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Msnbc Live at 6 p.m. ET, Thursday June 30, 2011

Read the transcript from the Thursday 6 p.m. hour

Guests: Dana Milbank, Bob Shrum, Adam Green, Penny Lee, Michelle Bernard,

Robert Borosage, Eric Boehlert

CENK UYGUR, HOST:  Republicans and Democrats fight, and Democrats actually land a harder punch.  Will you look at that? 

And tonight, Chuck Schumer says that the Republicans are tanking the economy on purpose.  Hey, look, that‘s an explosive charge, but it‘s probably right.  We‘ll talk about that. 

Plus, Republicans are blocking almost everyone President Obama nominates.  How he can fight back and win. 

Plus, Michele Bachmann‘s husband called gays “barbarians.” 

And our homage to Glenn Beck.  It‘s his last day today.  And you know what?  We‘re going to celebrate his style.  You‘ll love that.

All right.  Welcome to the show, everybody.  I‘m Cenk Uygur. 

Tonight‘s lead is that the Democrats and the Republicans fought today, and it looks like the Democrats got the better of it.  Do you believe in miracles?  All right.  A good day in America. 

So, President Obama went to Pennsylvania.  He‘s going to speak in Philadelphia, which he did, talked about the economy, jobs, et cetera, et cetera. 

Well, Mitt Romney thinks he‘s going to be a tough guy and he‘s going to go after him, so he follows him to Pennsylvania, and he‘s going to challenge the president.  But he got caught a little bit.

When the press asked him a question about what he had been saying on the campaign train all along, he had a questionable answer.  Let‘s look at that. 


MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I didn‘t say that things are worse.  What I said was that economy hasn‘t turned around. 


UYGUR:  Yes, except that‘s not what you said, because we‘ve got it on tape.  Let‘s watch that. 


ROMNEY:  When he took office, the economy was in recession.  And he made it worse.  And he made it last longer. 



ROMNEY:  He didn‘t create the recession, but he made it worse and longer. 



ROMNEY:  He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse. 


UYGUR:  You know you‘re on television, that we have recording devices?  So when you say, “I never said he made it worse,” that we‘re going to play that.  What‘s the matter with you? 

Has no one ever worked on a campaign before?  They‘re like, oh, my God, television?  Why didn‘t somebody tell us about that? 

All right.  And by the way, Romney talking about jobs—you‘re talking about jobs?  When Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in job creation.  That‘s terrible.  Terrible. 

Look, if I was running against Mitt Romney, if Romney is the candidate, I would say there guy‘s nickname is number 47.  Hey, let me see that again.  I like that jersey on him.  He‘s from Boston, OK.  And I would put that in my campaign ads.

This guy is number 47.  Where do you get off talking about jobs? 


Now, that‘s what is going on in Pennsylvania.  In Washington, they‘ve got a different fight.  The Republicans are going to say oh, my God, we are absolutely outraged at President Obama. 

Let‘s listen to their fall (ph) outrage. 


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER:  I would like to invite the president to come to the Capitol today to meet with Senate Republicans. 



SEN. JOHN CORNYN ®, TEXAS:  Instead of going to Philadelphia tonight and raising money, why didn‘t he call Senator McConnell?  Not to give demagogic speeches like the president gave yesterday as part of his reelection campaign.  Absolutely disgraceful.  He should be ashamed. 


UYGUR:  I love that.  How dare he attack us Republicans?  Doesn‘t he know that he‘s a Democrat and he should be quiet while we attack him mercilessly, day after day? 

Republicans outraged that Democrats are fighting back?  What a joke. 

And you know what McConnell invited him for to the Capitol?  So he could hear a lecture about how he shouldn‘t raise taxes. 

Oh, wow.  Thank you for inviting me to that. 

And these are the same guys who walked out on the whole budget proceedings in the first place.  Man, they‘re unbelievable.  They‘ve got some nerve.

But you know what?  Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, all of a sudden fighting back, and landed a pretty hard blow.  Let‘s take a look at that. 


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  The Republican approach of cut, cut, cut over the last six months has actually undermined our economic recovery.  We need to start asking ourselves an uncomfortable question: are Republicans slowing down the recovery on purpose, for political gain in 2012? 


UYGUR:  That is a good question.  That‘s a question I‘ve been asking all along. 

Look, they know spending cuts could hurt jobs.  But when you think about it, no president has won reelection since FDR, when unemployment is above 7.2 percent.  So Republicans want to keep unemployment above 7.2 percent, because what is their ultimate goal?  Well, Mitch McConnell told us that right in November of 2010. 


MCCONNELL:  Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term. 


UYGUR:  Well, there you have it.  That is their goal.  And unfortunately, they might be doing a lot of damage to the country trying to get to that goal. 

All right.  Joining me now is Democratic strategist Bob Shrum—he was a senior adviser to the Kerry and Gore campaigns—and Dana Milbank, national political reporter for “The Washington Post.”

All right.  Dana, I‘m going to start with you. 

I think Schumer is right, and that‘s partly because I‘ve been saying it for six months here.  I think that is the Republican strategy, because they think politically it helps us to keep unemployment high. 

