The Ed Show for Monday, May 4th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Monday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: May 4, 2015
Guest: Mark Potok, Dean Obeidallah, Mercedes Schlapp, Caroline Heldman,
Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Louis Greenwald, Sheldon Whitehouse
ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news out of Texas. Overnight, two gunmen
killed following a shootout outside a controversial event showcasing
drawings of the "Prophet Muhammad".
OFFICER JOE HARN, GARLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT: Obviously, they were there to
FRM. PRES. BILL CLINTON, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There`s been a very
deliberate attempt to take the foundation down.
HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That criticism is political.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The so-called "Bridgegate Scandal" involving the office
of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I knew nothing about this.
BRIDGET KELLY, CHRISTIE`S FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF: I am not guilty.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER: I am not qualified to debate the
science of a climate change.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I`m not on science either
but I know about scientist, I have the capacity to understand, you know,
the capacity to look at facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us, folks. Thanks for watching. We start
this evening with the latest out of Garland, Texas.
On Sunday, Texas police shot and killed two gunmen who open fire outside a
"Draw Muhammad Contest".
Authorities have identified the suspects as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi.
Federal agents searched both suspect`s home and in Phoenix, Arizona after
the shootout. Investigators still don`t know if the gunmen had any ties to
outside terror groups.
One security guard was injured in the shootout. About 200 people attended
the heavily-policed even that was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense
Initiative. Now, group`s president and cofounder is conservative blogger,
Pamela Geller. She is also the president of the group, "Stop Islamization
of America". Both of Geller`s groups are listed "hate groups" by the
Southern Poverty Law Center.
NBC`s Jay Gray has the latest on the shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY GRAY, NBC`S CORRESPONDENT: Police say the shootout lasted no more than
15 seconds after the alleged gunmen jump out of their vehicle and open
HARN: They simply got out and started firing.
GRAY: Wounding Bruce Joiner, an unarmed security guard, they turn toward
HARN: Came around the back of the car and started shooting at the police
GRAY: The traffic patrol officer inside that cruiser fired back, killing
the suspects, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi.
HARN: The officer was using this duty pistol, they were using assault
GRAY: At this point investigator say, they`re not sure of a motive.
HARN: We think their strategy was to get to the event center and to the
GRAY: Where the inaugural Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest was coming to
an end. The event included a completion with $10,000 prize for the winning
cartoon featuring the Muslim prophet, Muhammad, images that are considered
blasphemous by many Muslims around the world.
Katrina Pierson was inside when the shoots were fired.
KATRINA PIERSON, PRESENT IN THE EVENT: We all knew there was chance,
something bad may happen.
GRAY: As the investigation continuos, we`re learning more now about
Simpson who was convicted of lying (ph) the federal agents five years ago
about his plans to join a terror group in Africa. There also indication,
he sending a message on social media with the #texasattack about 30 minutes
before the shooting, an attack police and federal agents continue to
investigate right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Many disagree with Sunday`s anti-Muslim event but freedom of
speech protects everybody in this country. For years, the KKK is been
allowed to protest and host rallies around the country. Their speeches
protected under the first amendment.
The West Memorial Baptist Church has been spreading hare by holding anti-
gay protest since 1998. The group is protested numerous funerals over the
years including U.S. soldiers who have been killed in Iraq.
As horrible as these groups are, they have a right to free speech or have
we really met the threshold in this country of having to curtail freedom of
speech in the first amendment in this country.
Get you cellphones out, I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question, "Do you think these events incite violence?" Go to
polls.msnbc.com/ed to cast your vote, I`ll bring you the results later on
in the show.
Joining me tonight, let me bring in Mark Potok who was the Senior Fellow at
the Southern Poverty Law Center, also with us tonight Dean Obeidallah who
is a Columnist for the Daily Best. Gentlemen, I appreciate your time
Mr. Potok, you first, the Southern Poverty Law Center have these two
shooters on your radar screen, did you know about these shooters?
Mark Potok, Senior Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center: No, we
didn`t know either of them, Ed. We had nothing on at all.
SCHULTZ: What can you tell us about the American Freedom Defense
Initiative, who are these folks and what are they do actively?
POTOK: Well, I mean, it`s largely Pam Geller and her cheerleaders, you
know, basically this is a real nasty organization, an organization that
specializes and provocateur type of things.
I mean, you know, this is woman who was describe not merely radical
Islamist as terrible people but all Muslims as following a bait that she`s
described it the most extreme and radical on the planets. She has on, and
on, and on.
She does things like for instance, she, not long ago, had a video up on her
website which suggested that Muslim men regularly engaged in bestiality
with goats. She put up a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on her own
website, sometime back as well, depicting the prophet with a pig`s face,
and it goes on, and on, and on from there.
