Guests: Tim Kaine, Roy Sekoff, Jack Jacobs, Raul Grijalva, Al Sharpton, Sam
Stein, Ron Christie, Elijah Cummings, Steve McMahon
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour. It‘s really good to be back.
The Republican Party is—well, they are completely out of touch with the needs of the middle class Americans in this country. But I want to know why the president and the Democrats just aren‘t hammering these guys.
Man, it‘s in the summertime. We‘ve got to get going here. My commentary.
Plus, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine is going to be joining me in just a moment.
Arizona has been served. The Justice Department made it official today, filing suit against the state over its harsh anti-immigration law.
Reverend Al Sharpton joins me at the bottom of the hour to talk about that.
And Vice President Joe Biden is making some pretty big predictions about the Democrats in the midterms. You‘ll want to hear it.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. Actually, there‘s a bunch of them that got me fired up.
You know, after being on vacation, I can‘t believe the Republicans didn‘t fix the country. At this hour, millions of Americans—nothing has changed—are out of work, getting cut off from any government aid. That‘s still going on. Oil, still pouring into the Gulf, killing the small businesses down there and our ecosystem. June, should we mention, was the deadliest month the United States has ever had in Afghanistan.
And the Congress is on vacation. I guess they have to take some time off, but it would be nice if they worked together when they were in session.
The Republican Party, what are they doing? Well, they are pinning it all on President Obama.
Here‘s self-proclaimed student of history, RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: This was a war of Obama‘s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.
If he‘s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that‘s the one thing you don‘t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, it‘s amazing what they say when they don‘t know they are being recorded.
Of course, the Republican Party, they think you‘re stupid.
Blaming President Obama is in their DNA. It has been all along.
Steele has taken some heat to step down, but not enough. The “blame Obama first” culture in the Republican Party goes all the way to the top. Take a look at this new Web video Minority Leader John Boehner has put out over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, MINORITY LEADER: This week, President Obama traveled to Racine, Wisconsin, a city with 14 percent unemployment. And he used his time there to attack me. So I‘d ask of the president several questions.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the Gulf, we don‘t yet know what caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.
BOEHNER: Why aren‘t you focused on stopping the oil spill in the Gulf and getting the Gulf cleaned up?
OBAMA: If I had been just thinking politics, I would have sent you one big check with my picture on it.
BOEHNER: Why isn‘t the president focused on creating jobs that the American people are asking for?
Mr. President, what about the country?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes, Mr. Tan Man, what about the country?
He‘s blaming the oil spill, the economy and the job crisis on President Obama when his party has done nothing but obstruct every part of the Obama agenda and the people‘s agenda. The Republican Party filibustered raising liability caps on oil companies, extending unemployment benefits, the jobs bill, the energy bill, and every other bill that they can get their hands on.
The Republican agenda is about one thing, breaking President Obama. That‘s it. They don‘t give a damn how many Americans they hurt in the process because it‘s all about power.
Michael Steele, John Boehner and the rest of the Republican Party can lie all they want because nobody even makes them pay the price. Their friends across the street at the right-wing network and 450 righty talkers across the country have always had their back. They can pretty much do whatever they want.
Steele will survive. He will survive because the Republicans have never had the guts to get rid of anybody who lies about President Obama. In fact, they can‘t get enough of it.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Do you think RNC Chair Michael Steele will survive his latest controversy? Press the number 1 for yes. Press the number 2 for no. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is former governor Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
TIM KAINE, CHAIRMAN, DNC: Ed, great to be back.
SCHULTZ: Is Michael Steele good or bad for the Democrats?
KAINE: Well, you know what? I‘ll tell you this: I think he‘s a fair representative of what the other party has to offer right now. Let me just say it that way.
And, Ed, you stated it correctly at the top. They have only had one agenda, and that‘s to beat President Obama.
Michael Steele wrote a book earlier this year. The subtitle of the book was “Twelve Ways to Stop the Obama Agenda.”
Just think about it for a minute. This is the party of Abraham Lincoln. If he thought that his party had devolved to the point where their only platform was, how can we help President Obama fail, he would turn over in his grave. That‘s what this grand party has become. The only thing that unifies these guys when they are not fighting between the Tea Party and the institutional party such as they exist is a desire to stop President Obama when we all need to be working together to turn this nation around.
Thank goodness the economy is turned around and growing again. We‘ve got a long way to go, but these guys are just standing on the sidelines throwing rocks, and they are showing the American people how they would govern if they happen to get back in power in one or both houses.
SCHULTZ: Governor Kaine, I‘ve been out on the road, I‘ve talked to a lot of people, done a lot of town halls. If the economy is getting better, I have to say that a lot of Americans don‘t feel it. They don‘t sense it.
