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The Ed Show for Thursday, June 21, 2012

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Peter Welch, Gerald Connolly, Chuck Rocha, Ben LaBolt, Susan Del Percio, Katherine Crier, Keith Boykin, Alan Grayson

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.

The Republican witch hunt is unraveling fast, and Democrats are
becoming furious.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: They`re going after Eric Holder
because he`s overturning voter oppression initiatives. This is no

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Democrats have their eye on the ball while
Republicans continue their attack on the attorney general and the

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: They made a crisis, and they`re
using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people`s Second Amendment

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Congressman Gerry Connolly and Peter Welch with the
latest on Issa`s political witch hunt and the crazy conspiracy theory
that`s fueling it.

problem of illegal immigration in a civil and resolute manner.

SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney fails to lead on immigration yet again. We`ll
have the latest on the American DREAM Act nightmare.

And today there is proof positive why Republicans want to kill
Obamacare. Health insurers are forced to refund a billion dollars to their
consumers. Alan Grayson is here with reaction.


SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for

Republicans drag their radical witch-hunt from the margins into the
mainstreams today. Democrats are exposing it for what it really is. The
contempt charge against Attorney General Eric Holder helps to achieve three
possible goals for the Republicans: damage the president, fire up the right
wing base, and as Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi pointed out, take
out Eric Holder.


PELOSI: It is no accident, it is no coincidence that the attorney
general of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that
voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate
to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld. These very same
people are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to
suppress the vote.


SCHULTZ: Indeed, Republicans are jumping at the chance to get rid of
Eric Holder. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida where voter suppression is
running rampant, Rubio was asked by reporters today if he thinks the
attorney general should resign. He said, "Yes, I do. We`ve now reached
the point of no return on this issue."

But getting Holder out of the way is only the first goal. The
investigation is perfect for riling up the hard core conservative base.

Congressman John Mica was one of the committee members who voted for
the contempt charge. Take a listen at how he explained the case to the FOX
News faithful.


REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: This administration is a gun control
administration. They tried to put the violence in Mexico on the blame of
the United States. So they concocted this scheme and actually sending our
federal agents sending guns down there and trying to cook some little deal
to say that we`ve got to get more guns under control. That`s how it


SCHULTZ: We need to bring back psycho talk on THE ED SHOW. I mean,
that is absolutely outrageous.

I`m a gun owner. I don`t believe that for a moment. John Mica`s
explanation probably didn`t make sense if you`re a normal person. He says
the Obama administration created a scheme to send guns to Mexico in order
to create more gun control in the United States.

At least three other members of the House committee have also gone on
the record with this ridiculous theory. It sounds insane, but it`s
actually very calculated.

The National Rifle Association has pushed this conspiracy theory for
over a year. The NRA is telling its members the Obama administration and
Eric Holder are conspiring to take away your guns. Drumming up this fear
only helps one thing and that`s the firearms industry.

Since 2008, the impact of gun sales on the economy has gone up 66
percent. Republicans are also firing up the head-shaking crowd by saying
President Obama has abused his power. How do they know?

Take a look at just a sample of the reaction from right wing blogs
after the president invoked executive privilege over documents in the
investigation. They compare the president to Richard Nixon and say he`s
directly involved in a cover-up.

I don`t remember Republicans acting this way when executive privilege
was invoked by George W. Bush to protect Karl Rove from the Senate
Judiciary Committee. The right wing didn`t seem to care when executive
privilege was used to conceal the details of Dick Cheney`s secret meetings
with energy executives back in the summer of 2001.

On top of all the false outrage, Republicans are using the Holder
investigation to directly impact the president`s re-election chances, and
they like that. The transportation bill expires on June 30th. There`s no
sign of any action there. The program to keep student loan rates down
expires on July 1st. No action there. Automatic spending cuts kick in
January 1st, if no deal is reached on the debt ceiling. Again, no action
by Republicans in the House on that one.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called out Republicans for what he
called a political fishing expedition.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: This many months into it, this
many months where house Republican leaders have been focused on this rather
than helping the economy grow or helping it create jobs, is that there is
no evidence of anything beyond what the attorney general has said about
this matter.


SCHULTZ: At the center of everything is the man in charge of these
hearings, committee chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa, refuses to call key
players involved in the gun-running investigation. Issa went on the Rush
Limbaugh show and said that President Obama was the most corrupt president
in history. Issa has no respect for the president of the United States,
and he proved it last night on FOX News.

