Guests: Christopher Barron, Mike Rogers, Bill Press, Ernest Istook, Joan Walsh, Michael Medved, Mike Morris, Roy Sekoff
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour and on the table.
The Republican candidate Carl Paladino, well, he has sunken homophobia to a very new low. He‘s worried about kids being brainwashed in homosexuality?
I‘ll show you the tape, give you my commentary, and get reaction from the gay community in just a moment.
The Democrats have launched a killer counter assault to the right-wing money bombs from the Chamber of Commerce and shadowy outside political groups. This has Karl Rove whining again. He says he‘s on the president‘s enemy‘s list?
Karl, you ain‘t that important.
And last time I checked, father/son bonding should not include Nazi costumes and reenactments, but for some it does. You won‘t believe what we found out about a Republican running for Congress in the state of Ohio.
It‘s all coming up tonight.
But this, of course, is the story that has me fired up tonight, and it‘s not a good story. The bigoted, homophobic Republican Party is rearing its ugly head like never before. Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino thinks your kids are going to be brainwashed by a gay agenda.
Here are his prepared—prepared—remarks to a group of Hasidic Jewish leaders in Brooklyn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL PALADINO ®, NEW YORK GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I just think my children and your children will be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family. And I don‘t want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn‘t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Better off, successful.
Who‘s the judge of that, Mr. Paladino?
Paladino thinks God made everybody straight and kids get brainwashed into homosexuality. Paladino continued to “Psycho Talk” this morning on “The Today Show.” This is how he described what he saw at a Gay Pride Parade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALADINO: Young children should not be exposed to that at a young age. They don‘t understand it, and it‘s a very difficult thing. And exposing them to homosexuality, especially at a Gay Pride Parade—and I don‘t know if you‘ve ever been to one, but they wear these little Speedos and they grind against each other, and it‘s just a terrible thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Ignorance and hate drips off this guy. He is very angry.
Paladino made these ugly comments the same weekend New Yorkers learned about a gang in the Bronx brutalizing and torturing a young gay man and two others. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force slammed Paladino‘s comments as “hurtful and dangerous in a time when anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender violence has risen in New York City.”
Paladino isn‘t a random, lone nut. I think he‘s smack-dab in the mainstream of the Republican Party.
Paladino‘s conspiracy theories about gay people and kids mirror, flat-out mirror and parallel, that of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint‘s proposal to ban gay people from teaching in public schools. The level of bigotry in the Republican Party has reduced homosexuals, I guess you could say, to second-class citizens in a second-class society.
Let‘s see, they can‘t get married. They can‘t serve openly in the military. And in most states gay people can‘t adopt kids.
It‘s the social rights issue of our time, and the Republicans continue to sit on the sidelines. The level of dangerous anti-gay hate in this country is out of control, and the Republican Party is adding fuel to the fire when guys like DeMint and Paladino try to scare you that homosexuals are trying to brainwash your kid.
That reckless rhetoric and cheap political gain can lead to what we saw in the Bronx, or the tragic suicide of a young gay man in New Jersey recently. Gay people should never have to walk around with targets on their backs.
The Republicans, they see it differently. And I think that they need to join the rest of us in the 21st century when it comes to inclusiveness and understanding that all men, Mr. Paladino, are created equal in the eyes of the Lord, in case you missed that big rally on August 28th.
Get your cells out. I want to know what you think about this, folks.
Tonight‘s text survey question is: Would you vote for a politician who has made homophobic statements? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Christopher Barron, the chairman of GOProud. GOProud represents gay conservatives and is committed to a conservative agenda.
Chris, good to have you with us tonight.
How conflicted are you by what you‘re hearing not only from Mr.
Paladino, but from Jim DeMint?
CHRISTOPHER BARRON, CHAIRMAN, GOPROUD: Look, I mean, we‘ve been outspoken against what Senator DeMint said and outspoken against what Carl Paladino said.
I mean, look, let‘s be honest here. Carl Paladino has all the moral authority of John Edwards. Carl Paladino doesn‘t—shouldn‘t be, you know, leveling judgment against anyone. Absolutely no one. And he should remember why he won the Republican Party‘s nomination.
It wasn‘t running around talking about crazy social issues. He won the Republican Party‘s nomination because he was talking about changing the way that New York State government worked, talking about lowering people‘s taxes.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s all changed. Now look what the you‘ve got on your hands here. I mean, this guy is a bona fide discriminator, is he not?
BARRON: What he is, is he‘s Alan Keyes. And that‘s where his campaign is headed.
You know, look, he‘s looking—he‘s running a perfect campaign to get 25 percent of the vote. He‘s an embarrassment. And if he‘s going to act like a buffoon, he should be treated by the party and by the conservative movement as a buffoon.
