Guests: Mike Papantonio, Scott Hennen, Gary Peters, Luis Gutierrez, Ron
Christie, Jack Rice, Joan Walsh, Stephanie Miller
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW, live from Minneapolis tonight.
These stories on the table, hitting “My Hot Buttons” tonight.
British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward, well, he‘s getting pushed aside.
“The Newster” says President Obama is guilty of extortion.
And the network across the street, Fox News, says, you know, what‘s going on here? We‘re actually on an apology tour for BP?
My commentary on all of that in just a moment.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drops a bomb that the Justice Department plans to sue Arizona over its anti-immigration law. Arizona‘s Republican governor is absolutely outraged.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez loves it, and he‘ll join me tonight in the show.
And Sharon Angle has proven to be even more toxic for the GOP message machine than the “Chicken Lady,” Sue Lowden. We‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” to Angle‘s disastrous local news interview coming up later on in the show.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight at this hour, big news off the top tonight.
Tony Hayward, I guess you could say he‘s been thrown under the oil well at BP. He‘s no longer calling the shots.
BP‘s managing director, Bob Dudley, is now in charge. BP‘s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, told Sky News today, “It is clear Tony has made some remarks that have upset people. This has now turned into a reputation matter, financial and political, and that is why you will now see more of me.”
OK. I guess you could say the shakedown is on. I love it. And I love that word. It‘s a great word, especially if you‘re the one getting the money.
President Obama did what he had to do for the American people. He shook down BP for $20 billion. He has every right to do it. They‘ve got to pay. And, by the way, there‘s no cap.
If you‘re for the people, you think it‘s a good thing. If you‘re for the corporations, now the word can take on a totally different meaning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FMR. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: By what right does a politician decide that $20 billion is the right number? Why wasn‘t it $30 billion or $40 billion?
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Well, that‘s a down payment. They left open the door. It‘s going to be a heck of a lot more.
GINGRICH: Well, I think it will be a lot more. But I just think the idea that the president is directly engaged in extorting money from a company, this is like General Motors and Chrysler, where the administration basically stole money from the creditors who owned stock and who had bonds to give that money to their union allies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What a weak connection, Newt. You are one twisted sister on that one.
He thinks getting restitution from a company that is notoriously known for violations and death is extortion?
Folks, if you need a 60-second definition of the Republican Party, you just got it right there.
What Joe Barton said yesterday speaks really to their culture. It‘s just not about and never has been about the people.
(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: In the wake of that hurricane, John Boehner and Eric Cantor forced Barton to apologize, so it really wasn‘t genuine. And I guess you could say that is their post-Katrina mentality, morphed by the Republican Party.
Here is the bottom line. If we want to get into semantics and wordsmithing about what is a shakedown it, depends on who the benefactor is, it depend on who‘s getting the money. Go ask the people in the Gulf if they like what the president did about getting a fund of $20 billion. We all know, every American knows, that BP has got to pay. And there has to be some immediate payment, because the folks down there are definitely hurting right now.
Now, shakedown means to force, to mandate, to stipulate, meaning you‘re going to do it. Now, if the Republicans want to call it Chicago-style politics, well, in this situation I say bring it on, we could use some more of that, because it‘s going to take a ton of money to get it done and it was BP responsible for all of this, along with Transocean and some other players down there.
But “shakedown,” it‘s a positive term depending on—I guess we‘re going back to the 1990s. Remember that story? “It depends on what the definition of ‘is‘ is.” What‘s your definition of shakedown?
My definition is if it‘s for the people, it‘s a good thing. And clearly, it was a populist thing to do, the right thing to do, the moral thing to do for the president of the United States, to go in there and make sure that BP has got skin in the game, the same way those folks down in the Gulf have got skin in the game losing their livelihoods, losing their businesses and just going to bed every night wondering what tomorrow is going to bring.
Now, in the terms of a shakedown from Mr. Barton, he‘s protecting the corporate boys.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think about all of this.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you agree with Republicans that President Obama extorted BP?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, an environmental lawyer whose firm is leading the class action lawsuit against BP. And also joining us is radio talk show host Scott Hennen, a staunch conservative who has been defending Joe Barton and his comments.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
Let‘s start with you, Mike.
Mike, what does it mean—take us to the front office of BP. Are they just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic of this/ Is this just a move that they had to make because Hayward has been taking so much heat?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER: They almost have to. At this point, look, they‘ve lost credibility. I mean, not just with the media, but across the world.
But, you know, you said something interesting to me. You talked about a shakedown.
When I listen to this response about shakedown, Republicans don‘t want a shakedown of BP. They want a shakedown of taxpayers.
