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Msnbc Live at 6 p.m. ET, Wednesday April 27, 2011

Guests: Bob Shrum, Michael Isikoff, Baratunde Thurston, Joseph Farah, Eric

Boehlert, Ron Paul, Ed Markey

CENK UYGUR, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  I‘m Cenk Uygur, and we‘ve got an amazing show for you tonight. 

Today, important matters of state were finally addressed—the president‘s birth certificate.  Oh, thank God. 

For better or for worse, the president produced the vaunted long-form certificate.  President Obama released his definitive, final, and official super-legitimate, super-credible, the real one, birth certificate to the public in an effort to conclusively end this fake controversy for anyone who has even an ounce of common sense. 


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We do not have time for this kind of silliness.  We‘ve got better stuff to do.  I‘ve got better stuff to do.  We‘ve got big problems to solve, and I‘m confident we can solve them, but we‘re going to have to focus on them, not on this. 


UYGUR:  And here‘s the president talking about his decision in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that was released just moments ago. 


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST:  Why did you—why did you wait so long, though? 


OBAMA:  You know, keep in mind what had happened.  This came up about


WINFREY:  Two-and-a-half years ago.

OBAMA:  -- two-and-a-half years ago.  And so we called up the folks in Hawaii and the Department of Health.

WINFREY:  Yes.  When it first came up, were you thinking, I hope I was born here? 

OBAMA:  No.  Can I just say, I was there, so I knew that—I knew I had been born there.  I remembered it. 


WINFREY:  Of course you did. 


UYGUR:  That will get them fired up.  How could he possibly remember it?  It‘s got to be fake. 

All right.  Look, the document is now posted for the whole world to see right there on the White House Web site.  This was done, of course, to end this sorted and ridiculous chapter in American political history and show how wrong the conspiracy theorists were all along. 

So, did it work? 


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR:  Today, I‘m very proud of myself, because I‘ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish.  I am really honored frankly to have played such a big role in hopefully—hopefully getting rid of this issue. 


UYGUR:  He‘s unbearable!  So, of course, instead of feeling embarrassed that he brought up this kooky conspiracy theory that was a million percent wrong, Trump, of course, took credit for finally resolving the issue, hopefully.  So he declares mission accomplished. 

Now, how about the rest of the Republicans?  Of course they‘re pretending that they had nothing to do with keeping this fake controversy alive.  Oh, no, of course not—unless you count all their countless non-denials, noncommittal answers, and coded messages to the birther movement. 


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER:  I‘ll take him at his word. 

SEN. MITCH MCCONELL ®, MINORITY LEADER:  I take him at his word. 

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  I take the president at his word.

SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR:  He‘s going to great lengths to make sure that it isn‘t shown, and that‘s kind of perplexing. 

DAVID GREGORY, MODERATOR, “MEET THE PRESS”:  Is somebody who brings that up just engaging in crazy talk? 

REP. ERIC CANTOR ®, MAJORITY LEADER:  Well David, I don‘t think it‘s nice to call anyone crazy.  OK?

BOEHNER:  It‘s not my job to tell the American people what to think. 


UYGUR:  Now, of course, they‘re furiously backpedaling, suggesting that they never suggested any such thing.  Us?  No!  Backpedal, backpedal, backpedal. 

So, this issue is now, for all intents and purposes, resolved.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope.

The Republicans look kooky, of course, but the president looks like he gave in to their pressure again and played their game again. 

So, who got the short end of the stick here?  Did the president do the right thing by producing this document?  Well, let‘s talk about it. 

Joining us now is NBC News National Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Democratic strategist Bob Shrum. 

Bob, has he elevated Trump by saying, OK, Trump created all this pressure and I‘ve given here, and here‘s the birth certificate? 

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, first, I think it‘s impossible to elevate Donald Trump.  He‘s a comb-over in a clown suit. 

He went today from dealing with this birther stereotype and this paranoia to engaging in racial stereotypes and questioning whether the president had good enough grades to go to Columbia or Harvard Law School when he was president of “The Harvard Law Review.”  Where did this clown Trump go to school?  How did he do?

UYGUR:  He unfortunately went to the same school I did, which is—


SHRUM:  I‘m not attacking the school.  But for him to go out there—

UYGUR:  I know.

SHRUM:  For him to go out there and say this about the president, he‘s just moved on from one form of prejudice to another form of prejudice, and I think it‘s disgusting. 

UYGUR:  No, I totally agree with you.  And yesterday we did a segment on whether it was just frankly racist.  And we‘re going to talk about that in a little bit as well.

But Michael, I mean, Trump is declaring mission accomplished.  He thinks this is a huge win for him.  Is it? 

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT:  No.  I mean, look, it‘s good political spin on his part, to take credit for resolving the issue.  The fact is, he fanned the issue.

And it got more prominence than it ever had before only because of Donald Trump making it an issue.  And Donald Trump was taking stuff from some pretty scurrilous operators. 

I have a piece up we just posted on quoting Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, who‘s the publisher of the upcoming book “Where‘s the Birth Certificate?” by Jerome Corsi, architect of the Swift Boat attack on John Kerry, and both Farah and Donald Trump‘s top aide told me today that Corsi has been talking to Trump throughout this. 

