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'The Ed Show' for Thursday, March 11, 2010

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guest: Arianna Huffington, Lynn Woolsey, David Bossie, Rep. Maxine Waters,

Lanny Davis, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Ron Christie, Todd Webster

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to THE ED SHOW

from New York tonight, these stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight:

Those Republicans, they have launched an all out assault on

reconciliation.  Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post will join me in

just a moment.  And the president wants to make it cheaper for kids to go

to college, what‘s wrong with that, but some democratic senators are

selling out to the banks and sticking students with the bills, I don‘t like


Right wing group, Citizens United, did a hit job on Hillary Clinton

and won the support of the Supreme Court.  The president called them out on

it and now righties are accusing him of violating the balance of power.

We got all of that coming up in a program, but first this story really

has me fired up tonight.  I‘ve been waiting to talk about this all day

long.  Now we‘re having this discussion over on the left is to whether we

should take this bill are not and I‘m just as passionate about it today as

I was last night on the program.  We can bring out human interest story

after human interest story to the American people; say do you really want

to deny these folks?  But let‘s talk about the republicans for just a

moment before we get into the latest developments tonight on healthcare

bill and there are some interesting things happening in this late hour this

evening.  It‘s processing personality right now that‘s what the republicans

are talking about.  They‘re not talking about, gosh this is what I‘ve got

to get, this is what we really need, this is where we got to move this

thing forward, its anti, anti, anti, anti, and fear tactics.  Now I have to

hand it to the senator from South Dakota, he‘s pretty smooth on this one, I

love this sound cut, here it is:


SEN. JOHN THUNE ®, SOUTH DAKOTA: There‘s been a lot of discussion

around here about how reconciliation can be used to correct or cure some of

the problems that members of the House may have with the senate passed a

bill, but I think the message is very clear out of all this, is that if you

vote for the senate passed a bill in the House you own the senate passed a

bill.  That is the vote that matters and any suggestion that reconciliation

can correct those things is assuming tremendous leap of faith that the

senate is going to follow through and enact those.


SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you; does it get any smoother than that?  I mean

we‘re going to scare the hell out of them, the democrats don‘t have faith,

the democrats don‘t have the guts, we‘ll just guess and speculate what

reconciliation is going to do, we‘re not for this, and oh you House members

over there, you don‘t want to have your mitts on this senate bill.  This is

all, remember that sound bite right there, in the final hour I believe, and

I think we‘re in the final stages, that is the sound bite that I will

remember for a long time.  They got no game, they got no game, now I don‘t

know Senator Thune from South Dakota, his background, I don‘t know if he

ever played basketball, but senator you don‘t have any game in this late

hour.  You got no move to the bucket on that one, I mean that‘s weak; I

mean we can see right through that it‘s a fear of thing, House members, on

a very serious note, you should embrace this Senate bill, because that is

going to move this process forward.  Yes we have guts, yes we have faith,

it is a leap of faith, but it‘s the right leap to take for the President of

the United States who is polling so much better than all of these other

jokers who are down there in Washington just the vilifying everything when

it comes to Health Care reform.

Now there‘s another senator out there that caught my attention this

morning over on the right.  Did you know that Judd Gregg, who is the

ranking senator on the senate budget committee, did you know he was

actually a Psychology Professor?  I didn‘t know that, but this sound bite

really reveals it.  He writes today, he says today in a press briefing with

reporters; now you ask yourself, if you‘re a senator from the democratic

side of the aisle, do you really need to put yourself through this?  Just

to help out the president and the democrat side of the aisle, in the House,

when you already have got what you want?  I think that‘s a reach and it

should cause questions for democrats in the House.  I‘ll tell you what,

that is just, I‘ll tell you, if he doesn‘t have a doctorate we should give

him one right here on the ED SHOW.  That is so professor like, scare the

living tar out of the democrats that‘s what they are down to, but it‘s not

mean spirited.  This is what‘s very interesting about their approach here,

it‘s not mean spirited it‘s pretty classy and pretty lofty from an academic

sense, playing to the fears and the appeal of the democrats that, we really

know you don‘t have the guts to do this and you probably won‘t do it, at

least we hope like hell you don‘t do it, because we are going to go

reconciliation and it is going to happen.

Tell me what you think folks.  I want to know what you think in our

telephone survey tonight.  The number to dial is 1 877 ED MSNBC.  And my

question tonight is very simple again, what do you think the republicans

want more, to fix your Health Care or just to destroy the democrats.  Press

one for fix your Health Care and press two for destroy the democrats.  I‘ll

bring you the results later on in the program tonight.  They‘re pretty

smooth, they‘re pretty smooth.

