Guests: Al Sharpton, Azi Paybarah, Shira Toeplitz, Bill Press, Mike
Papantonio, Daniel Boman
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York. Great to be back with you.
Congressman Anthony Weiner held a press conference today and admitted to sending inappropriate pictures of himself to several women, but he said he will not resign. I‘ll have something to say about that. And we‘ll have more on his announcement and what it could mean for his political career.
This is THE ED SHOW. Let‘s get to work.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): After 10 days of a media firestorm, Representative Anthony Weiner comes clean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We heard his confession, only time will tell whether his political career will survive.
In “Psycho Talk” tonight, Walter Williams spews gibberish about the welfare system, calling it worse than slavery for African-Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER WILLIAMS: The government has said to many young women, I am the father. And so, the father, black males, have become dispensable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The poster boy for the Republican ideology, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, claims to care about the budget, spending taxpayer money on helicopter rides, while giving millionaires tax breaks.
SCHULTZ: Well, I left on an apology and I come back watching an apology. In a gut-wrenching announcement New York congressman Anthony Weiner this afternoon finally comes clean after spending a week lying in every interview he did, wordsmithing the truth and playing a game of deception on you, the taxpayer.
Now, we get another show here by a lying politician. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I care about the most, and I am deeply sorry. I have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends, and supporters and the media.
Last Friday night, I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realized I had posted it to Twitter, I panicked, I took it down, and said that I had been hacked. I then continued with that story and to stick to that story which was a hugely regrettable mistake.
This woman was unwittingly dragged into this and there‘s absolutely no responsibility. I‘m so sorry to have disrupted her life on this way.
To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it.
I‘m deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife Huma and our family and my constituents, my friends, supporters, and staff.
In addition, over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email, and occasionally on the phone with women I have met online. I‘ve exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years.
For the most part, these relations—these communications took place before my marriage, though some have sadly took place after. To be clear, I have never met any of these women or had physical relationships at any time.
I haven‘t told the truth—and I‘ve done things that I deeply regret. I‘ve brought pain to people I care about the most and the people who believe in me—and for that, I am deeply sorry.
I apologize to my wife and our families, as well as to our friends and supporters. I‘m deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and actions.
I‘ll be glad to take any questions that you might have.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) stay as a congressman, or should you go ahead and resign?
WEINER: I came here to accept the full responsibility for what I‘ve done. I am deeply regretting what I have done and I am not resigning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How sad. Hate to se anybody go through that. Don‘t you?
Anthony Weiner, I think, needs to make this story go away. And there‘s a number of different reasons. There are millions of Americans out there that are out of work, without health care, struggling to pay their bills and then this happens and takes our focus?
And this congressman ironically has been a staunch advocate for those kind of Americans out there, but his words tonight—well, they have less of an impact. He‘s putting his political career, the very issues that he fights for.
Congressman, there is only one person who can end this story—you. You got to take one for the team, the country, your constituents, and your party. They all deserve better.
Congressman Weiner has put Nancy Pelosi in an untenable position. The Democratic leader has already called for an ethics investigation. So, what does that tell you?
I don‘t see any Democrats out there tonight just jumping all over the cables supporting Anthony Weiner. They know what this means. They know how tough a road it‘s going to be, and they shouldn‘t have to shoulder it.
Congressman Weiner, he says he takes full responsibility? I take issue with that. Not really. After nude pictures came out and he couldn‘t manage it anymore, then the responsibility started. I think this is an issue of character.
Now, as an American worker, put yourself in the congressman‘s position. He‘s tweeting pictures to a girl half his age on company time and lying about it to the boss. And, by the way, you‘re the taxpayer, you‘re the boss. Do you think you would survive that in your workplace? Maybe you would. Maybe that‘s just the way America and society is now.
I have no interest in Congressman Weiner‘s private life. He and his wife I think have got quite a bit to deal with and work out at this point.
He made this a public issue. He did it—when he lied repeatedly during a media tour that lasted a week.
This is about trust. Do you trust what he says now?
This is about character. And this is about the people, and what the people of this country deserve in elected officials. All of the people that have gotten in trouble before, I‘ve advocated them resigning because the taxpayers deserve total focus.
Congressman Weiner, if you believe in yourself, you will resign and you will come back and run again in 2012 because that‘s what the taxpayers deserve. They deserve a representative that is totally focused.
You do a great job on the cables and you got a great relationship with media folk in this business. But the fact of the matter is it‘s much more than that. And the truth matters.