SCHULTZ: So, Mr. Barron, where does this take you and the conservatives with the Republican Party? Jim DeMint swings a big stick with the Republicans. He has a lot of weight in the caucus. He has also supported a lot of, in my opinion, nut-job candidates. And now, of course, Mr. Paladino seems to be coming from the same fraternity.
Where‘s the Republican Party, in your opinion?
BARRON: For two years, the Tea Party and the conservative movement has been laser-focused on economic issues, talking about the size of government, taxes, the scope of government, and now—
BARRON: -- at the last minute, social conservatives are trying to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. The Tea Party is a grassroots movement. Carl Paladino doesn‘t control the Tea Party movement. Jim DeMint doesn‘t control the Tea Party movement.
SCHULTZ: I don‘t hear anybody in the Republican Party telling him to shut up.
BARRON: Is there anybody in the Republican Party who is paying attention to Carl Paladino at all? You know, look, I said last night when I got asked about it that these comments would be a lot more disconcerting to me if they came from a legitimate political figure, but they don‘t.
BARRON: They come from a man whose campaign is imploding.
SCHULTZ: You mean to tell me the governor of New York—and he could potentially be that—is not only a legitimate figure? I would beg to differ on that one respectfully, Mr. Barron.
BARRON: Well, my—Ed, my dog has a better chance of getting elected governor than Carl Paladino does.
SCHULTZ: I‘m not so sure about that. It‘s not over until the fat lady sings. No offense, but the fact is --
BARRON: Well, she‘s singing this morning.
SCHULTZ: -- he‘s got a lot of money, and the polling is a heck of a lot tighter than what people thought it was going to be.
But doesn‘t this bring you to somewhat of a crossroads? What‘s more important, human rights and human dignity or lower taxes?
BARRON: Look, Ed, this isn‘t about taxes. This is about—a lot of gay people, myself included, are part of what we think of as the “leave me alone” coalition, that we want the government out of our lives.
The government isn‘t always the answer, Ed. In fact, often the government is the problem. And that‘s why—
SCHULTZ: I would agree with you if he gets elected, he would be a big problem to a lot of people the way that he wants to discriminate against some.
BARRON: Well, look, I think that one of the reasons why there have been a lot of gay people who have been attracted to the Tea Party movement is because of its message about limiting the size and scope of government. And when people like Carl Paladino run down these rabbit holes and start talking about crazy, divisive social issues, they‘re damaging the Republican Party, they‘re damaging the conservative movement, and they‘re damaging the Tea Party movement.
SCHULTZ: I think their silence is deafening, no question about it.
Great to have you with us, Christopher Barron. I appreciate your time tonight.
BARRON: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: For more on this issue, let‘s bring in gay rights activist Mike Rogers with us, blogactive.com.
Mike, good to have you with us tonight.
What do you make of all of this? I mean, doesn‘t this just sink the Republican Party to a new low? He‘s on their ballot. He‘s going to have an “R” next to his name on the ballot.
What do you think?
MIKE ROGERS, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, I think it‘s actually indicative, Ed, and of course what many of these candidates have felt throughout the years. And I actually commend my friend Chris Barron for being consistent, all of these years stepping in and willing to throw Republicans under the bus here and there when it doesn‘t meet their agenda.
But the bottom line is, is we know it‘s rampant throughout the party. Every single Republican senator said we are not going to allow gays to serve openly in the military. So we know really what their party is coming from. We really know what they‘re claiming.
And then we actually see them in action. And people like Chris Barron and those right-wing gay people, there aren‘t that many of them, I can assure you. I worked in the community. There‘s merely a handful.
I‘ve met two people who are members of the gay community who say they‘re members of the Tea Party. And I think that Chris knows a lot better.
In fact, this is the first public statement I‘ve heard from Chris in anything political in a few years. So we know where the gay Republicans stand. They‘re shunned by the party and their party shuns equal rights.
SCHULTZ: Mike, as a gay man, as an activist, politically active, what is your response to Mr. Paladino, who says that they want to brainwash your kids?
ROGERS: Well, Mr. Paladino has clearly been gripped by old talking points of the very people who he‘s hoping elect him, because he knows if he puts down his ideas that he‘s tried to run on, he‘ll go nowhere. So he starts to grasp at these crazy ideas. And there‘s nothing to make of it than he‘s another politician saying what he thinks he will hope to get elected.
But there are real ramifications. And we saw what happened in the Bronx, we see what happens with the suicide that you mentioned earlier, that when politicians and leaders say things like this, they have an effect on people because they are seen as leaders. And Chris can say what he wants, but Carl Paladino is the de facto leader of the Republican Party in the state of New York. And when Carl Paladino says things like that, he‘s putting the lives of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people at risk.
SCHULTZ: The political—
ROGERS: It‘s not only at risk, but we‘re losing them.
SCHULTZ: Yes. It‘s a serious issue, no doubt.
Now, for the political reaction to this, would this motivate the gay and lesbian community to be more active politically? Would this draw more people out to vote, in your opinion?