Watch what happened when Issa got a phone call in the middle of this


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: So you weren`t even necessarily getting
the pages that you wanted -- that may be the attorney general --

ISSA: If it`s Barack, I`ll tell him we`re not available.

VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe the attorney general, he`s going to answer your


SCHULTZ: If it`s Barack, I`ll tell him we`re not available.

Issa wants Eric Holder held in contempt, but it`s clear the most
contempt comes from the Republicans towards the president of the United

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you know think.

Tonight`s question, will the fast and furious witch-hunt backfire on
Republicans? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can always go
to our blog at We`ll bring you the results later on in the

I`m joined by two members of this committee that is dealing with all
of this. I`m joined by Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont and Congressman
Gerald Connolly of Virginia.

Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

Congressman Welch, I want to ask you first.

REP. GERALD CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Great to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

Why can`t the Democrats call witnesses to these hearings? I mean,
obviously there are key people that need to be heard from, yet the
Republicans are hell-bent for election to hold this vote for contempt in
the full House coming up next week.

Why can`t you get people in front of the committee?

REP. PETER WELCH (D), VERMONT: Well, Ed, you`re asking the question
we asked Chairman Issa, and he said he`s not going to permit it. He`s got
the authority as chair to prohibit us from doing it.

You know, it`s very relevant. Congressman Mica says this is a gun
deal by a gun controlled administration. Well, this happened, this Fast
and Furious operation, Wide Receiver as it was called before, started in
the Bush administration. This had been going on for years.

This is something that was inherited during the Obama administration.
There`s no evidence that the top of the Justice Department knew about it
under Obama. There`s no evidence whatsoever that President Obama knew
about it.

One of the questions we were asking Mr. Issa is, look, if you want to
get to the bottom of this and this is really about doing oversight, why
don`t we start at the beginning? The beginning was in the Bush
administration. It was the Attorney General Mukasey.

And he says that`s basically not relevant. So, that`s a -- that`s an
interesting construction at getting to the bottom of something when you
start after it`s over and focus your attention on the administration that

SCHULTZ: I mean, it would seem to me that Darrell Issa would feel
compelled by his responsibility as chairman of this committee to go right
to the heart of the issue and get the head of the Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms right from its inception and find out if these weapons were
traced, because there`s conflicting information on that.

Congressman Connolly, what is this conspiracy gun control theory
that`s out there of some of your colleagues they`re spinning? What do you
say to them?

CONNOLLY: It is a big lie technique, Ed.

In fact, it`s interesting. The vote next week scheduled by Speaker
Boehner on the contempt citation on the floor of the House, NRA has
suddenly decided they`re going to score that vote. Isn`t that
coincidental? The one thing they don`t want to talk about is the role of
illegal guns and the violence in the southern part of our border and

I met with the attorney general in Mexico. The number one thing he
said we could do that would make an appreciable difference in violence in
his country was to reinstate the assault weapons ban. We haven`t had a
single hearing as part of this investigation on the role of guns and on the
enforcement of gun laws on the books right now.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Welch, do we know if the Republicans` key
argument is even true? Were any of these guns ever traceable? I want to
get you on the record on this. From what you know, were any of these guns
ever traceable?

WELCH: They were traceable. This is a botched operation. There`s no
question about it.

SCHULTZ: They were not?

WELCH: As I mentioned -- no, it was a botched operation. Some of
them were traced, and, in fact, a couple of guns that were allowed to walk
-- as we call it -- were in the vicinity of where agent Terry was killed.
This is a serious issue as far as a mismanagement.

But again, it`s morphed into this political agenda that`s obviously
quite disturbing. Let me give you a really good example. The subpoena
that was issued to the attorney general as of last Friday was asking,
directing him to turn over information that would have been a violation of
law for him to turn over -- grand jury transcripts, the rules of criminal
procedure explicitly prohibit it. Transcripts of wiretap applications.
The United States code explicitly prohibits it.

SCHULTZ: Exactly.

WELCH: So Darrell Issa in the committee was demanding that the
attorney general commit a violation of his oath, violate the law in his
refusal to do that, they`re calling him an obstructionist. So that`s kind
of a distraction. Some people might ask whether it`s political.

CONNOLLY: Ed, can I?


CONNOLLY: Ed, can I add one thing here to what Peter just said?

You asked about guns. We`re talking about roughly 2,000 guns in these
special programs that went awry, as Peter said. But what it masks is tens
and tens and tens of thousands of illegal weapons purchases crossing that
southern border into Mexico every year. Killing hundreds of innocent
people and fuelling the drug cartel`s war against itself.

