Guests: Charlie Melancon, Mike Frenette, Bob King, Byron Dorgan, John Feehery, Joe Madison, Andrew Romanoff, Brent Coon
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW, live from Denver, Colorado, tonight.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
BP‘s CEO, Tony Hayward, went to Capitol Hill today to get fried for his company‘s negligence. But some Republicans are actually apologizing to him?
My commentary on that is coming up.
After the Sestak/Lincoln victories, it‘s incumbents, 1, insurgents, 1. But Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff could give progressives another big victory here in Colorado.
He‘ll join me in the “Playbook” tonight.
And after mocking the president‘s 11-year-old daughter, now “The Drugster” is going after kids who get free lunch at school. Well, that puts him back in the “Zone.” That‘s coming up tonight here on THE ED SHOW.
But this is the story that has me fired up at this hour.
BP‘s CEO, Tony Hayward, finally faced the music on Capitol Hill today.
Lawmakers took it to him big-time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: BP executives created an atmosphere where safety concerns were ignored.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: Why were the safety recommendations of your own engineers ignored?
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP: I wasn‘t involved in any of the decision-making. It‘s clear that there was some discussion amongst the engineering team, and an engineering judgment was taken.
WAXMAN: It‘s clear to me that you don‘t want to answer our questions.
HAYWARD: I‘m not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until such time as the investigation is concluded.
WAXMAN: Well, this is an investigation. That‘s what this committee is doing. It‘s an investigatory committee.
REP. JOHN DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN: How much money did avoiding this procedure save?
HAYWARD: I‘m afraid I can‘t recall.
DINGELL: Would you submit for the record, please?
How long would the fully circulating of the mud have taken?
HAYWARD: I‘m afraid I can‘t recall that either.
DINGELL: Would you submit that for the record, please?
REP. PHIL GINGREY ®, GEORGIA: Your testimony has been way too evasive.
REP. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Your testimony continues to be at odds against all independent scientists.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The double speak is rather tiresome.
REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN: Mr. Hayward, I‘m sure you will get your life back, and with a golden parachute back to England. But we in America are left with the terrible consequences of BP‘s reckless disregard for safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Hayward sat there and took a beating for hours, and did his best to point fingers at other companies and paint himself as a victim.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYWARD: The explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon, and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, never should have happened. And I‘m deeply sorry that it did. When I learned that 11 men had lost their lives, I was personally devastated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you, this guy just can‘t help himself. Nobody gives a damn if his life has been devastated. The only people who have sympathy for CEOs of giant multinational oil companies are their buddies in the Republican Party.
Listen to Texas Congressman “Smokey Joe” Barton today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOE BARTON ®, TEXAS: I‘m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case, a $20 billion shakedown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Republicans think getting BP to pay for the mess they created is a big government shakedown? I‘ll tell you, they just can‘t handle the fact that President Obama forced BP to pony up $20 billion, and they‘re left like road kill in the process.
Barton offered this lame apology late today --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTON: And if anything I‘ve said this morning has been misconstrued in an opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: If Barton was really sincere, he would have never made his dumb comment in the first place.
Barton isn‘t the only Republican carrying water for BP. Here‘s “Psycho Talker” Michele Bachmann from Minnesota.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: We don‘t want these payouts to become political. And we don‘t think it‘s a good idea for the federal government to see private industry as essentially a piggybank for the federal government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bachmann and other Republicans ran around this country for the last two years scaring people about a government takeover. Now it sure seems like they would rather have the American taxpayer pick up the tab for a multinational.
It doesn‘t matter what the president does. The Republicans are on a mission to demonize absolutely every move he makes.
Here is the so-called “America‘s Mayor,” Rudy Giuliani, on MSNBC this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI ®, FMR. NEW YORK MAYOR: Two days ago, I had dinner Houston with several people who were top people in the industry. Never reached out. Never asked, gee, has Shell done this before, has Exxon done this before?
If your father or mother was sick, you would go get a second opinion from an expert doctor, not from an academician, which is what he did. He hasn‘t talked to the industry experts. He hasn‘t brought them in. He hasn‘t gotten the best people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Mayor, have you spoken to industry experts who know how to stop the oil?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: If Rudy is a real American, he should just pick up the phone, call the president of the United States, and give him the names of the experts that he‘s speaking to. The president and his administration have been talking with oil company experts, and none of them have been able to solve this problem.
America, don‘t listen to Rudy Giuliani. He has no credibility and he has no idea what the hell is he talking about. And notice how he didn‘t have any names.