She is very given to hate (inaudible) our president in particular. She is
described Barack Obama not only a secretly a Muslim, not as watching jihad
to win but also as the "love child" of Malcolm X. She has said that
Obama`s mother was posed for pornographic magazines and Obama himself was
involved in a "crack whore".
So, you know, this is a very seriously propaganda, this organizations,
Geller herself has been banned from entering the United Kingdom because she
has seen as a threat to public order there.
SCHULTZ: Dean, do you think this group should be allowed to hold their
event, I mean, if this does incite violence, these kinds of things and they
end up becoming a target, actually trying to rile up the base that would,
of course, even initiate, even more hatred towards the Muslim faith. What
do we do? How do we, I mean, obviously this was heavily...
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, THE DAILY BEAST: Right.
SCHULTZ: .. guarded by police and they certainly handled it the best way
they possibly could but this is really the fishbowl the country`s swims in
right now, isn`t it?
OBEIDALLAH: It is. And I want to say, I wrote an article on Daily Beast
about this. I am a Muslim myself, I interviewed several Muslim leaders
including one of the leaders of the Muslim community in Dallas, Ali Salin
(ph) the head of the CARE (ph) chapter.
We all agree, she has the right to do this. We defend her right to be
bigot. We have the right, of course, the kind of her bigotry with words.
That the way she would be responded to at all times, not violence.
The fact that you should be able to draw a cartoon of even the prophet
Muhammad, all the Muslim I spoke to, the leaders have the exact same thing.
This is what the beauty of freedom expression is in this country. Things
going to offend us, they can upset us. We turn away or we counter with the
And there was a Muslim group countering the right way, there`s a group of
Muslimgirl.net which had their own funny thing, draw a picture of your
friend name Muhammad, because every one has a friend named Muhammad if
you`re a Muslim.
You know, that was way to respond and the Muslim community didn`t even
protest about that because concerned efforts by them to ignore Pamela
She wants reaction. She dreams of a reaction. So, yes, she has the right
to do it. It`s despicable, it`s wrong but that`s the far extreme
expression and I think it`s important that we pay that price.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think, Dean, I want your response on the $10,000 prize.
I mean, clearly she is trying to tune up publicity...
SCHULTZ: ... and to attract the hate merchants into something like this to
have this kind of asperse. I mean, this is a chump change for someone who
has some kind of hate in their heart and is willing to put it on paper.
OBEIDALLAH: No. Obviously, you know (ph), spending $10,000 to get people,
to encourage them to draw a pictures that they know we`re going to stoep
(ph) the flame of hate versus Muslims.
If you`re like having some kind of anti-somatic or racist joined contest
with the goal of stoking the flames of hate versus Jews and blacks, it`s
But that`s the least of what Geller did. She spent $100,000 here in New
York City to put up anti-Muslim posters in the subway system. You know how
much they hate Muslims to spend that much of money. Her goal is to
provoke, she has her own agenda whatever that might be, whatever twisted
version of this.
But again, it is freedom of expression and speech. We defend it, we
counter it the right way through words and through mocking her communicably
(ph), which many of our community doing. She`s become a punch line to our
community to be frank with you.
SCHULTZ: Mark Potok, from the perspective of the Southern Poverty Law
Center, when something like this happens, what happens to a Geller group-
type situation? In other words, does this make her group stronger? Does
it recruit? Is this been just a big recruiting tool for her?
POTOK: Look, I don`t know about recruiting but I think Geller -- this was
a provocation, it was not, it was certainly not about discussing complex
policy issues or the threat of terrorism, or the difference between radical
Islamist and mainstream Islam, or as she claims about free speech. This
was about pushing Pam Geller more on the spotlight than she is already.
And I think as a matter of sad reality, yes, this shooting pushes Geller
more into the public limelight. There are some people out there who will
think she is some kind of hero or murderer which, you know, maybe she
absolutely is. And let me say, I agree with Dean, 100 percent on free
I mean, you know, if really is a kin to a clans (ph) been saying, "Let`s
hold a cartoon contest for, you know, white supremacist to draw depiction
of black people. It`s not illegal, you`re not going to be sent to prison
for criminal incitement by, my God, it is incredibly vile and hateful thing
SCHULTZ: All right. Mark Potok and Dean Obeidallah, I appreciate your
time tonight here on the Ed Show.
OBEIDALLAH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question at polls.msnbc.com/ed,
we`ll have the results after the break. Follow us on Facebook and watch my
Facebook feature "Give Me a Minute". And you can get my video podcast at
Still to come on the Ed Show, Bill Clinton cuts down the controversy over
donations to the family`s charity. And we kickoff our series tonight,
"Rising Tide: The Climate Crisis". Tonight, we focus on areas where there
is a rising sea levels.
Stay tune, we are right back on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Here where we stand on tonight Bing Pulse Poll. Tonight`s
question, "Do you think these events incite violence?" 18 percent of you
say no, 82 percent of you say yes.