And that doesn`t get talked about because Darrell Issa and his friends
at NRA don`t want us talking about that. They would rather pretend that
Eric Holder is the problem.

SCHULTZ: There seems to be some concern from Darrell Issa about a
February 4th letter. And the attorney general says that he thought this
program was not taking place, yet it was still going on.

I have to ask both of you, do you believe the attorney general?

WELCH: Well, I do.


WELCH: What happened there was when the request was made, the
legislative affairs operation of the attorney general`s office asked for
information from, of all places, the Phoenix ATF office. And they assured
the legislative affairs folks, no, we weren`t doing this. Of course, that
turned out to be wrong. And when the attorney general learned it was
wrong, he wrote a letter correcting it.

So there clearly was some misinformation by the Phoenix office where
all of this started.

Now, this is a problem, and all of us on the committee are willing to
get to the bottom of it. But it`s not this conspiracy thing asking the
attorney general to turn over illegal information. You can`t do that.

SCHULTZ: And, Congressman Connolly, we now have a constitutional
crisis on our hands if they would want to ignore an executive order by the
president. How much of trying to defeat President Obama is in all of this?

CONNOLLY: That`s entirely what the agenda is here. And I called it
yesterday, it`s a kangaroo court. We`ve decided someone`s guilt before we
heard the testimony. We`ve filtered our facts we don`t like. We`ve
actually doctored testimony. We had an ATF agent who talked to our
committee in public hearing, their witness, the Republican`s witness, who
actually that said, you know, the enforcement mechanisms and gun control
laws are too loose. We need tighter laws. We need more laws, more
effective laws.

He was actually censored by Darrell Issa for going beyond the scope of
the hearing. They don`t want to talk about those things.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, and, finally, I want to know, Congressman Welch,
do you agree with Congresswoman Pelosi who says it`s about the voter purge?
That they just want to get rid of Eric Holder because he`s doing the due
diligence on that?

WELCH: Well, they absolutely want him gone. Pick your reason. I
mean, he`s not enforcing DOMA. He wants people regardless of sexual
preference to be able to be married. He is against the enforcement of that
Arizona law that was really hard and unfair and to Mexican-Americans and
Hispanics. Of course, he`s standing up for voter rights.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Do you agree with her?

WELCH: A lot of things they`re against Eric Holder on. Yes.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Peter Welch and Gerald Connolly, thanks for your
time tonight here on THE ED SHOW. Appreciate it.

Remember to answer the question there at the bottom of the screen.
Share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We always want to know what you

Next up, Mitt Romney criticizes Obama on immigration in front of a
Latino audience. Yes, he isn`t offering any solutions of his own. Chuck
Rocha will weigh in on that.

Lots more coming up. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Coming up next, Mitt Romney totally whiffs on immigration in
front of a group of Hispanic leaders today.

There`s more proof that Republicans are rooting for failure. A new
report says the Romney campaign doesn`t want Florida Governor Scott to talk
about his rebounding economy.

And health insurance companies owe Americans -- that means you -- over
a billion dollars, but the Supreme Court`s decision on the Affordable Care
Act could let them off the hook. We`ll have the details coming up.

And shares your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow, and don`t forget to
like THE ED SHIOW on Facebook. We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Six days after President Obama announced a major policy change
affecting the lives of nearly 800,000 young people, Mitt Romney still has
no answers when it comes to immigration. Today, Romney spoke to a
convention of Latino elected officials in Florida, offering few specifics
on how he would deal with more than 11 million undocumented immigrants
living in the United States if elected president.

As to whether he would overturn President Obama`s executive action,
Romney again sidestepped the issue altogether.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some people have asked if I
will let stand the president`s executive order. The answer is that I will
put in place my own long-term solution that will replay and supersede the
president`s temporary measure.


SCHULTZ: And while the president`s plan applies to a broad spectrum
of young people brought to the United States as children, Romney`s proposal
offers a path to legal status only to those who serve the military. Green
cards would be given to those who earn advanced degrees here in the United

The one thing Romney did offer the Hispanic audience was a different

Here`s what Romney told a Republican audience this at a debate back in


ROMNEY: Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide
they can do better by going home because they can`t find work here.


SCHULTZ: Today, Romney changed his tune again.


ROMNEY: I`m going to address the problem of illegal immigration in a
civil and resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a
promise to you, I will keep it.


SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to Chuck Rocha, executive director of the
American Worker, Latino Project.

Chuck, good to see you again and have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: What does Romney`s position on immigration say about his
ability to lead? I have to say after watching the speech today, there`s no
more definition today than yesterday. No more definition.