In fact, he signed—Trump‘s top aide signed a nondisclosure agreement to get the advanced copy of the book.  They‘ve been in constant communication.  So much of what Trump was saying was coming from Jerome Corsi, the Swift Boat guy, and who‘s been promoting stuff that is just demonstrably untrue.  And Donald Trump gave it currency.

UYGUR:  Michael—right.  Michael, don‘t worry.  We‘ve got Joseph Farah on in the next segment.  I‘m not kidding.  We‘re going to bring him on, and he‘s got a whole new kooky theory.  And actually, Ron Allen—

ISIKOFF:  Yes, which I want to address when you come back to me because it‘s worth talking about.

UYGUR:  All right. 

So, now, Ron Allen, for NBC News, was trying to chase down Trump to show him the birth certificate to get his reaction, to see if we could finally get him to go, OK, fine, I was wrong, or whatever it might be. 

Let‘s watch what happened. 


RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  But here is the birth certificate, sir.  Mr. Trump, look, you said you wanted to see it.  Mr. Trump, won‘t you take a look at it one last time, the birth certificate?  No? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re the only one that can say it and get away with it.

ALLEN:  One last time—

TRUMP:  I did a great job. 


UYGUR:  So, Trump, of course, claiming he did a great job. 

Bob, let me ask you about that.  I mean, did the president do the right thing here?  Was this the right timing to put an end to this, or is it bad timing because it seems like, again, he‘s responding to Trump? 

SHRUM:  Well, actually, if you were a conspiracy theorist, maybe you would say if he was elevating Trump, responding to Trump, maybe things might not be so bad to run against him. 

Look, Donald Trump has no chance to become president of the United States.  He‘s an expert in serial bankruptcy.  No one is going to turn the American economy over to him.  And I suspect that there are people living in Trump Towers and Trump Plazas who, as this goes on and on, are thinking the co-op board or the condo board maybe ought to get together and take his name off the building.  The one place his name is never going to be is on the entrance to the Oval Office. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Now I want to bring in a different voice as well.  Joining our conversation is Baratunde Thurston.  He‘s co-founder of “Jack and Jill Politics”—it‘s a political blog—as well as the digital director for “The Onion.”

Baratunde, before I even ask you a question, I want to show you Eric Cantor, because of course these guys are never satisfied.  He‘s going to turn around and blame the president again.

Let‘s watch. 


CANTOR:  How is the world is this now the issue we ought to be focusing on?  And again, if the White House press secretary says that this is a sideshow, why aren‘t we treating it as such? 


UYGUR:  So, before he says, why won‘t he release it?  Now that he releases it, he goes, why did he release it? 

So, is there any way the president can win with these guys?  So should he not respond to them?  What should he do?

BARATUNDE THURSTON, POLITICAL BLOGGER:  Not only can the president not win, the nation has lost in this.  You asked earlier if this elevated Donald Trump.  This can‘t elevate Trump.  He is inelevatable (ph), if you will.

He is a man who has gone back in time and reminded us of the day when any white person could challenge the black vote by demanding they pay a tax or pass a literacy test or prove themselves in otherwise improvable ways.  What this has done is lower the president, lower the office of the presidency, and I think brought shame to the entire nation. 

A sitting president should not have to produce a piece of paper.  This isn‘t 1970s South Africa.  This still should be modern United States of America.  And what we saw today I think was a tragedy both historically, now, and in the future we‘ll look back with shame on this. 

UYGUR:  Well, Baratunde, that‘s a powerful point.  So how do you suggest that the president deal with it when they keep asking for this and it‘s such a huge story?  What would you have done? 

THURSTON:  As with many of these questions, I think we‘re focusing them in the wrong direction.

It‘s not about what the president should do, it‘s about what the rest of us should do.  I‘m kind of hoping this is the last public comment I have on this.  I did a video today where I expressed some deep emotion about this issue given the civil rights history in this country.

It‘s not a question of what the president should do, it‘s what the rest of us should not be doing.  We shouldn‘t fan these flames from a guy who is merely promoting his television show, who was handed money from birth and lost all of it twice. 

Those are the types of questions and that‘s the type of framework and context into which we should be setting this question, not merely is this birthers versus the president, and how does it effect the 2012 elections?  This is so much bigger than that, and I think we‘ve been missing the larger point by asking, should Obama do this, should Obama do that?  Obama didn‘t start this problem. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Well, Michael, that‘s an interesting point.  You know, you did an interview with Donald Trump.  How does the media deal with this?  Right?

Because, on the one hand, you have got this huge firestorm that the guy starts.  On the other hand, it‘s ugly, right?  And to ask the president for his papers, Baratunde makes a great point, that it put the president in a position where he‘s got to give the papers to the public.  I mean, it‘s just disgraceful.

How do you deal with it? 

ISIKOFF:  Frankly, it is a tough issue.  And I remember when this first came up a few weeks ago, when Trump started fanning it and which, frankly, is the only reason we‘ve been talking about it of late.  If it hadn‘t been for Donald Trump, we wouldn‘t be talking about the birth certificate issue. 

