Guests: Barry McCaffrey, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Ben Cardin, Kori Schake,
Karen Hunter, John Feehery, Patrick Fahey, Roy Sekoff
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW from New York tonight.
These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
It‘s the big one, the big story. General Stanley McChrystal—he‘s out. The president accepted his resignation today.
You can‘t disrespect the commander-in-chief without consequences.
My commentary on today‘s fallout. Plus, reaction from General Barry McCaffrey. And Katrina vanden Heuvel of “The Nation” with us tonight, coming up.
Tea Party nut Sharron Angle says the U.S. has spoiled the unemployed Americans in this country? Well, she hadn‘t been on the road with me. I‘ll set her straight at the bottom of the hour for the real story.
And Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, well, he wants people to stop blaming his brother for driving this country into a ditch for the last eight years. You know, apologizing to George W. Bush would be kind of parallel to apologizing to BP, in my opinion. Got commentary on that coming up.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
There‘s no question who the boss is. It‘s the commander-in-chief. General Stan McChrystal‘s military career really sidelined today after he and his staff slammed the president and other officials to a “Rolling Stone” reporter.
The Pentagon was already lining up replacements when McChrystal went face to face with the president to face the music at the White House.
This morning‘s meeting between General McChrystal and the commander-in-chief took only 30 minutes. McChrystal ducked cameras on his way out.
A short time later, flanked by the vice president, the defense secretary, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, came to the podium and announced the resignation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system, and it erodes the trust that‘s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan.
It is my duty to ensure that no diversion complicates the vital mission that they are carrying out. And that includes adherence to a strict code of conduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But the president was quick to say that his decision to accept the resignation was not personal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I don‘t make this decision based on any difference in policy with General McChrystal, as we are in full agreement about our strategy. Nor do I make this decision out of any sense of personal insult. Stan McChrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully.
But war is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or a president. And as difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe that it is the right decision for our national security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: After the announcement, McChrystal released a short statement assuring the country that he backed the president‘s strategy in Afghanistan.
He said, “I strongly support the president‘s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment and a desire to see the mission succeed that I tendered my resignation.”
President Obama showed, I think, tactical brilliance in how he has handled all of this. The silence and even some praise from the Republicans pretty much is proof of that. This is probably the most bipartisan thing we‘ll ever see in Washington during his first several years.
If the president had fired McChrystal, the righties would have accused him of being thin skinned and not able to take criticism. Instead, he allowed McChrystal to die on his own sword, and then put General David Petraeus in charge.
But it all goes back to the bakes—leadership, who is fit to lead. What is expected of leadership? Honesty, loyalty, all of the things that military has been built on and helped this country out for so many years—respect, leadership.
What does that really mean today? What we found out is that we do have a decider in the White House, and all this criticism of President Obama not being fit to command, and some of the stuff that‘s been coming from the right has been just unbelievable.
Well, what do you think now? Do we have a decider? Did this president look like a commander-in-chief today?
I thought it was his finest hour.
And I think lost in the story—and I‘m not going to get let it get lost in this story—is to date, the month of June, 76 soldiers have been killed from a total of international forces. Forty-six Americans have been killed in Afghanistan in the month of June. That‘s not a record, but it‘s getting close.
This is serious business. And the president talked about teamwork and getting everybody on the same page. He made it very clear that there is a difference between debate and division, and he won‘t tolerate division.
Folks, that is leadership.
And I think only time will tell. Did a freelance writer unknowingly do this country a big favor?
As we move forward, it will be more than interesting and debated. But this president is committed to the mission in Afghanistan, and he‘s not going to let personalities or any media folks get in the way. It‘s too serious.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Did the president do the right thing accepting McChrystal‘s resignation?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Let me turn now to retired four-star general and NBC News military analyst Barry McCaffrey.
General, good to have you with us tonight.
These are always tough decisions to make in tough times, whereas McChrystal, I remember you being interviewed that when McChrystal was put in there, you made the comment that he‘s the best we‘ve got.
What happened here? Is it policy? Is it personality? What do you think? What‘s your take?
GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, very surprising.
By the way, I fully agree with you, this was a great day for the president as commander-in-chief. It was very dignified.
It wasn‘t just good rhetoric. It was a balanced, impressive, kind way to decisively take charge of the situation.
And, by the way, Petraeus is a strategic genius. He‘s the best guy we‘ve produced in two generations. And he‘s got continuity. So, I think it was a good day.