And unfortunately, Hayward is just an extension of what we‘ve seen in this long GOP history of the relationship between Republicans and corporations. The GOP has this history of apologizing and cozying up to people like Tony Hayward.
Conservatives always talk how they love capitalism and a free market. The market they love, Ed, is they love a market where it‘s stacked against the average person and it‘s stacked in favor of the Tony Haywards, who had to step down today.
And it‘s not a mistake. They‘ve never met a criminal corporation that they didn‘t fall in love with, and Tony Hayward and BP is just another example of that.
SCHULTZ: Scott Hennen, how do you view this situation for the Republicans right now? You‘ve got John Boehner and Eric Cantor and now Marsha Blackburn, who have come out and condemned what Joe Barton says.
Where was Barton correct?
SCOTT HENNEN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Barton was correct in calling this what it was, a shakedown. This is nothing short of the banana republic. I mean, Chicago ways (ph) being kind. And, by the way, James Carville called it Chicago way, too, so it‘s just not Republicans.
I mean, you‘ve got Eric Holder in the room, which is the equivalent of having a gun on the table, for crying out loud. What about the Constitution?
Mike‘s a lawyer. Is he familiar with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990? I mean, Barack Obama didn‘t get BP to do anything they weren‘t already going to do, and are culpable of under the law.
Nobody here is defending BP or their actions. Joe Barton didn‘t defend them. What he said was there‘s a rule of law, there‘s due process, there‘s a Constitution. Barack Obama and this administration ought to try following it for once.
SCHULTZ: What about that, Mike?
PAPANTONIO: Scott, let me answer this way, Scott. Where are your Tea Partiers? Where are your Tea Partiers that you are the voice for, according to what you say on your Internet site? Where are the Tea Partiers when they‘re out there talking about how concerned they are about taxes?
Look, let me just tell you something. Your Republicans, the people you‘re defending right now, they‘re saying that BP shouldn‘t pay for this, that you should, Scott, and your Tea Party should pay for it. How do you react to that?
It‘s amazing to me there‘s not been a voice from the Tea Party that you say you‘re a voice of. We haven‘t heard anything from that Tea Party, who right now—two months ago they were saying, where‘s government? Where‘s government?
Now, today they‘re crying the government is not here to do the job. And the point is this—you can‘t have all of this both ways. And that‘s the way the Republicans want it.
Scott, let me ask you, is—Scott, is Republican leadership wrong to distance themselves from Joe Barton at this point?
HENNEN: Absolutely. And by the way, the Tea Party crowd that Mike is talking about is very beholden to the Constitution, unlike the current administration. And unfortunately, evidently, the Chicago way thing is rubbing off on some of the Republican leadership that are more worried about the headlines.
Look at “USA Today”/Gallup poll the other day saying, you know what? We‘d rather have BP in charge than the federal government, because the government is blowing this response.
The Obama administration is trying to change the subject, Ed and Mike.
That‘s what they‘re trying to do. They‘re doing such a miserable job—
PAPANTONIO: Eighty-two percent of the American public agrees with what Obama did, and you know that.
You know what you‘re having to do here? You‘re having to defend a corporation that is an admitted felon, Scott. They admitted to a felony, killed 15 people in Texas.
HENNEN: Mike, nobody is defending BP.
PAPANTONIO: Wait a second.
HENNEN: By the way --
PAPANTONIO: You are. No, no, you are and the Republicans are.
How do you get around that you‘re not defending them, Scott? It‘s inconceivable. Of course you are.
HENNEN: That‘s a nice, and a good trial lawyer like you ought to give it a nice try. But this is about defending the rule of law. And by the way, I do stand up for oil companies because oil companies are driving our economy. But not BP.
SCHULTZ: All right. So, Scott, you stand up for oil companies. According to Center for Responsive Politics, Barton is connected to the oil industry pretty strong. From the oil and gas industry, he‘s taken in $1.4 million since 1990.
I mean, it appears that he is the mouthpiece of the corporate folks who have basically violated and circumvented the permitting process, that have been very involved in a lot of wrongdoings. And also, there‘s been testimony about how they were operating on the rig that compromised the safety of all of the workers.
Now, for the president to come out—and I just want to clarify with you, Scott, and get your take on this—the president has a right to come out, and he is legally bound to protect the United States of America. Is protecting the environment his responsibility when it‘s been trashed like this?
HENNEN: Yes, he should have done a lot better job of it the last 60 days than he has. He‘s blown it, which is why he‘s trying to change the subject with the shakedown of BP.
SCHULTZ: Scott, if BP doesn‘t pay for it, who‘s going to pay for it, the three of us?
