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The Ed Show for Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Ryan Grim, Carl Paladino, Cornel West, Melissa Harris-Perry

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  Welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York—with “Psycho Talk”!

Not even a full week into his presidential campaign, and the right wing is already running off Newt Gingrich.  Tonight here‘s breaking news for you: the Newtster has apologized to Paul Ryan for basically telling the truth about the plan to gut Medicare.

And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, the Trumpster gets a little coverage from his friends at “FOX & Friends.”

This is THE ED SHOW.  Let‘s get to work on a Tuesday.



SCHULTZ (voice-over):  Harsh words for President Obama from Princeton Professor Cornell West.  He calls the president a black mascot of Wall Street, a black puppet of corporate plutocrats, and the head of the American killing machine.  Tonight, I‘ll ask Professor West about those remarks, and Melissa Harris Perry of “The Nation” will respond.

The New York 26 special election has become a referendum on Medicare.  Carl Paladino is endorsing the Republican.  Tonight, I‘ll interview the man with the bat.

All that and the hypocrisy of the Governator as yet another Republican politician gets caught cheating.


SCHULTZ:  Lots of coming up tonight.  Great to have you with us here on THE ED SHOW.

This is story number one: Tonight, the Republicans are lining up to throw Newt Gingrich under the bus.  The Newtster, well, he‘s out on the campaign trail trying to talk his way out of calling Paul Ryan‘s plan to privatize Medicare radical.  Remember that word “radical”?  Republicans are furious at Newt for undercutting their right wing social engineering.

Gingrich can‘t handle the heat so he‘s trying to spin it back into the media saying, well, it‘s the liberal media that‘s doing this.  This is how Newt put it on a low-rated right wing radio show.


NEWT GINGRICH ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If you‘re a conservative, you better expect gotcha press and they took dramatically out of context what I said and tried to make it dramatically into a fight between Paul Ryan.  I don‘t want to fight with Paul Ryan.


SCHULTZ:  Well, look, Newt.  You either said it or you didn‘t.  You‘re calling it gotcha press?

Just for the record, let‘s go back and look at what Newt said on “Meet the Press.”


GINGRICH:  I don‘t think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering.  I don‘t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.


SCHULTZ:  Now I consider myself left wing media.  I do.  I‘m a lefty.  I‘m in the media.  I had nothing to do with his appearance on “Meet the Press” and I had nothing to do with his speech on Friday night.  I had nothing to do with what he just said there.

I‘m just reporting from my vantage point what the heck he‘s all talking about.

Everyone who watched Newt knows that that was a direct shot at Paul Ryan.  There is no getting around it.  If you don‘t believe me, take a listen to the newest member, the newest member of the liberal media Charles Krauthammer on FOX.


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST:  This is a big deal.  He‘s done.  He didn‘t have a big chance from the beginning, but now it‘s over.  Apart from being contradictory and incoherent as we saw in those two bites you showed where he contradicted himself in the course of one day on the individual mandate, calling the Republican plan—which all but four Republican members of the House have now endorsed and will be running on—calling it radical and right wing social engineering is deadly.


SCHULTZ:  Did he say Newt incoherent?  Now, remember that word.  That‘s the second word you got to remember, because, you know, Newt is the king of wordsmithing.

Now with Krauthammer right there is just too much of a lefty for you, take a listen to what the Drugster is saying about the Newtster.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I am not going to justify this.  I am not going to explain this is—the attack on Paul Ryan, the support for an individual mandate in health care?  Folks, don‘t ask me to explain this.  There is no explanation.


SCHULTZ:  There isn‘t.  Well, actually there is.  Eighty percent of the American people don‘t think it‘s an attack.  Heck, they want to save those programs.

Gingrich has Rush Limbaugh damn near speechless.  But Newt wants America to believe that he is a victim of the liberal media.

That‘s borderline psycho talk.  Newt shouldn‘t be worried about what people on the left are saying about him.  He ought to be worrying about what the heck his own party is talking about.

If Gingrich wants to become the next president he‘s going to have to really win over Iowa Republicans, don‘t you think?

The former House speaker didn‘t get off on the right foot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What you just did to Paul Ryan is unforgivable.

GINGRICH:  I didn‘t do anything to Paul Ryan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, you did.  You undercut him—you‘re an embarrassment to our party.

GINGRICH:  I‘m sorry you feel that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why don‘t you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself?


SCHULTZ:  I guess you could say the Newtster ran into a 20 percenter out on the campaign trail in Iowa.

South Carolina, keep in mind, is a big state on the way to becoming the Republican nominee.  Tea Party Governor Nikki Haley tore into Newt on a phone interview on CNN.  She said this: “What he said was absolutely unfortunate.  Here, you‘ve got Representative Ryan trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity and Newt absolutely cut him off at the knees.”  What?