We`re coming right back on the Ed Show. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And we are back on the Ed Show.
For weeks, Hillary Clinton has been facing criticism over certain donations
made to the Clinton family foundation. Now, former President Bill Clinton
is out answering those critics.
This weekend, Bill Clinton taped an exclusive interview with NBC News from
Kenya and addressed the scrutiny focus on foreign donations.
NBC`s Cynthia McFadden has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYNTHIA MCFADDEN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Former President Bill Clinton is
making no apologies as he tours some of the African programs his foundation
has raise billions to help fund.
B.CLINTON: I don`t think there`s anything sinister in trying to get
wealthy people in countries that are seriously involved in development to
spend their money wisely in a way that helps poor people and lifts them up.
I don`t think there`s anything wrong with that, I think it`s good.
MCFADDEN: But his wife`s run for president has triggered a new level of
scrutiny and criticism.
B. CLINTON: There`s been a very deliberate attempt to take the foundation
down. And there is almost n new fact that`s known now, that wasn`t known
when she ran for president the first time.
MCFADDEN: He tells me, 90 percent of the donors give a 100 dollars or
less, but it`s who`s giving the big money that`s causing the headache.
Over half of the donors giving $5 million or more are foreign, many of them
foreign governments. Under mountain pressure, the foundation recently
announced, it will only take money from 6 western countries.
Is that an acknowledgment that it was a mistake, not to stop the other
foreign, the nations, before your wife ran for president?
B. CLINTON: No, absolutely not. It`s an acknowledgment that we`re going
to come as close as we can during her presidential campaign, that following
the rule to be followed when she became Secretary of State.
MCFADDEN: He defended the $10 million to $25 million given by Saudi
B. CLINTON: I don`t think that I did anything that was against the
interest of United States.
MCFADDEN: Do you understand that the perception itself is a problem?
B. CLINTON: No.
MCFADDEN: You don`t.
B. CLINTON: No. And look, I don`t want to get in the weeds here. I`m not
responsible for anybody else`s perception. I asked Hillary about this and
she said, "You know, no one`s ever tried to influence me by helping you."
No one has even suggested they have a shred of evidence to that effect.
MCFADDEN: Over the years, she`s made a lot of money giving speeches.
While his wife was Secretary of State, he gave 11 of them which take him
$500,000 or more.
B. CLINTON: I give 10 percent of my revenue off the top every year to the
foundation. And Hillary, in the year she was there, gave 17 percent. Over
the last fifteen years, I`ve taken almost no capital gains...
MCFADDEN: But why do it, Mr. President?
B. CLINTON: And I`ve given 10 percent more to pay my bill and because in
the -- why?
MCFADDEN: Regular working Americans look and say, "$500,000 for a speech?"
CLINTON: But why shouldn`t every -- it`s the most independence I can get.
It`s -- I don`t -- if I had a business relationship with somebody, they
would have a target on their back from the day they did business with me
until the end. Any kind of disclosure is a target. But it looks bad.
There`s no fact, of course, but it looks bad. People -- I work hard on
this. I spend a couple hours a day just doing the research, people like to
hear me speak. And I have turned down a lot of them. If I think there`s
something wrong with it, I don`t take it. And I do disclose who gave them
to me. So people can make up their own minds.
MCFADDEN: So she`s now running for president, will you continue to give
B. CLINTON: Oh, yeah. I gotta pay our bills.
MCFADDEN: If your wife is elected president, will you step down from the
B. CLINTON: Well, I`ll decide. If it`s the right thing to do, I will.
MCFADDEN: Why might you step down if she were elected president?
CLINTON: Well, I might if I were asked to do something in the public
interest that I had an obligation to do. Or I might take less of an
executive role. I mean, I really, I work at this and I`m involved in this,
as you can see. So I might do that. But we`ll cross that bridge when we
come to it.
MCFADDEN: Until then, there are many more people to help and lots more
money to raise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Caroline Heldman, Professor of Politics at
Occidental College, also with us tonight, Republican Strategist, Mercedes
Schlapp, great to have put of you with us tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Mercedes, you first, I guess my interpretation to this is, Bill
Clinton has the right to go out and make and make a living. Bill Clinton
has done a lot of good things with the foundation but now he is officially
hymn (ph) campaign. I mean, there`s -- I mean, this is clearing the beach
and then, I mean, this is Bill Clinton trying to raise what some people
foresee to be a real problem for Hillary Clinton`s campaign. What`s your
take on it?
MERCEDES SCHLAPP, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes. I think it is a problem. I
mean, I think that got to pay for my bills sounds very similar to we are
dead broke. I mean, it sort of the sense of being out of touch with the
And so, I think this presents a problem obviously for President Clinton and
for Secretary Clinton because at the end what`s happen is that, people are,
the American people are looking out there, when you starting to look at the
polls and (inaudible) independent believe that Hillary Clinton, they don`t
describe her as honest and in fact 54 percent believe that they can`t trust
So this is truly impact...
