Guests: Charlie Melancon, Mike Wiggins, Glenn Stark, Andrew Romanoff, Jack Rice, Ron Christie, Jess Jackson, Lizz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” on the table at this hour.
BP‘s CEO, Tony Hayward, this guy‘s on a PR blitz. And the president is talking tough down at the Gulf. Congressman Charlie Melancon was with him today, calling for Hayward to be fired.
He‘ll join me in just a moment.
In Colorado, Andrew Romanoff breaks his silence. All the talk of the White House backroom deals from the righty spin machine comes to an end tonight. The man in the middle of this firestorm joins me for an exclusive interview at the bottom of the hour, right here on THE ED SHOW.
And I‘m going to introduce you to a hardworking middle class American that I met last night at a town hall meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. His auto plant is closing and his job is being shipped overseas. And you need to hear this story because it could happen to you next.
But this is the story, of course, we lead with tonight and has me fired up.
It‘s day 46, more developments. President Obama took trip number three to the Gulf today and made it clear he is in this for the long haul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We‘re going to cut through any bureaucratic red tape, any problems that we‘ve got, and we will fix problems that have been identified. And that was the commitment I made last week. Some of the problems have been fixed. Some new ones have resurfaced. We‘ll fix those, too, and we‘ll keep on coming back until we have dealt with an unprecedented crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama is not going to let BP off the hook. And he expressed some real outrage today about how worried the company is about their image.
Here‘s what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: My understanding is, is that BP has been contracted for $50 million worth of TV advertising to manage their image during the course of this disaster. In addition, there were reports that BP will be paying $10.5 billion—that‘s “billion” with a “B”—in dividend payments this quarter. What I don‘t want to hear is when they‘re spending that kind of money on their shareholders, and spending that kind of money on TV advertising, that they‘re nickel-and-diming fishermen or small businesses here in the Gulf who are having a hard time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Here‘s the commercial the president‘s ripping on starring BP‘s CEO, Tony Hayward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP: We will honor all legitimate claims, and our cleanup efforts will not come at any cost to taxpayers.
To those affected and your families, I‘m deeply sorry. The Gulf is home to thousands of BP employees, and we all feel the impact.
To all the volunteers and for the strong support of the government, thank you. We know it is our responsibility to keep you informed and do everything we can so this never happens again. We will get this done. We will make this right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This whole thing makes you wonder, just what is President Obama saying about this guy behind closed doors?
Hayward also wrote this in an op-ed, Rupert Murdoch‘s “Wall Street Journal Today.” “Actions speak louder than words, so we‘re fully prepared to be judged by the quality and the effectiveness of our future conduct. And I‘m confident we will learn from these terrible events and the industry will emerge stronger, smarter and safer than before.”
Gosh, I hope so.
Tony, I‘ve got news for you, big guy. You‘re already getting judged by the American people because nobody believes a single word you say right now.
And folks, when you see this video, it brings the story to an entirely different level and an entirely different consciousness of the American people. BP doesn‘t want to see you see these pictures, because, you see, this is the hard truth about death and destruction that their greed created.
Tony, let me give you some Big Eddie advice tonight. Stop spending your billions of dollars in profits, you know, on TV commercials. Why don‘t you spend all that money on saving the livelihoods of the people in the Gulf and saving the animals that are—and the wildlife that‘s just absolutely being destroyed?
Instead, you‘re out there doing some CYA television campaign? That isn‘t going to cut it.
You ought to spend more time finding a way to stop the leak for good and stop BS‘ing the public instead of trying to impress your shareholders in “The Wall Street Journal.” No apology is going to cut it until the actions match the words.
And the president undoubtedly was spot-on today. He is in charge of this. And I do believe, really, for the first time, I think, that the president is going to hold BP accountable in all of this. It‘s going to be a real long recovery, and I‘m not so sure that BP‘s going to be able to survive all of this.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think about this tonight.
Tonight‘s text survey is: Do you believe Tony Hayward and BP are sincerely sorry for the damage they have done to America? Text “A” for yes and text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon met with the president today down in Louisiana. He has been very outspoken and calling for Tony Hayward to be fired from his position at BP. He joins us tonight.
Congressman, good to have you with us.
REP. CHARLIE MELANCON (D), LOUISIANA: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Your response to how the president handled it today? And are we a lot further along today than we were a couple of weeks ago when we spoke?
