Guests: James Clyburn, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Leo Gerard, Ali Noorani, Karen Hanretty, Holland Cooke, Jesse Jackson, Lawrence Korb
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” to start out the week.
Well, the Senate got back from vacation. But those multimillionaire Republican lawmakers, they don‘t understand what it‘s like for an unemployed person to have to pay their grocery bill, fix your car, make a mortgage payment, buy the kid shoes, all of that stuff.
I‘ll show you exactly how much these Republicans blocking the unemployment extensions—see how much they‘re worth. Their net worth will shock you.
Rand Paul says the Tea Partiers are being wrongly portrayed as right-wing lunatics. He thinks their views are well within the mainstream.
We‘re going to get “Rapid Fire Response” on that one.
And the Reverend Jesse Jackson is taking heat for saying that the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers is acting like LeBron James is “a runaway slave.” The reverend will respond to criticism in the “Playbook” later in the show.
Plus, this just in. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just threw President Obama under the bus. Or did he?
Come on, Harry. The guy just spent a couple of days campaigning for you.
And Harry has made some interesting comments about the president. We‘ll show you that later on in the show.
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.
The millionaires—that‘s right, the millionaires in the Senate are backing from vacation, and millions of Americans, well, they‘re counting on them to take some action on a key issue. And I think it‘s horrible that it‘s come to this.
The only hope the unemployed have is completely, basically out of touch. The dysfunctional United States Senate has been in control of this, and they can do something, but they haven‘t.
Washington Congressman Jim McDermott said something very powerful on my radio show today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: The majority leader of the Senate, I think, should have kept them in, frankly. I think he should have just said you know, this is not going to be a day for us until it‘s a holiday for everybody, and everybody has their unemployment benefits. I think you‘d have seen a whole different behavior if he had done that.
SCHULTZ: So you think that Harry Reid should have kept the Senate in place until they did something about unemployment benefits?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, I think everybody deserves a vacation, but I also think McDermott is exactly right. The Senate doesn‘t have a clue how important this issue is and how desperate these people are. The Senate is just a fraternity of the super rich who have no idea what it‘s like to be poor, or at least they sure are acting like they‘ve forgotten all about it.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Web site opensecrets.org, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s estimated net worth tops out at $31 million. Here‘s how some of the others top out.
Tennessee‘s Bob Corker, $96 million; Lamar Alexander, in at $40 million;
John McCain, $26 million; and Georgia obstructionist Johnny Isakson, well, he‘s only at $9 million. These old, rich, white Republicans have done everything in their power to block any help for the unemployed in this country, including their own states where the unemployment is in double digits in their states.
Mitch McConnell has 10.4 percent unemployment in Kentucky. Corker and Alexander are at 10.4 percent unemployment in Tennessee. Isakson is turning his back on the 10.2 percent folks in Georgia. And John McCain, I guess after running for office, I guess you could say that maybe he doesn‘t give a damn about the 9.1 percent of the folks that are out of work in Arizona.
They‘re all worried about the deficit.
The Senate came within one vote of passing an unemployment extension before the break.
White House senior adviser David Axelrod says the Senate, well, they‘re not in the mood to spend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID AXELROD, WHITE HOUSE SR. ADVISER: There‘s some argument for additional spending in the short run to continue to generate economic activity. There‘s not a great appetite for it, but I do think there are some things we still can accomplish.
I do think that we can get tax additional tax relief for small businesses.
That‘s what we want to do, additional lending for small businesses. They‘re an engine of economic growth. We‘re hoping we can persuade people on the other side of the aisle to put politics aside and join us on that.
Unemployment insurance, we ought to extend unemployment insurance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can‘t get the votes though.
AXELROD: Well, we‘ll see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We‘ll see.
Now, in that sound bite, did you hear him say that maybe they‘ll find some people over on the other side of the aisle that are willing to work with them on anything?
Mr. Axelrod, come on. You know what time it is. You guys are in a daze in the White House if you think the Republicans are going to do anything to help you see the light.
They still haven‘t learned the lesson of the last 18 months at the White House.
Just over a year ago, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina gave us the game plan. The Republicans are about one thing, and that is breaking the president of the United States and his agenda.
Keep in mind—keep in mind throughout all of this it‘s not just the unemployment extension. There are four million American who have been out of work longer than 99 weeks. They get zero help.
Even if the Senate does the deal on extending the unemployment, there are going to be four million Americans that get nothing. And that is what happens in a third world country.
