Heidi Harris, Jon Soltz, Lizz Winstead>
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
Well, now, the slick is just six miles from the Florida coastline. We just found out that 40,000 barrels are pouring into the ocean every day. And my calculation, that‘s not a number to be numb to. That‘s 40 times more than what BP originally said was gushing into the Gulf.
Billy Nungesser and Reverend Jesse Jackson will blast off on the situation in just a moment.
An unknown unemployed guy with no campaign operation whatsoever managed to win the Democratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina. He did his first round of interviews last night and he‘s got some people convinced that he is nothing but a Republican plant.
And President Clinton went out to Nevada to stump for Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, and delivered a lame cliche to fellow Democrats. We‘ve got that.
Harry, of course, was nowhere in sight. And we‘ll tell you why.
This is the story that has me fired up so far tonight, folks.
Don‘t you think it‘s really time for all of us as Americans to realize that this country is in crisis? It‘s almost as if we‘re afraid to say that word.
Our president is dealing with the greatest ecological disaster in the history of the country, a financial system teetering on disaster, two confrontations on the other side of the globe which is doing nothing but depleting our national resources. And finally, our inability to find enough unselfish politicians who are willing to work together to deal with all of this. They think it‘s about their job security.
Now, I believe we need to develop some sense of economic patriotism and knock off the selfishness. That would be a good start.
Traveling the country over the last couple of weeks, I have met Americans who are on edge, from red state Arkansas to liberal hotbeds like Portland, Oregon, and Madison, Wisconsin, and the working-class folks in Seattle and Minneapolis, and even President Obama‘s home turf or Chicago. There are folks who are very nervous about what‘s going on.
And I can say with conviction, countless Americans feel like we are being overrun by the corporations. No greater example—no greater example is available to us right now than this disaster that is unfolding and has been 50-plus days in the Gulf.
How is this country going to truly keep British Petroleum accountable?
Can we do it? Let me give you some straight talk.
They‘re walking us like a damn dog, is what they‘re doing. If we lose to this multinational corporation, I believe we stand a chance to lose our democracy. I believe that.
Next week, the oil executives will testify on Capitol Hill. I‘ve got a prediction for you. It will be more political theater and very little accountability and consequence. I just don‘t think they‘re going to get too much done.
We‘ve had a lot of walking and talking and a lot of feeling, a lot of hurt and everything else. We‘ve still got people down in the Gulf who are crying about the response.
This is the United States of America. We are at war with what is happening in the Gulf right now. And there are people down in the Gulf who do not believe that we are fully utilized at this point.
In the meantime, we‘ve got all this political rancoring going on about who‘s in charge, how‘s the emotion of the president, what can the Congress really do, are the lawyers all ready to go? We have got oil on the shores killing wildlife, destroying our ecosystem. And we sit here in almost a political mudslinging contest, and for some reason we can‘t bring enough pressure to bear on a multinational that makes billions of dollars by the day to start writing some real checks to give this country some restitution.
Something is terribly wrong with this system.
And, of course, one of the worst (ph) things I can personally do is go out to all these different towns all over America and listen to the Americans talk. I have an advantage that maybe some other folks don‘t at this time, on a book tour.
This country is pissed off. This country is nervous about what‘s going down in the Gulf. They‘re nervous about the wars. They‘re nervous about the economy. And in the meantime, it‘s almost like our government is stagnant when it comes to responding to the people.
No more words, no more trips to the Gulf. We have got to see the checks starting to get deposited into the bank accounts of those people who are losing their livelihoods. Until we do that, attitudes aren‘t going to change. Full restitution is what this is all about.
Now, next week on Capitol Hill, when the oil boys come up and they get a chance to speak to the country and speak to our elected officials, we‘re going to see a lot of elected officials do their pontificating. They‘re going to do their grandstanding. And then there‘s going to be a bunch of excuses from the oil people.
And then everybody‘s going to go home. And nobody‘s going to put a deadline on what day these—and I‘m not talking about $5,000 or $100,000. I‘m talking about, I want to see BP, within weeks, write a $10 billion check and make it right for America now.
They have the resources, but they don‘t have the heart, the desire, the intestinal fortitude to step up. They get writers cramp when it comes time to do it. And I‘ll tell you what, all politicians will pay a price for this if this continues on.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you believe about all of this tonight.
And the question is: Do you believe this country is in crisis? Do you believe this country, the United States of America, is in crisis? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Leadership means never having to ask who‘s in charge. And that has been the problem with the oil disaster from the start.