Giuliani, Bachmann and Barton need to stop politicizing every move the president makes in this crisis and quit just being fake patriots. You can‘t wrap yourself in the flag and cling to your Constitution when you care more about foreign companies‘ oil profits than you do about fixing the spill and helping Americans in desperate need.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Who do you believe Republicans care more about, big oil companies or the people in the Gulf? Press the number 1 for big oil. Press the number 2 for people in the Gulf.
I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Louisiana Congressman Charlie Melancon questioned Tony Hayward today, and he now joins me from Washington tonight here on THE ED SHOW.
Congressman, good to have you with us.
How did it go today? What was accomplished and what did you think of Tony Hayward‘s answers?
REP. CHARLIE MELANCON (D), LOUISIANA: Well, I could probably catalogue it all on one page. It was kind of redundant, I guess, if you would, or repetitive. He didn‘t seem to have—even though he had a technical person, he never appeared to want to bring him to the table or ask his opinion so he could answer some of the questions that were asked of him.
I didn‘t feel we got—didn‘t feel like we got a whole lot of information out of him. But then, having been going through what we‘ve gone through for the last 59 days, I‘ve not been feeling really good about the way BP has handled anything. It‘s been frustrating.
SCHULTZ: What about the level of sincerity? Do you think that Tony Hayward really feels devastated? Do you really think he is sincerely sorry for what has happened? Because there have been some comments in the last 60 days that just don‘t match up.
MELANCON: Well, as you probably remember, I called for him to step down after he talked about the people in the Gulf Coast, and particularly in Louisiana at the time, about he wanted to get his life back. Well, we wanted the 11 people that lost their lives, those that were injured, and the other people that work off shore to make sure that they‘ve got safety.
Getting your life back is one thing, but we‘ve got people, the shrimpers, the oystermen, the store owners and marine owners, the ice house, you name it. They‘d like their life back. They‘d like the Gulf back. They‘d like the wetlands back.
They‘d like everything to be like it was before this explosion on this rig and after the careless operations that were performed by BP.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I think the word is “evasive.” Tony Hayward was evasive today. I think you‘ll agree to that.
MELANCON: You‘re being polite.
SCHULTZ: Being polite. OK.
Do you think that this motivates you and your colleagues in Congress to be even tougher on BP because they‘ve had somewhat of a callous attitude throughout all of this?
MELANCON: Well, we‘re going to continue to—of course, the thing that bothered me the most today was when Joe Barton did make the statement about apologizing to BP. Joe needs to come down to south Louisiana and visit with these people who are looking at their businesses empty when they‘re at the peak of their seasons, or the boats that are parked, or the oyster and shrimp houses that are shut down.
And then he can find out—I mean, if you do feel sorry for the big corporations, I can‘t help you. I concern myself with the people I represent, and how hard they work and how badly they‘re hurting right now. And the big thing is, is that they don‘t know what the future holds, how much longer this is going to go on, and when or if they‘re ever going to get their lives back.
SCHULTZ: Joe Barton, who has been on this program a few times, always seems to be somewhat of a reasonable guy. But he was way out of line today. And it looks like the Republicans had even found a pulse on this.
This is Congressman Jeff Miller saying that he should step down from his position. Here it is.
“I condemn Mr. Barton‘s statement,” Miller said. “Mr. Barton‘s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He should step down as ranking member of the committee.”
Congressman Melancon, do you agree with that? Do you think that Joe Barton should step down in the wake of this comment?
MELANCON: I wouldn‘t be opposed to it. It‘s within his caucus to make that decision, whether to take him down or to ask him to step down. But at the same time, I think a flippant attitude or a comment like that against good Americans that work hard for a living, that didn‘t want this to happen to them, that‘s totally disrespectful, yes.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for your work, and thanks for your up-front description of the way Tony Hayward was today.
Thank you so much.
MELANCON: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Captain Mike Frenette joins me now from New Orleans. He owns the Venice Charter Fishing in Venice, Louisiana.
A lot has unfolded, Captain Mike, over the last 48 hours. Do you feel any better about money coming your way in restitution, what has transpired with the president getting a $20 billion commitment out of BP?
MIKE FRENETTE, VENICE CHARTER FISHING CAPTAIN: You know, I really don‘t know how to answer that question right now. Because, do I feel comfortable? Not really.
I mean, at least we have some security. We have got a $20 billion, if you want to call it, escrow account that‘s going to put these moneys into it. And part of that is going to be paid to the cleanup and part of it to the people that have lost a lot of financial equity during this time period. It‘s hard to say.