Gingrich is an embarrassment to the Republican Party right now in their eyes and elected righties can‘t afford to have him be an anchor around their necks.

Majority Leader Cantor went after Newt on one of the biggest right wing radio stations in America.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER:  There‘s no question there was a misspeak here.  I mean, just to sit here while all but maybe three House Republicans voted for the Ryan budget, to somehow then portray that as a radical step, I think, is a tremendous misspeak.


SCHULTZ:  The hell with what the people think.  It‘s all about those guys in the house.

And here comes Senator Roy Blunt.  Now, he was one of Gingrich‘s old buddies from the Clinton impeachment days and today, Blunt says he doesn‘t understand what the Newtster is talking about at all.


SEN. ROY BLUNT ®, MISSOURI:  Newt‘s an ideas guy and he likes to talk about ideas.  He doesn‘t surprise me that he would—he would think he was having a debate about ideas.  I didn‘t understand the radical right wing social engineering comment.  And I suspect he wishes he hadn‘t described it that way.


SCHULTZ:  Well, you just can‘t play to the center for those guys, can you? 

Newt can‘t afford to have Republicans keep hammering him on TV and radio.

So, today, he went on bended knee to a group of conservative bloggers basically saying, will you help me out?  Newt told them, “My hope is to find a way to work with the House Republicans.  I used language that was too strong, although the underlying principle I think was right.”

Newt Gingrich doesn‘t know the first thing about principles.  Newt has spent his entire political career tearing down his enemies and he‘s got the word list to do it.  Newt doesn‘t have a whole lot of friends to turn to right now.  It might be too late.

Late this afternoon, he knows it‘s kind of the 11th hour so he went into full damage control mode and he placed a phone call to Paul Ryan.  He surrendered.  He capitulated.  He apologized.

Paul Ryan called into a hate merchant, Mark Levine, and talked about it.


REP. PAUL RYAN ®, WISCONSIN:  I think he now understands the magnitude of his comments, how wrong they were, and I think he‘s going to have more to say about that and he‘s working on that.  He basically called and apologized.  And I accepted his apology.


RYAN:  I think he understands that‘s just an inaccurate characterization. 

I think he just misspoke.


SCHULTZ:  And he is going to have more to say about that.  I think he‘s working on that.  Did you hear that?

In other words, Newt, the apology isn‘t good enough.  Dude, I got to have more.  I mean, I got to have more.  Our party needs more.  We need you on bended knee.

Newt wants to get behind—get this behind him as quickly as he possibly can.  His spokesman Rick Tyler told “Politico,” quote, “Newt will get up to bat again, and he‘ll hit a home run.  This is just one event.  I don‘t think it‘s a defining moment.  I do think it‘s serious and we‘ve taken it seriously.”

I‘ll tell you what Newt Gingrich has taken seriously over the years.  How quickly we forget about how Newt considers himself the political conversationalist in this country.  You see?  He used to have this thing called GOPAC back in the ‘90s.  It was a guide he wanted all of the Republicans to go by when it came to smearing your competition, when it came to smearing liberals.

And these are tested words that Newt had put out to all of the candidates.  Use the term “abuse of power.”  Use the word “anti” and put it to anti-American, anti-flag, anti-family, anti-child, anti-jobs.  Use the word “bizarre,” “bosses,” “cheat,” “corrupt,” “disagree,” “endanger,” “intolerant,” “liberal,” “lie,” always do liberal and lie together—and also throw the word pathetic out there.  Radical is one of his favorite ones.  Taxes, traitors, and unionize.

You see?  This is where ironically what goes around comes around.  This is the conversation that Newt Gingrich wanted this country to have back in the ‘90s.  He was a scorched earth policy kind of guy.

He loved the meanness.  He loved the derogatory comments.  He loved the negativity.  He wanted the country to hate liberals.  He wanted to elevate himself.  He wanted to run over anybody he possibly could to get power.

And he brought forward and took it to a new level a sense of being mean-spirited.  And I think he certainly has helped our industry quite a bit.  In fact, he‘s put it on steroids more times than once.  I think the word I can‘t leave out tonight is “nasty.”

Newt Gingrich is the author of nasty politics in this country.  I would say of contemporary time.  There may have been others who thought the way Newt thinks back in the ‘90s, but he is still the same guy.  And he will do whatever he has to do to move himself forward.

And he sees that 80 percent.  You know that number that I put up on the big board?  Eighty percent of the American people do not want Medicare and Medicaid changed?

