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The Ed Show for Friday, February 21st, 2014

Read the transcript to the Friday show

February 21, 2014

Guests: Nickie Antonio, Robert Hagan, Kate Sheppard, John Fugelsang,
Zerlina Maxwell, Karen Finney, Brad Woodhouse

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans. Welcome to the Ed
Show live from New York. I am Ari Melber. I`m in for Ed Schultz and as Ed
would say, let`s get to work.


YOLANDA HARRIS, ABC 6 AND FOX 28 NEWS ANCHOR: The controversial plan
for market fracking.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R) OHIO: The hydraulic fracturing.

HARRIS: And state park is kind of under new scrutiny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor John Kasich allowing oil and gas
drilling in state park.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People start pollution. People can stop it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor John Kasich`s top advisor called a
meeting to sell Ohioans on fracking.

KASICH: We don`t want to become so extreme we drive them away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve never seen an organized effort like this
directed again by the governor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have this terrible feeling of deja vu.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kasich`s spokesperson who said the governor`s
office knew nothing about the plan.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: All I know is I don`t know.


MELBER: Another day and another rising star at the GOP finds himself
under pressure to answer for internal documents suddenly made public.

Today, governors from across the country were gathering in Washington
for the four-day winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

Now, the NGA meeting typically offers governors a national platform to
introduce themselves to out of state voters and out their records.

In other words, the meeting usually stirs up some presidential
politics. That`s where governors to go to tell their stories and maybe
test the waters. Take last for example, Governor Chris Christie enjoyed
his trip as fellow Republicans talked him up for a future presidential run.

Now, with his administration under investigation for the Bridgegate
scandal, his record is one of the last things he really wants to talk

Now, Scott Walker stormed in the national stage in 2010 when he was
elected governor of Wisconsin and remember, you know this, he beat off a
recall election in 2012, he battled unions and look he delighted some
economic Conservatives as a dark horse 2016 candidate.

But today, Walker looks like he might be hitting the kind of
turbulence that`s dogged other gubernatorial stars.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER, (R) WISCONSIN: The communications that were
released on Wednesday involved an employee of the county from several years
ago and that involves a process that ended last March, a process where
Democratic district attorney in Milwaukee County for our original request.
Well, we initiated the investigation several years ago because it concerns
about a veteran`s organization that was involved with what`s called
Operation Freedom and out of that involved a series of charges with a
number of different individuals.


MELBER: All right, and who`s next in line from the pool of Republican

Well, many are not looking -- Governor John Kasich while Christie`s
home state approval slumps, a new (inaudible) finds Ohio voters are open to
promoting him in a hypothetical match up against Hillary Clinton.

You got to see this. Kasich is the top governor, in fact competed all
Republicans, he only trails Paul Ryan. But that poll was conducted before


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senior advisors to Governor John Kasich were aware
of the controversial public relations plant to promote the idea of drilling
for oil and gas in state parks and state forest. Now, that contradicts
earlier statements from the governor`s office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 10-page memo describes ways for the state for
marginalize the effectiveness of fracking opponents. It lists ODNR allies
as various business groups as well as the Halliburton Corporation.


MELBER: I know, right? Republican governors just can`t seem to get a
break and here`s part of why.

Unlike their less productive counterparts in Congress who seem to vote
as little as possible. Some of these Republican governors have tangible
records. Records that are coming under intense scrutiny as we had into the
mid terms, records that can`t always be waived away. And now, John Kasich
will have to answer for a record that some are calling "fracking".

Now, here`s what you need to know. In 2011, Kasich signed a law that
would open up state parks to drilling and fracking and the same for public

Now, Ohio maybe conservative but we looked at this and it turns out
voters didn`t want their public land spoiled. At the time, a whopping 70
percent of Ohioans oppose the plan and it didn`t exactly helped that at the
time Kasich had received over 200 grand in contributions from the oil and
gas industry. That was the most of any Ohio politician.

Now, you could easily say, "Hey. That was a PR hurdle." Well, the
10-page memo released on Friday reveals a wide ranging 2012 PR Campaign.
It was developed by Kasich appointees. Where? At the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources, it was all coordinated with the governor`s office.

Now the memo identifies ways that they could sell Ohioans on the
drilling and to counter what they called "zealous resistance by
environmental-activist opponents", who are skilled propagandists or, you
know, the majority of voters who actually disagreed with that industry

And here`s what`s important, even if you do support drilling and some
people do, these documents reveal a much bigger problem. A regulatory
agency planning a PR campaign with the very groups they`re supposed to
regulate. That is like a cop helping you hide the evidence.

Now, even the Natural Resources Department knew at the time that it
was on, well let`s say blurry turf, these documents revealed the department
saying, "This initiative can be expected to blur public perception of our
regulatory role in oil and gas." You think? You know what else blurred
the perception in reality? One of the supposedly allied groups was

Now, they maybe good at making money, I don`t know that they`re really
good at this Smokey the Bear Stuffed. And the opponents are made up of
groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and
Democratic State Representatives Robert Hagan and Nickie Antonio.