SCHULTZ: Well, is that related to the foundation? Do you think that`s
related to the foundation or?
SCHLAPP: It was related to the e-mail scandal. It was related to now to
the foundation and what`s happening is that, it`s -- what we`re not seeing
are these straightforward answers. They sent...
SCHLAPP: ... I don`t quit and to go out and try to defuse the problem but
yet at the end, we still have all these questions and all this
investigations that they need to look into to the foundation, which they
made it very clear, the CEO of the foundation made it very clear that we`ve
made mistakes yet, President Clinton say that we did it.
SCHULTZ: Well, that was in the filing of the taxes.
SCHLAPP: Walk on that definitely.
SCHULTZ: That was in the -- there was an admission there...
SCHULTZ: There was an admission that they filed their taxes wrong, but
that can be corrected, but that can be corrected.
SCHULTZ: But the point here is, Caroline Heldman, was this a good move for
Bill Clinton to do this? I mean, he very clearly, a direct answers about
the function of the foundation and reasoning behind the way they do things,
CAROLINE HELDMAN, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS AT OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: I think he
had to do it. I would agree with Mercedes that this is affecting her
candidacy. However, what Mercedes is not mentioning -- in that very same
poll, most Americans actually this -- they have an issue with the honesty
but it`s not affecting their support for her, which is a strange place to
be in, right? She`s a really popular candidate and I think people can tell
the difference between what Bill Clinton is doing and what Hillary Clinton
And on what Bill Clinton is doing, I think it`s terrible that we are be
smirching his reputation because of the amount of work he has done. He is
in the ranks of someone like Jimmy Carter in terms of the good he`s done in
the world and I think this is.
HELDMAN: . very low partisan blow.
SCHULTZ: Well, the critics here are, you know, claiming that these donors
to the foundation are going to get special treatment if Hillary and Bill
are ever in a position of authority again. I mean, that`s really what this
is. So what is, Mercedes Schlapp, what is going to satisfy the critics
here? You can`t get rid of the Clinton Foundation.
SCHLAPP: I think you need...
SCHULTZ: . too many people in the globe depend on it.
SCHLAPP: I think it`s what like the New York Times editorial said we need
straightforward answers from Hillary Clinton. The mere fact.
SCHULTZ: All right. Give me one -- what answer do you need? Tell me one
you answer you need.
SCHLAPP: Well, let`s -- for example, you had the Indian billionaire shut
wall (ph) come out and basically say, "I presented Hillary Clinton the
package." This was on the Indian-U.S. nuclear agreement and she bought
into it and then he said, "Politics is not free and the American system you
have to give money so you have these foreign governments giving this
massive amount of tax, and somehow there is these connections being made
where Iranians supplies are going over to Uranium One where`s these
Canadians for example, you had these over a thousand donors that weren`t
Again, it`s the appearance, it`s about transparency. It`s about as you`re
seeing the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post coming out with
these articles where basically asking the questions and they want answers.
SCHLAPP: . from Hillary Clinton as a candidate.
SCHULTZ: All right. You want to tackle that Caroline Heldman? I mean, is
this, you know, Uranium One going to be the elephant or the gorilla in the
dance floor right now for Hillary Clinton.
HELDMAN: Well I don`t think it`s fair I do think it`s a perception issue
but I don`t think it`s fair, because the Clinton Foundation, the only
reason we even notice information is because they are known for their
transparency in the global non-profit.
HELDMAN: . world.
In addition to that, there is no evidence of the links between the claims
that are being made by partisans not by real analyst but by partisans, and
actual policy outcomes, in fact, I think it`s incredibly naive to think
that somehow one contribution leads to one policy decision when there are
HELDMAN: ... and multiple people making outputs.
SCHULTZ: Well, there was a time when Hillary Clinton said there`s a vast
right-wing conspiracy. And now times have changed, here`s Bill Clinton
coming out saying, they`re trying to takedown the foundation. That`s what
he said to that interview.
So, Caroline, I mean, this is about as aggressive as Bill Clinton`s ever
been in the foundation, isn`t it?
HELDMAN: It is and they have raise $100 billion in the last decade to help
with childhood obesity, child`s health, women`s, economic development. I
mean, I think it`s a real shame. The real losers here are the people who
are being help by the Clinton Foundation because of this partisan role.
SCHLAPP: Sadly, for the foundation and I come from a foundation world,
only 10 percent of that money has been going to the programmatic grant. I
mean that itself is a problem as we know when the foundation started, they
were in deficit for very longtime. So again, it`s been a (inaudible)
And again, the question becomes, if they can manage a foundation how can
Secretary Clinton become president and manage this country?
SCHULTZ: All right, we`ll leave it there. Caroline Heldman, Mercedes
Schlapp, great to have with us tonight here on the Ed show.