And I take issue with the fact that you take full responsibility. You took full responsibility when it was convenient. You took full responsibility when new information came out and you got caught.
There has to be more restitution than just stepping up and saying, “I‘m sorry and I‘m not going to resign.”
That‘s a little too arrogant for me. And it‘s really a PR problem that the Democrats right now maneuvering through all the minutia that the Republicans put up, and it is about politics, and focusing the country on what we need to work on.
No, I‘m not being too tough on Anthony Weiner. Not at all.
When you do stuff like that, when you ask for the public‘s trust and that‘s what you give back, you got make restitution. You got to do something.
I mean, Weiner is a young guy. He‘s 42 years old. I mean, this guy is going to be able to come back and run for whatever he wants to. But right now, it seems to me he‘s got some work to do.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s question: Should Congressman Anthony Weiner resign from Congress? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639, and you can always go to our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network.
And, Reverend, I think both of us in our careers have had some things we‘ve had to manage. When you lose the public trust, and you go around doing a media tour for a week and then all of a sudden you say, I lied—what does that say? How tough is this for him to manage?
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: I think the toughness is the media tour. I think that anyone would agree with you his private life is his private life, and certainly all of us feel for his wife and some of us that have known her closely or not certainly feel for her.
I think the thing that is troubling that I‘m getting from everyone is the media tour. I mean, every show and the absolute repeating of this is the problem here.
The actual inappropriate behavior doesn‘t equal a lot of the behavior that we‘ve seen that has been criminal. And so far, we don‘t see any criminal action here.
But I think the fact that he followed this up for the 10 days, the media blitz, is the real problem. I don‘t know if I say resign as you have. I hear you and your logic. I would definitely say he must come and meet with his district, meet with his constituents.
And based on what they say, he ought to make the ultimate decision on whether he should step aside now and run again or not. I would go to my district if I was him right now and talk to the people that will decide his fate, and whether or not they feel that he now has become a block to some of the things that he has fought for. And then I might say even though I haven‘t always agreed with him, he fought in many cases very effectively.
SCHULTZ: Does he need counseling in your opinion? I mean, these are six women over three years that he didn‘t know, that he had no relationship with whatsoever. It was random. I mean, is this just the way America is now?
SHARPTON: I don‘t know, again, the details. He said that a lot of it was before he was married., whether he was a single man doing it. I don‘t know. There‘s a lot of details we don‘t know yet.
But I think, again, the media tour is what we do know, and I think that‘s where he kind of—it‘s the old saying it‘s the cover up not the actual allegation of the improprieties or the inappropriate behavior.
SCHULTZ: Andrew Breitbart—does this give him credibility? Or did he just get lucky with somebody sending this to him and then he is making a show out of it?
SHARPTON: Well, I think that clearly when we look at the whole incident around Shirley Sherrod that he was a part of and initiated and even ACORN, all of us have fought him. On this one, he ends up having to look right in terms of what happened here. Whether he made a show out of it or not, he ends up on this one right.
Does that erase the past? It won‘t for many of us in the progressive community. It is what it is.
But I think on this one, he looks like he was not doing something that was not—that was baseless.
SCHULTZ: The element of sadness here as a liberal, as a talker, I mean, I‘ve seen this guy, we all have, go up on the floor and fight for health care, fight for Medicare and Medicaid, fight for the unemployment benefits, fight for the downtrodden, give a voice to the voiceless—I mean, he has been a great liberal progressive and a Democrat that‘s true to what the party platform has been.
Can he come back? Can he still be effective? And can he be effective now?
SHARPTON: I think that what he does in the next coming days will tell us that. We‘ve seen people come back from criminal prosecutions and other things. I think that the opportunity to come back is there but the question will be: can he rise to that opportunity? Or does he falter?
And lot of that is going to be his immediate accountability to the people that elect him and be honest with himself—that is a long road back to gaining the trust of a lot of people.
SCHULTZ: He‘s in denial in my opinion. I mean, I think he‘s got some real issues he‘s got to deal with. He‘s got to get focused.
And no matter how good he sounds on all the shows, the fact of the matter is what he was doing was time-consuming. I mean, for him to go out night after night on all of these shows and lie about it, it must have been tough on him. It had to be extremely tough on him.
So, do the taxpayers deserve to ask—have the question answered?
What‘s his focus?
SHARPTON: I think they deserve to ask the question and I think they deserve an answer. I think he‘s got to really deal with that.