So, this was his opportunity on the big news show “Meet the Press” to step out on a Sunday and say, well it‘s radical.  It‘s right wing social engineering.  We don‘t want to go that far.  We‘re conservative is basically what he‘s saying but we just don‘t want to go that far.  And he thought that maybe he could get some center pieces to come along with it.

Well, Newt is still Newt and he‘s a wordsmith and don‘t you—a wordsmither.  And don‘t you think it‘s kind of ironic that he is trying to find the right words right now to get back in the good graces?  I still say tonight don‘t count him out.

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think.  Tonight‘s question: can Newt Gingrich recover and win the GOP nomination?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  And you can always go to our new blog at  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me now is Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for “The Huffington Post.”

Great to have you with us tonight, Ryan.


SCHULTZ:  Will Newt recover from this politically?  What do you think he has to do and how much trouble is he actually in?

GRIM:  Well, saying that Newt could recover from this implies that he had a chance to become president in the first place and I don‘t quite buy into that to begin with.  But what‘s really remarkable about this is that it shows that it is universally considered to be political suicide in a Republican primary to defend Medicare.  I mean, think about how far we‘ve come just in a few months.  You cannot defend Medicare in a Republican primary and survive.

And I don‘t see how they can produce a viable presidential candidate through that kind of a primary process.

SCHULTZ:  Do you think some of these Republicans are just looking at the landscape demographically and they look at Newt Gingrich and they see an older guy?  They look at Paul Ryan and they see a young, 40-year-old guy who, whether you believe it or not, I think he did show somewhat of a courageous move to put out such a radical agenda and put his name to it because it‘s going to follow him forever.

I mean, he‘s putting his political career on the line and he knows it, and that‘s why he‘s not going to run for the Senate in Wisconsin—that announcement coming out within the last 24 hours.

So, do you think that they‘re just going to decide to ride this horse instead of Newt?

GRIM:  Well, you know, that was a real question the last few weeks because right after the entire House GOP held hands and jumped off that cliff and all of them but a couple voted to basically eliminate Medicare as we know it and replace it with this voucher system, there was all this kind of backsliding where, you know, Boehner said—well, that‘s our plan.  Well, it‘s Ryan‘s plan, and then, say, no, it‘s our plan.  And for the next couple weeks, there would be questions about, you know, exactly how committed are Republicans to this dismantling of Medicare.

What this last 24 hours has shown us is that they are firmly committed to it.  Everyone is locked in on this at this point.  I mean, the clip you showed from Cantor is just a perfect example.  He is saying we are all onboard with this.

And Newt was right.  It is a radical plan.  It is radical to tell somebody who is sitting at home and who is 54 today and is told—oh, you know how you thought you were going to get Medicare 11 years from now?  You‘re actually not going to get Medicare 11 years from now.  You‘re going to get a voucher and—oh, health care costs have doubled the last decade.  If they double again, the next decade, we‘re not going to double the amount of the voucher that we give you.

So, the rest of that you‘re on your own.  You could end up paying 70 percent or so of your health care costs.  That, to anybody who is 54 or below, that is an extremely radical thought.

SCHULTZ:  There‘s no doubt it‘s radical to them because they‘ve never seen anything like this, any kind of proposal like this in their lifetime politically.

Now, let‘s go to the comment that he made on Friday night in Macon, Georgia, about the food stamp president because—let‘s play this.  Here it is.


GINGRICH:  President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history.  More people are on food stamps today than any point in American history and he‘s proud of it.


SCHULTZ:  Ryan, do you think he is going to tone it down now that he‘s got this trouble or crank it back up and be that kind of Newt Gingrich?

GRIM:  You know, it‘ll be interesting to see, you know, how he responds to this because he really took a beating the last day or so.  So, I don‘t know if he‘s going to—he is going to keep up with that dog whistle kind of stuff.

But even if—even if you put aside the racial component of saying he‘s a food stamp president, the idea that you would blame Obama for food stamp usage increasing over the last two years, when the collapse came in the fall of 2008, is, you know, just disingenuous for somebody who claims to be operating on this intellectual level.

SCHULTZ:  Well, it‘s an admission of being in trouble for him to call Congressman Paul Ryan and apologize to him.  That certainly is not in Gingrich‘s DNA.

Great to have you with us tonight, Ryan Grim.  Appreciate your time.

Remember to answer tonight‘s question at the bottom of the screen.  We want to know what you think.

And coming up: there is a special election in Upstate New York.  I‘ll talk to a supporter of the Republican in that race.  His name?  Carl Paladino.

Professor Cornell West says more and more working people are beaten down. 

Barack Obama could have provided some way out.  But he lacks back bone. 

Professor West will join me coming up.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Now, with the Ryan budget plan hanging over their heads—get a load of this—Republican freshmen in the House wrote a letter to President Obama.  They asked him to stop the Democrats from beating them up over Medicare.  Well, that was last week.