Still to come, Chris Christie`s traffic troubles continuous allies face
charges over Bridgegate. And following a quiet weekend in Baltimore, we`ll
look at how the city moves forward. There is a breaking development, Joy
Reid joins us when we come back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
We`re following breaking news out of Baltimore at this hour. There are
conflicting reports this evening about a shooting that involves police
Moments ago, Baltimore police said that the reports are not true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALTIMORE POLICE OFFICER: We had an incident up here at Penn and North.
Unfortunately, we have an adult black male, adult black male that`s pick up
on one of our city`s watch cameras, our close circuit television cameras
and he`s clearly armed with a handgun.
Police come in, a very short brief for pursuit, he pull the handgun or
tends to pull it out. There`s a sound and it just charging. There is a
sound of discharging, the sound of a weapon discharging. The police never
discharge any weapons. We check him out, we finally stop him. We get the
weapon back. It is a revolver and a revolver there are three cartridges
one of them are spare (ph). One of them is spare (ph) meaning, that has
We have a medic that arrives. He gets to the medic, he does not want to go
with the medic. He is check out thoroughly by the medic, the paramedics.
He has no injuries on his body whatsoever, no injuries whatsoever. He is
not shot. He did not want to go with the amble but they took him anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And unfolding situation in Baltimore at this hour. President
Obama today addressed the need for resources for young people of all races
in cities across the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: And that sense of unfairness and of powerlessness, of people not
hearing their voices, that`s helped fuel some of the protests that we`ve
seen in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and right here in New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Freddie Gray`s family is reacting to the charges filed on Friday
against six police officers. They sat down for exclusive interview with
NBC`s Lester Holt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESTER HOLD, NBC HOST: Tell me about hearing the news from the state`s
attorney that charges were being filed against the officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t expect it so soon but I was really happy that
it turned out this way. But we all know this only the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: On Sunday hundreds of people took part in a peaceful rally
throughout the city of Baltimore and other cities around the country.
Stick around, we`ll have the latest on Bridgegate with our Rapid Response
Panel right after this on the Ed show.
JOSH LIPTON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I `m Josh Lipton with your CNBC Market
Stocks begin the week with gains, the Dow up 46, the S&P climbs 6, the
Nasdaq adds 11.
Factory orders rose more than expected in March. Thanks to strong demand
for transportation equipment, orders jump more than 2 percent, the biggest
increase in 8 months.
And McDonald`s shares fell nearly 2 percent today. The fast food giant
announced a restructuring aimed boosting sales and winning back customers,
profits fell 30 percent last quarter.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: And we are back.
Two new Republicans jumped into the presidential race today, Ben Carson and
Carly Fiorina, they both want to be president.
Meanwhile, one potential frontrunner is having some trouble.
Chris Christie is scrambling to recover from his administration`s
Bridgegate Scandal. Christie is not legally implicated in the lane
closures although a new poll says the public believes he did participate.
50 percent of residents in the state of New Jersey believe that Christie
was involved in the decision to close the George Washington Bridge lanes
back in 2013. Over half believe he at least knew about it.
David Wildstein, a Christie appointee at that time, pleaded guilty to
deplaning traffic (ph) problems for political retaliation. He says two
other Christie allies conspired with him.
Bridget Kelly, Christie`s former Deputy Chief of Staff refuted Wildstein`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: I am not guilty of these charges. I never ordered or conspired
with David Wildstein to close or realign lanes at the bridge for any
reason. David Wildstein is a liar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Kelly and Bill Baroni, the former Port Authority Director pleaded
not guilty to federal charges this morning. Baroni maintains his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BARONI, FORMER PORT AUTHORITY DIRECTOR: I would never risk my career,
my job, my reputation, for something like this. I am an innocent man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They planned to testify in the row defense. Governor Chris
Christie of New Jersey said in his statement, "The charges make clear that
what I`ve said from day one is true. I had no knowledge or involvement in
the planning or execution of this act."
The trial is set to begin on July 7th.
Joining me tonight on the Rapid Response Panel New Jersey Assemblyman Louis
Greenwald, also with us tonight, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and
Jonathan Alter, MSNBC Political Analyst. Great to have all of you with us.
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, you first, what is this mean for Chris Christie?
I mean, this is a declarative statement. What I told you before was a
truth and now, I`m backing it up with what unfolded here recently. What do
you make of it?
ALTER: Well, I think, he is still facing considerable legal jeopardy as we
move forward to this case just because there`s no evidence right now that
he knows about it, it doesn`t mean that it won`t be produced down the road.
If Bridget Kelly is looking at a long jail sentence, she has four children
and no husband versus a very short jail sentence, or even a suspended
sentence and exchange for her testimony. She might be singing a different
If they find that they can`t discredit, David Wildstein, both Baroni and
Kelly against, from it seems are significant evidence might, as I say, in
old days, drop a dime on the Governor.