ROCHA: His biggest truth today is when he said we don`t agree. Mitt
Romney literally went to this convention, in a room full of elected Latino
leaders and talked about electric fences and self-deportation and actually
had the gall to say he would rescind the order that President Obama set.

Now, President Obama had to do that because the Congress wouldn`t act,
because there were over 800,000 children who have pledged allegiance in
their lifetime so they won`t be deported, and the man who wants to
president, who is say a millionaire, who has got people to lose their jobs,
gets before Latino leaders and says, why don`t you get me and understand
where I`m coming from? And then he says you can`t believe me?

When you talk about electric fences and talk about self-deportation,
there`s no wonder you`re 35 points behind with the Latino vote.

SCHULTZ: Well, it sounds like you believe he didn`t do anything to
improve his standing with Hispanics today. He had a golden opportunity to
do it. But it seems to me that Romney really agrees with the president,
but President Obama is so toxic to the right wing and any Republican right
now he can`t bring himself to saying it. What do you think?

ROCHA: You could tell by his tone today he wanted to be the nice guy
and go, I know what it`s like and there`s something holding me back. Oh,
maybe it`s the Tea Party and conservative right. If I say the wrong thing
I cut off my funding and I cut off all hopes of being president.

What president Barack Obama did was very smart. It wasn`t political
because these 800,000 people can`t cast the first vote for him. What it
did was mobilize and energize people like me who is Latino who is
registered to vote, who was born here, who was like -- you know, that`s the
right thing to do. As Americans we came here, people came here with an
idea, to kind of honor or values. We were supposed to be equal, you know,
all equal under the law.


ROCHA: And so, it puts him in a bad place.

SCHULTZ: Here`s what one former McCain adviser told "The New York
Times". "If a candidate has the wrong tone and the wrong rhetoric on
immigration, Hispanics won`t listen to any of his proposals on anything

Does his performance today should the door all the way to November for
him with the Latino vote?

ROCHA: As you know, Ed, I run the Latino Project, and the top three
issues that we found with Latino voters are jobs, education and
immigration. Today in his speech his job proposal was more trade

You know, Ed, that my plant in east Texas shut down when that tire
production went overseas. When I hear that, more trade agreements, that
says my job is leaving.

And on education, he said, we need a choice when it comes to
education. When I hear that that means schools for profit, privatizing
schools and no public education. So, he said all the wrong things today,
and I think he has a long ways to go.

SCHULTZ: Well, President Obama is going to speak to this very same
group of Latino leaders tomorrow. How`s he going to be received? What
does he need to say, if anything, at this point?

ROCHA: I think that he hasn`t fixed the problem totally but made a
step in the right direction. He`s let made these people understand, these
people Latinos, from all different types of Latinos, whether you`re a
Cubano from Cuba or a Texas-Mexican like I am, I understand what it`s like
to be here and I am trying to get you something so you won`t be deported.

All of these dreams that have collective action to say, let my voice
be heard, and at least he stood up and said, your voice is being heard. If
the congress won`t act, by God, I will act.

SCHULTZ: Chuck Rocha, certainly one of the best Latino voices and
advocates in the country -- good to have you with us tonight on THE ED

ROCHA: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Coming up: the politics of failure. Find out have Romney is
supposedly telling Rick Scott, will you please shut up on this economy
thing down there in Florida?

And Republicans are busy going after Eric Holder while student loan
rates were set to double in just 10 days. The president is calling them
out. Stay tuned.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

We`ve got new evidence tonight that the Republicans are certainly
rooting for America to fail when it comes to the economy. "Bloomberg News"
reports that the Romney campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott, dude,
can you tone it down especially when it comes to jobs and the economy?

When Rick Scott talks about how great Florida is doing, "Bloomberg"
says it clashes with the nominee`s message that the nation is suffering
under President Obama.

The Republicans want you to believe the president of the United States
is killing the economy and Romney is the only one that can bring it back.


ROMNEY: He`s going to say the economy is getting better. Thank
heavens it`s getting better. And it`s getting better not because of him,
it`s in spite of him and what he`s done.


SCHULTZ: So, Romney`s people must hate it when Rick Scott says stuff
like this.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: It`s all about jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you think jobs are turning around there?

SCOTT: Oh, yes. We were at a three-year low on unemployment. It`s
all about building jobs.


SCHULTZ: If Romney wants Rick Scott to stop talking about Florida`s
economic success under Obama, he`s got a bigger problem. Romney needs to
convince the people in Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia that the economy is
terrible there as well.