KAINE: Not enough yet.
SCHULTZ: Everybody is mad at everybody. I mean, there‘s just so much cross-chatter going on amongst the parties.
How do the Democrats turn that around, maintain the majority, and maybe even pick up some seats? I mean, what‘s the game plan this summer?
KAINE: Well, sure. Well, Ed, let me say this: it is clearly the case that the economy isn‘t where it needs to be yet. But I know an awful lot of road contractors who have people at work who weren‘t working a year and a half ago because of stimulus investments.
Consumer spending is starting to pick back up again. The GDP is growing, not shrinking. We‘re adding jobs every month, not losing jobs to the tune of 750,000 a jobs a month in the private sector, as was happening when President Obama came into office.
So, part of our job, I think we have to do this as Democrats, is tell people, look, we‘re not where we want to be yet. But at least things are getting better. And the last thing we need to do is put it in the hands of the guys who will take us right back to the ditch.
SCHULTZ: Do you think Americans believe that things are getting better? Do you sense that?
KAINE: I detect it in different groups of people when I talk to them. They recognize, you know, the economy isn‘t in a free-fall. The economy is growing. Jobs are being added.
The stock market isn‘t at 6,000. In the last year of the Bush administration, $10 trillion of savings were wiped out when the stock market went into a free-fall. Look, we‘re not out of the woods, but things are climbing again. We‘ve got to make that case.
KAINE: But we also have to point out that ultimately, Ed—and this is what we do for November—we make it—it‘s a choice. It‘s a choice between a party that is doing the heavy lifting to solve health care, to regulate Wall Street, to guarantee that women are entitled to equal pay for equal work, or low-income kids are entitled to health insurance, versus a party whose only goal is to fight for Wall Street and fight against an economic turnaround.
SCHULTZ: But don‘t you have some sense that maybe the Republicans and all this obstruction has frustrated the country so much, that people are thinking that the Democrats can‘t get anything done? I don‘t take issue with what you‘ve said. You‘re exactly right. A lot of good stuff has worked, but, also, their strategy, to a sense, has been somewhat successful.
Would you agree with that?
KAINE: I do think that they have pursued a strategy that‘s just as you describe. And they basically decided, look, if we can fight President Obama on everything, and not just on policy, when he wants to speak to schoolchildren on the opening day of class, we‘ll fight against him on that, even though other presidents have been extended that courtesy. We‘ll put in bills suggesting that he wasn‘t a U.S. citizen, which members of Congress, Republican members, have done.
SCHULTZ: Well, just focus the country. That‘s really what they have been trying to do all along.
KAINE: Yes. Distract people. They might lower turnout, it might increase anger.
But here‘s what they are finding, Ed. They are also reaping the whirlwind, because some of the anger that they are creating is coming back and knocking off a multi-term senator like Bob Bennett, or chasing a Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party and Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party. When you preach a politics that‘s about who are we mad at and who are we afraid of, you often find that it comes back and bites you, too, and that‘s what they are finding.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Governor Kaine, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
KAINE: Thanks a lot, Ed. You bet.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
SCHULTZ: For more, let‘s bring in Roy Sekoff, the founding editor of “The Huffington Post.”
Roy, if the Democrats are going to get this momentum this summer, conventional wisdom is it‘s going to be President Obama. But the latest NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll shows that with white voters, President Obama is struggling.
Right now he‘s at an approval rating of 36 percent. A year ago it was 49 percent. Disapprove at 56 percent. It was at 40 percent a year ago.
What do you make of this, Roy?
ROY SEKOFF, FOUNDING EDITOR, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: Well, I think you nailed, it Ed. I think what we‘re seeing is the Republicans are using a congressional chaos theory.
You know, they are just distracting. They are confusing as much—you know, focus on little petty things like Boehner calling the president a whiner. I don‘t know if you missed that one when you were on vacation.
Anything to keep the substance at bay. And I‘m afraid that it is working.
The poll numbers show that it is working. So, Obama I think has to come back doubly strong and really focus on the jobs. I mean, that‘s the thing.
The one thing I loved about Boehner‘s video there, did you notice there was not one idea in it? It was just complaint, complaint, complaint, complaint. Question, question, question. And that‘s what I think they have to point out.
SCHULTZ: Yes, I think that‘s where the soft underbelly is of the Republicans.
SEKOFF: Yes. That‘s it.
SCHULTZ: A year ago this time there were the Tea Partiers out there who were frustrated. OK. Fast forward a year. Where are we now?
What have the Republicans done other than get in the way of trying to help Americans and set the table for the job creation?
SEKOFF: You can‘t allow—
SCHULTZ: It would seem to me—go ahead.
