IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Ed Show for Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

January 29, 2013

Guests: Bob Shrum, Betty Jones, Derrick Johnson, Joan Walsh

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

Republicans want immigration reform, but for only one reason, to
protect their political hides.

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


finally at a moment when immigration reform is in our grasp.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The president is pushing for citizenship for 11
million undocumented immigrants as forces on the right line up to stop him.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: Obama is seeking political victory.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Karen Finney and E.J. Dionne on the president`s
historic proposal and the Republican pushback.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Just remind everybody, Obama is not
going to be president forever.

SCHULTZ: Hillary Clinton takes a powerful curtain call at Foggy

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It`s really important that women
are out there competing at the highest levels of government and business.

SCHULTZ: I`ll tell you if she dropped any hints about 2016.

Plus, the Sandy bill passes in the Senate. But not before 36
Republicans totally disgrace themselves. I`ll introduce you tonight to the
Sandy 36.

And it`s a modern-day civil rights struggle between workers and
management in the state of Mississippi. I`ll tell you why these Nissan
employees say they`re being denied a voice in the workplace.


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

There is more hope tonight for 11 million people who are currently
living in fear.


OBAMA: I`m here today because the time has come for common sense,
comprehensive immigration reform.


The time has come. Now is the time.


SCHULTZ: President Obama went to a Las Vegas high school today to
outline his own immigration reform plan. The cheers from the crowd tell
you a lot. There are places in this country where the threat of
deportation hangs over the heads of many people.


OBAMA: The good news is that for the first time in many years,
Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together.

Members of both parties in both chambers are actively working on a


SCHULTZ: So here we have the president praising the framework
unveiled by eight Democratic and Republican senators. President Obama is
urging using his bully pulpit to make sure there is an urgency to get real
reform done.


OBAMA: The foundation for bipartisan action is already in place. And
if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a
bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away.


SCHULTZ: The details of the president`s own plan for citizenship are
supported by mainstream America.


OBAMA: We have to lay out a path, a process that includes passing a
background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and
then going to the back of the line behind all the folks who are trying to
come here legally. That`s only fair.


SCHULTZ: And I`ll have commentary on that in a moment. I`m not all
on board with it. It sounds good, but the path to earn citizenship has a
lot of supporters in Congress. In fact, it`s the same path outlined by the
group of senators.

President Obama`s plan has a few more specifics. The path to
citizenship is not contingent on meeting security triggers like additional
border security and unmanned drones. It calls for improvements to
immigration courts. And it requires the same visa rights for same-sex
couples as everyone else.

Now, these minor differences cause some grandstanding from Republican
Senator Marco Rubio out of Florida today. Rubio intends to make this issue


RUBIO: If this endeavor becomes a bidding war to see who can come up
with the easiest, quickest, and cheapest pathway to green card possible,
this thing is not going to go well, folks.


SCHULTZ: Of course, there is really only one place for Republicans to
go when they want to make political hay out of an issue.


LIMBAUGH: Obama is seeking political victory. Obama doesn`t care
about enforcing existing law, so people say, why will he enforce anything
that`s new?


SCHULTZ: Once again, Limbaugh is clearly delusional.

One of the reasons we need immigration reform is because there were a
record number of deportations last year. President Obama has presided over
1.5 million deportations in four years. It took W. eight years to deport 2
million people.

But Marco Rubio still went on air with the peddler of lies to kick
Obama on immigration.


RUBIO: Obama is not going to be president forever. As long as the
next four years may seem, he won`t be president forever. We`ll have
another president one day and we have to write laws with that in mind as


SCHULTZ: President Obama agrees with Marco Rubio and other senators
on almost every aspect of immigration reform. But Republicans are not
doing this because they are interested in real reform.

John McCain actually told us the truth. They are doing it so they can
win elections. Meanwhile, our current immigration fiasco takes a
tremendous toll.

Now, listen to some of the callers on my radio show who told me how
the current immigration system is tearing their families apart.


CALLER: I`m a new citizen. I`m married to my wife. She`s from
Nicaragua, for the last 18 years. We have three beautiful children.

I have paid thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees to get
her residency, at least that. And all immigration, all they want to do is
take my wife out of this country, send her to Nicaragua for 18 months to
five years waiting for her papers over there.

Why they want to do that? She don`t have no family over there. She
was brought here when she was a child.

CALLER: I married my wife here in Madison, who is a Philippine
citizen. She was in this country legally under papers, whatever she
needed. We got married. We filed the appropriate papers with the
government, and then her father passed away and we had to go to the
Philippines to attend her father`s funeral.