The governor`s office initially denied knowledge of the pro-fracking
marketing planning. Familiar response but the release of these e-mails
that we`ve been telling you about which were by the way forced by the
Sierra Club from Kasich`s policy director, well, he was requesting a
meeting to discuss the plan with eight members of the governor`s inter
circle and that has forced the governor`s office to walk back its initial
denial. And, folks, it is actually a long walk back some people would call
this a type of progress.

On Wednesday, Kasich`s spokesman said, "At this point, the governor
doesn`t support fracking in state parks. We reserve the right to revisit
that, but it`s not what he wants to do right now, and that`s been his
position for the past year and a half."

Well, look, the governor can revisit it all he wants but it`s not the
kind of story national Republicans want to revisit in a year of escalating

OK, folks, get your cellphones out I want to know what you think
tonight`s question. "Do you think Governor Kasich knew about the memos
detailing the fracking enemies list?" Text A for Yes and text B for No, as
you know it`s 67622, or you can go to our blog and I`ll bring
you the results later in this show.

Now, we go to Kate Sheppard who covers the environment for the
Huffington Post. She joins us.

Let`s start with the basics. Quantify for us why people in Ohio were
worried about this kind of drilling? What would it do?

KATE SHEPPARD, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, you know, there are a number of
concerns that have been raised about hydraulic fracturing around the
country. People are concerned about effects on water quality if gas to get
into ground water and also about the chemicals that are used in the
fracking process and how that might affect ground water. They`re also are
concerned about air quality issues related to the emissions that come at
fracking wells and sites.

So there are a number of concerns that people have about having these
things into communities and in this case on their national parks.

MELBER: And how is it playing out here at the governors` conference as
we mentioned in Washington where you are.

SHEPPARD: Well, you know, fracking is an issue that is -- it`s being
considered in a lot of states around the country right now. It`s not just
an issue in Ohio, it`s something that`s been on top of the political radar
in Pennsylvania, in Colorado, in New York State and so a number of
governors are grappling with how to deal with fracking in their state and
how they`re going to regulate it.

MELBER: Well, sure, but they`re not just grappling with the
environmental issue which is we mentioned people can look at different
ways. This also goes to how these -- some of these governors who are seen
as the future of the party how they run their government. I mean it`s
running the state government is your trial, right? That`s how we learn
about you and there have been questions raised about Chris Christie because
even he says he`s failed and had to fire people over it. And here, these
documents suggest whether or not you agree with the policy, nobody is
suggesting that the environmental regulatory body of the state should be in
cahoots with Halliburton, right?

SHEPPARD: Well, absolutely. I think that`s the big concern here is,
you know, this is the agency that`s supposed to regulate oil and gas
drilling and apparently they`re going about, you know, making plans to
promote it and that`s absolutely a counter to what they`re job is supposed
to be.

You know, secondly, I think that even in places and among people who
really support gas development, they want to make sure that there are
regulations in place that will protect and no one wants unregulated
drilling to happen out there. And .

MELBER: Right. This is -- I mean, Kate, this is by definition a
regulated to the industry and just to wrap to your head around, I`m doing
the PR it would be like if instead of going to the Hill to interview
members of Congress and their staffs, you went and worked on their press
releases. I don`t what care your ideologies, it wouldn`t be good at your
job, you don`t do that, we don`t do that and it is weird that that is what
we`ve seen from some of these document releases.

Kate Sheppard, thanks for your time tonight.

SHEPPARD: Thanks for having me.

MELBER: Absolutely.

Now, we`re going to turn to some lawmakers in the center of this
battle. State Representative Nickie Antonio and Robert Hagan were both
named, I should mention, as opponents in that memo. Welcome to you both
for being here.

Let me start with you, Nickie. We knew this plan was unpopular. What
do you think the disclosures reveal for your constituents?

STATE REP. NICKIE ANTONIO, (D) OHIO: Well, I think it reveals that we
have to question judgments of the administration in thinking that it`s OK
to hatch a plan like this. We need to know if the governor`s fingerprints
are truly on this in what way, because the integrity of the office is
really at question here.

MELBER: All right, and when you say the integrity office, unpack that
for me.

ANTONIO: Well, as you`ve mentioned if we have the regulators sitting
in the room thinking about how to frame the communication plan for the
regulatee, in this case the oil and gas industry. That`s unconscionable
because they -- the regulator should be actually having the discussion on
how to protect the public, how to protect the health and safety of the
public, and the public parks are natural resources. That`s their job.

MELBER: Right, and Representative Hagan can you speak at all to what
your reaction was when you learned you`re name is on this list?

