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The Ed Show for Thursday,December 6 , 2010

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

December 6, 2012
Guests: Jim Clyburn, Chris Van Hollen, Donna Gentile O`Donnell, Howard
Dean, E.J. Dionne

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

Senator Jim DeMint has met his Waterloo.

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


said, I`m quoting him now, "If we`re able to stop Obama on this, it will be
his Waterloo. It will break him." Think about that.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Jim DeMint is cutting and running. John
Boehner is in a box. Grover Norquist near oblivion. Karl Rove benched on
FOX News.

And the real action of Barack Obama has sent the Republican Party into
total disarray.

OBAMA: That`s what I`m talking about.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Eugene
Robinson on the latest Republican fiasco.

Plus, Congressman Chris Van Hollen on John Boehner`s latest concession
on the fiscal cliff. Michael Eric Dyson and Donna Gentile O`Donnell on the
political fallout.

Howard Dean on Chris Christie`s big decision on the Obamacare

And Apple`s CEO breaks big news to NBC`s Brian Williams.

TIM COOK, APPLE`S CEO: Next year, we will do one of our existing Mac
lines in the United States.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, a story of economic patriotism in an era of Bain
Capital with E.J. Dionne.


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

The reality of the election is starting to set in on members of the
Republican Party.

Another one jumped ship today. Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint of South
Carolina is leaving Capitol Hill to become president of the conservative
think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

Don`t cry for DeMint. The out-going president of the Heritage
Foundation made $1.1 million according to 2010 tax filings. DeMint will do
just fine.

But it`s not just about the money. The senator realizes he could be
more effective for the conservative movement if he`s not attached to the
dysfunctional party known as the Republican Party.

In a statement, DeMint said, "I`m leaving the Senate now but I`m not
leaving the fight. I`ve decided to join the Heritage Foundation at a time
when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of

He was more to the point on CNN earlier today.


SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This will give me the
opportunity to help take our case to the American people and to translate
our policies into real ideas.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: So you think you could be more influential within
the conservative movement as the leader of the Heritage Foundation as
opposed to a United States senator?

DEMINT: There`s no question about it.


SCHULTZ: In case you need a little refresher course, Jim DeMint has
been one of the most prominent voices of the Tea Party movement over the
last four years. He led the charge to defeat Obamacare.


DEMINT: If we`re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo.
It will break him and we will show that we can, along with the American
people, begin to push those freedom solutions that work in every area of
our society.


SCHULTZ: And DeMint is an outspoken opponent of labor unions and
workers rights.


DEMINT: I don`t believe collective bargaining has any place in

REPORTER: Including at a federal level?

DEMINT: Including at the federal level. That`s what elections are,
collective bargaining.


SCHULTZ: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi pointed out Jim DeMint
was one of the ringleaders in voting down the U.N. treaty for people with
disabilities this week.


saddest days, so anyone who was a party to that -- well, I wish them well
wherever they are going and hope that we can have more of our values
represented there.


SCHULTZ: It was DeMint and his Tea Party allies who pushed the
country to the brink of default back in 2011. This is what DeMint told ABC
News about Republicans who tried to strike a debt deal.


REPORTER: What happens if -- what happens to Republicans who go along
with a debt ceiling increase? If they go along with the debt ceiling
increase without a balanced budget amendment and the kind of stuff you`re
talking about?

DEMINT: I think for the most part they`re gone. It would be the most
toxic vote we could take.


SCHULTZ: DeMint`s far right ideology is a key reason nothing gets
done in this Congress. House Speaker John Boehner is currently being
pressured by DeMint and his followers to refuse any debt deal with tax
increases. DeMint was on Rush Limbaugh`s radio show today with Heritage
President Ed Feulner.

Life isn`t going to get any easier for John Boehner, I can tell you


ED FEULNER, HERITAGE PRESIDENT: Jim is a real man of, real man of
ideas as well as a man of courage in the Senate.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think it`s safe to say
Boehner is not forcing either of you guys out, right?


FEULNER: That`s pretty true.

DEMINT: It might work the other way, Rush.


SCHULTZ: Jim DeMint`s defection is just the latest sign of a
Republican Party simply in shambles. Seems to me there`s a civil war
inside the party of Grover Norquist as well. You`ll notice that only 10
percent of voters agree with his anti-tax policies.

Republican kingmaker Karl Rove is on the outs after his election night
meltdown on FOX News. He`s been kicked off FOX News until further notice.