SEKOFF: I‘m saying you can‘t allow Boehner to ask the president, why aren‘t you creating jobs for the people of Racine? I mean, when the Republicans have blocked and gotten in the way of almost every single piece of legislation that would have created jobs. And that‘s what I think they have to hammer on. You know, who is in favor of the middle class?
And the other Boehner statement was when he said that the financial reform was the equivalent of trying to kill an ant with a nuclear bomb, right? Well, is that—is that what he thinks 26 million people out of work is, that‘s an ant to him? Is one out of eight people losing their homes to foreclosure, is that an ant?
That‘s what they really think, Ed, and that‘s the thing that we‘re seeing. They‘re every now and then letting their real feelings bubble up like Barton saying we should apologize to BP.
SCHULTZ: And what is your advice to reinvigorate the enthusiasm of the people that put President Obama in office? I sense that there is political exhaustion across the country.
Everybody is mad at everybody. Everybody is complaining. And I somewhat disagree with the outlook of Governor Kaine, of what he‘s saying about the state of the country.
I think people are furious right now, and I don‘t think that they feel good about the economy. Now, whether the job—whether the job numbers are what they are, I mean, the gut instinct is, you know, people are saying what‘s happening here?
Now, how do you turn that around?
SEKOFF: Well, what you can‘t do, Ed, is you can‘t buy into these deficit hawks, we‘ve got to cut, we‘ve got to pull back on everything. You know what I love? When it comes to jobs, they have sticker shock. Oh, my God, look at the price tag.
But when it comes to signing another check for the war in Afghanistan, or the war in Iraq, that‘s a blank check then. We don‘t have to find a way to pay that. You know, that‘s not deficit-neutral.
So I think what Obama can‘t do is suddenly pull back tight. I think he has to be bold, he has to be big.
That‘s what he came in promising: bold, big change, bold, big initiatives. And I think despite them pushing back on it, he‘s got to keep fighting that way and not suddenly falling into lockstep and say, yes, we‘ve got to cut, cut, cut.
SCHULTZ: Roy Sekoff, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SEKOFF: Good talking to you, Ed. Welcome back.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Coming up, not everything Michael Steele said was completely “Psycho Talk.” Something he said actually made some sense to progressives like me.
Colonel Jack Jacobs joins me to talk about strategy ahead in Afghanistan.
And the not-ready-for-primetime Tea Partier Sharron Angle sends a cease and desist notice to Harry Reid. Her past comes back to haunt her again, so she whines about it. My panel weighs in on that.
All that, plus Wall Street sells out on Democrats. And my fight for the unemployed in America continues.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Good to be back with you. We‘re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
I want to go back to RNC Chairman Michael Steele‘s comments about Afghanistan. Everybody is talking about Steele calling Afghanistan Obama‘s war, but it‘s the second part of Steele‘s comments when he said, “Everyone who has tried to wage a land war in Afghanistan in the last thousand years has failed.” I can‘t believe I‘m going to say this, but I agree with Michael Steele.
This is what I wrote in my book, “Killer Politics.” “They call Afghanistan the place where empires go to die. The Soviet Union crumbled after 10 years there. The last successful invaders were the Mongols in 1221. So, unless you‘ve got Genghis Khan suiting up, it‘s going to be rough going.”
Joining me now is retired Army colonel Jack Jacobs, an MSNBC military analyst.
Colonel, good to have you with us.
COL. JACK JACOBS (RET.), MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST: Thanks for having me on the show.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Why should Americans forking out billions of tax dollars into Afghanistan think that it‘s going to be any different than it‘s been since 1221?
JACOBS: Well, it isn‘t going to be any different, as we‘ve seen. We‘ve ignored the places the Taliban was driven out about eight years or so ago, and just now have started doing what we should have done a long time ago, and that is try to empower the local chieftains, try to get the people who are in the local areas to take care of it themselves.
But thinking that we can have a democratically-elected government in Kabul rule this vast land is absolute nonsense. It never worked before. It‘s not going to work now.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Michael Steele‘s comments saying that this is President Obama‘s war?
JACOBS: Oh, I mean, I was astounded to hear it myself. I thought it was America‘s war.
I thought we went over there to get rid of the Taliban. And the only reason we got the Taliban back there again is, as I said, we ignored it for seven years.
We either do the job or we don‘t do the job. I think the president has already said that he‘s going to start withdrawing the majority of the direct combat troops next July. That doesn‘t mean that we‘re actually going to get out of there.
We‘re going to be involved in special operations. We‘re going to be involved with mobile training teams for a long time to come. But thinking that we can conduct a conventional war there has been the mistake that we‘ve made for about the last decade.
SCHULTZ: Colonel, what do you expect to be different a year from now?