STATE REP. ROBERT HAGAN, (D) OHIO: Well, I wasn`t surprised, Ari,
and, you know, what were seeing is an administration that`s under the gun
and its making promises about jobs and not creating them, making promises
that they`re going make and turn the state around through fracking but are
not exactly creating the jobs for people particularly in my district when
the unemployment rate went from nine percent in the Youngstown area up to
10 percent. And so the governor decides that those who are standing in the
way of doing what we think is protecting our water, protecting our
environment. All he`s going to do is implement a plan that basically flies
to the phase of what we should be doing as a state and that`s regulation.

Let me say something, Ari, because it`s important. If he was looking
for a lap dog he looked in the wrong direction. We`re watch dogs that`s
our job. And we want to make sure that we do everything that we possibly
can to make sure that there wasn`t drilling in the park. He passed and we
passed the legislation, and Nickie and I voted against it to allow drilling
in the parks and he came, laid it on his desk for the longest time, he
could have vetoed it.

MELBR: Sure.

HAGAN: 24 hours after Representative Antonio and I did what we
thought was right. Send the letter to the speaker of the house asking for
an investigation, he flipped flop on that again and said, "He`s not going
to drill on the parks."

MELBER: Right. And Representative Antonio, Kasich spokesman, of
course we downplayed this earlier, claims that they had no knowledge. Let
me read to you what he said, "I don`t know what specific pieces of paper
different people saw a year and half ago, but of course, the administration
is going to coordinate and plan ahead on an important issue like gas
production on state land." And we want to be fair of course and reflect
what the governor`s aides have said, your response?

ANTONIO: Well, we need to know what he knew, when he knew it, and
also as Representative Hagan has pointed out to suddenly come out now and
say. Well, that`s not relevant to this discussion but I`ve decided not to
do any fracking in the parks. The timing is questionable and I am -- I
think .

MELBER: Do you believe -- let me ask you believe .


MELBER: Do you believe he genuinely changed his mind here or it`s
something else?

ANTONIO: Well, it leads us to question if it is something else. And
that`s why we have asked of hearings and a full investigation to get to the
bottom of this, because I think it`s important for the people of Ohio to
know that.

MELBER: Right. And I can understand that. And Representative Hagan,
the other question we were asking, we mentioned of course the big meeting
in Washington. Is this viewed in your view and do you think if you can
speak to -- how was viewed on Ohio as an exception to how Kasich usually
governs or part of a larger problem?

HAGAN: He`s part of the bully group. You know, he enjoys making and
intimidating people and then making them feel uncomfortable. This is
nothing new. I mean, he`s been doing this for a long time. I`ve been
watching him since he was .

MELBER: Let me jump in just to be clear when you -- yes, sir. When
you say the bully group who are you referring to?

HAGAN: Well, Christie, I`m talking about the governors, the
Republican governors that think that they can operate behind closed doors
in secret. It plans out to try discredit people that are trying to do
their best to represent their district. Christie did it with the bridge.
Now, we have fracking in Ohio and this governor is doing it. I`ve watched
him do it, I`ve seen that, you know, and it`s amazing too -- they denied
that it`s actually happening in the same day that we come out with our
letter when Representative Antonio and I come out with our letter. And his
spokesperson goes after me, immediately again and to just prove our point.

They are trying to intimidate us and Representative Antonio and I are
not people that you should be messing with and trying to intimidate because
we stand strong for our people and we`ll stand strong against this
governor. We`re not going to let him bully us and bully our district, and
bully the state parks and to doing whatever he wants. He`s been playing
games with the gas and oil industry. He`s in bed (ph) with the gas and oil
industry he`s doing everything he can to write laws and regulations to
favor the gas and oil industry. A couple of speak up .


HAGAN: . and try to go after him .


HAGAN: . and he comes after us.

MELBER: And, Representative, I want to drill down on that so to speak
not like fracking but in electoral drilling and ask you here. When you
think about the why, right? This has become a national story impart in all
honesty because it didn`t add up. And there seem to be two big national
pieces. One you just alluded to, which is whether there is some sort of
alleged or real fundamental disrespect for government. For how it works,
for its fairness before the law, for how it should operate if you can`t
change the law, and whether, you know, if you want to collude with these
private companies, right? That wasn`t really, as we understand it, allowed
and publicized it was sort of done secretly and only exposed of the Sierra
Club and others pursuing the e-mails. And I wonder if you could speak to
that specifically?

HAGAN: Are you talking me, Ari?

MELBER: Yes, I am, and then we`ll go back to you, to Representative
Hagan, yeah.

HAGAN: Well, I think what`s important is to -- what I think is
important, Ari, is that to remember that these are opportunities for the
governor and his staff and his administration to get in the way of the
regulations to play games with those of us that care a lot about the
environment. And to say that we`re really doing everything we can.

Listen, our states are a little different. The Ohio Department of
Natural Resources, listen to name, is not protecting our natural resources.
In other states, it might the mining, it might be something else, in
Pennsylvania it`s something else. But we are not doing that and what we
have found in bill after bill. The bills that I have offered to put
moratoriums on fracking, to make sure that we know what kind of chemicals
are coming in, 60 percent by the way from West Virginia and Pennsylvania
injected into Ohio wells some with radiation. We are constantly ignored,
our hearings are mostly cut short, and they go after us.

