Guest: Ed Rendell, Sam Stein, Frank Pallone, Sherrod Brown, Eliot Spitzer, Michelle Bernard, Laura Flanders, Ron Christie
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW
tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight.
Don‘t believe all the hype. The Tea Party phenomenon is mostly a
media creation. We‘ll prove that.
Democrats need to just get over the fear about the made-up bogeyman.
Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania agrees. He‘ll join me to talk about
that in just a moment.
President Obama took on Wall Street face to face in New York City
today, and he says no American should be fooled about the Republican lies
about financial reform. Eliot Spitzer will be here to talk about that.
Plus, Michael Steele says the Republicans haven‘t given African-
Americans any reason to vote for them. I agree with that.
And I want to know one thing before we get started tonight.
Outside my window here at 30 Rock in my office, the Jets fans, they‘ve
been making noise all day long.
So I think they‘re probably going to have a good year, Mike. What do
you think, huh?
What do they do if they don‘t get the player they want?
Great to have you with us tonight. This is the story that has me
The year of the Tea Party is fading fast. The right-wing network
across the street has devoted hours of free promotion to Tea Parties.
Well, they go out of their way to whip up the crazies whenever they have a
chance. And I‘m happy to tell you tonight, their mission is failing.
On Tax Day, only about 10,000 people showed up on the National Mall.
Only about 1,000 people showed up at state capitals like Des Moines, Iowa;
Montgomery, Alabama; Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Even smaller numbers showed
up in Philadelphia, Boston and Milwaukee.
Now, hundreds of thousands of people protested—in contrast here,
hundreds of thousands of people protested the Iraq War, and they never got
half the attention that the Tea Party is getting. One very famous
protester thinks there‘s a double standard here.
Cindy Sheehan told Politico, “The anti-war movement has always been
treated as a fringe movement, even though at the height of our movement, we
had hundreds of thousands of people at protest and the majority of public
opinion on our side. They‘re being treated with a lot more respect than
the anti-war movement was.”
Cindy Sheehan is absolutely correct. But let‘s hearken back a little
bit. Just take a listen to the way “The Beckster” treated her back in
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Cindy Sheehan, the tragedy pimp, as
we like to call her, is going on a hunger strike. Cindy Sheehan, that‘s a
pretty big prostitute there. You know what I mean?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Classy guy, huh?
Now, has anybody on MSNBC—I know I haven‘t and I don‘t think
anybody else has—talked about any of the Tea Partiers like that? Now,
“The Beckster” thinks that anyone protesting the government, well, is a
hero and a patriot.
This is the problem. The little 9/12 movement he started just can‘t
get any traction. His boss, Rupert Murdoch, has even called off the dogs.
He doesn‘t want his stable of righties to be involved with the Tea Party
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your network had a graphics saying Fox Day Tea
Parties. Is it appropriate for a news network to engage in that much
RUPERT MURDOCH: No. I don‘t think we should be supporting the Tea
Party or any other party. I‘d like to investigate what you‘re saying
before I condemn anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: No, no, no. We don‘t want to be involved in any party.
Murdoch yanked Sean Hannity out of a Cincinnati Tea Party right after
he made that comment. And it is pretty clear that Fox News has made the
political calculation the Tea Party is nothing but a collection of
malcontents with no direction and no pull.
This movement, remember, they were supposed to change the face of
American politics. A country full of “Joe the Plumbers” was going to take
the country back from the socialist Democrats. But here‘s the problem,
folks—they can‘t get ‘er done.
Dick Armey and his organization, Freedom Works, which is pretty good
at getting people out of work, they haven‘t elected nobody. They have no
job plan, they have no health care plan, they have no idea on how to fix
the economy. The top priority in their Contract From America is protect
Middle class voters worry about keeping their jobs and paying their
bills, not some half-baked Michele Bachmann conspiracy theory. And she
won‘t back off.
In an interview with “The Hill,” Bachmann stood by her “gangster
government” comment. She‘s a Tea Partier, all right. “When government
comes in and decides who the winners are, who the losers are, and there‘s
no recourse, that‘s what happened to 3,400 dealerships across the country.
That‘s one example of gangster government.”
Please! Those jobs were saved, the money is being returned because it
was a loan and not a bailout.
You know, this is the kind of “Psycho Talk.” that they‘ve got. That‘s
why the Tea Party isn‘t going to go anywhere. It‘s just a media hype
They have one mission, folks, and that is to stop Barack Obama at any
cost, and the progressive movement. Their mission has failed miserably to
And for Rupert Murdoch to say that he doesn‘t want any of his people
involved in any kind of political organization, that‘s not right for them,
explain all the fund-raising that your people are doing, Mr. Murdoch, for
the Republican Party, to the tune of millions.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The
number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Do you believe the Tea Party is more about
bringing positive change or hating President Obama? Press the number 1 for
positive change, press the number 2 for president Obama. I‘ll bring you
the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who has a history
telling it like it is.