McChrystal, probably the best counterterrorist fighter we‘ve produced in the war. Eight years in combat, smart, clever. Tremendous presence with the troops in combat.
But, you know, somehow he brought along this commando group of staffers, and they started talking badly about their own chain of command. We don‘t do that about the military chain of command, never mind a four-star officer talking about the civilian leadership.
Very surprising bad judgment. He impaired his effectiveness fatally.
SCHULTZ: General, if someone were to stop you on the street, an American who maybe doesn‘t follow everything that unfolds in Afghanistan, and were to ask you, what‘s the policy, what‘s going on, what‘s the quick answer there?
MCCAFFREY: Well, therein lies the debate, I might add. You know, this wasn‘t a MacArthur dispute over policy. This was just a lapse of judgment on the part of the four-star commander and his immediate staff.
The problem is going to be going forward, we‘ve got a corrupt, incompetent Afghan government. We‘re spending $4.5 billion a month. We‘ve got 7,000 killed and wounded, and we‘re 600 miles from the sea with some pretty shaky allies.
That‘s the problem. And the president, when he so-called surged forces in Afghanistan, laid down a marker and said we‘re going to start out one year from July.
It‘s hard to imagine why we‘re going to turn around 28 million Afghans in a 14th century society with 40 years of brutality in a year. Therein lies the problem. What do we do in Afghanistan going forward?
SCHULTZ: And Afghanistan has been the place where empires have gone to die. This is a really tough call by the president.
But what was striking today, General, was that he made it very clear that we‘re not backing out. He‘s full steam ahead with this mission.
Your thoughts on that?
MCCAFFREY: Well, look, it‘s not impossible to imagine us achieving our purpose. My only concern was the time factor.
You get Petraeus in there, we build an Afghan security force, we bribe, threaten, intimidate the Taliban, they could well stop fighting on any given 48-hour period and try and achieve their purposes through, you know, political means. So, I don‘t know. I‘m extremely concerned about it.
But the good news is, you‘ve got a commander-in-chief that took decisive action. We‘ve got a great military team. And our young men and women in the armed forces will fight. So, we‘ll see how this plays out.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, General. Appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.
MCCAFFREY: Good to be with you.
For more, let‘s bring in Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation.”
The president today made it very clear that there is no exit anytime soon from Afghanistan.
Katrina, how does that play with his base?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”: Ed, you know we usually agree. I have to disagree with you tonight.
I do think it was very important for President Obama to be very clear that the military could not undermine what is at the core of our democracy, which is civilian control of the military. But I fear that he hasn‘t yet, though there is the possibility of engaging the real exit strategy, that‘s not the exit of General McChrystal, to be replaced by a general, a new general with the same old strategy.
But it has time to have that debate President Obama says he welcomes. Not division, but debate. A debate Americans deserve about what I would argue is a counterproductive, failing strategy in Afghanistan with no achievable mission, with 46 Americans killed this past month, billions poured into a country every month, at a time when this country needs the resources to rebuild. And when there are alternative strategies, Ed.
In fact, Vice President Biden, who was knocked out by General McChrystal, as you‘ll recall, when the debate was under way last year, has more of a winning strategy, though there are flaws with that, then General McChrystal or General Petraeus. And we need to listen to those who make the different case.
And I would argue that General Petraeus coming in, there‘s an opening that President Obama can seize, because it is good to know that there is a debate among his advisers.
SCHULTZ: Here is the president talking about the clear goal in Afghanistan today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Make no mistake, we have a clear goal. We are going to break the Taliban‘s momentum. We are going to build Afghan capacity. We are going to relentlessly apply pressure on al Qaeda and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to do the same.
That‘s the strategy that we agreed to last fall. That is the policy that we are carrying out in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And most Americans don‘t think that that can happen.
VANDEN HEUVEL: A majority of Americans, Ed, do not believe that this war is worth waging. This is the longest military engagement the U.S. has had in its history.
What we need to do if President Obama is serious is counterterrorism, not an occupation with thousands of U.S. military. We have a corrupt government in Afghanistan.
What was overlooked yesterday, Ed, was a very important report released by the House Subcommittee on National Security called Warlord, Inc. The United States Pentagon is funneling millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Taliban, which we are trying to break the back of, in order to secure logistical supplies to U.S. troops.