HENNEN: They are going to pay for it. They‘re legally bound to pay for it. And they were going to pay for it.
PAPANTONIO: Hey, Scott, news flash—
HENNEN: He didn‘t get them to do anything they weren‘t going to do.
PAPANTONIO: Scott, news flash.
SCHULTZ: Mike, you‘ve got the final word.
PAPANTONIO: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants you to pay for it, Scott. That‘s the Republican Party. That‘s the image. And you know what? America knows that today, and it‘s a big problem for your party, Scott. A big problem.
SCHULTZ: All right.
HENNEN: Well, it‘s not true.
SCHULTZ: Scott Hennen, Mike Papantonio, great to have you with us. A spirited discussion. We‘re all over the place on this, and I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.
Coming up, President Obama traveled to the heartland today to talk jobs. Republicans and a few big-time sellouts, well, they‘re basically doing all they can to get in the way of the Congressman Peters. And he brings the straight talk next.
And the not-ready-for-prime-time Tea Partier Sharon Angle is becoming the gift that just keeps on giving. She got into it with a local reporter. And we‘ve got the tape. We‘ll show you that next.
And, of course, Hillary Clinton back in the news, dropping the bombshell. Meg Whitman flip-flops. And “Psycho Sister” Michele Bachmann, she‘s back in the “Zone.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, I return to Columbus to mark a milestone on the road to recovery, the 10,000th project launched under the Recovery Act. While the recovery may start with projects like this, it can‘t end here.
Along with investments in health care and education, clean energy, and a 21st century financial system that protects consumers and our economy, rebuilding our infrastructure is one of the keys to our future prosperity. If we‘re going to rebuild America‘s economy, then we‘ve got to rebuild America, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama on the road today in Ohio, talking jobs in a state that‘s got an 11 percent unemployment rate. Many of those people have had their benefits run out this month.
Last night, the Senate turned their backs on millions of Americans. An extension of unemployment benefits was filibustered by 100 percent of the Republicans, and with the help of two consistent sellouts, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
Now, what this means, folks, is that there are 900,000 more Americans that absolutely have no hope of any financial help from the federal government through this terrible economy. The majority party only got 56 votes, and the only way to rectify this now is for President Obama to sign an executive order. And let me address that.
I‘ve been on a road tour. I‘ve been all over the country. The 99ers out there, people who are going to lose their unemployment benefits, don‘t know where they‘re going to eat next and they don‘t know if they‘re going to be able to keep their home and their health care and everything else that goes with a normal lifestyle in America.
Mr. President, you need to step up tonight and you need to sign an executive order. And don‘t worry about the political ramifications of morally helping millions of Americans.
If this is special circumstances, and special circumstances of an economy that we‘re in right now, let it—then so be it. The bottom line is there are people hurting out there.
We need all the job help we can get. And for those who can‘t get a job—in fact, there‘s 7.5 million people in this country right now who have been without a job for six or more months. That‘s the highest number since we started keeping these numbers back in 1948.
For more on all of this, Democratic Congressman Gary Peters of Michigan, a state which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
I know with your stand on this, Congressman, and I know this is why you‘re doing everything you can to help small business. You got something passed in the House yesterday that I think that‘s very significant.
Tell us about it.
REP. GARY PETERS (D), MICHIGAN: Well, you‘re right, Ed. And your comments are absolutely right with the unemployment. We‘ve got to get this economy turned around, and we know the real engine of growth.
Here in Michigan, as well as around the country, are our small businesses. Two out of every three jobs is created in small businesses. They need help.
And we were able to pass legislation this week that will get loans, the ability for these small businesses to have access to loans, because as you know, these big Wall Street banks are not lending on Main Street, they‘re not providing money to those small businesses that are the engine of growth. And so we passed legislation to provide our local lenders with the tools that they need to get the money in the hands of those Main Street businesses, those folks that are starting to now see things starting to stabilize, want to add an employee or two, but they can‘t get a loan from the bank because the big Wall Street banks are not lending on Main Street.
That‘s why we need to help our local lenders.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s talk about the stimulus package, because a lot of Americans out there think that it‘s not working, it‘s not helping. The president was just in Ohio today marking the startup of the umpteenth project that‘s out there.
But here‘s where Americans are right now with the polling. NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll: 38 percent is where they are, is helping, will help. And will not help at 42 percent.
What do you make of this number?
PETERS: Well, I think people just are continuing to be frustrated with the fact that the economy has been so slow to recover. And it‘s taking some time. And I understand the pain. We‘re certainly feeling it here in Michigan.