Joining me now is Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief

of the Huffington Post.  Arianna great to have you on tonight, thanks so

much.  I want to talk public option, because it‘s your lead on the

Huffington Post at this hour, some late developments, Huffington Post you

write, “The public options last stand a matter of will not votes.” Dick

Durbin now says that he‘ll whip the votes into shape over on the senate

side whatever the House passes on the reconciliation bill whatever comes

over.  How do you interpret that tonight?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, Ed it‘s an amazing moment

actually and Ryan our Congressional correspondent has done a great analysis

of where we are in the senate.  Of course as you know we have 41 declared

proponents of the public option in the senate, 41 democrats said they‘ll

vote for it, but as Ryan has looked beyond those 41, it‘s clear that we can

easily have 50 or 53.  Provided the White House makes it clear that they

want the public option, that‘s why he‘s saying, it‘s a matter of will

rather than votes.  We can have the votes, because there are enough

Democratic Senators beyond the 41 already committed who support the public

option or who would not oppose the bill, during reconciliation and risk

everything because it includes the public option.

SCHULTZ: I mean I think it would be, Arianna I think it would be so

great if the president would pick up that letter and say, we got 41 votes

here on this very interesting letter from Colorado Senator Bennett, gosh

you know we always have wanted the public option.  Is it time for the

president maybe to weigh in one last time on the public option; what do you


HUFFINGTON: Absolutely, because just think of it, you have 41

committed senators, who without any effort from the White House or the

democratic leadership, they have come forward and have volunteered that

they‘re committed to the public option.  Here‘s what is fascinating here,

this partly has happened, because of the way the health insurance industry

has acted in the last few weeks; with the sky rocketing premiums at the

very moment when they‘re trying to get the public on their side, they‘re

undermining what they‘re actually, what they‘re intentions are.  That‘s why

yesterday you know, when Secretary Sebelius spoke to the Health Insurance

executives, it was really unfortunate that she toned down her prepared

remarks, because in her prepared remarks she had actually challenge them to

take the money they are planning to spend in the final hour in attack ads

and actually use it to provide some relief for the people who are facing

sky rocketing premiums. 

In the remarks she actually gave she lost the stuff about the attack

ads and instead of saying providing some relief, she said look at providing

through market strategies.  Now here‘s the question, look at providing,

we‘re so beyond looking and considering, so why do members of this

administration feel they still need to water down what they are saying,

when we‘re facing such an unequivocal crisis when it comes to health care

in this country.

SCHULTZ: There‘s no doubt about it.  I hope the president ways in on

it one more time and I think you would help an awful lot.  I was on the

Hill yesterday, I talked to some people, there are some senators that will

vote for this if it comes, if push comes to shove and there is a vote on

the public option, their names not going to be on that letter, but they

will vote for it and I think there‘s a lot of folks wondering what the next

play is going to be on this.  It is a matter of will they got to keep

going, now the interesting thing here, Arianna his, what is Nancy Pelosi‘s

play?  Now obviously, not to get ahead of the process, they‘ve got to pass

the senate bill over on the house side, but then there has to be a

reconciliation bill.  Do you think Nancy Pelosi should put that put that

public option in that reconciliation bill?

HUFFUNGTON: Absolutely Ed.  For two reasons, first of all because I‘m

really convinced now that if the president comes out and supports it, we‘ll

pass it.  If this was Lyndon Johnson he would have had those extra nine

votes before he brushed his teeth in the morning, right?  Any other reason

is that this is only way we can really keep costs down and ensure real

competition, when it comes to the health insurance industry.  Otherwise the

same thing that‘s been happening the last few weeks will go on happening.

SCHULTZ: Now this is a time when the democrats got to get out and

fight.  And yesterday on the Hill, at the capitol, the progressive media

summit took place and the question came up and I posed it and some other

media folks did in the progressive movement posed it, you know, why aren‘t

the senior most senators out there on the talking heads, on the Sunday

shows getting after it, selling hard at a critical time?  And this is what

Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said, “Some members feel like they‘re

going to get beat up, many people in our caucus feel like they are beat up

on both sides, that doesn‘t help us.” I think, and she said that in a very

innocent manner, but the fact is, if this is the strategy that they are

afraid to go out, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller, Chris Dodd,

Dick Durbin, if these senior most senators, who are in this fight, are

afraid to go out and get after it on the talking heads, especially on

Sunday, isn‘t that a rather odd strategy?