Record that, you righties, because this is where we‘re going.
We‘re saying in America, well, we don‘t have anything for you anymore. It‘s over. You‘re on your own. Those people who have to pray, basically, that the bill passes in the Senate is going to be able to help them before they go on another vacation in August.
Do you think that the Senate has the guts to stick around until they take care of the unemployment extension benefits, but then also the four million people that are called 99ers? The Democrats don‘t understand that these people vote, and they are going to feel a lot of hopelessness, they‘re going to feel like they‘ve been turned on. A lot of these people went door to door, did the social networking for the Democrats to get the majority. And now when push comes to shove, Mr. Axelrod is saying that, well, we‘re going to see if we can get some Republicans that will work with us on some things.
Now, he was talking about the economy, but then he threw in unemployment benefits. You‘re not going to get any Republicans to do that.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think about this tonight, folks.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think wealthy Republican lawmakers care about the unemployed?
Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later in the show.
Joining me now is South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), MAJORITY WHIP: Well, thank you so much for having me.
SCHULTZ: Do you think the Senate should have stayed in to take care of these issues before going on break? Do you agree with your colleague, Mr. McDermott?
CLYBURN: Well, that would have been a good approach to take. I was certainly willing to stay around. Of course, we had already passed a bill, but it was a little bit unseemly for us to be taking the July 4th break knowing full well that there are so many families who were not going to be able to enjoy the festivities of our country‘s birthday because they were not going to get their unemployment checks.
SCHULTZ: What are we going to do with these Americans? What‘s their future at this point? Because the Republicans have obstructed everything, and we‘re just several months away from the midterm, and they‘re all about winning and power.
So now what? What do you think, Congressman?
CLYBURN: Well, I think we ought to employ Jim McDermott‘s procedure for our August recess. I think we ought to stay in until we get something done for the American workers, because we‘re now approaching Labor Day, the day that we celebrate what they mean, working men and women, mean to this country. And we ought not celebrate Labor Day with them without their unemployment compensation checks.
Hopefully with some jobs, as well. There‘s a jobs bill setting over there in the Senate that we can‘t seem to get moving. Not just summer jobs, but a jobs bill.
There are other things sitting there that we need to be doing for the American people that we ought to do before we go home in August. Because if you don‘t do it, there‘s going to be a very horrible back-to-school celebration for too many families.
SCHULTZ: So we‘re going to find out whose strategy works in November.
This is Robert Gibbs on “Meet the Press” yesterday talking about what could happen if the Democrats don‘t engage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There‘s no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control. There‘s no doubt about that. And this will depend on strong campaigns by Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, if half the unemployed people in this country turn on the Democrats, it‘s going to be hell to pay in November.
Would you agree with that? I mean, where are these people going to vote if they don‘t get it done?
CLYBURN: Well, I would agree with that, but we don‘t plan for that to happen. We are going to go to the American people and we are going to draw a contrast between us and them.
The American people will know exactly who has been standing in the way of their unemployment checks, who is standing in the way of more job creation, who is standing in the way of good financial reform. All of these filibusters that have been taken on by Senate Republicans, we are going to remind the American people of exactly who is preventing us from doing what needs to be done on their behalf.
SCHULTZ: And Congressman, do you think that the Senate Republicans are out of touch with this issue, that they‘re heartless?
CLYBURN: Well, I don‘t know where their hearts may be, but I know for certain they seem not to be in touch with reality. I don‘t care who you are. You must understand that we have a system in place, we have safety nets out there, and we know what this economy has been like for the last few months, and we need to provide the safety net for the American families that we have in place for them.
To have them there not funded is just a cruel hoax to play on the American people, and I hope we will stop doing it.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.
Jim Clyburn from South Carolina, here on THE ED SHOW.
Thank you so much.
CLYBURN: Thank you so much for having me.
SCHULTZ: For more, let‘s bring in Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of “The Nation.”
Katrina, the Republicans are wealthy and they are acting heartless. What do the Democrats do in this situation? Because all except one want to extend the unemployment benefits and they want to address the 99ers, but they just don‘t have enough votes.
What‘s the play here?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”: Well, I mean, I do think you pick up on what Representative Clyburn said. Listen, we have a grand obstructionist party that we knew was male, pale and stale. We now know it is cruel, heartless.
I would say clueless, Ed, except I think their strategy is to obstruct, to throw millions of people under the bus by denying them jobless benefits, in order to ensure that President Obama fails. That is not to excuse what we heard from David Axelrod, because I do think President Obama could play a tougher role here.
