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The Ed Show for Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

January 9, 2014

Guests: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Keith Ellison, Karen Finney, Jonathan Alter, Laurie Wallach


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I am embarrassed and humiliated. I
am sad today. I`m heartbroken. I`m sick over this. I`ve done some soul-

I would never have come out here, four or five weeks ago and made a joke
about these lane closures. If I had ever had an inkling. I worked the
cones, actually.

I was blindsided. All I know is -- I don`t know.

presidential favorite Chris Christie personally order this traffic hit? I
don`t know.

CHRISTIE: I had no knowledge of this. I had no knowledge.

I did not just fall off the turnip truck, OK?

Mayor Sokoclich was never on my radar screen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re nervous about further retribution.

CHRISTIE: I don`t know this guy. I never saw this as political

STEWART: Have you seen our state flag? There is literally a severed
horse`s head on the state flag.

CHRISTIE: This is not the tone that I`ve set over the last four years.

Your rear end`s going to get thrown in jail, idiot.

How about that as an example? I mean, are you kidding?

I don`t think I`ve gotten to the angry stage, yet.

Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic. On topic.

That`s very, very different than saying that, you know someone`s a bully.
And I don`t hide my emotions from people but I am not a bully.

Guys, we don`t work that way but I`m not finished yet guys.


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks
for watching.

Chris Christie says he`s not a bully. I`ve got a bridge for sale over the
Hudson River. You would take her tonight?

Give me a break. He`s not a bully?

Governor, this isn`t about you. It`s about the people that you
inconvenienced in the possible misuse of power. But after all the
rankering (ph) that has taken place, the bridge is over Bergen County are
the biggest story in America tonight.

But you know what? It`s a big story on the East Coast. No question about
it. But across the country, people only want to know one thing. Is the
guy telling the truth? And critics out there, well, they`re not really
sure. Well, he did a great a job at the press conference.

Why should that shock us? He`s been an attorney his whole professional
career. He`s been a presenter, his whole professional career. He`s a
politician. Of course, he`s going to do a good job at a press conference.
Did he use the teleprompter? Well, I don`t know.

Here`s the bottom line. Is Governor Christie telling the truth about what
unfolded months ago?

Well, we`re going to start with a number tonight. A very important number
and that number is nine. Nine. That`s how many times Governor Chris
Christie has denied that he or his administration had anything to do with
Bridgegate. So in other words, he`s been asked a lot. He even said today
they had briefings, meaning, plural, and his staff did it, meaning, more
than one person told him. "I don`t have anything to do with this thing.
We don`t know what the heck`s going on."

Well, earlier today, Governor Christie from New Jersey changed system. In
an epic, almost two hour press conference, Christie maintained that he had
no knowledge of the political misconduct, the lane closing, and knew
absolutely nothing about it.

What he did, as the governor came out and he totally cleared the beach of
any wrong doing. He left with no sunlight available on this subject. And
he apologized for the actions of his staff.


CHRISTIE: I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey.
I apologize to the people of Fort Lee and I apologize to the members of the
state legislature.

I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my


SCHULTZ: Apologize, apologize, apologize. Now, just for the record,
Conservatives normally don`t accept apologies.

Today, Christie fired the aid allegedly responsible for all of these,
Bridget Anne Kelly who is responsible for the lane closures.

In the press conference, Christie said, now get this, Christie said that he
didn`t even talked to Kelly before firing her.


CHRISTIE: I have not had any conversation with Bridget Kelly since the e-
mail came out. And so she was not given the opportunity to explain to me
why she lied because it was so obvious that she had. And I`m quite
frankly, not interested in the explanation at the moment.


SCHULTZ: Not interested in the explanation but he`s not a bully. And by
the way, his staff is so close-knit. Think about that.

Governor Christie, with all of this being in the media for so many months,
so much speculations, so much accusation out there, and not for a moment
when he was terminating Bridget Kelly, did he have any curiosity,
whatsoever as to why she would do something like this.

Folks, I don`t think he wanted that conversation. There`s more to the
story, I believe.

The governor went on to say that his staff is tight-knit. Really? So
tight that he won`t even talk to somebody he`s going to terminate because
of an e-mail?

Governor, how do you know she wrote that e-mail?

Not to defend Bridget Kelly, but you never know. People get into people`s
e-mails and start writing stuff. Who knows? But he didn`t want to talk to
her. He`s not a bully, but he is broken hearted for their actions.