JACOBS: It all depends how we focus our attention. I think the president has decided that the war needs to be waged in Kandahar and in Helmand Province in the south, along the border with Afghanistan, and I think only there. All this other stuff with trying to fool around with Kabul --
JACOBS: -- that‘s not going to work. It never possibly could work. And the only way we are going to make any headway to keep the Taliban out of there is to work in those areas which have been designated the area (ph) that General Petraeus is going to work on now.
SCHULTZ: All right. Here‘s Vice President Joe Biden with Andrea Mitchell talking about winning in Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is what I love about the president, man. He has no problem saying the policy, domestic or foreign, that he puts in place, if it‘s not working, it‘s not working, we change it. We believe we can succeed in dealing with our major objective in Afghanistan, which is—everybody keeps forgetting, it is to defeat and eventually eliminate al Qaeda and provide enough time and space for the Afghan government to be able to generate enough force that they can thwart those in the Taliban that they cannot reconcile with.
That‘s the objective. We think we can accomplish both.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wow. I mean, to do that in a year, to have the Afghan people stand up with an army to defeat, or to hold back the Taliban while we draw down, I‘ll tell you what, that‘s—
JACOBS: Well, let me tell you, he said one thing there that does make sense and why it might work, and that is to get together with the Taliban. I think that there are already conversations taking place, and both we and the people in Kabul would love to sit down with the Taliban and work out some sort of arrangement. I believe that if we‘re ever going to withdraw the large majority of troops from there, it‘s going to be because we‘ve cut a deal with the Taliban, and I think we‘re working on it right now.
SCHULTZ: OK. Colonel, I understood you spent your Fourth of July throwing out the pitch at a Mets game. And we just happen to have some videotape of that. The Ed team was out and about here.
JACOBS: Embarrass the old guy, will you?
SCHULTZ: I‘ve done this before. I threw it in the dirt at the Marlins game. So I‘ve got to congratulate you for not only getting it across the plate, but it looked like a strike to me.
JACOBS: Hey, I‘ll tell you two things about it. First, A, it was a strike. And, B, it was the world‘s slowest two-seam fastball.
SCHULTZ: Just bring it home.
Colonel, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
JACOBS: Thanks for having me on the program.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
And this programming note. Rachel Maddow is live in Afghanistan with a special report tonight and tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on MSNBC.
Coming up, the Tan Man can‘t be happy about the new tanning tax, but one other righty talker is psycho-talking about the reason behind it.
I‘m frying him in the “Zone” next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, very low-rated righty talker Jim Quinn out of Pittsburgh. Well, he is very low-rated. He‘s only on 12 stations. This is a big pub for him.
He‘s not happy about the new 10 percent tax on indoor tanning.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JIM QUINN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is a tax. It‘s a tax on one—well, one “race.” This is a race-based tax, and it took this administration, with the racial chip on its shoulder, to come up with a tax that only taxes white people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, because the Obama administration has nothing better to do than to sit around and figure out how to screw over white people. I wonder where this goober Quinn got this idea anyway?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don‘t know what it is. This guy is, I believe, a racist.
SCHULTZ: Hmm. Yes, right.
It was “The Beckster,” the grand pubah of wacko conspiracy theories.
And Quinn‘s argument that the tanning tax is racist isn‘t a new one either. A fill-in host on Beck‘s radio show offered the same theory about three months ago. See, they regurgitate a lot of their material.
Of course, we can all guess who these guys are trying to protect when they speak out against the tanning tax. You can‘t upset the boss. This guy, Mr. Tan Man himself, House Minority Leader John Boehner, he doesn‘t want to get taxed.
Saying that the Obama administration is taxing tanning because of a racial chip on its shoulder is “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer gets her own papers. The Department of Justice files a lawsuit challenging the Arizona immigration law. The suit claims it leads to racial profiling.
The Rev sounds off on that in just a moment.
And Rand Paul really didn‘t mean it when he said he wanted underground electrical fences along the border.
More on that.
And, of course, the tar balls have hit Texas. BP is now a board game.
That‘s right, discovered from years back.
And Vice President Joe Biden is making big predictions for November.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching. Tonight, The Battleground story this evening, well, the United States versus the state of Arizona. Today, the Department of Justice filed a suit over Arizona‘s controversial new immigration law. The Obama administration explained the suit in a statement that says, in part, “A patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement, having enacted its own immigration policy that conflicts with federal immigration law. Arizona crossed a constitutional line.”
Republicans fired back right away today. Arizona Senators John Kyl and also John McCain questioned the administration‘s commitment to border security, and a spokesman for the Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called the lawsuit, quote, “a terribly bad decision.”