In a hearing on the Hill yesterday, there was a very damning moment when Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana, offered this frank assessment of the crisis management in the Gulf --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLY NUNGESSER, PRESIDENT, PLAQUEMINES PARISH. LOUISIANA: I still don‘t know who‘s in charge. Is it BP? Is it the Coast Guard?
When I get mad enough in a meeting, the Coast Guard, in our office, stands up and says, “I can make that happen.” When I throw a BP official out of my office, he comes back the next day and approves something. I have spent more time fighting the officials of BP and the Coast Guard than fighting the oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, who is now on board with some other critics thinking that BP should be in receivership.
Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.
What should the president do? What should our elected officials do?
Are we just going to continue to count the days as it goes on?
What do you think, Reverend?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Well, we are prisoners now to corporate exploitation, whether it‘s the banks on Wall Street that violated people and got bailed out, or whether what happened in West Virginia when the laws were not enforced. Now we are in the Gulf.
I say receivership, because it gives us the power to at least have the information flow. What we thought was the 5,000 barrels, Ed, is now 50,000 barrels.
SCHULTZ: They don‘t know.
JACKSON: Yes. And so, when the president says, “I‘m responsible,” he is responsible, but he‘s not—it‘s not his fault.
But with the responsibility goes the power to make decisions. So, without knowledge of the flow of oil and the barrels of oil, he cannot exercise his power.
I would urge him not to just make trips to the coast and be with the people, but, also, receivership means changing the very status of BP. They cannot be trusted. We must fight them and they must not be trusted. We cannot regain people‘s trust unless we, in fact, take over.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, it‘s all about the money. This is the only thing that is going to make it right for people who have got boat payments, car payments, house payments, grocery bills, insurance payments, kids‘ soccer shoes, you name it, kitchen-table issues. It‘s about the money.
What can we do as a country to force BP to start writing some real checks?
JACKSON: And they cannot get their claims. I mean, the same people who are watching BP do advertising campaigns to fortify their image, themselves, cannot make payments. Some of them cannot make (ph) payments from the crisis more than they borrowed during Katrina. And they‘ve been doubling it, Katrina, now with the Gulf Coast.
I say if we engage in a receivership, take over BP, even if it‘s temporary—and with that much come the checks to make people whole. People must be made whole who have been victimized by this.
I might add, (INAUDIBLE). It‘s BP in Texas City, where 15 people were killed (INAUDIBLE). And the fine was of such until it was like the cost of doing business.
The fine did not deter their behavior. (INAUDIBLE) mission, they‘re dropping benzene and mercury and ammonia in Lake Michigan, close to our drinking water.
JACKSON: And they‘ll pay fines, but not enough fines to have an impact.
So, I say a boycott is an expression of frustration, but the president has the power to put this company in receivership, and do it now. And with that, he‘ll have the power to make decisions with the information.
Right now he cannot make a decision. He does not have good information.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s what I think a lot of folks—well, I know they‘ve told me this on the road here the last couple of weeks. They want to know how the money can flow to Wall Street at the drop of a hat. Why don‘t we right government checks to make our own people whole and then send the bill to BP later on and deal with it later?
We‘re dealing with an immediate problem. We‘re dealing with day-to-day operations. We‘re dealing with Americans who are on the verge of being out of their homes. So, why can‘t we just do what we have to do, and then tell BP, we‘ll collect from you a little bit later because you‘re a little too slow right now?
Are we afraid to do that, Reverend? What do you think?
JACKSON: Well, we must. It‘s going (ph) to accumulate when you bail out Wall Street with linkage to lending in reinvestment (ph).
So, Wall Street, the deck of the ship is celebrating while water‘s coming into the hull of the ship and people are sinking. And then we put another $60 billion in Afghanistan, and yet can‘t quite figure out how to get (ph) to the Gulf.
People will start putting two and two together, and it begins to have unintended consequences. That‘s why—
SCHULTZ: Reverend, you know as well as I do that this is going to really politically hurt the president in the long run. Is it not?
JACKSON: Well, it will unless he moves quickly and—you know, as you give a State of the Union Address—I have seen (INAUDIBLE) about matter less urgent than this. I mean, it‘s time to convene Congress to rally.
When 9/11 hit, we didn‘t just finger-point. It was unpatriotic. We had to rally because it was national security at stake.