Tea Party organizer Dick Armey, what happened to him? Well, he has
split from FreedomWorks, the Tea Party group that he actually formed.

He walked with $8 million. Everywhere you look, Republicans are in
disarray. It`s almost like they never planned for a scenario in which
Barack Obama was going to win re-election.

The problems don`t end here. Say what you want about Jim DeMint`s
positions, at least he was the well-connected -- he was the -- well
connected to the Republican establishment. Moderate Republicans believed
DeMint could keep the radicals in line.

The same certainly can`t be said for Tea Party senators Jim DeMint,
than who he leaves behind. DeMint`s political operation spent a lot of
time and money to get young conservatives elected to the Senate. Guys like
Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey and Rand Paul.

Yes, Rand Paul, the man who wants to abolish virtually every
government agency and restore the gold standard. With Jim DeMint gone, I
guess you could look at Rand Paul as the de facto leader of the Tea Party

Establishment Republicans, they ought to be nervous. Senator Lindsey
Graham looked like he was in a state of shock on the Senate floor today.


morning, and I -- to say I was stunned is an understatement. He has always
been a friend. Somebody I could count on. Personally, we`ve really
enjoyed our time together. And I just -- I was stunned this morning.


SCHULTZ: The Tea Party has poisoned, I think, the well of the Senate
and the Republican ideology. The GOP is so far out of the mainstream right
now you can hardly recognize them from 10 years ago. A new Quinnipiac poll
shows Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy 65 percent to 31

Republicans, I think they`re in the wilderness. They face a changing
demographical situation in this country that they don`t know how to deal
with. They`ve not dealt with women`s issues properly and they have ignored
immigration reform.

It`s time for the Republicans to take a page out of THE ED SHOW and
let`s get to work.

I`m joined tonight by Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and
also Eugene Robinson, MSNBC political analyst and associate editor and
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for "Washington Post". But most of all, I
can title them both as two distinguished gentlemen from South Carolina.

Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.

Congressman, you first. Is the Congress --

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you so much.

SCHULTZ: Is the Congress better or worse off with a guy like Jim

CLYBURN: Well, I wouldn`t put it that way, Ed. I think that Jim is a
very principled guy. I never agreed with a single one of his principles,
but he`s a very principled guy. He is doing what he thinks he needs to do
in order to further his cause. He has had some real serious problems with
his relationships in the Senate.

I think all of us who practice politics know that if you`re going to
be successful in any legislative body, you have to develop relationships
with people and people have to feel comfortable knowing that you are going
to be a certain place at a certain time.

I don`t think that anybody in the Senate ever felt comfortable where
Jim DeMint was on any of the issues, and he had a lot of strained
relationships within his own party over there.

So I think he`ll be much more comfortable outside of the body and over
at the Heritage Foundation where he can pontificate, and as we say down
here, he can preach to the choir.

SCHULTZ: Well, he`ll do a pretty good job of that. He has in the
past. Eugene Robinson, this is very unusual that someone would give up a
Senate seat to do something like this. I don`t know if we have ever seen
this before. It`s highly unusual.

What is -- what statement is DeMint making by doing this? That the
conservative party has lost its bearing and he`s got to bring them home?

EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST: Yes. I think that`s exactly the
statement he`s making. I think, look, in the wake of the election, many
Republicans are dawning -- it`s dawning on them that a lot of Republican
policies are just flat-out unpopular. That people don`t like them.

And so as Republicans -- Marco Rubio`s talking about immigration and
he`s one of DeMint acolytes. I mean, other senators are going to start
moving, I think, on some of these issues. And so, rather than kind of be
swamped by -- I don`t know if you can call it a wave -- but whatever the
movement is in the Senate, I think DeMint is going to a perch that he sees
right now more powerful, more influential, where he can have more impact on
the debate.

And I would just add, you know, that I don`t think either Congressman
Clyburn or I is going to be named the interim senator by Governor Haley. I
think we`re both out of the running. I don`t mean to break that news.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think Governor Haley is probably going to take it.
She`s going to probably going to see this as a great opportunity. But
whoever takes it has to go through an election in 2014. They will not
serve out the next four years of Jim DeMint`s term. No question about

You, again, Eugene, does he replace Grover Norquist or does he become,
so to speak, for lack of a better term, hit man number two for the
conservative? If you don`t do it my way, we`re going to get after you.
He`s been known from the primaries.