HUFFINGTON: Well it‘s both an odd strategy and a strategy that‘s not

going to work, because it hasn‘t worked over the last year. (Inaudible)

does not work.  The reason Obama is in the White House is because he run a

bold campaign.  So now to have him and to have senators act as though they

are actually afraid of the consequences of what they‘re saying is

ultimately going to be self defeating.  This is the time to forget about

themselves and fight for the American people and ironically that‘s also the

best political strategy.

SCHULTZ: Arianna always a pleasure, great to have you with this

tonight and thanks for doing the story and making it a headline.  It is

still a very hot topic down the stretch, thanks so much.

We turn now to California Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey who is the co

chair of the progressive caucus.  Congresswoman great to have you on; I

understand that there is a late development this afternoon that the House

leadership has decided that they are not going to be able to change the

abortion language and they‘re going to have to move forward without the

Stupak crowd.  Can you confirm that and what‘s your take on it?

REP. LYNN WOOLSY (D), CALIFORNIA: Well my take is, that‘s the best we

can do and I think we will get some of the Stupak crowd in order to pass

healthcare reform.  Something else that you, that came out this afternoon,

that you haven‘t announced yet, we heard just as we were leaving to come

over here, that Senator Bernie Sanders is going to insist that the public

option come to a vote during the reconciliation debate.

SCHULTZ: I‘m all about that and the signatures are mounting, Bernie

Sanders has been a real fighter on that.  So this is just going to, it‘s

starting to boil to a head right now.  Do you think that Nancy Pelosi, this

leap of faith that we‘re all talking about now, do you think the Speaker

can get the votes on the senate bill over on the House side?

WOOLSY: I believe she can as long as the reconciliation actually fixes

some of the problems that the House members have with the senate bill, but

for us to think, and for the republicans to tell us that we‘re going to

lose our elections if we vote for that senate bill, is saying that the

people of this country don‘t get it; that process says we have to vote for

the senate bill first, we don‘t like it and we will fix it.  And that means

we have to have a leap of faith, absolutely that what our leadership, what

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid come to terms with and they tell us a head of

time, will be what we vote on for the reconciliation.

SCHULTZ: Are you, do you trust the senate to finish the job?

WOOLSEY: I trust my Speaker, I trust Nancy Pelosi, if she makes a deal

with the leader Reid, I believe that is what we will be voting on.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman great to have you on, thanks so much,

appreciate your time tonight.  Thanks for that news tip.  Appreciate it.

Coming up, Chief Justice John Roberts and President Obama are at war

over the supremely bad decision to let unlimited money flow in a political

campaign.  I‘m going head to head with a man who won the case in just a

moment.  Plus House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Maxine Waters will be

here.  They‘ll give you the real story on how Nancy Pelosi is rounding up

the critical votes on the healthcare bill.  And Colorado now has its very

own Michelle Bachmann, she makes a Rocky Mountain debut in the Psycho talk.

Stay with us, you‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC; you won‘t want to

miss this one.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the ED SHOW.  I just can‘t get off this South

Dakota story, this last sound bite.

Sioux Falls (inaudible) leader, come on, do a poll on the public

option, do it for America, because I‘m sure, I‘m sure that the people of

South Dakota sent John Thune to Washington to talk about the democrats all

the time.

All right another story, the White House and the Supreme Court are

trading blows over a landmark Supreme Court decision that opened the door

to unlimited corporate spending in elections.  Democrats not happy about

this one and present Obama made his feelings clear at the State of the

Union Address in January.



to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of

law that I‘d believe will open the floodgates to special interest;

including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections.  I

don‘t think American elections should be bankrolled by America‘s most

powerful interests or worse by foreign entities.


SCHULTZ: We‘re going to be playing that sound bite for years, then

this Tuesday at the University of Alabama Chief Justice John Roberts was

asked if what the president said, in the State of the Union Address, was

appropriate.  Here‘s his response.



criticize the Supreme Court without any qualm; on the other, as you said,

there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum.  The

image of having the members of one branch of government, standing up

literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering, while the

court, according to the requirements of protocol, has to sit there

expressionless, I think is very troubling.


SCHULTZ: Well that‘s the most personality we‘ve seen out of the

Supreme Court, may be ever.  The White House hit right back with a

statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs today and rightfully so he

said, “what is troubling is that this decision opened the floodgates for

corporations and special interests to pour money into elections, drowning

out the voices of average Americans.  The president has been, has long been

committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests and their

lobbyists over government.” That is why he spoke out to condemn the

decision and is working with the Congress on a legislative response.

Joining me now is David Bossie founder and president of Citizens

United, the company on the winning side of this controversial case.  Mr.