What are you smiling for tonight, Governor?
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA : Well, I enjoyed the last four
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, this is such a classic. You know, with all
the promotion and all the hype, we have to ask the question, is the Tea
Party fading? Was this just a peak and valley political movement for
What do you think?
RENDELL: Well, I don‘t know if the Tea Party movement itself is
fading. I think it was blown out of proportion, but not just by the
conservative media, Ed, but the mainstream media as well. I think the
mainstream media gave it far too much attention.
You said there were 10,000 people at the Tax Day rally on the Mall. I
heard the organizers said—pegged it more at 1,500. The week before the
health care vote, they rallied on Washington, got less than 1,000 people.
If I called a rally to protect puppies in this country, I would get
100,000 people in Washington for sure. So I don‘t think—look, there‘s
anger out there, and there should be anger out there.
SCHULTZ: Are we to assume, Governor, that they‘re not going to factor
in the race in Pennsylvania, the Senate race? It‘s either going to be
Sestak and Specter against Toomey? Will they make a difference?
RENDELL: No, they will not make a difference. But remember, they‘re
the tail that‘s wagging the dog. The dog itself is the anger out there,
which is legitimate.
People were screwed by Wall Street. A lot of them lost their jobs,
lost their homes, lost their 401(k)s, and people have the right to be
angry. But they have got to channel that anger in a positive and
So, number one, I fault the media in general, not just the
conservative media, for blowing these Tea Party rallies and meetings way
out of proportion. There were a lot of angry people, but not actually that
many angry people when you counted up the heads, number one.
Number two, I blame we Democrats, because for 16 months, we‘ve let the
Tea Partiers be the only voice that America has heard. We‘ve been scared,
we‘ve been cowering behind shower curtains and not willing to get out and
talk about the fact, hey, there is good government spending and bad
You invest in pre-kindergarten education, our kids do better in
school, they become more productive citizens, they stay out of crime. You
invest in rebuilding our infrastructure, it‘s safer, there are no Cedar
Rapids, there are no New Orleans, we are more competitive economically.
We haven‘t made the case. We‘ve lost a little bit of our soul because
we‘re scared. And I don‘t know what we‘re scared about.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, one of the reasons why we on this show cover
the Tea Partiers, because I just couldn‘t believe their demeanor. I
couldn‘t believe what they were saying, the signs.
I mean, we haven‘t seen this kind of stuff probably ever. And they
try to distance themselves from all of this. Look, if you‘re in the crowd,
you have got to be responsible.
Governor, I want to ask you—you‘re a former DNC. chair. What do
you make of the Fox News hosts—and it‘s been very well documented by
Media Matters—just how involved they are, their people, their personnel,
in fund-raising for the Republican Party? Why doesn‘t the DNC make an
issue of this, and do you think they should?
RENDELL: Well, you know what, Ed? I don‘t think it‘s right for a
news organization to do that, but it‘s not certainly anything that‘s
against the law or against any code of ethics that journalists have. I‘m
not sure you guys have a code of ethics. But it‘s not against any of
So let it alone. I think most people know Fox for what it is, they
represent a viewpoint. And, you know --
SCHULTZ: Do you think they‘re a promotional arm of the Republican
RENDELL: No, I don‘t think they are. I think some of the individuals
But look, some of us on MSNBC are clearly Democrats. You don‘t do
fund-raising for the Democrats. But, look, everyone has the right to
express their point of view.
And I don‘t think we should worry about what Fox does, I don‘t think
they should worry about what MSNBC does, or anybody worries about anybody
else. Let‘s try to talk sense to the American people and let‘s tell them
And I think you guys do a very good job of doing that. The things you
just pointed out are right on, are absolutely right on, but we have an
Look, Democrats can‘t abandon the president. We need to get out there
and fight for him. I think on balance, he‘s done a very, very fine job, Ed,
under very difficult circumstances. No president in my lifetime inherited
the array of problems that he did.
SCHULTZ: No doubt about it.
RENDELL: And he‘s done a good job, and we need to get out there and
support him. And I‘ll tell you, if we fight back, and if we talk to the
American people and let our voices be heard that government can and should
make a difference, we‘re going to do a whole lot better in November than
SCHULTZ: Governor, good to have you tonight. Thank you so much.
RENDELL: Thanks, Ed. See you.
SCHULTZ: For more, let‘s bring in Sam Stein, political reporter for
Sam, good to have you with us tonight.
All right. When you take a look at the Tea Partiers, are they fading,
in your opinion?
SAM STEIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, “HUFFINGTON POST”: I think they‘ve
always been about roughly where they are. I mean, this is a group that
comprises 12 to 18 percent of the population, roughly 85 percent of them
self-identify as conservatives.
You know, they are who they are. This is very much sort of the
inheritance of the Ron Paul presidential campaign co-opted by, among
others, Glenn Beck, Fox News, Rick Santelli over at CNBC. And they are who
They are a portion of that electorate that is very much fiscal
conservative. They‘re not going away, they‘re not going to grow.