ROBINSON: Well, you know, he`s kind of been that, right? He`s going
to continue doing that. One of the big questions I have is what this means
for the Heritage Foundation which has been kind of what passes for a
mainstream think tank. Is it still a think tank if Jim DeMint is running
it since we know what he thinks? We know what Heritage is going to come
out with.

I wonder if this doesn`t in some way -- in the medium term, at least -
- sort of marginalize Heritage, perhaps, from the mainstream conservative
debate. We`ll have to see.

SCHULTZ: No doubt. Well, he will certainly make sure that the
opinions and the research that comes out of the Heritage Foundation is a
hell of a lot more to the right than it ever has been.

Congressman, do Democrats benefit from Republicans being fractured?
Or is it going to be harder to get things done?

CLYBURN: Well, it`s a mixed blessing. You know, when you see this
kind of activity going on among your opponents, you do see that as an
opportunity to kind of drive wedges or keep your folks together. But you
could also say you don`t know exactly who to deal with or when to deal with
them when they`re scattered like this.

That`s why I am very hopeful that John Boehner can, in fact, continue
to bring his caucus together. He`s doing a pretty good job for the last
couple of days with his caucus. I hope he continues because I believe in
the two-party system. I do believe that we ought to have good, productive

But in the final analysis, you have to know who you`re debating with
and you don`t want to debate with somebody who is spending more time
debating within his or her own party. So that`s a real big problem.

But let me say this about Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation. I
really do question whether or not Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation
make for a good fit, because I actually agree with what Eugene just said.
This has been a think tank where people develop policies and lay them out
for people to run on.

But when you start trying to sponsor people in primaries, like Jim
DeMint has done, I would hope that`s not what`s going it happen to the
Heritage Foundation.

SCHULTZ: OK. Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Eugene
Robinson of "Washington Post" -- great to have both of you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.

Coming up, Mitch McConnell made history in the Senate today. He
called for a vote on his debt limit bill. Democrats called his bluff and
then believe it or not, McConnell filibustered his own bill. Congressman
Chris Van Hollen joins me on all of the latest fiasco surrounding the
fiscal cliff.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: President Obama is taking his fiscal cliff plan to the
people. Will Republicans buckle under public pressure? MSNBC`s political
analyst Michael Eric Dyson and Democratic strategist Donna Gentile
O`Donnell will weigh in on that tonight.

And the CEO of Apple makes a big announcement about the future of the
company`s products. E.J. Dionne on the political impact of that later.

We`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama has put House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans in
a box on fiscal cliff negotiations. And the evidence is mounting.
President Obama stayed on offense today, visiting the Santana family in
northern Virginia whose taxes will go up more than $4,000 in 2013 if middle
class tax cuts aren`t extended.


OBAMA: I`m encouraged to see that there`s been some discussion on the
part of Republicans acknowledging the need for additional revenue. As I`ve
indicated, the only way to get the kind of revenue for a balanced deficit
reduction plan is to make sure that we`re also modestly increasing rates
for people who can afford it. Folks like me.

Just to be clear, I`m not going to sign any package that somehow
prevents the top rate from going up for folks at the top 2 percent.


SCHULTZ: The concerted effort from the White House is very clear.
Here`s White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What will produce a deal is
an acknowledgement by Republicans, Republican leaders, that rates on the
top 2 percent, the wealthiest Americans, have to rise. There is no deal
without that acknowledgement, and without a concrete, mathematically sound


SCHULTZ: But Speaker Boehner still insists he can get the revenue
without raising rates?


we`re putting on the table are going to come from guess who? The rich.
There are ways to limit deductions, close loopholes, and have the same
people pay more of their money to the federal government without raising
tax rates, which we believe will harm our economy.


SCHULTZ: Some conservatives just can`t stand hearing Speaker Boehner
admit the rich will pay more in taxes, but other Republicans want Boehner
to concede a rate hike before it`s too late.

Congressman Steven LaTourette told "The Washington Post", "I and some
others are advocating giving the president what he wants as part of the
package that includes entitlement cuts and reduces the debt by $4 trillion
to $5 trillion. Quite frankly, some people in this 2 percent who call me,
they`re more worried about the fiscal cliff than they are about rates going
up a couple of points."