This is a time to rally, not to finger-point. He‘s doing his best, but best is not enough when they use his power to convene the Congress and the oil industry. We must make some decision. And I would say make a case for receivership, because without that, you won‘t have enough information or which to make a good decision.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Reverend Jesse Jackson, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight.
President of the Rainbow Coalition. Appreciate your time on THE ED
JACKSON: Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Coming up, the South Carolina mystery man was revealed to the world last night on this network. All I have to say is, wow. I want to know how this guy won the Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina.
And Harry Reid‘s competition got “Bubba‘d” last night big-time. Bill Clinton ripped into “Psycho Talker” Sharon Angle while he was in Sin City.
I‘ll have “Rapid Fire Response” to that tonight.
All that, plus “Rotten Rudy,” well, he just won‘t give it up.
And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead headlines “Club Ed” tonight.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
South Carolina just doesn‘t disappoint us at all, do they? We‘re finding out more about the mystery man who is set to take on Senator “Waterloo” Jim DeMint in South Carolina this coming November.
Alvin Greene came out of nowhere to win the Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina has called for an investigation, saying that there were some shenanigans going on here in the primary. And after hearing some of the interviews this guy‘s been doing, the congressman may be on to something.
Here‘s Greene trying to explain how he got all those folks down there in South Carolina to vote for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALVIN GREENE (D), SOUTH CAROLINA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Just simple old-fashioned campaigning. You know, nothing fancy or expensive, just—
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is old-fashioned campaigning? Did you go door to door? Did you get in the car and drive around the state?
GREENE: Yes. I campaigned all across the state. You know, I had my family and friends help me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me some of the towns that you visited, some of the people that you met with?
GREENE: I‘ll just say that I traveled all across the state, you know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: For more, Joan Walsh—you‘ve got help us out on this one tonight—editor-in-chief of Salon.com.
You know, I don‘t want to pick on anybody, but certainly this gentleman is not a polished presenter. He comes out of nowhere. And if it is genuine, with no shenanigans, this is going to go down in history as one of the most unusual stories to unfold in American politics.
Or am I overstating it? Joan, what do you think?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM: No, I don‘t think you‘re overstating it. I‘ve spent all day trying to figure out where this guy came from.
You know, I think our colleague Keith Olbermann deserves hazard pay for that interview. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I‘ve ever seen.
But, you know, it‘s funny, and we‘re all paying attention to the craziness of it. But I really do have to ask, you know, voter turnout was about 40 percent to 50 percent higher than projected in South Carolina that night, Ed. So that‘s really weird.
One thing I‘d love to dispel right here is that a lot of people have said, well, African-Americans may have voted for him because his name, Greene, is spelled with an “E,” which is traditionally more of a black surname. That‘s crazy, because, first of all, lots of white Democrats won in South Carolina that night. Black people to not vote as a monolithic bloc in Democratic primaries.
And second of all, the guy did not—is there a single, you know, actually verified example of his campaigning anywhere in the state? No one knew he was black, white or anything. No one knew he existed, you know, pretty much until he won. It‘s weird.
SCHULTZ: It really is.
Here‘s Keith Olbermann on “COUNTDOWN” last night with the candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, “COUNTDOWN”: Congressman Clyburn suggested that you were planted in this campaign, possibly by Republicans.
Why should we believe he‘s not telling the truth and you are?
GREENE: Like I said before, I‘ve always been a Democrat, and I still will be a Democrat in the future and support Democrats.
OLBERMANN: The state chairman of the Democratic Party has asked you to withdraw from the Senate race. Will you withdraw?
GREENE: No. No, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, I think a lot of reporting has to be done on this, and we‘re just starting to get into this story. Is there a chance that this guy is a Republican plant, that he was paid for and propped up by Republican operatives in the state of South Carolina to give Jim DeMint, who has gone after President Obama, famous for the “Waterloo” comment, famous for the comment, “If we can break him”? There‘s a lot here to run against Jim DeMint.
Is this a setup, in your opinion?
WALSH: You know, I don‘t know if it‘s a setup. I‘m just not going to go out on that kind of limb without real evidence, Ed.
I do know that the South Carolina Republican Party is really one of the dirtiest in the country. I mean, go back to the 2000 election where they smeared John McCain, a Republican.
The Bush campaign smeared John McCain with rumors that he fathered an illegitimate black child that was really his adopted Bangladeshi daughter. So, they‘re capable of virtually anything. But I don‘t have any proof that they did this.