There are different ways to fight this war. That means diplomacy, counterterrorism, and to understand that the resources we are pouring into Afghanistan are diverting our resources from Pakistan and other places where al Qaeda exists.
SCHULTZ: So, diplomacy, we should negotiate with the Taliban?
VANDEN HEUVEL: A political solution. And, by the way, General Petraeus, who‘s credited with his surge strategy in Iraq, what General Petraeus ended up doing was essentially bribing the Sunni insurgency.
I‘m not talking about bribing. I‘m talking about a better use of U.S. taxpayer money for national security purposes that are real, and find a way for a political solution as our allies are beginning to understand.
The Dutch and the Canadian troops are leaving. The British are wanting to leave. The equivalent to Richard Holbrooke, the special representative of Britain to Afghanistan, resigned yesterday as well in protesting only a political solution will achieve the goals we need for security in that region.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, always a pleasure.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you on tonight with your insight. Thank you.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the Obama administration says not so fast on a judge‘s decision to lift the deepwater drilling ban. A direct order for a new moratorium is on the way. More on that with Senator Ben Cardin in just a moment.
And the not-ready-for-prime-time Tea Partier Sharron Angle can‘t seem to help herself. She has found a way to insult the unemployed. Classy chick, huh?
Gosh. I can‘t believe it. She hasn‘t been around the country.
I‘ve got “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
All that, plus someone must have put something in Gretchen Carlson‘s coffee. And Jeb Bush wants us to leave his big brother alone.
Don‘t think so, Jeb.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
The Obama administration is doubling down on its ban of deepwater oil drilling. A day after a federal judge ruled against the six-month moratorium, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today he plans to issue an order for a new ban.
Meanwhile, the effort to contain the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico hit a major roadblock this morning. An accident forced officials to remove the containment cap that has been collecting hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil a day.
Joining me now is Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. He sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Ed, good to be back on your show.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
The moratorium shut down 33 rigs. And now we‘ve got a legal battle as to whether that‘s going to continue on. But that part of the country is screaming about jobs.
Where do you stand on this? What is the right thing to do?
CARDIN: Well, I think the BP oil spill has shown us that we cannot compromise with safety. So, until we have in place a regulatory structure that‘s independent, that‘s representing the public‘s interest, I don‘t think it‘s responsible to issue drilling permits.
We have to make sure that the public interest is protected. And I think that‘s what Secretary Salazar is talking about. I know he‘s going to issue some new moratoriums. But we have to make sure that there‘s an independent regulatory agency that‘s watching after the public‘s interest before permits are granted.
SCHULTZ: Are you confident that the president‘s wishes will hold legally and that the offshore deepwater drilling will not happen until all of these things are put in place?
CARDIN: Well, there‘s no question that there was—the BP spill shows the risk to the public if we don‘t have the proper type of regulatory approval. And what the judge said is that it‘s up to the government to show the risk.
Well, I think we can show what‘s happening in the Gulf of Mexico. So I think it‘s important that the secretary of Interior demonstrate the risk factors that are currently there in deep water.
SCHULTZ: Yes. And what do you make of the judge? As it‘s been reported, he‘s got oil interests.
CARDIN: Well, I think I‘m going to leave that one alone. Obviously, we want to make sure that we have an independent judiciary. It‘s important that judges who have conflicts let the parties know about these conflicts, and then there‘s procedures which can take—make sure it‘s objective.
SCHULTZ: BP has got a new person in charge of the Gulf operations.
It‘s Bob Dudley. Here he is this morning defending Tony Hayward.
I want your response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT DUDLEY, BP: Tony, from the very beginning, has said the company will stand behind, not hide behind any liability caps put in place. This commitment that we have was part of setting up this $20 billion escrow account. Those are incredible commitments by a company. He certainly stands by them, as does the whole company.
MEREDITH VIEIRA, “THE TODAY SHOW”: Again, specifically, are his days numbered?
DUDLEY: Oh, I think Tony is fully committed to this. He‘s in London now. He‘s going to be traveling around the world.
VIEIRA: And BP is committed to him?
DUDLEY: Yes, they are.
VIEIRA: He‘s committed to this, BP is committed to him as well?
DUDLEY: That‘s right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. So, no heads are rolling, and now they‘re saying that they will stand behind all this.
Do you believe that?