Congressman Thomas Rooney of Florida said, "If there are truly real
entitlement reforms that are going to be preserve Social Security and
Medicare for generations to come, it`s going to be very difficult for me to
oppose higher rates for the rich."

President Obama and Speaker Boehner spoke by phone yesterday for the
first time in a week. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney -- I find
very interesting -- refused to characterize the conversation.

Let`s bring in Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland with us

Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Ed, always good to when with

SCHULTZ: You bet.

Are Democrats united on this rate issue? We keep hearing it. Now
that Boehner is starting to move a little bit and say that the money is
going to come from the wealthy, yet he hasn`t identified these deductions,
where do Democrats stand on rates? Is that the bottom line? The rates
have to go up?

VAN HOLLEN: The rates have to two up, Ed. It`s a matter of simple
math, as the president has said, which is why in the House of
Representatives, the Democrats filed what`s called a discharge petition
that would require the speaker to bring to the floor of the House the
Senate bill, the Senate Democratic bill that immediately would extend tax
relief to all middle income taxpayers and would ask higher income folks to
pay more.

If we can get about 26 Republicans to put their signature on what many
of them are saying they think we should do now, we could get that vote up
right away.

SCHULTZ: Well, you got 178 on the petition, correct?

VAN HOLLEN: That`s right. We have 178 Democrats. I`m sure we`ll
continue to get Democrats to sign. And so we just need to get to the magic
number of 218.

So if we get a little help from our Republican colleagues, they would
be telling the middle class that middle class folks are going to get the
tax relief, 98 percent of the Americans. In fact, as you know, 100 percent
of American families will get tax relief on their first $250,000 in income.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Why does -- OK. Let`s say Boehner does give up on the
rates on the top 2 percent. What are you willing to give up? Where do you
think the Democrats will go?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, first of all, it`s also the overall number the
president`s called for. What the president has said is we need $1.6
trillion as part of an overall deficit reduction plan because if you don`t
get those additional revenues, but you also try to reduce the deficit, you
end up whacking everybody else much harder.

And so it`s really important to have that revenue number as high as


VAN HOLLEN: Look, the president`s already been clear, Ed, on cuts.
He will continue to implement over the next 10 years over $1 trillion in
cuts that he agreed to as part of the Budget Control Act, 100 percent cuts
and at the time he said we got to come back and do revenue.


VAN HOLLEN: He`s also called for over a half trillion dollars in
additional cuts and he`s laid out exactly what those would be.

SCHULTZ: Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dared
Democrats to vote on his debt ceiling bill. He put it out there. Majority
Leader Harry Reid called him on it, called his bluff. Then, McConnell
filibustered his own bill.

Here`s Senator Dick Durbin.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: So this may be a moment in Senate
history when a senator made a proposal and when given an opportunity for a
vote on that proposal filibustered his own proposal. I think we have now
reached a new spot in the history of the Senate we`ve never seen before.


SCHULTZ: Congressman, proof positive they are winging it.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, look, the Senate and House Republicans are just
tying themselves up in all sorts of knots. This is the latest evidence of

This is known now as the McConnell rule. And now he wants to distance
himself and disassociate himself with it. You know, his name is attached
to it. He thought of this idea.

And what the president has said is, you know, it was a good idea then,
Senator McConnell, let`s continue to live with it, let`s extend it.

And as you know, all we`re doing with the debt ceiling is saying that
the United States will pay the obligations that the Congress has already
voted on.


VAN HOLLEN: So you can`t wake up in the morning and say you`re not
going to pay your mortgage. The United States can`t wake up in the morning
and say, we`re not going to pay the debts that we`ve already incurred and
Congresses have already voted for.

SCHULTZ: And what else do the Republicans want? You have the
Democrats willing to go with 98 percent of Bush tax policy and they`re
still not happy.

Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Chris Van Hollen, here

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: The president asks the American people to keep the pressure
on Congress. Will Republicans cave?

Donna Gentile O`Donnell and Michael Eric Dyson join us for the

And Chris Christie becomes the latest Republican governor to reject a
state-run health insurance exchange. He`s leaving it up to the feds.
Former Governor Howard Dean will weigh in.

Stay tuned.