SCHULTZ: But these are birthers as well. And what we‘re seeing right
now is that all the right-wing talk in the country, all the Tea Partiers
talking about whether President Obama is actually an American citizen,
where he was born—they want him to still produce his birth certificate -
this is now entering into the legislative process, for instance, in
The sound culture is having an effect. Now, the Tea Party I think has
a lot to do with it? What do you think?
STEIN: Oh, I completely agree. But I also think a lot of it has to
do with the Republican Party itself. They‘re willingly being led around,
eagerly chasing this very vocal minority—and they are a minority—
under the idea that it will bring them electoral gold.
And I think what you see in a lot of local races, and increasingly
national, is that the Republican Party is willingly moving away from the
center even though traditional political history would suggest that they
have to expand their coalition, because this group, the Tea Party group, is
the most vocal, is the most passionate, and is the one who—they‘re the
ones who are out there and willing to go to the polls.
SCHULTZ: And the mission of Fox, clearly their coverage is slanted.
They have got people out raising money for Republican candidates. And now
it‘s entering into the questioning—this was at the White House press
briefing recently with Wendell Goler. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDELL GOLER, FOX NEWS: He‘s been very much out front in dealing
with Muslims abroad. There‘s some question about whether or not he has
been quite so visible in dealing with American-Muslims.
Do the complaints of birthers and other folks complicate the
president‘s dealings with the American-Muslims?
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I‘ve got to give you
credit, Wendell, for getting a lots of crazy people in one question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So we‘re supposed to believe that Fox News all of a sudden
is so concerned about Muslim-Americans?
STEIN: I don‘t even know what—I‘m still trying to figure out what
exactly that question was about. I mean, that was so—I was there, I was
a couple rows back. That was so out of left field, I was just bemused by
I had no idea that there was a problem with American-Muslims because
of Barack Obama‘s alleged foreign—it doesn‘t even make sense. But the
broader point is clear. It clearly has entered the mainstream of—well,
entered right-wing conservative media, it‘s entered right-wing politics.
And I don‘t see how it becomes less of a force as you get closer and closer
to the 2010 elections.
SCHULTZ: Sam Stein, good to have you on, buddy. Thanks so much.
STEIN: No problem. Take care.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, I‘ve got a big bone to pick with Dick Armey.
Someone lost their job because they dared to insult the Tea Party. I‘ll
tell you what happened at the bottom of the hour.
And all that chalk dust must be getting “The Beckster,” getting to
him, because he wants to yank your kids out of school. Dangerous teachers
are brainwashing our youth.
Plus, Michele Bachmann is getting gangster and Michael Steele is
starting to make sense.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching
President Obama is making good on his promise to protect workers and
the old mine owners—and hold mine owners accountable after a deadly
explosion killed 29 miners in West Virginia. Now, this past weekend, 57
coal mines got a surprise visit from federal inspectors.
Now, you would think that after the deadliest mine incident in 30
years, mine owners would shut their traps and let the inspectors do their
jobs. Instead, some of them are calling—well, and they‘re claiming that
they are victims.
Mine owner Rick Abraham told The Associated Press, “The problem with
the industry today is the professionals are being browbeaten by
politicians. They know they would be better off in a more workable
atmosphere without the press of politicians and headline seekers.”
To me, that is absolutely stunning. Now, the problem isn‘t that
businessmen are getting browbeaten by inspections. The problem is that 29
Americans are dead because they went to work at a place that was ruled
Joining me now is Congressman from New Jersey Frank Pallone. He sits
on the House Committee on Natural Resources, which has oversight for mining
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I believe that there‘s a lot of Americans out there that
think no matter how many citations, no matter how many violations, you just
can‘t shut these mines down if they‘re not safe for workers.
What about that?
PALLONE: Well, I think they have to be made safe. I mean, people
deserve a safe place to work. And we need more inspections, we need more
surprise inspections. I think we need higher fines and better enforcement.
I mean, part of the problem is that the Mine Safety and Health
Administration doesn‘t have real enforcement power the way the FDA does
with food, or the EPA does with pollution.
SCHULTZ: Should we change that?
PALLONE: I think we should, sure. I think we need legislation to
change it so they have better enforcement power, subpoena power, perhaps
mandate a number of inspections, as well as the surprise inspections, and
higher fines. I mean, the fines are very low. It‘s easy for the mine
companies to just pay the fine and forget about it.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of what I call arrogance by Mr. Abraham,
who is saying that, you know, it‘s all about headlines, the press and the
politicians, and they don‘t know what they‘re talking about.
What‘s your response to that?
PALLONE: Well, I think the mine companies have had a free ride a long
time. They didn‘t promote a safe workplace, they got away with a lot of
this. And now that it‘s brought to light because so many people died, they
don‘t like the scrutiny that the media and the politicians are giving them.
But that‘s too bad, because people have to have a safe workplace.