Here‘s what they‘re doing this week, lying.


NARRATOR:  Katie Hochul, a false campaign about Jane Corwin‘s position on Medicare.  When the truth is it‘s Hochul who says she would cut Medicare and Social Security.


SCHULTZ:  Now, that was an ad from New York State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.  She‘s a Republican running for Congress in New York‘s 26th district and she supports—I say supports the Ryan plan to kill Medicare. says Corwin‘s claim about her Democratic opponent is, quote, “bogus.”

So, are voters buying the new Republican strategy?  Well, the nonpartisan “Rothenberg Political Report” moved New York‘s 26th district from lean-Republican column to the tossup lean-Democratic column.  Next, I‘ll talk with one of Jane Corwin‘s supporters, a man who vowed to take a baseball out on the political establishment.  Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino will join me and you won‘t want to miss it.

Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What private insurance company is going to cover a 75-year-old woman with diabetes?

REP. ANDY HARRIS ®, MARYLAND:  That‘s why the Ryan plan also says you get additional subsidies if you are uninsurable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What good is a subsidy going to do you?


MADDOW:  First of all, there‘s no such thing as uninsurable anymore because President Obama took care of that with legislation.  That guy doesn‘t even know what the hell he‘s talking about.  That was Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland feeling the heat over the Ryan Medicare plan.

It‘s the sort of scene that is happening all over the country.  People have got this figured out and it has galvanized voters, including in New York‘s 26th congressional district, a very red district in a very blue state.  It‘s rather unique.  So red that John McCain beat Barack Obama by 5.5 points back in 2008, so red that in 2010 the previous occupant of the congressional seat, a Republican, won with almost ¾ of the vote.  That would be almost 75 percent.

And in case you have forgotten, here is that Republican, former Congressman Chris Lee, who resigned after this shirtless photo surfaced on the Internet and some other things.  You know what I mean.  He‘s the reason why New York 26 is holding a special election next week.

Now, Mr. Lee‘s abrupt departure along with the Ryan budget plan has really forced Republicans to play defense in what normally has been a traditionally safe district.  Fourteen percent of New York 26 is over the age of 65 years old above the national average, which is why Democrat Kathy Hochul may actually win this thing.  She faces Republican Jane Corwin.  Jack Davis, an independent, running on the Tea Party line.

But at least Corwin has one guy on her side.  You may recognize this gentleman.  That‘s Carl Paladino, former Republican gubernatorial nominee in New York state who has a habit of speaking his mind.

Here‘s what he told the voters after he lost last November.


CARL PALADINO ®, FORMER NY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Make no mistake: you have not heard the last of Carl Paladino.



SCHULTZ:  And we have not.

Joining me now, as promised, is former Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino, who has endorsed the Republican Jane Corwin in the New York 26 district.

Thanks for joining us tonight, Mr. Paladino.  Appreciate your time.

PALADINO:  Thank you, Ed.  Thanks for inviting me.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Your hometown newspaper, “The Buffalo News,” wrote that the evidence is mounting that Medicare, that issue is deeply hurting Corwin‘s chances of winning next Tuesday‘s special election.  Do you support Ms. Corwin and her position on Medicare?  Is this a problem for her?

PALADINO:  I do support her position and “The Buffalo News” and you are completely off the mark on this one.  There‘s a spoiler in the race.  The spoiler—by far, this district, the 26th, is a very, very red district.  And it will continue to be.

Unfortunately, we have a fraudulent spoiler in the crowd, this guy named Jack Davis.  Now, Jack‘s a nice man.  But Jack is obsessed with one issue.  That is to trade.

And he‘s so obsessed with it that he went out and spent $50,000 to hire a libertarian lawyer to sell to him and to impose for him this Tea Party label on him.  Jack Davis is more of a progressive than our other two representatives from this area.  We have Brian Higgins and Louis Slaughter who are die-hard Pelosi lovers.

This nightmare that Jack Davis is creating in this area very well may be pointing to Hochul but she is going to win with a minority vote.


PALADINO:  And that‘s where you‘re missing it.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Well, you know, the dynamic of it is what it is.  But are you telling us tonight that the Medicare issue, the Ryan budget, is really not that big of a deal in New York 26th?

PALADINO:  I don‘t know how you can possibly say that Jane Corwin is in favor of doing away with Medicare.  She is switching—she is getting rid of the fraud, the waste, and abuse by using a voucher system.  That‘s all she‘s doing.

SCHULTZ:  Well she endorses the Ryan plan.

PALADINO:  You‘re doing such a—no you‘re doing a tremendous disservice to the elderly people by telling them that that is the case.  It‘s not the case.