I do not think the press conference today will end it. I think it will begin it. And I think he‘s got to be very, very clear with himself first in his private life with his wife, but then with the public on where he goes from here.
SCHULTZ: And speaking of the press conference, Reverend, it almost—when I was watching it—it seemed therapeutic for him. It seemed like he was trying to reach out. I mean, this was the longest press conference I have ever seen and, yes, he was answering all the questions and what not but it was almost—he need some therapy on it.
And not to be too critical but I keep going back to, when politicians do this kind of stuff, they lose their focus, they lose their drive and determination on serving the people the way they need to, and they let their personal lives get involved like this. They need to step aside.
I mean, it‘s about leadership, isn‘t it?
SHARPTON: It is always going to be about that and all of us have to wrestle, certainly not to this degree after this media blitz—but all of us have to wrestle with that. I think that he‘s going to have a tremendous wrestle with himself. That he‘s got to deal with.
I don‘t think any of us have to point that out to him now from what I saw of him today. But I think again, I would strongly urge he go and meet with constituent groups in his district. And based on those meetings, he should make a real determination whether he still has the fire in his belly for jobs and health care and the things that he really needs to fight for and whether or not he compromises that because of the media blitz whether now he can be that spokesman that people can say but I saw you do every show.
It‘s not that he believed in something someone else told him and he believed it.
SHARPTON: Something about himself that he had to know what he was saying.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Al Sharpton, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight‘s question there at the bottom of the screen. I want to know what you think.
Anthony Weiner may not resign but his constituents will need to decide that if he deserves re-election. We‘ll find out whether his apologies today were enough for the voters in his district.
And I‘m still fired up about Governor Chris Christie‘s helicopter ride. It speaks to the Republican Party‘s brazen attitude toward taxpayers. I‘ll talk to a state representative from Alabama who switched parties because he just couldn‘t take the GOP attack on public workers.
That‘s next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Anthony Weiner has been a bulldog on many progressive liberal issues. He‘s been elected to six terms as representative of New York‘s district with a large number of Republican voters. After today, many are wondering if he just tarnished his past and destroyed his future. We‘ll talk with a reporter who has covered the congressman‘s political career and we‘ll talk with our political panel.
Stay with us. You‘ll want to see it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: You vote yes if you believe yes. You vote in favor of something if you believe it‘s the right thing. If you believe it‘s the wrong thing, you vote no. We are following a procedure—I will not yield to the gentleman and the gentleman will observe regular order. The gentleman will observe regular order!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman Anthony Weiner on fire last July, furious at House Republicans for rejecting the 9/11 first responders health bill.
From health care to gay rights to veterans affairs to advocacy for the jobless, Congressman Weiner has been really at the forefront of those progressive issues in this country and an advocate for the people. With his admission today of lies and personal mistakes, his credibility on the issues certainly is going to be tested. Whether or not his work on behalf of these causes can over shadow his personal failings is now up to the voters—his constituents.
Joining me tonight to talk about that is Azi Paybarah. He‘s a reporter for “The New York Observer” and covers Congressman Weiner‘s district.
Good to have you with us tonight.
AZI PAYBARAH, NEW YORK OBSERVER: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: What kind of effect is this going to have on his career?
He has always been the kind of guy who seems to have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. He‘s a bounce back kind of guy. You could say anything to him and he‘s going to fire right back with facts and figures. He loves being in the arena. How is this going to affect him?
PAYBARAH: This is going to define his career, and whether or not he even has one after this is questionable. This is a guy who at every instant barges head on, he is confrontational. He‘s full of energy. How he survives this in his district is an open question.
SCHULTZ: How do you think his constituents will respond to this?
PAYBARAH: There are a lot of people who are going to take offense to day after day after day of telling them one story and then coming out today tearful and as emotional as it was changing his story. There are a lot of people who have lost trust in him.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s what Congressman Weiner said today about his constituents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: I‘m going to go back to work and I‘m going to try to convince them that this was a personal failing that is an aberration from which I‘ve learned, and all I can do is just keep doing what I‘ve done which is work very hard every day. There wasn‘t anything about this I would say that changes my ability or my record of getting bills passed or filling potholes or fulfilling community service.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Is he in denial? I mean, he‘s saying right there that this isn‘t going to tarnish his ability to get things done when he has gone out for over a week and lied about his situation. I mean, it‘s just not going to be the same. In my opinion, it‘s not going to be same.