CARDIN: Well, I know BP told us there was a thousand barrels leaked a day when the spill first occurred. They increased that to 5,000 barrels a day. As we know, it‘s now likely to be between 30,000 to 60,000 barrels a day.
I think the information we‘ve gotten from BP hasn‘t been very reliable to date. So, I put no confidence at all in that statement.
SCHULTZ: So you don‘t trust anything they say?
CARDIN: No, not at all.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.
CARDIN: Always a pleasure. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
Ben Cardin from Maryland with us here on THE ED SHOW.
Coming up, those early wakeups must really be taking the toll on Gretchen Carlson. Her delusion has led her to compare her job to the president‘s.
She reports for duty next in the “Zone.”
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Fox & Friends‘ Gretchen Carlson is having delusions of grandeur again. She decided that playing the ditzy sidekick on the right-wing morning show is the same thing as leading America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETCHEN CARLSON, “FOX & FRIENDS”: This is what being president of the United States is all about. It‘s these tough, huge, monumental decisions.
It‘s not about how you run a campaign. It‘s not about whether or not you‘re popular. It‘s not about whether or not you‘re a celebrity or you‘re good looking or tall or short.
It‘s in a time of crisis, making these executive decisions. It‘s just like our job.
I mean, from a day-to-day basis, a lot of times when there‘s not big breaking news, we just sort of roll along. But what‘s the role of an anchor during huge breaking news?
Remember growing up? You‘d tune to the television, and that one moment during the year they would have to carry a story all along. It‘s the same thing as being the president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Are they saying, like, they want to run the country? Right. When all hell breaks loose. Gretchen Carlson, she‘s the one I want to turn to for analysis.
Remember, this is someone who had Michele Bachmann for a nanny. A little training there, huh? This is someone who said she looked up the meaning of the word “czar” in the dictionary. And this is the broadcaster who called Senator Ted Kennedy a hostile enemy of the United States.
For Gretchen to say her job is like being president of the United States, it is, folks, delusional “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, ah, there he is again. “Mr. Tan Man” and his fellow Republicans say Joe Barton can keep his job on the Energy Committee.
Folks, this is absolutely outrageous. They have no shame. This guy needs to go, and I‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response” next.
And W‘s little brother says President Obama is acting immature and childish for blaming George for everything? “Huffington Post” founding editor Roy Sekoff, he sets everybody straight coming up.
All that, plus Sharron Angle‘s “Psycho Talk” tour continues. The bin Laden hunter, he comes home. And what a great day for team USA.
We‘ve got it all coming up.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I accepted General Stanley McChrystal‘s resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. I did so with considerable regret. But also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country. I welcome debate among my team, but I won‘t tolerate division.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And The Battleground story tonight on the Ed show, it‘s all about, was this the correct move. General Stanley McChrystal loses his job after he and his staff publicly criticized the commander in chief and other top officials. The president said resigning was the right thing for the troops and the mission in Afghanistan. My next guest strongly disagrees with that. She wrote an impassioned piece in the “New York Times,” “Defending McChrystal Today” arguing, “General McChrystal did not violate his oath to support and defend the constitution. He did not refuse an order. He did not go around his chain of command to undercut the president. He did not criticize the president‘s policies. General McChrystal apologized. That‘s the right redress.”
The author of that will piece Kori Schake joins me now. She is an associate professor at West Point and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She worked at the Pentagon, the NSC and the State Department. Kori, thanks for your time tonight. I think you‘re correct. He didn‘t do any of those things. But it appears that this was an error in judgment that led the president to believe that he‘s not fit to lead the mission. Would you agree with that?
KORI SCHAKE, WEST POINT: It certainly was an error in judgment. I don‘t agree with the latter part of it. I actually think General McChrystal was doing a very hard job very well. And so I‘m prepared to cut him more slack than I think the president did on this. That said, it‘s a close call.
SCHULTZ: A close call. Why do you think the president didn‘t cut him enough slack?
SCHAKE: I don‘t know the answer to that. I think the president did make a very shrewd choice of General Petraeus to replace him. That will minimize the transition costs of having relieved General McChrystal in the middle of what is the execution of a very demanding strategy and a very short timeline that the president‘s imposed for achieving it.
SCHULTZ: You‘re an associate professor at West Point. Do you tell aspiring officers that this was a good route to take?
SCHAKE: What I teach at West Point is a class about strategy, how to integrate economics in politics, how to think about how globalization is changing the international order.