Yes, they want to switch it over.  They want to get rid of the fraud,

waste, and abuse which Obama doesn‘t want to get rid of because those are

his constituents that are stealing from Medicare


PALADINO:  This stuff has to end at some point.

SCHULTZ:  From your vantage point, from what you know of the person that you were endorsing, Ms. Corwin, that she is not for the Ryan budget plan, that she is not for changing Medicare the way the bill is stated and the way the bill has been voted on already.  What about that?

PALADINO:  She is in favor.  She is—I think she has indicated she is in favor of the Ryan plan, but maybe not as a full package.  Maybe it needs some modifications.  But certainly she is not opposed to Medicare.

SCHULTZ:  How would she have voted?  If she had been in the Congress would she have voted for or against?

PALADINO:  You are asking the wrong person.  I‘m not her.

SCHULTZ:  How can you say you know where she is on the Medicare plan, sir?

PALADINO:  Because I talked to her two days ago and she told me where she is.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  She told you she was not for the Ryan plan?

PALADINO:  She told me that she is not against Medicare.  She doesn‘t seek to take any benefits away from the elderly.  She seeks to get rid of the fraud, waste, and abuse.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Let me ask it this way.  In the conversation that you had with her Mr. Paladino, did you ask her if she is for a voucher plan?

PALADINO:  Am I missing something here or did I hear Obama say earlier on just before they passed—

SCHULTZ:  I‘m not talking about President Obama.  I‘m talking about the candidate that you endorse.  I‘m just trying to get to the crux of this.

Is she in favor of a voucher plan?  Because that‘s exactly what the Republicans voted on.  I mean she is either for it or not.

PALADINO:  She is, a voucher plan?


PALADINO:  Yes, I think she is.

SCHULTZ:  You think she is.


SCHULTZ:  All right.  So you‘ve endorsed a candidate where you‘re really not sure?  But that‘s OK.

PALADINO:  No, I endorsed a candidate who told me that she is not in favor of getting rid of Medicare, by far.


PALADINO:  She doesn‘t look to take any real benefits from the elderly. 

She looks -- 

SCHULTZ:  But Medicare as we know it, Mr. Paladino.  The Medicare as we know it, the fundamental change would take place if this Ryan plan were to go through.  And let me ask you tonight -- 

PALADINO:  Who wouldn‘t want that?  What taxpayer would not want a private insurance company with a voucher plan?  What taxpayer would not want that?

SCHULTZ:  Probably one that‘s 70 years old and sick and would not get the same benefits they would get under Medicare today.

PALADINO:  And I‘ll tell you from her mouth, Jane Corwin says that she is not looking to take any benefits from the elderly.  OK?  She is not looking in any way to hurt the elderly.  She, as Mr. Obama said, is in favor of getting rid of the fraud, waste, and abuse.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  You‘ve said that four times.  I got the fraud, waste, and abuse angle.


SCHULTZ:  I just want to know.  Do you really think that under the Ryan plan that it will be better coverage for seniors or will they have to pay more out of their pocket?

PALADINO:  Who knows what the final bill might look like?

SCHULTZ:  You sound like Michael Steele now.  Who knows?  Let‘s just have a dart board and throw it up there, you know?

Mr. Paladino, great to have you with us tonight.  Appreciate your time. 

Thanks for joining us.

Donald Trumpster‘s birther nonsense doomed his presidential ambitions but his buddies on “FOX & friends,” well, they think it‘s the media‘s fault.  I think they belong in “Psycho Talk.”

And late news on the vote to end subsidies to big oil.  Republicans stick it to the American people one more time.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for staying with us tonight.  You know, each year, Republicans and some Democrats in Washington give two billion dollars of your tax dollars to these big oil companies that make record profits. 

Now last week, the CEO of Chevron claimed that the American people don‘t mind the giveaway. 


JOHN WATSON, CHEVRON CHAIRMAN AND CEO:  I don‘t think the American people want shared sacrifice.  I think they want shared prosperity. 


SCHULTZ:  I know a lot of you are home tonight really worried about whether the oil companies are going to make it or not.  Well, tonight Democrats proposed a bill that would end the two billion dollars in subsidies to big oil. 

What do you think happened?  Republicans had a chance to vote with the American people and help the Treasury out a little bit.  American people who pay four dollars a gallon for gas, as these companies enjoy record profits. 

Republicans also had a chance to prove that they were serious about cutting spending.  Except for Collins and Snowe of Maine, Republicans failed to do any of that.  Republicans didn‘t even need any help from the Democrats to block tonight‘s vote. 

But they got it.  Three Democrats voted with Republicans.  There‘s our old buddy Ben Nelson, the doctor of anti-health care in Nebraska.  And Mary Landrieu, she loves oil companies and all those leases from Louisiana.  And Mark Begich, are you really a Democrat from Alaska. 