PAYBARAH: Well, it‘s hard. When he was doing the initial denial, he was already saying, look, there are more important things to talk about. And every time he tried to change the topic, people came right back and said, the answers you‘ve given have only raised more questions.
It is unclear whether or not he‘ll be able to start turning the page. Now, that he has come clean and said there are other photographs, other images that are going to come out, there are six women over three years, some of them—some of the conversations happened after I‘ve been married, now that he started to get that out there, he could start rehabilitating his career.
Whether or not he can still be effective, whether people still want to have him advocating for them, it is unclear. What is clear is that nobody has stood up and said he‘s championing our cause. We want him to keep fighting for us. There‘s been a deafening silence in his corner.
SCHULTZ: He said there‘s about six women. I caught that in the sound bite. The word “about,” I find very troubling.
PAYBARAH: He did not have certitude about the number of women that he might have communicated with.
SCHULTZ: Nor the kind of communications. He was directly asked about phone sex. And he said he wasn‘t going to characterize it.
Now, look, this is—we‘ve seen everything as Americans. But how it‘s going to be received in these times when you‘ve got people who need to be advocated for, I think his focus is going to come into question. Will the people of the district consider that, in your opinion?
PAYBARAH: It‘s a valid question. There are going to be people who are unemployed. There‘s going to be union members who live in the district who say, “I‘m concerned about my benefits. I‘m concerned about Social Security, I‘m concerned about taxes.” There are going to be people who are saying, “You took your eye off the ball for an incredibly long amount of time.”
SCHULTZ: What does this say about his ambitions or his prospects of being mayor of New York? I mean, there is that conversation going around. Does this take this off the table for sometime?
PAYBARAH: For sometime is putting it optimistically. There were a number of people who were quietly but very eagerly watching these developments. If he can survive this ethics investigation, if he can survive a re-election, there is a question of even if he would want to put himself through this kind of scrutiny.
Remember in 2009, Michael Bloomberg‘s campaign had applied a lot of pressure on Anthony Weiner through very unflattering press coverage and he ultimately withdrew from that race.
SCHULTZ: Well, the ethics investigation, doesn‘t that speak volumes about where the Democrats are on this? They‘re not touching this guy with a 10-foot pole right now. You don‘t see anybody saying he‘s a great guy, we‘re standing behind him. I think there is back channel talk going on that they want him to step aside and be done with the story.
There is only one person that can end this story and that is Anthony Weiner. And why doesn‘t he just resign and then come back and run again?
PAYBARAH: You know, it‘s amazing that—what he said today was he only told his wife this morning about these developments, which tells you that on some level, all the denying, all the excuses, all the lying he had done was really starting at a place very close to home for him.
If he resigns and then comes back—will this become an issue? It‘s hard to imagine him running for an election going before voters, having any kind of conversation in the public in the near future without somebody making reference to this—critics, opponents. I don‘t see anybody stepping forward. And at some point, he is going to see the writing on the wall.
But he didn‘t just read a statement today and walk away. He stood there and answered questions 27 minutes long. If it wasn‘t for somebody yelling out who was actually being disruptive who was not a reporter, sort of distracting everyone, it might have gone on even longer. This guy does not run away from the press, even when he is misleading us.
SCHULTZ: Azi Paybarah, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much—for “The New York Observer.”
Our political panel will weigh in—whether Congressman Weiner can survive all of this.
And Limbaugh fill-in, Walter Williams, goes on FOX and says, welfare is worse than slavery. Well, that kind of talk puts him right in the zone.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: New York Congressman Anthony Weiner made his mistakes far worse by lying about it for more than a week. He said so himself. But he didn‘t resign. We‘ll ask our political panel if he should. And is going to Congress all about being in rehab? Can he survive this? Do the taxpayers deserve more?
The governor of New Jersey Chris Christie really, in my opinion, doesn‘t get it. He tosses off a check for $2,100 to pay for a helicopter ride he should have never taken in the first place no matter what shape the state is in. But he thinks nothing of squeezing the middle class wage earner of everything he can get. And this is the guy many Republicans want to be the next president?
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight. The big political question tonight facing Congressman Anthony Weiner right now is can he survive all of this? Here‘s more of what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: My primary concern about—about the entire incident to begin with was my concern about some of these relationships that I had becoming public. And it seems that what I had done by denying the original action had only served to make things worse and only served to people being asked longer, tougher questions.