What do you think? 


would prefer to say, look, you don‘t even need to impute sinister motives to them.  They can say, let‘s follow our cutting policies.  If you believe some of the theorists on the Republican side, well, maybe that won‘t hurt the economy and in the long run it will create jobs.  But there‘s no downside for them in pursuing that line, because if it turns out they‘re wrong, and it drags down the economy, I mean, it‘s an indisputable fact that Republicans will be better off if things don‘t get better now. 

The president is going to be blamed for the economy no matter what happens.  So there‘s really no downside for the Republicans, politically, if things do get worse.  The question is, do they actually, you know, care about Americans having jobs? 

UYGUR:  Right. 

And Bob, a lot of people will say, come on, are the Republicans that cynical?  My answer is an overwhelming yes.  But I‘m curious as to your answer. 

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, you and I have talked about this a number of times, and I think there is a conscious strategy here.  I agree with Dana.  It also fits their ideology. 

I call it ruin in order to rule.  If they can bring the economy crashing down, I think their calculation—or send it into a second recession, or reverse the recovery—I think their calculation is they benefit politically. 

This is all going to come to a head over the debt ceiling.  People have voted against raising the debt ceiling before.  Barack Obama did it when he was in the Senate.  But never when there was real chance that it wouldn‘t pass, and the full faith and credit of the United States would be thrown into doubt and the markets would crash. 

It‘s a reckless gamble if the Republicans do it.  They are gambling that Dana is right, that in the short term, they might take some heat, but that a year from now, and 15 months from now, people are going to look at where the economy is and they‘re going to say it‘s the president‘s fault no matter what happened.  It‘s irresponsible, but I think it is conscious strategy. 

UYGUR:  I want to get back to the debt ceiling in a second.  But let‘s stay on jobs for a second here and the state of the economy.

Dana, Matt Lauer was actually interviewing David Plouffe talking about whether Obama owns the economy.  Let me show you that, and then let‘s come back and talk about it.


MATT LAUER, “THE TODAY SHOW”:  Do you agree with the new head of the DNC who says after two-and-a-half years, this president owns this economy? 

DAVID PLOUFFE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST:  Listen, these economic problems didn‘t happen overnight.  The person who is least satisfied with where the economy is today is President Obama. 

LAUER:  And he owns it.  You would agree with that?  He owns this economy? 

PLOUFFE:  Of course he does. 


UYGUR:  Dana, is that a mistake? 

MILBANK:  Well, it reminds me of when Robert Gibbs said that they were in danger of losing the House.  You‘re not supposed to speak the truth when the cameras are rolling, except on your show, of course, Cenk. 


UYGUR:  There you go. 

MILBANK:  He was stating the obvious truth.  But you certainly want to be a little more circumspect.  As to your earlier point about Romney, the Republicans will be able to roll tape on that as well. 

But the truth of the matter is, when voters go into the booth, it‘s not going to matter what David Plouffe said.  It‘s going to matter if unemployment is where it is now or if it‘s dropping dramatically.  That‘s the only calculation.

UYGUR:  Well, that‘s a great point. 

So, Bob, I mean, if you are running a campaign, and your candidate is near 9 percent unemployment, if it‘s where it is now, that‘s terrible, obviously, going into an election.  It‘s not going to get below 7.2 percent.  That seems unconceivable before the election.

What do you do?  How do you win?

SHRUM:  Well, I think that 7.2 percent benchmark is somewhat arbitrary, because before Reagan, in 1984, you could have said 5.2 percent.  I think what mattered and what helped Ronald Reagan in 1984 was unemployment was basically—people, by the way—the report at the time said it was 7.3 percent.  People thought that the economy was moving in the right dissection even though unemployment was about where it was on the day he took office.  It had spiked very high and was coming down. 

So, obviously the Obama administration wants to see this directional movement toward  job creation and people having a sense the economy is on the right track.  But, secondly, you‘ve got to go out there, and you have to have a message, and you have to make your argument. 

Yesterday, watching the president at that press conference, watching him confront the Congress, watching him stand up for the middle class and say, why don‘t these guys want to take away the tax loopholes for corporate jets and for big oil companies, I thought to myself, you know, maybe he finally understands john Kennedy‘s line, that you can‘t have a successful negotiation with those who say what‘s mine is mine and what‘s yours is negotiable.  That‘s the Republican attitude. 

UYGUR:  Yes.  I‘m shocked it came this far before they came to that conclusion.  And I‘m not positive they have come to that conclusion. 

Dana, I want to play another clip for you.  This was Jay Carney.  And he is asked about what they are willing to negotiate.  Let‘s take a look. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Has the president ruled out any debt deal that doesn‘t include significant increases in revenue? 

CARNEY:  What I won‘t do from here is negotiate the particulars of an agreement. 


UYGUR:  I don‘t know, man.  That sounded like they‘re even very flexible that it might have no revenue increases.  That would be fairly devastating, wouldn‘t it? 

MILBANK:  Not necessarily, Cenk.  There‘s two things that could happen here. 

One is, t he Republicans give in on the tax revenue increases, the Democrats give in on entitlements, Medicare.  And you actually have a comprehensive budget deal. 

If neither side is going to budge, well, yes, you can make some changes to discretionary spending.  You know, a little bit of cutting here and there, just to give them something to do a short-term extension of the debt limit.  It doesn‘t really help us in the national picture, so it‘s really not a good outcome, but you could see it sort of happening as an alternative to default. 