OBAMA: If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see
their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. I`m assuming that
doesn`t sound too good to you. That`s sort of like the lump of coal you
get for Christmas. That`s a scrooge Christmas.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

President Obama will hit the road again Monday, bringing his message
to the people of Detroit. The president has asked the American people to
put pressure on Congress to accept a deal in fiscal cliff negotiations.
The White House is pulling out all stops and cranking up the social media

President Obama has been encouraging supporters to tweet with the
#my2k, explaining what a $2,000 tax increase would mean for them and their
families. The White House reports the hashtag has appeared in over 275,000
tweets with Twitter seeing more than 18,000 tweets per hour add its peak.

The road show coupled with the social media campaign is unprecedented.
This is the kind of effort that helped President Obama win a second term.
Now, we`ll see if his grassroots army can convince Republicans to do what`s
right by the American people.

I`m joined tonight by Democratic strategist Donna Gentile O`Donnell
and MSNBC political analyst and Georgetown University professor, Michael
Eric Dyson.

Great to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: I just want to go right to this poll. This Quinnipiac poll
was released today, and it shows the majority of the American people want
tax rates to go up for the top 2 percent.

Donna, what about this? I mean, I don`t think we can find a poll out
there anywhere that supports John Boehner and his position. Why won`t he

would like to. I think he`d like to do a deal. I think Alan Simpson
characterized it best when he talked about the dynamic in the Republican
caucus. Boehner is trying to lead and standing right behind him is Eric
Cantor. And these were Simpson`s words, holding a shiv, checking out that

So I think the disconnects in the caucus are reflected by a kind of
political opportunism that is presenting itself in a way that`s very
detrimental to really achieving that kind of deal.

SCHULTZ: So if that`s all correct, then the question is, will John
Boehner put himself behind what`s good for the country or put himself ahead
of the country?

O`DONNELL: I`m hoping it`s for the good of the country. I still want
to be an optimist in America.

SCHULTZ: Well, President Obama is very firm, Michael, professor, on
the rates. Is he going to get it?

DYSON: I think so. Look, the best thing that happened to John
Boehner was Obama`s victory, because it was able to -- he was able to purge
the kind of Tea Partyism to the right of him, to shore up his own
interests. And look, I think as Donna has indicated, with all optimism
here, John Boehner wants to get it done because he`s a work a day kind of
political activist.

He wants to make sure stuff gets done. He wants to leave a legacy.
He knows he can`t do that if he`s opposed to what most Americans want to do
right now, which is keep the rates going up for those who are at the top.
Why can`t the rich pay their fair share? And I think the Republicans have
seen the handwriting on the wall.

SCHULTZ: Sixty five percent of the people support the president when
it comes to higher rates. Donna, who has the next move?

O`DONNELL: I think that the House caucus has got to permit Boehner to
put the cards on the table. The president has been abundantly clear. He`s
available to be in a compromise -- to compromise, but what he`s not going
to do is lay those cards out first.

So the Republican caucus is going to have to settle themselves with
the idea they lost this election. They lost this debate.

SCHULTZ: They can`t seem to come to grips with that.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know, this is, you know -- Barbara Bush said it
best. Move on.

SCHULTZ: Well, what should, if anything, the Democrats put on the
table, Michael?

DYSON: Well, look, certainly not the entitlements, so-called, that
the Republicans want to pare back. We know that a family of four making
24,000 dollars can barely make it above the poverty level. Why throw Food
Stamps in there? Why talk about Social Security and talk about the so-
called other entitlements that have really provided the margin of survival
for those who are the poorest?

The rich have got to learn to pay their fair share. And I think that
President Obama understands the wind is beneath his wings and the people of
America are behind his back. And he`s got to play his card. He`s got to
stand strong and he`s got to stand tough.

He can do some procedural stuff, but nothing substantive when it comes
to those entitlements.

SCHULTZ: Do you think social media is having an impact?

DYSON: Big time. I mean they`re brilliantly using the Internet. I
mean, they`re catching up with rappers and reality stars. So they
understand that if you deploy your interests on the Internet, Twitter,
Instagram and the like, Facebook, you can have a huge impact.

If Syria -- if it happened in the Arab Spring, it can certainly
defrost the American winter.

SCHULTZ: Donna, this is where the Republicans are really inept. They
have no kind of social networking ground game. They have no poll that
supports what they want to do. Even the CEOs and the Business Round Table
yesterday were telling the president, you know, we got this thing about

So it must come down to Boehner`s future. Do you see more and more
Republicans starting to peel off in the House? Will this pressure mount?