MELANCON: Things have moved particularly since Thad Allen came on board. There are more boots on the ground, there‘s more assets there.
Of course, now, as this plume widens and spreads further east, the assets and the number of boots on the ground are going to have to increase. And the concerns from the governors over in the other states now is, are you going to be able to keep up with us?
So, as this thing spreads it‘s not getting better. It‘s a matter of getting that hole shut down. I hope what took place last night and this morning will continue to get better, take more oil off that hole, and keep it out of the ocean.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what‘s your response to the PR campaign, the advertising campaign that BP has taken out? Do you think they‘re sincere, and do you think it will have an effect on the public? And really, is it appropriate?
What do you think?
MELANCON: I think it‘s probably a little too little, too late. It galls me to think that they‘re even going to declare a dividend, especially to the tune of $10 billion. The $50 million, they could have gone and put it on the berm project that the governor and the people in Plaquemines Parish wanted to try and get to protect the estuaries.
Look, you saw the pictures, you saw the pelicans. I was on the island yesterday. The oil is starting to come in, in large quantities, more so than I‘ve seen.
So, this dividend to the stockholders, does this underscore that, really, BP, all they care about is the profit and all they care about is the stockholder? Your thoughts?
MELANCON: Well, I‘ve started—you know, I‘m starting to get angry -
or angrier. I‘ve been angry, and so are most of the people here.
We went through Katrina, we went through Rita, Gustav, Ike. We thought we‘d been through the worst. Now this.
And then the gall—I mean, I don‘t agree with the moratorium. I think that I‘m going to work with the White House to see if we can find some common ground. We have to be somewhere between “Drill, baby, drill” and the moratorium of shutting it down, because to shut it down means more people in this region that are suffering are going to lose their jobs.
But at the same time, it galls me to hear—and I‘m getting e-mails this morning, starting this morning—that companies are talking about taking their assets and moving them to Nigeria and wherever else in the world. OK. They‘ve ruined our marshes, they‘ve ruined our Gulf of Mexico, they‘ve ruined our economy, and then they‘re going to take what they‘ve got and they‘ll go and make some money somewhere else. And the service industry and the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, those of us that are suffering right now, they‘re just going to pick up and leave us?
That galls me. And I think it galls the people and the people of this state tremendously. There‘s got to be some common ground that we can resolve this issue, but don‘t just pick up and leave us.
SCHULTZ: Well, Congressman, do you think that this might be a reaction from the higher-ups at BP? Because you‘ve been very vocal about Tony Hayward being relieved of his duty at that company. In fact, you have got a petition out there, wanting people to sign it, that he get fired.
Is this not a response to maybe some of the things that are being said?
MELANCON: Ed, 11 people died, lost their life in an unsafe situation. And we have the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of this country, if not in the whole world.
And it wasn‘t about—it was about cutting corners to make more money. Not just to make money, to make more money, because they were spending more than the budget was allowed on this project.
So, when the gaskets came through, when they saw the pressures ballooning, instead of shutting it down they kept going forward. And what do we have to show for it? A disaster and 11 people that lost their lives.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
MELANCON: Good to be with you. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
Florida is on an alert as the oil from the Gulf nears Pensacola Beach.
There are new reports of tarballs washing up near Pensacola Beach today.
Tests are going to be conducted to see if they are from the oil spill.
Cleanup crews have been dispatched to the area.
Joining me now from Pensacola Beach is the mayor of Pensacola, Mike Wiggins.
Mr. Wiggins, good to have you on tonight. Thanks so much.
I want to get your response right from the top.
MAYOR MIKE WIGGINS, PENSACOLA, FLORIDA: Thank you, Ed. Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Yes, sir.
I want to get your response to the PR campaign that BP has put out there.
WIGGINS: Let me tell you about BP at this point.
One, of course, this is BP‘s fault. And as you know, Ed, here in Pensacola, here in Florida, we don‘t have offshore drilling. So we‘re dealing with BP oil that came into our area from somewhere else.
And my citizens, quite frankly, Ed, are confused as far as strategies to combat this oil. And, of course, they‘re not very happy. They‘re angry at the current situation.
But let me say this. And I need to set the stage for our discussion. It is a gorgeous day in Pensacola. There are no tarballs that I could find out on the beach this afternoon.