UYGUR:  Yes.  I don‘t know. 

Bob, how do you run a campaign on this?  I mean, because I know that they want to seem reasonable.  They‘ve been desperate to seem centrist, moderate, reasonable, et cetera, et cetera. 

We got it.  You‘re more than reasonable. 

But if you do the spending cuts, and then you don‘t get very much, if anything, in the way of revenue increases, that‘s another negotiation you lost.  Plus, how in the world are you going to create jobs? 

SHRUM:  Well, if you get a whole bunch of spending cuts in the short term, you‘re actually going to hurt the recovery.  What you need are spending cuts that reduce the deficit tying to the pace of the recovery.  That‘s actually what the president favors. 

But I think you‘re absolutely right, Cenk.  If the president simply does a deal that has a lot of big cuts in it in terms of the budget, and nothing else, then I think people are going to say he lost the argument. 

And one of the problems here is that for a long time, he wasn‘t mike making the argument.  I think he thought in the end people would come to the negotiating table.  I think now he‘s got to channel a little bit FDR, a little bit Harry Truman, some of these Democrats who have stood up and fought. 

And I think he‘s got to do much more of what he did yesterday, which is to go out there and say we‘re standing up for the middle class.  By the way, we‘re standing up for seniors and we‘re not going to cut Medicare.  And the other side is standing up for the privileged. 

UYGUR:  You know, I‘m amazed that it took nearly three years for the president to realize he‘s got to make his case.  But if he has realized that, that‘s an awesome thing.

All right.  Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, and “Washington Post” reporter, of course, Dana Milbank. 

Thank you both so much. 

MILBANK:  Thanks, Cenk. 

SHRUM:  Thank you. 

UYGUR:  All right.

When we come back, we‘ve got Roe versus Bachmann.  Roe wrote an interesting editorial that might be challenging Bachmann.  We‘ll talk about that.

And then, Cantor has a terrific “Con Job” where he makes money if the United States economy is in trouble. 

And then, Glenn Beck.  Well, we say goodbye to him.  We‘ve got a compilation of his crazy clips.  Is it the end of the crazy era/  We‘ll talk about that.


UYGUR:  You know the Republicans have been fighting President Obama on almost every nomination, blocking it all along the way.  The one that really everybody is concerned about is Elizabeth Warren. 

She was already picked to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  And everybody believes that she is the perfect person to head that up.  It was her idea in the first place.

But the Republicans are blocking all those nominees.  So what do we do about it?

First, let me show you how they are blocking them. 

Look, they streamlined the process a little bit, and it‘s still terrible.  You still need -- 975 positions need to be confirmed to get past the Senate.  This year alone, 259 nominations have been made by President Obama and only 50 have been confirmed.  That is preposterous. 

By the way, did you know 15 judicial nominees received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee and they‘re still awaiting an up-and-down floor vote?  That‘s unanimous, so even the Republicans agreed to them, but they still won‘t give them a vote on the floor of the Senate. 

They are gumming up the works in historic proportions.  In fact, I can prove that to you.  Let me give you the numbers on all the different presidents. 

When you look at President Carter, 91.9 percent of his nominees were confirmed.  Reagan, 93.1 percent.  Bush, 79.3.  Clinton, 84.  Bush II, 86.8.

And look at that.  President Obama, all the way down at 62.5 percent, which means the Republicans are blocking everything.  And it is historic, as you see from the numbers there. 

And what are they doing with Warren?  Well, they‘re saying, hey, we‘ve got a cute trick.  If we are not in recess, then you can‘t do a recess appointment. 

So, when the Senate goes into recess, the House will not.  Before the four days are up, because four days is usually what they go with as a standard, where they make a recess appointment, well, the House will do a pro forma session, Boehner will bring them back in, so the president cannot do a recess appointment. 

Well, that is extraordinary.  If I was the president, I would do something equally extraordinary.  But it‘s not unprecedented. 

Teddy Roosevelt, back in 1903, said, oh, you‘re going to play games with me?  No problem.  Right after the Senate goes into recess and before the House is in session, he appointed and nominated one—I should say just flat-out appointed 160 people. 

So, how do you like me now?  You want to play games?  They are all in office right now, 160 of them. 

Can we do that with just one person?  Absolutely.  Point out their obstruction and then get your fighter into that position.  That is absolutely critical.

All right.  Now let‘s talk about this. 

Joining me is Adam Green.  He‘s the cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. 

Adam, talk to me about how we can do this.  I mean, one way is as I explained.  You know what?  We don‘t need four days.  The president could just do it.  Right?

There are a couple of other ways that the president can go forward if he wants to.  What are those?

ADAM GREEN, COFOUNDER, PCCC:  Well, there‘s a critical first step that we should get on the table, which is he actually make the appointment.  He has not appointed Elizabeth Warren to this position yet, which is kind of a prerequisite. 

You know, after he makes the appointment, Republicans have a choice.  They can stand in the way of someone who is essentially is an icon at this point, someone who stands for the proposition that Wall Street needs to be held accountable, and she is known as one of the few people willing to do it. 

They can stand in the way of this public tide, or they can cave.  And I think they would cave. 

But the president actually has the constitutional power to tell Congress, you are adjourned.  You are a good-bye, sirs, ma‘ams.  Good-bye, and just make the appointment. 