They‘re in the back pocket of big oil.  How else do you read this? 

So every Democrat but these three are picking on the oil industry.  Just picking on these guys.  Every Republican but Snowe and Collins are picking on the American people.  That‘s how I read it. 

Record profits—think about this.  You run a business.  And I mean you‘re having a hell of a year.  In fact, you‘ve got record profits.  And some senator comes to your office and says, you know what?  You‘ve had a hell of a year.  We‘re going to have to knock off the subsidies. 

Wouldn‘t you understand that?  Of course you would.  Do you follow the news?  Would understand exactly where our treasury is?  But basically what these oil barons are saying is that we can‘t make it unless we have the financial landscape the way it is. And we need this two billion dollars. 

Now I might have missed this part of the testimony last week, but what do they do with the money?  Play golf?  Go to the country club?  I don‘t know.  What do they do with the money?

Do they give bonuses out to their employees?  Where does that money go? 

Arnold Schwarzenegger comes clean about his secret love child after living a lie for ten years.  Turns out he was good at acting in his personal life as well.  Academy Award winner?  Not.  And he may not ever be back from this scandal. 

And the professor that I enjoy talking to a great deal, Cornell West, says that President Obama is a black puppet of corporate plutocrats?  This is quite a charge.  And we‘re going to be talking about it coming up.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Grading the president.  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  President Obama got health care reform, Wall Street reform, and 700 billion dollar stimulus that probably saved the country from a depression. 

None of it was perfect for lefties, but they were still major accomplishments.  And it‘s not the end of the list.  In the wake of getting Osama bin Laden, President Obama is experiencing some of his highest approval ratings in two years. 

In speeches these days, the president talks about his successes but also his short comings. 


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  There have been times over the last two and a half years where I know you all have gotten frustrated sometimes.  We‘ve gone through some setbacks. 

But I tell you what, though, the—the vision that brought us together in 2008, that‘s undiminished in me. 


SCHULTZ:  Well, there is, however, dissent and disappointment.  My next guest, Professor Cornell West, recently said this: “more and more working people are beaten down and they are world-weary.  They are into self-medication.  They are turning on each other.  They are scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful.  It is a profoundly human response to panic and catastrophe. 

“I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out, but he lacks backbone.” 

Let‘s bring in the professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, Cornel West.  Professor, great to have you on tonight. 

Holy smokes.  I heard about these comments and I read them.  I said I have to talk to Cornel about this.  He doesn‘t have the back bone?  What are you talking about? 

CORNEL WEST, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY:  Well, it depends on how you define back bone.  Now if you have back bone in terms of killing bin Laden, certainly that is back bone as commander-in-chief.  I‘m talking about back bone for poor children, mis-abused workers, those unfairly incarcerated, those middle class folks experiencing downward mobility, and confronting the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats. 

That‘s the kind of backbone I‘d like to see more of, my brother. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  You used the term black mascot.  You have also called President Obama a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs” and a “black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”  And now he has become “head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” 

Is this personal? 

WEST:  Well, it‘s personal only to the degree to which we‘re talking about the system in place that is rigged at the moment against poor and working people.  And Obama is the president.  He‘s the head, as it were. 

But it‘s certainly not personal in terms of somehow saying that he is outside of the human race, demonizing him.  I am relentlessly criticizing him in the name of the plight and predicament of poor children, mistreated workers, those unfairly incarcerated.

And where is the Democratic accountability on the Wall Street oligarchs and the plutocrats? 

SCHULTZ:  Well, professor, the landscape has been this: a record number of filibusters in the last session of the Congress, a House now that is controlled by Republicans that have openly admitted that they want to see this president fail. 

WEST:  That‘s right. 

SCHULTZ:  And he has accomplished some big things, don‘t you think? 

WEST:  Well, he certainly had some accomplishments.  I‘m not sure how big they are.  Health care extends the coverage.  That‘s magnificent.  But we know it was a giveaway to the private insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.  We know about the deal that was made. 

Not having backbone for public option.  We know that Medicare for all is the only fair and the only effective one—program in the long run. 

So achievements, yes.  I‘m not denying the achievements, but keep in mind, brother Ed—and this is what I think you and I agree to some—in some part—that I begin with the righteous indignation about the conditions of poor people and working people. 

They have gotten worse in so many ways, even given the attempt of the Obama administration to move forward.  Tim Geithner and company tied to Wall Street, that is not encouraging at all. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  But in the midst of the worst economy in 70 years—

I mean, what he inherited was just absolutely unbelievable. 