ROGERS: I do think so. I think that, you know, there‘s been some questioning about how supportive the candidates and the president have been of gay rights. But I think that what this does is it draws a very clear line in the sand. We have a choice on November 4th—or November—the Election Day.
ROGERS: November 2nd. And we have an opportunity to either stick with the team that has tried to move our agenda forward, and to bring about equality, or to jump ship and go over to, really, the greed boat that Chris Barron is in, because for him it‘s about taxes, taxes, taxes. He‘ll say it‘s about the Tea Party, but the Tea Party they say is about taxes. So I think the gay community knows where they‘ll be standing on Election Day.
SCHULTZ: From blogactive.com, Mike Rogers.
Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much, Mike.
ROGERS: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Karl Rove is a pathetic and desperate man. He‘s accusing President Obama of having an enemy‘s list.
Karl, let me tell you something, buddy—paranoia‘s going to destroy you.
I‘ll tear him up a good one in “The Battleground” story tonight.
And a Tea Partier running for Congress in Ohio was caught wearing the Nazi uniform. He says, you know, it‘s just all been a big misunderstanding. He says he‘s just—well, it‘s really not a big deal. To a lot of Americans it really is.
All that, plus we‘ve got Carly Fiorina is getting wasted in the “Zone.” And Brett Favre—no, Brett. Tell me this isn‘t true, buddy?
He bears all in “The Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.
First, Delaware Tea Partier Christine O‘Donnell said that she was not a witch. Now West Virginia‘s governor is saying, well, I‘m not a hick. Democrat governor and Senate nominee Joe Manchin is slamming Republican John Raese for using “hicky-looking actors” to portray West Virginia voters in the campaign commercial.
Here‘s the ad Manchin‘s running in response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Raese thinks we‘re hicks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His people hired actors from Philadelphia to attack Joe Manchin and told them to dress hicky.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It‘s insulting, and he didn‘t even apologize.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then, there‘s the fact that Raese moved his family to Florida to avoid paying West Virginia taxes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, we‘re not good enough for him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raese‘s wife is registered to vote in Florida, so she can‘t even vote for him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should we?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now, Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host.
Bill, is this a game-changer? I mean, I think that they could have come up with a lot of different angles to this story. You know, whatever happened to straight-talking politicians? The element of trust is involved here in this arena, I think.
Is this a game-changer?
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Let me tell you, I think it is, Ed.
That‘s a powerful ad.
You and I know from our radio shows that the one people in the South don‘t like is—and people in West Virginia don‘t like—is being stereotyped as hicks or hillbillies and, you know, these rednecks living up in their doublewide in the mountains. And John Raese, who is a Floridian running for office in West Virginia, doesn‘t pay taxes in Florida, doesn‘t pay taxes in West Virginia, he insulted the entire population of West Virginia with that stupid ad of his with these actors hired out of Philadelphia.
So good for Manchin. I think he went back strong. I think this will turn the tide for him, put him back on top, and he‘ll—this is—Ed, here‘s what I say. It‘s one more reason why Republicans are not going to get control of the U.S. Senate.
SCHULTZ: Well, this would have—is going to be a very key Senate race, no question about it.
SCHULTZ: This is one the Democrats definitely need.
But I think the authenticity factor plays here. You know, when somebody tells you something as a politician, you want to be getting the straight skinny. I mean, you want the straight story.
SCHULTZ: If you bring in some people who—and you‘re faking it, you‘re faking it, I mean, this should seal the deal for Manchin. Shouldn‘t it?
PRESS: I think so. And let me tell you something, Ed. I have to tell you, I don‘t know Manchin well, but I really came to admire him during that mining disaster.
PRESS: If you look at Joe Manchin, to me, he looks like a West Virginian, he talks like a West Virginian, he acts like it. He‘s the real deal. And John Raese looks like somebody who‘s got a big mansion in West Palm Beach.
SCHULTZ: I think this is the definition of sleaze.
SCHULTZ: When you can‘t stand up and tell folks of any state or your constituents the way it‘s going to be and how it is, that you have to fake it at this level—and I‘ve never heard of anything like this before. Actually, this guy, his wife is registered to vote if Florida. And you know why he wants to live in Florida? It‘s because of the tax situation down there.
PRESS: Exactly. I thought that was a killer line, that his wife can‘t even vote for him because she‘s registered in Florida.
Look, he‘s an outlander. He‘s not a West Virginian. And I think Joe Manchin is really showing who‘s the real West Virginian here.
But let me tell you something, Ed. We‘re going to see other ads like this. We‘ve already seen other tactics like this in other states where, out of desperation, these people throw stuff against the wall.
We‘re seeing it in Connecticut. We‘re seeing it in California. We‘re seeing it in Delaware.