So, essentially, this is an example, unlike so many other fights, where the president, literally by next week, could adjourn Congress, give Elizabeth Warren a recess appointment, do it all over July 4th, so it doesn‘t really matter, and call it a day.  But he hasn‘t done it yet. 

UYGUR:  You know, let me quote the 14th Amendment for you.  It says, “With respect to the time of adjournment, the president may adjourn both houses of Congress to such time as he shall think proper.”

End of this.  There is the United States Constitution. 

But, Adam, you know what the White House is going to say.  They say, well, look, if we do that, Fox News is going to go crazy, Republicans are going to go crazy.  They say, oh, nobody has done this before, how dare you, this is extraordinary, it is a power grab, et cetera.

How do you respond to that? 

GREEN:  Right.  It‘s so extraordinary, that it‘s right there in the Constitution.  Right?

I mean, if we wanted to address this obstruction, and we‘re, like, we‘re going to do the most amazing thing possible, we‘re going to have a constitutional amendment to stop this obstruction, it would look exactly like it just looked on that screen right there.  He just has to use his power. 

And I‘ve got to be honest with you, what‘s holding back this White House is some warped idea that what Americans want most out of a president is compromise.  They want him to get along. 

That‘s just untrue.  Americans don‘t want bad compromise.  Americans don‘t want compromise with bad faith negotiators. 

Americans would much rather have a president to who fought for Elizabeth Warren, who would hold Wall Street accountable, or a president who fought to raise taxes on rich people and to not cut Social Security and Medicare.  And their insistence on just going along to get along, or really needing Republican support, or Fox News love, is just ridiculous. 

And Americans need to call the White House and say, hey, you want my support in 2012?  Go to bat for me now.

UYGUR:  Right.  And look, I don‘t know what kind of school politics they went to, but, yes, people like strong leaders.  I can‘t believe that that‘s news to people.  Right?

But you mentioned bad faith.  Now, look, the Republicans are doing a record number of filibusters now.  But I want to show you clips of when they were in charge and the Democrats just threatened filibusters and they lost their minds. 

Here, let‘s look at that.  This is the old days form the Republicans. 


CORNYN:  Any president‘s nominees, whether they be Republican or Democrat, if they have the support of a majority of the Senate, they will get an up-or-down vote in the Senate. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It is about allowing judicial nominees an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor, and I believe it‘s an issue of fairness.



MCCONNELL:  Any president‘s judicial nominees, after full debate, deserve a simple up-or-down vote. 


UYGUR:  You know what I would love?  President Obama does a press conference.  He plays that clip and goes, all right, fine, now I want an up-and-down vote.  And if you don‘t give it to me, I‘m coming with the recess appointments whether you like them or not. 

Is that a pipe dream?  Can we get a president that strong? 

GREEN:  Can we get a president that strong?  Yes.  Is that the current president of the White House?  Probably not.  But I would accept any level of confrontation from this president. 

You know, I heard some of the previous guests saying that yesterday, he really let the Republicans have it.  No, he really did not. 

He never drew a single line in the sand.  And what we have to express to this president is, it‘s nice that you have preferences, it‘s nice that you technically supported a public option, or technically wanted Elizabeth Warren, or wanted Wall Street held accountable.  But if you‘re unwilling to draw a line in the sand and say we will not go forward without this precondition, and if Republicans oppose me, I will barnstorm across their states and their districts until they cave, because I know their voters are on my side, until we have that kind of leadership, well, we‘re going to lose on every single issue. 

And I join you in being very fearful that this president might be about to give away the farm.  It‘s going to be really bad news for anybody on Medicare, anybody on Social Security, anybody who wants to tax the rich. 


UYGUR:  Look, if you‘re going to be a leader, you need to take a certain degree of risk. 

GREEN:  Yes. 

UYGUR:  Being strong like that takes some risk.  But if you don‘t take that small amount of risk when you have got the polls and the American people behind you,  then that‘s not really leadership.  But look, let‘s see what the president does. 

He can go ahead and appoint Elizabeth Warren, and he can fight and stand strong on the budget talks that are going on now.  So we‘ll see how that turns out.

Adam Green, as always, thank you for joining us.  We do appreciate it. 

GREEN:  Thanks. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Now, when we come back, Eric Canto bets against the United States economy, literally, and then tries to make that happen.  That‘s our “Con Job of the Day.” 

And Bachmann‘s husband called gays “barbarians.”  What a strange and terrible thing to say.  We‘ll show you the context.


UYGUR:  A government default might be bust for our economy, but it could mean boom times for Eric Cantor‘s bank account.  And that‘s our “Con Job of the Day.” 

Eric Cantor was the GOP‘s lead negotiator in talks to raise the debt ceiling until he stormed out in a huff last week, saying he wouldn‘t agree to the tax increases.  Well, that‘s what he claimed was motivating him.  Well, it turns out that Cantor also has a personal stake in the debt fight. 

Salon reports Cantor‘s financial records show he has up to $15,000 invested in a mutual fund that shorts U.S. treasury bonds.  That means if the debt limit isn‘t raised, and investors stop wanting treasury bonds, Cantor‘s investment would see a profit.  And the funds also thrive off of uncertainty. 

Since Cantor walked out of the debt limit talks, the fund is up nearly 7 percent.  Nice profit there. 