People are swimming. They‘re enjoying our beach.
SCHULTZ: OK. But people are responding, and I understand that the tourism down there has been hit—
SCHULTZ: Yes, sir. So where are we are right now?
WIGGINS: Yes, I can.
SCHULTZ: We must have an audio problem. The mayor of Pensacola, Mr. Wiggins, is having a hard time hearing me. We‘ll try to reconnect with him at another time.
We have also got a live interview coming up right now as you see some of the new pictures that are coming in of the wildlife that has been definitely damaged.
We‘re going to go now to Florida Governor Charlie Crist. He was with the president—I guess we don‘t have the governor yet. We‘ll get to him.
But as you see, as we have said on this program numerous times, we have had environmentalists with us who have said that this is going to get into the rip current and go up the East Coast. There are some reports by some environmentalists and scientists who believe that this is going to end up on the eastern shore, into Cape Hatteras and out—out into the Atlantic Ocean. So—
Coming up, Colorado State Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff has been in the eye of the storm about the White House job offer. He‘s setting the record straight in an Ed show exclusive interview at the bottom of the hour.
And I met the guy last night who‘s losing his job to China.
Mr. President, I have got a solution to the outsourcing problem. And I‘ve got a commentary coming up on that in just a moment.
All that, plus Reverend Jackson‘s in my “Playbook” tonight. “The Tan Man” is facing “Rapid Fire” response. And “The Drugster” is robbing the cradle.
“Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead is here in “Club Ed.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
A new report out this afternoon shows that we‘re continuing to see job growth. Employers added 431,000 jobs in the month of May, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent. Now, the downside here is that most of the new hires are Census workers, which means they are temporary government jobs. Private employers only added 41,000 jobs last month, compared to 218,000 in the month of April.
Now, last night in Madison, Wisconsin, I did a town hall meeting. And aside from all of the numbers, folks, I really believe that this is the story.
An American worker stood up and told the story about his auto plant being shipped to Mexico. An auto factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, will be closing this year, in October, and 700 people, 700 manufacturers are going to be out of work. That‘s the job number I‘m hearing on the road.
Joining me now is Glenn Stark. He‘s the president of the United Auto Workers Local 72 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Mr. Stark, good to have you with us tonight. And I appreciate you speaking up.
The job numbers are what they are. And your story is what it is. And I continue to hear this kind of stuff all over the country when I do town hall meetings.
Tell us what‘s going down. What‘s the transgression here? What has happened? What‘s transformed?
GLENN STARK, PRESIDENT, UAW LOCAL 72: Well, actually, Ed, you know, as we spoke last night, in 2006 we had a contract modification agreement which basically was dictated terms to us that said if you want a new engine project, you must agree to these terms. So we ratified it, knowing that there‘s not a lot of that work out there.
And then, in 2007, they backed off a bill at a new plant and they said that will take and then retool the plant that you have now. And now, as we speak, they built a new plant that is going to do our work in Mexico, and that we will be shutting down this fall.
SCHULTZ: Now, this is not the only place. There‘s also going to be -
the case plant is going to be getting engines from China. Is that correct? And that‘s going to affect another manufacturing town in the state of Wisconsin.
Is that right?
STARK: Well, and the part with that is now that Fiat has partnered up with Chrysler, that group is also part of us. And they will be this fall. When we‘re shutting down, they‘ll be importing their tractor motors out of China.
So, we‘re an engine manufacturing facility. We have top quality of Chrysler, we‘ve good throughput. We‘ve got a good work agreement, and yet we can‘t compete with the Chinese.
SCHULTZ: So what has happened here is that back in 2006, you were dictated terms. You took the terms. And now you‘re losing your jobs altogether. And I understand that the state of Wisconsin has also, throughout all this, gave tax incentives for those jobs to stay there, but that still isn‘t good enough.
Is that right?
STARK: Yes. And, you know, I‘ve met with the governor and their staff, and they have a very healthy financial package they‘re offering to Fiat to put work in our facility. In 2002, when we had a new engine project, Chrysler had invested $624 million into our facility. And now, eight years later, they‘re just going to walk away from it.
SCHULTZ: So what are these 700 workers going to do, Mr. Stark? What‘s the plan? What‘s it going to be like in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when 700 families aren‘t going to be getting a paycheck in October?