You know, what we really need to do is, obviously, we‘ve got the $20 billion that‘s been put aside that BP up front has said that we‘re going to make everybody whole. That may be a part of the puzzle right there that may help us out in the future, but we really still need to see structured plans within the businesses and the entities that have been immediately impacted by this devastation, and we need to see where we‘re going to go forward.
OK. We‘ve got the moneys into the account. Now we need to figure out how we‘re going to distribute these funds.
SCHULTZ: What did you make of the comment from the chairman of BP who said that they care about the small people?
Are you one of those small people? And how is that received down in the Gulf?
FRENETTE: You know, we‘re definitely one of the small people. You know, what is really the small people? Let‘s take politics out of everything here.
The small people are really what drives the total economics of this country, everything. I mean, without the small businesses, you don‘t have the Marriotts, you don‘t have the Hiltons, you don‘t have the larger corporations.
The small people are what will really drives the United States. And, you know, again, we‘re talking about another bad choice of words that he repeatedly seems to use during his press conferences. And I really don‘t understand what his frame of thinking or his frame of mind comes to when he picks these verbiages to use when he‘s, you know, in front of the entire world.
SCHULTZ: Mike, back to the money for just one last question here tonight, do you have friends who are going under within the next maybe 30 or 60 days that have got car payments, boat payments, house payments, that live from paycheck to paycheck? I mean, do you have folks that are on the edge right now?
FRENETTE: There‘s thousands of people that are on the edge right now. You have total commercial fishermen, you have the charter boat, the guide industry. You have the infrastructures, the businesses, the marina operators, the restaurants that are in the immediate impacted area.
All these businesses have been shut down for two months with no income coming in. There is definitely a lot of people that are on the threshold of financial devastation.
We have a total environmental impact that‘s occurred. We now are going to see the results of what this impact has done financially to a lot of people across the board unless they get some financial restitution immediately.
It‘s past the point of a Band-Aid right now. We‘ve got mortgages, you‘ve got house payments, you‘ve got insurances. A lot of the these people are all independent businesspeople. They have to supply their own insurances—health insurance for their family, for their employees, for everything.
All this is going on the wayside right now. And it‘s not going to be long before you‘re going to start seeing what I would call an avalanche or just a waterfall effect where people are just going to start to crumble financially.
SCHULTZ: Captain Mike Frenette, I appreciate your honesty. I hope the White House is listening tonight, and the Congress. They need to move ASAP.
Thanks so much, Mike.
FRENETTE: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, my next guest is someone that the auto companies will not want to mess with. The UAW‘s new president is driving forward for his hard-working Americans. The boss makes a pit stop live from Detroit in just a moment.
All that, plus Richard Blumenthal‘s nose just grew longer and Alvin Greene thinks he should be the man of the year.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight, coming to you live from Denver, Colorado, where it‘s full speed ahead on my American Workers Tour across this country.
Over the past three weeks, I have met literally hundreds of people who are unemployed or about to lose their jobs. I‘ve met some desperate folks. They‘re called the 99ers, who are on the verge of losing benefits, their homes, everything they have. The stories are absolutely heartbreaking.
There‘s one guy in particular, though, that I just can‘t get out of my mind. And that‘s Glenn Stark (ph), who stood up at a town hall meeting in Madison. He‘s the president of the United Auto workers Union Local 72 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
He says his auto manufacturing job, along with 700 others, is about to get shipped overseas. Just gone.
After the incredible comeback our auto industry has made and the way sales have come back, it would be just unconscionable for us to allow this kind of thing to continue in this country. And as a nation, we need to set a new course to secure those jobs here in the United States, really, where they belong. If we‘re going to turn this economy around, that‘s what we‘ve got to do.
My next guest will have that right in his sights as he takes it up with a new direction. Bob King was just elected as the new president of the United Auto workers Union. He won by a huge margin, and his leadership will have a lot of bearing on the future of the industry.
He joins me now from outside the convention center in Detroit, Michigan.
Mr. King, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
What can you say to the American people about these workers who have been given a loan, here‘s the auto industry coming back, and now we are still faced with this monster known as outsourcing and moving jobs overseas?
What‘s the mission, Mr. King?
BOB KING, PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTO WORKERS: Well, you and I are in total agreement that manufacturing jobs should be kept here in the United States. We‘re saying to all the auto companies, if you sell it here, build it here. And we mean assembly. We mean engines. We mean transmissions. We mean stampings.
We‘re going to fight for jobs here in the USA for our membership.
They made tremendous sacrifices. They need to be rewarded with work.