SCHULTZ: Well, OK. But I‘m sure and I‘ve been in classrooms where conversations go off about the news of the day. What would you tell your cadets about what General McChrystal said?
SCHAKE: The—what I would tell them is that it was an incredibly bad choice for him and his team to make the kinds of comments that they made in front of a journalist. I‘m sympathetic to the fact that people who are doing the hardest work of fighting and winning our wars for us sometimes get exasperated with us civilians. And that I personally would be prepared to cut them the slack to occasionally do that, but people of sense and judgment disagree on this and I give more latitude than many other serious and important commentators like Elliott Cohen and Peter Fever on this.
SCHULTZ: OK. So it‘s an error in judgment. We agree on that, but the president focused on debate versus division.
SCHULTZ: What was your response when you heard him say that?
SCHAKE: I‘m so glad you raise that point because I think this really is the number of how we get from where we are to a better strategy on Afghanistan. The removal of General McChrystal doesn‘t eliminate the division in the administration. Two important things remain. First, the friction on the timeline. I‘m sure you noticed that in the last couple of days, Vice President Biden has said that large numbers of troops are going to leave in July of 2011, and he was tersely rebutted by the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Gates who said that decision hasn‘t been made yet. I do think there‘s a lot of the friction that didn‘t have to do with General McChrystal on the issue of the timeline.
The second thing is that the civilian parts of the president‘s team are not doing their job very well and we ought to hold them to the same standard of performance we hold our military to. It seems to me in this regard that General McChrystal was the center of gravity of political relationships with President Karzai and with other Afghan and other regional leaders. That work is more properly done by Ambassador Holbrooke and Ambassador Eikenberry and the weight of it has fallen to the military because other civilians don‘t have functional relationships at those high levels.
SCHULTZ: You think General McChrystal got a raw deal?
SCHAKE: No, I think the president was perfectly within his rights to relieve him.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Kori Schake, we appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now, Let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight. The Tea Party Senate Candidate Sharron Angle blamed the United States government for spoiling the unemployed in this country. Angle says, the jobs exist but Americans, they‘re just too lazy to take them.
There‘s no good news from President Obama in our new NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll. More people now disapprove of his leadership than approve of it. And he‘s losing points on across the board on likability, decisiveness and ability to handle a crisis.
And House republicans decided today to let Congressman Joe Barton keep his job as the ranking member on the Energy Committee even after he apologized to BP.
With us tonight, Karen Hunter, journalist and publisher and also John Feehery, Republican Strategist. Let‘s talk about Sharron Angle first. I just first want to play this about her comment in dealing with the unemployed. Here‘s Sharron Angle on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE, GOP SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job, but it doesn‘t pay as much. And so, that‘s what‘s happened to us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government, that we really have spoiled our citizenry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Karen Hunter, your thoughts on that?
KAREN HUNTER, JOURNALIST: Harry Reid is at home going yes! You know, she‘s a gift that just keeps on giving. Where are these jobs that she‘s talking about? And if we‘re so spoiled, I mean, I wonder how people feel in Canada and this other countries where they have, you know, health care paid for, they can go to school for free, they actually can take maternity leave for a few years. I mean, give me a break what, country is she living in?
SCHULTZ: John, how much of a problem is this going to be for her on the campaign to be this insensitive? Many people will view it that way.
JOHN FEEHERY, GOP STRATEGIST: Well, you know, Karen got it right when she said, where are the jobs? She asked that question. I think, that‘s the principal problem in this campaign for Harry Reid. Unemployment in Nevada is 14 percent. And they‘re not blaming Sharron Angle for that, they‘re blaming Harry Reid and President Obama. And that‘s what this election is going to turn on to a large extent. I don‘t think these comments are helpful to Sharron. Don‘t get me wrong on that but I do think that she still has a very good shot of beating Harry Reid.
HUNTER: But she let Harry Reid off the hook, she said, senators we‘re not responsible for jobs. So it‘s not harrying Reid‘s fault. She already gave him a free pass.
FEEHERY: Let me just say that I think that this election is going to turn on the Harry Reid‘s performance and President Obama‘s performance and that‘s will be they‘re going to vote on Sharron Angle‘s comments.
SCHULTZ: But let me ask both of you about Sharron Angle, her attitude. She comes across misinformed on this, not understanding the plight of the unemployed in this country and how people have exhausted their benefits. The high unemployment rate, the outsourcing. I mean, John, don‘t you think this makes her look a little bit out of touch and terribly insensitive?