But I think we really have to look into not only who put him up—he paid a $10,000 filing fee and he‘s unemployed. That‘s one really shady or questionable thing.
The other questionable thing, 538.com, my friends, they have a great post up today showing that this guy actually did better in white—in more white districts than black districts. So, again, the racial explanation makes no sense.
So I think there‘s got to be a bunch of digging. I have no evidence and I‘m not going to say something that I can‘t prove, but this is fishy.
SCHULTZ: OK. It‘s fishy.
Now, with Jim Clyburn saying he wants an investigation—and we all know that it‘s an open primary system in South Carolina, meaning that Republicans can go stuff the ballot box as well—how would they go about investigating this, in your opinion? What would be the best way to do this?
WALSH: Well, I know that, you know, that South Carolina Democrats are concerned about this kind of strange turnout in white and, I think, sort of Republican districts. So it‘s—that would be a place to start. And I know that‘s where they‘re starting to look at this.
Because, you know, again, it‘s not just the money putting him up. It‘s what did they do, if they did anything? But what did they do to influence this crazy turnout in white districts, as well as just an unprecedented—you know, you have unprecedented turnout. We had it during the Obama election, even the Obama/Hillary clash. You know, lots of excitement.
This is a campaign where nobody knew this guy was running. So there‘s no excitement to explain a crazy disproportionate turnout. So, I‘ve got to say, I hope Democrats really look into this, because it looks dirty.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, Salon.com.
Thanks so much.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, I‘m broadcasting from Michele Bachmann‘s back yard tonight, the state of Minnesota. She says this is a tough neighborhood? I just can‘t resist. I‘m throwing her in the “Zone” next on THE ED SHOW.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, I‘m broadcasting from Minnesota, so it‘s only appropriate to send the state‘s biggest “Psycho Talker,” Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, right into the “Zone.”
Now, in a recent radio interview, the congresswoman was just absolutely begging for campaign contributions by saying that she was Nancy Pelosi‘s number-one target. Then she veered right off into the psycho territory.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: This would be a very expensive race, very hard-fought. It‘s already very hard-fought in my district. And I come from a very difficult territory.
I‘m from Al Franken territory in Minnesota, where we have produced Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and now Al Franken. And so I come from a very tough neighborhood. Israel knows all about tough neighborhoods. I come from a very tough neighborhood.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, in Bachmann‘s delusional world, Minnesota equals Gaza?
Congresswoman, I‘ve lived in this region for 30 years. I can‘t think of one person who would make that kind of comparison.
And, oh, by the way, you left out one other guy who might make this a tough neighborhood for nut jobs like you, and that would be me.
Comparing Minnesota politics to tensions in the Middle East, wow, that‘s “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, I‘m still riled up about this feud between the White House and labor. The president‘s got to fix this now. The AFL-CIO‘s deputy chief of staff will tell me what they need to hear in order to move on.
And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is shooting from both hips. I‘ll tell you what she‘s got so fired up about in a moment.
All that, plus I‘ve got a pledge to the 99ers in their need tonight.
And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead will rip into Carly Fiorina in “Club Ed.” You‘re going to want to see it.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And our battleground story tonight, it‘s a big one. The White House is trying to make nice with the unions after trashing them for backing Bill Halter in Arkansas against Senator Blanche Lincoln. I‘d like to see the president come out and address this directly, and put it behind him, because every worker in America is wondering what‘s all this mean? Thea Lee is the deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO. She joins us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.
Miss Lee, thank you for your time. I‘d like to hear—as I know you‘ve met with White House officials. Do you feel like this is behind you now? And that we‘re into new territory and this story‘s over? What do you think?
THEA LEE, AFL-CIO: We are certainly ready to put it behind us and move on, and focus on November, where we have a very challenging set of races coming up.
SCHULTZ: That all sounds nice early on here. But you just had the White House, a few days ago, rip into labor unions for spending millions of dollars trying to take out a Democrat that labor doesn‘t like. Now, how can this go away this fast?
LEE: Well, we had an unnamed official in the White House rip into us. I think somebody ought to put their name on it if they‘re going to say something that they‘re proud of. You know, nobody likes to be told how to spend their money, what to do. We had a very serious set of disagreements with Senator Blanche Lincoln. She has kicked us in the teeth time after time after time.
I don‘t think we‘re obligated to support one particular Democrat in a race. We don‘t do it very often, but this was one we thought was important and we took on a sitting incumbent and we came close.