Republican governors in all of those states are enjoying better than
average unemployment. These Republican governors are in a tight spot.
They could be honest about their economic success or lie for the candidate

Let`s turn to Ben LaBolt, national press secretary for the Obama

Ben, good to have you with us tonight.

BEN LABOLT, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Nice to be with you.

SCHULTZ: To be fair -- obviously, these Republican governors are
saying, hey, what I`m doing in my state is why we have better numbers than
anybody else. But they seem to be very nervous via the Romney campaign
when Romney is saying, hey, can you guys tone it down a little bit? Which
is it? Does this validate what you`re doing?

LABOLT: Well, even some of them have been honest that the president`s
policies has helped their state economically. Governor McDonnell talked
about how the Recovery Act benefited his state. Governor Kasich and
Governor Snyder is Ohio and Michigan are rushing to take credit for the
recovery of the auto industry, which only happened because of the rescue
loans that the president granted and Mitt Romney opposed.

So, I think that`s what`s difficult for Mitt Romney here. The fact is
he opposed many of those same policies that have led to a boost in the
recovery since the economic crisis in these states.

But you know, this comes on the heels of a report in the "Wall Street
Journal" that Congressional Republicans are going to hold up legislation
that would help the economy until after the election because they believe
it would benefit Mitt Romney politically. Now we see Mitt Romney putting a
gag order on Republican governors in these states from talking about

SCHULTZ: How much credit do you give the stimulus package?

LABOLT: Certainly Governor McDonnell gave it a lot of credit. We
were losing 800,000 jobs a month when the president came into office.
Businesses have now created more than 4.3 million private sector job. We
can`t stop there. The president outlined the choice in Cleveland last
Thursday between building our economy from the middle class out, by
investing in things like education and research and development, areas
where Romney would cut, and going back to Romney`s philosophy, just trying
to do this from the top down, assuming that it will trickle down to the
middle class, stripping back oversight from banks and polluters, and
assuming that the market will take care of the rest.

We`ve done that before. It led to the slowest job growth we`ve seen
in half a century.

SCHULTZ: So how do you combat the commercials that are going to be
coming where these Republican governors saying hey, it`s because of us;
it`s not because of President Obama. We could even do better if we didn`t
have President Obama? This is probably going to unfold in each one of
these states where there are good numbers, which is going to force the
campaign to react in what way?

LABOLT: Governor Walker just spent 31 million dollars on the air in
Wisconsin talking about the revival of the economy in that state,
specifically in areas like manufacturing, which had been in decline since
1997, before the president took office. And because of decisions and
investments he made in areas like the auto industry, we`ve seen a
resurgence in that sector.

I don`t think that Governor Scott is going to want to talk about Mitt
Romney`s housing policy in Florida. The state was hit hard by
foreclosures. The president has a refinancing plan that has allowed five
million responsible homeowners to refinance their homes. And Mitt Romney
thinks we should let foreclosures hit the bottom.

So he disagrees with the policies that are helping the economy. In
fact, you had an independent economist a couple of weeks ago say that his
policies could actually lead to another recession.

SCHULTZ: Ben Labolt, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so

Lots more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW. Stay tuned.
We`re right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very clearly they made a crisis, and they`re using
this crisis to somehow take away or limit people`s Second Amendment rights.


SCHULTZ: Up next, the big panel on the big conspiracy theory behind
the Republican Fast and Furious witch-hunt.

Student loan rates double in nine days unless Republicans act.


OBAMA: If Congress does not get this done in a week, the average
student will rack up an additional 1,000 dollars in debt over the coming


SCHULTZ: The president was making his case for action today. That
report ahead.

And it`s the clearest evidence yet, why Obamacare is working and why
Republicans want it dead? Former Congressman Alan Grayson on today`s big
news on the health insurance refund.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Instead of bringing job-
creating legislation to the floor, the Transportation Bill, they are
holding the attorney general of the United States in contempt of Congress.


SCHULTZ: So many facets to this story. No doubt about it. Welcome
back to THE ED SHOW. Republicans have blocked legislation to boost jobs
and allow fair pay for women. But the committee members made sure that
they cast a vote in contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric
Holder. The beat goes on.

Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats call this a witch-hunt and a
distraction. But now we are seeing some Republican elected officials
actually say that the big grand conspiracy here is that it`s all about gun
control in America, which I find interesting. Susan Del Percio, Democratic
strategy -- Republican strategist with us, also Democratic strategist Keith
Boykin and author and attorney Karen Crier.