CHRISTIE: Ever since the time I was U.S. attorney, I`ve engendered the
sense and feeling among people closest to me that we`re a family and we
work together and we tell each other the truth. We support each other when
we need to be supported and we admonish each other when we need to be
admonished. I am heartbroken that someone who I permitted to be in that
circle of trust for the last five years betrayed my trust.


SCHULTZ: Wow. Let`s see. We`ve got family. We`ve got loyalty. We`ve
got circle of trust. But the person who`s at the center of all of these,
all it takes is an e-mail to get fired. Not even a conversation, not even
-- "Bridget, I`m the governor. Why did you do this to me? I`ve been out
there nine times telling people that we`ve had nothing to do with this."

No. I don`t want to talk to Bridget. I can`t do that.

It could be some legal stuff down the road.

Bridget, I`m Ed Schultz. I do the Ed Show at MSNBC. I`d love to talk to
you because you`re the one that can save your career right now because the
Governor of New Jersey, pretty much, trashed you for a long time today
saying, "You`re a liar." He used the word lie, misled.

Yesterday, it was misled. Today, it was lie. I guess over 90 saw the
light. Bridget, you need to speak up. That`s what I believe and I think a
lot of people want to hear what you have to say.

Let`s hope the family never makes it to the White House.

Chris Christie also admitted that the bucks stops with him and he is very
sad, very sad about the whole ordeal.


CHRISTIE: I am responsible for what happened. I am sad to report to the
people of the New Jersey that we fell short. We fell short of the
expectations that we`ve created over the last four years for the type of
excellence in government that they should expect from this office.


SCHULTZ: I mean, it`s just an outpouring of "I`m sorry." I want to know
why the conservatives would accept this apology and maybe not accept

Christie said he was disturbed by the tone, get that, he`s disturbed by the
tone of the linked e-mails.


CHRISTIE: I was disturbed by the tone, and behavior, and attitude of
callous indifference that was displayed in the e-mails by my former
campaign manager, Bill Stepien.


SCHULTZ: Holy smokes. The tone. Chris Christie just said that he is
concerned about tone.

Well, that`s a new one for us here at the Ed Show, folks. Let us take a
look at some of the tone and the leaked correspondence e-mails.

When the Mayor of Fort Lee expressed concern about children being able to
make it to school, an unidentified person said, "Is it wrong that I`m
smiling?" And someone else chimed in. They are the children of Buono

And at one e-mail, Bill Stepien called the mayor an idiot.

Now, what in the world did the Mayor Fort Lee do to say -- to make one of
the associates of the governor think that he is an idiot because Christie
said today, at the press conference that he barely knows the guy.

So how would you know if he`s an idiot or not?

I don`t know. It`s kind of going around.

I`m going to take a wild guess and just assume that these people may have
working around Christie picked up the tone from outbursts like this.


CHRISTIE: You know what? And you know what? And you know what? Let me
tell you -- let me tell you this. You know what? It`s people who raise
their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country.

If what you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time I talk, well
then, I have no interest in answering your question.

Let me tell you something. I can go back and forth to see as much as you

And let me tell you something. After you graduate from law school, you
conduct yourself like that in the court room, your rear end`s going to get
thrown in jail, idiot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christie kills jobs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christie kills jobs.

CHRISTIE: You know, some may go down tonight but it ain`t going to be
jobs, sweetheart.


SCHULTZ: I bet the White House press core would love to have some of that
someday, don`t you think?

We should point out that Christie called someone an idiot in the same word,
Bill Stepien used. It`s the same thing he used.

And so don`t let Christie`s dog and pony show fool you, folks. He did a
great job today it was masterfull, it was text book, it was smooth.

The people of New Jersey, you know, I think they`re tired of being fooled.

Today, Christie appointee David Wildstein who was the head of the Port
Authority in this whole mess during the lane closures pleaded the fifth
during a hearing on the matter.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most recently were you employed?

PROJECTS: On the advice of my council, I respectfully assert my right to
remain silent under the United States in New Jersey Constitutions.


SCHULTZ: Well, Christie said that he was going to have a transparent
administration. I guess that all ended today. Maybe we`ll never found

Let me just say this, full disclosure. I`m not a big fan because the way
he has treated workers. Christie is a school yard bully who belittles
people, who basically don`t agree with them even in public.

Now how does the act behind closed doors when people disagree with him?

More importantly, Chris Christie is a typical Republican as I see it. He`s
given New Jersey`s biggest corporations a tax cut of $1.5 billion. That`s
very Republican.