STARK: Probably, best-case scenario, you can say chaos. I mean, people are going to try to transfer. But as we spoke before, transferring means selling homes. Selling homes in this market is not well.
People are going to lose equity, they‘re going to take—basically start at ground zero again and start working their way back up. It‘s not a good situation.
SCHULTZ: Now, we keep hearing about solar power and wind power and the manufacturing sector in America has got to come back.
Do you think that the workers at your plant are capable of doing something other than manufacturing vehicles and motors?
STARK: Well, let‘s put it this way—we‘ve been on that site for 107 years, so I think over 107 years we‘ve probably built a variety of different components and items.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Stark, I appreciate you coming on tonight. And I appreciate your time. It‘s a story that‘s got to be told. I appreciate it so much, Glenn. Stay positive, my man.
Here‘s—you know, this is what frustrates me. I get these job numbers month after month, and I want this stimulus package to work, and building roads and building bridges and doing all this kind of stuff for the American workers. But in the long haul, what is our plan?
This is a classic example of taking our show on the road and running into people at a town hall meeting that stand up and say, well, guess what? The tax incentives weren‘t good enough. Guess what? We negotiated down our salaries and benefits and kept the job for a little while, but that‘s still not good enough. It‘s going to end up over in China.
When are we as Americans going to realize that we are gutting our infrastructure in this country? And if we don‘t make a firm commitment to manufacturing, we‘re going to have 700 jobs lost in damn near every town in this country because of this. And this unemployment rate is going to be the new normal, it‘s going to be around 10 percent.
Mr. President, here‘s what we have to do.
I‘m tired of hearing about solar and wind. I‘m tired of hearing about what we should be doing. It‘s time to do it. The private sector is not stepping up, so the government has to step up right now and put these people to work to take us to a road of energy independence in this country.
Damn it, let‘s get the windmills going, let‘s get the solar panels doing it, let‘s put these people back to work and expand the tax base. And that way we won‘t have 99ers on our hands, folks who have been out of work for almost two years that are wondering if the fifth tier is going to come through for them.
We are becoming a country of the haves and the have-nots, the filthy rich, the rich, and the poor. If we don‘t have a middle class in this country, we‘re not going to have people with disposable income, and this cannot be allowed. And as a country we have to address this.
This is what I run into when I go out with the folks in the heartland. And maybe I‘m the only one telling the story. I don‘t know. I don‘t watch everybody else‘s shows on other networks. They think it‘s just great, or they just hate Obama.
Thanks to everyone for coming to the town hall meetings last night in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a fabulous crowd. They were very much engaged.
This is why we get out there. This progressive community loves this country. They‘re patriotic.
They want investment in this country. They want real job creation. They want to know what the folks in Congress are going to do about putting Americans back to work.
And tonight I‘m going to be hosting another town hall American Workers Tour meeting right here in the great city of Minneapolis at the Papitos Parkway Theater. I get choked up when I run into people who are losing their jobs, when I run into people who have a story to tell that is out there.
And I think the media should be remiss for not telling it enough.
That‘s where the real Americans are.
My new book is called “Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics are Destroying the Great American Middle Class.”
The tour continues next week. We‘ll stop in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Tuesday. We‘ll be in Seattle on Wednesday and Portland on Thursday. And back to Minneapolis next Friday.
Then I‘ll continue to host TV shows and radio shows across the country and meet with the folks as we try to get this economy back on track. Listening to the people is a big part what we do here on THE ED SHOW.
For more information, go to ed.msnbc.com, or check out our Web site at wegoted.com.
Coming up, what is it with the psycho-talking righties in the state of South Carolina? One of them just spewed a racial slur about the president and blaming it on “Saturday Night Live.” It lands him in the “Zone.”
That‘s next on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, we welcome a new member to the “Zone.” South Carolina Republican state senator Jake Knotts, this guy is a dandy, let me tell you.
He went on a local radio show yesterday and used racial slurs against President Obama and a South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate who was raised in the Sikh religion.
Now, the radio show is not going to release the audio, saying that it‘s not reflective of their program‘s goals. But here‘s what the guy said: “We already got one raghead in the White House, and we don‘t need a raghead in the governor‘s mansion.”
He was immediately attacked by both Republicans and Democrats, but he laughed it off, saying that the comment was a joke and he got it from “Saturday Night Live.”