SCHULTZ: So you don‘t think they‘re being browbeaten in any stretch
of the imagination?
PALLONE: I think, Ed, the bigger problem is that six months pass and
we forget about all this. You know, right now it‘s in the spotlight. We
need to pass some legislation and make some permanent changes before people
start to forget about it.
SCHULTZ: Well, you‘ve got 57 coal mines that got a surprise
inspection from the feds, and we‘re told that there are more safety
violations and citations given out. They just don‘t get the message.
PALLONE: No. In fact, the mine company where the 29 people died had
all kinds of violations before that disaster occurred. So I think that the
problem is we need to do more, not less.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you on tonight. Thanks so much.
PALLONE: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Glenn Beck took a lowdown cheap shot at unions,
teachers and schools. He gets the detention slip. He‘s in the “Zone”
next. Good to have him back.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, the king of conspiracy theory,
Today on his radio show, he was promoting home schooling as a way to
stop the Democrats from indoctrinating your children. Apparently,
progressives want you to be afraid of teaching your own kids so they can
control them in the public school system.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BECK: When you understand the progressive movement and you understand
how the progressive movement has controlled history, controlled education,
and controlled the unions, you understand why you‘re so scared out of your
mind to teach your own children. They need you to be afraid of it. They
need you, because you must rely on the state, you must rely on the
government, you must rely on a teacher from a university that‘s teaching
garbage, you must rely on a teacher that belongs to a union.
I mean, it‘s really insidious.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes, you don‘t want a qualified teacher in charge of your
kids, do you, folks? What you should do is, I guess, just sit them down in
front of Fox News all day, and that way they‘ll definitely be safe from any
After essentially questioning the integrity of any parent who sends
their kid to public school, “The Beckster” really took it a step further,
implying that home schooling is some kind of patriotic duty.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BECK: If there is a way you can cut back and you can afford to do
home schooling by one of you guys staying home, it‘s well worth it. And it
is only going to become more valuable for the future of our country. Not
just for your child, but honest to God, for the future of our country.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Did you sense any crying in that?
Now, I have no problem with home schooling. I know people who have
done it. But when Glenn Beck says you‘ll have to start home schooling to
protect your kids from the country because the insidious progressive
movement is going to destroy America, that is “Psycho Talk.”
Up next, Sarah Palin may have gone rogue, but her psycho sister,
Michele Bachmann, is going gangster. You won‘t believe what she is saying
about General Motors.
Plus, I‘ve got a loud wakeup call for this country. It‘s time that
America gets serious about the economic threat from China.
Senator Sherrod Brown will tell us what we really have to be concerned
about, and he‘s doing something about it in Washington, and why they are so
afraid to say it in Washington.
And conservatives celebrate Earth Day by trashing, who else? Al Gore.
It‘s about to get pretty hot here on THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us. We‘re right back on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: It is a battleground. Welcome back to THE ED SHOW tonight
and thanks for watching. I believe that this story does not get enough
attention. China flat out owns our economy. Why aren‘t we spending more
time on this, Americans?
This is what we need to focus on. We‘re taking in a lot more than we
are sending out. Our trade deficit with China is $227 billion, the largest
between any two countries on the face of the earth. The United States is
nothing but a dumping field for cheap products.
It‘s forcing our country to go through an economic transformation and,
we‘re lowering our standard of living in this country. Now I know when
America is going to get serious about this. I know when they are. When
you and I keep talking about it, and we keep pushing our politicians to do
something about it.
China is devaluing their currency and, really, creating an unfair
playing field. Conservatives never addressed this. We have laws to keep
American companies from being undersold in their own country. We‘re just
not enforcing them. Now China is manipulating its currency. That
basically amounts to them giving their companies a big fat subsidy on goods
they sell to the United States, which is an unfair trade practice.
Here‘s the truly infuriating part of all of this: China sees this as
some form of economic stimulus. They don‘t give a damn about anybody else.
They just—as long as they can get customers, they‘re happy. Now with
exports humming, China is hiring more workers to meet demand. So times are
pretty good if you‘re looking for a job over in China.
Meanwhile, American competitors, well, we‘re taking the hit. Laying
off workers or being forced to close all together. Unfortunately, many in
Washington have been just too afraid to address this. And now, of course,
with the Supreme Court ruling about how corporations can give unlimited
funds to politicians, and there‘s a question about foreign money being in
our election cycle, you kind of wonder what‘s going to happen now?
Ohio senator Sherrod Brown has been a leader on trade and labor issues
in the Senate. He introduced the TRADE Act with North Dakota senator Byron
Dorgan last year.
Senator, great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time
here. Senator, can you hear us tonight? Senator Sherrod Brown of --
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: I‘m sorry, I can hear you. I thought -
yes, I can. I‘m sorry.
SCHULTZ: OK. This is Ed. Your old buddy.
BROWN: OK, yes. I can hear you. I could hear you and then—then I
thought—then I heard you say Byron. I‘m sorry. Sorry about that, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Well, it was you and Senator --
BROWN: It was the intro, yes.