At the same time he`s hurting New Jersey`s working families by cutting the
Earned Income Tax Credits. That doesn`t help anybody at home, a family of
four. He`s relentlessly attacking New Jersey`s teachers, firing to the
number of 6,000 in the educational system. He`s cut funding for community
colleges, and he`s cut teacher tenure, he hates unions, and he has made a
career out of fighting with the New Jersey Teacher`s Union.

Hell, he`s got quite a ledger, in fact he has cut $7.5 million from Women`s
Health Programs, he`s cut services for New Jersey`s senior citizens by $21

If he makes it to the White House, do you really think he`s going to fight
for the unemployed?

He`s not going to fight for those, folks. He`s not going to fight for the
vote who needs food stamps. He won`t fight for universal healthcare.

And for reasons unknown to the Ed Show, people call Chris Christie
Bipartisan? No. No Don`t let him fool you.

Good show today governor, but you still got a long way to go if you want to
be the governor and the leader in this country of all the people.

Here`s the problem, the New York media just absolutely loves this guy. He
is the Media darling, Christie very rarely turns down an interview unless
of course the Ed Show asked him to come on.

He goes on the late night shows, he yuks it up with everybody. People mop
that stuff up. And this why Christie is dangerous he has got tremendous

Now, am I saying that he`s not telling the truth? No, but I just think
that there`s a heck of a lot more to the story and I find it very, very
interesting that he wouldn`t to talk to somebody he was firing yet they`re
family. That`s what jump out of me today.

And another thing that jump out of me today was an interview that was done
on a radio station in New Jersey. I believe it was 101.5 when he was asked
point blank, "Is everything out there . ", if I`m paraphrasing now, "Is
there anything else are you comfortable that you know everything you need
to know?"

And the governor`s answer was, "I`ve had full briefing by my staff."
Meaning more than one person was in this full briefing. He was so
confident he went out nine times and denied having any knowledge of this

So if it`s a staff meeting, that`s more that one, that means that somebody
else in that room knew that they we`re lying to the Governor. I find that
very intriguing. But this close family just had to do this to the
governor. They`re so close they thought they`d put him in this vulnerable

You now, I have to tell you I really don`t care about Chris Christie`s
political future.

You know what I care about? I care about the education professionals that
he has thrown under the bus. I care about the 1.3 million people who of
course are having their unemployment benefits across this country
discontinued. I care about those folks who would have been helped by
ObamaCare. I care about those folks who really do need the truth.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think, tonight`s
question. Do you believe Chris Christie`s side of the story? Text A for
Yes, text B for No to 67622, you can always go to our Blog at
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Now for more on this, let me bring in Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman
Schultz of Florida who is also the Chair of the Democratic National
Committee. Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.

CONG. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (D) FLORIDA: Great to be with you, Ed, as

SCHULTZ: How big a political moment was today for Chris Christie seeing
the fact that his name has been tossed around as a national candidate, many
people think that he is the reasonable guy in the room with the Republicans
because they`re so radical overall on the Right now. How big was today`s
press conference in your estimation?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well Chris Christie needed to come in today and try to
build some credibility that actually could be believed that he had nothing
to do with this scandal that has engulfed him in his office.

And here is the crux of the matter. Anyone who has ever employed staff and
particularly anyone who employs senior level staff that are a close-knit as
most senior level staff are to the person that they work for. You know,
generally my experience having that type of staff for many, many years is
that your senior staff don`t go rogue.

You don`t have a random rogue senior staff or like Brigitte Kelly just
decide, "Hey, I`m going to shut down four lanes of the George Washington
Bridge." even though I know my boss won`t like this."

What senior staff do? Is they do things that they think their boss will be
appreciative of, support of, that they think their boss will like. And
they don`t do things they think their boss won`t like.

So, the culture is the issue here. And Chris Christie did not do anything
to address the issue and the concern that he obviously created a culture in
his office, where his senior staff thought it was OK, to exact political
retribution against people who refuse to support -- elected officials who
refused to support him.

And they were willing to hurt New Jerseyans, New Jersey who -- in the

SCHULTZ: Speaking to the culture of his office, he says he`s not a bully.
He`s not a micro manager. And are you curious that he had no conversation
with the people at the center it is. He just fired them?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Look, he was trying to say today that he came clean and
stepped up to face the music as soon as he knew.

No, he didn`t. This has been going on and there`d been questions swirling
around this for 120 days. I mean at one point he actually said that he
wasn`t troubled by the -- it wasn`t anything more than, I think mildly
troubled by the resignation of Wildstein who was his best friend from high

I mean, I can tell you that the people that I consider my closest friends
from high school, if they were working for me in some capacity, if they
suddenly resign I would be slightly more than troubled. And I might
actually ask them why they resign.