SCHULTZ: You call it social justice roots. What do you mean by that?
KING: I mean it‘s a great tradition of the UAW that we fight for our membership. But also understand that to protect our membership, we have to fight for everybody in society.
Somebody has to be a voice for the people that aren‘t being treated fairly. And the UAW has a great history of fighting for social justice because we know when we lift the boats for other workers, we‘re lifting and protecting the boats for our membership.
SCHULTZ: What is happening in California? I understand that there were 4,700 workers who were let go, and that‘s your next battleground. Is that correct?
What are you going to do?
KING: Absolutely right. Toyota made the worst business decision, the worst moral decision.
They‘re abandoning—their highest market share of any state is in California. They owe it to California to keep those jobs there.
What business sense does it make to take Corollas that are now made in that plant, the tooling and equipment is there, and move them to Mississippi? Is it a run just to get lower wage wages and benefits? It‘s outrageous. It‘s wrong.
We‘re going to fight until that‘s turned around.
SCHULTZ: The last president of the United Auto Workers was somewhat of a low-key guy in the media. Are you going to raise the visibility of what workers are going through?
KING: You‘ve got to be who you are. He was a great president. He did a great job protecting our union and the industry. But I‘m by nature loud and noisy and want to fight.
SCHULTZ: Mr. King, good to have you with us tonight. Keep up the fight. It is going to be a tough one. This outsourcing is something this country is going to have to address if we‘re going to turn this whole thing around.
I appreciate your time. And we will definitely visit again.
KING: Great. Thank you for the opportunity.
Turning now—“The Drugster” doesn‘t miss too many meals, which explains why—you bet—which explains why he can‘t relate to hungry children in this country. His “Psycho Talk” about school lunches is enough to make you toss your cookies.
I‘ll serve him up in the “Zone” next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, “The Drugster” is back for a second night in a row. This time, he punched the ticket to the “Zone” by attacking children and families who rely on school lunch programs.
Limbaugh just showed how out of touch he is by lashing out at reports that millions of children could go hungry this summer without free school lunches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: They actually have it in their heads somehow that parents are so rotten, that they will let their kids go hungry and starve unless the schools take care of it. We‘re going to start a feature on this program, “Where to Find Food.”
For young demographics, the first will be try your house. It‘s a thing called the refrigerator. You probably already know about it. If that doesn‘t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald‘s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: If that wasn‘t enough to convince you that Limbaugh is completely ignorant about the serious problem of hunger in this country, “The Drugster” ramped it up another notch with an even more offensive suggestion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: If none of these options work to find food, there‘s always the neighborhood dumpster. Now, you might find competition with homeless people there, but there are videos that have been produced to show you how to healthfully dine and how to dumpster-dive and survive until school kicks back up in August.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, Limbaugh has always been very well fed, but that‘s no excuse for his deeply insensitive “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Republican Congressman Joe Barton made me sick today, and a lot of other folks. He actually apologized to Tony Hayward for having to cough up $20 billion. Then he made his own lame apology to the American people.
Senator Dorgan is not too pleased about all of it. He‘ll respond in just a moment.
And so much for the shy Alvin Greene. The South Carolina Senate nominee is telling his critics and competition to bring it on.
All that, plus Andrew Romanoff is in the house.
And the lawyer that sued BP years ago will tell us how he expects them to fleece America this time around.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. With The Battleground story tonight, it‘s all about the money. The escrow fund. The president took the heads of BP behind closed doors and got them to commit to pulling up $20 billion. Today, Republican Congressman Joe Barton apologized for the fund. Michele Bachmann thinks it‘s a shakedown of BP and a government piggy bank. I think it‘s all about trust. So it‘s a trust fund. Bottom line, I don‘t believe that this country whatsoever thinks that BP is going to close the deal once and forever when it comes to full restitution. Let‘s check and see what some of the senators have been talking about. Byron Dorgan just not long ago on this program had this to say about an escrow fund.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH DAKOTA: What I want to see is BP says we pledge, OK, let‘s sign on the line here, put $10 billion just as a starter in a recovery fund. Have a special master that handles that fund.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senator Dorgan, democrat from the North Dakota joins me now on the Ed show. Senator, good to have you with us. Your suggestion of $20 billion, obviously, the White House went along with it. Is this going to be enough, or is this just a start? And do you believe the president when he says it‘s not a cap?