This was marginalized to the extent that it wasn‘t getting traction.  And after Trump started making his comments, I was on the fence about what to do. 

But I called the former director of the Hawaii Health Department who had—I tracked her down because she had twice inspected the files on this before they released the certification of live birth, which is the valid Hawaii birth certificate which has been public for the last two years.  But she had inspected the original document during the ‘08 campaign, and then again in ‘09, when it came again, and certified that it‘s exactly the same information which we now know to be 100 percent true.  It‘s been released.

And I went back and forth whether it was worth giving further currency to the issue by writing about it, even to quote the Hawaiian health director saying, as she told me, “This is a ludicrous issue.  The information in the files is exactly the same that‘s been publicly released.”

I ended up doing the story after going back and forth.  I think we probably modestly helped contribute to some public understanding of it.  But it is a legitimate question, how much more do we keep talking about it? 

And I hope the conclusion that most people reach is after today, no more. 

UYGUR:  All right. 

And now, Bob, one more thing.  Of course, as Michael says no more, obviously there‘s now a new batch of conspiracy theories led by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.  Sarah Palin tweeted out, “Don‘t let the White House distract you with the birth certificate from what Bernanke says today.” 

Beck also had a clip.  Let me just show that to you real quick. 


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Today is the day the birth certificate is released.  Let me just tell you my theory.  This is because Bernanke is speaking today. 


UYGUR:  OK.  I mean, so what do we do with these guys?  Baratunde makes a great point, but, I mean, one after another.

And if you look at the numbers, probably the reason the White House released it is because a quarter of the country thinks that he was born outside the country—a quarter.  And 19 percent isn‘t sure. 

Well, again, what are you supposed to do in a situation where it seems to be no win?  If you don‘t release it, these people go nuts and they actually convince people. 

SHRUM:  I agree that it‘s no win for the country and that this whole controversy has been silly from the very beginning.  It was clear some years ago that unless a group of people got together in a shadowy back room and said, let‘s plant something in the “Honolulu Advertiser” as a birth announcement in 1960 or ‘61, because we‘re going to take this foreign-born guy and make him president, I mean, the whole thing is preposterous.  It never had any basis, in fact, whatsoever. 

I think the president, on the other hand, is not the loser in this.  I think Donald Trump is the loser. 

I think the country can see the Republican Party for what it is.  And what Bernanke said today actually gave the stock market some more hope that we‘re moving in the right direction economically.  I don‘t think the president wants to distract from that. 

I think that you‘ve got a whole Republican Party here that just can‘t come to terms with the idea that an African-American is president of the United States, and they keep finding coded ways to say it. 

UYGUR:  Right.  I hear you.  And by the way, we‘ve got Ron Paul later in the show.  I think he‘s got a different take on Bernanke.  But that we‘ll be interesting as well.

Unfortunately, we‘re massively out of time.  But it was a great conversation.

Michael Isikoff, Bob Shrum, Baratunde Thurston, all great voices. 

Thank you for joining us.  Really appreciate it.

ISIKOFF:  Thank you. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Now, President Obama called Donald Trump a “carnival barker” today, which makes sense, but he‘s the ringleader of a complete circus that is the Republican Party.  Again, the crazy train won‘t stop.  So what‘s next? 

Well, we‘re going to bring on one of the conspiracy theorists and a grade A debunker.  So that is going to be a fascinating conversation.

And here we go.  Speaker Boehner is backing off Paul Ryan‘s plan just as more Republicans get heckled by angry constituents. 



OBAMA:  We‘re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.  I know that there‘s going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. 


UYGUR:  Now, that was President Obama slamming carnival barkers like Donald Trump this morning.  But no sooner had Trump landed in New Hampshire than he was, well, barking again.  This time about Obama‘s academic record. 


TRUMP:  The word is, according to what I‘ve read, that he was a terrible student when he went to Occidental.  He then gets to Columbia.  He then gets to Harvard.  How do you get into Harvard if you‘re not a good student? 

Now, maybe that‘s right or maybe it‘s wrong, but I don‘t know why he doesn‘t release his records. 


UYGUR:  Oh!  So now we‘re on academic records.  So, the far right crazy train rolls on. 

And no one is happier about feeding into this frenzy than, of course, Sarah Palin.  Last night she defended the birther movement while questioning whether or not the president actually wrote his memoirs. 


PALIN:  They want to make birthers, as they call people who are just curious about the president of the United States and his background and his associations and his consistency with what he says today, versus with what he said in both the memoirs that he wrote, or Bill Ayers or whomever wrote. 


UYGUR:  All right.  So now Ayers wrote his book? 

There‘s no end to this.  The crazy train does not have a final destination. 

But my next two guests can help us understand it a little bit better, because one is trying to stop it, and the other one is on board. 

Joining me now, senior fellow for Media Matters for America, Eric Boehlert.  Also with me, Joseph Farah.  He‘s the author of “The Tea Party Manifesto.”  He‘s also the editor of the

Joseph, obviously we‘ll start with you.  Was this enough, or you‘re still not convinced? 