MELBER: And then -- so then I want to go to Representative Antonio
and speak to the other national piece that we`re talking about here which
is an argument from a lot of Republicans is not always that we shouldn`t
certain things like to protect the environment. But then we should do them
on the state rather than federal level. What do you think when you look at
that the national implications where obviously, this isn`t just about
whether the EPA nationally should do something versus the Ohio resources
group that we`ve been talking about. But whether when we devolve it to the
state level where there is often less coverage, less exposure and then
they`re not doing the job either.

ANTONIO: Well, and it`s important though to be at the state level but
have integrity of office, to have integrity in the department to be able to
really protect the public trust. And so, I think the state has to work in
collaboration with that after all. But you have to have on the ground at
the state level those regulations in place and it really is important that
the administration responsible has to be the one that`s standing up for the
public trust.

MELBER: Yeah. That makes sense to Ohio House State Representatives
Nickie Antonio and Robert Hagan. Thank you both for your time on an
important story.

We`re going to turn to telling you to remember to answer tonight`s
question there at the bottom of the screen. We`re going to put it up. You
can share your thoughts on Twitter at Edshow and on Facebook. If it`s on
social media, the Ed Show folks are probably out there as you know.

And coming up, a former female presidential candidate hopeful, says
Americans are not necessarily ready for a certain female presidential

The Rapid Response Panel weights in on Michele Bachmann`s latest dig
and of course Hillary.

But first, Rick Perry`s three-hour tour, the Texas Governor is
actually been making the mediate rounds. You might have seen him and
Trenders is up next on that.

Right now, we`ve got something special for men in the road. Where in
the world is Ed Schultz?


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: This is Ed Schultz coming in from the North

Today, I`m headed to Nebraska to bring you stories from the ground.
The real people who are going to be impacted if the XL Pipeline ends up in
their backyard. We`re talking to land owners and activist on both sides of
the fence. There`s a lot of passion here and we want everyone`s voice to
be heard. This is a huge deal for the entire country and we are bringing
you the stories no one else is telling. We`ll air these exclusive
interviews next week so stay tuned.



MELBER: Welcome back. It`s time now for the Trenders. You keep the
comments coming on the Ed social media pages where we`ve been listening to
you and while you`re on Facebook if you want, it`s not the Ed Show but you
can check me out at as I`m in for Ed tonight.

Now, the Ed Show social media nation has decided and we are reporting.
Today`s top Trenders these are of course voted on by you.



MELBER: The number three Trender, girl talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think exercise is ew.

is not ew.

MELBER: The First Lady joins Jimmy on the Tonight Show.

JIMMY FALLON, THE TONIGHT SHOW HOST: The Olympics is kind of the
ultimate let`s move.

OBAMA: I want to see how people around the country are moving and
changing the standards for health work too. The president and maybe the
vice president will show how us they move. I got a little pull. Yo babe.

FALLON: Yo babe.

OBAMA: Hook me up.

FALLON: Hook me up.

MELBER: And the number two Trender, love actually.

definition of marriage, just about whether someone loves someone. It`s
hard to limit that even to just two people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love the lamp.

MELBER: Tony Perkins says same sex marriage redefines love.

destroy the definition of the marriage, it perverts the word "love".


PERKINS: You could say that, you know, two brothers love each other,
two sisters love each other and aunt and uncle love each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not making any sense at all.

PERKINS: And so if you change this definition, what`s to keep them
from entering into some kind of contractual relationship as well. I mean
this is just .


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s crazy talk. You`re crazy.

MELBER: And today`s top Trender, loan star.

GOV. RICK PERRY, (R) TEXAS: Governors are about creating environment
where people can have a job. And Washington gets in the way all too often.
Washington has to respect the stakes.

MELBER: Rick Perry talks economic issues during his three news hour

ABBY HUNSTMAN, THE CYCLE CO-HOST: Minimum wage, do you support
raising it?

PERRY: I think you all leave it up to every company to make that
decision. When government starts mandating wages it is when you get in

I think the unions looked to people like me that are actually out
there creating job. When you look at where the job creations being created
in this country, it is in those red states .

I can`t. The third one I can`t. Sorry.

How are we going to create jobs? Our growth is how America is going
to forward.


MELBER: And joining us now Liberal Commentator, a liberal`s liberal,
comedian John Fugelsang. Nice glasses, buddy.

always great to see you but I don`t really have any Rick Perry material so
I just wore these to appear smarter than I actually am.

MELBER: Well .

FUGELSANG: I hope you get used to it.

MELBER: I`m used to it already. I think it`s working and it gives
you -- it just gives you a little bit of southern gravy (ph) toss.

Now, let`s start with the unions. He says that basically union should
love Republican governors because they create jobs.

FUGELSANG: Break it down. Yes. As opposed to unions, you know.
It`s tough, Ari. I really -- don`t really want to make fun of Rick Perry
too much .