DORGAN: Well, I don‘t think anybody knows how much this is going to cost but you know, I said $10 billion or more. I think it‘s fine. It‘s critical to have a recovery fund and a pledge is OK, but a pledge doesn‘t provide money. Make it binding. That‘s what happened here. And I tell you what, when I heard the response today by one of the congressmen apologizing to BP, I thought are you nuts? I mean, what are you thinking? And the list of things that are stupid, that‘s got to rank way up there. Of course, we should expect money to be put in their fund. A whole lot of folks out that are hurting and they‘re going to need to be helped and I don‘t think the American taxpayer ought to be the ones to foot the bill. It ought to be BP. That‘s what this is about.
SCHULTZ: This is Congressman Joe Barton talking about the fund as a shakedown. Here it is. I want your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOE L. BARTON ®, TEXAS: I‘m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Do you agree with that? I know you don‘t, senator, but what‘s your response to calling it a shakedown if this is the prevailing thought in the Republican Party?
DORGAN: That is absolutely unbelievable. I think a carpenter would call it a half a bubble off plumb. You know, it‘s just so way off the mark here. He ought to apologize for that remark to the American people. This is not a shakedown. This is asking those that caused a massive problem that most significant environmental problem we‘ve had in this country‘s history perhaps to foot the bill, pay up. That‘s what this is about. If he doesn‘t understand that, I‘ll tell you what, I‘m not sure what he does understand.
SCHULTZ: Well, this is Congressman Barton. He did apologize kind of.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTON: And if anything I‘ve said this morning has been misconstrued and an opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstrued, misconstruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, misconstrued. Look, it‘s either a shakedown or it isn‘t. What do you think Byron?
DORGAN: I don‘t think anybody misconstrued what he said at all. That‘s the problem. What he said was nutty. Everybody understood, how on earth can you talk that way? BP has a responsibility here. The president and others said to them, let‘s have a binding commitment, put some money in a fund. That wasn‘t a shakedown. It‘s exactly what our government should say to BP. The absence of that, I would say to the Congressman Barton and others, the absence of that would mean that the taxpayers are going to foot the bill. That‘s the last thing we want. The oil company ought to foot the bill here.
SCHULTZ: Senator, how do you feel about the president‘s performance in all of this? This is the most money that anybody‘s ever gotten out after Oil Company. Of course, it‘s the most dire circumstances but how did the president play this, in your opinion?
DORGAN: I thought he did fine. I thought he did a good job. And, you know, around here in this new climate, this political climate that‘s existed now for a while, nothing is good enough I guess for some. But look, we ought to say thanks. This president showing some leadership. He got this company to provide a binding commitment for some money. It‘s just the first—the president‘s right. There‘s not a cap here. This company is going to having to provide the money to meet the expenses. That‘s why I‘ve said there ought not to be dividends, I mean, providing dividends will dissipate the money that I think might be needed to clean up the problems here.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much, great suggestion. Great leadership by the White House to take you up on it. Thanks so much.
Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. Alvin Greene‘s political fate is being debated right now. South Carolina democrats are meeting to decide whether to overturn the results of his primary election win.
The democratic candidate for senate in Connecticut. Richard Blumenthal, we‘re going down this road again, gets caught exaggerating his military service one more time. While the republican senate candidate in Illinois has been telling voters he‘s a teacher by trade, but he spent almost no time in the classroom?
And congressional democrats are pushing back on the Pentagon for what critics say is an endless war in Afghanistan.
With us tonight on these subjects Joe Madison, XM Radio Talk Show Host and also John Feehery, Republican Strategist. Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight. Let‘s go to South Carolina politics first. Alvin Greene, Joe Madison, how much trouble is this guy for the Democratic Party and what is the best road, the best path forward with this guy?
JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I had Congressman Clyburn on for about five minutes because Alvin Greene refused to show up on my show after saying he would three times. So he‘s not a man of his word. Number one. There were more votes that he received as Clyburn said, in many precincts than were cast. You got a problem there. Somebody‘s hacking the system. Number two, the voting machines that were used were rejected by 49 states. And this governor in South Carolina, Sanford, has in fact, went ahead with these discredited voting machines. What you have in South Carolina is what I refer to on the air as an episode of “Sanford and Son.” I don‘t think the democrats are in trouble here. I think they‘re doing the right thing.
SCHULTZ: John Feehery, put your bipartisan hat on and give us a solution to all of this for the party in question.
JOHN FEEHERY, GOP STRATEGIST: Well, it doesn‘t really matter. Whoever is going to be the democratic nominee is going to lose to Jim DeMint anyway. I did think that this fiction that somehow republicans are to blame for the fact that the democrats can‘t vote in a decent nominee is astounding to me. This isn‘t the republicans‘ fault. This is the fault of the democrats. They voted for Alvin Greene because he was the first name on the ballot. They‘ve never heard of either guy. And they voted for Alvin Greene because he was first on the ballot. It‘s not the republicans fault. It‘s the democrats‘ fault.