SCHULTZ: Thea Lee, you made a very interesting point. You said it, that Blanche Lincoln has kicked labor in the teeth. Yet the White House was backing Blanche Lincoln rather strongly, I might add. Why is there a division here? Why doesn‘t the White House see it the way you do?
LEE: Well, I guess they put a lot of premium on incumbency, and we put a lot of premium on people voting right for working families on the issues that matter to us like jobs and labor law reform and fair trade and health care. And Blanche Lincoln simply didn‘t measure up on that front. It‘s the issues for us that are really important.
We don‘t care whether somebody‘s an incumbent or an old friend or anything else. We want members of congress to stand with working families on the issues that matter to us. That‘s the standard we‘re holding them to.
SCHULTZ: All right. Does this mean that labor is out of the Senate race in Arkansas? That Blanche Lincoln‘s going to have to fence for herself now?
LEE: You know, we haven‘t made a decision on that yet. That decision gets made in Arkansas by the Arkansas labor unions. And they‘re probably going to make that decision in August. So that‘s still an open question.
SCHULTZ: Why isn‘t labor demanding that President Obama get personally involved in this? And why isn‘t the labor demanding just who made this comment?
LEE: We would love to know who made that comment. And we would love to see President Obama come in and let us know that he understands that sometimes friends can disagree, and we disagreed on this particular election, but we‘re all working together. We‘re all on the same side right now. We all need to make sure that we get some really good candidates who win in November, and that we get some good actions on jobs between now and November, so that Democrats have something good to run on.
SCHULTZ: Do you think President Obama can win re-election without the help of organized labor?
LEE: Probably not. But I think—you know, we all—we share the same goals. We want this country to be strong. We want to have a strong labor market. We want to rebuild the economy from where it is. We want to rebuild it on a stronger foundation, not the foundation of sand, as President Obama himself has said. We have a lot of same objectives. Sometimes we disagree about how to get there, unfortunately.
SCHULTZ: All right. Thea Lee, AFL-CIO, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate your time.
LEE: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Chuck Rocha is union political consultant, and former political director for the United Steelworkers. He may see things in a more aggressive manner, at least that‘s what I believe I‘m going to hear in a moment, and you will, too. Chuck, look, there obviously is some pretty rough waters here between labor and the White House. Does this bring labor to a point of decision as to how to handle supporting President Obama? What do you think?
CHUCK ROCHA, UNION POLITICAL CONSULTANT: You know, in the last election cycle, union leaders and union people all over the country were very pivotal in his election. They were more than pivotal in his election. They were important in all the elections for the Senate and the House. Workers right now—I heard it all over Arkansas, knocking on doors, talking to regular people, that they‘re concerned about their jobs. They‘re concerned about this oil spill. They‘re concerned about having somebody in Congress and in the Senate that‘s going to represent them.
I think it was terrible what was said by this unnamed source at the White House. I think the White House is nervous about it, because without organized labor you can‘t win elections in this country. Without the workers of this country, you can‘t get that accomplished.
SCHULTZ: Do you think union leaders in this country should demand who said that? And maybe even ask for their job? I mean, the fact—we‘re talking about whether the conservatives have the White House or the progressives have the White House. Have you guys not been engaged, Barack Obama wouldn‘t be there. And this is the kind of treatment you get? Then they try to drive a stake between management and workers, saying that, hey, management went out and spent 10 million dollars of the workers‘ hard-earned money on a race that was not important? I mean, how do you view that? There‘s got to be rough water here.
ROCHA: Exactly. Look, at the end of the day, the money that was spent in Arkansas was spent to protect workers‘ jobs. Come November, you‘re going to need the American worker out there knocking on the doors of regular citizens, telling them about the importance of this election.
Everywhere I heard—everywhere I went all over Arkansas, all over this
country, you hear about three issues and three issues: jobs, jobs, and jobs
SCHULTZ: Does the White House have to come forward with a name, Chuck? Does the white house have to come forward with a name?
ROCHA: I think they do. I think that this president has a good relationship with labor. He may not control 300 staffers that he has in the White House. It‘s time that we get a name, so we can move forward because we have some very important elections to deal with this November. The working people will be the backbone of the results of this thing.
They‘re the ones who felt the brunt of the downturn of this economy.
SCHULTZ: Amen to that. Chuck, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much. Appreciate your time.