How Chris Christie didn`t inquire as to the purpose of the resignation of
his high school best friend, his campaign manager, I mean, the Port
Authority appointees that he had is just not credible.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, you have a legal background, what do you think of
them taking the fifth today?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I don`t have a legal background.

SCHULTZ: I`m sorry.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Other than serving in the elected office for many
years, but I think anytime I`ve seen someone plead the fifth it`s because
they have something to be concerned about exposing. And so, it`s very
obvious that there`s a tremendous amount of smoke and David Wildstein
didn`t want to fan any flames that might be out there.

SCHULTZ: What do you hear about a possible criminal investigation and do
you think that -- this were instead.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I know the State of US attorney for that region is
looking into a federal investigation and whether or not they were any
federal laws broken. But, you know, the bottom line here is that Chris
Christie actually created more questions than one he answered today.


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, the buck does stop with him, but his answers
today were simply not credible.

SCHULTZ: And very little detail about what actually happened. It was more

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: The other thing, Ed.


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And the other important thing here is that what Chris
Christie repeatedly said he was offended and upset about and thought was
wrong, was that his staff lied to him about it.


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Not that their actions harmed the people of New Jersey.


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: So, the question, Ed, is, OK well, if they told him
what would happen.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz thanks for joining us
tonight. I appreciate your time.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, Florida Republican Marco Rubio`s poverty plan comes up

Plus, Rand Paul`s sky high ambitions. It`s all in Trenders, stay with us.


SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders Social Media, this is where you can
find us,,, and

Somebody just tweeted to the program, as far as this Christie thing is
concerned, where`s Darrell Issa when you need him?

Also on the radio, we`re there Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 Channel
127 SiriusXM, and of course my radio website at

The Ed Show social media nation has decided and we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you know what that means?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one knows what it means but it`s provocative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three Trender, polar position.

breaking cold snap.

MATT SAMPSON: A polar vortex. A polar vortex .

LIMBAUGH: The dreaded polar vortex.

The media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it`s completely

SCHULTZ: Al Roker schools Rush Limbaugh on weather terminology.

AL ROKER, NBC WEATHER ANCHOR: A lot of folks have been saying, "There`s no
such thing as a polar vortex."


ROKER: And that it`s some Left-wing media conspiracy.

LIMBAUGH: Any weather extreme now is said to be manmade and therefore it
fulfills the Leftist agenda.

ROKER: This is from my textbook from college.

LIMBAUGH: Well, I just created it for this week.

ROKER: Copyright 1959 right here, OK. Polar vortex.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You suckers got served.

ROKER: OK. So, for all the doubters out there, stop it.

SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, spy high.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A big day. You just had a birthday. Did you get
anything for your birthday? I know you did.

SCHULTZ: Rand Paul has big plans for his birthday present.

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: My good friend, Senator Mike Lee, from Utah,
gave me a drone. It`s got a laser.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freaking laser beam.

PAUL: I`ve been trying to get invited to the Democrat lunch for about a
year now and they won`t invite me.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: You know sleep with us.

PAUL: You know what? I think I`m going to send my drone in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the technology.

SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, poor excuse.

MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA SENATOR: The current government programs that are
designed to address poverty, they help alleviate some of the pain of
poverty but they do not help people emerge from it.

SCHULTZ: Marco Rubio slams the president with his anti-poverty pitch.

RUBIO: The president`s focus on income inequality, the difference between
the rich and the poor and the gap that`s grown and that`s the wrong focus.

We should turn these programs over to states. If the president`s proposal
for dealing with this problem is raising the minimum wage and taxing rich
people, that`s not a solution. That`s the same tired stale rhetoric in
policies that have failed for 50 years.


SCHULTZ: And Rand Paul playing with toys. How fitting. Joining me now is
Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Congressman, good to have you with
us tonight.


SCHULTZ: You bet. Let`s talk--the economy, we got two different
philosophies here, Marco Rubio says the focus should be on opportunity
inequality instead of income inequality, but the Republicans have a plan
for either.

ELLISON: No. Marco Rubio is for the rich getting more. I mean his idea
is that poor people have poor people have too much money and rich don`t
have enough. And he thinks that -- he argues that if you cut the taxes and
don`t have health and safety regulations that rich people and big
corporations would take the extra money and put it in the jobs but there`s
no proof of that.

As a matter of fact, for the last three or four decades, we have seen
serious wage stagnation, we have seen wage decline. And yet, we`ve seen
corporate profits exploding. America by the way has never been richer, we
have the highest gross domestic product per capita in the history of the
republic and yet the productivity gains that workers have helped
corporations make more money have not been shared.