Senator Harry Reid should not let the Senate leave. I think the president should be speaking every day about Barton, Boehner and Blunt as the images of these Republicans.
VANDEN HEUVEL: And I think the Democrats should take a page from the playbook of Frank Capra, the Hollywood director, and do a Jimmy Stewart updated to 2010, and bring the Economic Bill of Rights, one of the great statements of 1944 about how every American should have a good job, affordable housing, decent health care, adequate education, and read that every day, and expose these Republicans for what they are.
SCHULTZ: There is one Democrat that‘s causing all kinds of problems.
That, of course, is Ben Nelson from Nebraska.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Web site opensecrets.org, the Nebraska senator, Ben Nelson‘s maximum net worth, is over $17 million. I mean, this is in the hands of people who are not worried about anything.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But, you know—but here‘s the thing, Ed. You know, I think we will should have a fair playing field in this country. I think the system is rigged against change for people. But let‘s not forget, the great late Senator Kennedy was also a millionaire.
You can have money and still understand that you cannot be out of touch with what people in this country deserve, working people, people who deserve jobs, people who want to be part of the American dream that is being denied to them. So I think we‘ve got to the look at those who have obstructed, diluted, deformed the possibility of change and level the playing field. And progressives need to organize.
Hope 2.0 is not about waiting on a lot of these elected anymore. It‘s about building the change through organizing and pushing independently those who are obstructing. And they should lose their jobs, by the way.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t disagree with you, Katrina, but there‘s a lot of Americans out there that feel hopeless right now. And they did all the campaigning. They did all the work. They feel like they‘re being left behind.
VANDEN HEUVEL: They should campaign for the changes this system needs. They don‘t have to campaign—I mean, I do think that we are faced, Ed, in the system we live in without real massive electoral reform, which we need.
We‘ve got two parties. This party deserves better, but you‘ve got a Democratic Party, you‘ve got a Republican Party. The Republican Party has obstructed everything for working people.
SCHULTZ: They have. But now the Democrats have to count on the folks that are going to vote to understand the dynamics of all of this.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, I think it‘s—they may lose a lot of seats. I don‘t think—and I think Gibbs was being pessimistic. I think when confronted with a choice, you‘ve got the perfect is the enemy of the good, you‘ve got the lesser of two evils.
We can do better in this country, and that‘s what we need to organize for in this next two-year period, four-year period, 10-year period. But right now people need jobless benefits, and we need a government that says smart policy, smart politics.
SCHULTZ: NO doubt.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Stimulate this the economy with government spending. It‘s the last resort when businesses aren‘t spending, consumers don‘t have the money. Let‘s give people work.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, thanks so much for joining us on this Monday edition of THE ED SHOW.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: It is the story of the day. There‘s no question about it, what we‘re going to do about folks in this country who have worked hard all their lives and being left behind.
Coming up, President Obama just campaigned for Harry Reid out in Nevada, and instead of a “thank you,” he kind of got attacked. Reid‘s ripping on him for not being forceful enough with the Republicans?
My thoughts on that at the bottom of the hour.
And Rand Paul says Tea Partiers are—well, they‘re not a bunch of right-wing nut jobs.
And you had me fooled there, Rand. There‘s no doubt about it.
We‘ve got “Rapid Fire Response” on that coming up.
All that, plus “The Drugster” leaves The Big Apple, “Sarah Barracuda‘s” money is not going where you think it‘s going. And her psycho sister Michele Bachmann is back in the “Zone.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIBBS: The two quarters of economic growth that we had before the president came to office, our economy was contracting by six percent. Now we‘re growing by three percent.
David, I‘m not here too unfurl the “Mission Accomplished” banner. OK? We‘ve got a lot of work to do, and the president understands that. And the economic recovery is no doubt fragile.
The president and his team will continue to strengthen that, and we‘ve got a long, long way to go. But we think if you take a look backwards and look forwards, there‘s no doubt that we‘re on the right path.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Do we have the patience to do that?
The White House is working hard to convince us that their economic policies are succeeding without declaring a premature victory. But as they try to drag us out of this recession, they should pay attention to our neighbors to the north.
In less than a year, Canada has recovered almost all the jobs it lost during the recession. Their unemployment rate dropped below eight percent. The unemployment rate here in the United States, just under 10 percent.
And 700,000 Census workers are about to join the ranks of the unemployed.
So what‘s different? What is Canada doing that we aren‘t doing?