Cantor‘s spokesman says the congressman has a balanced portfolio and also invests in treasury bonds.  So Cantor is just hedging his bets.  But that doesn‘t look good either.

As the Salon financial writer put it, “I don‘t think someone negotiating the debt ceiling should be invested in this kind of an ultra-short.  We can only guess how much he understands what‘s in his portfolio, but you would think a politician would know better.  It looks pretty bad.” 

Now, does Cantor know he‘s betting against the United States government with those short bets?  If he doesn‘t know, that‘s pretty bad.  If he does know, it‘s much worse. 

It‘s hard to imagine a bigger conflict of interest.  Eric Cantor‘s compromised financial position is our “Con Job of the Day.” 

All right.  When we come back, Karl Rove starts basically starts to go after Bachmann.  He‘s questioning whether the Tea Party strategy is the right way to go.  Meanwhile, Bill Clinton has nothing but praise for her.  It‘s topsy-turvy day in politics. 

And there‘s a great new poll out on the GOP candidates that shows how much the Republicans hate their own guys.  It‘s fascinating.

Come right back. 


UYGUR:  Welcome back to the show, everybody.  Now, it is time to discuss some of the biggest political stories of day with our Power Panel.  Very powerful. 

Joining me now, Robert Borosage, co-director for Campaign for America‘s Future.  Also, with us democratic strategist Penny Lee, she‘s a former senior adviser to Harry Reid, and currently president of Venn Strategies in leading public affairs in governor relations firm.  And finally, MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard.  She‘s also president of Bernard Center for Women Politics and Public Policy. 

All right.  First question.  Is her Bach against the wall?  Get it?  Get it?  All right.  So, Karl Rove wrote an Op-Ed today and saying, hey, let‘s not go to the Tea Party direction too hard because we might regret that.  Here is the quote, “Republicans also must not confuse the Tea Party movement with the larger more important Tea Party sentiment.”  OK, I think it was fairly clear if you read the whole Op-Ed that it was kind of a warning to people, don‘t go in Bachmann‘s direction is a bad idea.  And then on the other hand, Bill Clinton can‘t say enough nice things about her, listen to this.  



about them, they will lose for sure, I‘m not surprised how well Michele

Bachmann has done.  I‘ve been watching her speech, she comes across as a

real person  


UYGUR:  That‘s awesome.  All right.  Penny, what is up here?  Are they both—are the Democrats trying to get Bachmann to be the candidate and the Republicans are trying hard to make sure she isn‘t? 

PENNY LEE, FORMER ADVISER TO SEN. HARRY REID:  Well, it is funny to watch Republicans, it is hand-to-hand combat as we know in politics.  And Karl Rove is the architect of many of what we have seen in past years.  So, it is not, you know, unusual at all to see him engage in this kind of combativeness.  Look, she is the now “it” girl.  She is the one that people are flocking to that is creating the enthusiasm.  And many people, you know, we heard Chris Wallace and others, and many people had described her in the past as a flake and they are worried about.  Because momentum begets momentum.  And they are worried that if they don‘t stop her now, that she will really is going to storm on and be the nomination, they really, that she can‘t win against Barack Obama.  So there are some nervous Republicans out there and you are seeing that being led by Karl Rove today.  

UYGUR:  Michelle, you know, hiding in bushes during gay rights might work in the republican primary but it has got to be a disaster in the general election, right?  That‘s why the Democrats are pushing so hard for it?  


what I find fascinating about the Karl Rove Op-Ed today, and what I think

is really actually very important about it, is that it is going to force

the Republican Party, and frankly, the nation as a whole to have a very

open and honest conversation about what is the proper role of government

with this whole controversy for example of Michele Bachmann‘s husband or

his clinic for example, receiving Medicare funds from the U.S. government,

you know, receiving funds from the state.  Michele Bachmann as the Tea

Party candidate, as the head of the Tea Party caucus is going to have to

discuss what is the role of government?  When is the welfare state quote,

unquote, welfare state I should say, to large or too small, quite frankly,

what does smart government mean in terms of today‘s economy, I think it‘s

fascinating and look forward to watching the fight continue 

UYGUR:  Well, there‘s two parts of that, right?  First of all, there‘s a huge hypocrisy where her family wind up getting a lot of money whether it‘s their family farm or the Medicaid payments through her husband‘s clinic.  And second of all, her husband Marcus Bachmann, was on a radio program talking about homosexuality, and the way he described it was outrageous.  Let‘s listen to that.  


MARCUS BACHMANN, MICHELE BACHMANN‘S HUSBAND:  We have to understand Barbarians need to be educated.  They need to be disciplined and just because someone feels it or thinks it, doesn‘t mean that we‘re supposed to go down that road.  That‘s what is called the sinful nature and we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures, not to encourage such thoughts and feelings to move into the actions steps. 


UYGUR:  Bob, that seems pretty harsh, man.  I mean, does that even help her even in the republican primary?

ROBERT BOROSAGE, CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA‘S FUTURE:  Well, that‘s more than harsh, that is really an obscenity labeling people barbarians because of their sexual identity.  I would have thought that even much of the Republican Party has moved beyond that.  