O`DONNELL: Absolutely. I think -- I think we`re seeing an awful lot
of Republicans already folding privately. And I think that that`s being
reflected in the larger debate. I think we`re going to see more of that.
I mean, I`m very struck by -- the day after we had the sacred cows of the
Republican party -- I mean, there was a barbecue of the sacred cows.

It was amazing. Grover Norquist, persona non grata. Karl Rove,
completely unwelcomed in many corners in which he was star in the sun king.
So I think that as people are feeling that, you`re sensing that they really
need to rethink, in both short term and long term, what kind of a
Republican party can they be?

SCHULTZ: OK. Donna Gentile O`Donnell and also Michael Eric Dyson.
Professor, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW.
Stay tuned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not going to implement Obamacare in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to continue to push back on
Washington, D.C.


SCHULTZ: Add New Jersey and South Dakota to the list of states where
Republican governors are still fighting Obamacare. I`ll ask Howard Dean
what this means for the people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you are, but what am I?


SCHULTZ: America`s zaniest congressman takes a stand on a cause close
to his heart.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shouldn`t eliminate the word lunatic. It
really has application around this town.


SCHULTZ: And Apple`s CEO breaks big news to Brian Williams on "Rock


TIMOTHY COOK, APPLE CEO: We`ve been working for years on doing more
and more in the United States. Next year, we will do one of our existing
Mac lines in the United States.


SCHULTZ: Tonight, the story behind Apple`s economic patriotism in an
era of Bain Capital, with E.J. Dionne.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Republicans are continuing their fight against the Affordable Care Act,
Obamacare. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey became the latest
Republican governor to reject the creation of a state-run health care
exchange today.

Christie vetoed a bill that would have started the process. Instead,
leaving the implementation up to the federal government. Christie says the
federal government failed to provide the answers he needed to make a
fiscally sound decision.

The move came after Christie met with the president at the White House
to discuss federal disaster relief. The State Health Insurance Exchange is
a key component to the Obamacare. It allows millions of middle class
households as well as small businesses to shop for private insurance.

States must decide by next Friday if they want to set up their own
exchange. They will -- they were allowed more time to mull over the
decision after many Republican governors delayed action, perhaps expecting
a different outcome to the presidential election.

New Jersey is just the latest state with a Republican governor to opt
for the federal government to step in and create the exchange.

Let`s turn to former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and former chairman
of the DNC and contributor to cNBC.

Governor Dean, good to have you with us tonight. I think you know
this whole story well. These Republican governors want these exchanges
simply to fail. But is it actually, in a way, better to have the federal
government step in and get that infrastructure, if we want to expand it
down the road someday? How do you see it?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: Well, that`s the interesting
thing. The Republicans, at this point, are cutting off their nose to spite
their face, which is not something they are unfamiliar with. Yeah, a
national exchange, which is essentially what the Republicans are voting
with their feet to do, there`s going to be an exchange in about 25 states,
a federal exchange.

And I think the introduction of the exchange is going to be somewhat
bumpy. But the fact is after it gets set up, then we`re going to have a
universal national health insurance system, which I don`t think the
Republicans like, but it`s probably in the best interest of the United

So once again, they`re doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

SCHULTZ: There`s a lot of conversations about resources to set up
these federal exchanges in these states, that there`s no budget for it. Or
am I wrong on that? And will the Appropriations Committee obviously have a
lot to do with this, because Republicans say they want to defund it? How
is this going to work out?

DEAN: There is a budget for it. Whether it`s adequate or not, who
knows. But the federal government has already committed money to the
states that are going to run their own exchanges. So I`m assuming there`s
enough money to set up their -- the federal exchanges.

Again, this is a system -- I mean, as far as I can tell, this just
puts us further along the path of a universal, federally run health care
system, which the Republicans claim they don`t want. They`re also
rejecting Medicaid money, which is completely insane. They`re going to
bankrupt their hospital systems.

I think most of them will see the light of day and see the light of
reason and take back that stance. But some of them will go right into
driving their hospitals into bankruptcy.

It`s amazing to me to see a party of people who put ideology ahead of
practicality, especially at the gubernatorial level. Governors don`t
usually do that. But they got some that do now.

SCHULTZ: Well, they certainly do. Why do you think they`re doing it?
Is it because they don`t want to see President Obama succeed? Is it a
sellout to the private sector? Is it campaign funds? What is it?