SCHULTZ: Yes. You and Senator Dorgan introduced a bill to deal with
this currency issue with China. That‘s how he ended up getting in the lead
to you, the great senator from Ohio.
Now, you held a hearing on this today, the manipulation of currency.
What can we do to turn this around if anything, seeing that we borrow money
from them, and we owe them a ton of dough?
BROWN: Well, we owe them a ton of dough and they—but they don‘t—
I mean they—the relationship is important to them too. But we have been
China‘s biggest customer for more than a decade—since Congress passed
something called Permanent Normal Trade Relations.
And as their biggest customer, we have influence with them. We were
buying about a third—we bought about a third of their exports for the
last ten years. And what worries me the most is when we‘ve talked about
these stimulus dollars we‘re spending on these wind turbines in west Texas,
that we are not able as a country right now—because our industrial
supply chain has atrophied over the last decades or so.
We‘re not able to do what—we aren‘t able to build these wind
turbines and scale up as quickly as we need to. So we go to China for it.
I mean that‘s an incredible commentary on what we‘ve done in the last ten
years in not having a manufacturing policy.
So what we need to put pressure on the administration, who in turn
puts pressure on China to begin to treat us in a more equal way, if you
will, on this currency issue. I mean it‘s clear that they undervalue their
It‘s clear that that cost us, you know, hundreds of thousands—some
economists say millions of industrial jobs. And those are the best paying
jobs for middle-class Ohioans to join the middle class. So let‘s—
SCHULTZ: -- Are you for—are you—
BROWN: -- We got to be aggressive.
SCHULTZ: Why don‘t we place tariffs on what they‘re bringing into the
BROWN: Well, we can—we need a finding from either the IMF or the
WTO before we could do that—or the administration. We need to be a
little assertive on this. At some point, it can happen. Some say that
would be a trade war.
I think they‘ve already declared a trade war. I‘m not trying to
accelerate this and fire things up. But I think we‘ve got to stand up for
our national interests. And, you know, every country in the world
practiced trade according to its national interests.
We practice it according to some 20-year-out-of-date textbook they
used to use in high school economics class or something.
SCHULTZ: Well, they‘re eating our lunch.
BROWN: Yes, they are. And—yes.
SCHULTZ: I mean, and basically, we‘re losing jobs. How are we going
to reverse this? I mean—
SCHULTZ: Unless the United States sits down with the Chinese
government and says, look, you‘re not only hurting us, but you are hurting
other countries‘ economies as well—and Mexico is losing jobs to China.
BROWN: Yes, that‘s—yes.
SCHULTZ: So what cards can we play other than we say, okay, we‘re not
taking your goods anymore?
BROWN: Well, that‘s the card we ultimately play. You know, American
corporations, who have—who lobbied here 10 years ago for that normal
trade relations and then say they have to go to China—because they can‘t
compete unless they‘ve outsourced jobs—those companies are going to
But that‘s the way it goes. I mean it‘s something we need to do.
Good news this week. Both Brazil and India made the same charges about
Chinese currency that Lindsey Graham—we‘ve got good bipartisan support
on this—Lindsey Graham and I and others have making against what China‘s
done on currency, too.
So, I think to do this right, we don‘t want to do it unilaterally
against China. I don‘t want to say for and against because it‘s not
Chinese workers I‘m fighting against. It‘s a government that clearly has
gamed the system and having allies of Mexico and Brazil and India—
particularly large companies like Brazil and India—that align with China
on a lot of things saying this isn‘t fair.
You‘ve got to start playing it straight. You got to start
appreciating your currency. One of the economists today, Clyde Prestowitz,
has just written a book called “The Betrayal of American Prosperity”—
said that they undervalue their currency 40 percent.
That means that a manufacturer like a paper company today, a guy named
Mark Suan (ph) came in and testified—the CEO of New Page (ph) out of
Dayton, Ohio—Miamisburg, Ohio—said that his company has got a 40
percent disadvantage in price if they‘re in price, if they‘re—and you
imagine how expensive it is to ship paper over here—because it‘s so
heavy for the cost of the paper.
If they aren‘t cheating, they couldn‘t compete with them here in the
SCHULTZ: Exactly. The Chinese are cheating. That‘s the bottom line.
They don‘t care about our economy.
BROWN: Yes. You‘d be right.
SCHULTZ: All they want to do is dump their stuff cheaply on our
market. They‘re doing it because they‘re not paying anybody in labor.
They‘re violating environmental standards as far as the world is concerned,
and we sit here and watch our economy get gutted.
And I don‘t know how we‘re going to create a middle class again,
Senator, if we don‘t take on the Chinese.
BROWN: Well, you look around Ohio—and I know you‘ve spent some
time in my state. I grew up in a city, Mansfield, a town of 50,000, there
is—in Ohio, there‘s Mansfield and Lima—
BROWN: -- and Springfield, and Dayton, and so all those cities—
particularly those that are 30 to 60,000 -- they lose three or four plants
or have huge downsize in these plants, it just does so much damage to a
community like that.