ELLISON: That`s the problem. We need stronger unions. We need a better
minimum wage, we need stronger education.

SCHULTZ: He says that states -- when he`d given this big speech about
income inequality and minimum wage and all that stuff. He thinks that
states should work on this plan on their own to fight poverty. Is that a
good approach .

ELLISON: Yes, state`s rights.

SCHULTZ: . for that be -- would that be acceptable that we have to have a
stronger federal approach as you see it?

ELLISON: Well, I mean if you look at his own state of Florida, you know,
you have people who are making a minimum wage literally make it -- happen
to work 13 and a half hours a day, seven days a week just to afford the
average apartment.

I mean in his own state, he is to think about how difficult it is for hard
working minimum wage workers just to make a goal of it. But if we raise
that minimum wage in $10.10 an hour and I think it should be higher than
that but if we just went there, we would lift 4.6 million Americans out of
poverty. And that would be a big deal.

SCHULTZ: And, Congressman, what`s the realistic chances of that happening
with this climate in Washington?

ELLISON: Well, you know, the Rubios of the world and people like him don`t
want to see it happen but I believe in people power. And if we organize
and if we come down here, and if we demand, and if we hold politicians
accountable, they would do the right thing. Politicians see the light when
they feel the heat. So we need to get some strength (ph), keep going, and
demand that a minimum wage increase go into effect. Even Republicans went
home (ph) and a majority believed that the minimum wage should go up.

Chris Christie is proud that he had 60 percent of the vote but increase in
the minimum wage got 61 percent of the vote .


ELLISON: . even beating him. So the bottom line is this is popular. It`s
what we should do. And on the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty, we
should be making war on poverty not having a war on the war on poverty.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, I got to ask you. Big story today is the governor
in New Jersey gave a epic two-hour press conference clearing the beach,
making sure everybody believes that he had nothing to do with it. Do you
believe him?

ELLISON: Well, you know what? I don`t know. All I could tell you is if
his top people are using the public tools to workout private grudges
against political enemies then that`s still his fault and he should be held
accountable for it.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us. Keith Ellison of
Minnesota .

ELLISON: You bet.

SCHULTZ: . with us here on the Ed Show tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sure sounded like a guy with
hopes for higher office in his news conference today.

Our rapid response panel breaks down Bridgegate implications. And still
ahead, as the worm turns, Dennis Rodman lands in tonight`s Pretenders. But
I`m taking your questions next on Ask Ed Live right here on the Ed Show.
Stay with us we`ll be right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love hearing your questions and
comments on the program on our Ask Ed Live segment.

Our first question now comes from David. Do you think Chris Christie knows
more than he is telling on Bridgegate?

You`re asking me that question. I say, Yes. I think he does know more.

Now, one of two things, if Christie is crystal clear and he`s totally
telling the truth and he knew nothing, his staffers may be the stupidest
employees on the face of the earth. But maybe they are so loyal or they
thought that Christie was so loyal to them that they could probably get
away with anything and the governor would have their back.

That`s how I read it. I do think the governor knows more than what he`s
saying. I`m not calling him a liar. I`m just saying that I think he knows
a little bit more than what he`s saying.

Our next question is from Seth. As a former North Dakota resident, that
would be me, what are your thoughts on the recent train derailments and the
Bakken Oil Fields?

Well, first of all, you`re not going to get people out of the Bakken Oil
Fields. Oil is here to stay. And how else are you going to move oil in
this country? Whether we like it or not Lefties, oil pretty much runs our
economy. Energy runs the country. How else are you going to move oil?
You do it by rail.

What they could have done and what they should do is they need to invest in
infrastructure on the rail to knock down the possibilities of any of these
things happening in the past.

And also, the XL pipeline comes into play here. If they do build the XL
pipeline through the middle of the country, I don`t think it just should
carry tar sands oil from Canada. I do believe that they should get some
Bakken oil in there so they can get it to local market.

And pipeline technology, this is in a supporting statement, it`s a fact.
Pipeline technology in this country has advanced tremendously over the last
10 years.

Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next.

MORGAN BRENNAN, CNBC ANCHOR: I`m Morgan Brennan with your CNBC Market

Modest moves for stocks, the Dow falls 18, the S and P is up fractionally,
and the NASDAQ is up nine points.

The headlines today, all about the jobs. A report from Calendar Gray (ph)
in Christmas shows grand layoff and U.S. firms fell 32 percent last month
to a 13-year low.