It is really true that the smarter better thing to do would just be to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, he knows he made things worse by not coming clean from the start. But he seems pretty determined to stay in office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: But I‘m not resigning. And I‘m going to try very hard to go back to work a better person and better man. And I‘m going to try to—a better husband, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The public will render judgment. There‘s always elections. Let‘s bring in host of “The Ring of Fire” radio talk show. And that is Mike Papantonio, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press is with us tonight, and “Roll Call” political reporter Shira Toeplitz here on THE ED SHOW.
Great to have you all with us tonight. I‘m going to go around here and ask all three of you should he resign.
Mike Papantonio, should Anthony Weiner step aside and live politically for another day to get the story out of the media? What do you think?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No. I‘m not ready to throw him under the bus. Look, this shouldn‘t be a political career. And more importantly, it shouldn‘t be something he resigns over.
When Republican David Vitter, for example, was caught on the top of the D.C. Madame‘s list, he didn‘t resign. Republicans stood behind him. When you had John Ensign—look at the John Ensign story. He was caught in the steamy sex tryst. And then tried to cover it up with campaign money. Well, he didn‘t resign. He was around for four years.
John Boehner—people forget the story about Boehner. This is a guy who helped—who helped cover up the Mark Foley story, where Foley was basically soliciting sex with young male pages. So I think it‘s wrong for us to say let‘s throw him under the bus.
Look, we need courageous—progressives need courageous people with conviction. He‘s one of them.
PAPANTONIO: I say this is the time to stand behind him.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, your thoughts. Should he resign?
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I‘m going to stand with Mike. I‘m going to stand with Al Sharpton, Ed. First of all, I got to tell you, man, this really, really pisses me off. First of all, as a Democrat, I think we‘re better than they are, a lot better than they are.
Mike mentioned David Vitter and John Ensign and everything. When a Democrat does this, it makes us all look bad. And it really makes me very, very angry.
Also, as a progressive, I think Anthony Weiner was one of my heroes. He‘s one of the best fighters we had out there on the cable shows and the floor of the House. For him to let us down like this is—I mean, it‘s just ugly. It really is ugly.
At the same time, Ed, you know what? Look, Bill Clinton didn‘t resign. He did worse. He broke the law. I‘m glad he didn‘t resign. I‘d rather have somebody who is going to fight for the things we believe in and has a zipper problem than somebody who‘s going to be in the pockets of the oil companies and the insurance companies and doesn‘t have a zipper problem.
SCHULTZ: Shira Toeplitz, what do you think? Should he resign?
SHIRA TOEPLITZ, “ROLL CALL”: I‘m going to say not yet, as well, Ed. I think politicians have committed far greater sins in office and they‘ve stuck it out, at least through the end of the term. I think it was notable that Representative Weiner didn‘t say whether or not he‘d run for another term at the press conference today.
I think voters will get a chance to decide in about 16 months whether or not he deserves it.
SCHULTZ: All right. It‘s three to one here. I honestly believe this. This isn‘t the end of his political career. This is a bump in the road that I think he‘s got to deal with to get his credibility back with the people.
And, Bill, you know, no question about it, that this is going to be a story that is going to haunt the Democrats for some time. Get it off the front page. Get it out of the way. And move on and come back a different politician later on, somebody that‘s going to tell the truth. What‘s wrong with that?
PRESS: His resigning is not going to get rid of the story. You touched on something there. His goal is to be the next mayor—was to be the next mayor of New York. He ran before. He almost made it. He stepped down. He was waiting for his time. That‘s what he was going to next.
That is destroyed now. His goose is cooked. For somebody as ambitious as Anthony Weiner is, he has the punishment that he deserves.
SCHULTZ: Shira, he lied for a week. He did a media tour. What about that? How damaging is that going to be?
TOEPLITZ: Well, I know a lot of reporters are going to think twice now when they hear answers from Congressman Weiner, who by the way, was known for being very honest and frank with us on Capitol Hill. He‘s always just been very honest and frank, like I said.
So it‘s surprising to see him flat out lie and then come out and totally admit it. We saw a totally different side of Anthony Weiner than we‘ve ever seen before.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, where are all the Democrats tonight? We tried to book a few of them on this program. They‘re not going to touch this with a ten-foot pole. They‘re going to let—you talk about throwing him under the bus. Where are his colleagues? They‘re not going to bat for him.