SCHULTZ: You bet it does.
BROWN: We‘re seeing that all over this country.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
BROWN: As you know.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
BROWN: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
BROWN: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get rapid fire response from our panel on some
stories tonight. Michael Steele says republicans haven‘t given African
Americans any reason to vote for them.
Michele Bachmann absolutely stands by her claim that we have a
gangster government. She says the government loan to GM is the perfect
example of gang activity.
And the insurance company Geico has fired one of the voice actors in
its commercial after the actor, as a private citizen, left an angry
voicemail message for the Tea Party group Freedom Works.
With us tonight, Laura Flanders, who is the author of “Blue Grit” and
host of GRITtv, and Ron Christie, republican strategist. Ron, I want to go
to you first, the comment by Michael Steele that the Republican Party
hasn‘t given African Americans any reason for them to vote for them. Do
you agree with that?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No. I mean, did Michael look in
the mirror? Look, I love Michael Steele. I like him as a person, but this
is yet another one of those comments that I look and scratch my head.
The Republican Party right now has recognized that education is the
civil rights issue of the 21st century. We need to make sure that our
people of color—African Americans, Hispanic Americans—are equipped
with the skills and the tools they need to compete in the 21st century.
For him to say that there‘s no reason or he doesn‘t understand why
African Americans would be part of the party, I scratch my head and say
what the heck is all that about?
SCHULTZ: Laura, what do you make of that?
LAURA FLANDERS, GRIT TV: Well, you know, you can laugh at it, and a
lot of people do, but there‘s something serious going on here, which is the
Republican Party has to run against government so they have to run against
republicans in government.
That presents a challenge. But, I don‘t know. I think I agree with
Bill Maher, who said even for people who enjoy the republicans being
embarrassed, Michael Steele is an embarrassment.
CHRISTIE:: Now wait. Let me pick up on that. Look, this is Michael
Steele‘s opinion. The Republican Party has been the party of Lincoln. The
Republican Party stood up. They did not allow the democrats to filibuster
the Civil Rights Act.
The republicans have been very consistent since the time of
Reconstruction of welcoming African Americans into the party. So I‘m not
going to sit here and allow the democrats to somehow try to take the moral
high ground. This is Michael Steele‘s issue and his own view.
SCHULTZ: Well, wait a minute now, Ron. He does hold an official
FLANDERS: This is the election result, Ron.
SCHULTZ: He does hold an official position as the chairman of the
RNC. I mean, for him to come out and say that—I mean it‘s quite an
indictment seeing that he is an African American.
CHRISTIE:: I‘m pretty ticked off about it, Ed. I‘m very consistent.
I mean that‘s a stupid thing to say. This party has a lot to welcome
people of color. For an individual who happens to be of color to say that,
I think he needs to examine his comment and look in the mirror and say,
what in the heck am I doing?
SCHULTZ: All right. All right, Laura, does the Republican Party
offer anything to people of color?
FLANDERS: Well clearly they didn‘t think so in the last election.
What smidgen voted for them? I don‘t remember. But I think all you have
to do is look at the election results to see what Michael Steele was
actually talking about. And again, you know, this is about running against
government and it presents people with a problem.
SCHULTZ: All right.
CHRISTIE:: A smidgen? Ed, let me say one last thing.
CHRISTIE:: We increased the percentage of African Americans who voted
for President Bush in 2000 to 2004 by several million.
CHRISTIE:: So I think there‘s several million Americans around this
country of color who say there‘s a lot to go—
CHRISTIE:: Oh, Laura, don‘t even start there.
FLANDERS: Six years.
CHRISTIE:: Look, at least the Republican Party wasn‘t the party that
filibustered the Civil Rights Act. That‘s a nice thing for democrats to
have on their record.
SCHULTZ: That was generations ago, Ron. You know that—
CHRISTIE:: Oh, of course but then again we still have some—
SCHULTZ: -- a lot of things have changed then. A lot of attitudes in
this country have changed since then. Interesting take you have on Michael
Steele. Let‘s go to Michele Bachmann, who just never stops amazing me.
She won‘t shut up.
It gets crazier by the minute. She now says that—again, she‘s
standing by her comment that we have a gangster government and she uses the
government loan to the—the taxpayers loan to General Motors.
She says “when government comes in and decides who the winners are and
who the losers are, there‘s no recourse. That‘s what happened with 3400
dealerships across the country. That‘s one example of gangster
government.” Laura, what about that?
FLANDERS: It‘s not gangster-ism when a government is elected by the
people. We call that democracy. I think it was the Republican Party who
arguably stole the election in 2000.
But moving on, this is a moment. I‘m kind of surprised. Michele‘s
really raising the question, who‘s she working for? You‘ve got a
government finally taking action against gangster mine-owning company.