And fewer people were unemployed, unemployment lined last week. Filings
for jobless benefits fell by 15,000 more than expected. Both reports come
one day before the government`s payroll data due out at 8:30 AM.

That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.



CHRISTIE: My obligation as the chief executive of the State is to act.

I believe what they expect of me as the chief executive of this state and I
think that swift appropriate action that people would expect from the chief
executive of the state.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.

At today`s press conference, Governor Chris Christie was eager to remind us
of his status as Chief Executive of the State of New Jersey. Sure sounds
like a guy who hopes for higher office but Christie is learning quickly
that dipping your toe into the pool of possible presidential candidates
comes with a price. All eyes are on you.

He took advantage of that for two hours today. There`s no doubt this
Bridgegate scandal has seriously jeopardized Christie`s status as front
runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nominee and I think he knows

Here`s what Christie had to say when asked, when he was asked if this would
affect his consideration for a 2016 run.


CHRISTIE: My job is to be Governor of New Jersey and I have -- I`ll say
what I`ve said before, I am enormously flattered that folks would talk
about me in my party as someone who they think could be a candidate for
president. But I am absolutely in now where near beginning that
consideration process. I haven`t even sworn in for my second term yet.
I`ve got work to do here and that`s my focus. My focus is on the people of
New Jersey and the job that they gave me.

And so, all those considerations are, you know, the kind of hysteria that
goes around this because everybody`s in that world gets preoccupied with
that job.

I am not preoccupied with that job I`m preoccupied with this one. And as
you can tell I got plenty to do, so it`s not like I got some spare time to


SCHULTZ: Joining me now on our Rapid Response Panel, Karen Finney host of
Disrupt on Saturday and Sunday here on MSNBS and MSNBC Political Analyst
Jonathan Alter.

Lots of angles here.

Karen, I want to ask you first because you`ve been staffs .


SCHULTZ: . you`ve worked for political figures in the past. How much of a
down fall is this for Chris Christie if he wants to lead the country, if
this happens on his staff?

FINNEY: It`s a huge downfall. But I think part of what it is that we
don`t know what we don`t know. I mean if everything that he said today in
that press conference turns out to be absolutely fact and absolutely true
then he might be OK. But if there is any daylight between anything that he
said, I mean that`s the danger.

When you go out and you do a press conference and you talk that long, you
better be sure that everything you say and I`m sure his staff was sitting
in the back taking notes making sure that they check things because if its
not then it raises more questions and already we know more question and
more potential investigations.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, your thoughts. Was he not detailed on this? I mean he
went out and denied it nine times, made fun of it, made jokes about it, and
now this.

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what he did was necessary.
He had to do what he did today. It wasn`t anywhere close to being
sufficient for ending this scandal that threatens him as he`s about to take
the oath for a second term, you know. Forget the Iowa caucuses two years
from now .


ALTER: . it`s impossible to predict where things will go.

The next several months are potentially going to be very, very rough for
Chris Christie not just on this issue but because it fits a pattern of
bullying. The New York Times has identified five or six other examples
that maybe on as quite easy to understand as this but where he punished
people and arguably abused his power and acted like a bully.

So this would happen to somebody else, to a governor with a different kind
of reputation. They might be able to escape pass it. But he has this
reputation already so every time he comes up, everything that he does will
be put in that bullying context. That`s going to hurt him in the

SCHULTZ: Well, there`s tremendous scrutiny, there`s hearings going on once
(ph) he took the fifth today, I mean there`s a lot of legal wrangling
that`s going to start right now.

Given that, if Christie comes out of this clear, he did not know, there`s
no evidence saying that he was involved in this, doesn`t this make him the
guy that has the guts to come out and lay it on the line for two hours?

ALTER: I don`t think so. I don`t think so.


ALTER: I mean it -- look. Essentially the bottom line take away from this
is that he had aspire in New York a Republican, put it, Conservative, a
rogue political operation within his office right just a few feet away from

FINNEY: And it`s hard to, you know, having been a staff person, it is hard
to believe that you would go that far out on a limb put on something like
this without -- if you didn`t have direct communication with your boss at
least to think that somehow it was OK to take those kind of steps. I mean
that`s the piece.

And I tell you when he was asked today, you know, about his -- he was
talking about his soul searching and it was -- why was I lied to. And
then, he was again, "OK. But what about the culture in your office?" He`s
like, "I don`t worry about that because it`s not true. I`m not a bully."


FINNEY: But, you know, you don`t get the trouble that you`re in with
regard to that.