UYGUR:  Yes, Penny, I mean, that‘s pretty explosive stuff  

LEE:  It was completely explosive, you know, I mean, I sit here as a daughter of a minister and that kind of language was never to be tolerated.  It is outrageous as you said previously and it‘s a shame.  And Michele Bachmann needs to answer for that.  She needs to say whether those are words of her husband or those are words of herself as well.  Because that is language that is not helpful to engage the American public.  

UYGUR:  Yes.  Michelle, I mean, in earlier part of that interview, by the way, he also said, look, look, we all have these urges when we‘re young.  And I thought that was really interesting too.  Is this going to open up the can of worms on what exactly he is doing in that Christian counseling that he is getting government money for?  

BERNARD:  Let me tell you.  What all of these sexual, you know, antics and sort of strange proximities we have seen within the Republican Party over the last couple of years.  He has most definitely opened Pandora‘s box.  But, you know, quite frankly, and most importantly on this whole discussion of referring to  people who are gay as barbarians, it is an enormous problem for Michele Bachmann particularly given the, you know, given the vote that we saw on gay marriage in New York last week. 

And that the momentum that is probably going to gain in the country, state by state basis over the next two years, it is one thing to be looking at electoral politics just for the primary, it is another thing to get all the way to an election, and Michele Bachmann is going to have to answer to this.  And she‘s going to have to explain, number one, does she have to share the same sentiment as her husband?  And number two, assuming and giving her the benefit of the doubt, and assuming she does not share the sentiments of her husband, how does she reconcile the fact that this is the person that she has spent so many years of her life.  What is she going to do to step forward and say, there is no place for discrimination in what we call the greatest nation on earth.  She‘s going to have to explain it.  

UYGUR:  All right.  Let‘s go to the next question, guys.

BOROSAGE:  One thing about this. 

UYGUR:  Go ahead, Bob, real quick.

BOROSAGE:  Democrats are playing with fire when they start getting

into this republican thing.  I remember when Ronald Reagan was considered

the weakest candidate to go up against Jimmy Carter and everyone was really

happy about Ronald Reagan getting nominated.  And Obama‘s problem isn‘t who

the republican candidate is.  It is where the economy is when he runs, and,

you know, if this economy is still in trouble even if Michele Bachmann will

be a serious candidate  

UYGUR:  Yes.  That‘s a great point, and actually that leads into the next question which is can‘t get no satisfaction.  When you ask Republicans, how do you feel about your own field, 67 percent they say, they are enthusiastic about no one, only seven percent for Romney and seven percent for Bachmann and two percent for Cain on when you ask for enthusiasm.  Penny, I‘m actually really surprised by that number.  Because I don‘t know what was satisfy them.  If they don‘t like Romney and they don‘t like Bachmann, who do they like?

LEE:  Whether you are seeing is just a complete general dissatisfaction of who they have to offer.  Because right now, the candidates aren‘t speaking to their real fears of the American people.  They aren‘t speaking to the concerns.  They feel right now, their play book is best played after saying, one term Obama.  And just going after the personality, and their patriotism.  And the birthplace of where Barack Obama is from.  But they are not speaking to the solutions and what it is we can do to move this country forward. 

And until they get there and until they put out a vision, I think

people are going to be continuing Republicans especially of who they are to

offer.  Each one of them has their flaws.  Each one of them is being

highlighted for that.  And so, either it‘s not resonating right now.  And

they‘re not speaking to most of the people out there, you know, the

candidates are out there, or white males, many of them have an elevated,

you know, lifestyle that they haven‘t had.  I think that‘s why Michele

Bachmann as a woman, as a mother, is generating some enthusiasm  

UYGUR:  Right.  But look, I‘ve been asked this question and I‘m not sure anybody can answer.  Let‘s try again.  You know, Michele Bachmann—let‘s start with you Michele, what is it that the Republicans want?  Are they OK?  So, they got the Tea Party person, Bachmann, they don‘t like it.  They got Mitt Romney, they don‘t like him.  What do they want?

BERNARD:  You know, here is my personal take on this.  If you take a

look at the poll for example that you were referring to from the New York

Times, I think that was in April.  It is remarkable how much the enthusiasm

for different perspective republican candidates changes literally day by day in April, it was Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, will Jon Huntsman run?  Just as late as yesterday, you know, we saw Romney at the top in terms of the enthusiasm, in terms of how enthusiastic republican voters are with Michele Bachmann second and Herman Cain I think at third and fourth. 

I think the problem is that, it‘s not just the Republican Party, I think the entire country is so weary of where we are economically, that they feel, I think most people I think feel that a politician is a politician is a politician.  Congress is gridlocked, the Democrats aren‘t doing anything, Republicans aren‘t doing anything.  The economy isn‘t getting better.  And quite frankly, I would assume that anyone who was a registered member of either political party probably has this same sort of feeling of demise in looking at, you know, potential candidates for 2012.  

UYGUR:  Yes.  People are frustrated, no question about that.  Michelle, by the way, that poll just came out this week.  So, that was a new poll.  I know the new poll you are referring to, by the way, one more poll, are you satisfied with your choices?  This was in June, only 23 percent of Republicans said yes, 71 said that they still want more choices.  Bob, I‘m going to give you the last crack on that one.  What it is that they‘re looking for?  