You talked about that earlier. Against, well gangster-suspicious
banking fraud practices on Wall Street and Michele Bachmann is calling it
gangsterism to use government to keep some American workers in jobs? I‘m
wondering who she‘s working for. I hope her listeners are, too.
SCHULTZ: I mean, isn‘t this over the top, Ron? I mean she says—
SCHULTZ: -- that the United States government is a gangster
CHRISTIE:: OK. Would you prefer, Ed, that we say it‘s Robin Hood
government since President Obama has assumed office—
SCHULTZ: What does gangster mean? Is the—
CHRISTIE:: Since President Obama has assumed office—
SCHULTZ: -- Is the United States government breaking the law? I
mean I know the definition of gangster and so do you.
CHRISTIE:: Well, I think they are redistributing money from those who
are wealthy and those who are contributing to the economy and giving it to
those who are not nearly as productive. It is a fact that nearly 50
percent of the people in this country do not pay federal income tax.
SCHULTZ: Wait a minute.
CHRISTIE:: I absolutely believe in her comment.
SCHULTZ: Well, I see the republicans didn‘t do anything about it when
you had the White House, the House and the Senate. Do you think that
loaning money to the car industry, to the manufacturing sector is a
CHRISTIE:: I think it would have been far better for the United
States government to allow these companies to have gone under, to
SCHULTZ: All right.
CHRISTIE:: -- under Chapter 7 and not put taxpayer money out.
SCHULTZ: We‘re out of time.
FLANDERS: I hope they‘re listening.
SCHULTZ: Both of you are too good; got to have you back. Thanks so
CHRISTIE:: Take care.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the boys on Wall Street got a message and a
warning from the president today. Eliot Spitzer is here to tell us if he
thinks it‘s going to sink in. That‘s in the playbooks next.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s still not too late to let us know what you think.
The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. Tonight‘s telephone survey
question is: Do you believe the Tea Party is more about bringing positive
change or hating President Obama?
Press the number 1 for positive change, press the number 2 for hating
Obama. Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe in the power of the free market.
But a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you
can get however you can get it. Some on Wall Street forgot that behind
every dollar traded or leveraged, there‘s a family looking to buy a house,
or pay for an education, open a business, save for retirement.
What happens on Wall Street has real consequences across the country,
across our economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And in my playbook tonight, that was President Obama today
taking it to Wall Street at the Cooper Union in New York City plugging new
financial regulation legislation.
Top Wall Street executives were in attendance—including the CEO of
Goldman Sachs, the company facing fraud charges filed by the Securities and
Exchange Commission. The president urged the bankers to support his reform
efforts, and he also pushed back against republican criticism of the bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The goal is to make certain that taxpayers are never again on
the hook because a firm is deemed too big to fail. There‘s a legitimate
debate taking place about how best to ensure taxpayers are held harmless in
But what‘s not legitimate is to suggest that somehow the legislation
being proposed is—that it encourages future taxpayer bailouts as some
have claimed. That makes for a good sound bite, but it‘s not factually
accurate. It is not true. A vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to
taxpayer funded bailouts, that has the truth. End of story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: For more on this, let me bring in former New York Governor
Eliot Spitzer. Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: My pleasure. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: How did the president do? He cut to the chase pretty good,
SPITZER: Look, he delivered a spectacular speech. He is making the
political argument for fundamental reform, and I think the public is behind
The political dynamic is absolutely where he wants it to be. I think
the hardest question is does the bill do what we need it to do?
SCHULTZ: And that is making sure banks don‘t get too big.
SPITZER: That‘s exactly right.
SCHULTZ: And is that where government needs to be?
SPITZER: Absolutely. There‘s no question. The government role here
is to make sure that the too-big-to-fail institutions are no longer too big
to fail. And on that particular issue, the bill that we‘re debating does
not do enough.
Now, I don‘t want to be here and only be critical of what the
president has accomplished, and the forces in Congress who are pushing good
pieces of this bill.
There‘s good legislation now on derivatives. There is now good
legislation that we might get through on the Consumer Protection Agency.
On the critical theoretical issue of too big to fail, however, we‘re not
where we should be.
We are maintaining a status quo where institutions are getting bigger,
more integrated with other parts of the economy not less, and I think this
is a problem for down the road.
SCHULTZ: But does it say that the federal government will never use
taxpayer dollars again help out the financial sector?
SPITZER: No, it does not say that and in fact it shouldn‘t say that.
Because we all know that what the government did a year and half—two
years ago—it would have to do again, and that is a reality we all have
to face up to.
It was ugly. It was terrible. The problem was not that we did it.
The problem has been that we have not yet gotten the reform that we needed
to break up the institutions that are simply too big to fail; do many
things they should not do with taxpayer guarantees behind them.
The Volcker Rule has to be beefed up. There needs be a breakup of
these institutions along many different lines. Many academics are pushing
this, and many people in government are pushing this as well.
SCHULTZ: And are you comfortable with the transparency that‘s being
offered in this bill? Does it go far enough?