ROCHA: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: The plight of the middle class and American workers is really the backbone of what I write about in my new book, “Killer Politics:
How Big Money and Bad Politics Are Destroying the Great American Middle Class.”
Folks, for the last couple weeks, I‘ve been traveling the countryside hosting my American Workers Town hall and Radio Book Tour signing event. Last night, I was in Portland for a great town hall meeting. It was a packed house at the Baghdad Theater. And there is an undercurrent amongst progressives that this White House could be delivering more, and standing up for more American workers, and investing more in American workers.
We did a lot of investment on Wall Street, and I think that the progressives that I‘m meeting across the country definitely want to see an investment in American workers. Write the check. Get it done. It‘s access to capital. It‘s help for small businesses. And it just can‘t be a one-day story. It has to be a theme of this White House, if we‘re going to get it done and turn this economy around.
I can tell you, the folks at the Baghdad last night in Portland, they‘re not totally convinced it‘s happening.
I‘ll wrap up the tour in Denver next Thursday, and then it‘s back to New York City for a town hall on the 22nd of June. For more information, go to Ed.MSNBC.com or go to my radio website at WeGotEd.com.
SCHULTZ: Now let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. I love this one. Bill Clinton stumped for Harry Reid in Nevada last night and went off on Reid‘s Tea Party challenger, Sharron Angle.
Rudy Giuliani was in New Hampshire slamming President Obama and refusing to rule out a 2012 presidential run. I say, run, Rudy, run.
And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won‘t stop blaming George W. Bush for the mess he left this country. And took a shot at the White House for not pointing the finger more at the Republicans.
With us tonight, Stephanie Miller, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and Heidi Harris, radio talk show host on AM 720 KDWN in Las Vegas. Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Stephanie, let‘s start it out, if we can tonight, with our old buddy Bill Clinton. What—is he a player, a major player now? He goes down and rips into the unions in Arkansas and then goes out to Nevada and says, hey, you have to vote for our buddy, Harry. What do you make of that?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the big dog still hunts in Arkansas. I‘m like you. As I was reading in my copy of “Killer Politics” this week, I‘m not happy about the union thing. I don‘t think this is a good family feud, Ed. I mean, Nevada is a no brainer. I mean, Sharron Angle scrubbed her website today. Forget all my crazy positions. Just give money to get rid of Harry Reid. That‘s what she‘s running on, seriously.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s what Bill Clinton had to say about Sharron Angle.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know that the senator‘s Tea Party opponent is going to say that was a terrible thing. They‘re talking about these big spending Democrats. They think you folks have amnesia.
When my daughter was a little girl, we started playing that great game, Where is Waldo? The kids here won‘t know—the older people remember. There was this great game you play with your kids, right? Where‘s Waldo? Now you have to start playing the where‘s Sharron game? Because she‘s hiding out, according to the local news. And they—and I might hide out, too, if I said I wanted to get rid of Social Security and Medicare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris, you should know better than anybody on the airwaves in Nevada, does Sharron Angle have a good, legitimate chance at beating Harry Reid?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You know, I think she does. I‘m going to have to agree with Stephanie on this. Her website—I talked about it—about half my show was devoted to that. I think Sharron Angle‘s campaign has gotten off to a terrible start. I think that Harry Reid started the attacks on her on Wednesday. She‘s not respond to any of them.
She was on my show Thursday. So it‘s not like she‘s vanished from the public view. Her website should be more complete. It should have issues and contact information and all kinds of things it does not have. And you know what, this is not the city council. This is the big leagues. They‘re going to have to step it up quickly. Harry will not stop attacking her. She‘s got to meet him toe for toe and blow for blow.
SCHULTZ: Heidi, as a radio talker, can you clarify her position?
Does she really want to get rid of Social Security completely?
HARRIS: Not to my knowledge. I asked her about that the other day. Here‘s a shocker, Ed, she tap danced a little bit, like most politicians do on these kinds of things. So she doesn‘t have the stuff clarified on her website, like she needs to. I had a lot of callers today who said, well, Sharron wants to get rid of Social Security. Here again, a couple days have gone by, she‘s been accused of that and she has not come out swinging. You have to answer every single charge against you every single day.
And this—a lot of people called and said, Sharron‘s good at running at the last minute in these campaigns. That‘s when she hits her stride. You can‘t wait that long. You know how it is. Every attack has to be answered, especially with Harry Reid. He has the machine in place that can take her out if she doesn‘t get serious very quickly.