But I think it‘s very important to remind people where we were just last January. When I first came into office as a new member of Congress, that first month this country was hemorrhaging, over 700,000 jobs a month were being lost.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
PETERS: It was an incredibly frightening situation. We were looking over the cliff into the abyss, and there was no bottom.
I mean, things have slowly been starting to turn around. We‘re still in a very fragile situation. People are still very uncertain. We‘re still hurting, certainly here in Michigan, but we‘re starting to see some turn.
SCHULTZ: It‘s capital. It is access to capital.
Congressman, you did the right thing. Keep up the fight. That‘s a great bill. Let‘s hope it doesn‘t get stalled in the Senate like everything else.
PETERS: We‘re going to be pushing hard, Ed. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Congressman Peters. Absolutely.
My commitment to the unemployed is unwavering. Now, last night was my final stop in my American Workers Tour. I held a town hall meeting in Broomfield, Colorado, just outside Denver.
And once again, I had a lump in my throat, as our team did, as we heard story after story. There are hard-working Americans out there through no fault of their own who have been gutted by this economy that are desperately looking for work. A lot of their old jobs are being shipped overseas.
Take a listen to a lady who stood up and said this to the crowd—
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I worked for IBM for 28 years. I was laid off last year.
My job was to count all—to add up all the savings of all the jobs that were being shipped overseas. I (INAUDIBLE) for 10 years, counting all the savings that IBM and all the other corporations added up to ship these jobs overseas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, I want to just share one quick story with you, because we run into folks all over the country who have got a passion for being an entrepreneur, a passion for starting up their own because they‘ve been outsourced, they‘re trying to do something else, people in their 40s and 50s that are trying to start over.
We came across a gentleman last night named Steve Larson, S&H Products in Denver. This is what he‘s making.
This is a brass nozzle for your hose at your home. He got tired of going to some of the stores in this country and buying stuff from China that was breaking. And brass is big in Colorado.
So he had started this company where he makes stuff for gardening.
This is a brass nozzle, made in America.
And you know what we have to have, folks? We have to have, I think, a passion for economic patriotism in this country.
Do we believe in making it in America? Do we believe in buying American?
I would love to see every elected official in Washington start talking about “Buy American.” It‘s jobs.
And this guy, Mr. Larson, I‘m sure he could use a little loan so he can make more stuff with American materials and hire American people. There are thousands upon thousands of Americans out there who need access to capital to make their dream happen.
This is what the politicians ought to be doing. There is no right and left. There is right and wrong on this.
Coming up, “Psycho Talker” Michele Bachmann, well, she‘s had no shame in sticking up for BP. But now she‘s swears she‘s not shilling for them.
That‘s a slippery slope that just slid her right into the “Zone,” next.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Minnesota‘s queen of crazy, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Well, after spending the last few days hammering the Obama administration for being just too hard on BP, she told a Minnesota newspaper, “I want to make sure everyone knows I‘m not a shill for BP.”
OK, Roseanne Roseannadanna of the Congress.
Here‘s the problem with that, Michele. You‘ve spent your career sticking up for oil companies.
You‘ve taken more than $70,000 in donations from oil and gas industries. You jumped on that “Drill, baby, drill” bandwagon with your “psycho sister” Sarah Palin.
And just yesterday, you took aim at the White House for getting BP to fork over $20 billion in an escrow fund to pay for the spill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: 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. This is an appointee from the Obama administration who will be doing the payouts, and it‘s the pay czar dealing with the administration.
So, this is very different from what we‘ve done in the past. And while it‘s important that all the claims get paid, let‘s just make sure that this isn‘t a permanent ATM card.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And now she‘s saying she‘s not a shill for BP.
Congresswoman, this reminds me of a great line from the Clint Eastwood western “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” where Fletcher said to the senator, “Senator don‘t piss down my back and tell me it‘s raining. I‘m not falling for it.”
With your history, trying to claim that you‘re not a shill for BP is slimy “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Hillary Clinton lets the cat out of the bag. The feds are going to serve up legal papers, file a lawsuit against Arizona. A lawsuit over the immigration law is coming. Debate on that is coming up as well on THE ED SHOW.
And the Tea Partier Sharon Angle stepped in it again. She can‘t answer a reporter‘s question, so her campaign calls the reporter an idiot.
I‘ll show you the shocking video coming up.