Unbeknownst to us, you can`t leave while your paperwork is pending.
We`ve been fighting for three years now to get her back in the United
States because she left on a legal -- legal document, you know, and we
can`t get her back into the country.


SCHULTZ: What do you think, folks? We got to fix this?

The debate over immigration in this country should be focused on those
folks, the suffering of the people in the shadows who put up with the
government red tape. It should not be about scoring political points.

I mean, why are we doing this? Are we doing this just because all of
the sudden we want to be nice? Are we doing this because we can help the

Yes. But we`re also doing this because we are a compassionate
country, and we shouldn`t be doing this to people.

And we need to remind ourselves. We`re part of the problem. One of
the reasons why we are where we are with illegal immigration in this
country is because we haven`t defended the border over the decades. We
have allowed corporations to hire illegal workers. And now, it`s just

So why are we doing this now? We`re doing it because it is the right
thing to do for America.

But I see some bureaucratic red tape coming down the pike, and I think
we need to be a little bit concerned about this.

Now, the righties out there are saying well, Obamacare, it`s just too
much government intervention. What about this? Listen to those real folks
calling a talk show, talking about what they`re living with.

First of all, you got to fix the visa backlog. OK? How do you do
that? You get people engaged to do it and you start making phone calls and
you start calling them in. Maybe you can use the DMV.

I mean, this is one of the big problems right here, the backlog. What
that gentleman was talking about off the radio show. And a time frame.

Can we make it reasonable? Do we want to tell these folks, hey, you
got to wait another 12 or 13 years? What?

Some of these folks have been here more than 10 years. Can`t we get
them on the fast track? How much loyalty do they have to show?

What the Republicans are afraid of is that they`ll vote for the
Democrats, so, we got to slow this baby down a little bit.

The other thing is paying fines and back taxes.

All right. Let`s take, for instance, that there is someone out there
who has been in the shadows for maybe 10 years, comes out, identifies
himself, gets a little bit of amnesty -- I know that`s a dirty word. But
all of the sudden, this person who is a low wage worker has to pay fines.
And oh, by the way, you got to pay back taxes on the last nine or 10 years
you`ve been here.

You know what this is? This is shaking down the poor is what it is.

This isn`t about immigration and bringing people into the system.
This is about paying fines and back taxes, and that`s what the righties are
fighting for.

That`s wrong. That is really wrong. And that is overboard.

What we need to be is compassionate. These folks don`t have to pay
fines or shouldn`t have to do back taxes. Bring them into the fold.

Why do you think they`re in America?

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

Tonight`s question: who has a better plan for immigration reform?
Text A for the president, text B for Republicans in Congress, to 622639.
You can go to our blog at We`ll bring you results later on
in the show.

I`m joined tonight by Karen Finney, MSNBC analyst and former
communications director for the DNC. And E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor,
"Washington Post" columnist and author of the book "Our Divided Political
Heart", which is now available in paper book.

Way to roll, E.J. Dionne.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Bless you, Ed. Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: I`m so bothered by this because I really feel like we`re
headed down the road of bureaucratic red tape instead of helping the voices
that you just heard on this program.

E.J., why are we doing this?

DIONNE: I mean, let`s be honest. We`re doing this because Barack
Obama won an election and got overwhelming support from Latinos. And
Republicans looked at the Latino numbers and a lot of them are saying, we
can`t be stuck in this position if we`re to win an election another day.

Now, I do think there are Republicans who have been serious about
this. John McCain is actually one of them with a very brief detour during
the 2008 campaign.

But you`re right. We`re also doing this because this is the right
thing. And it`s one of the things McCain said that day, which is really
powerful, where he said these are folks we have come into our country to do
work for the country, for the rest of us. We have created the conditions
in which they came in here. Shouldn`t they have equal rights to

And I got to say, one of the things that heartens me about the debate
so far is I was worried that we were going to have a big fight over whether
we create a whole class of people who would be resident noncitizens, people
without citizenship rights.


DIONNE: And so far, the Republicans aren`t doing that. And I take
that as a positive sign that we`re going to turn these folks into rights-
bearing Americans.

SCHULTZ: Do we have to grow up as Americans on this issue, Karen? Do
we have to evolve? Maybe that`s the better word.

Amnesty is going to be a part of this. Why are we afraid of that?
Would the Republicans even consider doing this if they couldn`t score
political points?

Your thoughts.

out, I think there are some for whom there is a political reality that has
brought them to the table. And you can tell they`ve done their homework.
I mean, you know, there are now two memos that have gone out from different
groups to Republicans kind of saying, here is how you talk about these
issues, right? You don`t talk about anchor babies and we don`t talk about

And you notice that their language, they`ve got Rubio out there trying
to help garner support from the Tea Party folks. And they`re talking about
tough and fair.