JOSEPH FARAH, AUTHOR, “THE TEA PARTY MANIFESTO”:  Well, it depends on what you‘re talking about when you say convinced.  Let me suggest that the question for me, for many millions of Americans, has never been exclusively about where he was born. 

The question is, is he a natural born citizen under the Constitution?  Is he eligible to be president?  And I don‘t think that we got the answer today --  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, of course not. 

FARAH:  -- when Barack Obama finally released his birth certificate after two-and-a-half years of calls from Americans to do that.  But what he‘s provided to us, hopefully, is the basis at which we can begin to discuss this rationally. 

UYGUR:  Oh, OK.  Thank God.  Finally, we can discuss it rationally. 

FARAH:  Hey, Eric, can I ask you a question, Eric? 

UYGUR:  The certification of birth is not good enough.  The papers in

it‘s still not good enough.  We‘re now beginning—we‘re beginning the discussion now. 

All right  Well, go ahead.

FARAH:  Eric, what would be your minimal standard to establish constitutional eligibility?  Do you have a standard? 

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  Do I have a standard?  I think the president answered it today.  If you wanted to keep (ph) moving the goalposts, let‘s continue this conversation and listen to Joseph Farah.


UYGUR:  Hold on.  Hold on.

FARAH:  We‘re not moving the goalposts. 


UYGUR:  It‘s the goalpost called the United States Constitution. 

FARAH:  That‘s right.  And how do we meet that standard? 

UYGUR:  All right.  You‘ve got to be quiet. 

Go ahead.

BOEHLERT:  Today, birthers have egg on their face.  And instead of cleaning up the mess, they are cracking more eggs.  I mean, why can‘t Joseph Farah and the rest of the birthers admit they were wrong about everything?

Why don‘t you apologize?  Do the decent thing. 


FARAH:  You asked me a question.  Let me answer the question.  Because I‘m a journalist, and we pursue the facts and we hold public officials accountable. 

We don‘t do propaganda for them night and day on television like you people at MSNBC do, and you Soros-backed Media Matters people do.  That‘s the difference. 

UYGUR:  Joseph, hold on.  I‘ve got a fun quote for you.  It‘s yours. 

You said, “WorldNetDaily will send a check in the amount of $15,000 to whatever birth hospital is listed on his long-form birth certificate.  All Obama has to do to see that donation made is to release it publicly.” 

Now, there shouldn‘t be any dispute about this.  You got the long-form birth certificate.  I think even you agreed to that.  You see the hospital. 

Where‘s the check? 

FARAH:  As soon as we establish that it‘s a legitimate, long-form birth certificate—

UYGUR:  So you‘re going to do it?

FARAH:  I know for you guys all the government has to do is release any document and you accept it at face value. 

UYGUR:  No.  So how long?  Is it a day or is it a week?  How long are you going to study it?

It‘s on the Web site.  You had a long time.  You had the whole day. 

You didn‘t study it?

FARAH:  Two years ago we made that pledge.  Two years ago.  Where were you guys calling for the release of these public documents? 

UYGUR:  No, no, no, no, no.

FARAH:  That‘s what journalists do.  You ought to be ashamed of yourself. 

UYGUR:  Fifteen thousand dollars—where is it?  Where is it? 

There‘s the long-form birth certificate.  It‘s for the whole world to see. 

You said if you saw the hospital, you were going to donate to it.

FARAH:  I just told you.

UYGUR:  Well, put your money where your mouth is.  Where‘s your $15,000? 

FARAH:  I just told you, as soon as we establish that it‘s a legitimate document.

UYGUR:  So how long is that going to take, one day, one week?  How long is it going to take?

FARAH:  A lot less time than it took Barack Obama to release his birth certificate. 

UYGUR:  In other words, you don‘t have an answer because you‘re not going to do it because you were lying before and now that he‘s produced it, you‘re embarrassed. 

FARAH:  There‘s a decorated Army veteran sitting in jail because Barack Obama refused to release that birth certificate. 

UYGUR:  All right.  Nonsense. 

Eric, it is not just Joseph Farah that‘s on the crazy train. 

BOEHLERT:  Absolutely. 

UYGUR:  Now, look, there‘s Sarah Palin, et cetera.  But we‘ve got a little clip of Fox News guys on this.  Let‘s watch that and have you comment on it. 


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:  What about this birth certificate issue?  I mean, it has not been my main issue, but it kind of does get a little odd here after a while. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He could end it simply.  Just show it to us and it will be over. 

HANNITY:  He could just go get the birth certificate and it would all be over, and I‘m curious why he wouldn‘t do that. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I would say that maybe there‘s something on there that he doesn‘t want people to know. 

PALIN:  If there‘s something there that the president doesn‘t want people to see on that birth certificate, that he sees going to great lengths to make sure that it isn‘t shown, and that‘s kind of perplexing for a lot of people. 


UYGUR:  All right.  So, look, this isn‘t just—Joseph, he‘s on here. 

I want to ask him another question.  But he‘s a fringe player, right? 


UYGUR:  Fox News claims to be fair and balanced news, a major news network, et cetera.