There`s a lot here, a lot of different facets. I want to talk about
this gun control issue first. Susan, can you defend -- we`ve got some
elected Republican officials saying that the reason why this is happening
is because President Obama wants to take away your firearms in America.
The grand conspiracy.

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: This is already a tough case to
make to the American public, frankly. And there are reasons why the
Republicans should pursue it. Bringing in firearms is a big mistake.
They`re already kind of muddying the waters. I don`t understand why
they`re bringing this in, frankly. I don`t want to defend it, but it just
makes no sense.

They should keep to what they`re doing. The fact is that the attorney
general has withheld information. This has been a long dance between both
of them. They probably could have come to an agreement, but both sides
were trying to win the argument in the press and look good to their own
folks. At the end of the day, just to go back to the question, I can`t
understand why bringing in firearms.

whole gun running, which started -- the investigation started during the
Bush administration in `05-06. But it was strong men are buying a lot of
guns legally. They`re then running them through smugglers. Whether they
are ending up in Mexico in the drug war or they`re ending up in our streets
in crime, all of a sudden the NRA is going, oh, dear, if they start
actually chasing down these straw men sellers, then that could justify more

So that`s what they`re arguing about. But the whole point was, in
fact, people are running guns. They`re buying them, quote, legally as
straw men, shuttling them through illegal transmissions. And they are
committing crimes.


KEITH BOYKIN, CNBC: No one is doing anything about it. That`s the
problem. This is why I think this is a partisan issue. Susan and I had a
conversation about this in the green room. We are actually able to talk to
each other civilly. "The New York Times" had a great editorial about this
today. Why can`t the two sides get together and resolve this? Why did
this have to get to this stage? Why did the Republicans make this a
contempt issue?

SCHULTZ: I`ll tell you why, because there`s a lack of leadership on
Darrell Issa`s part. He is not even bringing in key players to testify in
front of the committee. It`s not a fair investigation.

DEL PERCIO: And if we wanted to talk -- to Catherine`s point, if we
wanted to talk about illegal firearms, that`s one thing. But that`s not
what this whole mess has turned out to be right now. That`s not why the
attorney general is being held in contempt. We have to get to that issue.

SCHULTZ: Why is he being held in contempt?


CRIER: All the complaints about the program, which are justifiable
investigations, he sort of resolved.


DEL PERCIO: They should resolve those further. The family of that
dead agents deserves answers.


CRIER: -- as to whether or not there was any sort of conversation to
cover up the ineptitudes.

BOYKIN: At that point, the program had already been terminated. Why
is it necessary to dig into information about -- if you really want to find
out what`s going on, why did this program happen, let`s look at the
program. We`re doing that. Let`s talk to the people from the ATF. Let`s
talk to the agents. Let`s talk to the past attorney general. They`re not
offering to do that.

SCHULTZ: How unusual is it, Katherine, that the head of a committee
has really banned some people from coming in to talk about this that have

CRIER: It`s relatively unusual. Everybody remember that the death of
the border agent was in December of 2010. The letter from the AG went out
February 4th, going I didn`t really know. And now he backed up and said
I`ve heard the program. I didn`t know.

DEL PERCIO: The truth is if they also didn`t -- weren`t lied to or
misled originally, they wouldn`t have gotten to this situation.


CRIER: -- over Christmas, that is when this consternation -- and the
only thing that`s being debated in the contempt issue is surrounding what
happened creating that February 4th letter, which was less than two months
after the instigating event.

SCHULTZ: Keith, what about that? What about the timing of this? And
of course, Nancy Pelosi says today that she thinks it`s because he has been
doing such a good job on going after the voter purge?

BOYKIN: Yes, this is all about getting Attorney General Eric Holder
and embarrassing Barack Obama, not so much about issue of Fast and Furious,
because if they were interested in that -- Susan has actually agreed and
Katherine has pointed out, they could have done other things to pursue

You had this instance where one these ATF agents actually testified at
this hearing not long ago, a year ago. When you mention the issue of gun
control as something that could be done to sort of stop this sort of cross-
border issue, immediately Congressman Issa shut him down and told him that
was not relevant testimony, and refused to allow him to discuss that.

How do you say you`re concerned about stopping the problems if you`re
not willing to do something about this? Of course this is political. Of
course the timing is skeptical. I think actually -- I think Susan, you may
agree with me. This may backfire against the Republicans.