I guess on some level, yes, we have to grow up, Ed. But there is a
part of me that feels like if we end up with good policy in this instance,
and if it meant that people came to the table because of politics, but we
end up with good policy that`s the right thing to do, I think that`s a good

SCHULTZ: That`s a great point. I don`t think it`s good policy to
have someone come forward who has been in this country for 10-plus years
and say they got to wait a long time before they`re an American citizen.

FINNEY: Right.

SCHULTZ: I think the more they get it on the fast track, and the more
humane we are about this, the better country we`re going to be. And I
think that`s what we got to focus on.

FINNEY: I think you`re right about that, Ed. And I hope that when we
talk about -- it`s all still vague. But fixing the broken system -- I
mean, that needs to be part of it. And because this are plenty of people
who have been in this country who have actually also followed the rules
exactly, and are still stuck in this backlog.

So, clearly, there is a very real problem with the backlog. And as
you pointed out, the human toll that that is taking. But, again, my point
is talking about tough and fair means we can get people to the table --


FINNEY: -- to get something to help this situation, I think that`s a
good result.

SCHULTZ: John Boehner reacting to the president`s speech today in Las
Vegas spokesman released a statement saying we hope the president is
careful not to drag the debate to the left.

E.J., what is to the left on this issue? I mean, either you`re going
to do it or not?

DIONNE: Well, you know, the Republicans have been very funny about
this because until now, they have said, well, the president didn`t take
leadership on this issue. He didn`t put out his own proposal.

That wasn`t entirely true, but they were criticizing him for not being
out there. So now the president is out there, and they`re criticizing him
for being out there, and accusing him of dragging the debate to the left.

This is not a left-right issue, in fact. There are a lot of
Republicans, a lot of business people, the honest business people want to
resolve this.

SCHULTZ: I thought -- I thought amnesty meant peace.

FINNEY: It does.

SCHULTZ: I thought amnesty meant can`t we all just get along? I
mean, they`ve been here for a long time. You know, I just -- I also think
that there`s going to be a trust level here involved that if you tell folks
that if they come out of the shadows, but you`d better be giving them
guarantees that they are not going to have any retribution against them

And I think this fine thing and paying back taxes is going to scare a
lot of them, and fear is going to be a factor in all of this.

We can go on forever. Great to have both of you with us tonight,
Karen Finney and E.J. Dionne. Thank you for joining us.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @EdShow, and Facebook. We
always want to know what you think.

President Obama kicks it into high gear. But House John Boehner says
the president needs to what? Get to work? Bob Shrum with the discussion,
joins me next.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: John Kerry is confirmed as the next secretary of state and
Hillary Clinton bids farewell to the State Department. We`ll have the
details on all of that coming up.

And later, Senators Kelly Ayotte and Pat Toomey wanted relief money
for hurricane Sandy victims until they had to vote for it. We`ll look at
more Republican hypocrisy on disaster relief of the past with "Salon`s"
Joan Walsh.

You can listen to my radio show on SiriusXM Radio Channel 127, Monday
through Friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook
and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re coming right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for staying with us

President Obama has not taken a breather since inauguration a week
ago. House of Representatives -- well, they`re on vacation.

And yet here is what the National Republican Congressional Committee
tweeted today. "Sign the petition to tell the president to get to work.
The job isn`t done"?

House Speaker John Boehner retweeted the same message.

It`s time for a brief recap of what President Obama has been doing on
the job. Today, of course, it was the immigration speech in Las Vegas.
And if you look like -- if you look like a man with wind at his back, yes,
I`d say there`s a pretty good reason.

Yesterday, the president and vice president met with law enforcement
around the country in pursuit of common sense gun measures. Let`s get to

And President Obama has named a new chief of staff.

The president has named the team who will do their best to protect
consumers from huge financial institutions.

The week before the inauguration, President Obama unveiled his plan
for gun safety, and he signed executive orders to make it more difficult
for criminals and mentally ill to get guns. Let`s get to work.

President Obama named Chuck Hagel for Defense and John Brennan to the

President Obama had previously named Senator Kerry as the new
secretary of state, which has now been confirmed.

And on the first day of this year, the president and vice president
secured the fiscal cliff deal.

Now, folks, those are just the highlights. But congressional
Republicans think the president should get to work?

Here is what happened in the House of Representatives today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without objection, the House stands adjourned
until Friday, February 1st, 2013.


SCHULTZ: Friday, February 1st?

That`s right. The House, they`re cutting out. They`re going to go
somewhere, I don`t know. They`re not working.