Plus, Congressman Joe Barton becomes the punch line. And Stephanie Miller joins me in “Club Ed” tonight.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Battleground story tonight, the Justice Department under the Obama administration is getting ready to sue Arizona over its anti-immigration law. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let the cat out of the bag during an interview with a TV station in Ecuador.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department under his direction will be bringing a lawsuit against the act. But the more important commitment that President Obama has made is to try to introduce and pass comprehensive immigration reform. That is what we need. Everyone knows it. And the president is committed to doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was met with furious reaction from Arizona‘s Republican Governor Jan Brewer who claims she was never told about the decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Unidentified woman: Have you heard anything about whether or not the Justice Department has made a decision to sue Arizona over your new statute?
Gov. Jan Brewer ®, Arizona: No, we have not. What a disappointment. To get this information released to me vis-a-vis that they heard of the lawsuit through an Ecuadorian interview is outrageous. It would seem to me that if they were going to file suit against us, that they definitely would have contacted us first and informed us before they informed citizens, by the way of another nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: A state department official told NBC News that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not misspeak. The White House did not deny it, but they stayed quiet about it today directing reporters to the Justice Department for questions. Justice officials say it‘s a done deal. A matter of when, not if. For more, let‘s bring in Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a member of the Hispanic caucus. Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. Did you know that this lawsuit.
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D), ILL.: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Did you know that this lawsuit was coming and it was just a matter of when and not if?
GUTIERREZ: Absolutely not. I didn‘t. But it wasn‘t a shock. I mean ever since they passed 1070 in Arizona, this is the kind of law that begs for a lawsuit. Plus, let‘s remember that the u.s. attorney, Attorney General Holder stated that he was evaluating different ways in which to interact with the law, and was evaluating those. And not only that, the president did denounce the law and referred it to his Justice Department. So, OK, so maybe Hillary, I‘m sorry for Madame Secretary, maybe she spoke out of turn, but come on. It‘s not that big of a surprise. It is a law, if any law deserves to challenge constitutionally, this is one. And I‘m happy and delighted they‘re doing it.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that this revelation of this lawsuit on the way according to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the White House pretty much confirming it, at least they were quiet on it today and then told everybody to go to the Justice Department to ask questions, they didn‘t deny it, does this mean that.
SCHULTZ: Is this going to put the administration and the democrats on secure forth on where they want to go with immigration reform, in your opinion?
GUTIERREZ: You know, something I would hope so, Ed. But let me say this. You know if there‘s a star, and I‘m not trying to say there aren‘t others in this administration, who is unflappable and just never seems to miss the beat or get it wrong, it‘s Hillary Clinton. And so take it to the bank, she knows what‘s going on and when she was sent out to go through Central South America where it is a big issue, Ecuador and South America, she spoke to the issue. Let me just say this, she also connected it.
SCHULTZ: Yes, so you think for immigration reform, this is all a good thing? This isn‘t going to muddy the waters when it comes to.
GUTIERREZ: Yes, I think it‘s a good thing because it challenges the law and here‘s why it‘s really a good thing, Ed. Because she connect the two. And really part of the problem is, if you check the MSNBC poll, you‘re going to find 60 percent of the people support the Arizona law. But you know, Ed, how come the other stuff doesn‘t make the headlines? Seventy percent of democrats in the same poll, MSNBC support comprehensive immigration reform as a response to the inaction of the federal government.
GUTIERREZ: Wait a minute.
GUTIERREZ: There is more independents than anyone else support it. And republicans are tied. So, the nation wants and is urging us to pass not only to challenge the law but to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
SCHULTZ: One more story I want to run by you, congressman. The story about anchor babies. The story about children who were born in America to undocumented workers, illegal immigrants, whatever term we want to use here. How do you feel about that?
GUTIERREZ: Well, the constitution is clear on this issue that those of us that were born in this country regardless of how we arrived here, and what the status of our parents, are citizens of this nation. The fact is that those children, many of them are adults today were born. You know, they‘re American citizens in all but that piece of paper. And the millions and millions of undocumented workers which we have unwittingly through our very system invited here to come to this country, let‘s not take it out on the children.
SCHULTZ: Are you going to fight this?
GUTIERREZ: Yes, I‘m going to fight it. But let me just say, you know what? Children are not responsible for the actions of their parents and should not be punished, and judges I want you to think one moment. So, how many young mothers out there of undocumented mothers after they finish picking our fruit, after they finish chopping up our meat, after they finish cleaning up our laundry. Now, let me ask you something, how many of them might now fear going and having that baby in a hospital, right? And now we‘re going to have an American citizen who may not have received the attention. You know, there are unintended consequences, too. And I think it‘s—look, it‘s phony. It‘s wrong. What we need is comprehensive immigration reform. This doesn‘t solve the problem. It simply beats people up. It simply brings out the worst in Americans.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I totally agree with you. Luis Gutierrez, Congressman from Illinois. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from a panel on these stories tonight. As we just mentioned, Arizona‘s republican governor is fighting to defend the state‘s anti-immigration law, but next door in California, the GOP nominee for Governor Meg Whitman, well, she‘s flipped on the immigration issue and now seems to be siding with the democrats.