I guess I must have missed that portion of the program.
And he followed up with the “Saturday Night Live” defense with the weakest apology I think I‘ve ever heard. He said, “Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize.”
Buddy, if you think racial slur is a laughing matter, you don‘t belong in public office.
But this got me wondering if someone put something in the Republican drinking water in South Carolina. Think about it. It was just in the past year now we‘ve seen a lot happen. South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson heckled the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The reforms I‘m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
REP. JOE WILSON ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: You lie!
OBAMA: That‘s not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: South Carolina‘s lieutenant governor, Andy Bauer, well, he compared people on public assistance to stray animals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GOV. ANDRE BAUER ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals because they breed. If you give an animal or person ample food supply, they will reproduce.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Andre Bauer, another dandy. Let‘s not forget Governor Mark Sanford. His trip to the Appalachian Trail that runs through Argentina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MARK SANFORD ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: I‘ve been unfaithful to my wife. I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina. The odyssey that we‘re all on in life is with regard to heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Sadly, Jake Knotts has just far too much company in the state of South Carolina and the Republican party down there, with all that psycho talk.
Coming up, the White House is under fire for allegedly tampering in the Colorado Senate race. Progressive candidate Andrew Romanoff joins me to give his side of the story next here on THE ED SHOW.
Plus, Jesse Jackson wants to boycott BP.
A Bubba Jr. has been born. And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead is headlining Club Ed tonight. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Our battleground story tonight is all about primary challenges. What is the involvement of the White House? The White House is facing questions at this hour about allegedly trying to convince some Democrats who are mounting primary challenges to take a job with them, to knock off the competition and do something else to make it easy for the incumbents. At least that‘s what it looks like. And progressives, they are not happy.
This week, we found out that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina discussed employment possibilities with Andrew Romanoff in Colorado, who is challenging Senator Michael Bennett. To get the real story on what‘s going on, let‘s bring in the man in the middle of the firestorm, Democratic Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff.
Andrew, good to have you with us tonight. Good to see you again.
ANDREW ROMANOFF (D), SENATE CANDIDATE IN COLORADO: Thanks, Ed. I really appreciate it.
SCHULTZ: We just want to know what is the story here? And can you clear the air? Did the White House try to convince you not to run in this primary against Senator Bennett just to smooth the waters? What happened here?
ROMANOFF: I‘m glad you asked. As the statement we released on Wednesday said, I got a call in September from Mr. Messina. He informed me that the White House would support my opponent. I told him I was going to run for the Senate in any event. He suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing Senate race, and e-mailed me descriptions of those.
I told him, I would not change course; I‘m running for the Senate, and we‘re winning.
I can also say this, as we travel around the state—I‘m talking here from Pueblo—most folks want to know how I‘m going to help them get a job, and improve the economy, and hold down the costs of health care. Those are the issues that grip most of the constituents I aim to represent.
SCHULTZ: What was your sense that the White House was trying to do?
Were they just flat-out trying to get you out of the way?
ROMANOFF: The White House has made little secret of its preference for the incumbents in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Colorado. But with due respect, this decision gets made by the people of our state. There are three million registered voters in Colorado. We‘ve won a majority of the votes that have been cast so far in the race, and won the state convention a couple weeks ago by 21 points, despite the avalanche of corporate cash that is flooding our television sets on behalf of my opponent in this race.
SCHULTZ: Well, I understand that you‘re on a roll, and certainly I support you because you‘re a good progressive, and I know where you stand on the issues. The point here is that the progressive community is asking questions about whether the White House is actively involved in trying to cut the legs from under good progressive candidates, and go with more type centrist Democrats, because this appears to be a pattern.
And so the question is, were they trying to get you out of the way to grease the skids for an incoming senator?
ROMANOFF: Let me be clear, a lot of folks have done their level best to try to keep me from running for this seat and to keep Coloradans from having a choice. Those efforts, it‘s pretty plain, did not dissuade me and they won‘t. I‘m running because too many people are losing too much. You were talking about this a little bit earlier. I agree. It‘s painful to find so many families losing their coverage, their jobs, their homes, their savings, and then find their pain not matched by the pace of progress in Washington, D.C.