BOEHLERT:  This is a story about Fox News.  2008, the entire campaign, Fox News mentioned the birther story twice.  They had no interest in it.  It wasn‘t legitimate.

Media Matters points out today, before the release of the birth certificate, just in the last two months, Fox News produced over 50 segments, opinion show segments, about the birth certificate.  The vast majority of those, no one ever acknowledged the story was a fraud. 

So, some reason, between 2008 and now, no facts were changed, but Fox News decided to go all in.  They made this partnership, this alliance with Donald Trump, and now they are riding this birther story into oblivion.  But they thought they had a homerun and Sean Hannity should apologize tonight on television. 

UYGUR:  I‘m looking forward to that.

Joseph, look, we brought you on.  I want to give you one last chance here.

So you‘re saying you need to study this thing ad infinitum because you don‘t want to pay the $15,000, I got that part.  But what‘s your new complaint?  Of course there‘s always something new.  Does he have a wrong marriage certificate?  What is it?

FARAH:  The complaints are the same as they always have been.  Barack Obama, is he a natural born citizen under the standard of the Constitution? 

BOEHLERT:  So people born in Hawaii don‘t count anymore? 

FARAH:  Wait a minute.  OK.  Was that my chance --  

UYGUR:  All right.  Go ahead. 

FARAH:  -- to talk uninterrupted on this show?

UYGUR:  Go ahead.  Last word. 

FARAH:  OK.  Number one, if indeed this document we saw today is authentic, and Barack Obama Sr. is his dad, his dad conferred Kenyan or U.K. citizenship on his son.  How is he a natural born citizen if his dad conferred Kenyan citizenship?  Let‘s understand what the natural born—


UYGUR:  All right.  I got you.  I got you.  I got you. 

FARAH:  You got nothing.

UYGUR:  I understand it.  And we‘re out of time. 


UYGUR:  Joseph, I gave you the last word.  I got you.  You think that the Constitution is wrong.  That if you‘re born in the United States of America, it doesn‘t count if you have a Kenyan father. 

I got it.  I got it.  Hawaii doesn‘t count. 


FARAH:  You ought to be ashamed of yourself for doing this kind of propaganda on television. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Eric Boehlert, thank you for joining us. 

Joseph Farah, still riding on that crazy train—choo choo.  All aboard.  Still going that way.

That you for joining us.

Now we‘ve got one more Trump story.  I promise, one last one.  But it‘s about what a fraud he is on his party affiliation.  And this time we have the records to show it. 

That‘s our “Con Job of the Day.” 

And Paul Ryan is under fire.  There‘s more outrage over his extreme policies. 


UYGUR:  And now for our con job of the day.  We‘ll show you why it‘s such a joke that Donald Trump is considered a republican contender.  According to “The Washington Post,” more than half of Trump‘s political donations have gone to Democrats.  And in his home state of New York, the Donald gave two-thirds of his contributions to Democrats.  Trump has tried to justify these donations by saying New York‘s a blue state, where only Democrats can get things done. 


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR:  Am I going to contribute to a republican for my whole life when they run against some democrat and the most they can get is one percent of the vote?


UYGUR:  Trump apparently has no faith in how Republicans will fair in New York, even though Republican Governor George Pataki served 12 years in Albany before leaving office in 2006.  And New York City voters elected Rudy Giuliani twice.  And Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also originally elected as a republican.  But Trump thinks the Republicans don‘t stand a chance in New York?  It‘s pretty weak excuse.  And I‘m not sure that‘s a winning attitude in a presidential candidate.

Its one thing to say your side can‘t win, but another thing altogether to give the other guys money.  Here‘s a list of New York‘s Democrats he‘s given to.  Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Charles Rangel, and even Anthony Weiner, back when he was a local politician.  That‘s not exactly a right wing hall of fame.  And Donald‘s theory that Republicans can‘t win in New York doesn‘t really explain why he‘s also donated to Harry Reid, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Rahm Emanuel.  So, after giving cash to all those democratic heavyweights, the Donald says his heart really belongs to the GOP.  That‘s pretty rich. 

Remember, he also didn‘t vote in a single GOP primary over two decades.  Look, I don‘t know if the guy is a democrat, but he sure ain‘t a diehard republican.  Imagine Limbaugh donating to Rahm Emanuel, Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton.  I don‘t think so.  Look, the most likely explanation is that he‘s a wild opportunist.  But any way you slice it, Trump claiming that he‘s a hard core republican is definitely our con job of the day. 

All right.  Now, backlash against Republicans is growing.  They‘re having to answer for Paul Ryan‘s radical plan to destroy Medicare.  Now, Speaker Boehner is backing away from Ryan.  Didn‘t take too long to throw him under the bus.  And Congressman Ron Paul is going to speak out on that.  And he‘s got a very unique take.  That‘s coming up next.


UYGUR:  Republicans can run but they can‘t hide from Paul Ryan‘s plan.  We‘ve seen angry outbursts from voters at town hall meetings in a state after state.  Now, some Republicans are resorting to prescreening questions to avoid the wrath of those who don‘t want to privatize Medicare and give more tax breaks to the rich.  The Sun Sentinel reports staffers from Florida Republican Alan West tried to block unscripted questions last night, but it didn‘t work out. 