Joining me now is Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, he‘s also the co-chair of the progressive caucus. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. I know you‘ve spent some time at home. What are your constituents saying about this law now that they have had several months to digest it, and everybody knew that this federal lawsuit was coming? We keep hearing all these polls and surveys that the people of Arizona want it. Do you agree with that?
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Yes. I think it‘s a divided call here in Arizona, but I think that what the Justice Department did today was necessary and a prudent step. It‘s part of the democratic process. Arizona through its legislature and governor passed a law that many of us feel is unconstitutional, and through its racial profiling violates civil rights. It needs to be challenged. Even if more ardent supporters, McCain and Kyl, who Kyl being a lawyer, should know that none of us who take an oath for office to uphold the constitution would want to be upholding a law that fundamentally violates the constitution of this nation.
I think it is for all our stakes, whether you support or oppose this law. It‘s good to have this test. It‘s necessary to have this test and it‘s the democratic process. Those that are upset about it and talk about border security or other things should understand that there‘s not only we‘re talking about immigration, but we‘re also talking about basic constitutional protections in this country, and if we allow this slippery slope to begin in Arizona to set a precedent nationwide, then what other constitutional protection, what other constitutional prerogative are we going to lose as a nation? So, this law is not only necessary for Arizona. I think it‘s necessary for the constitutional health of the nation and for the democracy that we‘re all sworn to keep.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, how much resistance have you gotten from people in Arizona with your position on this?
GRIJALVA: It‘s been significant. I mean, people feel that this is—
should be a state‘s right prerogative, that we should be able to do what
we want and I remind them, you know, back in the ‘50s and the ‘60s, it was
OK to be segregated in the south and the majority of those residents in
Mississippi or Alabama supported those laws. Those laws were wrong. They
were overturned, and part of the reason they were overturned was on the
unconstitutionality of it. So, before we go down that slope, let‘s make
sure we‘re doing the right thing, and I don‘t think we are
SCHULTZ: I want your response to this joint statement that Senators McCain and Kyl put out. “The American people must wonder whether the Obama administration is really committed to securing the boarder when it sues a state that‘s simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law. The Obama administration has not done everything it can do to protect the people of Arizona from the violence and crime, illegal immigration brings to our state. Until it does, the federal government should not be suing Arizona on the grounds that immigration enforcement is solely a federal responsibility. Do you think that the Obama administration is doing everything it can? I mean, our sources are obviously, our facts are showing that he has increased border security, not only with equipment, money and personnel. Your thoughts on all that.
GRIJALVA: Yes. I think this—this administration, and we‘ve criticized the Obama administration for not doing enough to move to immigration reform and only concentrated on enforcement, and I find it ironic that it‘s been Kyl and McCain who have been cheerleaders about enforcement only, and now we have troops on the border in Arizona, 500 plus. We have a fence. We have billions of dollars invested in technology to deal with the issue of illegal entrants. We have 8,000 border patrol agents, a 200 percent increase over four years, and more deportations and more detentions under the Obama administration. You know, that‘s the irony of the McCain/Kyl statement.
SCHULTZ: I want to—yes, and I don‘t mean to interrupt you, but I really want to get this in.
GRIJALVA: Go ahead.
SCHULTZ: You know, John McCain worked with the late Senator Kennedy on immigration reform, but now it seems that he‘s done a reverse way. He put out a statement today saying he wants to deport millions of Americans. What do you make of that?
GRIJALVA: We‘re in a political season, and expediency is the by-word in this season and particularly when it comes to the issue of immigration. John McCain, the maverick is gone. John McCain, the independent is gone. John McCain, the expedient, what do I need to do to get elected is with us, and that‘s part of what he‘s doing.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GRIJALVA: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: For more on this immigration lawsuit, let me bring in Reverend Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network. It goes back to the folks on the ground, Reverend Sharpton. If this—does the Obama administration and the Justice Department is trying to get this law suspended because it‘s going into effect on July 29th. What if they can‘t do it? What if it goes into effect? What kind of pushback is your organization and others going to make?
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK PRESIDENT: Well, we‘ve said when we did the big march out there earlier this year that if in fact this goes into effect, we will be bringing in people from around the country, what we call freedom walkers, reminiscent of the freedom rioters in the ‘60s that will violate the law. We will go and refuse, walk with those that appear Mexican and refuse to give ID and submit ourselves to non-violent civil disobedience and possible arrest because people did can not violate the constitution. The elected officials and politicians in Arizona have a right to their opinion. They do not have a right to violate the constitution, and the federal civil rights of American citizens.
SHARPTON: This is not about protecting illegal immigrants. It‘s about protecting American citizens who will look Latino or looks Mexican and be subjected to different forms of law enforcement than others. That‘s a violation of their constitutional rights.