FUGELSANG: . because A, a tacky, B, it`s been done and I forget the
third thing, but yeah, you know, in saying that unions should love
Republican governors, it really shows his depth of faith because Christ
said love your enemy and I think that`s what he`s asking unions to do.

MELBER: You know, that`s one of those things that you`re making the
oops joke from the debate moment but that`s not just a joke, that is a very
serious political thing that`s dogged him quite frankly.

FUGELSANG: That`s why these exist, Ari. I think we both know that.

MELBER: And he`s of course like any politician you have to try to own
or reframe these things. Now, my colleague on The Cycle Abby Huntsman did
have a great sit down with him, she pushed him on a lot of economic issues
and that is all on for people who want to see the whole thing.

Let`s play though her question about that oops moment.


PERRY: Oops.

HUNSTMAN: So I have to ask under a Perry administration, what would
be the three departments that you would (inaudible)?

PERRY: It think more than three, you know, the more I think about it,
the more we really -- if you believe in the 10th amendment why do you need
a Department of Education, you know, why do you need a Department of
Commerce, I mean why do you need a Department of Energy and I know that`s
the bud of lot of jokes that, you know, I couldn`t remember that third one.
But the fact is there are more than three.


MELBER: So first of all that`s his rebuttal to you Mr. Liberal


MELBER: But second, let`s look into the politics here. He has
figured out a way to go bid with this in a Tea Party Republican environment
where he`s saying, "Hey, it`s not two out of three. It`s not three. It`s
more than three." is definitely -- there`s an appetite for that.

FUGELSANG: Yeah. There`s an appetite to abandon any kind of national
standard for anything and I can see why that`s important to Rick Perry.
And again, I`m not here to mock the guy just to deny him clemency. But the
fact is there`s only two of these 2016 GOP candidates who are actually
running right now. One is Rand Paul who`s trying to prepare this Iron Rand
to Jesus Fondue (ph), he`s going to sell people, and the other is Rick
Perry. And it`s fun to make fun of the governor but he`s serious about
this. When he ran those ads in New York and California last year urging
businesses to come to his state that was a preemptive strike in the

Now, keep in mind, Rick Perry will tell any audience he`s speaking to
anything they want to hear. This is a guy who will talk about secession in
Texas. The only thing Texas needs to succeed from this high fructose corn
syrup and oil industry shills as governors but the guy`s really serious
about it, he`s certainly is the only 2016 potential candidate with a plan.
And as much fun it is to mock the governor I think Progressives and
Democrats will underestimate him at their own peril

MELBER: Well, yeah, I mean you`re speaking to the way things have
been shifting. This guy was not taken that seriously politically by the
middle or end of the last round. It wasn`t seen as someone who`s going to
be a so-called first year candidate. And yet, because on some of the
things we`ve been reporting here on the Ed Show tonight was happening with
other governors, with Christie, in Wisconsin, and in New Jersey all this

In a week, we feel that he`s looking stronger, Rick Perry.

FUGELSANG: He really is. At this point, if Christie`s out of it. It
does look like it`s going to be a two-horse race. But again, keep in the
mind, the more he boast about his job creation record in Texas the more
scrutiny its going to get. People will look into the fact that a lot of
Texas taxpayers were just paying for jobs that already existed, that
stealing jobs from other state isn`t quite the same as creating jobs and
creating lots of fracker (ph) jobs at Carl`s Jr. isn`t exactly what Henry
Ford did.

MELBER: Yeah. And I`m not going to accuse you of an oops moment but
there`s another problem on that list, in the jobs analysis which is a lot
of low paying jobs that require people to be on public assistance.


MELBER: And that`s not a conservative value. You say well if we
actually have the living wage we don`t need the government support. When
you have people working 40, 50 hours a week and can`t cover their basic
necessities I mean one study showed that people at Walmart are being
subsidized by millions of dollars because they still need that assistance.
That`s a big piece of it.

FUGELSANG: Almost a million dollars per store. You`re exactly right,


FUGELSANG: If the price is so nice you pay for them twice. And the
more American realized that when those companies aren`t paying a living
wage .


FUGELSANG: . and I thank you for using that term instead of minimum
wage that they`re the ones really paying in for it. It`s not conservative,
it`s not sustainable and it`s not sane. Let`s the laughs begin. Rick
Perry 2016.

MELBER: John Fugelsang, you are a catchy dude. You speak in a catchy
way so .

FUGELSANG: Always a pleasure.

MELBER: . I`m going to remember everything you said. Thanks for
joining us.

FUGELSANG: Thank you.

MELBER: All right. Now, still to come, Republicans cannot stop
freaking about Hillary Clinton 2016.

The Rapid Response Panel will discuss Michele Bachmann`s latest
attempt, this is interesting, to try to minimize the way Hillary Clinton
poses a threat to the Republican Party and to some extent its ideas.