Joining me now is Leo Gerard, international president of United Steelworkers of America.
Mr. Gerard, good to have you with us.
You have a number of members north of the border in your union. What are they doing that we might not be doing? They added 93,000 jobs in the month of June.
What do you make of all this?
LEO GERARD, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA: Well, Ed, we do have a lot of the members. In fact, we‘re the largest—let me advertise. We‘re the largest private sector union in Canada.
Having said that, one of the things we‘ve got to keep in mind is that the economy didn‘t go in the tank as bad in Canada as it did in the United States. Our banks were much better regulated. We hadn‘t kicked the door open so they could do whatever they want.
There was not a huge subprime mortgage collapse. There were far fewer foreclosures. There was a far smaller hole for people to dig their way out of. And Canada has a very strong commodity-based economy in forestry and in mining and in fisheries and that kind of stuff, as well as a manufacturing economy.
So, one of the things that Canada was able to do was to start the work their way out of it. And because Canada has a parliamentary system where there‘s right now what they call a minority government, the two progressive governments—and they have been able to push the conservative government to do a stimulus program, have been able to push the conservative government to do more in the way of job creation. And, in fact, this month they created 93,000 jobs.
In order to do that in America, we‘d have to create almost 900,000 jobs. So we‘re able to be better off in Canada because the recession wasn‘t as deep and the financial skullduggery wasn‘t as bad.
SCHULTZ: So, do you buy what Robert Gibbs is saying and what the White House has been pushing, that where we were and where we are totally different, but maybe we‘re just not recognizing it as Americans right now?
GERARD: Look, I think that we‘re making progress, but don‘t be surprised when I say one of our big problems in America—and it‘s also a big problem in Canada—is we‘ve got a huge manufacturing trade deficit with China. America has a huge deficit. Canada has a huge deficit.
Canada‘s lost 1.7 million jobs in the manufacturing sector, the lowest level of manufacturing jobs in 35 years. We‘re seeing the same thing in America. We‘re now at the lowest level of industrial manufacturing jobs in 40 years.
We‘re not going to be able to get out of this mess, and brother Gibbs needs to know that, unless we do something about bad trade deals, about China. We named them as a currency manipulator. And start bearing in on bringing industrial jobs back to this country.
SCHULTZ: And what about President Obama? Now, last week the White House said that the Chinese are not manipulating their currency. I about fell over when I heard that story. And I think it‘s related.
Has the president been tough enough on them? And I think it‘s a fair question.
Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, said today in an interview that he wished the president was more forceful, that he‘s too much of a peacemaker. And he would like to see President Obama be more confrontational.
What‘s your response to that?
GERARD: I agree with Harry. And, in fact, I‘ve said for quite some time, going back to the stimulus program, that when the president was doing stuff, he was far too conciliatory.
It‘s taken him far too long to come to grips with what most of America now knows, is that these Republicans are doing everything they can for him to fail. And to prepare to make him fail, they‘re prepared to hurt American workers and American middle class families.
Look, let me come to the Chinese currency manipulation. You know, we‘re in a big hole. The Chinese are holding $2 trillion of American paper, treasury bonds.
SCHULTZ: They‘re calling the shots.
GERARD: It‘s like your banker is telling you what the mortgage payment is going to be.
GERARD: And so I think we need to help through the Congress, through the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, not just to the criticize the administration, but pass legislation that‘s going to name China as a currency manipulator, slam a whack on them for their unfair subsidies, and let‘s get some industrial jobs back in America where a family can raise their—or a worker can raise his family.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Gerard, always a pleasure. Thanks for telling it like it is again. We‘ll see you again. Thanks so much.
GERARD: Thank you. My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Michele Bachmann just went to a conservative conference in Colorado, and I think that all the thin air and the Rocky Mountain high kind of got to her. She said the president is turning America into a nation of slaves?
That lands her into the “Zone” next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Michele Bachmann from Minnesota.
Well, she strikes again.
The congresswoman was really in her element at the western conservative summit in Denver over the weekend. Someone asked her about the president appointing Donald Berwick to the head of Medicare and Medicaid, giving Bachmann the opportunity to throw every righty fear-mongering talking point of the book out at the interviewer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a comment about the president‘s latest recess appointment?
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: Oh, Donald Berwick, Dr. Rationing?
Yes, I do.
Donald Berwick is an individual who loves the United Kingdom death system of socialized medicine. These people are serious. It makes Kevorkian look like Mary Poppins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Michelle, you went out—let‘s see, you left out pulling the plug on grandma.