FEEHERY: Well, Ed, you know, whatever I believe doesn‘t matter. What matters is what the people of Nevada think. She‘s still leading in most polls. And I still think that she‘s got a very good shot at beating Harry Reid.
SCHULTZ: Well, she might have a good shot at beating Harry Reid but we‘re finding out that she‘s pretty cold hearted. It would seem to me that this would unfold a lot of information about her to a lot of people that are probably going to be voting in that state.
All right. Let‘s go to President Obama‘s approval rating. The NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll shows that 46 percent approve, 50 percent disapprove. Is trouble on the horizon for the president? Now, take into account that today was a big news day, which I think would affect that poll but those are the numbers of what they are right now. Karen, your thoughts?
HUNTER: I‘m just glad that he‘s not a president who is running this country based on polls. He‘s got a lot of things on his plate. Things that he came into office with and we can you know, say, well that‘s not really the, you know, George Bush but it‘s reality. And you know, at the end of the day, all I care about is him fixing our problems. And I think two years in, not even, give him a break already.
SCHULTZ: Another one question is, do you think the country‘s heading in the right direction or the wrong track? Twenty nine percent head in the right direction. Sixty two percent off on the wrong track. John, this is exactly what the republicans want to see.
FEEHERY: Well, I think we might want to see the economy come back. Let me say this though. This is a steady erosion in the president‘s popularity. And it‘s been very steady. I think part of the reason is that the policies he‘s been pushing have not been working. Unemployment in Nevada, 14 percent. Unemployment around the country, just under 10 percent. Not a dramatic improvement. People don‘t think that the president‘s stimulus package for example worked, they don‘t think his policies are working. And that‘s why they‘re losing faith on him.
SCHULTZ: Well, the republicans won‘t help him with the jobs package.
We know that.
FEEHERY: It doesn‘t matter it passed without republicans help.
Republicans have a different approach. The fact of the matter is.
HUNTER: Well, you have a different approach for years and this is why we‘re in this quagmire.
FEEHERY: Well, for most of those eight years, Karen, for most of those eight years, unemployment was running six percent—five percent for most of those eight years.
SCHULTZ: All right. Shifting views on President Obama. It‘s pretty interesting here. Back in January of ‘09, they thought he was a strong leader. Now it‘s only 49 percent. Compassionate, 70 percent now at 51. Likable, 77 percent down to 64 percent. I guess I‘m curious what President Obama has done to make people not like him. The guy has been working as hard as he possibly can. There‘s a lot on his plate. But there is a general trend, Karen, how does he turn that around in this very important midterm season?
FEEHERY: Well, the thing that I love about this microwave society of ours is that when he does start to fix things, those numbers are going to do just the opposite. He needs to just keep his head down and keep working towards fixing the problems and cross his fingers that we don‘t have another BP crisis, something that you just can‘t even predict happen on his watch. But I think he was moving in the right direction before that thing exploded.
SCHULTZ: All right. Republican leadership has decided to keep Joe Barton in his ranking position on the House Energy Committee. This is John Boehner supporting Barton say, let‘s get to the next subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, MINORITY LEADER: Mr. Barton apologized to the members for in his words, his poor choice of words. He retracted his statement last week and apologized. And I think that the issue is closed. The real issue here is not what Mr. Barton said. It is let‘s get the oil leak stopped. Let‘s get the mess cleaned up. Find out what happened and make sure it never happens again.
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SCHULTZ: John Feehery, he gets an a for switching the subject. No question about that.
FEEHERY: Ed, one thing I want to make clear is I am doing some pr work on behalf of—communication work on behalf of BP. But some of my comments right now, I have nothing to do with what BP would say. I‘ve known Joe Barton for a long time. You have, too Ed. You know that he‘s got an engineering mind which means that he says things that sometimes people view as kind of out of left field. I like Joe Barton. I think he‘s a good leader. And I do think that John Boehner was right to say let‘s move on to other subjects. I think the democrats if they try to run a campaign off of Joe Barton are going to be very unsuccessful. Because, really outside of a few shows, no one know who Joe Barton is.
SCHULTZ: Well, actually, I think they would be very successful because many democrats are making the case that that is the prevailing thought process in the Republican Party. He just happened to say it. It wasn‘t a gaffe. It was prepared, remarks at a hearing.