SPITZER: It begins to get where we need to be. The proposals about
derivatives four or five months ago where nowhere close to where we needed
to get. There‘s been a lot of pressure put on Congress by academics, by
others in the financial community so we are much closer there.
And frankly, whatever people may say about the genesis of the Goldman
Sachs case, bringing that case has crystallized a lot of public anguish and
people are saying give us something real. The investment banks have sort
of an existential question right now, which they haven‘t answered for the
SPITZER: What did they do that we care about? We‘ve given them all
this money, what are they doing except creating these crazy products,
trading them. So we‘re in a lot better place now, but we still haven‘t
gotten where we need to be on the critical issue of too big to fail.
SCHULTZ: Governor Spitzer, good to have you on. Thanks for your
SPITZER: My pleasure. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, people are concerned that the teachers are using
Al Gore to indoctrinate school kids. We‘re heating this one up next on THE
ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and finally tonight, today was
the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and it‘s Green Week here on the networks
of NBC Universal. A lot of schools across the country show Al Gore‘s film
“An Inconvenient Truth” to teach students about global warming.
But some don‘t think the document should be—documentary should be
presented as fact. The Independent Women‘s Forum is launching a campaign
called Balanced Education For Everyone to combat what they say is
politicized climate change education.
Joining me now is Michelle Bernard, President and CEO of the
Independent Women‘s Forum. Michelle, great to have you on tonight about
this subject. What‘s the harm in showing “An Inconvenient Truth?”
MICHELLE BERNARD, PRESIDENT & CEO, INDEPENDENT WOMEN‘S FORUM:
Actually, though, Ed, there—what you said is a little bit off. There‘s
no harm in showing “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The only harm from our perspective—and frankly from the parents who
have joined this campaign—and this was a campaign started by parents,
and the Independent Women‘s Forum is happy to help them out, is not showing
the other side of the story and teaching environmental science in a way
that doesn‘t scare children.
SCHULTZ: Do the parents think that Al Gore doesn‘t deal in absolutes?
I mean I saw “An Inconvenient Truth.” It talks about greenhouse gases,
temperature change and clearly, how the earth is responding to it.
BERNARD: It talks about that, and as you know, there are many
scientists who do not agree that Al Gore‘s “An Inconvenient Truth” is the
bottom line on climate change. And the question that these parents are
asking, and the reason that we have started Balanced Education For Everyone
is why is it not possible in a public education system—where your tax
dollars are paying teachers to teach your children—to have the other
side of the story taught.
Children should not be scared into believing they they‘re going to
drown, that the polar bears are going to die. When I was being raised, I
was told that I would never even reach the age that I am today because
there would be so many holes in the ozone layer, I wouldn‘t be able to
There would be no oxygen. That is the point of the campaign. Teach
children both sides of the debate. There‘s a great film out there “Not
Evil, Not Wrong”. Show both sides of the debate.
Science is about analytical education, about learning how to reason
and draw conclusions for your own. We‘re not saying Al Gore is right or
wrong. Teach children—teach children both sides of the story, and let
the parents have a voice.
SCHULTZ: Well wouldn‘t it be—the pushback on what Al Gore is doing
is coming from corporate interests who don‘t want to see any changes at all
when it comes to climate regulation.
BERNARD: I‘m not speaking for corporate interests. I‘m here talking
about parents who don‘t want—
SCHULTZ: But that‘s where the pushback is coming from. They go out -
BERNARD: No. It‘s coming from parents also.
SCHULTZ: -- They hire scientists to debunk it.
BERNARD: Ed, I‘ve got parents who have come to us who have said that
it‘s just like the kids who go to school, and their parents say, for
example, I don‘t want my child to read “The Catcher In The Rye.”
All of a sudden their child is ostracized in school. We have children
whose parents have said why can‘t my child be taught the other side of
climate change? Why can‘t we have a little bit of a difference in terms of
environmental education, and their children are ostracized. That is not an
SCHULTZ: Well, we‘ve either got a whole in the ozone—we‘ve either
got a manmade hole in the ozone or we don‘t.
BERNARD: Well the bottom line is I‘m here still breathing.
SCHULTZ: -- And I don‘t understand where the parents are coming from,
BERNARD: Well, I‘m still here breathing. That‘s the point. I don‘t
want my four-year-old or my seven-year-old, you know, scared to go to
school because they think that they are going to drown, or that there‘s not
going to be Antarctica any longer or that, you know—because of climate
change—we‘re all going to hell in a hand basket. Two sides of the
SCHULTZ: Well I don‘t think Al Gore says we‘re going to hell in a
hand basket. He says we need to do something about it.
BERNARD: And I didn‘t accuse him of that.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Michelle.
BERNARD: All we‘re saying is teach both sides of the story. Thank
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, our telephone survey, I asked the question do you
believe the Tea Party is more about positive change or hating President
Obama. Five percent of you said positive change. Ninety-five percent said
hating the president. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Chris Matthews
is next with “Hardball.” We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>