BOROSAGE:  Yes.  They are waiting for the fantasy date that will fit their fantasy world.  They are looking for the Ronald Reagan who can sell voodoo economics with a smile again.  The guy who can do race politics with a soft shoe.  And, so, you know, they are looking around but this is very early and they will crystallize around the candidate who will be their nominee. 

UYGUR:  Yes.  And by the way, if they got Ronald Reagan, they would hate him.  He‘s the guy who gave amnesty to illegal immigrants, he negotiated with terrorists when he came to Iran.  He cut and run from Lebanon.  He raised taxes in Lebanon.  Yes, they would run Reagan out of there so quickly.  

BERNARD:  He would vote definitely be too far left for today‘s Republican Party. 

LEE:  Absolutely.

UYGUR:  All right, guys.  You guys are all been great.  Robert Borosage, Penny Lee, first time on the Power Panel.  We appreciate it.

LEE:  Thank you. 

UYGUR:  Michelle Bernard, you guys were all great.  We‘ll see you next time. 

All right.  Now, when we come back, Beck is signing off, is it the end of an era?  At the crazy era.  We need a case for that.  And then Rubio and Johnson, those are two Tea Party senators, and I love who their chief of staff is, it isn‘t very Tea Party.


UYGUR:  All right.  Now, we come to one of my favorite segments, the Of Course segment, Marco Rubio run as a Tea Party guy from Florida and won as a senator from there.  Ron Johnson same thing in Wisconsin, oh, they‘re Tea Part there, grass roots representing the people.  So, of course, when they get into office, they pick chiefs of staff, those guys are going to be grassroots, right?  Well, it turns out are condo, works for navigator‘s global, he used to make $376,000, representing the top corporations in America.  And Marco Rubio, that was Marco Rubio‘s chief of star and Ron Johnson‘s chief of staff, is the guy named Don Kent, and he works the at same company.  Navigators Global and he used to make $227,000 and represented people like oil speculators to try to make sure there is no regulation of oil speculation, so that our gas prices are higher.  Huh, the Tea Party guys who are actually bringing in key street people to do favorites for corporations.  Say it with me now, Of Course.


UYGUR:  Today was the last show for Glenn Beck on FOX News Channel.  And we are hoping that it brings an end to a crazy era that came along with Glenn Beck but first, Glenn Beck said good-bye to his audience today. 


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  We are starting to take the set apart and this is the last episode of the Glenn Beck program from New York. 

Good night, America 


UYGUR:  It almost makes me tear up Glenn, where have you gone?  Memories—no, I‘m not going to sing, but you know what?  We have put together a nice little compilation of the wonderful zany times of Glenn Beck.


Thanks for the memories. 

BECK:  This president I think has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, this guy is, I believe, a racist.

He‘s going to send millions of Americans into modern day slavery.

You are the secret, you‘re the answer. 

There is a strange alliance between the left and Islamists that we are seeing.  Beck connected the violence in Egypt to among other things, Islamic socialists.  Yes, Marxist communists, yes.  I‘m sorry, I just love my country, Nazi tactics are progressive tactics.  But that‘s what Mussolini did.  That‘s what Hitler did.  That‘s what Stalin did.  That‘s what Mao did.  Marxist communists, revolutionaries. 


UYGUR:  Well, look, this isn‘t just about Glenn Beck, we are hoping that the demise of Glenn Beck is actually the demise of this crazy conspiracy theory times, right?  And as you see, Beck‘s audience dwindle down, you got to begin to get hope, not because you are against Beck but because there is a sense ever hope that maybe people aren‘t  that crazy.  So first quarter of 2011 for example, his audience was down 27 percent over all.  And -- 25-54, which is the demo that they care most about in television, it was down 46 percent.  And you were hoping that American people look at him and go, whoa, you know, what?  I‘m just not that crazy and I‘m not that into this guy any more.  And it‘s not just as Glenn Beck.  As you see, look, Donald Trump came and went.  And he had, was full of conspiracy theories, and that didn‘t work.  Birtherism looks to be finally dead.  And even Michele Bachmann is beginning to say, hey, you know, what?  Maybe Obama is not unpatriotic.  And you know what, there were a lot of things I wish I said differently she said.  So, is it the end of the crazy era? One could only hope. 

All right.  All right.  With me now, a man who spend a lot of time keeping back on us.  Eric Boehlert, senior fellow with Media Matters for America.  Eric?


UYGUR:  All right.  Great to have you here.  First of, what do you think is the one thing that really started his demise? 

BOEHLERT:  The clip you showed when he called the president was a racist.  And said, Obama who was raised by his great mother has a deep-seated hatred for white people.  Hundred weeks ago, he made that statement, that was beginning of the end, because the statement was shocking and insulting and completely irresponsible.  FOX‘s News reaction was shocking, insulting, irresponsible.  No reaction basically.  That open the door for the most successful advertising—I think in the history of television.  Three, four hundred advertiser said to FOX, keep us away from him, we‘re not going to touch him.  Media Matters had some great reporting this week.  The show on after Beck, basically the same ratings was able to charge three times as much as his show because they had no advertisers.  

UYGUR:  It‘s amazing, he lost 400 advertisers over all.  

BOEHLERT:  If they had gotten six advertisers to drop the show, it would have been a headline.  They got 400.  

UYGUR:  That‘s amazing and in Great Britain, he was down to zero...  

BOEHLERT:  Right.  