SCHULTZ: A lot of states are following Arizona trying to emulate what they are doing legally. Do you think that this lawsuit is going to be able to block what you think is unconstitutional?
SHARPTON: I would hope the courts would enjoin the enactment of this law before July 29th. If it does not, I think we have to do what we feel is necessary to put the street heat on to make sure that people understand the violation, but the fact that so many other states now are trying to do some duplications of this is the reason why the federal government has to step in. We‘re looking at a state‘s rights movement in the name of we‘re fighting illegal immigration. What they are fighting is United States constitution, and they are fighting the rights of people to be protected by the federal government who has the responsibility of immigration, not local states, not that you do it state by state. You won‘t even know if all of these states pass these laws, you won‘t even know what the law is in one state to another as you pass the border.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Reverend Sharpton, always a pleasure. Thanks so much.
SHARPTON: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response on our panel from these stories tonight. Tea Party Senate Nominee Sharron Angle. She‘s a dandy. She‘s demanding that Harry Reid stop re-posting her positions on issues from her old website, OK? A new Gallup poll shows the Tea Partiers think the biggest threat to America is the national debt, even more than terrorism. I guess President Obama is keeping us safe. And the Wall Street campaign contributions to democrats seem to be drying up as Congress puts the finishing touches on a financial reform bill.
With us tonight, Sam Stein, Political Reporter “Huffington Post” and Ron Christie, Republican Strategist. Fellows, great to have you with us tonight. Great to be back with you as well. All right. I want to talk about this Harry Reid situation. He‘s basically digging up her old comments and making them public. Sam Stein, what is the Reid‘s camp reaction to all of this now that she, of course, is demanding that he stop doing this?
SAM STEIN, “HUFFINGTON POST” POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, tonight actually, Ed, the Reid‘s camp is actually placing back on the web, her old campaign website defying in some respects, the cease and desist order. Obviously, this shouldn‘t be that controversial. All they are doing is taking her old positions and putting them on the web. In fact, we at “Huffington Post” did the same thing. We had archive for old web, we put it up there to compare to her new site. They are diametrically different. In our old website, she was for ending all regulations on offshore drilling, that was pre-BP, post-BP on her new website, she‘s for regulations and offshore drilling, it‘s 180 degrees different.
SCHULTZ: Ron Christie do, we have a confused candidate on our hand?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I think, we have a despicable senate majority leader, frankly. The thing Ed that I find most offensive about this case is not just re-posting her old site. What the Reid campaign did was they took the code from her original site and they ask individuals to put in their e-mail addresses and their personal information. I find it morally reprehensible.
STEIN: They have actually removed that. That‘s what they removed in the new site.
CHRISTIE: Sam, that‘s what they were doing.
STEIN: No, I know. That‘s been removed.
CHRISTIE: I find it offensive that the senate majority leader would try to fish for information of people who thought that they were submitting information to the Angle camp. They got caught. They removed it. If they want to have a discussion about content, they should talk about the fact that Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country and the fact that Senator Reid has done a terrible job as senator and that he resorted to what I think is a despicable form of campaigning here.
STEIN: That‘s a little hyperbolic.
SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Sam.
STEIN: Oh, I just think it‘s a little bit hyperbolic. I mean, literally all he‘s trying to do is get her old positions out there. I don‘t see why that‘s a problem, Harry Reid had an old website and he wanted to take it down, I think Sharron Angle would be completely within her rights to do it so long as she didn‘t solicit donations or e-mails of recipients as Ron points out.
CHRISTIE: And here‘s the thing. A very quickly, Sam, the thing that I think is not hyperbolic about this is that they sought information about people, private information about private citizens under...
STEIN: We‘re not debating that. They have already taken that‘s out.
CHRISTIE: That‘s actually what we are debating, that they got caught and they had to remove it.
SCHULTZ: Ron, when it comes to going after someone‘s previous position on something, you would you say that was fair game, would you?
CHRISTIE: I always think in the realm of policy and politics, you can talk about what people have said. My point on this, Ed as I‘ve said to you, is I think that they under false pretenses gathered private information about private citizens.
SCHULTZ: Yes, but you can‘t—she‘s upset about the re-posting of her positions. She posted the original positions, and now she‘s trying to wiggle in a different direction.
CHRISTIE: No. I think it‘s more than that, too. Her original website was not nearly as professional as the one that she‘s put up now.
STEIN: That‘s the true.
CHRISTIE: Yes, it is. Actually, I‘ve taken a closer look.
STEIN: No, no, that‘s true, you‘re right. I‘m agreeing with you.