SCHULTZ: Representative Huttle, does Chris Christie care about these
people or does he care about his political future? I mean, this is his
administration. Their lives have been changed because of this and it seems
like all he wants to do is make sure he is clean and move on with life.
What do you make of it?
ASSEMBLYWOMAN VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE, (D) NEW JERSEY: Exactly. I mean,
Friday`s tweet by him being vindicated. I think that`s his only concern.
His lack of concern is, certainly deserving. He certainly appears (ph) by
himself and not the taxpayers of both states where he could have passed
reform bills but vetoed them twice.
So I think his self-vindication speaks for itself. There are other people
involved in this and, hopefully, we will get to the bottom of this.
SCHULTZ: You know, we can get to the minutia (ph) of the legalities of all
of these trials and what these people are facing. But at the end of the
day, people are going to be looking at Chris Christie.
Mr. Greenwald, have New Jersey residents lost all trust in this governor?
Do you believe the polls in Kenny`s rebound from all of these?
LOUIS GREENWALD, NU ASSMEBLY MAJORITY LEADER: Ed, you know, the polls were
very telling today where I think 91 percent of the people believe there
were more involved than the three individuals identified than Wildstein,
Kelly and Baroni.
The bigger problem the Governor has is -- and that we`ve seen no evidence
today from the investigatory committee of any involvement or planning of
it. We`re really anything to contradict with his points for, originally.
But when the public perception is so overwhelming, when you look at a
Republican primary nationally where his name recognition is one of the
highest along with Jeb Bush, yet, he is only garnering roughly 4 percent of
that vote in the primary.
The public perception is the Governor`s biggest problem at this point and
how does he changed that. And your point earlier about he doesn`t seem to
care about this people at all. You had a segment earlier on the Clinton
Foundation, a very interesting comment. How can they run the country if
they can`t run the foundation? How can Hillary Clinton run the country if
she can`t run the foundation?
Well, I`m sure in the primary, these very similar comments will be made
about the Governor. How can you run the country if you can`t run the
George Washington Bridge?
SCHULTZ: Do you say -- it sounds, Mr. Greenwald, there`s not way that
Bridgegate is going to stop Chris Christie`s political career. That`s a
way it`s coming up or will it?
GREENWALD: You know, I think it`s too early to say whether it stops his
career. I think, the investigation around the bridge as the U.S. Attorney
Office has said is being closed out as to these three individuals but it`s
been highly reported that this has created a web not that has extended
beyond the bridge and other people have been subpoenaed and the
investigation seem to now be going outside of the bridge.
And the primary Governor has is not whether or not the actions of the
bridge alone will undermine him. If he -- if there was a better likability
(ph) factor for him in this primary probably would not have that impact.
The problem the Governor has is that, he created a culture where this was
permitted in -- well, I think since the incident, he is attempted to change
that culture. He`s become such a -- his personality alone is become such a
phenomena and he has created these months when he needs to do something
dramatic, I think, to think changed it.
It`s interesting we talked about the events around that bridge but, you
know, where is the apology to the families of the children who was there
first day of school which he saw as a big component from the U.S.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. That`s not all. There`s no doubt that Chris Christie is
not short on the political moxie. I mean, he`ll bulldog his way through
this as best he can but, do you think there`s anyway that his statement of
absolute about this situation would comeback to bite him, because if it
does, it`s over for Chris Christie.
HUTTLE: You know, actions speak louder than words. And I tell you, when
we look at the board authority as a culture itself, the port authority
spent about $23 million a day which is close to $1 million an hour, it has
run a mock. It`s time reform the port authority. He had the chance were
both states had identical bills and he not only bid on it once he bid on it
And we talk about the toll hikes are now coming to raise (ph) again. We
need to have reform, he needs to vindicate not only himself but the people
of New Jersey and New York. And I think by passing these reforms we`ll
send a message and quite frankly he has not been part of that message and,
you know, I do believe it`s time and when we have out -- toll hikes being
raise again without any needs assessment without any public hearings,
again, he can say whatever he wants but it`s the action of his veto pen
that`s speaks the loudest.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, is he a good candidate?
ALTER: No. He is, at this point, he`s a horrible candidate.
Look, I`m from New Jersey. I live in New Jersey, I care about toll hikes
but this -- that`s not what this is about. He has nothing to sell about
the way New Jersey has been manage in the last few years it`s credit rating
has been repeatedly down graded, unfunded pension liabilities, nothing to
sell out there on the campaign trail and he certainly can sell his
You know, we talk about the port authority and the chairman of the port
authority, you know, Christie`s crony David Samson is in very, very deep
legal trouble and will very, very likely be indicted soon in an unrelated
ALTER: ... where he forced United Airlines to give him personal flights to
South Carolina where he has home. You know, just really problematic stop.