Bossie good to have you with this.

DAVID BOSSIE, CITIZENS UNITED: Thanks for having me.

SCHULTZ: You bet.  There‘s going to be legislation brought forward on

this, do you think it will have teeth and do you think will erase what the

Supreme Court has ruled here?

BOSSIE: Well clearly it cannot.  The Supreme Court ruled, the Congress

can‘t just go and pass another law that the Supreme Court says is

unconstitutional, so what Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen is doing is

just simply an incumbent protection act, which is what incumbents do, it‘s

what McCain- Feingold was, McCain -Feingold, the mantra was we‘re going to

keep money out of politics.  In 2008 there was more money that had ever

been spent before and in 2008 the labor unions spent 60 for $65,000,000,

the United States Chamber of Commerce spent about 25 or 30 million, that‘s

not keeping the money out of politics, so this case had nothing to do with


SCHULTZ: OK, so you‘re basically saying tonight that the democrats are

grandstanding when it comes to coming up with any teeth in their

legislation, that this is all a bunch of smoke.

BOSSIE: It is and I find it troubling, quite frankly, that the White

House feels that they‘re in a, kind of a six year old spat.  My ideas are

better than yours or I have to the last word; the Chief Justice was talking

about the decorum of the State of the Union and feeling as though, the room

is full of members of Congress-

SCHULTZ: Well that‘s not really the issue.

BOSSIE: Hold on, hold it, just let me finish my point, let me finish

my point, just one second.  The room is full of people that are elected and

love to grandstand and have press secretaries to do just that.  The Supreme

Court is the only group of people in the room that can‘t talk back.

SCHULTZ: Well if they don‘t want the job they can get off the Court. 

They did their talking with the ruling and the president was strong enough

and convicted enough, had a conviction enough to go ahead and challenge it. 

And here‘s the point, it doesn‘t matter if it‘s the first time, here‘s the

point, the little guy is going to get squeaked out when it comes to voices

in this country and that‘s what we‘re concerned about.

BOSSIE: No that‘s not true.  I am the little guy Ed.  I am the little

guy.  I don‘t know what you‘re talking about.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Bossie unions in this country, put forward a fraction to


BOSSIE: They spent $65 million last year.

SCHULTZ: Now I let you talk now you let me talk.  Let me give you a

fact here, less than one 10th of 1 percent is what unions spend in this

country against corporations when it comes to elections.  This is nothing

about drowning out labor, this is nothing about drowning out the little guy

and the president sticks up for it, but you‘re coming back saying that

there‘s no doubt about it, that really we can‘t as a people do anything

about this, correct?

BOSSIE: Hey Ed, Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee, the

unions, and et al, spent $1.4 billion to get him elected.  I don‘t think-

SCHULTZ: It was a fraction of the union money was a fraction of what

was raised and he knows that.

BOSSIE: It was $65,000,000.

SCHULTZ: The point I wanted to make with you was that you think that

there‘s nothing that Congress can do and we‘ll see how it all works out;

Mr. Bossie good to have you with us tonight.  You know where you stand, I

give you that.

Coming up, get a good look at this face, I mean a good look, she may

not look like Michelle Bachmann, but she sure knows how to talk like her

and you know where that puts her, right in the zone.  That‘s next on the ED



SCHULTZ: And it‘s Psycho talk tonight, we‘ve got an addition to the

team, we found a Michelle Bachmann clone, how about that.  It‘s the former

Lt. Governor of Colorado, Jane Norton.  Let me tell you, she‘s a dandy,

Norton is running for the republican nomination for senate.  She went to a

TEA party event, just the other day and I tell you what, she fit right in. 

Here‘s why:



government is fundamentally out of control.  They‘re thieving control of

things like car companies, banks, insurance companies; they‘re encroaching

in areas of education, the EPA and its endangerments findings,

circumventing the rule of law, circumventing legislative processes, they

are absolutely out of control.  With regard to Social Security, it has

turned into a Ponzi scheme, the money that people pay into it should be

there for when they are ready to retire.


SCHULTZ: She thinks Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.  Notice how,

wait a minute, notice how that came kind of at the end of her big statement

about how liberals are taking over America and you know we can‘t turn this

thing around.  She just got on a roll and got all whipped up in a frenzy,

kind of, and then really got after Social Security, which has been the most

successful and reliable government program for more than 70 years.  Now

watch out Colorado, the woman who wants to be your next senator, sounds

like she‘s reading right out of the Michelle Bachmann play book.  Norton is

courting the crazy vote and so far it‘s kind of working.  She‘s leading

incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennett in a hypothetical matchup. 