PAPANTONIO: Well, it‘s typical of the Democrats. Let me just tell you something, you could have gotten—you could have gotten Congressman Weiner to show up for another Democrat. But it doesn‘t surprise me that the Democrats, they typically show this kind of lack of courage. They cave in. They‘re afraid of every damn thing.
And so they won‘t come out and say, listen, let‘s talk about what a lie is. A lie is when Luke at the camera and you tell the U.S. public that there‘s weapons of mass destruction and it ends up in the death of Americans. That‘s a lie.
This is a bump in the road. And if Democrats would do what they‘re supposed to do and show some courage, like this congressman does, they would be out here for him. Unfortunately, it‘s a problem the Democrats have. Weiner would be out here for them. I can promise you that.
SCHULTZ: What about that, Bill Press?
PRESS: I wanted to say that same thing. You‘ve been talking about the lie. The lie really bothers me. And as Al Sharpton said earlier, I think the cover up and the lies are far worse than what this guy did. Which by the way, with this new technology today, is an activity that millions of American men and women engage in on Skype or on iPhones every day.
But, Ed, the lies—John Boehner lies every day about Barack Obama not creating any jobs. Paul Ryan lies about what he‘s going to do for Medicare. These guys lie all the time. They‘re the lies that bother me, not the lie which you understand of trying to save his ass, if you will.
SCHULTZ: Shira, what about this ethics investigation? How big a problem is this? Is this a way that the Democrats are saying, you know, maybe you should step aside and we should, as Nancy Pelosi said, drain the swamp? Is this part of draining the swamp, this ethics investigation?
TOEPLITZ: I do think it‘s notable that Chris Lee, the other congressman from New York who resigned after what some consider was a greater scandal, he was out of the House within the hour. John Boehner said pack your bags. We‘ll see you later.
SCHULTZ: Why doesn‘t Pelosi do that?
TOEPLITZ: I think that‘s a really good question.
PRESS: Whoa. I want to ad something there.
TOEPLITZ: I think Anthony Weiner didn‘t want to resign.
PRESS: I want to add something. There is a long history with Chris Lee. He knew there was all kinds of other stuff coming out.
SCHULTZ: Bill, there seems to be a long history with Anthony Weiner, too. He says there‘s about six women over three years. I mean, this guy was looking for excitement and love in all the wrong places.
What‘s wrong with just focusing on the taxpayers and serving the people? Serving the people is more than just jumping on the cables and being an advocate for people. Does this guy have a problem?
PRESS: Ed, I can‘t understand and I‘m not going to defend Anthony Weiner‘s sex ]life. OK?
SCHULTZ: With that, why doesn‘t Nancy Pelosi come out and say, you know what, you need to sit on the sideline and come back in 2012? This puts them in a tight spot.
PRESS: I think the fact she called for a congressional investigation, an ethics investigation before anybody demanded it was a smart thing to do.
SCHULTZ: Shira, what do you think about the ethics investigation?
TOEPLITZ: I think it was smart politically. But I think she absolutely had to do it. Otherwise it looks like she is covering up for a Democratic colleague. When she was speaker of the House, she called for ethics investigations. She absolutely had to do it.
They want a rigorous ethics investigation. They want him to come out clean or don‘t come back.
SCHULTZ: What about that, Mike?
PAPANTONIO: Well, you know what? It is a smart move. But what we miss about this whole thing is Weiner is more than just a congressman. Weiner frames issues, Ed. Weiner says those things that other politicians are afraid to say. He‘s like a Bernie Sanders.
SCHULTZ: But does that make him more insulated than anybody else who does this kind of behavior?
PAPANTONIO: You know what? Ed, I‘m not saying he‘s insulated. I‘m saying he is worth fighting for, because he is the guy that‘ll go out on the front line and say what every other Democrat might be thinking but doesn‘t have the damn courage to say.
Right now, that‘s what Democrats need is people with courage. Nancy Pelosi did the right thing, Ed. She did the right thing. But don‘t push this thing too much. Let‘s remember who we‘re talking about.
Yes, he may have some gremlins going around there that he needs to deal with. But you know where it comes to taking care of the American public, when it comes to taking people who are out of work, taking care of them, taking care of people who need help in this country, Anthony Weiner is the guy who‘s always there for them.
And we got to remember that as we go forward on this discussion.
SCHULTZ: Taking care of the American people is lying, Shira? What do you think?