Let`s bring in Bob Shrum, New York University professor of public
policy and contributor of "The Daily Beast".

Bob, good to have you with us tonight. This is --

BOB SHRUM: Glad to be here, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet. This is quite a strategy to jab at the president
like this when they have probably taken more time off than anybody in
America in the month of January. Does this win?

BOB SHRUM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: No, look. It`s a tweet that makes
John Boehner look like a twit. It`s a juvenile move.

But there is a method to it. They got to keep their Tea Party Caucus
happy. They`re losing on issue after issue to the president. So they have
to look like they`re fighting the president.

You were right as you reviewed what went on. I mean, they lost on the
fiscal cliff and the top rate tax increases. They backed down on the debt

If you listen to Paul Ryan on "Meet the Press" last Sunday, it`s clear
they`re not going back there. There`s movement on immigration reform.

You have a bipartisan group of senators. Some of them pretty
conservative, very conservative working on a background check in terms of
gun control.

And Boehner himself may have to bring a number of bills to the floor
of the House where a majority of his caucus is against them. So he has to
sound tough, even if it`s bluster.

He is not the only one, by the way. Marco Rubio, who has moved toward
the president on immigration reform is simultaneously attacking the
president on immigration reform.

SCHULTZ: So it`s easy to say the Republicans are being caught totally
off their game by the pace of the Obama agenda. Fair enough?

SHRUM: I think that`s true. And I think, you know, when the
president gave his inaugural address, there were all these comments about
how far left it was or how out of the mainstream it was. And there have
now been a whole series of polls that confirm that the American people
agree with him on almost every single issue that he raised in that
inaugural address.

You know, nobody has used the word yet, partly because I think Karl
Rove fouled it after 2004 when he proclaimed there was a political
realignment in this country. But I think there has been a political
realignment. It`s an Obama realignment.

And as I`ve heard you say before, I think this is now a center left
country. The president`s right on all these issues. Republicans are kind
of having a nervous breakdown, don`t know what to do about it, so they`re
playing these kinds of games.

SCHULTZ: Well, it is our new theme here on the program. Yes, we do
say let`s get to work. But let`s call it what it is. This is a center
left country. The issues are very progressive that people are polling very
strongly in favor of.

And another theme out of the Republican Party is victimization. I
mean, you`ve got Boehner and you got Ryan and you got Limbaugh -- all seem
to think that President Obama is out to just destroy the GOP. What a weak
presentation of where they are, I would say.

SHRUM: Well, first of all, it would be impossible to victimize Rush
Limbaugh. He is the great -- he is the great guy who is going out after
people all the time. It would be very hard to feel sorry for him.

It`s even hard to feel sorry for Boehner when he cries or when he says
something stupid like the president wants to annihilate the Republican
Party. The president knows he can`t annihilate the Republican Party. He
doesn`t want to do it. He believes in a two-party system.

These guys don`t. But they`re now totally out of step with the
country. They`re melting down because so many of their members are having
trouble coming to terms with the fact that this is becoming a majority
nonwhite America.


SHRUM: You`ve got some sensible Republicans who think they need to
move toward the center. But they`re going to have a very hard time. This
immigration bill, you watch some of the Republican rhetoric from the
opponents that comes out during this fight over immigration reform. It`s
going to alienate Hispanics further.

SCHULTZ: Well, really? You think will do that? I mean, here is what
-- if the president is out to destroy the GOP, why did he give credit to
the eight senators that were on the platform yesterday saying they have
come to a consensus, come to an agreement and they`re trod move forward on

I mean, the president -- he would have been slamming the righties on
that, and he hasn`t. He wants them to get to work. He wants them. And if
he doesn`t do it, he`ll step forward with his plan and demand a vote on it.

I mean, I think this is a great plan for the Republicans to gain favor
with a demographic where they are sorely in trouble.

SHRUM: It is. Except 80 percent or 85 percent of the members of the
House, and the House where the big problem is --


SHRUM: -- eighty-five percent of the members come from very
Republican districts dominated by Tea Party types. They`re afraid to move
toward the center on any of these things because they think they`ll face a

I mean, there is a primary being organized against Mitch McConnell,
the Senate minority leader in Kentucky right now because people think he is
too liberal or too moderate. That`s laughable.


SHRUM: But that`s the dilemma of the Republican Party.

SCHULTZ: And he is not very popular in Kentucky from what I hear as
of late.

Bob Shrum, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, only three Republican senators voted against John Kerry`s
confirmation for secretary of state today. We`ll tell you who they are and
why they should not have voted no. Next.

Then, these workers simply want a chance to tell their story in the
workplace. But tonight, they`re fighting one of the world`s biggest
companies for their basic civil liberties. We`ll explain from Mississippi.