We‘re going to keep an eye on this one in Colorado, because anyone who

calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme, belongs in Psycho talk.

Coming up, now that we‘ve spent a year fighting over healthcare the

president is tackling another hot potato.  He wants to try to solve it,

illegal immigration, immigration period.  More on that next, plus we saw

some of that old Kennedy fire on the House floor.  I‘ll show you the tape

and tell you why Patrick Kennedy had his back all up.  And in my play book

I‘ll introduce you to the only female high school head coach in America.

You‘re watching the ED SHOW on MSNBC, stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Plus, we saw some of that old Kennedy fire on the House

floor.  I‘ll show you the tape and tell you why Patrick Kennedy had his

back all up. 

And in my playbook, I‘ll introduce you to the only female high school

head coach in America.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with




REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  We had a very productive

meeting with the White House, with Nancy Anne DeParle, the president‘s

adviser on health care, where she walked through the president‘s proposal. 

Members had opportunity to ask questions about it, express some of their

priorities, public option, public option, public option. 


SCHULTZ:  Absolutely, public option.  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. 

Thanks for watching tonight.  The public option was a hot topic when House

Democrats met again with the top White House staffers today.  Nobody is a

bigger champion on that than we are on THE ED SHOW.  But the Democrats—

folks, you got to take this deal.  You have to pass the health care reform

bill, which is the Senate bill, over on the House side.

this just isn‘t a time to stand on ideology at all.  It‘s a time to be

pragmatic and deliver the mail to millions of Americans, so they can get

caught up, so they can get some health insurance, and we can save lives. 

What‘s wrong with that?

Now, you can always make it better down the road.  This is the road

we‘ve got to take.  But you can‘t let the Republicans and the health

insurance companies win this round. 

Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, who—I

want to talk about this as well—is just back from Haiti.  But let‘s talk

health care first, if we can, congresswoman.  The latest developments

tonight, we‘re hearing that the House leadership is saying that they can‘t

change the abortion language, and they are just going to have to do, and

try to do it without the conservative Democrats, the Stupak crowd.  What

can you tell us about that? 

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA:  Well, I‘m hearing the same thing. 

As you know, the House leadership had a session today where we went through

the bill, the president‘s bill, section by section.  Members raised

questions about all aspects of the bill.  There is some unreadiness in

several ways. 

But, you know, everybody is trying very hard to come together around a

bill that, you know, we can live with.  As you know, the public option is

still up in the air.  There are people who would at least like to have an

opportunity to vote on it by way of some amendment process.  I just can‘t

tell you what‘s going to happen at this point, except to say we are all


SCHULTZ:  OK.  I know you‘re trying hard. 

WATERS:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  What is your best instinct, your gut feeling on the House

passing the Senate bill, taking what we now have labeled as the leap of

faith, that the Senate will take it and go back and do what they‘ve got to

do to straighten this out?  Do you think that Nancy Pelosi will round out

the votes?  And do you think that House members, 39 of them who voted no

the first time, there might be enough to take that leap of faith and go

with this president and go with this bill and get it taken care of?  What

do you think? 

WATERS:  As of today, I don‘t think that could happen.  Unfortunately,

I don‘t think that, based on what I saw and heard today, that there are

enough who are willing to take a leap of faith.  That‘s not to say that

that won‘t change in coming days.  Unfortunately, it‘s taken us a long time

to get to this point.  We can‘t rush it. 

I know that—I think the president said they would like to have it

on the desk by the 18th.  I don‘t think that‘s going to happen.  I think

they should allow the time to be taken to work out these kinks, and to work

with members, so we can eventually get to the point where we will have a

Senate bill that—with some amendments—that can be passed.  So, no, I

don‘t think that the leap of faith could be realized today.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  But, again, this is all about the Democrats.  It‘s all

about the Democrats.  Republicans aren‘t going to be there.  It‘s all about

the Democrats doing the deal.

WATERS:  Absolutely.  You‘re absolutely right.  We can‘t count on any

Republicans, not one.  This is all about Democrats, and whether or not we

can come together and form a consensus of some kind, even though we have

differences, and make it work. 

SCHULTZ:  Finally, congresswoman, just back from Haiti; I know that

you‘re concerned about debt relief. 

WATERS:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  What is your position on that?  What do we do for Haiti? 

WATERS:  Well, I‘m very happy.  We passed the debt relief bill off the

floor.  I had worked out all of the differences between the Senate.  So it

was one bill.  We sent it right up to the president.  So the president will

be signing the debt relief bill in the next few days.  And that‘s going to

help Haiti a lot.  The money that they don‘t have to pay out in debt they

can have to try and help do this redevelopment with. 