FEEHERY: Well, actually, it was not prepared remarks. I read the prepared remarks. They were not prepared remarks. They were off the top of his head and the republican leadership condemned those remarks almost immediately.
FEEHERY: That‘s part of the record.
SCHULTZ: The fact is, the culture of it is he is apologizing to a company when they‘ve been told they have to make restitution. John, how do you get a campaign victory out of that?
FEEHERY: You don‘t. I think that‘s exactly right. I think, Joe Barton apologized. I think the republican leadership came down pretty hard on him. The fact of the matter is that Joe Barton is going to say some silly things every once in awhile.
SCHULTZ: Karen, what do you think?
HUNTER: It‘s not about him saying silly things, it‘s but the ideology that Ed is talking about. And he apologized to them? What about apologizing to the American people? But more importantly, he meant what he said, he meant what he said and it is the republican ideology that will.
SCHULTZ: I think the story that‘s lost in all of this is Barton has never said how much BP should have to pay and he‘s been at the oil trough for a long time. Karen Hunter, John Feehery, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us.
FEEHERY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up. Thanks to BP, 48 employees at a major oyster company in Louisiana got their last paycheck today. They‘ve promised to take care of these folks. I‘m holding them to their word, next on the Ed Show. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, did the president do the right thing accepting General McChrystal resignation? Text a for yes, text b for no to 622639. We got the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Back to The Playbook tonight on the Ed Show, it‘s been five days since AmeriPure Oyster Company in Louisiana was forced to shut down operations because of the gulf oil disaster. Today, there are 48 hard-working employees were handed their last paycheck. Thanks to BP, these 48 workers basically are wondering, you know, how they‘re going to support their families. BP met with them today. Let‘s see how they‘re holding up on their promise to make these people whole.
Patrick Fahey, he is the managing partner of AmeriPure Oyster Company joins us. Patrick, good to have you back with us. What kind of day was it? What did your employers hear? How did this meeting go?
PATRICK FAHEY, AMERIPURE OYSTER COMPANY: Ed, much to my surprise it went very well.
FAHEY: A lot of my employees got their checks on Saturday and Sunday. Those that took the initiative to go into a BP claims office and present themselves actually got paid off on the spot. There‘s still a few who haven‘t received a monthly stipend check, but it‘s in all likelihood their checks are in the mail.
SCHULTZ: OK. So this is a start. And is there any indication that there‘s going to be more? What are they being told?
FAHEY: There were actually, there were three BP reps who showed up at the plant along with some state social service agencies. They were asked that specific question right off the bat and they stated emphatically that we will continue to make you whole as long as we‘re working here in the gulf cleaning up this spill. So.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s pretty positive, that‘s the most positive news we‘ve heard about making people whole. So, you‘re expecting them to come back and deliver another monthly check?
FAHEY: Yes, and the amounts I didn‘t hear any grousing about the amounts. The employees, their faces show their sense of relief that we certainly didn‘t see on Friday. And to their credit, BP‘s spokespersons, the people who came sincerely apologized to everybody. That‘s how they started the meeting. They answered every question that was given to them and it went really well. So.
SCHULTZ: How did it go for you?
FAHEY: We‘re doing fine. We‘ve gotten about 90 percent now of what we‘ve asked BP for the first 60 days. And we‘re still talking to them. So our experience, which is not everyone‘s, I know that, but our experience has been generally very positive. And we will, you know, keep pushing and keep waiting. You know, we‘ll look for little chinks in the armor but right now we‘ve gotten off to a good start. I could see it in the faces of my employees. They were much relieved.
SCHULTZ: I think, Americans need to hear this story night. Red lobster has taken oysters off the menu because of the situation your company is in. And you think that there‘s a possibility that you might be able to go back to work this fall. Is that right?
FAHEY: We‘re hopeful that we can get back into business by November.
FAHEY: And I believe red lobster will reintroduce our product but quite frankly, you have to take it off the menu if you can‘t get it.
SCHULTZ: Yes. That‘s true.
FAHEY: I can‘t blame them for that.
SCHULTZ: It‘s good to have you with us tonight. Thanks for the good news.
FAHEY: My pleasure, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Some final pages in our Playbook tonight. The so-called Bin Laden hunter is heading back to the United States. Gary Faulkner is expected to land in Denver tonight after being detained for ten days in Pakistan. Authorities found him in the woods of Northern Pakistan with pistol, a sword and night vision goggles. He was on a Rambo-type mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden.