MILLER: Ed, she‘s got Scott Brown‘s consultant now. She‘s going to have a pickup truck full of crazy positions now. Everything should be better.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s talk about Rudy Giuliani. He‘s ripping on the president. He‘s talking about jumping into the race in 2012. He was talking about his response to the Gulf disaster. He says, quote, “it‘s been a terrible display of somebody‘s lack of executive experience, never having been in charge and not appearing to have the instincts for it.”
Stephanie, what do you make of this?
MILLER: Oh, boy. You know, if only we could get Rudy in the race, the presidential race again, with his really spectacular Florida strategy that went so well, his executive decisions. I mean, you know, Ed, where do you start? The decision to put the command center in the World Trade Center, the decision to not have police and fire radios hook up? I mean, he really has his nerve. He literally defended Bush‘s Katrina response in relation to this. Give me a break.
SCHULTZ: What about that, Heidi? Is Rudy Giuliani a pipe dream? Or could he be a legitimate candidate?
HARRIS: You know, one of the thing all three of us talkers know is that politicians are lacking in what the military guys call SA, situational awareness. They really don‘t have it. Most of them have no idea how unpopular they really are. Rudy has done some great things, some great things in New York. His campaign was a disaster, as we all know. I don‘t know what he‘s doing. But his essay, I guess, is off a little bit. No surprise there.
SCHULTZ: Quick comment, Heidi, on Nancy Pelosi blaming the Bush administration?
HARRIS: Sure, why not? Drag it out for as long as you possibly can. You have to blame somebody else. It‘s obviously Bush‘s fault about BP, and it‘s Bush‘s fault about jobs, and it‘s bush‘s fault about everything. Why not?
SCHULTZ: Stephanie, you have the parting shot.
MILLER: She couldn‘t say it better. I couldn‘t say it better myself.
Thank you, Heidi. World War II‘s over. We haven‘t stopped blaming Hitler.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, Stephanie Miller, Heidi Harris.
Coming up, I have a special pledge to make to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and are on the brinks of losing unemployment benefits. That‘s next in my playbook, the 99ers. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In my playbook tonight, in my cross country tour this week it‘s become evident that people are not as sure of President Obama as they used to be. Progressives think the president has fallen short of the expectation that he would end the Bush/Cheney doctrine of war. Last night, it became clear to me just how disappointed people are with where we stand with Iraq and Afghanistan. I expressed my dissatisfaction with what‘s going on over there, and that was met with a standing ovation. People expected—I expected President Obama to do more to bring our troops home.
We still support him, but the issue is a sleeping giant that could keep Democrats apathetic and at home this fall. For more on this, let‘s bring in Jon Soltz, Iraq war veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org. Jon, good to have you on tonight.
Politically, is this just a lingering sore for the White House, because there was such expectations that we would be scaling down? It seems like we‘re scaling up. What do you think?
JON SOLTZ, VOTEVETS.ORG: Well, Iraq we‘re scaling down, but that‘s mostly because of the SOFA agreement that was already in place by July of next year. So I think with Iraq, you know, the president, he‘s safe politically. I think with the Afghanistan situation, though, he adopted this COIN strategy. You hear us talk about a counter insurgency operations, which is really, essentially, what the Bush policy in Iraq with the surge, which is massive amounts of troops providing security for the population.
He‘s not paying, I think, the price for it in this very second. But I think in the long haul, it‘s going to be a real big problem for him. He has really adjusted fire. They put more troops in there, and really relying on the Afghan government, in their infancy process, the work that can‘t work. I think it‘s going to eventually be a big problem for him politically.
SCHULTZ: It wasn‘t about a year ago we kept hearing all this conversation about General McChrystal and what his plan was and how this was going to work and how they had a blueprint for making things better. Take us from there to where we are right now. Where does VoteVets.org stand on this?
SOLTZ: Well, VoteVets, actually, although we come on this network very often and support the president‘s policies in Iraq, did not endorse the president‘s policy in Afghanistan, because our members, 100,000 plus members, did not support this counterinsurgency strategy. We don‘t feel counter-insurgency strategy is a viable option for the United States, because the amount of troops that it takes—if you watched your show this evening, you hear about the economic problems in this country and the amount of, you know, debt we have across the board.