CHRISTIE: That‘s exactly right. The Reid folks are trying to have it both ways. Why don‘t we talk about the issues? It makes me think that of course, Senator Reid can‘t talk about the issues. He‘s failed with ObamaCare, he‘s failed with the stimulus. He‘s playing dirty tricks. Why can‘t he focus on his own record? That‘s what he should be talking about.
SCHULTZ: Failed with ObamaCare and 32 million people going to getting coverage, OK and pre-existing condition. That‘s not a failure, Ron. I can‘t let you have that one.
CHRISTIE: We could talk for the entire hour on the cost curve that‘s going to be more expensive.
SCHULTZ: All right. I want to go to this Gallup poll that shows that Tea Partiers think that the biggest threat is the national debt and not terrorism. It looks to me like by ten percent, as far as the Tea Partiers are concerned, the president is doing a pretty good job of keeping us safe. Sam Stein, what do you think?
STEIN: Well, there‘s a real hysteria about the deficit, and obviously what we saw over the weekend was that the Obama administration is very much listening to that. The political advisers are telling the president to focus his team and efforts on lowering the deficit. Often to the contrast of job creation. I don‘t quite understand why they are doing this. I don‘t think you can get your hand on the deficit within the next election cycle. You got to focus on jobs. It‘s the one thing you can do.
SCHULTZ: Ron, your old boss Dick Cheney said deficits didn‘t matter?
CHRISTIE: Well, my former boss, former Republican Representative John Kasich, who was chairman of the budget committee, actually balanced the budget back in 1997 when I worked with him.
SCHULTZ: Dick Cheney.
CHRISTIE: Dick Cheney speaks for all republicans. You guys can laugh, but I think the reason that the democrats are going to get clobbered in this November is they see President Obama jetting around, taking vacations, people have lost their jobs. People are balancing their own very, very tight budgets, and they see the administration in Washington, D.C. way out of control with spending. That‘s why people are angry.
SCHULTZ: All right. But he hasn‘t done as much as what is George W. Bush, you got to give him that. And fellows, good to have you with us tonight.
CHRISTIE: Always a pleasure.
STEIN: Thanks very much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: All right. Coming up, I‘m still hot on the republicans blocking unemployment benefit extensions. The senates take time off as millions of Americans are without money to feed their families. And there‘s no help, no help insight for the 99ers. These people need our help. Congressman Cummings agrees with me and he will join me on that issue next here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And still not too late to let us know what you think. The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ed-msnbc. Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you think RNC Chair Michael Steele will survive his latest controversy? Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no. Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Well, it‘s not psycho talk, but I‘ll do it again if you want me to. It‘s The Playbook tonight. While Congress is in recess this week, millions of Americans are losing their unemployment benefits, thanks to 36 Senate republicans and, of course, Ben Nelson. The house voted to extend those benefits last night but the Senate couldn‘t get it together and they went on vacation without passing the bill, and now nothing more will be done until at least July 12th when they return from recess. But even that won‘t help the increasing number of people who have been unemployed for more than 99 weeks. There‘s no legislation, none whatsoever in the pipeline, to help four million Americans out.
Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland. It is heartless to say the least, congressman, that the republicans are doing this. What do you have to say to four million Americans that have absolutely no help, and I get my back up when I hear that these people would just rather get a check than to go get a job? What are we going to do for these folks?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Well, first of all, I think it‘s a shame that the Congress went on vacation to get some sun and do some travel while our constituents are suffering and, you know, Ed, the thing is it seems like many members of Congress, the republicans that you just talked about are more concerned about their next election than their constituents‘ next week, how they will get through the next week. And so, I think it‘s a shame, and it‘s—you know, when you‘ve got some 14.6 million people unemployed and half of them, Ed, have been unemployed for approximately nine months and this is the highest level of jobless opportunity that we have. And this is the first time, Ed, that we‘ve ever been in this kind of situation.
CUMMINGS: Where unemployment benefits were not extended. So, you have to wonder, where‘s the empathy?
SCHULTZ: Well, there isn‘t any.
SCHULTZ: It‘s all about failure. It‘s all about power. It‘s all about waiting it out until the mid-term and frustrating the electorate and then maybe unseating the democrats. That‘s how I see it. That‘s as heartless as you can get.
CUMMINGS: That‘s exactly right. It‘s how can we get political gamesmanship and win an election as opposed to winning for our constituents, and if we defeat this, what they‘re saying, is that they defeat this, that is not giving our constituents, our constituents, unemployment benefits that they need to take care of their families. And that will be like defeating Obama and therefore, they win and the American people lose. That‘s a damn shame.
SCHULTZ: It is a damn shame. Sooner or later, we‘ll going to have to put these people to work. What are we going to do to put these Americans back to work?