SCHULTZ: I agree with all that. Andrew, I agree with all that. But the issue here is that you have some Republicans over there who think that there is some wrongdoing on the part of the White House. Do you think it merits an investigation in your opinion?
ROMANOFF: Well, I think the best answer I can give you is to lay out the facts. I appreciate your question, Ed. And it‘s certainly one we‘ve gotten throughout the day. The facts are, as I described them, the sequence confirmed, by the way, by the White House in its own written statement yesterday. And I believe the best thing for me to do at this point is continue with the campaign. We‘re in the middle of a ten-week, 100-city tour. Looking forward to greeting you when you get to Colorado in a couple weeks as well.
SCHULTZ: Absolutely. You‘re not—you don‘t have any animosity within the party whatsoever? You just think this is just the way politics is and its water off a duck‘s back? That‘s the way I‘m taking your answer.
ROMANOFF: Well, I respect the president. I support him. I campaigned for him, myself, a couple years ago. And I look forward to working with him when I get elected to the Senate. The reasons I‘m running for this job have to do with the priorities so many Coloradans are feeling in their own lives, the conversation you and I have been having on this show before, and hopefully we‘ll have again. I respect your interest in this particular issue, but I don‘t want to politicize it any further.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right.
ROMANOFF: Or at all.
SCHULTZ: OK. Well, but this is how it works. We have to get the truth out. The primary, of course, is on August 10th in Colorado. Do you think you‘re going to win, yes or no?
ROMANOFF: Yes. I do.
SCHULTZ: All the best.
ROMANOFF: And we‘re winning now.
SCHULTZ: I see that in the polls. Thanks so much, Andrew Romanoff with us from Colorado tonight.
Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories. Mr. Tan man, House Minority Leader John Boehner, wants the White House to give up some information on their alleged job discussions with Senate candidates, like Andrew Romanoff, who you just heard from, and was very clear about the offer. He‘s backing up his fellow Republicans‘ call for an investigation into the matter.
Illinois Republican Senate candidate Congressman Mark Kirk has apologized for grossly exaggerating his military record. He defended himself by saying, quote, “I simply misremembered it wrong.” OK.
And the panel will weigh in on the psycho talking South Carolina state senator. I want to know if they think racial slur is an example of a bigger problem, a fractured Republican party.
Joining us now is criminal defense attorney and former CIA agent, officer, Jack Rice, and Republican strategist Ron Christie. Gentlemen, let‘s talk about the interview we just had here. Ron Christie, your thoughts on the White House. I mean, Mr. Romanoff makes it very clear. They came out after him and tried to get him not to run against Bennett and offered him three different jobs. What do you think?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think he was very persuasive in his argument. I‘m glad that he decided to stay in the race. I think it‘s ridiculous for the White House to try to clear the field for a current senator who was not elected by the people in Colorado, in favor of someone who decided, you know what, I‘m a citizen; I‘m tired of what‘s going on in the country; I want to run.
It still raises the broader question for me, Ed. I want the White House—I want the president of the United States to look at the American people and be very clear about what he did with Mr. Romanoff and what he‘s done in the other case that we‘ve been talking about. Why does it seem that this White House, that claimed to be the most transparent, the most ethical White House, continues to be doing business as usual the Chicago way?
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Jack?
JACK RICE, FMR. CIA AGENT: Well, you know, I think the transparency is always important. Sadly, this is politics, though. This is exactly what we saw from the Bush administration. I can take you back to 2001, I guess it must have been, when it was Vice President Cheney called the—
Tim Pawlenty, the current governor of Minnesota and said, you know what, you shouldn‘t run for that U.S. Senate seat, leave it to Norm Coleman. Maybe you should think about something else down the road. This is something that happens in politics now. I guess the standard is now the Democrats are almost as dirty as the Republicans?
CHRISTIE: Jack, with all due fairness, the difference here is that you have a current president of the United States using his chief of staff in the White House to go to a former president of the United States to offer something of value in a job. It‘s certainly clear that the vice president, Cheney in this case, could have called Pawlenty and said, hey, we prefer that you not run. But there‘s a distinction that we need to draw here of offering something for value, which is a job, to induce someone not to run. That‘s the difference.
RICE: At this point Sestak was never—
SCHULTZ: Yeah. The thing that bothers me about the whole thing, as a liberal, what is the White House doing moving progressives out of the way? I mean, whatever happened to the day when the people did all the speaking with their votes? I mean, competition‘s a great thing. That‘s what I‘ve always thought.