And later, Nikki Haley`s plan to keep jobs out of her state, you`ve
heard me right, we have the quotes, we will explain it in the Punch Out.
And next, yes, an Ed Show tradition, I am taking your questions Ask Ari
Live, it`s got an alliteration there, two A`s, that`s just Ed. Stay tuned.


MELBER: Welcome back to the Ed Show. You know we love hearing from
our viewers. That`s you. And tonight, we have Ask Ari Live.

And our first question is from Peter Wesley. In your memory, has
there ever been any U.S. president more pilloried by the opposing party
than Barack Obama?

That is a good question. I don`t think you can imagine the kind of
environment that this president has faced anytime in recent history. I
don`t think the record reflects. There are ways people look at this from
the fact that the House doesn`t hold votes on any of the president`s agenda
just about to the Senate filibuster aids which are the highest ever. But
you ask a direct question, how far back you have to go? I would say,
Truman. When you look back in Harry Truman, this was a guy who didn`t have
Congress believing in him or working with him and that really extended to
both parties.

In fact, if you go back to `48, Harry Truman who was an incumbent
president had to deal with the plan from his own party to try to knock him
off the ticket and replace them with who, with Eisenhower. That is some
serious opposition from both sides. No one thought, as some will remember,
no one thought he was going to win that `48 race.

All right. Another question. This is from Patty Caplin. How close
to reality is the Netflix series, House of Cards? No spoilers. We will
not give away anything that actually happens in the plot, but season two is
now fully available for all of you binge watchers and that is up through

And I just -- I watched the whole second season and I thought it got
even darker, even scarier than the first season. And I thought it got even
more off base and that there are plenty of people who are in it for
themselves in watching it. We know that. There are plenty of people who
are doing things for the wrong reasons of the money. We know that. But by
the middle of this season, without giving anything away, you get the
feeling that nobody, nobody believes in anything. I don`t think that`s the

And when I worked in the Senate, there were fakes, there were phonies,
and there were some true believers. You think about someone like the late
Senator Paul Wellstone. You think about the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
You think about Russ Feingold. There are a lot of believers in there in
and out of government and that`s one part of series. But to me, it goes a
little off base.

All right. I`m done taking questions for now. Stick around. We have
the Rapid Response Panel next.

SARA EISEN: I`m Sara Eisen with your CNBC Market Wrap. The Dow falls
29 points. The S and P 500 off 3. The NASDAQ shutting 4.

Another bruising report on housing. Investing home sales fell 5.1
percent last month. That was the bigger decline than expected. It is the
third sought (ph) housing report just this week. shares ending slightly lower, the company reportedly
working with the group of retailers to feature their brands on a site.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, among the
retailers included in those talks.

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


MELBER: Hey there. Welcome to the Ed Show. Ari Melber filling in
for Ed.

Now, we don`t know if Hillary Clinton will run for president again,
but we do know the very idea is already tormenting some Republican
politicians just mentioning Hillary`s potential candidacy makes people
sound, well, impolitic.

Example number one, Congresswoman and former presidential candidate
Michele Bachmann who just said this, "People aren`t ready for a woman
president because there`s no pent-up desire."

Now, Bachmann has many issues with Clinton, some of them policy
related, but there`s actually a larger story about the GOP here. It`s not
that Hillary is a woman. It`s not just that Hillary is a Clinton. It`s
that Hillary increasingly looks like a winner. And Republicans can`t stop
talking about her even in ways that are politics for them because they
worried that two decades of creative attacks have not slowed Hillary down.
And we have some new numbers on that in a moment and why Washington is
taking even her hypothetical candidacy so deadly, seriously.

And to give us a take on all this, we have our Rapid Response Panel.
Host of Disrupt Karen Finney who has worked for the Clintons and Zerlina
Maxwell of the, welcome to you both.

Karen, Hillary Clinton isn`t just driving a conversation here, right,
and she`s certainly not out trying to do a lot of things to get us or
Republicans talking.


MELBER: So, why so much focus?

FINNEY: Because, I mean, there`s a fascination with Hillary and this
question of will she or won`t she. And you`re right. I mean, if you look
at what Hillary is doing, she`s kind of kept her head down just enjoying
her work which is pretty much what she did when she got to the Senate and
it`s pretty much what she did when she became secretary of state. I mean,
that`s kind of her way of doing things is let me just do the work. It`s
for everybody else to have the sort of chaotic, you know, question and
answer around will she or won`t she. But it does seem to be quite a
fascination, doesn`t it?

MELBER: Yeah. It`s a fascination and yet it`s not one that shared in
that negative way by much of the public. And here`s the new numbers I
wanted to mention. This is from Gallup. This is new. This is in majority
of Americans now. You can see in the fluctuations now. 59 percent viewing
Hillary Clinton favorably, Zerlina, and that`s despite her being out center
stage, public life, secretary of state, attacks about her conduct, her
record, and some attacks that people think are out of bounce, and yet look,
these are pretty high numbers, Zerlina.