WEST:  But, Ed, he missed the moment.  He could have nipped the bud of the right wing populism of the Tea Party movement by focusing on home owners who were losing their homes, on workers with the job creation program, with some kind of job corps, and then declaring war on poverty, as opposed to this abstract war on terror. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  You‘ve also chosen to analyze the president on what seems to be a very deeply personal level.  Your quote is “I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men.”  What did you mean by that? 

WEST:  What I meant was that I think that—keep in mind, I affirm his humanity and I want to respect and protect him.  But what I meant by that was his formation is such that I think he does have a predilection much more toward upper middle class white brothers and Jewish brothers, and has a certain distance from free black men who will tell him the truth, both about himself as well as what‘s going on in black communities, brown communities, red communities and poor white, working class communities. 

SCHULTZ:  What you‘re saying tonight on this program, have you communicated this with the black caucus and have you had any response? 

WEST:  No, I‘ve had no discussion with the black caucus whatsoever.  I‘m told they met last week after two and a half years.  Can you imagine?  That‘s crazy. 

But no, I have no contact with the black caucus whatsoever. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Professor Cornel West, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

WEST:  Stay strong, brother Ed.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Now let‘s turn to associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University and a columnist for “the Nation” magazine, Melissa Harris-Perry.  Great to have you with us. 


SCHULTZ:  Let‘s start with the policy substance of Professor West‘s criticism.  Your response? 

HARRIS-PERRY:  Certainly all of us who are on the left have critiques of this president as we had of President Clinton and obviously as we had during the Bush administration.  But I think that Professor West is being a little disingenuous and, by the way, also quite vague. 

He doesn‘t, for example, talk about the Lilly Ledbetter Act, one of the first acts that the president signed.  He talks about downtrodden workers.  Well, this was an act with the explicit purpose of equalizing men and women‘s pay. 

He doesn‘t talk about the fact that the president has used both of his Supreme Court nominations, perhaps the most powerful legacy that any president has, to appoint Sotomayor and Elaina Kagan to the court, with the potential of altering how that court will be going into the future. 

He talks about free black men.  Well, this is a president who signed an act that actually reduces the ways we go after marijuana, makes it harder to put people in jail around cocaine at the federal level, actually liberating more black bodies from the criminal justice system. 

It‘s just I think sort of a critically messy look. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s more—it is the most severe critique that I‘ve ever heard of President Obama.  And I understand the debate and what not.  But it‘s almost over the top. 

HARRIS-PERRY:  I don‘t think it‘s the most severe critique.  In other words, I think you‘ve actually probably heard it before.  It‘s just that we typically haven‘t heard it from an African-American and particularly from someone on the left. 

SCHULTZ:  Is there trouble within the African-American community? 

HARRIS-PERRY:  Oh, always. 

SCHULTZ:  No I‘m talking about in supporting President Obama.  I mean, do you think that Cornel West is maybe speaking for a larger number of people than we might anticipate? 

HARRIS-PERRY:  Undoubtedly, there are many people who support and believe in Cornel West‘s view of President Obama.  And when I laughingly say that there‘s trouble within the community, all that I mean is that of course there‘s always contestation.  There‘s always heterogeneity.  There is no one black community. 

It‘s part of what makes us great.  But if you look at the polls, the fact is black voters, these ordinary people that Professor West claims to speak for, have been very, very clear in their support of President Obama and in his policies, both during the Democratic primaries, into the general election, and now during his presidency. 

I think actually the more democratic with a little D way to behave here is to trust people themselves in a populist way. 


HARRIS-PERRY:  To make some of their own decisions. 

SCHULTZ:  And you wrote today in “the Nation” that some of this is petty.  What do you mean by that?  Do you think the president has dissed Cornel West and has gotten a broken nose over it? 

HARRIS-PERRY:  It‘s clear to me from the recent article that Professor West does have some personal anxieties.  He talked about not getting a ticket to the inauguration.  And far more anxious, you know, for me, he talks about President Obama not being able to understand or sympathize with black communities because he has a white mother, something which I found again smacking of kind of Birtherism, this notion that not what President Obama does, but who President Obama is makes him illegitimate.

And those are the things I think that strike me as actually not at all like the Cornel West who I know and whose work I respect. 

SCHULTZ:  Melissa Harris-Perry, thank you so much for joining us tonight. 

HARRIS-PERRY:  Thanks.  >

SCHULTZ:  Donald Trump‘s string of crazy Birther interviews ruined his chances for 2012.  But the team on “Fox & Friends” think it‘s because there just wasn‘t enough TV coverage.  They‘re going straight into the zone next.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  For me Pennsylvania Senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has taken on Senator John McCain on the subject of torture.  Santorum said, he, McCain, “doesn‘t understand how enhanced interrogation works.” 