I‘m really concerned about Haiti.  I‘m concerned not only about the

rainy season and the hurricanes.  These temporary camps are nothing but a

formula for disaster.  I‘m worried about the spread of disease. 

It‘s a bad situation still in Haiti.  We‘ve got a lot of work to do. 

We need shelter very badly.  The tarps, the plastic that they are passing

out to go over these lean-tos won‘t do the job.  Haiti is in deep, deep


SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Thank you for being on tonight. 

WATERS:  You‘re so welcome.  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Appreciate your time. 

WATERS:  You‘re welcome. 

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s turn now to Lanny Davis, former special council to

President Clinton, who tried to school me months ago that I should take

this deal.  So I concede, Lanny.  But the public option is still alive. 

And I want to know how you feel about the president, one final time,

weighing in on this, now that there‘s 41 signatures over on the Senate

side, on this letter?  What should be the best play here by the White

House?  Stay quiet or make a statement about it?   


Schultz said tonight.  I would prefer a public option.  I would prefer 100

percent.  But there are 30 million plus people who want this bill passed,

so that they can go to bed at night knowing that they have health insurance

and that they‘re going to get health care at a level, not because they‘re

poor or rich, but because America gives them that right.  So I agree with

what you said.

I think we did have an argument about this some time ago.  But

honestly, Ed, had we been where we are last now back last June, with no

public option passed by the Senate, we would have national health care.  We

wasted the summer.  We got our backs to the walls.  Then we lost

Massachusetts.  I wish we could redo.  But I‘m for what Barack Obama is

doing right now.

SCHULTZ:  They tried to work with the Republicans on this.  They

didn‘t believe the Waterloo comment, which was made on July 9th by Jim

DeMint of South Carolina.  The Democrats didn‘t take him serious.  Look

what—their stall game has pretty much—well, it‘s worked.  Here we are

in the middle of March. 

Here‘s where we‘ve got to go now.  Lanny, you‘ve got to tell the

country what it‘s like to have battle scars of not passing health care from

the Clinton years. 

DAVIS:  Well, I‘d like to tell my fellow liberal Democrats what it‘s

like, because for people to be on programs such as yours—and I remember

Howard Dean saying, I‘d rather have no bill at all if I don‘t have a public

option.  After all this time and effort, we have our president, elected by

a very good margin, an elections should count, asking Democrats to support

this legislation.  And I think it‘s now time, for sure, to think about the

people who are uninsured. 

SCHULTZ:  He‘s asked for the order.

DAVIS:  And get this thing done, or else we will have a blood bath in

November.  It looks like we might have one, even if we pass the bill,

unless the economy bounces back and we get some more jobs created.  But

we‘ve got to pass this bill. 

SCHULTZ:  So you and I are on the same page.  The president deserves

our support at this point, at the 11th hour, and we‘ve got to get it done. 

DAVIS:  Go, Ed.  You‘re going to get in trouble with all of your

friends if you say that you and I are on the same page. 

SCHULTZ:  No, as long as you—look, we‘ve got to put our night

sticks down. 

DAVIS:  There you go, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  This is going to help a lot of people.  And the preexisting

condition—I think it‘s going to help us keep the majority.  I think the

White House can sell this.  I know Barack Obama can get out there.  The

president can sell it hard and make people realize what it will do.  And

we‘ll keep the majority and we‘ll keep moving.  And down the road, we‘ll

get more reform. 

DAVIS:  Let it never be said that Ed Schultz is not educable (ph). 

SCHULTZ:  OK, Lanny.  Good to have you on. 

DAVIS:  God bless you, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Lanny Davis with us tonight.

All right, now, with the health care, Wall Street legislation and a

student loan overhaul still unfinished today, President Obama put another -

another major issue on the plate: immigration reform.  It was just three

years ago that President Bush, the late Senator Ted Kennedy and John McCain

tried and failed to get the immigration reform bill passed.  Now, President

Obama is looking for Republicans to come on board for a bipartisan—

bipartisan solution?  I hope so. 

The president met with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Republican

Senator Lindsay Graham over to the White House to talk about it, along with

grassroots supporters for immigration reform. 

For more, let‘s brings in our panel, Democratic strategist Todd

Webster, and Republican strategist Ron Christie. 

Mr. Webster, don‘t we have enough irons in the fire?  Is there any

question at all about timing, trying to do this before health care is done? 

What do you think? 


invested a lot of time, energy, and effort.  We‘ve got a very good bill. 