Stay with us. We`re right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ayes are 94. The nays are three. And the
nomination of John Forbes Kerry of Massachusetts to be our new secretary of
state is confirmed.



SCHULTZ: Reporting for duty.

Earlier today, the United States Senate voted overwhelmingly to
confirm Senator John Kerry as our next secretary of state. Only three
Republican senators voted no.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Cruz, no. Mr. Cornyn, no. Mr. Inhofe, no.


SCHULTZ: Those senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, opposed
Kerry`s confirmation, and, of course, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe voted
now. We should point out that Senator Inhofe is terrible at flying
airplanes but great at denying the science of global warming.

There is absolutely no reason these senators should have voted against
John Kerry`s confirmation. He is without a doubt the most qualified person
to be our next secretary of state. John Kerry has served on the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee for, let`s see, 28 years? In the last four as
chairman. He has served four years of the United States Navy, including
active duty in the Vietnam War. He`s run for president, kind of knows what
is happening.

And he also already has traveled the globe on behalf of the Obama
administration, helping mending strained relations with Afghanistan and
Pakistan. During Kerry`s nomination, President Obama called him the
perfect person for the job.


OBAMA: I think it`s fair to say that few individuals know as many
presidents and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policies as firmly as
John Kerry. And this makes him a perfect choice to guide American
diplomacy in the years ahead.


SCHULTZ: Meanwhile, in a shocking move, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson
voted for John Kerry`s confirmation today. See, on Thursday Johnson was
kind of put in his place by Senator Kerry after trying to make a scene over


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: Will you work with me then on an
ongoing basis then, so we can get that behind us, so we can find out what
actually happened and then we can move beyond that. Can you just make that
commitment to me?

KERRY: I think, senator -- in all fairness, I think we do know what
happened. I think that it is very clear. Were you at the briefing with
the tapes?


KERRY: Well, there was a briefing with tapes which we all saw, those
of us who went to it, which made it crystal clear.


SCHULTZ: Well, senator Johnson vote correctly, and let`s hope he has
learned his lesson that it`s good to attend committee meetings. John
Kerry`s first day as secretary of state will be this Friday, February 1st.

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

Workers at a Nissan plant are clashing with management over their
voice in the workplace. Tonight, we`re going to Mississippi for the story
of a modern-day civil rights struggle.

Plus Hillary Clinton drops a few hints about her future in her State
Department farewell. Those comments are ahead.

And 36 senators voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: It would have been an absolute
disgrace for them to change the rules when New York and New Jersey --


SCHULTZ: Coming up, I`ll take the Sandy 36 to task with "Salon`s"
Joan Walsh.


SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight. We often talk about the
middle class on this program. We talk about a rising tide lifts all boats.
I believe in that. I also believe that voices in the workplace lift the
quality of life of workers in this country.

And there is a new civil rights battle in a town where Martin Luther
King first marched almost 50 years ago. Some workers at this Nissan plant
in Canton, Mississippi, they want to vote. They want to organize. Now a
coalition of activist workers, students and clergy members have joined
forces in the community to make sure that thousands of employees get a
chance to be heard.

Now some of the workers say that the supervisors hold anti-union
meetings. The workers just want to hear from the pro-union side, so they
can have a fair vote. That`s all they want to do is vote.

The NAACP has been involved for months on this issue; 70 percent of
the workers at the Canton Plant are African-American. Representative
Bennie Thompson addressed the issue back in June.


REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D), MISSISSIPPI: In America, being able to
decide whether or not you want representation is a fundamental principle of
civil rights, human rights in a democracy.


SCHULTZ: This week, those same civil rights organizers held another
news conference, of all places -- they`re serious. They went all the way
to Detroit, the Detroit Auto Show. That`s where they got up when it got
under way.

Actor Danny Glover spoke. He is actively campaigning for the Nissan
workers` rights. Organizers are planning more news conferences at auto
shows in Chicago, in Atlanta in the next few months. They`re not going to
give up. They`re hoping the attention will simply help the workers in
Canton to get a choice about organizing.

To be fair, not all of the employees want the union. Nissan told us
today that they just think a few employees are pushing for the vote. And
it`s understandably -- a full-time worker at a Nissan assembly plant in
Canton, Mississippi makes about 24.50 an hour. A long-time UAW worker
makes 28 dollars per hour. It`s a good living.

Workers tell us they like their jobs there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a lot of people that want to be here.
And this job, this place can change a lot of lives. And you know, the
pride, it`s in the vehicles themselves.