DEAN: I think some of them just want to run for president one day. I
mean, there`s no reason I can imagine why you wouldn`t accept Medicare to
100 percent guarantee or even 90 percent. We figured out when I was
running for president, if South Carolina did what Vermont did, which is to
insure every child in the state under the age of 18, they would increase
their entire gross state product by two percent, just because of the
federal money coming into the state.

It`s pretty hard when you`re a governor to say, no, we don`t want
economic growth and, no, we`ll take a two percent haircut on our growth. I
just don`t get it. I don`t get how you can actually get elected governor
without serving the people you -- who elected you.

SCHULTZ: Interesting in South Dakota, the governor has opted for the
federal exchange. He`s also rejected the Medicaid expansion, which you
just mentioned, which would, of course, offer benefits to poor people who
qualify. Here it is.


GOV. DENNIS DAUGAARD (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: I want to stress that these
are able-bodied adults. They`re not disabled. We already cover the
disabled. They`re not children. We already cover children. These are
adults, all of them.


SCHULTZ: These are adults, all of them. As if it`s just they ought
to be able to take care of it themselves.

DEAN: This is a silly thing to say. Not only are they adults,
they`re mostly working adults that can`t afford health insurance. Who are
these people that get elected to these kinds of position? I don`t get it
at all. So that`s going to tell you what`s going to happen in South
Dakota. Right now these hospitals are taking care of a lot of people.

And there`s something called dish money, disproportionate share money.
That money is aimed at helping people who don`t have any health insurance
and don`t get -- can`t pay the bills and are not eligible for Medicaid.
Well, since all these people are now supposedly eligible for Medicaid, the
dish money goes away.

So now all the people of South Carolina -- excuse me, of South Dakota,
are going to pay higher health insurance premiums because their governor
refused to accept Medicaid. Those people are going to get taken care of
anyway that don`t get the Medicaid. And now the citizens of South Dakota
are going to pull out of their pockets extra health insurance premiums to
pay for them.

How is this serving the people of South Dakota?

SCHULTZ: It simply is not. I think there`s probably a lot of
governors that aren`t paying attention to detail. They`re just rejecting
it for the sense of rejecting it.

Howard Dean, great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.

DEAN: Thanks a lot, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, an outspoken Republican congressman is fighting
hard for a word that helps him do his job. We`ll show you who it is, next.
Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And we are back. The congressman who gave us Terror Babies
is standing alone to preserve lunacy. Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert gave
his heartfelt floor speech Wednesday about protecting a word he feels is
very important to doing his job.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: The last vote we took today was to
eliminate the word "lunatic" from our federal law. And I don`t have a
problem with "lunatic" being used in the federal law. And apparently I was
the only one here on the floor that didn`t have a problem with using the
term "lunatic."


SCHULTZ: Louie Gohmert was the only no vote on a bill to strike the
word "lunatic" from federal laws. Gohmert went on to say the word
"lunatic" is needed to describe those who contribute to our national debt.


GOHMERT: We want to eliminate the word "lunatic" from the federal
code? That`s lunacy, to think you can keep spending over a trillion
dollars more than you bring in.


SCHULTZ: He`s the gift that just keeps on giving this holiday season.
He says it`s lunacy to spend more than you bring in. So let`s take a look
at a few of Louie Gohmert`s votes contributing to our debt. He voted to
extend the Bush tax cuts. He voted for the war in Iraq not once, but a
number of times.

He voted for reduced rates on capital gains taxes. He voted to keep
subsidies for oil and gas companies. That`s a big one. But the best part
of Louie Gohmert`s crusade to protect the word "lunatic" is this --


GOHMERT: This administration sent planes and bombs and support to
oust Gadhafi so that al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood could take over

I don`t want to make you sick, but I brought an abortion to show you

And I would just like to conclude with words of my friend, Dick
Morris, who said, I know there`s a disagreement on when life begins in
America, but for heaven`s sake, we ought to agree that life ends when you


SCHULTZ: Now we know why Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas feels so
passionately about protecting the word "lunatic."

Coming up, one of the world`s biggest companies is coming back to
America. They`re not worried about profits. They`re worried about the
American workforce. We`ll explain why, next.


SCHULTZ: And in tonight`s Big Finish, there`s some good news from one
of the biggest companies in the world. Apple says it`s going to start
manufacturing right here in the United States.