ALTER: He said this is an exception not the rule. He said that two or
three times. His problem is it`s not the exception. There are other


ALTER: And when he said to -- he said he said to his people before the
earlier press conference when he was joking about it, he said, "I`m going
to give you an hour and tell me if there`s anything I need to know." An
hour? That`s a real investigation to find out .


ALTER: . whether your people are doing things in your name?

SCHULTZ: I mean it`s just seems like this whole thing was orchestrated
just by the tone of the e-mails and the response.


SCHULTZ: I mean time for some traffic problems? Got it? I mean .

ALTER: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: . clearly, there had to be some kind of planning here.


SCHULTZ: And for the governor not to know about it is rather strange. Now
the mayor of Fort Lee has accepted his apology today. Your thoughts on

FINNEY: Well, the Mayor of Fort Lee has handled this beautifully. I mean
he was very gracious. I thought he was gracious during the period of the
investigation. I thought he was great in saying, "Look. Don`t apologize
to me, apologize to the people. Apologize to the people who were stuck in
traffic or the kids who were late for school."

So certainly I think the mayor -- I mean he had to -- I thought it was an
interesting little back and forth where the mayor said, "Don`t . " he said,
"I want to come." He said, "Don`t come. He said, "I want to come." And
he .


FINNEY: . and he went. And he went in the front door as our own Craig
Melvin pointed out, he wanted to get that press. He wanted -- I mean -- to
your point about how he comes out of this, he wanted to be seen today as I
stood there. This is like Hillary Clinton in the Pink press conference. I
stood there for 90 minutes to two hours, I took every last question, I went
to Fort Lee.

I mean he`s clearly trying to rehabilitate within his own narrative. And
throughout the press conference he had his own narrative about when it
happened .


FINNEY: . and how sad he was.

SCHULTZ: He`s getting some defenders out there. Congressman Michael Grimm
of New York said Christie demonstrated true leadership and accountability
during today`s press conference.

John Boehner was asked about Christie`s apology in a press here today.
Let`s take a look at that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Speaker Boehner, I`m just wondering if you saw any of
Governor Christie`s press conference before you came on?

fortunate enough to have that opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, let me ask you. He did apologize for the
bridge scandal and he said he`d fire his top aides. He took
responsibility. I`m just wondering if you think this response is
sufficient that he could continue to remain a top 2016 Republican

BOEHNER: I think so.


SCHULTZ: Somebody`s going to throw him under the bus, right, John?

ALTER: No, not right now. And, you know, you do have to say that given a
hand, it was dealt. Christie did well. He`s a skillful politician.


ALTER: There were little things in there that raised questions. For
instance, as he said, "I don`t know whether there was a traffic study or
not." Well, come on. Find out. Most people who look at it say and
including from the Port authority .

SCHULTZ: And he went to the press conference tonight .

ALTER: . that`s called bogus.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. He went to the press conference not knowing anything about
what had happened, it was all about him.

FINNEY: And yet he seems to know quite a bit as a former prosecutor,
right, he knew about the timelines. I mean there are other places where he
clearly had done his homework and study that would not have been that hard
to find out what the truth was behind the .

SCHULTZ: OK. Let`s say he knows. Let`s say there is something else that
comes out, politically dead as presidential candidate?

ALTER: If it`s serious enough. And he`s already got a big problem in that
department, because of the ads that can be made against him on this.

FINNEY: Yeah. I mean, I completely agree and it`s not over yet. And
whatever else comes out it`s something he`s going to have to deal with.

SCHULTZ: All right Karen Finney, Jonathan Alter great to have you with us
tonight. Thank you so much.

Karen will have more on this on her weekend show, coming up on Disrupt.
Our thanks to both of you.

Coming up, Senator Max Baucus is putting the United States on the wrong
track by introducing fast track authority legislation for the Trans-Pacific
Partnership. What could it mean for American workers? That`s coming up
next. Stay with us.


SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, personal foul. Basketball Hall of
Fame player Dennis Rodman, the worm sat down for an interview and talk
about his bromance with Kim Jong Un in basketball diplomacy.

It didn`t take long for Rodman to go on a full court press.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Why do you believe this is a good idea?

DENNIS RODMAN, BASKETBALL PLAYER: I guess, because this was an adventure
(ph). We got 10 guys. All these guys cheer. Do anyone understand that?

CUOMO: We do and we appreciate that. And we wish them all with .

RODMAN: No, no. (inaudible). No, I don`t give a rat`s ass what the hell
you think. I`m saying to you look at these guys that are .


SCHULTZ: Cool dude. Cool.

Rodman apologize for his outburst which included criticism of an American
citizen currently in prison in North Korea. He chalked up his annex to a
double dribble.