SCHULTZ: But here is the problem. Workers have the right to
organize. It`s the law. And Nissan has a reputation for beating back the
unions. This summer, Nissan`s CEO promised not to pressure the employees.
He told "Reuters" we will naturally remain very neutral on this.

But that same CEO reportedly made a big screen anti-union speech to
workers in Smyrna, Mississippi, back in 2001. He told them the union might
make this plant be not competitive and possibly shut down. Shortly after
that speech, Smyrna workers rejected the UAW by about 1,600 votes.

Workers in Canton say they feel threatened and intimidated if they
talk about organizing. So we asked Nissan here on THE ED SHOW about those
claims today. David Reuter told us, "we treat our employees with respect
and routinely engage in an open dialogue on topics that impact our

But in the same conversation, Reuter also made this statement: "if
you`re pro-union, you`re anti-Nissan."

I`m joined tonight by two people who say they`re not anti-Nissan,
Betty Jones, a Nissan employee, and Derrick Johnson, president of the
Mississippi State NAACP. And you can see workers behind them this evening
from Mississippi joining us here on THE ED SHOW.

Great to have both of you with us. This has been going on for a long
time. Betty, you have worked at Nissan for 10 years. Why do you want to
organize? What is this about?

BETTY JONES, NISSAN EMPLOYEE: It was about us having a voice. It`s
about us coming together in unity with Nissan. We`re not here to bash
Nissan. We`re here to join in unity with them, and to let them know that
we do have a voice, and we have ideas to make this company a better

And we just feel like with these anti-union meetings that we are being
threatened, people on the job want to have a voice and want to organize,
but they feel like that -- if they do organize, they`re going to lose their
overtime. They`re going -- pay going to drop. And they want to, but just
fear for their jobs.

And I don`t think that we should work in our jobs with fear. We
should go there, due process at the process, do the job to the best of our
abilities -- to our abilities. And we will produce quality vehicles for
our customers.

SCHULTZ: OK. Derrick Johnson, why is this a civil rights issue? You
have stated that before. Why is it that way, in your opinion?

DERRICK JOHNSON, MISSISSIPPI NAACP: Well, worker rights have always
been a civil rights issues. The struggle we had to abolish slavery was
about worker rights. The struggles in the `60s was about the right of
workers being able to organize. In fact, Dr. King was assassinated as he
was organizing workers in Memphis who wanted the right to have a voice as
sanitation workers.

So we see worker rights on the same playing field as voting rights,
civil rights. It is about human dignity. And workers at Nissan should
know when they go to work on a Monday morning, they should be able to
predict whether or not they go to work three hours that day or 12 hours
that day, whether or not they`re going to work seven days a week or five
days a week.

How can workers be expected to raise a family, have a quality of life,
if a company like Nissan don`t respect them as human beings?

SCHULTZ: Betty, are there health and safety issues on the job, in
your opinion?

JONES: Yes, it is. I mean, it`s always room for improvement in areas
on our job. I mean, yes, some areas are safe and some areas are not safe.
But the point is that we have a voice. In dealing with safety, pay, how to
do our jobs better. And we feel like our ideas do count. And Nissan makes
us feel that they don`t.

So we want to organize to go with them in unity with them, to sit at
the bargaining table, to make things better for us as a whole, us as a
unity, because where there is unity, there is power and there is strength.
And that`s all we want, is for us to be heard. And we do that process each
and every day.

And it`s about -- we drive those vehicles. And we feel like that we
should have the opportunity to sit with department managers and the plant
managers, sit at the table and bargain with them, let them know our ideas
and what is better a way to -- to make the community better. And that`s
all about the community and us as family growing in Mississippi.

And we in Mississippi do have a voice.

SCHULTZ: What are the chances of you getting -- what are the chances,
Betty, of you getting a vote in the workplace?

JONES: I don`t think it`s a chance where Nissan is concerned. But
with us as a union, that want to unionize, I believe it`s a great
opportunity for us. And we will get there.


JONES: Because we will never stop.

SCHULTZ: Derrick, what is the NAACP doing to help these workers?

JOHNSON: Well, we`ve joined with pastors from across the state.
We`ve organized a committee, as we`ve received calls. We`re working with
workers over their concerns. We`re showing the workers that we have
support. We`re gathered here tonight at Tupelo College because we
understand that workers need support. They are an important part of our
community. They are parishioners in our church. They are members of the
NAACP. They are human beings.

And if workers in Brazil can organize, who work for Nissan, if workers
in Japan who are Nissan workers -- if workers in South Africa at their
Nissan plant are organized and able to collectively bargain, why shouldn`t
Mississippi workers be able to organize?