DEL PERCIO: It is political. And Nancy Pelosi`s comments were highly
political. This probably could have been decided several months ago. So
you can`t blame it all on Issa for the timing of trying to plan it in June.
He`s been asking for this information for a long time. The
administration`s been dancing around it for a long time.

But to go to Keith`s point, could this backfire? I think they`re
winning the headlines now, but this is a slippery road. This is something
that the Republicans have to be very careful about.

SCHULTZ: You think the president knew that there was something
illegal going on here?


SCHULTZ: They were told by the ATF agent --

DEL PERCIO: I don`t think that the president knew at the time that
anything was going on. Frankly, I think it belongs in the Department of
Justice. I think Eric Holder definitely misled people as far as who knew

SCHULTZ: Is Rubio over the top asking for his resignation?


DEL PERCIO: I think so at this point. This is the fundamental
problem that we are having right now in this country. This is the
president`s attorney general. Every president gets to choose their
candidate. You have to lend a certain respect to that, Democrat or
Republican. I think that is stepping over the line.

There is no need at this point to ask for that, except to charge the
political environment.

CRIER: Do you remember when -- in the Bush administration when
Harriet Miers, White House counsel, and Karl Rove -- they were going to be
held in contempt. That was the firing of the nine assistant federal U.S.
attorneys. Now there were findings by the I.G. that, in fact, they were
political firings. The --


CRIER: But, in fact, what happened? It got pushed and pushed. But
then Karl Rove goes and testifies in private. Everything goes away.

BOYKIN: They were able to resolve it.

SCHULTZ: Did the president do the right thing here?

CRIER: Obama in the kinds of withholding? Yeah, I think there are
times -- we talked about this. There are times when executive privileges -

BOYKIN: -- you said here, because they did not withhold all the
documents. They`ve only exerted executive privilege over those documents
that were after February 4th that were related specifically to the Justice
Department`s internal communications. They have nothing to do with the
operation of the program.


CRIER: Remember GAO couldn`t go after Cheney`s conversations about
the Energy Task Force. They said no, those privileged communications are

SCHULTZ: Susan, I want you to get in on what you were going to say.

DEL PERCIO: But the only reason I think this may not backfire on the
Republicans horribly is because with the president invoking executive
privilege, that is a bad PR mistake. It just doesn`t --

BOYKIN: Bush did it six times.

DEL PERCIO: Clinton did it 14 times. And we know presidents have
done it three times and one time. The point is that in this environment,
this is a bad PR move. It looks like the president has something to hide.
Whether he does or doesn`t is irrelevant. But that is the way it looks
right now.

SCHULTZ: OK, Susan Del Percio, Keith Boykin and Katherine Crier,
thanks so much for joining us.

Coming up, federal student loan rates are set to double in just 10
days. And Republicans are wasting their time attacking Eric Holder, just
what we were talking about. We`ll have the latest next. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. It`s summer time, all right,
June coming up on July real soon. You know what? There`s a lot of
families across America that are getting ready to send their sons and
daughters off to college for the first time. And they`re thinking about
OK, how are we going to pay for this. Well, let`s do the loan route, you
know? That`s what everybody else is doing.

So as Republicans prepare to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in
contempt, there are over seven million college students who will see their
student loan rates double if Congress fails to act. So what`s this year`s
class have to look forward to? Higher rates? Republicans could fix this
problem right now, but instead they`re too busy trying to make the
president look really, really bad politically.

President Obama has been warning Congress about this for months on
end. Now, the federal student loan rates are set to double in 10 days. He
explained the consequences earlier today.


OBAMA: If Congress does not get this done in a week, the average
student with federal student loans will rack up an additional 1,000 dollars
in debt over the coming year.


SCHULTZ: Democrats have offered reasonable solutions to fix the
problem. But the only way Republicans will play ball is by attacking
women`s health care.


OBAMA: Over in the House, the Republicans said they`d keep these
rates down only if we agreed to cut things like preventative health care
for women, which obviously wouldn`t fix the problem but would create a new


SCHULTZ: So there you have it. Republicans will keep student loan
rates in place at the coast of breast cancer screenings and immunizations
for women. These are serious issues. Student loan debt is over one
trillion dollars in America. And the average student who takes out loans
graduates 26,000 dollars in debt.

Here`s the president trying to make a little path available and easier
for young people in this country. Republicans are blocking him every step
of the way. So Congress has a critical decision to make. They can either
make it harder for average Americans to afford college or they can make an
investment to help the middle class in the future. You be the judge.

Tonight in our survey I asked, will the Fast and Furious witch-hunt
backfire on Republicans? Ninety three percent of you said yes, seven
percent of you said no.

