tv The Ed Show MSNBC May 21, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
the chocolate factory. >> you can have the last word online. you can catch my own show at 3:00 p.m. eastern every day day here at 3:00 on msnbc. the ed show subpoena next. good night. good evening, americans, and welcome to the ed show tonight from new york. president obama's attacks on private equity make him sick. tonight i'll give him a dose of his own medicine. this is the ed show. let's get to work. >> this kind of stuff is nauseating on both sides. it's nauseati ining to the amer public. >> cory booker fights back on
his own. senator frank lautenberg is here with reaction. plus a picture of romney's as a rule tour capitalism will tell mayor booker what is really nauseating. the fighting irish are fighting the contraception mandate. and the naacp says gay marriage is a civil right. tonight our panel will react. rush limbaugh's tanking in the ratings thanks to the sandra foote firestorm. >> what did i say? i said, if we're paying for this, it makes these women sluts. and scott walker might be headed back to capitol hill to explain his divide and conquer bombshell. we'll have the latest from wisconsin. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the obama campaign, they were ready to take on mitt romney's record as ceo of bain capital this week, but an obama
supporter -- at least we think he's a supporter -- cory booker, changed the game when he said this about the bain strategy on "meet the press." >> this kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. it's nauseating to the american public. enough is enough. stop attacking jeremiah wright. what it does is it undermines to me what this country should be focused on. it's a distraction from the real issues. it's either going to be a small campaign about this crap, or it's going to be a big campaign, in my opinion, about the issues america cares about. >> president obama responded to the mayor's reaction in chicago this afternoon. >> this issue is not, quote, a distraction. this is part of the debate we're going to be having in this election campaign about how do we create an economy where everybody from top to bottom, folks on wall street and folks on main street, have a shot at success. >> booker has tried to walk back his comments.ed a video on yout
explaining what he really meant. >> mitt romney has made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign. he's talked about himself as a job creator. and, therefore, it is reasonable and, in fact, i encourage it for the obama campaign to examine that record and to discuss it. >> but booker's reaction, or should we say retraction, didn't make it into the rnc fundraising website called "i stand with cory." john mccain didn't mention it on youtube when he tweeted, thank you, mayor cory booker, for the straight talk this morning. even mitt romney's chief spokesman is still praising mayor booker's remarks today. >> i agree with mayor booker who said that these attacks against bain capital and free enterprise are nauseating. >> and mayor booker is also a star in a new web ad put out by the romney campaign. >> even obama's own supporters
have had enough. >> it's nau serks ating to the american public. enough is enough. >> harold junior and steve ratner, both of them have spoken out against attacks on bain capital. republicans are working overtime to make any attacks on bain capital seem unreasonable. it's because they know that the attacks are absolutely true. an unnamed gop aide told huffington post sam stein, booker is a huge plus for us. ampad should have been a clean hit for them. now it's totally muddy. romney knew he had to do something about bain capital. last week he was comparing the reverend wright attacks to the obama ads about bain. >> the purpose of the president's ads are not to describe success and failure but somehow to suggest that i'm not a good person or not a good guy. and having the campaign focused on character assassination is one of the things i find
offensive. >> oh, this is where cory booker took the bait. there is no comparison between reverend wright attacks on the president and mitt romney's actual record at bain capital as an executive. an obama adviser david axelrod explained why romney is running away from his past. >> he never talks about his years as massachusetts governor, and i think for good reason, because they weren't stellar years. >> romney wants to run on his private equity record, not on his record in elected office, and it makes sense, because as governor of massachusetts, the state was 47th in the nation in job creation, local taxes went up in order to keep state taxes down, state aid was cut to cities and towns, forcing higher property taxes and fees. funding for higher education was also slashed. president obama wants the country to get to know mitt romney's records in both the public and private sectors. >> his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. he's not going out there touting
his experience in massachusetts. he's saying, i'm a business guy and i know how to fix it, and this is his business. but that's not what my job is as president. my job is to take into account everybody, not just some. my job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now but ten years from now and 20 years from now. >> and let's not forget just how many times we have seen mitt romney on the campaign trail saying that this president doesn't know anything about this economy. in fact, he doesn't even understand how it works. president obama is going after mitt romney's record, and it is the right thing to do and it is fair game. he has not attacked private equity, private equity firms in the private sector. in fact, check it out. wall street has done pretty well, don't you think, under president obama? check out the dow jones industrial average in the past 10 years. remember those days back in 2009
when everybody said, oh, he doesn't know what he's doing. look at us now, wall street. if you invested here, you're in fat city right now. last year we should point out corporate profits were at a record of nearly $2 trillion. that's right, 1.97 trillion in 2011. back to the pre-recession levels. can you believe that? how the heck did that happen? let's talk about those tax rates, because the tax rates are the lowest they have been, the levels, since 1950. i thought republicans liked that. this is what cory booker is talking about when he says enough is enough. booker says he's nau urks srnau attacks on bain capital? no, he's not doing any interviews but things changed during the day so he's going to be with rachel maddow tonight on her program, which is great. but i would like to know if mr. booker has thought about what this country would look like if mitt romney and these righties
get control of our government again. mr. mayor, have you read the ryan plan? do you know what it says? do you know what these folks want to do? go read that. then you're going to want to throw up. i mean, i'm nauseated by people being laid off, losing their health care, their pension, their jobs to these as a rule tours who all they care about is increasing profits for their shareholders. democrats don't need surrogates like this, mr. mayor. if mr. romney becomes president of the united states, his record in the private industry is not only fair game, it is the only game. this is what we have to talk about. because this is what he goes out on the campaign trail and says that president obama doesn't know anything about the economy. bottom line here is we should all be throwing up if mitt romney gets into the white house, because the ryan plan is a recipe for disaster. and i think, cory booker, you