Joe Manchin—what Democrats have to do is what Joe Manchin did, is respond and hit them heard that. And those things will backfire.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
PRESS: All right, Ed. Good to see you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Carly Fiorina has revealed her love—oh man, I can‘t say this, can I? -- for having a couple of cool ones? We‘ve got her on camera calling for tequila shots before every speech.
Maybe she wants to blame the booze for all of her “Psycho Talk.”
We‘ll throw her right into the “Zone” after this.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina needs to, I guess, bump up her share of the Latino vote if she‘s going to beat Senator Barbara Boxer in California. So Friday night she attended the Hispanic 100 Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner and tried her best to fit in.
Fiorina joined the crowd and Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman in a shot of tequila. Huh? And listening to the beginning of Fiorina‘s speech, it‘s possible the tequila wasn‘t her only beverage of the evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA ®, CALIFORNIA SENATE NOMINEE: You know, I must say, this evening has spoiled me forever. And I don‘t know. I think that every speech should begin way shot of tequila.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh! Kind of fired up.
Fiorina was either really in the spirit of things, or she‘ll go to any lengths to try to get Latinos to vote for her. Politicians starting each speech with a tequila shot might be entertaining, but as Carly Fiorina demonstrated, for a serious candidate, the idea is drunken “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, Vice President Biden just blasted Karl Rove and his shady stable of billionaire friends over election funding. My commentary on that next in “The Battleground.”
President Obama just took a shot across the bow at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He‘s subtly calling Christie out for killing the largest public works project in the nation.
All that, plus a million-dollar streaker runs past the president. And sexting suspect Brett Favre says he‘s going to play it lights out tonight. OK, buddy. I‘m all about it. You won‘t want to miss “The Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Our “Battleground” story tonight, the Democrats are seizing on the Chamber‘s alleged anti-money bomb. President Obama has called foreign money in our electoral process—saying that it is a threat to our democracy. But he hasn‘t named names.
Now the DNC is pointing the finger directly at Karl Rove.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, they‘re Bush cronies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, they‘re shills for big business and they‘re stealing our democracy, spending millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress.
It appears they‘ve even taken secret foreign money to influence our elections. It‘s incredible, Republicans benefiting from secret foreign money.
Tell the Bush crowd and the Chamber of Commerce, stop stealing our democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: On “Fox News Sunday,” Rove denied the whole thing, then suggested that President Obama might have an enemy‘s list.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: They have not one shred of evidence to back up that baseless lie. This is a desperate and I think disturbing trend by the president of the United States to tar his political adversaries with some kind of, you know, enemy‘s list with being unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is former Republican Congressman Ernest Istook, now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Ernie, good to have you with us tonight.
ERNEST ISTOOK, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Hey, thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s get to the funding first before we get to the ad and the response. Why doesn‘t the Chamber of Commerce just end all of this speculation and all this rancor going back and forth and just open up their books?
ISTOOK: Well, when you say “open their books,” I don‘t know how many
millions or hundreds of millions of dollars are in the budget and
organization is big as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And I think some
people would not be satisfied if they didn‘t know every penny going in and
every penny going out. I think its case is selective outrage. And also
you know, if it‘s secret money, then how does anybody know about it? But
selective outrage, let‘s look back when Obama care was pending. We had all
SCHULTZ: Well, wait a minute.
ISTOOK: .advertising tan by advocacy groups, we didn‘t who know they were either.
SCHULTZ: Ernest, you‘re getting off in the weeds here a little bit.
SCHULTZ: Now, here‘s the bottom line, accounting is not completely brain surgery when there‘s money coming in the door like this. They openly go out and solicit foreign contributions and memberships to the Chamber of Commerce. Why don‘t they just show the American people their books and end all this?
ISTOOK: But ask, you know, just the fact that you have some international groups that are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce does not mean that they‘re sponsoring the advertising campaign of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
SCHULTZ: It‘s in the general fund, correct?
ISTOOK: Yes, you‘re looking at.
ISTOOK: .a tiny part of their overall.
ISTOOK: I think that I heard a figure like $300,000.
SCHULTZ: No it‘s $75 million in political pending is what they‘re doing.
ISTOOK: No, no, of foreign contributions of organizations that pays dues into that general fund.
SCHULTZ: That‘s a new number to me, $75 million.
ISTOOK: That‘s what I saw earlier today.
SCHULTZ: .is the number that is out there.
ISTOOK: Sure but it‘s not foreign money.
SCHULTZ: The fact is it‘s in the general fund and they have not fully accounted. Now, Rove says one thing the ad says something else but we do know this, there‘s not a full breakdown of where the foreign money goes. And you‘ve got a general fund that places ads against democratic candidates. What‘s wrong with the transparency?
ISTOOK: Well, if you look at the figures and you know somebody will correct me if I‘ve heard the wrong figure but whether it‘s $300,000, or whatever, it‘s a tiny part of the overall budget of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It‘s minuscule compared to the level of the ad campaign and they have a very big ad campaign underway.