Harry Reid‘s Tea Party challenger Sharron Angle has—well, she has a run-in with a local news reporter and her campaign called him an idiot. It‘s no wonder the National Republican Party wants her to keep away from the cameras.
And the South Carolina Democratic Party somehow rejected the call to revoke Alvin Greene‘s senate nomination last night? Greene will be on the ballot against Senator Jim ‘Waterloo‘ DeMint in November.
With us tonight, Jack Rice, former CIA officer and criminal defense attorney and also Ron Christie, Republican strategist. Gentlemen, we got a lot to talk about tonight. Let‘s go to Arizona first. Ron, what do you make of this situation in Arizona? This lawsuit that‘s been filed and now you‘ve got Meg Whitman in California doing a flip-flop. Is this trouble?
RON CHRISTIE GOP STRATEGIST: Well, I think it‘s trouble frankly for the Clinton administration—for the Obama administration. I think it‘s atrocious that the Secretary of State in Ecuador announces to the Ecuadorian people that the United States government is going to sue the state of Arizona. Couldn‘t somebody or I don‘t know, the attorney general, the president, someone in the administration have informed Arizona? That law with the modifications is not a racist law. I think this is going to get tossed out. They‘re playing politics. But looking at my home state of California to answer that, I‘m concerned about Meg Whitman. She run one way, she said she was for proposition 187. She said she was again in favor of the Arizona law. Now it appears in an ad that she‘s flipped. She better figure which way she shooting because I think the democrats can fill her with a lot of holes by saying she‘s a flip-flopper.
SCHULTZ: Here is Whitman in her primary election commercial. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEG WHITMAN, GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: On immigration, I will secure our border and I‘ll send in the National Guard if necessary. I say no driver‘s licenses, no sanctuary cities and absolutely no amnesty, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But then she comes out with an election commercial translation. Here it is.
SCHULTZ: Meg Whitman respects our community. She is the republican who opposes the Arizona law and opposes prop. 187. She means real change. Jack Rice, what do you make of this?
JACK RICE, FORMER CIA OFFICER: You know, I think the Secretary of State is correct. President Obama, the attorney general are correct here. It‘s not just what the law says, Ed. It‘s also about what the law does. And if we‘re really thinking what‘s going on here, this is about civil rights and the u.s. government always has an obligation to step in just like they did in the ‘60s, they have to do the same thing here. Meg Whitman is actually on the right side of this one. And I‘m pleased that she‘s taking the time to do it. Look, I‘m originally from California, too. There are a lot of Latinos and Latinas that lived there. She should be talking to those people because Americans aren‘t just old white guys. They look like the world—they should look like the world and we should finally be responsive to that world.
SCHULTZ: I think this is one issue nobody wants to flip flop on you.
Better figure out where you‘re at. Ron, you don‘t agree with that?
CHRISTIE: No. I do agree with you on that. I was just disagreeing on Jack. Look, the Supreme Court applies strict scrutiny to cases that deal specifically with areas of race. The Arizona law is racially neutral on its face. To suggest that somehow that we‘re going after Hispanic people or people of a particular race, the way the statute is written, I think is an unfair characterization.
SCHULTZ: All right. Sharron Angle in Nevada, she‘s up against Harry Reid and she was questioned about her position on Social Security and got into it with a local reporter. Here‘s how it went down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Unidentified reporter: Why do you want to eliminate it for younger folks because your plan calls for transitioning out?
SHARRON ANGLE: You have believed the Harry Reid lie.
Unidentified reporter: Your own website says transition out of the program. What does that mean?
ANGLE: Transition into a personal life account.
Unidentified reporter: But ending Social Security as we know it.
ANGLE: A personalized Social Security account that they can‘t raid.
Unidentified reporter: Stock market though almost crashed in 2008.
Millions of seniors would have had their—
ANGLE: You‘re putting words—you‘re putting words into my mouth from Harry Reid. And I want to you be very clear on this. I‘m here to save Social Security. Harry Reid is here.
Unidentified reporter: By transitioning out of it.
ANGLE: Reid is here to bankrupt Social Security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Jack, Jack Rice, is she on a slippery slope here and not on good campaign footing? What‘s your call?