But she really hit her psycho stride when she started talking about the tyranny of the Obama administration, ,saying that the Democrats are “—turning our country into a nation of slaves.”
The congresswoman from Minnesota should think about cracking open a history book and learn what slavery was all about and what it was really like, because accusing the Obama administration of reverting the country to slavery is outrageous “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, the immigration fight is now burning inside the borders of the Democratic Party. Democratic governors call the lawsuit toxic and want the president to focus on jobs.
And “Caribou Barbie‘s” political action committee is—well, they‘re raking in the cash. Some of it is going to out-of-fringe candidates, I guess you could say, but questions are swirling around where the rest of the money has gone.
We‘ll get a “Rapid Fire Response” on that.
And, of course, “The Drugster” sells his bachelor ad. Rand Paul defends the whackos. And you won‘t believe what Reverend Jesse Jackson had to say about LeBron‘s old boss.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
ED SCHULTZ, “THE ED SCHULTZ SHOW” HOST: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Battleground story tonight. The Democratic Party is split over immigration reform. President Obama wants this fight, but a lot of democrats are pushing back saying, it‘s toxic topic time, in an election year. Why are we doing this? Attorney General Eric Holder has already filed a preemptive lawsuit against the state of Arizona for its harsh anti-immigration law, which is set to go into effect later this month, but in a meeting with the White House this weekend, democratic governors sent a clear message. They think democrats should stay focused on job creation and the economy and stay away from immigration reform and the firestorm that it has created.
For more, let me bring in Ali Noorani, he is the executive director of the National Immigration Forum. Ali, good to have you with us.
ALI NOORANI, NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Thank you for having me.
SCHULTZ: Is this a calculated risk, I think on the part of the democrats. But to push forward on immigration reform the way the republicans have been acting, democrats aren‘t going to get anything done on this, so why do it?
NOORANI: Well, number one, it‘s the right thing to do. When you have police chiefs across Arizona saying, this law is going to hamper our ability to keep the states safe, when have you one actually one lawsuit filed by a police officer in the state, the attorney general needed to step in because we elected the president to protect our constitution and in this case, that‘s what he‘s doing. He is saying, we cannot have a patchwork of immigration laws. This law has to be stopped. But you‘re right, the fact is that the republicans are the party of obstruction and of no, and they are running a major political risk by standing in the way of not only the demands of the Latino voter but the demands of the majority of Americans to fix our broken immigration system.
SCHULTZ: Are we seeing a stubborn White House here? They‘re told by a number of governors, it‘s jobs, it‘s creating jobs, it‘s the unemployment number. If you get off into the weeds and start doing immigration reform which the republicans aren‘t going to help you with, they‘re going to pay a price at the polls and then a lot is going to be lost in November.
NOORANI: There‘s nothing in the weeds. About 84 percent of Americans wanting Congress and Washington, D.C. to fix the broken immigration system. There‘s nothing in the weeds about 84 percent. That is a solution that the people want and in fact, governors, when they lean into this issue, whether they‘re democrat or conservative, they are going to win the respect of their electorate. In fact, voters want their members of Congress, their governors to come up with solutions for this broken immigration system. So, this is not a, you know, chasing the windmill. This is going after a solution and forcing republicans to say, you know what, we are grown-ups and we are going to govern.
SCHULTZ: Well, it seems that Attorney General Eric Holder is going to dive into what even more saying that they‘re going to, if they see some profiling, they‘ll deal with that as well. In the meantime, what is he going to do, file a lawsuit against every state?
NOORANI: Yes. Absolutely. If every state is going to take immigration law into their own hands and preempt the constitution, the federal government, absolutely. That‘s the problem with this Arizona law. It cuts against their constitution and if and when it is implemented, anybody who looks or sounds like an immigrant will be profiled. So, the attorney general is spot on and this administration is fighting for the civil rights of every American.
SCHULTZ: Well, they always say that governors always know their own backyard. I find it interesting that the White House is still going to be pushing forward hard for this.
NOORANI: Well, it‘s interesting to see Meg Whitman and her primary, she ran to the right or immigration. Now, she‘s spending millions of dollars in Spanish-language ads trying to get Spanish-language voters to her side. So, Meg Whitman sees both sides of this. She thinks she can get the right but now she knows that she needs the Latino voter in order to actually become governor of California. So, it‘s not as simple as.
SCHULTZ: But has she changed her position on immigration reform? She may be messaging to them but she is a wolf in sheep‘s clothing.