MADISON: I would agree that will.
SCHULTZ: You agree, Joe?
MADISON: Yes, I would agree with that. Look, and Congressman Clyburn said, he never really blamed the republicans and neither have I. I just said what I said. When anytime a candidate gets more votes than were cast, you got a problem with the machines. And yes, there were some people because we have a lot of listeners from South Carolina as you do, Ed, who called in and said, yes, I voted for the first name on the ballot. And it‘s sad that people do this but this is why voter education is as equally important as voter participation.
FEEHERY: Joe, you didn‘t say anything but there are a lot of folks out there blaming republicans for some conspiracy. There‘s no conspiracy here. It‘s just incompetence on the democrats‘ part.
MADISON: I don‘t know if that‘s incompetence.
SCHULTZ: Well, John, you should throw out the fact that the guy did show up with $10,000 after being in financial trouble. All of a sudden, he just happened to get the money. But we‘ll let that sit.
MADISON: Ten thousand dollars cash and then went back and brought in a personal, $10,000 cash?
FEEHERY: The fact of the matter is DeMint‘s going to beat either one.
There wasn‘t a republican conspiracy. Come on guys.
MADISON: Well, no, again. How many times do I have to say, I agree with you? I don‘t know if it was or was not. But we don‘t have a legitimate candidate.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s move on to a couple of other candidates who seem to have a hard time with their past. Richard Blumenthal out of Connecticut is now having trouble with his military service again and another interview comment that he made. And also, Mark Kirk, this really surprises me. I mean, you know either a teacher or you‘re not. I mean, you know whether you were in the classroom or not.
“New York Times” writes that “Kirk has often reminisced about his time as a teacher but he does not talk about the brevity of his experience, a year in London at a private school or part-time at a nursery school as part of a work study while he was a student at Cornell. John Feehery, is this exaggerating a resume? What do you think?
FEEHERY: I don‘t, Ed. I actually, I spent some time in the classroom as a TA to a bunch of history students and I consider that teaching. I think the teaching is teacher. If you‘re in the classroom dealing with students, you‘re teaching. That‘s a year, a half year, whatever it is, you‘ve been teaching. You understand what teachers go through. Now, if you‘re Richard Blumenthal and you say that knowing darn well that you got in the reserves so you wouldn‘t serve in Vietnam, and you said I got in the reserves so I could go to Vietnam, that‘s a complete lie. And I think Blumenthal got caught in a lie.
SCHULTZ: Joe, what do you think?
MADISON: You just heard a contradiction. He was a TA, teacher‘s assistant.
FEEHERY: No, I was, I said I was.
MADISON: Oh, oh, a TA is a teacher‘s assistant, not a teacher.
FEEHERY: Right. But if you face the students in a classroom like I did. I considered myself someone who‘s taught kids.
SCHULTZ: John, come on now. You‘re stretching it here.
MADISON: I don‘t think that‘s resume. Feehery, you are stretching the resume big-time. It‘s padding.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, look, you‘re either a student pilot or you‘re not. You‘re either cleared for the visual or you‘re not. You either get to fly jets or you can‘t. The fact is, it sure seems to me that this guy fabricated his resume and he was never a teacher. And a teacher would be offended by saying that someone who‘s a teacher‘s assistant is certainly qualified to do the same classroom work.
FEEHERY: Mark Kirk has taught in the classroom. He did some teaching. I mean, that‘s a completely different thing. And I don‘t think they are all aligned.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s talk about...
MADISON: Well, next time, I‘m going to put on my resume teacher because I‘ve been in many classrooms so that qualifies me as a teacher.
FEEHERY: You should, good.
MADISON: No, I won‘t. It‘s called padding in the poker world.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, great to have you with us. We‘re on fire tonight. I appreciate your time. That‘s all we‘ve got time for tonight. I‘m glad both of you are after it. Thanks so much Joe. Thanks John.
Coming up, here in Colorado, progressives are rallying behind Andrew Romanoff. It‘s a hot primary, I‘m watching it closely. If he wins, he‘ll take out an incumbent democrat. Will they get a better progressive? We‘ll put that question to Romanoff, next in the playbook. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: It is 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, who do you believe republicans care about more, big oil companies or the people in the gulf? Press the number one for big oil.