The news today, Ed, was that the CBO scored this bill and found that it

saves 118 billion dollars. 

So let‘s look at where we are.  This bill saves 120 billion dollars

over ten years.  It ends insurance company discrimination on the basis of

preexisting condition, prevents them from dropping you as soon as you get

sick, requires insurance companies to spend 85 cents on the dollar of your

premiums on health care rather than CEO bonuses.  It covers 30 million


This is a very, very strong bill.  And, in part, because it has some

of the best ideas from the Republicans. 

SCHULTZ:  So the CBO has scored it.  It must have happened before I

went on the air.  The CBO has scored the health care bill. 

WEBSTER:  It saves 118 billion dollars over the next ten years. 

SCHULTZ:  What was the total package, Todd? 

WEBSTER:  Eight hundred something, 800 something.  But the point is,

it‘s a very strong bill, and includes Tom Coburn‘s desire to root out more

waste and fraud and abuse in the Medicare system.  It‘s a very, very strong

bill.  Now we‘re going to see if Republicans are going to support it or

whether they are going to, for political purposes, continue to oppose it. 

SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, what do you make of those numbers? 


So I can‘t comment on that directly.  You know how I am, Ed.  I only talk

about what I do know. 

I think the Democrats‘ agenda right now is in deep trouble.  I think

the administration and the Congress have expended so much political capital

over the last year that looking to bring up a bill such as immigration

reform right now would be perilous. 

The president, last summer, he had immigration reform right behind the

cap and trade bill and the health care bill.  Now he only had one sentence

about it in the State of the Union this year. 

My question is—I think all Americans want to have a comprehensive

immigration bill.  The question is, are you going to have amnesty for the

alleged 12 million people here that are undocumented?  I think an amnesty

bill or provision would kill an immigration bill, given this political


SCHULTZ:  It‘s the best and the safest and the quickest solution to

bring Americans into the fold.  They are Americans.  They are here. 

They‘ve been here for a long time.  I view this, Ron, as rearranging our

immigration laws. 

CHRISTIE:  Well, Ed, I think people that come to this country that are

documented, people that have gone through the legal steps, have every right

to be here.  But I‘m not one that wants to reward those who have broken the

law, who have entered this country illegally, particularly at a time, Ed—

I look at this with a political standpoint. 

When the unemployment rate, Ed, is where it is now, at near 10

percent, I think there‘s not going to be a lot of stomach of giving amnesty

to 12 million people who are here undocumented. 

SCHULTZ:  Todd Webster, hold on—I‘ve got to ask you this, Todd.  Is

this political theater on the part of Democrats?  Are they just trying to

get the Latino vote before the midterm? 

WEBSTER:  No.  There is a legitimate connection of immigration reform

to this health care bill, as Joe Wilson wanted to say.  They wanted to make

sure that none of the health care bill would support undocumented workers. 

The question today was whether undocumented workers could buy in to the

health exchanges.  I think could you make a very strong case for that,

because if these undocumented folks are not getting vaccines and not

getting their health care in a plan that they are purchasing themselves,

they are going to get it at the emergency room, and the rest of us are—

SCHULTZ:  Gentlemen, short on time.  Got to run.  If that CBO score is

what it is, if it does save 118 billion dollars, and it‘s under 900 billion

dollars, it‘s now up to Nancy Pelosi, and they‘ve got to pass that Senate

bill to move this process.  That‘s the only way I see it.  Gentlemen, great

to have you with us

Coming up, our good friends Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson are

standing up for the big banks instead of the American people again.  This

time, they are sticking it to college kids.  More on that next in the

playbook.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in my play book tonight, the big banks are getting in

the way of President Obama‘s push for student loan reform.  The president

wants the government to stop subsidizing private companies and make loans

to students.  He wants to use that money to increase Pell Grants and

government lending instead. 

Of course, banks don‘t want to lose those government dollars.  And now

they have six Senate Democrats on their side.  It‘s the usual suspects, Tom

Carper of Delaware, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska,

Bill Nelson of Florida, Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia.  I don‘t

figure that one out.  They all wrote a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid

opposing the president‘s plan. 

That‘s not good news for Democrats, who want to include the student

loan legislation in the reconciliation bill on health care reform. 

And another page in our playbook tonight, we have got Congressman

Patrick Kennedy.  He lashed out at the media Wednesday on the House floor. 

He slammed reporters for ignoring a House debate on Afghanistan. 


REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND:  If anyone wants to know where

cynicism is, cynicism is that there‘s one—two press people in this

gallery.  We‘re talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV. 