ISTOOK: You‘re exactly right about that. But, Ed, we have political messages coming from all other places. Let‘s take, you know, the networks, NBC, is not alone in this. All of the political messages that come through network programming, we don‘t have a lot of disclosure about what‘s going on behind the scenes of that.
SCHULTZ: I have no idea of what you‘re talking about.
ISTOOK: Your show has a lot of political positions.
ISTOOK: If you watch the TV shows where they take political positions.
SCHULTZ: Wait a minute. Hold on a second. Wait a second, I‘m not going to let you trash the network here, the bottom line here is that I have no idea what you‘re talking about and you don‘t have any proof of that. Look, we have part of the media.
ISTOOK: The sitcoms and the drama shows both.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s go to the enemy‘s list, OK?
SCHULTZ: Do you believe President Obama actually has you know a piece of paper that says, OK, this guy‘s on my list? Do you think that he has an enemy‘s list?
ISTOOK: I don‘t think he has a piece of paper that says everybody‘s on the list. Whether he has a predisposition to go after people, we had the letter from Kathleen Sebelius, the cabinet secretary for health and human services, threatening legal action against insurance companies.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s legal.
ISTOOK: Said bad things about Obama care.
SCHULTZ: But that‘s legal. I mean.
ISTOOK: But you‘re asking about whether there‘s an enemy‘s list, Ed, that‘s the question.
SCHULTZ: Karl Rove says that he thinks that the president‘s got an enemy‘s list and we‘re talking about in the context of a political campaign, money and such stuff is out. This has nothing to do with legislation at this point. Do you think the president, the White House, in general, has a target or enemies‘ list, that‘s all that I‘m asking?
ISTOOK: What I told you is I don‘t believe there is one specific sheet of paper that says, these are all of our enemies we‘re going after. I believe that we have.
SCHULTZ: OK. Do you think that they have—do you think they talk about people they want to target, for instance, Karl Rove? Karl Rove is saying that he‘s on an enemies‘ list, do you think that there‘s conversation in the White House say, let‘s get his ass? I mean, do you think that‘s going on?
ISTOOK: You know, if you listen to the way that people like the former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel talk, I imagine there‘s a lot of worst things they‘ve said about Karl Rove than that.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right. Don‘t you find it somewhat ironic, that Karl Rove is talking about an enemies list when we all know that he was involved in the outing of a CIA operative in Valerie Plame? I mean, did you get some kind of humor out of that?
ISTOOK: Well, I actually, I think you‘ve got little bit the sort of view of what supposedly and I wasn‘t there was his role. But I agree with you that, you know, he‘s a big-time political operative, just like you have big-time political operatives on both sides of the aisle. And as we‘ve seen from the revelation from Governor Jerry Brown‘s campaign recently, there‘s a lot of nasty talk that sometimes goes on informally behind the scenes about political opponents.
SCHULTZ: Ernie, you‘re pretty clever to work a story that‘s on the absolutely other side of the country, but that‘s OK.
ISTOOK: That‘s how people talk about their opposition, sure.
SCHULTZ: It‘s all about the money. Good to have you with us, Ernest.
ISTOOK: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time tonight.
ISTOOK: You bet, yes.
SCHULTZ: Let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is frantically backpedaling after his plan to kill a major tunnel project was roundly criticized. Today, President Obama threw salt in the wound announcing $50 billion for infrastructure improvement in this country.
The so-called professional left doesn‘t appreciate the White House telling them to stop whining. And says, it won‘t motivate them to vote in November. Why does this story come up once a week? I want to get to that.
And, of course, our panel will respond to New York Republican nominee, Carl Paladino, saying that he doesn‘t want children to be brainwashed into thinking being gay is OK.
With us tonight, Joan Walsh, editor in chief, Salon.com. And Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show host. Great to have you both with us tonight. Let‘s first talk about, if we can, the professional left. This is the one that gets me dander up. I don‘t know who they‘re talking about. I mean it was like a one-day story. But Joan, this seems to pop up once a week now.
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, SALON.COM: Yes, I don‘t know. I think a reporter went back and recycled some old quotes. As far as I‘m concerned, this story is over, Ed. You know the president made a couple of remarks. I wasn‘t crazy about. The vice president told us to stop whining and then kind of backed away from it. He hasn‘t used language like that for a while and I think that reporters have an interest in getting, like, the left to fight with the Obama administration. And I will hit them, as you know, where I think they deserve it. But I think this is overblown at this point.
MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Let me—I don‘t think it‘s overblown. And not when you have a major left-wing group which is called the world can‘t wait.com that take out a full half page ad in “The New York Times” attacking President Obama, they‘re heading, crimes are crimes. And what they‘re saying basically is that President Obama is continuing the same sort of things that they wanted to see President Bush impeached for. Crimes against the Afghan people and crimes against the people in Iraq. And, look, when you have a major group that is signed by Cornel West who had supported the president, signed this document. Noam Chomsky and number of other prominent people, Cindy Sheehan. That‘s your professional left and they‘re angry at Obama and this worth nothing.