JOHNSON: I think it`s unfair and unfathomable that a company from
outside of the United States come to Mississippi and treat workers as un-
American. It is unfortunate that we can sit here today in the state that
has a long history of exploiting workers for cheap labor to allow an
international company to exploit our workers.

We will not stand for it as clergy. We will not stand for it as
NAACP. And we will stand with the workers.

SCHULTZ: OK. It`s a story to follow. I know that Danny Glover is
involved in this, as far as telling the global story about how other
countries are treating workers. And yet it seems to be getting worse for
workers in this country.

All you want is your voices heard and an opportunity for a vote in the
workplace. It`s a story we`ll follow. Betty Jones and Derrick Johnson and
all the folks down this in Canton, Mississippi, I really appreciate it.
You got one more thing to say, Derrick?

JOHNSON: Ed, I want people to go to, the
committee. We`ve set up a website so you can learn more about what has
taken place. Because workers in Mississippi, they are citizens of this
country. They are humans. And they should be treated as such.

SCHULTZ: OK. Thank you so much. Appreciate your time tonight.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Coming up, Hillary Clinton held her final town hall today,
addressing rumors of a 2016 presidential bid and the future of women in
leadership. I`ll bring you those comments. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And of course we love hearing from our viewers on Facebook
and on Twitter. Many of you are still talking about the "Fox & Friends"
theory that Hillary Clinton may have been pushed when she recently suffered
a concussion.

On Facebook, Renee writes "was she pushed? Gee, I don`t know. Was
there a Republican nearby?"

David Williams says "the more you want Fox News, the less you know."

And Ryan Cooper writes, "Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the GOP
apocalypse. Of course Fox freaked.`

You can go on to our Facebook page right now and join in on the
conversation. And don`t forget to like THE ED SHOW when you`re there. We
appreciate that.

Still to come, 36 senators voted no on Sandy relief. I`ll ask
"Salon`s" Joan Walsh why disaster relief is becoming such a political
football in this country. A big political pond, we`re right back.


SCHULTZ: And we are back. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted
her 59th town hall this morning, giving people around the world an
opportunity to ask questions before her last day as secretary of state on
Friday. One question Secretary Clinton wasn`t quite ready to answer, will
she run for president in 2016.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I am not thinking about anything
like that right now. I am looking forward to finishing up my tenure as
secretary of state, and then catching up on about 20 years of sleep


SCHULTZ: While Secretary Clinton downplayed talk of another
presidential bid, she used the moment to stress how important it is for
women to compete at the highest level.


CLINTON: I do want to see more women compete for the highest
positions in their countries. And I will do what I can, whether or not it
is up to me to make a decision on my own future -- I right now am not
inclined to do that. But I will do everything I can to make sure that
women compete at the highest levels, not only in the United States, but
around the world.

Women are subjecting themselves to the political process, which is
never easy anywhere. And I want to see more of that. You have to have a
thick skin, I will tell you that. But it`s really important that women are
out there competing at the highest levels of government and business.


SCHULTZ: After Republicans` well documented war on women, we need
more leaders like Hillary Clinton challenging women to stay engaged in the
political process. It takes a lot of guts, and she`s got it.

And whatever the future holds for Secretary Clinton, her continued
success and the record number of women elected to Congress in 2012 should
serve as a real inspiration.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you who has a better plan for
immigration reform. Ninety seven percent of you say President Obama; three
percent of you say the Republicans in Congress.

Coming up, Republicans politicized disaster relief once again. Joan
Walsh visits with me about the hypocrisy on the right. That`s next.


SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, you know, when disaster
strikes, we count on our elected officials to get us help so we can get
back on our feet. As Americans, that`s what we do. In the past, providing
federal relief for victims of a natural disaster didn`t cause any
controversy whatsoever. It was just something that we did as a country, we
did to help our fellow Americans. It was routine.

It`s something Senator Roy Blunt talked about after the deadliest
tornado in over 60 years struck the town of Joplin, Missouri, his home
state of Missouri.


SEN. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: Well, you know, Abraham Lincoln, when
he described this new political party that he was part of, said that this
was a party that believed that people should -- that government should do
for people what people cannot do for themselves. And that involves things
like defending the country.

But it also involves things like responding to a disaster.


SCHULTZ: Yet, three months after one of the biggest storms ever to
hit the United States, the Republican party is now playing politics with
disaster aid. And this latest Senate vote pretty much proves it, folks.

Yesterday, the Senate approved just over 50 billion dollars in
disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. It was the second part of a
larger disaster relief package. And the measure passed, 62 to 36. Should
we point out that all 36 no votes came from Republicans?