RICE: Yes. It‘s incredible. She‘s telling this reporter that he needs to be really clear on this? Where the hell is she on this one? I mean, who knows where she‘s going and yet she‘s somehow saying that it‘s Harry Reid‘s fault. She wants to privatize this. And you‘re absolutely right. If this had been privatized, how many people would be living in cardboard boxes by the side of the road now, please, we have to at least be honest and intellectually honest although I‘m not so sure she‘s prepare for that yet. I guess, we‘ll see.
SCHULTZ: Ron Christie, you‘re a political consultant, what‘s your advice here?
CHRISTIE: My advice is she needs to be a lot more specific what she‘s for as opposed to blaming her opponent. I think, she needs to learn a lot more about what privatizing Social Security would do. I think, she should have said a certain percentage, maybe up to two percent which is what we tried to do in the Bush administration. Jack says that you‘re not going to have people in cardboard boxes. You‘re not going to have people in cardboard boxes with two percent of a voluntary system where people are allowed to opt in. But it breaks bigger issue, what about Harry Reid? What about Harry Reid saying that President Obama was a pleasant Negro who was non-threatening the whites? What about Senator Reid saying that the war in Iraq was lost? She needs to attack Harry Reid on his record, his proven record.
SCHULTZ: I think that‘s good advice.
CHRISTIE: Rather than dealing with oh, well, gee, Social Security.
SCHULTZ: Yes. I think you‘re giving her good advice. Quickly, Alvin Greene is going to be on the ballot in South Carolina. Jack Rice, does this end the controversy?
RICE: Well, I don‘t know if it‘s ever going to end it. This is going to give a few things to the republicans to use. It‘s going to be wild to watch. I mean, you know what? I guess this is what happens in the Carolinas. I mean, this is what happens. This is one of those states you continue to watch and you just short sort of scratch your head.
SCHULTZ: Yes. You got ten seconds. Quickly, Ron, this is how the
Democratic Party in South Carolina handled it. They are not going to get
him off the ballot
CHRISTIE: He should stay on the ballot. He paid his fee. He was on the ballot. He won the nomination with her over 100,000 votes. Jim DeMint is going to win anyway. I think, this issue should be put to rest.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, good to have you here on a Friday. Thanks so much.
Coming up, President Obama took it to the house this week from the gulf to the oval office to forcing $20 billion out of BP. There‘s no doubt in my mind, this guy knows how to lead. He‘s the commander in chief. I‘ll address the naysayers, next in the playbook. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: It‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s tech survey question is, do you agree with republicans that President Obama extorted BP? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. Results are coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, it‘s been a jam-packed week for President Obama and I think it turned out to be really a great week for him politically. On Monday, he left on a two-day trip to the gulf coast for his fourth time for the fourth time. Showing his commitment to the folks affected by the oil spill. Tuesday, he returned from the gulf to address the nation in primetime from the oval office. What he lacked in passion he made more than made up for with results. The very next day, he met with BP executives and got them to pay up to the tune of $20 billion through an escrow fund for recovery and finally today, he turned his focus to jobs heading to Ohio and reminding us that he‘s still focused on the country‘s economic recovery.
For more on the president‘s, what I think is a big week, let me bring in Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief salon.com. Joan, there have been some rough weeks. Was this a good one or am I over stating it. What do you think?
Joan Walsh, salon.com, editor-in-chief: No, I don‘t think your overstating it Ed. I think it was a very good week. I was one of the people Ed who was a little bit too hard on him for that oval office speech because it didn‘t really have a point. And what we‘ve found out the next day was I think, its point really was supposed to be that the president had been able to leverage this big announcement from BP and you know, a couple of things that went along with it having Kenneth Feingold as the independent administrator, Feinberg, that‘s just you know, very important that it‘s not just bp paying this out.
And they also agreed not to pay their dividends through the end of the year. That was fantastic. So you know, and then as if it wasn‘t already good, he gets Joe Barton apologizing to bp calling this a terrible tragedy and that he is ashamed. So, once again the republicans are his best allies in making him look great and strong on themselves look like the craven corporate tools that they are.
SCHULTZ: One thing the president didn‘t want to do was politicize this tragedy down in the gulf, but now that Joe Barton has come out and said what he said, does these serve up some real campaign fodder for democrats? I think it does.
SCHULTZ: And how far do they take it? I mean, is this the real Republican Party?
WALSH: Of course, it‘s the real Republican Party. Look, you know, Obama can be faulted for not moving fast enough to clean up this industry and the regulations. That‘s absolutely true. But this is what‘s happened under Bush/Cheney and this is what‘s happened under Joe Barton. And I think, you know, you‘ve now got the public face, you want to take back the house? You want to give the house back to the republicans? Well, guess what, this is the guy who‘s going to be running the Energy and Commerce Committee. I mean, you know, that‘s going to be on mailers, that‘s going to be in ads all through the fall.