ZERLINA MAXWELL, THEGRIO.COM: Yeah. And I think, you know, a
challenge for Republicans is to try to criticize Hillary Clinton should she
run for president in 2016 without being sexist. And I think that, you
know, that`s showing to be a very symmetrical challenge for them right now.
And I think that, you know, the problem for them is not that Hillary
Clinton is running and she`s a woman or like you said, if that`s she`s a
Clinton, it`s that, you know, the policy positions that she supports along
with the president is the policy positions that the majority of Americans
support in a national election. And so, that`s why they are afraid. It`s
the policy, not her gender and not who she is.

MELBER: Yeah. I`m not sure about that. I think that if you look for
example the 59 percent number, there is a premium there. It is higher than
when you poll a lot of the issues that Hillary Clinton or whoever the
Democratic nominee would run on. And it`s definitely higher than some of
the positions she took as secretary of state. Now, it may be related. I`m
not dismissing it. But, I want to think about that, Karen, in the context
of another thing here from the new Michele Bachmann interview, she`s sort
of slide at Hillary`s run and she then talked about President Obama`s
victory. And she said, "There was a cachet about having an African-
American president because of guilt. People don`t hold guilt for a woman."

And I want to kind of tease this out. At the most basic level, we can
dismiss it of course is wrong headed. There is a serious way to look at
the point that she might be gesturing towards and that`s one I think to
quote the president. The president is talking about the fact that race was
a factor when he ran and he has talked about the fact in a more positive
sense not the word guilt by any means. What he said, for some people, the
fact that he had broken this barrier was a positive. And for other people,
it was s negative.

FINNEY: Right.

MELBER: I think it`s sad that when she looks at that dynamic which is
complicated, she doesn`t come up with that analysis, she comes up with
quote "guilt."

FINNEY: Right.

MELBER: And yet, any woman, herself included, and we give her credit,
you know, she ran and was trying to break a barrier. But, any woman who
runs in either party, Karen, can stand a benefit from some of that dynamic
without it being guilt that we only have guys in the White House, right?

FINNEY: Of course. And I have to say, as a woman, I`m disappointed
that Michele Bachmann`s desire to show that she can attack Hillary Clinton
means taking down the idea of a woman president. I mean, if it`s Hillary
or not, we should be pushing the idea that of course they want a woman
president. So, the point about President Obama, I mean, first of all, I
took those comments to be yet another one of the same kind of attacks we`ve
seen time and time again just sort of undermine the legitimacy of his
presidency. Because to believe what she`s saying, you have to believe that
people acted out of guilt, not out of -- and two times, by the way, by
pretty significant numbers and not because they believed in President Obama
and of who he is.

And to your point, I mean, certainly, the president acknowledges how
complicated and complex this is.

MELBER: Right.

FINNEY: . but I think we`re used to hearing that kind of over
simplification from Michele Bachmann and the far right. And I think that
that is the country such of disservice.

MELBER: Yeah. If you were in a political science course or you were
in a meeting like the meetings you`ve been in when you seat and put out a
campaign strategy, the idea just sort of specific (ph) level that the
entire presidential election is going to turn, I don`t think economy, not
someone`s credentials, not on the debates, it`s not an -- basically,
everything we look at. No, it`s going to turn on your private personal
feelings of guilt. I mean, it is -- it`s a weird response but it tells us
something, I think, not only about the conversations on race which are
important when done the right way, but on gender and feminism as well.

Karen Finney and Zerlina Maxwell, thanks for your time today.

FINNEY: Thanks Ari.

MELBER: All right. Now, coming up. South Carolina Governor Nikki
Haley tells unions to go ahead and keep their high paying jobs out of her

Stick around for the Punch Out. But first, we have -- you`re going to
like this -- another message from Ed on the road.


SCHULTZ: This sign here in Bradshaw, Nebraska says that whiskey is
for drinking, water is for plating. That`s the attitude in here in
Nebraska against this pipeline. The story, all next week on the Ed show.



MELBER: It`s time in Pretenders tonight. Now, we got some unusual
ideas about the constitution from Tom DeLay, of course the Former House
Majority Leader. Now, he joined Global Evangelism TV. That`s the station
to defend religion in public life which is fine. And then he offered a new
theory about the constitutions origin.


government to become a secular government. When we stop realizing that God
created this nation and he wrote the constitution that is based on biblical
principles. And we allowed those that don`t believe in those sayings to
keep pushing us, pushing us and pushing us away from the government.


MELBER: OK. Now, if God wrote the constitution, I just want to know
who wrote the amendments. I`m here all night. Now, Tom DeLay`s theory is
a bit like his appearance on Dancing with the Stars. It`s noticeable.
Maybe entertaining, but it`s also wrong. It`s very wrong. The
constitution was of course written by the founding fathers and delegates to
the Constitutional Convention of 1789.

A word for Mr. DeLay, it is hard to respect history if you don`t know
history. But, go ahead, keep on pretending.