There`s a lot of corruption around Christie, it`s going to be drip, drip,
drip. The idea of him running for president announcing next month is
preposterous, he cannot be a viable presidential candidate at this point.
There`s just too much going on.
SCHULTZ: All right. Assembly folks Greenwald...
SCHULTZ: . and Huttle, great to have you with us tonight, Jonathan Alter
thanks for your time.
ALTER: Thanks a lot, Ed.
SCHULTZ: . I appreciate you being on the Ed show.
Still to come, climate science gets the cold shoulder from conservatives as
warming seas threaten coastal communities. We`ll kickoff our series
tonight, "Rising Tide: The Climate Crisis".
Stay tune, we`re right back at the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: And in tonight`s Two-Minute Drill. Fast play, LSU had four
players drafted in the NFL this weekend but La`el Collins was not one of
In fact, teams cleared just stirred away from this rumored first round pick
because of his involvement in a police investigation. Collins` meeting
with police today in Louisiana following the death of an example-
girlfriend, Brittany Mills, who was pregnant what shot and killed on April
24th. Her child died a week later. Authorities say that Collins is not a
suspect in Mills` death and he is one of many people being interviewed.
This reported that Collins` was also to take a paternity test to determine
if he was the child`s father. If Collins is cleared in this case, he could
sign with the team as an undrafted rookie but of course he took himself out
of the draft because of this situation.
And an all-star break up, Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are calling it quits
after almost three years together.
Vonn broke the news defense on Facebook this weekend. She said that the
breakup was mutual citing that their hectic lives that just force them to
spend most of their time apart.
Tiger echoed those sentiments on his website, the Olympic gold medals skier
was on the green to cheer on Tiger last month at the Master`s Golf
Stick around, lots more coming up here on the Ed show as we start our
series on climate change. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
Tonight, we begin our series "Rising Tide: The Climate Crisis".
This week, we`ll go to the front lines of climate change in this country.
Scientific models predict between 4-feet and 6-feet of sea level rise by
the end of this century, putting coastal cities at risk of being wiped off
the map. While local officials are heating the warnings, many prominent
politicians are ignoring them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE ROSENDORF, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW STUDENT: I think of all the
flood that I`ve seen recently in the streets in Miami from only a few
inches of rain.
SCHULTZ: You don`t have to be a scientist to see the impact of climate
ANTONIO HERNANDEZ, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW STUDENT: I`ve seen the water
reached new levels (inaudible) actually which is kind of scary.
SEN. JIM INHOFE, (R) OKLAHOMA: I`m not a scientist and I don`t claim to
BOEHNER: Clearly, we`ve had changes in our climate.
JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Whether it`s man-made or not is the
BOEHNER: ... but let the scientist debate.
BUSH: It`s easy to fall into this trap that`s created by the left.
SCHULTZ: We set out to get an up close look.
HERNANDEZ: I`ve lived out in the water my whole life. If we don`t take
the right strong measures, you know, stronger than we`re taking right now,
I think it`s possible that we might have to move.
SCHULTZ: Talking to everyday citizens, political and military leaders.
COL. PAUL B. OLSEN, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: We host the largest navy base
in the world.
SCHULTZ: As well as some of the brightest minds in climate science.
DR. HAROLD WANLESS, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI PROFESSOR: It`s man-made since
1950 or so, we have been driving climate change. We have a real
catastrophe coming on in our hands and we need the plan for it.
SCHULTZ: 97 percent of climate scientists agree. Human action is a
WANLESS: That`s going to happen. Yeah. It`s not a pretty picture.
SCHULTZ: Today, at least four major U.S. ports are already sinking into
the sea. New York, Miami, New Orleans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we could see flood depth of up to 10-feet.
SCHULTZ: In my hometown in Norfolk, Virginia, a rapidly sea (ph) coming to
a rising tide.
OLSEN: There`s a lot that stake with rising seas at Norfolk.
SCHULTZ: In these coastal communities, folks know climate change is not a
threat, it`s an absolute.
ROSENDORF: Our climate in Miami being completely wiped out and I think of
just our -- all of our communities are going in complete chaos.
OLSEN: We have time to get this right.
SCHULTZ: If carbon pollution continues at current levels, these vital hubs
of American trade, commerce, and community could become the new lost cities
of Atlantis in just a few generations.
WANLESS: We`re sort of screwing ourselves for longer and longer periods of
time. The longer we wait to stop putting greenhouse gas into the
It`s actually (ph) people with hope, and I hope we get whole of it in the
long run but in the short run, I hope you`re listening because this is so
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Islands.
Senator, good to have you with us.
I want to go right to...
SENATOR SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, (D) RHODE ISLANDS: Good to be with you, Ed,
and thanks for what you`re doing.