UYGUR:  Did you see what happened to that last woman?  She was escorted out by security.  No, no, no.  Democrats are actually concerned citizens don‘t get to ask questions in town halls, that‘s only for Republicans shouting about health care.  But something tells me that he‘s not going to put out the fire anyway.  Here‘s freshman Republican Dan Webster of Florida, and he‘s duking it out with constituents in Orlando. 


REP. DAN WEBSTER ®, FLORIDA:  Not one senior citizen is harmed by this budget.

CROWD:  What?  You‘re a liar.  You‘re a liar.  Everyone under 55 is screwed.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  What insurance company is going to insure me?

WEBSTER:  I promise you, not only will Medicare not go broke which it will under the present.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  I won‘t have it, what does it matter? 

WEBSTER:  I understand, in nine years, it‘s going to go broke.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  Who cares?  I don‘t have it.

WEBSTER:  You will have it, if this plan‘s adopted.  You will. 



UYGUR:  And the architect himself, Paul Ryan, the man whose budget plan set off all this anger in the first place, is getting hit yet again with tough questions. 


REP. PAUL RYAN ®, WISCONSIN:  We‘re taxing our employers, our businesses a lot more than our foreign competitors are taxing theirs.  The international average for the corporate tax rate is 25 percent.  Ours is 35 percent.  Hey, come on, everybody, let‘s—all right.  If you‘re yelling, I just want to ask you to leave.  If you‘re just going to scream like that, it‘s just not polite to everybody. 


UYGUR:  He also took extra precautions, left out from a different exit.  Ron, Ron, Ron, Ron.  And guess what?  All of a sudden, we‘ve got republican back pedals.  Even House Speaker John Boehner is suddenly walking away from Ryan‘s plan, saying he‘s not wedded to it. 


JOHN BOEHNER, HOUSE SPEAKER:  I voted for it.  I‘m for it.  I‘m for it.  It‘s our idea.  It‘s Paul‘s idea.  Other people have other ideas.  I‘m not wedded to one single idea, but I think it‘s—we have a plan. 


UYGUR:  Oh, I love that.  Me, did I vote for it?  It‘s always Paul‘s idea.  It‘s Paul‘s idea.  I‘m not wedded to it.  But did I vote for it?  Did I lead everybody off that cliff?  Remember, that‘s the same plan that all but four House Republicans voted for just this month.  And now all of a sudden of course, Boehner is not wedded to it.  He led everybody off that cliff.  Now, they‘re in mid fall and he‘s asking how do we get here? That was Paul‘s idea, right, ahhhh!  All right.  And you know, what?  The Democrats smell blood.  You know, what that?  That‘s why Harry Reid said today that he‘ll hold a vote in the Senate on Ryan‘s plan forcing Senate Republicans to go on the record.

Now that they‘ve seen the blowback, I wonder whether those Republicans Senators are going to stand on this.  It‘s going to be an interesting question.  Now, here‘s a guy who doesn‘t often back pedal right or wrong.  He‘s known for sticking with his positions, with me now is one of the Republicans who actually voted against Paul Ryan‘s plan, Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  But wait, you‘re going to find out why in a second.  And this week, Congressman Paul also announced he‘s setting up a presidential exploratory committee.  So, Congressman Paul, why did you vote against the Ryan plan?

REP. RON PAUL ®, TEXAS:  It didn‘t cut anything.  I mean, this noise that I just heard, it‘s just a representation of the bankruptcy of the country, and to blame Republicans is wrong.  I think you have to blame both parties.  You know, both parties have driven this country into bankruptcy.  And just the noise and the screaming that you just released there is an indication of what‘s coming to our streets, because we won‘t admit what bankruptcy is.  Sure, I‘m concerned about people losing their medical care and all these problems.  But believe me, the further bankruptcy of this country is going to be everybody, the whole system is going to collapse.  And that‘s what a dollar crisis is all about. 

So beware, this is only the beginning.  And to say that one side is more guilty, both sides have been spending too much.  The Democrats spent all this money on the welfare programs and the Republicans spent all this money on warfare.  It was totally bankrupt.  The dollar is crashing, this inflation.  And believe me, this is only the beginning.  But if you don‘t understand why, you‘re in trouble, we‘re in trouble and you‘re not helping us to figure it out because there is an explanation to this.


The middle class gets wiped out when you destroy the dollar and that‘s what you‘re seeing here.

UYGUR:  Right.  I hear you.  I hear you.

PAUL:  It‘s getting wiped out and the corporations are ripping you off but you‘re misleading the people by saying. 

UYGUR:  No, no, no, hold on, hold on.


PAUL:  Somebody is trying to cut.

UYGUR:  No, look, the dollar is an interesting question.  And, you know, your views on the Fed are very interesting.  You got something really great done in auditing the Fed.  You work with Alan Grayson.  And I‘m giving you credit for that over and over.  But look, that was not the issue here.  You said people are angry about bankruptcy.  No, those people were very specifically angry about the possibility of their Medicare being cut.  And when you look at the national polls. 

PAUL:  Well. 