And I think that they‘re finally finding their argument that we need government. We see here that everybody‘s clamoring for government. We need regulation. We‘re going to do it. We‘re going to be the competent ones. Well, these guys are trying to let them off the hook. Talk about bailouts. You and I discuss this weeks ago. They don‘t like bailout, you know, all the rhetoric around Wall Street bailouts but they really would be quite happy it seemed to me to have the taxpayer foot the bill for bp. So you know, I think that they really have a problem here and the democrats should use it. It‘s fair.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Some final pages in The Playbook tonight. Day two of the u.s. open gulf tournament at Pebble Beach. Now, the rough day at the office for Tiger Woods after roller coaster day, he wound up losing ground at four over par. He‘s not even close to the top of the leader board. The leader is Graham McDowell of Ireland at three under par.
And staying with sports, I guess it‘s a Hollywood ending in Los Angeles last night. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers came back to win their 16th NBA championship beating their arch rivals, the Boston Celtics. Earlier today, President Obama called the Lakers Phil Jackson to congratulate him. What a great win. And it was of course, Phil Jackson who said the only thing the Celtics know how to do is lose in the fourth quarter. Wow, they did. What a call.
Coming up, Smokey Joe Barton is getting creamed for his apology to bp. You haven‘t seen anything yet. Buckle up, Joe, here comes Stephanie Miller. She‘s got a lot to say to you next in Club Ed. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back. If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed. Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Miller joins us in the Club tonight. Stephanie, great to have you with us. Tell us the Joe Barton ordeal, comment and then apology. What do you make of it?
Stephanie Miller, Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host: Well,
you know, Ed, first of all, I apologize if anybody misconstrued or
misconstruction I‘m about to make about Joe Barton. What? But, you know,
I understand in the last half hour, he‘s just apologized to England for the
revolution and the promised to give America back. He‘s also apologized for
he apologized to Germany for our involvement in World War ii and offered to give them Poland back. You know, Ed, my dad was an assistant prosecutor at Nuremberg and I‘m sort of try to picture him saying to Goehring, he actually did interrogate Goehring by saying, you know, is this a good time for you? I‘m so sorry for the rude questions in this whole Nuremberg shakedown.
SCHULTZ: All right. The Americans United for Change put out a spoof on the whole Barton ordeal. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Unidentified woman: Congressman Barton apologized to BP for making the company pay for the deep water disaster.
Unidentified man: I apologize.
Unidentified woman: Maybe we‘ll apologize to Bernie Madoff. Sorry we crashed the party, Bernie.
Unidentified man: I apologize.
Unidentified woman: In England, we‘re sorry about that world cup goal. We didn‘t mean to hurt your feelings.
Unidentified man: I apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Stephanie? Is Joe Barton now the face of the midterms for the republicans right now?
MILLER: Oh God, let‘s hope so. He‘s like that little internet squirrel that keeps popping up but just to apologize in this case. I got to tell you, you know that the grilling of Tony Hayworth in Congress today and the way the republicans behaved, I mean, first of all, apparently he was only in charge of changing the toner in the copier. Apparently, he was not really in charge of anything else. And he thought that Geico lizard voice would charm us in some way. But I think when he asked one of the congressmen to pass the Grey poupon, I‘d really sort to have enough, Ed. I don‘t know about you.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let‘s back it up to Tuesday night when the President of the United States spoke from the oval office. Give us a grade. What did you think?
MILLER: You know, Ed. I thought he did great. I know some people, he has a lot of critics, they were upset that he didn‘t turn green and rip his shirt off. I know Sarah Palin a critic as always. And then, I too was shocked that the president already being aqua man didn‘t think of asking the little Dutch boy to help him put his finger in the dike to stop the leak. But, you know, what? I don‘t need histrionics in my president anymore Ed, I don‘t need the smoke amount, dead or alive, bring it on, kind of macho. I‘m just a chick, Ed, but $20 billion, getting someone to give you $20 billion as a start, that sounds like kind of a major ass kicking to me.
SCHULTZ: It is seriously an ass kicking, no doubt. Stephanie, great to have you with us. Have a great weekend.
Tonight in our tech survey, I asked you, President Obama, did he extort BP? Twelve percent of you said yes. Eighty eight percent of you said no. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz.
Chris Matthews and hardball starts right now on The Place for Politics MSNBC. Have a great weekend. We‘ll see you back in New York on Monday for the Ed show. I‘m on my way to the North Country to catch a wall eye. I can‘t wait. Have a great one. We‘ll see you Monday, Chris is next with HARDBALL.
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