Brian Williams sat down for an exclusive interview with Apple`s CEO
Tim Cook. You can see it on NBC`s "Rock Center" at 10:00 p.m. Williams
asked Cook the multibillion dollar question.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Why can`t you be a made-in-America

COOK: You know, this iPhone, as a matter of fact, the engine in here
is made in America. And not only are the engines in here made in America,
but engines are made in America and are exported.

The glass on this phone is made in Kentucky. And so we`ve been
working for years on doing more and more in the United States. Next year,
we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States.


SCHULTZ: Apple won`t say which kind of Mac will be built here. But
the CEO says the investment in the United States production will start next
year. And what Apple says about U.S. workforce really caught our


COOK: It`s not a matter of bringing it back, it`s a matter of
starting it here.


SCHULTZ: Tim Cook says there`s a problem with the American workforce?
There`s a serious labor gap for big manufacturers. Ever since the 1960s,
the service sector has been gaining jobs and manufacturing has dropped.
Eighty six percent of jobs are reportedly in the service industry in our
country now. Only 14 percent are still in manufacturing.

Apple says it needs more skilled American labor. But let`s be honest,
companies like Apple caused the problem in the first place. For decades,
U.S. trade policy has rewarded companies like Bain Capital for gutting the
nation`s manufacturing core.

Republicans have cleared the way for companies to make massive profits
by using cheaper labor in China. China`s also got middle managers to run
the factories. Chinese workers have been trained in skilled positions for
decades. Those same skilled positions have nearly vanished here in the
United States.

And Chinese labor is the reason Apple can afford to train Americans
and pay American low -- pay American wages right now. Look at this,
Apple`s net income: 41.7 billion dollars over the last four quarters. That
ain`t bad.

In fact, that`s almost seven billion dollars more than the next six
companies combined, Microsoft, eBay, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and Amazon.
They can`t keep up.

Cheap Chinese labor helped Apple make almost 50 billion dollars in the
next fiscal quarter, alone. Those profits allow Apple to finally do the
right thing. They`re going to hire more Americans. The CEO says he feels
the company has a responsibility to create jobs. We wish more CEOs would
show that kind of economic patriotism. It`s a heck of a start.

Let`s bring in E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor and "Washington Post"
columnist and author of the book "Our Divided Political Heart." E.J., we
need more stories like this. What kind of skilled labor does Apple need?
What do you think the CEO is talking about? Where are we lacking?

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think that -- first of
all, I think that there is a guardedly good news story going on in
manufacturing right now. Because a lot of companies, they`re not all doing
this for economic patriotism. They`re discovering that having long supply
lines isn`t such a good idea. They`re discovering that there`s a certain
stability about our country that`s good for them.

They`re also discovering that you do better R&D -- Andy Grove made
this point some years ago. Your R&D is better when you have all the
manufacturing together with the research. And I do think that when we talk
about bringing manufacturing home, or getting it started here, it`s not
just about the workers, although that`s enough for me.

My colleagues Martin Bailey and Bruce Catz (ph) of the Brookings
Institution note that while manufacturing is only 12 percent of GDP, it`s
70 percent of the spending on research and development. So this is good
for us.

So I don`t know specifically what he`s talking about, about American
workers. But I know that the president talked a lot about it in the
campaign, about how you can give people even an extra year of training
after high school, can make an enormous difference in their income.

I`m really hoping that the president sort of makes a new prosperity
for the United States a big part of this second term, and tries to bring
together these initiatives to strengthen worker bargaining power on the one
side, higher minimum wage. But also to try to enhance people`s skills so
they can take better jobs.

SCHULTZ: I mean, have they been shamed because they have made so much
money? How could they not bring some of those billions of dollars to the
United States with the economic situation that we`ve got right now, just
over eight percent unemployment? Will it really motivate other companies
to do the same, or is Apple in a class of its own?

DIONNE: Well, there are other companies bringing manufacturing back.
Caterpillar, I believe, is doing it. GE has done some of it, is talking
about doing more of it. And I do think we, as Americans, have talked about
this a lot more publicly, and made an issue of it since the Great
Recession. When you have unemployment at the levels that we have it,
you`re going to have more people demanding that these companies who make a
lot of money here do more of their hiring here.

SCHULTZ: And of course, we should point at one of the filibusters
that the Republicans throughout the last session of Congress was that
dealing with companies being incentivized to bring jobs back to the United
States. But I guess that`s another story.

E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Ezra Klein filling in for Rachel tonight.


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