TOEPLITZ: I think he‘s been a congressman, but he‘s a congressman from New York. I think his greater ambitions were always to run for New York mayor. I think that‘s been his focus for many, many years.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, Bill Press, Shira Toeplitz, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you so much. Got to run.
PRESS: You got it. >
SCHULTZ: Walter Williams has so much experience behind Rush Limbaugh‘s microphone, he is starting to sound like him. Psycho Talk is next.
SCHULTZ: The author of Ayn Rand is best known for her novel “Atlas Shrugged.” These days, she has become a hero to the Tea Party and a huge influence on major government legislation. Just ask the congressman from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN ®, WISCONSIN: And Ayn Rand, more than anything else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism. And this to me is what matters most.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Morality. That‘s a hell of a word, isn‘t it? Ayn Rand rejected the notion of charity, proclaimed selfishness as a virtue, and called herself a radical for capitalism.
She also advocated the end of religion in all its forms, which is why James Salt, a member of the group of Faithful America, confronted Paul Ryan, the congressman, at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference this past weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES SALT, FAITHFUL AMERICAN: Why did you choose to model your budget off the extreme ideology of Ayn Rand rather than basic economic justice values of the Bible?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, guys. He‘s got to get back for a vote.
RYAN: Let me get to my car. Let me get to my car.
SALT: -- poor and vulnerable. Congressman Ryan, have you read the Bible? So you can go out and—about what it has to say about how we should treat the poor and vulnerable.
RYAN: Have a good day, all right. Take care.
SALT: I suggest you focus on the Gospel of Luke.
RYAN: I appreciate it. I‘ve got some Bibles. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Ryan didn‘t get the Bible, but we think he got the message. His devotion to Ayn Rand conflicts with self-described devotion to Christianity.
Still to come, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, redefines hypocrisy, and Sarah Palin redefines American history.
SCHULTZ: In Psycho Talk tonight, Rush Limbaugh‘s favorite fill in host, Walter Williams. We welcome him to the zone tonight. He is the perfect substitute for Limbaugh, because last year he went on the radio and said he believed in keeping wives under control. But sexism isn‘t all that he‘s good at.
Here‘s what happened when Fox‘s John Stossel put Walter on the TV this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN STOSSEL, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: Government is like a giant drug pusher?
WALTER WILLIAMS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: That is absolutely right. The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism could not have done, namely break up the black family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Walter Williams should know better than to compare slavery and welfare. Slavery is perhaps the biggest stain on American history. It turned human beings into property. It doesn‘t get much worse than that does it?
Meanwhile, welfare programs help American families survive when they‘re destitute. Welfare helps folks meet their basic needs while they lift themselves up and get back on their feet.
So for Walter Williams to say welfare has hurt black families more than slavery, pretty cruel Psycho Talk. Don‘t you think?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the Republican party, well, they continue the attack on teachers. But one Republican has had enough. His name is Daniel Bowman. He is a state representative from the great state of Alabama. He got so fed up with the GOP, he left the party. He‘ll talk about why, next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Have you noticed that it‘s always the media‘s fault? Sarah Palin is complaining about a gotcha question. We‘ll play you the question in a moment. Here is the answer. It has to do with Paul Revere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: We saw where Paul Revere hung out as a teenager, which was something new to learn. And, you know, he warned the British that they weren‘t going to be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and making sure as he‘s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free. And we were going to be armed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Even Chris Wallace of Fox News knew that she had messed up her facts about Paul Revere. And Wallace tried to get her to admit it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALIN: You know what? I didn‘t mess up about Paul Revere. Here‘s what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that the British were coming, the British were coming, and they were going to try to take our arms. We got to make sure that we were protecting ourselves.
And part of Paul revere‘s ride—and it wasn‘t just one ride. He was a courier. He was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that we‘re already there. In a shout out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me, I answered candidly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Shout out question. Dog gone it. Those gotchas get you every time. Aren‘t you glad you‘re paying attention to this bus tour? Now here‘s the original question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you seen so far today and what are you going to take away from your visit?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So the question was, “what have you seen so far today and what are you going to take away from your visit?”
And Sarah Palin calls that a gotcha question? And now the Wikipedia page for Paul Revere, poor guy, has been swamped by people trying to change it to match Palin‘s mistakes, actually trying to change the facts to fit Palin‘s ignorance.
That‘s the world of Sarah Palin and her supporters.
Next, buyer‘s remorse over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I still don‘t like the helicopter ride.