Republicans Roy Blunt, the guy that you just heard from, the same guy
that demanded the federal government reimburse 100 percent of the costs for
the Joplin disaster. Republicans say it`s all about offsets. Here is
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, another no vote, explaining the
Republican logic.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: At some point, we need to start
making choices around here. At some point, we can`t just have everything.
That`s how you get trillion dollar deficits. That`s how you end up like


SCHULTZ: Well, Toomey lobbied for Hurricane Sandy relief money from
FEMA for his constituents before the storm made landfall. Senator Kelly
Ayotte and all of New Hampshire, another no vote. She appealed for Sandy
relief funds for her state.

John Boozman of Arkansas requested federal disaster money for storm
damage in his state just four days before he voted no on Sandy relief. And
the hypocrisy continues from there. As Think Progress reports, at least 31
of the Republican no votes previously supported emergency aid efforts in
their own states, including senators from coastal states like Florida --
have they ever had a hurricane -- Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and the

Let`s bring in Joan Walsh, editor at large for "Salon," and author of
"What`s The Matter With White People?"

Great to have you with us tonight, Joan.


SCHULTZ: This -- considering the tradition of Americans helping
Americans, this is certainly out of step with what we normally do. But 80
percent of Senate Republicans voted no on disaster relief. I mean, are
they just being Republicans? Or is this the new way we`re going to handle
natural disasters?

WALSH: It`s a whole new brand of Republicanism, as Roy Blunt himself
made clear. You know, he quoted Abraham Lincoln, that fine Republican.
And he said it himself at a time that he was seeking funds for his own
state. We do the things for one another that we cannot do alone. That`s a
basic principle, a bipartisan principle of government.

There is probably no better example, except maybe defense, than
disaster relief. And so, you know, you did a great job just laying out
those amazing hypocrites. I mean, also Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell and his friend Rand Paul, they also sought disaster funding for
tornadoes in Kentucky, but again voted against this.

Thirty one of 36 had gone to bat for their own states. They believed
in it when it happened to them. It`s really a measure of exactly what has
gone wrong with this party.

SCHULTZ: You know, the Republicans say they want offsets. So let`s
play politics here with them. Should Democrats demand higher taxes on the
wealthy before they agree to giving any disaster relief to a red state? I
mean, if we`re going to be that way about it --

WALSH: Sure. I mean, absolutely. You know -- and I believe we
should have a higher tax base and higher tax rates and close loopholes, so
we can afford to do the things that we desperately need to do. And
disaster relief is one of those things.

SCHULTZ: Think about this, they want to be mean to the people on the
east coast that went through Sandy. So the next time there is a tornado
down in Tennessee, Senator Corker, or Mr. Sessions down in Alabama -- or
pick any senator, Mr. Grassley, maybe there might be a drought in the state
of Iowa some time and he might want some disaster relief --

WALSH: Sure.

SCHULTZ: Maybe we`ll just turn to your residents to make sure that we
raise your taxes, so we can give these offsets, so we can do these disaster
relief. I mean, the fabric of the country is being torn by this leadership
in the Republican party. What is Mitch McConnell thinking?

WALSH: It is.

SCHULTZ: He`s got to be facing a primary. As far as McConnell goes,
will we see the GOP try to repair itself any time soon?

WALSH: You`re right. He is thinking about a primary challenge.
That`s all any of them care about. They also aren`t fond of those two --
those fantastic blue states that were hit by Sandy, which they have plenty
of Republican voters. It is. It`s hypocrisy. And it`s just the new brand
of Republicanism.

And you know, we will not turn around and do the same thing to them,
because that`s not what we`re like. That`s not what Democrats do, like it
or not.

SCHULTZ: So it does fall, Joan, right in line with health care,

WALSH: Yes, it does.

SCHULTZ: If you don`t get insurance, well, too bad.

WALSH: You die.

SCHULTZ: If you`re living somewhere and the weather gets bad and rips
your town apart and takes your home away, well, you were at the wrong place
at the wrong time. I mean, that`s the Republican plan right here. All
about offsets.

WALSH: It`s all about offsets. And it`s all about denigrating the
role of government, and just saying that we`re a people who can`t afford to
do the things that we have always done for one another. And it`s not a
popular point of view.

They lost big-time this last election cycle. They`ll continue to

SCHULTZ: They certainly did. Well, disaster relief in the ag world,
that is very commonplace with this global warming that we`re expecting.

WALSH: Sure.

SCHULTZ: So let`s pay attention to Senator Thune from South Dakota,
Grassley from Iowa, Johannes from Nebraska. We`ll be watching how they do
it in the future. Joan Walsh, great to have you with us tonight.

WALSH: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Thanks so much. That` the ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. Thank you, my friend.

SCHULTZ: You bet.


Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>