NOORANI: And that‘s the challenge for the Latino voter in California.
SCHULTZ: So, that‘s what makes it a very tough political thing for the White House to keep pushing on this. Isn‘t the objective is to win and get more seats. Ali, we‘ll have you back, we‘ll going to talk about it again. I‘m going to run here.
NOORANI: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much for joining us. Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.
Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul thinks the Tea Partiers have been mischaracterized? As right wing lunatics. Who would have ever thought that? He said most Tea Party issues have broad partisan support.
All right. And Sarah Palin‘s political action committee is proving to be a financial powerhouse. It raked in almost $900,000 in the second quarter but a lot of that money went to promote her and her operation. Not the republican candidates.
And, of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, President Obama doesn‘t like confrontation and needs to be tougher on the republicans.
With us tonight, Holland Cook, talk radio consultant, media consultant and also Karen Hanretty, republican strategist. Let‘s talk about the third one first. Harry Reid gets the president to go out there and stump for him for a couple of days in the state of Nevada, Karen. And then Harry turns around and says, you know, I think he‘s got to be more confrontational. What do you make of that?
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Oh my God. I love this. Harry Reid is throwing Barack Obama under the bus. I would argue to cover up for his own inept leadership in the senate. It‘s really fascinating to see how desperate Harry is and the fact that he‘s even in a tight race right now with one of these Tea Party candidates that you and your type, you know, like to term as lunatic and fringe, that he‘s in a tight race with Sharron Angle right now.
SCHULTZ: Me and my type.
HANRETTY: You and your type, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Well, my type is about listening to some of these whackos and what they say. And I can‘t believe it. That‘s why we have psycho talk.
HANRETTY: They‘re very mainstream. Check out the Gallup poll.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let me play this sound cut of Harry Reid on President Obama. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: On a few occasions I think he should have been more firm with those on the other side of the aisle. He is a person who doesn‘t like confrontation. He‘s a peacemaker. And sometimes, I think he have to be a little more forceful and sometimes I don‘t think he is enough with the republicans. He‘s a very strong man. He‘s calm, he‘s cool. He‘s deliberate. But as I just said, I think sometimes, I would like him to be more confrontational.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Holland, a score of one to ten, how does Harry Reid play when it comes to really smacking up the president?
HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT: I don‘t think it was a severe as you might because I‘m not sure I disagree with Harry Reid. After four years of a president who has—eight years of a president who‘s been unable to be pronounce nuclear, now we‘ve got a guy who has a cool competence. And I think that the cool part is a little jarring to most Americans. Remember we heard that people wanted him to look more upset about the spill instead of trying to think through a solution. So, this has been a very abrupt style change for the American people to absorb. And we can only hope that President Obama doesn‘t stall in the analytical mode that came back to haunt President Carter.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s go to—go ahead, Karen.
HANRETTY: Real quick. You know, one of the reasons I think the American people really like Barack Obama, particularly during the campaign is he was the guy who promised to bring all the great ideas to the table, didn‘t care if it was a republican or a democrat idea. He was just going to bring the best ideas and move forward. And here you‘ve got Harry Reid criticizing the president and saying, you‘re not being tough enough on republicans. Barack Obama campaigned on the promise that he was going to bring republicans and democrats together and now he‘s being criticized by it.
SCHULTZ: OK. Let‘s go to the second quarter money that Sarah Palin has been able to raise and exactly where this money is going. Eight hundred and sixty six thousand dollars raised, $742,000 spent, $330,000 for fund-raising, $128,000 for travel costs, $87,000 for candidates. Let‘s see, over three quarters of million dollars raised and only 87,500 for the candidates. Holland Cooke, is this a scam or what?
COOKE: I keep picking up my phone to make sure there‘s still a dial tone there, if she spent all this money on consultants. But as I read this financial disclosure document, the number that just jumps off the page is $5,000, she gave to the most moderate, most middle of the road republican in the USA. He seeks to retake the governor‘s mansion in Iowa. And Terry Branstad does not need $5,000 from Sarah Palin. He‘s going to win anyway. She knew it. She jumped in front of the parade. And it‘s tempting to say, Iowa, first stop in the every-four year presidential winnowing out process, but I don‘t think she wants to be president.
COOKE: As every president has found out, it‘s a thankless job. She would have to take a big cut in pay. Now she gets to pick her own hours and call her own shot. And I think we‘re just seeing more of this fan dance. It‘s more of the tease about her keeping us guessing as to whether or not she‘ll run.