MELBER: Welcome back to the Ed Show. I`m Ari Melber filling in for

In this week, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley came out against new
jobs. Now, look, that is not hyperbole. She actually said she is against
new jobs in her state if they have union ties. Now, when asked about the
UAW`s failed attempt to unionize the VW plant in Tennessee, she left
basically no room for interpretation.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: What I know is that we don`t
have unions in South Carolina because we don`t need unions in South
Carolina. We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to
come to South Carolina because we don`t want to take the water.


MELBER: Now, South Carolina does have a salt manufacturing industry
and the unemployment rate has, we should mention, improved with the rest of
the country. However, there are still not enough good paying jobs for
everyone. And Governor Haley, when you look at it, it`s key. When union
membership goes down, so do middle class wages. You can see it right
there. The data doesn`t lie. And South Carolina`s median income is still
among the worst in the country.

Now, think about that. Lots of people there have the kind of jobs
that keep them stuck in poverty -- something Ed talks about a lot.
Families in South Carolina are suffering with one of the highest rates of
poverty in the nation, a 100,000 people dropping below the poverty line in
just the last three years. So governor, tell us again, why are you
educating companies away from your state?


HALEY: It`s also making sure that we educate different companies
coming in from outside to understand that that`s not what we want to do in
South Carolina. And if they`re interested in that, we`re not where they
maybe come. Unions are trying to get in whenever they can. They`re
getting desperate. And so, they are trying to sneak in anywhere they can.
My job is to make sure that I keep taking them out.


MELBER: Joining us now is Brad Woodhouse, Head of the Americans
United for Change and he`s also the President of American Bridge 21st
Century. Brad, what is new here?

stunning, but, you know, look, Republicans believe in low wages apparently.
And they believe in people be in stuck in poverty. I mean, let`s remember
that this is Republican Party that is opposed to increasing the minimum
wage. They -- Senator Corker fought the unionization of the Volkswagen
plants in Chattanooga. She`s discouraging good paying jobs from coming to
her state if people are actually organizing for better benefits. It`s
really stunning. And I just don`t know who this people represent Ari.

MELBER: But Brad, there is a bit of a new fisher here, right, because
we had Governor Perry sound earlier in the program. And one of the things
he said, I want to be clear and fair about this, and he said, look, if
companies want to pay more, they can do that, right? That`s a response to
regulating a minimum wage. That strikes me, tell me what you think, that
strikes me as different than coming out and saying, not let the market
decide. But if a company does want to work with unions, which by the way
is a business decision, they`re no longer welcome.

WOODHOUSE: Well, that`s exactly right. And what`s stunning here is
the Republican Party is the party of the free market. But they`re trying
to manipulate the market. When you have government officials, senators,
governors discouraging companies from even talking about unionizing from --
and like in Chattanooga, I mean, you have a company there that was neutral,
but you have Republican representatives and the senator there come out and
run a campaign against workers making this decision for themselves.

I mean, it really has gone further than kind of let the companies
decide, let the workers decide. There`s a culture here of, you know, race
to the bottom, I mean, a low wage jobs might mean more jobs, but it doesn`t
mean more prosperity.

MELBER: Yes. So let me talk to you at the politics of that because I
always get your emails and I`ve talked to you before when you have been
working for Democrats, worked on a different campaigns, you know how this
stuff plays out. Is there an angle here for Democrats or Progressives who
are interested in these labor issues to say, "|hey, this is the government
coming in and telling you how to run the company?" Because as we`ve said,
and Ed`s talk about this a lot, if the government -- if the state
government or the governor isn`t saying, "Hey, let the market figure it
out." But again, "hey, we don`t want a certain kind of company. We`re now
going to try to bar them or discourage them for making their own business
decisions." Is there a big government play here?

WOODHOUSE: I do think there`s a government play here. And also, I
think, there`s an organizing opportunity. I mean, on our side, Democrats,
and on the left, Progressives, have got to organize themselves into
communities of interest. And you see this in North Carolina with the Moral
Mondays. The women have to, you know, the women who want to protect their
rights need to work with those who want to protect voting rights. Those
who want to protect workers rights need to work with those who want to
protect women`s rights. And I think in that in way, a progressive movement
around these issues will expose the Republicans for what they are. Their
corporate sales who don`t have any interest in helping anyone else.

MELBER: Yeah. And as I said, I don`t think that applies to every
Republican governor. I don`t even think it applies to everyone in the
Republican caucus. But that side of the argument in the GOP is winning,
it`s growing, as you`re saying.


MELBER: . and you`re heading on something that goes to a point a lot
of people talk about. What`s the difference between being just a D.C.
Democrat or a movement Progressive? And what you`re talking about is
people who are aligned in these issues working together. An interesting
point here for us to end on. Brad Woodhouse, thanks for your time.

WOODHOUSE: Great. Thank you Ari.

MELBER: Absolutely.

That is the Ed Show. I am Ari Melber and for Ed Schultz. You can
find me on Twitter @AriMelber or at

Now, Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Hi


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