And history was made at Wimbledon today. The longest tennis match of all time was suspended for darkness, after at 59 to 59 in the fifth set. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, they‘ve been playing for ten hours. Play resumes tomorrow. For a third day? And that makes me tired just thinking about it. It does. I couldn‘t even walk that long. Get a good steak and get some rest.
And finally, America has something to celebrate today. You know, it was a Hollywood finish for team USA at the world cup in South Africa with the United States perhaps three minutes from elimination. Landon Donovan scored a dramatic goal to beat Algeria, one and nothing. President Clinton, hey, man, he‘s going wild in the stands. I‘ve been loving every bit of that, good to get the victory. And he was spotted toasting them big time with a beer. It‘s always good to see the United States do well. We need a good championship. Don‘t we? I like the NBA playoffs, too. That was kind of cool.
Coming up, W‘s little bro Jeb is crying foul at the Obama administration. He wants him to quit blaming his brother for everything. Hey, Jeb, the facts are the facts. That‘s next.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, Jeb Bush has had enough of President Obama blaming his big brother George for the country‘s current problems. The former Florida governor blast to the president for his criticism of W saying, quote, “It‘s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, the dog ate my homework. It‘s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don‘t accept responsibility.” The problem for Jeb is, a lot of Americans know it‘s all Bush‘s fault. A new NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll found this. Twenty seven percent of people think President Obama‘s policies are solely or mainly responsible for the current economic conditions. Meanwhile, 40 percent say, President George W. Bush‘s policies are responsible.
Let me get more on this from Roy Sekoff, Founding Editor of the “Huffington Post.” Roy, what do you make of this? You know, Jeb Bush is on the defense from his brother.
ROY SEKOFF, HUFFINGTONPOST founding editor: Yes, it‘s incredibly comical that, you know, he criticizes Obama for not taking responsibility while utterly not taking responsibility for the eight years of what happened under his brother. You know? It‘s a beautiful thing with republicans to notice these days that they like to pretend that the consequences of those eight years of horrible decisions ended the second Obama took the oath of office. It‘s like yes, you know, we trashed the economy. We got us into two wars. We created a culture of cronyism that made possible things like what‘s happened in the gulf but why do you keep harping on it?
SCHULTZ: The president‘s numbers are starting to slide a little bit.
Do you think the Bush excuse is wearing thin with some Americans?
SEKOFF: Well, I think people do have very short-term memories. And they do forget about it, and you know, I mean forget the kid, you know, saying the dog ate his homework. This is like a guy trashing his apartment and then blaming the damage on the next guy who moves in. At a certain point though, I think, you know, Obama is going to get pinned with some of this. Rightly so, but we‘ve got to remember that this is a time-honored political tradition, Ed. I mean, Ronald Reagan ran, I mean, for four years, he kept running against Jimmy Carter. Even in 1984 when the Lebanon attack happened to our embassy, he blamed it on Carter.
He tried to pin the blame on the fact that we had let our intelligence go down even though there had already been two previous attacks in Lebanon under Reagan‘s watch. You know, same thing with Jeb‘s brother W. When he was leaving office, he said, you know, I came in with a recession and I‘m leaving with a recession, as if he wasn‘t president for eight years. Still trying to pin it on Clinton. You know, it‘s a little bit crazy.
SCHULTZ: Roy, let‘s talk about today‘s developments. Was it a good day for the president? How did he do and how do you think, it‘s going to fare with the American people?
SEKOFF: Yes. I think it was great day for the president. I mean, I think, one of the problems that the president had is I think he‘s a little bit too respectful for powers of authority. Whether it‘s military or the masters of the universe over on Wall Street. So, I think it‘s good for him to, you know, take a stand, flex his muscles and show that, you know, we‘re not going to allow this kind of behavior from the military. We‘ve got to keep the division.
SCHULTZ: Roy Sekoff, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us.
SEKOFF: Ed, great seeing you buddy.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, in our text survey question, I asked, did you think
do you think President Obama did the right thing accepting General McChrystal‘s resignation. Ninety four percent of you said yes, six percent of you said no.
That‘s the Ed show. I‘m Ed Schultz. hardball with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night at 6:00 Eastern for the Ed show. Have a good one.
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