UYGUR:  No, hold on now.  When you look at the national polls, people are very striding on this.  You‘ve got 76 percent saying that Medicare cuts our unacceptable.  You‘ve got 67 percent saying Medicaid unacceptable to cut.  Social security, 77 percent to cut.  I mean, doesn‘t that show you that people are justifiably angry about this and they don‘t want to cut?

PAUL:  Oh, yes, they are.  But they have to understand why.  And I think you‘re misleading them.  I‘m concerned too, but it‘s going to get worse if we don‘t understand this.  Now, I—my own personal opinion is that most of this stuff is all unconstitutional, but that‘s not going to come about because we don‘t live in that age.  But if we made common sense all this, yes, I would cut all this militarism and not cut people off for medical care. 

But what‘s happening now is since there will not be a consensus, there‘s an agreement in Washington, you vote for welfare, we vote for military.  And it continues and we keep printing this money.  But the problem isn‘t somebody getting something cut short on Medicare, it‘s the ending of it, it‘s the ending of the program.  You have to understand when the dollar goes, there‘s nothing left.  There‘s runaway inflation.  And now, this was the whole thing about the Bernanke hearings today.  He admitted, you know, that there‘s inflation coming and its here.  And there‘s not a lot he can do about it except print more money and the dollar was further devalued. 

UYGUR:  But Congressman, look.

PAUL:  And that‘s the key issue.

UYGUR:  I have massive issues with Ben Bernanke.  I have massive issue with Tim Geithner, who are republican leftovers for him, that the Obama administration which is the democratic administration has taken on for reasons that no one can really found them.  So, I agree with your points on that.  But you‘re running for president, and you just said Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security are all unconstitutional.  So, if you become president, would you phase those programs out?

PAUL:  Well, you have to start where you are.  I think it‘s all going to end, it‘s not going to end because of me or anybody else, it‘s going but because of the bankruptcy.  But I have an idea of what we can do.  I would cut massively on this overseas spending, hundreds of billions of dollars and work our way out of it.  But no, you can do this.  I mean, when I go to the college campuses and I get large crowds out, I say, do you think you‘re going to get anything out of Medicare and Social Security?  They say no.  I said, I‘m going to let you out.  Just get out of the program, opt out.  Restore your freedom, demand your right to take care of yourself and then take care of the elderly who are dependent, don‘t put them out on the streets, and then you could do that, and you could work a transition but... 


UYGUR:  So, I just want to get clarity.  Transition.  So, if you became president, you would transition completely out of Social Security and Medicare?

PAUL:  Well, you know, if I can get the people to agree and the Congress to agree, yes, that would be my program to transition out because this one has failed and you‘re going to have riots in the streets, the food riots will come.  They‘re all around the world because this is a worldwide phenomenon.  That‘s why the governments are breaking down around the world, because prices are going up.  Because we have the reserve currency.  Everything is based on the dollar.  Other countries are already suffering, and it will come here.  So you have to make a choice.  You want to continue this and argue over where the cuts are coming or are we going to get together and make some cuts?

I‘m just suggesting that the most popular way, political way, even though most Republicans disagree with me, is I would cut the military and the overseas spending and quit pretending we can run the world because we can‘t. 

UYGUR:  Right.

PAUL:  And then we could have a transition and the young people know this.  This is why I get support from the young people.  They‘re willing to take care of themselves and we don‘t have to throw anybody out in the streets and we don‘t have to get rid of Medicare.  But Medicare will be destroyed if the two sides don‘t get together and say, we‘ve got to get our house in order.  You just can‘t spend your way out and borrow the money and print the money. 

UYGUR:  Right.

PAUL:  That is total destruction to the whole system. 

UYGUR:  Right.  Congressman Ron Paul, I agree with you on militarism, as well.  That‘s why you‘re a very interesting person to have in the House of Representatives.  Thank you for your time this evening.  We really appreciate it. 


UYGUR:  All right.  Now, Speaker Boehner backs off his talk of cutting off oil subsidies because he wants to kiss up to the drill, baby drill crowd.  But Democrats, look at this, are getting tough and they‘re ratcheting up the pressure.  Congressman Ed Markey is holding Boehner to his word, ahead. 


UYGUR:  Democrats are coming together to expose the Republicans who are in favor of giving money to oil companies.  Man, that‘s finally getting to the right place.  We‘ll talk about that when we come back. 


UYGUR:  Well, we‘ve got Democrats finally fighting back against that rigged game and leaders in Congress are off and running with President Obama‘s call to get rid of big oil tax subsidies.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he will hold a vote on the issue as early as next week.  And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on Speaker Boehner to schedule a vote, as well.  So here come the Democrats. 

My next guest has been at the forefront of the fight to eliminate taxpayer subsidies for big oil and gas companies, Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts.  He‘s the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee and also serves on The Energy and Commerce Committee.  Congressman, great pleasure to have you here. 

REP. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  Thank you.  Thanks for having me on again. 

UYGUR:  Great to see you.  So, John Boehner looks like all of a sudden he‘s flip-flopping a little bit, can‘t decide if he‘s in favor or against these oil subsidies.  It looks like you guys got him on the run.  How do you force a vote on this?  How do you get people to concentrate on this issue above all others?