SCHULTZ: Karen, what about the money?
COOKE: I think it‘s all a charade.
SCHULTZ: Karen what, about the money? Karen, what about the money? I mean, there‘s not a whole lot of money going to candidates. What kind of operation is this?
HANRETTY: OK. Not a whole lot going yet in the middle of primaries. I think it‘s a very smart strategic move by her. I imagine she‘s going to spend a lot more of that money in the general election to help republicans. And I think that‘s the smart thing. She doesn‘t need to get too mired down in primary races, republicans pitted against republicans and I don‘t have any insight, you know, personal insight into the strategy.
SCHULTZ: So, what are they giving to? I mean, they‘re giving to Sarah Palin because they like her?
SCHULTZ: Eight hundred and sixty six thousand dollars and only $87,500 going to the candidates? You‘ve got to be foolish to give money to her.
HANRETTY: No, they do like her. They believe in the issues and the values that she‘s out there promoting. And I think they do have confidence that when the time comes, she‘s going to go support the candidates that she believes are going to further those values, that limited government, small lower taxes. That that‘s a positive message and yes, they do give to her because they like her. That‘s how politics works, Ed. You know it very well.
SCHULTZ: It‘s all about liking people I guess. It isn‘t about doing anything for anybody anymore. Karen and Holland, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. Coming up, the drugster is checking out, well, they‘re checking out of New York City and Vice President Joe Biden has an idea of where he should go next.
And Reverend Jesse Jackson is blasting LeBron James‘ former boss. Jackson says, the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert‘s tirade on the chosen one shows a slave master mentality and he sees LeBron as a runway slave. The rev joins us next in the Playbook. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think wealthy republican lawmakers care about the unemployed? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. We‘ve got the results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, Reverend Jesse Jackson is absolutely blasting LeBron James‘ old boss, Dan Gilbert. For calling the basketball star heartless and cowardly after he decided to leave the team and go play for the Miami Heat. Reverend Jackson said, quote, “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runway slave.” And we just learned Gilbert, the owner of the Cavs has responded to Jackson with this following statement, “I strongly disagree with Reverend Jackson‘s recent comments and we are not going to engage in any related discussion on it going forward. We‘re very excited about the Cavaliers and the positive future of our region.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of The Rainbow PUSH Coalition joins me now here on THE ED SHOW tonight. Reverend, he really didn‘t respond to what you said about him. What do you make of that?
REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, THE RAINBOW PUSH COALITION PRESIDENT: He really been, you know, he pursued LeBron after having him for seven years, offer him 125 or $130 million. He fired the coach, he said, it was the coach‘s fault that they lost. And then if he was going to have the contract, LeBron was his guy. LeBron choose another way. He blasted his integrity. He said you are a betrayer. He didn‘t stop there. He said that the games that you did not do your best in, that you, in games against Orlando, in games, four games against Boston. You quit on us. Well, that is a scandal, if a player quits, that‘s a scandal. If he did not quit, then that is definitely some character. And an ownership not break that line and be that way. If a player or a coach says something demeaning about a referee, for example, he can be fined or suspended. And owner seems to discredit a player in this way, the league has some responsibility. I called NBA Stern today and so did the players association.
SCHULTZ: What did you say to him?
JACKSON: Well, I appealed to him for a meeting because the owners have some ethical responsibility as well as players and coaches do.
SCHULTZ: So, what do you want the league to do, reverend?
JACKSON: Well, first of all, it must determine how it will handle an owner who discredits a player and does violence to the integrity of the game.
JACKSON: I mean, to say that LeBron is a betrayer, to say that he in effects quit on games, that determines the outcome of the games. There have been some terrible scandals around players not doing their best. It gets real close to cheating and, of course, LeBron did not do that. And of course.
SCHULTZ: Do you expect the league to take—Reverend, do you expect the league to take any action on this? I mean, it doesn‘t make any sense that he would offer this guy that much money and then turn around and call him a quitter. And here‘s exactly what he said, “I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win the NBA championship before this self-titled former king wins one. You can take it to the bank. If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our motivation to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.” Obviously, he feels upset because he lost a big player but that doesn‘t mean that the league should allow somebody to go out and get trashed for making a free market decision.