SCHULTZ: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. It was a real eye opener to
me. We spent several days down in South Florida and, of course, also in
Norfolk and in New York putting this together. It`s going to run all week
here on the program.
But I want to go right to the politics of this. Jeb Bush says that climate
change is a trap by the left. Now, if that`s the purveying thought within
the Republican Party, power in Washington is everything if we`re going to
address climate change, isn`t it?
WHITEHOUSE: Well, Ed, if you know, the real prevailing thought in the
Republican Party is that the Koch brothers, and the oil industry, and the
coal industry, have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, threaten to
spend it and have told them all that they`re toast if they don`t stick to
the line on climate change.
So, they say very silly things because they got no sensible place to go but
the real issue is that Citizens United gave the fossil fuel industry, this
colossal club and they`re using it to terrifying effect on Republicans in
SCHULTZ: You talked about climate change just about every week on the
Senate floor. Have you won over any of your Republican colleagues or they
just stopped together on this across the board?
WHITEHOUSE: No. On the merits, there are a lot that agree with me and on
the politics, there`s a lot -- there are probably a dozen who would like to
be on my side but they are living in the shadow of huge threats of spending
that Americans for prosperity, Koch brothers fund said it was going to
spend $889 million just in this election.
Well, they`re not going to spend it to help people be right on climate
change, they`re going to spend it to punishing -- on punishing people who
are right on climate change and the Republicans are afraid of that and
that`s really hard to get them out.
The big difference though is that the public is really moving fast and the
pressure is mounting. And my bet is that by November 2016, once they`re
passed their primaries, the Republicans will have to make sense on this
SCHULTZ: You know, I`ve talked to a number of scientists in putting
together this series this week. And they speak in terms that they want
people to understand. And one thing that really caught my attention,
Senator, was that one scientist told me that, you know, we are one mortgage
cycle away from having these effects hit our shores.
Now, a mortgage cycle, 30, 40, 50 years, I mean, there are people who are
living in America right now who are going to experience this if we don`t do
something about it. That`s really what the message is, to try to get
people to connect and have them understand the severity of it. How much...
WHITEHOUSE: And, Ed, it`s so important that you`re talking about the
oceans here because the deniers will try to take you off into the
complexities of computer atmosphere of modeling to do their mischief. Go
to the seashore, you measure the sea level rise basically with the
yardstick. You measure the increase in temperature with thermometers. You
measure the changing pH with the kind of stuff that children use to measure
their aquarium pH.
It`s not complicated. It`s really hard for them to deny and the people
reliving it. They really experience, that my fishermen in Rhode Island are
telling me, "Sheldon, it`s not my grandfather`s ocean out there any
SCHULTZ: It certainly isn`t. And that was my next question, what is it
doing to Rhode Island? What`s the future?
WHITEHOUSE: Well, we`ve got Narragansett Bay, 3 degrees to 4 degrees
warmer every winter than it was before and that`s been the end of the
winter flounder fishery. We`ve got lobsters scuttling way offshore in
North to get away from warming waters and that`s knocked down our lobster
fishery and we`ve got the trollers after pulling up things like grouper and
tarpon. And these fishermen coming and they say, "We`ve never seen that
Six or seven years ago when I talked to fishermen about climate change on
Rhode Island, they came here to thrown me off up here. Now, they`re coming
in and saying, "Sheldon, things are getting weird out there. What can we
SCHULTZ: So, when you say that the public are changing, I guess that`s
probably the best example, isn`t it?
WHITEHOUSE: Oh, yeah. When you start to get fishermen, and farmers, and
foresters, and people whose livelihood depends on this, really recognizing
what`s going on, it makes a big, big difference.
And if you are densely populated state like Rhode Island with the lot of
housing near the shore, you watch family houses being washed into the shore
by big storms, houses that have been there for generations (ph), houses
that -- it`s heartbreaking.
SCHULTZ: Well, what about real estate, Senator, in your state along the
I was down in South Florida, you would have thought that there was no
problem at all. I mean, the real estates going like crazy. The
construction is going like crazy. Now, you`ll going to find people.
They`ll going to talk about it but the fact is, is that there`s also a lot
of people that are turned into blind eye. They don`t care.
WHITEHOUSE: Yeah. Well, I think your comment about the mortgage cycle
makes a lot of sense. Once people start to see the likelihood of effects
in the front end of the mortgage cycle, when the banks still owns a lot of
the property, you`ll see that industry starting to pay attention.
SCHULTZ: No doubt. Banking and insurance, the insurance industry is going
to drive a lot of thought processes throughout all of these.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, great to have you with us
tonight, we`ll do it again...
WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: ... thank you, sir -- You bet.
Our series "Rising Tide: The Climate Crisis" continues tomorrow. We`ll
head to Miami where the effects of rising seas are already being felt.
Experts will tell us if it`s possible to stem the tide. That`s "The Ed
Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts
right now. Good evening, Rev.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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