SCHULTZ: If the White House is all about a strong progressive movement to move forward change in this country, you‘re going to get a heck of a lot more change with a guy like Romanoff than you are with a guy like Bennett. Progressives in this country ought to be concerned that this is the way the White House is operating behind the scenes.
All right, let‘s talk about this military record by Mark Kirk, a congressman out of Illinois. He now says he did grossly exaggerate his military experience. Jack, is this a mortal sin in politics?
RICE: Yes. Resign now. Just drop out of the race. Understand, the Republicans thought this was going to be a slam dunk. They assumed that this was done. It wasn‘t just t about the award. It was also about a whole series of things that are starting to come out. Any time you make this kind of mistake and it‘s one thing, you bring it out, you lay it out, and say, I‘m sorry, I made a huge mistake.
The problem is we‘re starting to see one lie after another after another. The Republicans are trying to figure out how to play this. It‘s very difficult. Very soon, they‘re going to start separating themselves from him because they have no choice.
SCHULTZ: Ron, what do you think? Is this behind him now?
CHRISTIE: I don‘t know, Ed. I‘m really concerned about this. I worked with Mark Kirk. We were staffers together in the House of Representatives. He‘s a good guy. But he already has a distinguished military record. It‘s the same thing with the attorney general in Connecticut. What in the heck are these guys doing exaggerating their service in uniform?
RICE: I agree with Ron on that.
CHRISTIE: In that case, then Blumenthal needs to get out of the race in Connecticut. He exaggerated, I think, frankly, in a far worse fashion, saying that he served in Vietnam, and when he came back from Vietnam, the treatment they got. These people need to serve with distinction, honor. And if that‘s not good enough for them, perhaps they need to do something else.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight, Jack Rice and Ron Christie here on THE ED SHOW. Appreciate your time.
Coming up, outrage over BP has got people across the country gushing with anger. Protests are happening at BP offices and gas stations from coast to coast. Reverend Jesse Jackson is calling for a BP boycott. He‘ll sound off on that next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my playbook tonight, we have just learned the families of the 11 workers killed when the oil rig exploded in the Gulf, they will visit the White House next Thursday.
Meanwhile, outrage at BP is exploding across the country.
Environmental groups are taking it to the streets coast to coast. Demonstrations are expected in 26 cities next week, and an anti-BP Facebook pages are sprouting up all over the Internet. Reverend Jesse Jackson is leading the charge against BP, organizing protests at a BP refinery in Indiana, and at a BP station in Chicago. He‘s calling for a worldwide boycott of all BP gas stations.
The president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Jesse Jackson, joins us now on THE ED SHOW. Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Thank you, ed. There‘s this huge sense of outrage. We really want BP to be put in receivership. I think Bob Rice is—we cannot trust their numbers, nor their motives, not just how much their—it‘s not just the Gulf of Mexico. It‘s also, as you say, Indiana. They‘re dumping mercury and benzene. And they‘ve gotten the Clean Air Water Act to expand ammonia in Lake Michigan for things close to our waters. So, since we cannot trust them, we need the government to act with some degree of real authority.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, what do you make of their most recent television campaign, their ad campaign? Telling the American people that they‘re going to be responsible, that they‘re going to do what they have to do. What do you think?
JACKSON: Well, I don‘t think much of it. It‘s billions of dollars and lives later. BP in Galveston, and Texas City, Texas, three years ago, when 15 workers were killed there. That was an issue. Then the issue here about Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan said no to their dumping in Lake Michigan. A tar factory out of Canada, very dirty, toxic. They were not allowed refinery in Canada. Now it‘s coming through Indiana.
Even as we talk, they‘re still polluting Lake Michigan today. So we‘re paying the price in terms of—at the fish market. They want us to play the price at the gas pump. We say, people, don‘t pay the bill for the spill. Since we cannot trust—if the government takes over and temporary receivership, at least we‘ll know what‘s happening. We really do not know how much is gushing, how close we are to some remedy.
SCHULTZ: Do you think your boycott can have an impact on BP? You‘re going to get a lot of publicity over this. And there‘s going to be a lot of conversation. In fact, Mike Papantonio, who was heading up some civil lawsuits against BP, he thinks this could break the company. What do you think?