WALSH: First of all, Michael, I don‘t consider them the professional left. I don‘t believe that there is one. Those are people who are upset. And I‘m going to say for the record that I do find that some of the Obama policies on civil liberties disturbing but I wouldn‘t sign a document like that. They are not a major group. Most people on the left are focused on November are planning to vote, are getting out the vote. I think that is overblown. That‘s a fringe group, Michael.
MEDVED: It‘s just like Democrats constantly focusing on the right wing fringe and there is a right-wing fringe.
WALSH: It‘s comparable.
MEDVED: The truth is that you—yes, it is comparable. You can be embarrassed by your side. We‘ll be embarrassed by ours.
SCHULTZ: But what is the professional left, professional right? I mean, there‘s some definition here. Professional left meaning people, I think, that do all of this punditry or journalists or partisan media people and they get a paycheck for it.
WALSH: Right. Well, again.
SCHULTZ: And they‘re out there purporting the idea that the professional left is so bad that they‘re not going to support the Democrats or President Obama. And I just don‘t think that‘s an accurate picture.
WALSH: I don‘t think either, it‘s not.
MEDVED: You‘re right, Ed, on this. Most people on the left are going to support Democrats in this election. Most people on the right are going to support Republicans. The truth is, there are people out there on both sides who raise money with extreme crap like the birther thing, or in this case, the idea that President Obama is a war criminal. Both of them are crazy, both sides are crazy, and meanwhile we‘re going to fight out this election in the center, as all elections are always fought out.
SCHULTZ: All right. New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, not real popular with some folks because he killed a public works project, as one of the biggest in the nation. But it hasn‘t hurt his popularity among some Tea Partiers. Here are the numbers. The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention 2012 straw poll, look at this. Christie in at 14 percent ahead of Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. What do you make of this, Joan Walsh?
WALSH: Well you know, Christie‘s been a comer but the part of his appeal has been, he talks tough but he‘s always got a pragmatic side and yanking the funding on this rail tunnel is crazy and it‘s purely politics. I happen to have the privilege of spending this weekend, Ed, in New Jersey, his state of New Jersey, at a family reunion being stuck in traffic frequently. Anybody who spends any time here knows that‘s a congested, congested state.
WALSH: They need to get to New York. There‘s one tunnel. It‘s oversubscribed. This was a great project. It created jobs and he played politics and said, hey, I‘m going to stand up to the administration. I‘m not going to take the money. He‘s going to reconsider and I would bet he takes the money.
MEDVED: I couldn‘t disagree more. I think that one of the issues that‘s gaining traction for Republicans around the country, not just Chris Christie but Scott Walker who is going to be the next governor of Wisconsin is running to stop a wasteful spending on a high-speed train between Madison and Milwaukee. Meg Whitman is running to stop Schwarzenegger‘s $45 billion boondoggle train from L.A. to San Francisco.
WALSH: These are not boondoggles.
MEDVED: A lot of these projects sound very, very nice, but we don‘t have the money. State governments are broke. The federal government is broke. The idea that you‘re going to find literally billions of dollars to create a new train? When transportation.
(ALL TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
WALSH: The New Jersey thing is not a boondoggle. And I‘m not going to call light rail a boondoggle. But, you know, what happened to being visionary? What happened to preparing for the future, Michael? What happened to knowing that we needed to build and invest an infrastructure which used to be a bipartisan point of view? We all need roads, and tunnels and bridges. And we didn‘t want to see our bridges collapsed.
MEDVED: What happened is we spent a lot of money about $864 billion on a stimulus program that didn‘t stimulate.
SCHULTZ: What about the war, Mike?
WALSH: Those are the tax cuts, my friend.
SCHULTZ: Come on. You know damn well that the war was off budget during the Bush years. None of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for. Until the Democrats came in and got control. And you know that, come on.
MEDVED: And you know very well, you know very well that we could stop both wars right now and all of the spending for both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, no more spending on war. And guess what, we still—we‘ll still have a deficit.
SCHULTZ: I know that we would have money for the project that was killed by the governor out of New Jersey.
MEDVED: Not a chance.
SCHULTZ: Yes we would.
MEDVED: A deficit.
SCHULTZ: We‘re in nation-building where the American people don‘t want a nation building. One final story tonight, Carl Paladino, that‘s all that I‘m going to say, Joan Walsh, what do you make of this psycho talker?
WALSH: Oh my God, you know at a time, every single poll, every poll that we see, Ed, support for gay rights increases, support for gay marriage increases. So he‘s running against the trend. He‘s incredibly homophobic. He says he‘s not.