Press the number two for people in the gulf. Again, the number to dial is
1-877-ed-msnbc. We‘re right back. [
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, there‘s a battle raging here in Colorado for the democratic nomination for senate. The Former Speaker of the Colorado State House Andrew Romanoff is up against incumbent Senator Michael Bennet. Who has the support of President Obama?
Andrew Romanoff joins me now here on the Ed Show tonight. Mr. Romanoff, you obviously are the darling of the progressive moment but your opponent, Senator Bennet, says that you‘re no more progressive or no more liberal than he is. How is this race going to shakedown and deciphers all of that for us?
ANDREW ROMANOFF, CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: Well, my opponent‘s judgment has been clouded, it sounds by all the corporate cash that he‘s taking. Look, I‘m more progressive on health care. I support a universal single pair plan. My opponent does not. I would have fought for a public option. My opponent did not. I would have fought for real financial reform on Wall Street. My opponent‘s become one of the top ten recipients of Wall Street cash in the country. And right now, he‘s running again, he‘s putting ads on TV bragging about standing up to big oil when just two days ago, he sided with big oil to preserve their tax breaks. The choice is clear and we‘re winning.
SCHULTZ: Now, you say you‘re for universal health care and you say your opponent was against the public option. He did vote for the health care bill. But didn‘t he write a letter asking others to support the public option once he got some pressure? What do you think of that?
ROMANOFF: I‘ll get letterhead when I‘m in the senate, too. But leadership is not about writing a letter. It‘s about actually standing up and taking on a fight, standing up to your corporate contributors. That would be easier for me because I don‘t have any. My opponent‘s taken money from the insurance industry and the drug companies. And when push came to shove and we had a chance to restore the public option during the reconciliation process as his letter said he would, he didn‘t, he didn‘t push, he didn‘t shove and we don‘t have a public option today.
SCHULTZ: Can you say tonight that you will not take money from big insurance and you will not take money from big oil and that you would be a grassroots candidate for the people and not one of corporate interests?
ROMANOFF: Yes, yes, and yes. The only candidate in this race who refuses to take a dime of corporate cash, one of the very few candidates in America whose campaign is funded by people, not by special interest groups.
SCHULTZ: Why are you challenging him? Has he been I guess a bad democrat? What is motivating you, and where is your support coming from in Colorado?
ROMANOFF: Our support‘s coming from all across the state. We won the state convention as you know by 21 points, Ed. We‘ve also got the best chance to hold this seat. Most of the polling including one taken just last week says, if I‘m the democratic nominee, I have the best chance to hold this seat for our party in November. The republican opponent beats my democratic challenger by six points. I‘m in a dead heat with her right now. I‘m running because I believe this is a time as you know when so many people are losing so much. It‘s not enough just to have adequate representation. To have senators who will go along and get along with their big corporate friends. We need people who are bringing to Washington the courage of our convictions and who will stand up for real progressive reform. That‘s what I did as the speaker of the house and what I‘ll do in the u.s. senate.
SCHULTZ: And finally, are you a vote that labor can count on? Can you on equivocally say that you would vote for the employee free choice act if it comes up?
ROMANOFF: I will vote to cut off the debate to bring that bill to the floor to hold employers accountable, to stiffen the penalties when they violate the right to organize to, offer binding arbitration rather than let negotiations drag on forever. I‘ve got a strong record on labor issues and I am a real friend of working families.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Mr. Romanoff. Good to have you with us tonight. And that primary is going to be here in Colorado on August 10th. Folks, I‘ve been out on the road on my book tour for the last few weeks. The book is called “Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics Are Destroying the Great American Middle Class.” I‘m hosting a radio town hall and book tour here in Denver tonight. For more information, you can head right to my website at wegoted.com.
And some final pages in The Playbook tonight, Alvin Greene, the unemployed, once unknown Democratic Senate Candidate from South Carolina, well, gaining confidence. In an interview with a magazine, he said that he is the best candidate for the senate and get this, he said that he should be time‘s man of the year? Well, I don‘t think that we‘re going to be seeing that one on the news stands anytime soon.
Rod Blagojevich corruption trial continues in Chicago. More video, wire tape should I say, phone conversations are coming out. One of them from two years ago got my attention. Blago was asked, asking his brother about a $60,000 donation from a man when the conversation turned to the hair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB BLAGOJEVICH, ROD BLAGOJEVICH‘S BROTHER: I‘ll tell you what, I was very impressed. He‘s got a very delightful wife. I had a chance to visit with her. She loves our hair by the way.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH, FORMER ILL. GOVERNOR: Yes.