CUMMINGS: Ed, we‘ve got to—one of the things that we need to do is we‘ve got to pass this—the bill for—the six-year bill, reauthorization of the transportation act. That‘s six million jobs by itself. We‘ve got to figure that out. The president asked us to postpone it months ago for 18 months. We‘ve got to get that done.
SCHULTZ: That is six million jobs. That is six million jobs.
CUMMINGS: Six million jobs. Six million jobs. We‘ve got to do that, and I think the president has to take the position, look, my number one priority is to make sure that we get a jobs bill passed. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. That should be the only word on his tongue. It should not rest, and I think the Congress has to continue—I mean, the democrats have to continue to pound away at this, too.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Congressman.
CUMMINGS: And I‘m hoping that those constituents if they are listening too, by the way, the republicans are listening too are telling them, we want to work. People want to work.
SCHULTZ: They do want to work and they want a break as well and the republicans have done nothing but obstruct throughout all of this. Congressman Cummings, great to have you on tonight, thanks so much.
CUMMINGS: Always a pleasure, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Some final pages in The Playbook. Call it the Baked Apple. The massive heat wave is blanketing the east coast and today, it was an absolute scorcher here in New York City. The temperature hitting a high of 102 degrees today, that ties an 11-year record. Wow, power companies are warning of possible blackouts due to air conditioning use. They are telling people to try to keep the electricity use to a minimum.
And scrabble, monopoly which I was never very good at. Trivial pursuit and now BP, the board game. That‘s right. BP-themed board game has been discovered at a British museum. The game called offshore oil strike came out sometime in the early ‘70s. Four players look for oil, build platforms and construct pipelines. The goal is to avoid rig disasters. That‘s pretty spooky, isn‘t it?
Coming up, Sharron Angle and Rand Paul will be crying in their tea come November. That‘s according to Vice President Joe Biden. He‘s making some pretty bold predictions, next on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Finally tonight, reports of democrats‘ demise are premature. That‘s the word from Vice President Joe Biden, he‘s making some big predictions about the mid-terms. In a new interview with Politico, the vice president said, quote, “I don‘t see this grand debacle because by the time people walk into the booth they‘re going to have to choose between two people. I know what the republicans are against. I have no notion of what they are for.” He also put money down on two senate races saying, he expects Democrat Jack Conway to beat Rand Paul in Kentucky and predicting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will win again his seat in the Congress.
For more, let‘s bring in Democratic Strategist Steve McMahon. Steve, I‘m noticing that these two candidates Sharron Angle and also Rand Paul, both running from previous positions. Rand Paul is now saying that he wants—he said he wanted electrical fences on the border. Now, of course, he says, he doesn‘t want that and of course, we know Sharron Angle, it‘s a story every day. How can the democrats just not wipe these people in the polls?
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think at the end of the day, what you‘re going to see is these candidates continue to deteriorate in the polls which is why they are running from their previous positions and why they are trying to basically trade in their tea cups for something a little bit more appetizing to the voters.
SCHULTZ: So, you agree with Biden on this? Do you agree with the vice president?
MCMAHON: I do. I think what you‘re seeing now, three out of the last four public polls that have been available have shown that health care reform is now more popular with the electorate than it is unpopular, so that takes away one of the things that the party of no is going to specialize in. The president is bringing troops home from Iraq, and he set a pullout date for Afghanistan which makes the American people happy. The economy is improving, even though it‘s a little bit uneven. It‘s improving, it‘s improving at a fairly steady but small pace and that should continue. So, all those things favor the party that did something about the economy, that did something on these issues. And not the party that says, no to everything.
SCHULTZ: But is it the $64 question right now whether Americans are going to see the jobs or not see the jobs and make a determination of throw the bombs out. I mean, that mentality that‘s out there were revisiting, you know, the election of the early 90s. What about that?
MCMAHON: Yes, it was a jobs report but it‘s also, the people feel like the economy is improving, they feel like the economy is even or declining. And I think, you know, there was a little hiccup as a result of Greece and some European financial circumstances, but the American economy and the jobless situation has steadily but slowly improved. I don‘t think it‘s going to improve at a rapid pace, and that obviously is trouble for the party in power, but if people feel like their circumstances are getting better, even if it‘s slower than we would all like, I think that‘s probably good for the democrats.
SCHULTZ: Steve McMahon, always a pleasure. Thanks for your time tonight.
MCMAHON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Our telephone survey tonight, I asked you, do you think RNC Chairman Michael Steele will survive his latest controversy? Seventy five percent of you say yes, 25 percent say no. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now and Rachel is live tonight from Afghanistan. You won‘t want to miss it. We‘re back tomorrow night at 6:00 Eastern. Have a good one. We‘ll see you then.
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