WALSH: I saw him on FOX, you‘ve showed the clip earlier in the show. Why is he worried about people bumping and grinding and wearing Speedos, it doesn‘t really.
SCHULTZ: Mike, what about brainwashing? How about the brainwashing comment?
WALSH: And the brainwashing. I mean, it‘s so sad, at the time when gay teens are being taunted and committing suicide to go into this, it‘s just reprehensible.
MEDVED: OK, nobody wants people to commit suicide, Joan. It‘s always a tragedy, but the problem here is that Paladino is taking the focus away from the one issue that could gain him traction and make him competitive, which is the economy and the spending and the mismanagement in Albany. This is not an issue that‘s going to help him at all. He‘s being distracted from what should be his focus.
SCHULTZ: But does it not scar and tarnish the image of the Republican Party, Mike, when you take a look at what.
MEDVED: Of course it does.
SCHULTZ: .the senator down in South Carolina and Mr. DeMint has said about homosexuals teaching in public schools?
MEDVED: I believe that we have to welcome into the Republican Party every single American who believes in the principles of limited government and less government spending and lower taxes including yes, a lot of gay Americans will agree.
SCHULTZ: Michael Medved, Joan Walsh, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
WALSH: Thanks so much, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, what you would do for a million bucks? This guy stripped-down and took a run near President Obama in Philadelphia. And talking about a soap opera, a sex scandal rocks Brett Favre just as he takes the field tonight against the New York Jets. I mean, this—this is the drama that you can‘t make up. Vikings‘ long snapper from years ago and radio talk show host Mike Morris sounds off on the Favre mania issue. Next on 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, would you vote for a politician who has made homophobic statements? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639. We got results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, Brett Favre loves the spotlight. I‘ll say. And he sure as heck is not staying out of these days. The NFL launched an investigation into whether or not Favre sent inappropriate messages and lured photos to a jet employee back in 2008. Favre apologized to his teammates today for the media circus, but never admitted to any of the allegations. He vows to play lights out tonight. The Vikings face the jets at the Meadowlands tonight. Favre wouldn‘t comment directly on the allegations but told the “Monday Night Football” production staff, quote, “my main focus is the New York Jets. They are a tough team, as good as they are, that has to be my focus. I hate in any way that this has been a distraction as I said Thursday, we are here focused on trying to beat the Jets. The NFL investigation if it proves Favre did violate the league‘s personal conduct policy he could be fined and or suspended.
For more, let‘s turn to former Minnesota Viking and host of the power trip morning show on KFAN in Minneapolis, Mike Morris. Mike, good to have you with us. Tonight, you are in the league, what, over ten years. You know how these things can be a distraction to a team, but first of all, do you think Favre did this or is this a setup?
MIKE MORRIS, FORMER MINNESOTA VIKING: It‘s hard to say, you know, what really actually happened. The alleged instant started I think months ago with the pictures, with some texting and so on and so forth and it‘s just gotten to this point now. Funny how it just came out right before the New York Jets, the “Monday Night Football” game but these things do happen. It‘s hard to say what‘s going to—I know that the league is on it. I know that Goodall is going to weigh into this thing very carefully and makes sure that it‘s addressed. I mean, there has been a quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger who has been reprimanded for four weeks who gets back on the field next week. So it‘s already been set in place and now, he‘s going to have to do it this time with Brett Favre and maybe the most celebrated player out there right now, Brett Favre.
SCHULTZ: Well, this was definitely going to tarnish his image and his career no matter how this thing turns out. You mentioned the timing of this. Are you—how curious are you that it‘s—that it‘s now—that it‘s long after he was with the Jets?
MORRIS: Yes, it‘s been a while, Ed, and funny that it would come out like this, but at the same time, I‘m sure that whoever decided to break this and the timing of this would of course be perfect surrounding this game tonight on national television. All of the eyes on Brett Favre, of course. Randy Moss back with the Minnesota Vikings. But it makes you wonder just how much he really would have wanted to have come back and if those guys would have had to have gone down there and talked about him about several things, maybe not just football, but maybe the idea of coming back.
SCHULTZ: And, Mike, what about a distraction as the team is concerned? Would the team consider this big enough, hey, let‘s just get rid of Favre, this isn‘t going anywhere with us and let‘s focus on something else. What do you think?
MORRIS: I think—I think that he means far too much to this team.
I really do. I think that he‘s the reason that they‘ve got a chance. They‘ve really got a legitimate shot at some very special things down the road but they‘ve got to keep him healthy and so on and so forth, I think that he definitely would be someone that would be affected by this and trying to play.
SCHULTZ: Is it.
MORRIS: I think being in New York where all of this took place, it has to be haunting him whatever it is.
SCHULTZ: Your personal opinion, is this in his character? Does this sound like Brett Favre?
MORRIS: I really—I don‘t know Brett Favre. I played against him for many, many years all the way through the ‘90s.
