELD: Absolutely. There`s activity on this and about 30 states
right now. It was narrowly defeated in the last couple of years, invalid
initiatives in California and Washington State but there`s an upcoming
valid initiative this year in Oregon. And it`s supported by 93 percent of
Americans. There is GMO labeling in 64 countries around the world. This
is not some crazy idea. It`s just something that`s going to happen and
Vermont just happens to be the first state.
I mean, what`s interesting is this provision that Vermont put in to have
crowd funding to support the legality of the fact that people around the
country could contribute $1, $2 or whatever to have the voice of the people
be up against the millions of dollars of these enormous companies is
SCHULTZ: This is a risky move, you know. Consumers have gotten used to
products like Heath Bar Crunch. Why did your company go ahead regardless?
GREENFIELD: Well, we wanted to be non-GMO. We`re going to fully
transition by the end of this year. We`re about all 70 percent non-GMO,
now about 40 percent of our favors by volume are non-GMO. It`s something
our customers want. It`s something we want. But as I said, it`s simply
about a consumer`s right to know. For Ben & Jerry`s, we`re going to be
able to use essentially all the same suppliers. Heath bars are an
exception to that.
GREENFIELD: We`re going to transition and not have to raise the price of
pints to consumers at all. So it`s something you can definitely do.
SCHULTZ: What kind of response do you expect from your consumers and your
GREENFIELD: Our consumers are thrilled. You know, the idea that people
are thanking us not because we`re going non-GMO, but simply for telling
them what`s in their food. And, you know, it`s kind of crazy to me that
any food company wouldn`t want to tell people what`s in their food, that
they shouldn`t be incredibly proud of the ingredients they use, and just
screaming it to people because we`re so proud of it.
SCHULTZ: Ben & Jerry`s ahead of the curve. Mr. Greenfield, good to have
you with us tonight. All the best to you and I can attest .
GREENFIELD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: . that your ice cream tastes really, really good. I love that
ice cream. I think folks can tell.
That`s the Ed Show, I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening,
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