You see, Rodman explained in a statement released today that he had been
drinking. Dennis Rodman has and was a fantastic basketball player. But
this is a cross court violation.

If Dennis Rodman believes that this is what diplomacy looks like, he can
keep on pretending,.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work.

Well, we knew this day was coming. Fast track legislation for the TPP has
been introduced into the United States Senate. Time is running out to stop
this international trade deal which would be terrible for American workers.

Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana is the latest advocate putting
pressure for approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Fast track means the deal with 12 of the nations including China and
Vietnam would speed through Capitol Hill with no debate, no contention.
The massive free-trade agreement is being pushed by big corporations and
negotiated behind close doors with a lot of secrecy.

Senator Baucus is taking special interest in the TPP introducing fast track
legislation today after the White House nominated him to be ambassador to

Max Baucus in my opinion as I see it is no Democrat. He is no friend of
the middle class and this deal is no friend of the middle class. They talk
about exports, what about the imports? It`s not good.

As Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Baucus was the major obstacle to
incorporating a public option into the Affordable Care Act and we know that

Lori Wallach joins us tonight. She is the director of Public Citizens
Global Trade Watch. She joins us this evening.

Lori, good to have you with us and I appreciate your time.

Is Senator Baucus only pushing for fast track authority to cement his
relationship with China? Is there a personal gain here?

unfortunately, has been a big fan of fast track and enough to style (ph)
job killing trade agreements that fast track has enabled.

I think he`s probably really excited about being the Ambassador to China
because, now, we can go visit all the U.S. jobs that has passed trade votes
have off shored to China.

I hope it breaks his heart that`s going to be a bunch of young women
working for dollar an hour, 18 hours a day, who are doing their jobs that
men and women with union jobs and middle class lifestyles once had before
his trade votes. But, he has been a fast track cheer leader for a long

SCHULTZ: And there are a number of Democrats on board with this in the
senate, you think? I mean, this--if the Democrats out there talking about
there -- for the middle class, then they come up with something like this.
And then -- in my opinion, they`re not protesting enough about it.

WALLACH: Well, Ed, here`s a really interesting thing. They couldn`t find
area one fast track supporting Democrat in the House of Representatives.

I mean, they`re calling it the bipartisan trade bill but actually Max, I
love the off-shore jobs. Baucus is the only Democrat who was attached to

I mean, literally, they waited for an extra week because they couldn`t find
a Democrat in the entire House of Representatives to put their John Hancock
on that fast track to railroad TPP. And so, went in today, Mr. Max and all

SCHULTZ: We only hear about the threats because we don`t know all of the
details. What`s the biggest threat to workers as you see it on this deal
from what has been leaked?

WALLACH: Well, I would say the investment rules. I mean, they`re branding
it a trade agreement because that`s kind of what all the smart people must
be for free trade, but actually, the core of it and this chapter leaked
even with all the secrecy.

There is a settlement investment rules that literally incentivizes the off-
shoring of US. jobs. It takes away most to the risks what would otherwise
be associated, say, with going off to Vietnam where wages are only $1 an
hour like in China. They`re a dollar 80 a day. China`s one of the
countries in TPP.

So, with these investor rules, if the U.S. company splits, they get
guarantee special treatment, they don`t have to use the corps because they
can go to these corporate tribunals and they get compensation for
regulatory cause. So it`s literally pushing them away. That`s in the TPP.

SCHULTZ: And so, that`s the sovereignty issue that I think even
Republicans are very concerned about and the Tea Partiers especially.

This is creating a divide between Democrats and the president of the White
House at a very crucial time. How`s this going to unfold?

WALLACH: Well, you know, it`s a pretty shocking state of affairs because,
you know, President Obama talking about income inequality and wisely so,
it`s a plague in our country.

But actually, the data shows that these kinds of trade agreements that one
of the major contributors to increasing income inequality. So here we are
20 years into NAFTA.

In NAFTA, there was a huge off-shoring of high paying jobs in
manufacturing, but services to a million jobs gone. Now, it`s not the
total number of jobs, it`s the quality of the jobs and the kind of wages.
We got lower paying jobs and as a result, the entirety of us, even you
didn`t lose your job to NAFTA directly, our wages our down.


WALLACH: And so, he wants to expand NAFTA to Vietnam?

SCHULTZ: OK. Well, that is the scary thing. They have no labor standards
or environmental standards whatsoever.

Lori Wallach, thank you for joining us tonight on the Ed Show. Fast track
has been introduced into the Senate.

That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening Rev.


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