MORRIS: Played against the Packers. You know, 18 games against the Packers when I was here with the Vikings for nine years. Don‘t really know that much about him. I know he‘s an outdoors guy. I know he‘s pretty chummy, pretty easy-going in the locker room but outside of that, you know, you always hear about him, his wife, his kids, his—now his grandkids. I really don‘t know what kind of guy he is away from the field though.
SCHULTZ: Well, the big winner all of this probably is going to be ESPN tonight. Their ratings will probably be through the roof.
Mike Morris, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
MORRIS: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Final page of the Playbook tonight, President Obama spoke to a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia yesterday. But I‘m pretty sure he didn‘t get the brotherly love he was looking for. Someone was arrested for streaking nude throughout the crowd. The “Weekly Standard” reports the man was there to claim a million-dollar prize offered by billionaire Alki David. The terms for the cash include being naked within eye and an ear shot of the president and screaming the name of a website six times.
Coming up, another Tea Partier exposed, Richard Iott. The nut job running for Congress in Ohio busted in Nazi gear. He‘s whining that he‘s a victim of distortions of the truth. I‘d say the pictures don‘t lie. Roy Sekoff, “Huffington Post” sounds off on this Tea Party extremism. Next, stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight on THE ED SHOW. Well, I guess, we can say, we finally found a righty who was just too extreme for the GOP. Republicans are distancing themselves from one of their young gun house candidates out in Ohio. Turns out that Rich Iott used to participate in World War II reenactments dressed like a Nazi. This weekend, Young Guns ringleader Eric Cantor threw Iott under the bus when he was confronted with the scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR ®, VIRGINIA: Now Debbie went and launched into her attacks as to some of the reports about candidates that are running, and particularly the one in Ohio, having to do with a Nazi reenactment. She knows that I would absolutely repudiate that and then not support an individual who did something like that. I‘m doing it right here. I‘m doing it right here, Debbie. You know good and well that I don‘t support anything like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Iott has also been removed from the Young Guns website. So for those of you keeping track at home, if you want to support the republican establishment, you can say, you want to eliminate Medicare and you want to privatize Social Security, you can say sexually active single women should not be able to teach in public schools. You can speak out against the civil rights act. And you can even dabble in witchcraft. But glorifying Nazis is a step too far. Of course, I didn‘t hear any of these righties complain when the Tea Partier slapped a Hitler mustache on President Obama.
Joining me now is founder—founding editor of “The Huffington Post,” Roy Sekoff. Roy, good to have you with us. Well, we got another dandy in the crowd, don‘t we? The thing—I got through this—the thing that got me is he says, “When my son was old enough to participate it became a hobby that the two of us would do together and I‘m grateful for the father/son bonding. We shared to participate in the events.” This beats the boy scouts, doesn‘t it, Roy?
ROY SEKOFF, FOUNDING EDITOR, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”: Who doesn‘t think that dressing up in a Nazi outfit is the best thing that you can do with a father and son in getting together? But I have to say, Ed, I think that you are spinning this a little bit the wrong way. I mean, let‘s look at this for a second there. You have a guy who thinks that dressing up as a Nazi is a good thing. You‘ve got Carl Paladino who likes sending the, you know, sending around the bestiality porn. You‘ve got like you‘ve said, Christine O‘Donnell dabbling in witchcraft. We‘ve got Jim DeMint doesn‘t think women who are virgins—Ed, the GOP is obviously become a very big tent party. I mean, you can‘t get much bigger tent than that, can you?
SCHULTZ: You can‘t. This is Iott talking about situation. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD IOTT, OHIO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I think that Representative Cantor did what so many career politicians do, as he reacted before he had all of the facts. He didn‘t know the whole story. He didn‘t understand what historical reenacting is all about or the education side of it. And he just made a decision without all of the facts. That my opponent here is cut out of same cloth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Roy?
SEKOFF: Well, he didn‘t point out that he actually had a Nazi alter ego named Ryan Hart (ph) that he pretended to be. So, I don‘t know what his historical significance of that is. But let‘s say this about these Tea Party candidates, they‘ve been great for the gang over at Bill Maher and the gang at “The Daily Show” but there is a bigger joke, Ed. And the bigger jokes is that they are running on the same no ideas, the same tired republican platform that got us into this mess over the last eight years before Obama came in. That‘s the bigger joke, Ed is that you know, it‘s fun to make jokes about all of the fun and the masturbation and the crazy Carl Paladino.
SEKOFF: But there‘s a very serious thing going to here and it‘s these crazy ideas that they‘re trying to bring back that brought us to the, you know, the brink of disaster.
SCHULTZ: Roy, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. And tomorrow night on the show, Marcy Kaptur is running against that challenger and she will join us to talk about it tomorrow night.
We asked in our text survey, would you vote for a politician who has made homophobic statements? Eleven percent of you said, yes, 89 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 tomorrow night.
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