JACKSON: Well, there‘s a combination of demonstration, litigation, legislation, and massive public outrage. All these levels of struggle really do matter. The president‘s presence means a lot. The Department of Justice looking into criminal codes means a lot. I think right now, the fact that we have no end in sight, a temporary receivership would give the government the authority to check every move that BP make, since the government can no longer trust them and neither can the people.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Jackson, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
JACKSON: Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Final pages in my playbook tonight. Bill Clinton‘s legacy lives on. Journalist Laura Ling named her new-born daughter Lee Jefferson Clayton after the former president. They used Bill‘s middle name, Jefferson. Just last August, Clinton freed Ling and her colleague from a North Korean detention camp. They were also arrested for espionage and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor until Clinton came in and saved the day.
And the politicians are speaking out about that epic imperfect baseball game. Michigan‘s Governor Jennifer Granholm issued a proclamation declaring it a perfect game. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is still demanding the commissioner of baseball overturn the call. But Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and Umpire Jim Joyce buried the hatchet. They had a memorable moment at home plate last night. They shook hands and Joyce was holding back tears. I say both of them handled the situation with real class.
Coming up, tomorrow we‘ll have proof of the old saying, good men are hard to find. Someone has decided to marry Rush Limbaugh. “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead will join us to toast the bride, next. You know I can‘t get through this. That‘s coming up next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed, with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of “the Daily Show.” You can also follow her at Twitter.com/LizzWinstead, as I do. Lizz, good to have you with us tonight. All right. Let‘s talk about wedding bells are ringing. What do you make of Rush Limbaugh is—is he kind of robbing the cradle here? What‘s happening?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “WAKE UP WORLD”: You know, Ed, I just think—you know, people think of me as kind of, you know, hard assy. But really I am a hopeless romantic. You know, I just look at this lovely, lovely young woman and I picture her tonight just in her hotel room laying out her trusso thinking, wow, tomorrow night at this time I‘m going to be Mrs. Rush Limbaugh number four. Very romantic. Not to mention I think—
SCHULTZ: I guess—I guess Americans want to know, Lizz, do you believe that they will live happily ever after? Is this the one?
WINSTEAD: Ed, I think this is the one until number five, who is probably a junior in high school now, graduates. Here‘s what I think is so fantastic, Ed. I think you‘re going go to this wedding. I think it‘s a pretty traditional wedding. I think the bride is going to wear a white gown and the groom is going to wear a top hat and fails, which is great. Then I think when you get to that end of the ceremony and the priest or the minister—I‘m sure it will be a religious person, because Rush is very religious—says I now pronounce you contraband and wife. There‘s not going to be a dry in the house. I wish I could be there.
SCHULTZ: Other stories out there, BP, the Tony Hayward video. What do you make of this PR campaign that the CEO is doing for BP?
WINSTEAD: You know, dude, I don‘t understand who is advising this guy, but there‘s a video of him saying they‘re doing all they can, and clearly the only plan they had was to make profits. That is the only plan they have ever had in any kind of function that they do as a petroleum industry. To see the video earlier this week of him saying he wants his life back repulsed me just like it would repulse me just like that whatever his name is, Joran Van Der Sloot, that murderer, would say, gosh, I want to get my life back and carry it on.
He‘s disgusting. All this person deserves is jail, don‘t you think?
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Dick Cheney‘s former PR hack, Anne Kolton, now taking over the corporate communications and messaging for BP?
WINSTEAD: Ed, who better? I mean, clearly Dick Cheney has been spewing toxins into the environment for decades, and he‘s on TV every week. So she‘s a perfect person to do the job.
SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure. Thanks for joining us. You can catch Lizz live at the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont on June 19th. For tickets, log on to FlynnCenter.org. Good to see you, Lizz.
WINSTEAD: Thanks, Ed. Have fun in Minneapolis.
Tonight, our text survey question is, do you believe Tony Hayward and BP are sincerely sorry to the damage they‘ve done to America? Twelve percent of you say yes; 88 percent of you aren‘t buying the act, you‘re saying no. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Have a great weekend. We‘re back on Monday. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics.
We‘ll be having a town hall meeting tonight here in Minneapolis. We‘ll have a report on that on Monday. Have a great weekend. We‘ll see you Monday right here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
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