SCHULTZ: I would think that by now voters all over the country have gotten pretty wise at what‘s going on. They‘ve seen what these Republican governors are doing in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. And they didn‘t like it.
But before Scott Walker, before the John Kasichs of the world and Rick Scott and Mr. Schneider up in Michigan, there was this New Jersey guy named Governor Chris Christie. He‘s been the trail blazer here. Don‘t you think?
The right wing‘s ideas guy at the state level. And his blueprint for success? Been pretty simple. Attack public workers. Attack the poor. And he does it all while living high on the hog, on the taxpayers‘ dime, no less.
Now folks, I‘m still pretty fired up about this helicopter story last
week. You see, Christie, of course, took a state helicopter to his son‘s
baseball game and wasn‘t going to reimburse the state until it became a
problem story. I guess you could say a big deal. Then he cut the state a
check for 2,100 dollars,
How many families in New Jersey could part with that kind of money immediately? Just, you know, I don‘t think he gets any of that. I think this says a lot about Christie‘s character and his judgment and his attitude toward taxpayers and his brazen attitude toward the budget that he is supposed to be dealing with.
And then to make matters worse, instead of accepting responsibility, he came up with a bunch of lame excuses. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE ®, NEW JERSEY: I‘m governor 24/7 every single day. But I‘m also a father. My son enjoys me being there and I enjoy being there for him.
I also understand that this is a really fun media story for all of you. I get it. And that you like to write about these things. And so the fact is that I‘ve got a lot of important work to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It doesn‘t matter how much work you have to do. It doesn‘t matter what the state‘s finances are. It doesn‘t matter that you‘re a dad. The fact is that you used state equipment for personal use. Bottom line.
It‘s an ethics violation. Is it not, governor?
And that you have to be called out by the media to do the correct thing? I think it speaks a lot about your character. I‘d love you to come on THE ED SHOW, but I know it‘s tough territory for you.
So he is demanding cuts across the board, going after teachers and other public workers, slashing budgets. But he won‘t meet with any of those folks? Well, actually, I kind of take that back. He will meet with donors from Iowa who actually want him to run for president.
Democrats need to step up and really go after this issue. Republicans like Christie and this sense of entitlement is where the top two percent is taking us in this country.
Leading the way fighting back at this, in my opinion, is Alabama State Representative Daniel Boman. Mr. Boman entered the legislature as a Republican last November, but after Alabama Republicans went too far attacking teachers, he switched parties.
Great to have you with us tonight, Mr Boman. What was the defining moment for you, when you realized that this isn‘t going to work for me anymore. It‘s about the people. Tell us what happened.
ANDREW BOMAN (D), ALABAMA STATE LEGISLATOR: Well, Ed, first, I want to thank you for allowing me to be on your show. But the defining moment for me is when, elected in November, I realized that I was for the working class people. I was for the poor, the middle class, just your average day person.
And when I got to Montgomery, I realized that the Republican party just wasn‘t for that. And after several bills that come out of the House and the Senate, were picking on state workers and low class—socioeconomic class people, I just realized that was not what made up my district, and I was going to voice my opinion.
I was going to stand up and vote for the people over the party and at that point in time, my party did not like, you know, me speaking out and voting my district.
BOMAN: At that point in time, it was either stick with them or jump ship. So I went to the Democratic party, where I was welcomed to voice the opinion of my district.
SCHULTZ: So you did it for your constituents? Am I hearing that correctly?
SCHULTZ: You did it because you felt a sea change taking place in your district. Is that happening in Alabama, in your opinion?
BOMAN: In 136 years in this state, the democratic party has been in control. And in the last election, people decided they want a change. Well, they voted in a change and voted in a Republican wave. They‘ve got a majority in the House and the Senate. And obviously the governor is republican.
And now then in just six short months, the people are sending a backlash, saying we‘ve made a mistake and we‘re not on board with this agenda.
SCHULTZ: Do you think other lawmakers are going to follow in your foot steps? Do you think other people are feeling this way in the session?
BOWMAN: I think absolutely people are going to follow my footsteps.
And I think that people feel exactly this way, including the lawmakers.
SCHULTZ: Alabama State Representative Daniel Boman giving us an idea
of a sea change that‘s taken place out there. Thanks for joining us
Tonight in our survey, I asked you, should Congressman Anthony Weiner resign from Congress? Thirty three percent of you said yes; 67 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Great to be back with you.
We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
Lawrence O‘Donnell is coming up next. Stay with us. .
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