We‘re talking about war and peace, three billion dollars, a thousand

lives, and no press.  No press?  You want to know why the American public

is fit?  They‘re fit because they are not seeing their Congress do the work

that they are sent to do. 


SCHULTZ:  Congressman, it would really help the media if former

Congressman Eric Massa would just shut up.  That‘s why the media is

covering it, and rightfully so.

This just in, Senator Reid‘s wife, Landra, and daughter, Lana, were

injured in a car accident today.  Their car was rear-ended by a semi-truck

on a Washington, DC highway.  Mrs. Reid broke her nose, back, and neck, and

daughter sustained a neck injury and facial lacerations.  Both women are

conscious, and their injuries are not life threatening.  Our thoughts and

prayers are with the Reid family tonight.

Coming up, the magic number for health care reform is 216.  That‘s how

many votes are going to be needed.  Nobody knows that more than the man who

we will visit with next.  House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn joins us next on

THE ED SHOW when we come back.


SCHULTZ:  Thanks for staying with us tonight on THE ED SHOW.  Today,

the White House admitted the House probably won‘t be able to pass health

care reform one week from today, the deadline, March 18th

The bigger question is whether Nancy Pelosi and her team are winning

over there key groups in the caucus, progressives, the Blue Dogs, and the

abortion foes.  We‘ll ask the man who counts the votes, Congressman Jim

Clyburn, House Majority Whip, from South Carolina. 

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. 

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC), HOUSE WHIP:  Thank you so much for having me. 

SCHULTZ:  The abortion language is not going to change, is that


CLYBURN:  I don‘t think so.  I think the Senate language is being

scrubbed by those members in Mr. Stupak‘s group, and they are making

decisions as to whether or not that language meets their test.  I think it

does.  Dale Kildee, who is a reliable member of that group, thinks it does. 

I think there will be other members who come to that same conclusion.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, why can‘t the House Democrats met the deadline

of March 18th?  What is the hold-up here?  Is it just going to be that

tough of a fight? 

CLYBURN:  Well, I‘m not saying that we can‘t meet that deadline.  We

started reading the bill today in our full caucus.  We will meet again at

9:00 in the morning.  And the staffs will continue to read.  We plan to be

finished with that by noon tomorrow.  Then we‘ll settle down to start


We don‘t want to start whipping until all the members get an

opportunity to hear what the changes are, and to ask the questions about

them, and get the answers that they will like to receive.  And then we‘ll

start whipping.  I think we‘ll start that early tomorrow afternoon. 

SCHULTZ:  And what‘s your instinct?  Of the 39 that did not vote yes,

the 39 Democrats that did not vote yes, do you think you can get some of


CLYBURN:  Yes, I do.  I‘ve talked to a few of those who tell me that

they voted the way they did because they did not like the public option. 

The public option is not gone.  There are some other things about bending

the cost curve, which I don‘t like to use, bringing costs down.  They think

that the Senate bill was better at that than the House bill. 

So there are some members who voted no to the House bill, who feel

much more comfortable about the Senate bill.  So I think we‘ll pick up some

of those people. 

SCHULTZ:  And we learned tonight that the CBO has scored the Senate

bill, and it‘s under 900 billion dollars.  It saves 188 billion over ten

years.  Is that good news tonight? 

CLYBURN:  That‘s great news.  Deficit reduction is what this bill is

all about, keeping the costs down, as the president wanted us to do, to

stay under 960, or whatever that number may have been.  I think we will do


So I think that, when you look at everything we were trying to

accomplish, everything that the president wanted to see done—I think we

are getting close to that.  By noon tomorrow, I do believe we will be in a

very good place with this bill.  And who knows, we may get it done before

he takes off on his trip. 

SCHULTZ:  Gosh, that would be fantastic.  I hope that the House

Democrats understand that we are on the verge of doing something fantastic

for this country. 

CLYBURN:  I think they do.  I really think they do.  And people want

this done sooner, rather than later.  Because they want us to turn our

attention to jobs, to energy, education, getting people back to work.  So

all of that, I think the members feel good about getting this behind them. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘d love to have it noon tomorrow.  I know everybody would. 

Jim, thanks for joining us tonight.  Thanks so much, Congressman. 

CLYBURN:  Thank you so much for having me.

SCHULTZ:  Tonight on our phone survey, I asked do you think that the

Republicans—what do you think they want more, to fix your health care or

destroy the Democrats?  Four percent say fix health care; 96 percent

destroy the Democrats. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews

starts right now here on the place for politics.  We‘ll see you tomorrow





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