You‘re talking about billions and billions of dollars into these wars for basically chasing ghosts around countries. What counter-insurgency does it takes massive amounts of troops to block and secure population centers. That‘s what General McChrystal has lobbied basically publicly the president for. That‘s not a viable strategy, we feel. We want a very trim-down mission, something that focuses on al Qaeda, but not just in Afghanistan, globally.
That‘s just not going to happen. We don‘t have the time or the money or the manpower of our Army to basically do this in the timetable the president laid out at West Point. So it‘s a concern for us and our organization.
SCHULTZ: Jon Soltz, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. Jon Soltz, VoteVets.org.
Some final pages in our playbook tonight. As I have traveled from coast to coast over the last two weeks, I‘ve met dozens of people who have lost or are about to lose their unemployment benefits. These Americans refer to themselves as 99ers. Their story was told on the Hill yesterday. I applaud Congressman McDermott of Washington for holding this hearing.
The rest of Congress needs to get off their back sides and help these people before more fall through the cracks, lose their homes. They‘ve already lost their insurance. They can‘t get back into the economy. There‘s a lot of age discrimination that‘s taking place in America that nobody‘s talking about.
I want you to know I‘m going to stay on this story. I will not let this story go. There are too many people hurting. We are in unusual economic times and we have got to help the 99ers.
In my final page of the playbook tonight, the White House is responding to a viral video that got people wondering if back in the day the president was an extra in a rap video, “Woop There It Is.” A spokesman says it‘s not the president, but we‘ll let you decide for yourself. Take a look.
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SCHULTZ: Now, that‘s probably not the president in the video. But when you put the pictures side by side they do kind of look alike. We‘ll trust the White House on this one, and assume that he wasn‘t having that much fun in the summer of 1993.
Coming up, it must be a full moon this week, because Snooki‘s talking politics and Carly Fiorina‘s talking about hair styles. “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead has a lot of material in Club Ed.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back. If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show.” Lizz—
LIZZ WINSTEAD, CO-CREATOR, “DAILY SHOW”: Ed.
SCHULTZ: All right, Carly Fiorina is ripping on Barbara Boxer‘s do.
What‘s happening on this deal?
WINSTEAD: You know, it‘s so embarrassing to watch—I mean, the good news is there‘s, you know, more women than ever that are vying for these jobs. The bad news is the Republican ones are acting like they are the women that didn‘t get the rose on “The Bachelor.” You know, it‘s just this horrible, catty—they act like they‘re heffers.
I can‘t imagine anyone who is from the political ilk that I sort of follow, whether it‘s Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer, herself, making that catty statement. What she said was so awful when she said, oh my god, her hair is so yesterday. It‘s like, hey, Carly, those HP profits, they‘re so yesterday. I mean, I can‘t believe she got the nomination. She destroyed Hewlett Packard so bad, they should have changed the name to Hewlett-Pakistan.
SCHULTZ: Lizz, what do you make of the Republican women now all of a sudden in spotlight?
WINSTEAD: I think it‘s crazy. Meg Whitman, 40 percent of the jobs for eBay she sent overseas. It‘s sort of befitting, because she comes from eBay, which means her lifestyle and her job have dovetailed nicely, because she‘s basically working on two things that are basically trying to sell crap that Americans don‘t want anymore.
SCHULTZ: And John McCain sticking up for Snooki on the tanning bed thing, the tanning tax. What do you make of it?
WINSTEAD: John McCain, just when you thought he couldn‘t find a less interesting woman to spend time with, he finds Snooki on Twitter. Good job. Good job, McCain. Who‘s next for you? You know? Are you going to find Britney? Going to find Lindsay Lohan?
Yeah, it‘s really embarrassing. If you‘re Twittering Snooki, there‘s just problems even if you live in Jersey on the shore. When you‘re John McCain, please.
SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure. Always a fun way to end the week. You can catch Lizz at the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont, on June 19th. Always the best, my friend. Thanks so much.
Tonight in our text survey, I asked do you believe this country is in crisis? We had some reservation about asking that question tonight. Ninety three percent of you said yes; seven percent of you say no. Most of the people that watch this program think that this country is in crisis. I agree.
Folks, I‘ve been on my book tour the last couple weeks. It‘s been a lot of fun. It continues next Thursday in Denver, Colorado. Go to my website at WeGotEd.com and find out about the details. On the 22nd we‘ll have a town hall in New York City.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. HARDBALL with Chris Matthews starts right now. We‘ll see you back here Monday night. Have a great weekend. See you on THE ED SHOW Monday, right here on MSNBC.
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