JACKSON: Well, first of all, because they won the suit to break up the plantation that allows free agency for players, football, basketball, baseball, create one—to break up the plantation, the owner of players, not just owns a teams and Spencer Heibert (ph) won the lawsuit about eligibility. But he said, it‘s time to make these athletes accountable. Is this how you raised your children? Well, the idea of referring to them, referring to them as children, athletes, in other words, there are two dangerous things, it seems to me into play. One, he‘s building a casino. LeBron had been there, he‘d been filling up the stadium and the casino. That‘s like double duty. And now, three players decide to go to another team, to do what owners have done.
JACKSON: Determine the way in the given way.
SCHULTZ: All right.
JACKSON: So, it seems that he sees him as usurping authority. Mr. Stern must speak quickly because given that there‘s a hang out there with this kind of mean spiritness, kind of arrogance and contempt, LeBron and Mr. Gilbert all deserve better.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks for speaking out on this. I appreciate your time.
A couple of pages in our Playbook tonight. I don‘t know who would want to live like the drugster, but someone finally bought this fifth avenue penthouse. Rush promised to get out of New York last year after the state imposed a temporary income tax surcharge. Limbaugh ended up selling his pad for $11.5 million, making him a profit of $6.5 million. Good for him. How could Rush hate New York with that kind of a deal, right? And Vice President Biden has his own idea on where the drugster should go. While discussing everyone‘s favorite Russian spy with Jay Leno, the vice president took a shot at rush. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, NBC HOST: This Russian woman here, let me ask you something, and you would know this, Mr. Vice President. Do we have any spies that hot?
JOE BIDEN (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me make it clear it, it wasn‘t my idea to send her back. I thought maybe they‘d take Rush Limbaugh or something. That would have been a good move.
(END VIDE CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Always good fur a laugh. Coming up, “Don‘t ask, Don‘t tell,” just got a lot more controversial. The Pentagon coming under fire for asking troops, how they would feel about sharing a room with a gay service member. My next guest says, this sets a very dangerous precedent, next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The commander in chief wants to end the controversial, “Don‘t ask, Don‘t tell” policy for gays in the military. But the Pentagon is now asking rank and file service members to weigh in, e-mailing out questionnaires with questions like this, what would you do if assigned to share a room with an open or an open bay shower with someone who you believed to be gay or lesbian service member? How would your job performance be affected? How would it affect your immediate unit‘s effectiveness at completing its mission? Will it affect your willingness to recommend to a family member or close friend that he or she join the military?
Lawrence Core is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. Mr. Korb, this is rather strange, isn‘t it, asking the troops such questions?
Why not just give the order that people can serve?
LAWRENCE KORB, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS:
Well, that‘s what they should do. Well, I mean, if we had done this when President Truman wanted to integrate the armed forces or we wanted to move women into combat positions, it would never have happened. Can you imagine if in 1948, we asked the troops about how would you like to share a room with an African-American? And besides, what it will do is it‘s going to undermine support for this policy when it comes in because people say, well, gee, I said I didn‘t want to do it. You know, why are they doing that? The troops will respect you if you tell them what to do and then do it quickly and get it over with. The British, the Canadians, the Israelis have all done it with no problems.
SCHULTZ: Our military leaders not sure how to implement all of this and is this why they‘re doing it or why are they doing it?
KORB: Well, basically they don‘t want to do it, they‘re playing for time, they‘re just hoping that if this goes on long enough, it won‘t get done and the politicians will change their mind. And it‘s mainly the leaders. I think that the young men and young women in the service basically, they have much different attitudes. The problem is, by asking them and they‘re going to have another survey to ask their families about this too.
SCHULTZ: Is this coming from the White House? Is this coming from the commander in chief to ask the troops? Where is this coming from?
KORB: Well, it‘s coming from the secretary of defense primarily who‘s a very cautious person. In fact, he told the president he would support the repeal providing he could do the survey. In fact, he wrote a letter to the chairman of the house armed services committee saying, don‘t change the law until I do this survey.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Korb, do you think that they‘re counting on the troops coming back and saying, we don‘t want to do this?
KORB: Well, basically, I think, basically, they‘re going to use that and say well, maybe we ought not to do it now, maybe we ought to go, you know, more slowly. Let‘s kick the can down the road. I think that‘s basically what they‘re doing.
SCHULTZ: Lawrence Korb, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.
KORB: Nice to be with you.
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our text survey question, I asked, do you think wealthy republican lawmakers care about the unemployed? Ten percent of you said yes, 90 percent of you said no. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night on the place for politics, MSNBC.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, “HARDBALL” HOST: Obama rang. The anger on the left.
Let‘s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I‘m Chris Matthews in Washington.
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