UYGUR:  That‘s fascinating.  And so, you think that all these volatile comments, after a while, advertisers said, come on, there is beyond the bounds of reason.  I mean, they‘re not even boycotting O‘Reilly, Hannity, nobody else.  Just Beck.  He was way out of bounds.  

BOEHLERT:  Right.  He had made, you know, he debuted inauguration week of Obama.  Immediately started in on the Nazi stuff.  Immediately started, Obama is going to take your guns, this armed insurrection nonsense, but when he cross that line, he called the president of the United States a racist and FOX basically  backed him, that was the beginning of his demise.  Yes, he lined his pockets, yes, he had some nice ratings along the way. 

But the ratings, and the revenue, his relevance all dissipated.  

UYGUR:  Now, you guys were tracking him all along and it drove him crazy.  Stop quoting me, what‘s the matter with you, right?  But he pretended to be indifferent, and in fact, taunted you guys.  I want to show a clip of that?


BECK:  Media Matters.  Oh, they‘re great.  Yes, I know, that‘s in the Media Matters.  Some of the George Soros funded Hillary Clinton created liberal blogs named me as I told you earlier, mis-informer of the year, oh by the way, Media Matters.  Come here.  Oh, you‘re so cute.  How is that working out for you?  I still have a job.  Man you guys suck.  You really do. 


UYGUR:  So, Eric, go ahead.  

BOEHLERT:  You know, he was even saying up until this week, Media Matters had nothing to do with his leaving.  And he‘s really going to say, Media Matters, he‘s saying the whole progressive community.  Liberals, Democrats, he has nothing with his driving as off the air.  But then, this week he was making fun of the party Media Matters through in his honor, he‘s very thin skin.  And he knows what drove him off the air who‘s a progressive movement.  Media Matters helped but a lot of people were behind it.  And we made a stand.  We sent a message.  This is not acceptable.  This is not what the political discourse should be about.  

UYGUR:  And by the way, again, all you did was quote.  

BOEHLERT:  That‘s right.  

UYGUR:  So, it‘s not like you, you know, had some sort of campaign of hey, this is what this guy is saying, that‘s it.  

BOEHLERT:  We are not with creative editing like the folks on the right are.  We just post what he says, and transcripts and let the chips fall where it will.  

UYGUR:  Right.  So, one last thing, you know—had an interesting piece today about Roger Ailes.


UYGUR:  They go into Nixon‘s library and found out that he actually had been planning all along since 1970.  Quote, “a plan for putting the GOP on TV News and that he came up much with that for Nixon.  Is that what FOX News is?  

BOEHLERT:  Is it, Ailes tried it earlier, then have the money.  There was a cable satellite, cable TV then exist that it does today.  But this is basically his second run through.  And really, they jump now, it all makes sense, I mean, this was the Nixon hold them in plan.  You create the facade avenues organization when it is essentially a propaganda machine.  

UYGUR:  Yes, I know, it is a very interesting story.  All right.  Eric Boehlert for Media Matters, interesting day for you guys, thank you for joining us. 

All right.  Now, when we come back, FOX News actually gives Obama an advice that‘s helpful.  I know, it seems unbelievable.  But we will show you.            


UYGUR:  You know who made a really interesting point about the debt ceiling yesterday, of all people, Brit Hume.  And of all places on the FOX News Channel.  He said that if you don‘t raise the debt ceiling, you don‘t have to default on our debt.  That is very interesting.  Think about it this way.  New money comes into the treasury all the time.  We can still pay our debt.  We just can‘t pay the other stuff if we don‘t raise the debt ceiling.  Now, look, that is still disastrous.  We might be in jeopardy of not paying Social Security.  Our troops et cetera, et cetera.  But we can pay our debt.  But then he made an even better point, that actually, this gives President Obama a huge advantage over the Republicans. 


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Well, it‘s not entirely clear but I do think when it gets closer to it, the Democrats and White House have a certain advantage and that they get to decide when the money runs short which agencies and departments get funded and which do not.  One senator I know of, has told his leader that if for example the Agriculture department were not able to fund the fish—I mean, the meat and poultry inspections which would effectively shut down that industry because you have to have inspected meat to sell, that would be the moment he caved and voted to re-increase the debt ceiling.  


UYGUR:  Did you see that?  Even FOX News Channel saying, the Republicans will cave if you fight them.  Look, I bring this up because often times, the White House and their reporters will say, there‘s nothing we can do.  You know the Republicans block everything and golly gee willikers, what can we do, right?  But look, oftentimes there is something can you do.  Now, I get it, it would be bold, it would be strong and it would involve some degree of risk.  But that‘s what real leaders do.  They take that risk to make sure that the jobs get done.  If President Obama said, hey look, you know, what?  We can go pass that debt ceiling if you like.  But if do, we will have the world‘s largest line item veto.  And you can bet your bottom dollar that it will roast every one of your favorite programs. 

Good luck.  Meeting adjourned.  Oh, by the way, I decided that I will insist on that $750 billion in revenue increases, I originally wanted after all.  Take the weekend and think about it.  Look, there is a way to fight back.  We don‘t have to give in to the Republicans every time.  We can fight.  And we can win.  Even FOX News agrees.  All right, that‘s our show.  Thanks for watching.  You can catch me on later tonight. 

And “HARDBALL” starts right now. 

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