Senator McCain was subjected to torture during his five years in captivity in North Vietnam.  When McCain‘s spokeswoman was asked about the remarks by Santorum, she said, “who?” 

Then McCain‘s aide, Mark Salter, said this: “for pure, blind stupidity nobody beats Santorum.  In my 20 years in the Senate, I never met a dumber member, which he reminded me of today.” 

And it hits—the hits just keep on coming.  I love the fact that the Republicans are calling each other dumb.  A speech writer for President George W. Bush now says that Khalid Sheikh Mohamed figured out water boarding.  “KSM actually mocked his interrogators by holding out his arm and counting off the seconds with his hand.  He knew exactly how far he could go.  And when the terrorists know how far you can go, it‘s very, very hard to break them.” 

Water boarding and torture did not get Osama bin Laden, but the Bushies just can‘t get over it.  Stay with us.  Psycho talk is next.


SCHULTZ:  In Psycho Talk tonight, the kids on “Fox & Friends” are rushing to defend their good old buddy Donald Trump.  This morning, they were all upset about Trump dropping out of the 2012 presidential race.  And of course, Doochey and Kilmeade, they blame the media. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The main stream media went after him with the long knife. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Suddenly, he represented a threat to perhaps Barack Obama.  And the mainstream media went right after him. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Correspondents did it.  The president attacked him for about a half hour.  Seth Meyers attacked him for about a half hour.  SNL attacked him.  “The Daily Show” attacked him on a regular basis.

Every late night show was attacking him.  Every other network was attacking him.  And then the capture of bin Laden.  He didn‘t have a chance to really answer because he wasn‘t in the news cycle. 


SCHULTZ:  Wasn‘t in the news cycle?  By the way, I wasn‘t attacking him.  I endorsed him. 

Maybe not after bin Laden, he wasn‘t in the news cycle.  But of course beforehand, Trump was allowed to answer his critics on just about every network at any time.  


DONALD TRUMP, “THE APPRENTICE”:  I happen to be smart.  I happen to have a lot of common sense. 

Barack Obama has been the worst president ever. 

Just show us the birth certificate.  Is he trying to torture the American public? 


TRUMP:  Excuse me.  Because of my genius.  OK? 

Maybe I‘m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate. 

I don‘t want to say who, but I‘ve been told that the birth certificate is not there.  It‘s missing. 


SCHULTZ:  Donald Trump, do you think he had plenty of air time to spout his nonsense?  Including a weekly call-in spot on “Fox & Friends?”  It‘s not the media‘s fault.  The sound, well, it got crazier and crazier with each interview. 

By the way, I‘m still waiting to hear from those investigators in Hawaii that he sent to check everything out, because they were coming up with some unbelievable information. 

So for Kilmeade to say Trump dropped out of the race because he didn‘t have an opportunity to respond to the mainstream media attacks is mainstream Psycho Talk. 

Ten years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave an interview railing against fatherless households.  Around the same time, he was busy fathering a child out of wedlock.  Another Republican hypocrite exposed next.


SCHULTZ:  The hottest story on the web today, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Big news, the former governor cheated on his wife, Maria Shriver, and fathered a child with a member of the household staff over a decade ago.  The couple is separated and Shriver released a statement today saying that she is heartbroken. 

So, Arnold, I guess you could say was an actor in his personal life, too. 

And once again, fame, power, and money certainly do funny things to people.  He played the role of a politician.  He played the role of the faithful husband.  You be the judge. 

Maria Shriver, she has to be wondering tonight who she has been married to for the last 25 years.  Arnold was living a lie.  And ten years ago, after fathering his child, he criticized single parent homes saying this: “the number of single parents in the United States has quadrupled since the ‘60s and there has also been an increase in violence and school shootings.  All that stuff has increased largely because of the lack of parenting.  And many households only have one biological parent.  So many of them are fatherless.  It really creates a big problem.  To me, family has always been the basic foundation of everything.”

What a hypocrite.  And then there was a time when, if you remember correctly—when some Republicans wanted to change the Constitution of the United States so their guy Arnold could run for president.  Oh, I remember that. 

And what is it about governors these days?  Elliot Spitzer in New York, with a prostitute.  Mark Sanford down in South Carolina with his Argentinian mistress, and now Schwarzenegger.  Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, she commented on Twitter today writing, “Another guy gov admits to cheating on his wife.  Maybe we need more women governors.  Guys keep your pants zipped for Pete‘s sake.”

And on that note, I‘ll remind you that my radio show is on SIRIUS and XM Channel 127, Monday through Friday, from noon to three. 

Survey tonight:  We ask, can Newt Gingrich recover and win the GOP nomination?  Seven percent of you said yes, 93 percent of you say he‘s finished. 

That‘s the ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  “LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL” starts right now.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.



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