ROB BLAGOJEVICH: Loves your hair and loves my hair because it‘s all real. I guess, it‘s kind of interesting. Very well read lady. Anyway, yes, 60 and that will all go in the bank today.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Is that a $60,000 haircut? And finally, my favorite golf tournament of the year is under way. U.s. golf tournament at Pebble Beach kicked off this morning. The leader board is crowded at the moment. Phil Mickelson is nowhere near the top. I‘m looking for Tiger to be right there on Sunday. He‘s on the course right now with a late Tee Time today.
Coming up, Tony Hayward apologized to the world today. I think, it‘s all talk. The lawyer who won a lawsuit against BP five years ago will share firsthand experience what it‘s like to deal with these snakes in suits. You‘re watching the Ed Show. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight on the Ed Show. More about oil. British Petroleum‘s CEO Tony Hayward repeated his pledge today to pay all necessary clean-up costs. But we‘ve heard a lot of empty promises from these guys over the last 60 days. The shrimpers, fishermen and oil workers are still saying, show me the money.
For more on the claims, let me bring in Attorney Brent Coon. He sued BP back in 2005 after refinery explosion in Texas. And is also involved in current lawsuits against the company. Mr. Coon, good to have you with us tonight. The $20 billion, the claims process, the independent party that‘s going to be making a lot of decisions out of the control of BP, it all sounds good. But with your experience, how realistic do you think all of this is?
BRENT COON, SUED BP IN 2005: Well, it does sound good. I think it will be good. It‘s apples and oranges though. In our case with Texas City with the explosion, with thousands of claims but those were all resolved through the litigation process. There was no third party administrator. We had to negotiate each one of those directly with BP. I do have a lot of experience with Feinberg and Rosenberg which is the third party administrator here. They‘ve done a lot of other things. They did the 9/11 fund, they did the Virginia tech shooting. They did Agent Orange for our military veterans. They have a lot of experience in handling these types of claims and generally speaking, they do a very good job.
SCHULTZ: So, you think that all pieces are in place for some sort of a successful conclusion when it comes to restitution, maybe something that we‘ve never seen before. Is that a fair statement?
COON: Well, you know, it may. I think the problem that we have right now it‘s questionable as to whether or not the $20 billion fund is going to be adequate. Again, we still have oil spilling all over the Gulf of Mexico. And, you know, Wayward Hayward keeps saying that it was a trickle. But the reality is now, we all realize that the impact was tremendous and we just don‘t know yet how much this is going to impact the entire gulf coast economically.
SCHULTZ: What is this escrow fund, what does it mean to the lawsuits that are going on right now? How does it affect them at all?
COON: Well, that‘s an interesting concept. Each one of these funds that have been set up this way from an administrative standpoint operates differently. Some of them, once you opt into that program in Lieu of Litigation. Sometimes they run parallel. The 9/11 one was an exclusive remedy. Many times, they‘re opt in or opt out. And with this case, hopefully this one would be set up, that won‘t resolve claims in full early on because you can‘t, you just don‘t know how much your damages are but at least it will provide some interim payments to those in need. I don‘t think, you or I, want to see all these people having to go to the be dumb divers like Rush Limbaugh said was OK to do.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Does this change the culture of BP at all when it comes to how much they‘re going to fight to keep their money in the wake of death and devastation of the environment? The $20 billion is out there. It looks like the president has got them to fork it out. A third party is in place. But do you think down the road that this is going to change the culture of the country? I mean, they say they‘re going to do everything and take care of all the costs. Do you believe all that?
COON: You know, I don‘t. They‘re pathological liars. The last CEO Lord Browne was caught committing perjury on the stand in London. Every person ever deposed at BP had a BS answer to a lot of questions. They just lie a lot and I think they‘re lying now. Hopefully, the government will stay involved and the congressional representatives are other than Mr. Barton will stay involved in pro-active manner and really help these people. And they need the money now. So, like I said, Ed, it‘s like the boat captain said awhile ago. These guys need their money now. They have no money coming in and it‘s not just the shrimpers. It‘s the entire industry, the tourism industry, they‘re being devastated and they‘re going to go bankrupt.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Coon, good to have with us tonight. Thanks for putting a dose of reality on all of this. We got a long way to go.
Tonight on our telephone survey, I asked you, who do you believe republicans care more about, big oil companies or people in the gulf? Ninety six percent of you said big oil, four percent said, people in the gulf. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews and HARDBALL is next. We‘ll see you tomorrow night from Minneapolis. Have a great one.
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