Coming up, your check is in the mail. Millions of Americans will be
getting a rebate from their health insurance plan, all thanks to Obamacare?
That`s right. Former Congressman Alan Grayson will weigh in. Stay with


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to The Ed Show. We now have the smoking gun
when it comes to health care. That`s right. You want to know the real
reason why the Republicans want to repeal the health care law? So the
insurance companies can keep more of their money. That`s one of the
reasons. That would be more of your money.

Here`s the headlines from today in "the Washington Post." Holy
smokes, look at that, "Health Insurance Plans a 1.1 Billion Dollars in
Rebates." You mean, I am going to be getting a check? Who is getting the
money? You are.

You know, look, the health care law, if it had not been here, this
wouldn`t have happened. You wouldn`t be getting a check. Here`s why. The
law forces insurers to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums you pay on
actual health care. The other 20 percent is for administrative costs and

If insurers didn`t hit that 80 percent mark, then they are required to
send you, your employer a rebate to make up the difference, thanks to
Obamacare. If your employer gets the check, then your employer is required
to pass that rebate on to you or lower your premium. That would be a good
deal. According to the Obama administration -- how many -- 12.8 million
Americans are expected on to get rebates this year. The check`s in the
mail, with an average value of 151 dollars per household.

When you get a check in the mail, do you think that`s a good thing?
It`s a real good thing. That money`s going to go a long way to a lot of
families. I`m joined tonight by former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson,
currently a candidate for Congress. Congressman, good to have you with us
tonight. Alan, always good to have you on the program.

What will these rebates mean to millions of Americans? You know, this
is one of the these facets of the health care law that nobody told us we
were going to be getting this money in the mail if this thing goes through.
What do you make of it?

ALAN GRAYSON, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: It`s meant to make health care
affordable for people. And it`s just a down payment on what the bill
actually will provide starting next year, which is to give discounts to
people to make sure that no one spends more than 11 percent of their income
on health insurance. Those are the affordability credits that we`ll start
to see next year.

The Republicans are desperate to cut those off because, frankly, they
understand how much people need them and how much people want them. Once
that kicks in, then everybody will love this bill.

SCHULTZ: Now, it would seem to me that this 80 percent rule that is
in this law is absolutely brilliant. I mean, it is telling the insurance
companies, you got to be right with consumers. Now, the catch in all of
this, if the Supreme Court -- and the ruling could come down next week. If
they overturned the health care law, those checks will not be sent out.
Would it pave a way for the single payer system?

GRAYSON: Well, first of all, in overturning the health care law, they
would be ruling on the single question -- they should be ruling on the
single question of whether the individual mandate is constitutional or not.
The best arguments are that they should leave the rest of the bill alone.
That question of severability is one that`s pretty clear in the law. The
question is can the bill function without the individual mandate? The
answer obviously is yes.

So these payments, the affordability credits that people will start
enjoy next year, all the other elements of the bill, including, by the way,
the elimination of the doughnut hole for seniors, these are things that the
court should not strike down. If they do strike it down, it will be clear
to everybody the court`s become a right wing cabal.

SCHULTZ: Yes, I would say so. Well put. Most Americans want some
kind of health care reform in this country. Seventy seven percent say that
if the law is overturned, they want the president to go right back to work
on new legislations. What do you think Democrats need to do in the
messaging war here? Would this be a time to reload and come back after
universal health care, single payer.

GRAYSON: Well, the important thing is to make sure that health care
in America is affordable and that it`s universal. It doesn`t matter that
much the way that we approach those goals or the way to reach those goals.
The fact is the Democratic party is the only party in this country that`s
even taking a stab at doing those things. The Republicans obviously
couldn`t care less about affordability. They couldn`t care less about
universal health care. Their health care plan is don`t get sick.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Alan Grayson, good to have you with us tonight.
Good luck on the campaign. Appreciate your time.

GRAYSON: Thank you.

SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. I`m a little early. It`s -
- maybe because it`s just one day closer to the weekend. I don`t know.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Not that you`re leaning forward into
that or anything, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It`s 100 degrees outside.

MADDOW: I know. Actually, I`m re-rigging my fishing gear because I
have to fish deep because the fish are too hot.

SCHULTZ: There`s a segment for us.

MADDOW: Thanks, Ed. I appreciate it. Thanks to you at home for
joining us this hour. Listen, in 1994, the year I graduated from college
in the great state of California, where I`m from and where I went to
college, the streets of California for a while looked like this all over
the state.


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