MARKEY:  Well, I think it‘s not going to be that hard.  I think as the oil companies report the largest profits of any companies in the history of the world over the next week, which they‘re doing right now from BP through ExxonMobil through all of them.  I think there‘s going to be an outrage that is pointed towards these oil companies who continue to ask for tax breaks to stay on the books.  So, I think that subsidizing an oil company to drill for oil right now, as consumers are being tipped upside down at the gas pump would be like subsidizing a bird to fly or a fish to swim.  You just don‘t have to do it.  And I think we are going to find a way of forcing a vote on this issue in the very near future. 

UYGUR:  Yes.  When I go to get gas now, and it cost me 60 bucks to fill up my wife‘s tank, and I think we‘re giving away $4 billion of our money to these oil companies, it‘s insanity, right?  But look, the reason you are is because the Republicans keep blocking it, right?  That‘s just the reality of it.  They do it over and over again.  Some Democrats, as well, but the entire Republican Party.  So, I‘m asking, does John Boehner work for the oil companies?

MARKEY:  Well, you know, historically, GOP has stood for gas and oil party.  And today is no different than any other time over the last couple of generations.  Moreover, the republican budget cuts the wind and solar and clean energy budget by 70 percent.  And cutting the CFTC budget to be able to go after speculators, find these bad guys out there who are jacking up the price by just, you know, playing games in the market, they‘re cutting that budget in half, so you have cops on the beat in the financial market place.  And they are also opposed that appointment of this strategic petroleum reserves.  So, if you put it all together, you don‘t need to be Dick Tracy to realize that it is the Republican Party which sides with big oil and as a result with OPEC, keeping us on this agenda of oil and stopping us from moving to a new generation of clean technologies that would, over the long-term, make it possible for us to tell OPEC we don‘t need their oil anymore than we need their sand. 

UYGUR:  Congressman, you know, the oil subsidies drive me crazy, that‘s why we do the whole ring game thing given away the four billion.  I got that.  But as far as reducing gas prices, what‘s the best way to attack that issue?

MARKEY:  That‘s a good point.  The Saudi Arabians took 800,000 barrels of oil off of the market in the last couple of weeks.  We‘ve lost 1.2 million barrels of oil from Libya.  The price of gasoline has a result is skyrocketing.  The best thing we can do to speak to the Saudis, to speak to the speculators, to speak to Libya would be to deploy the strategic petroleum reserve.  That‘s why we have the 730 million barrels of oil. 

UYGUR:  Right.

MARKEY:  If there was ever a time for us to deploy it, to scare the living daylights out of the speculators, to tell the Saudis and to tell those who have banking on Libya continuing to be a mess, that‘s the best thing that we can do and we should do it as soon as possible because our economy is in jeopardy if we don‘t. 

UYGUR:  All right.  Congressman Ed Markey.  Thank you so much. 

MARKEY:  Thank you.

UYGUR:  We‘ll be right back.       


UYGUR:  So one of the things we‘ve been dealing with all show today is, how do you deal with guys who don‘t care about facts?  I mean, so finally the president comes out with his birth certificate and he says, here it is, right?  Well, I got the other version of it, I got this version of it.  And today, we have a guy on the show who says, well not good enough.  Well, he was born in Hawaii and his dad is from Kenya.  But even if you‘re born in the United States of America, you‘re a citizen.  There‘s no ands, ifs and butts, but with these guys, there‘s always ands, ifs and buts. 

So, you know, it reminds me of Junior High honestly.  We had a couple guys, John and Bob.  John used to say that his dad was the head of the FBI and his uncle was the head of the mafia.  And I always thought why doesn‘t your dad arrest your uncle?  And he says, he has helicopters coming out of the roof tops of his house in East Brunswick, New Jersey.  The other guy, the Bob guy, he said, oh, you know, back in Virginia I used to bowl 300, what are you, Kim Jong-il?  I didn‘t know that back then. 

But anyway, so what do you going to do with these guys?  They don‘t deal on FOX.  Well, there‘s only one thing you can do.  That‘s call them out.  So, I said, John, show me the helicopter, right?  And he was a bit of a bully and once you know, you showed him up, and he all of a sudden quieted down about the helicopter.  And with Bob, we went bowling one day.  He bowled a 13.  OK.  So, oh no, but you don‘t understand, back in Virginia, I did.  Look, that‘s the only choice we have, that‘s the only option we have.  We got to keep calling out these Republicans and that‘s what we‘re trying to do on this show. 

Whether it‘s their goofy theories about Easter proclamations that we showed you yesterday, or their birth certificate stuff or them pretending to balance the budget, they‘ve never balanced the budget.  The last guy that did it was Eisenhower.  All they want to do is cut taxes for the rich to make the rich richer and the powerful more powerful.  So, look, we‘re doing our best here.  I‘m telling you, Bob never bowled a 300, there ain‘t no helicopter on that rooftop.  And the Republicans don‘t give a damn about balancing the budget.  Now, that‘s our show for tonight.  Thank you for watching.  And “HARDBALL” is up next.

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