owe the president of the united states an apology. if you can't do it, maybe you were just on a big, new show and felt like you had to say something, maybe that's what it was, i don't know. but what you did was damage. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, does mitt romney care more about people or profits? text a for people, text b for profits to 622639 and you can always go to our blog at edblog@msnbc. senator, good to have you with us tonight. this is one of the strangest things i think i've ever seen, a democratic mayor going out and ramrodding the president's campaign in such a crucial election. how off the mark was mayor booker, in your opinion? >> well, unfortunately, the mayor was way off the mark. i've agreed with him on many things, but this one he's just absolutely wrong about, and it's
too bad because the campaign, i think, was doing the right thing in defending itself, defending the president's record, which is pretty darn good, and highlighting the bain capital record, which is buy a company, lay off the employees, take the spoil, lay off the employees and be done with it. that's not what we call job creation. it's job elimination and shouldn't be allowed to stand there. >> senator, i believe from your record you do know what job creation s. you worked in the private sector. you were the founder, i believe, of a payroll company, adp. is mitt romney's private sector experience fair game here? you've had to run for office numerous times and people have known your private sector record. >> i have, and that private sector company that the three of us started now has 50,000 employees in 23 countries across america, and 5,000 are employed in my home state in new jersey. so it's a record of job creation. and that's what we ought to be
looking at. why should romney be able to escape responsibility when he talks about judge me on my business record and it stinks. that's what we're looking at. that's not for america, that's not what america needs right now. america needs real job creation and real uplifting for people's opportunities in the future, get their kids in education and be able to get on with life. >> so senator, do you think it's vital that the obama campaign continues to highlight the kind of private sector experience that mitt romney is talking about? if he goes in and takes people's pensions and bankrupts the company and then a few people walk with a ton of money, that is important, is it not? >> but it's important to know it's a terrible thing to do. and the president is absolutely right in asking mitt romney what was his record like? we don't want that kind of a record to occupy the record
creator to occupy the white house. with that kind of philosophy we'll lose more jobs than we've already lost and that president obama has worked so hard to create. >> here's more from the president today responding. >> mr. romney is responsible for the proposals he's putting forward for how he thinks he's going to fix the economy. and if the main basis for him suggesting he can do a better job is his track record as the head of a private equity firm, then both the upsides and the downsides are worth examining. >> senator, do you think the president is taking the right approach here? >> i think the president is taking absolutely the principal avenue left for him, and that is describe the falsehoods that are being perpetrated around something that would not be good for america or american
families, and go, mr. president. stick with this. don't be swayed by anybody, friend or foe. >> how can cory booker be trusted as a surrogate from this point on? >> well, mayor booker will have to discuss that himself. i saw his attempt to do it, and it's not quite clear what was intended, but what came out is quite clear. >> senator frank lautenberg, nice to have you here. i appreciate your time. >> thanks. >> share your thoughts on twitter, the ed show. we want to know what you're thinking. coming up, what it would do to the american economy. this is where we desperately need a distraction. the obama campaign was slapped with a lawsuit today and the war on women is not over. our political panel will join us on that. stay with us. we'll be right back. great grai. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. i'm eating what i know is better nutrition.
coming up, the obama campaign keeps the heat on mitt romney with a new ad details bain's capital's vulture capitalism. i'm going to talk to a former employee who knows firsthand what it's like to do business with mitt romney. scott brown is using a trivial issue to attack elizabeth warren in massachusetts. her credibility is steady, but he's going after it. by ignoring the issue, she's only making it worse. she's got to fight back on this real issue. that's coming up. rush limbaugh's ratings have been taking a dive across the country after his sexist comments about sandra fluke. is he still too big to fail? share your thoughts on twitter. we're coming right back. ♪ surf's up everybor boards and your wetsuits ♪
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welcome back. president obama made it clear today that he was not attacking free enterprise. mitt romney was the one who made bain capital relevant to the campaign. >> understand that their priority is to maximize profits. that's not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers. he's saying i'm a business guy, and i know how to fix it. >> if it wasn't for the distraction of cory booker this would be headlining political news today. the obama's campaign focus of what happened to a company called ampad under mitt romney's leadership. >> reporter: then the company
was sold to ampad. >> one day we had a job and the next day we didn't. >> we were a business that had value. >> when bain capital bought us and ampad came in, that was a whole different story. >> we were a nice, strong, healthy company, we were making money, and for them to just come out from nowhere and shut the place down, it was devastating. >> reporter: when ampad bought the plant it fired all 350 workers. >> took our benefits. we didn't have anymore retirement and bain, mitt romney they did not care about us as workers. >> here is the story. in 1994 ampad under bain capital's leadership purchased a factory in indiana and laid off all of the workers, 250 workers. bain capital loaded ampad with crippling debt and in 2000 ampad went into bankruptcy. bain capital made $100 million
from its $5 million investment, but creditors got 2/10 of one cent for every dollar they were owed. these creditors included pension funds. i'm joined tonight by randy johnson who worked at an ampad plant there in indiana that was bought by bain capital. mr. johnson, good to have you with us tonight. i guess the word this evening is nauseated. how nauseated were you when you got the news you were losing your job and so were your friends and family and everybody else that worked at that plant? >> it was nauseating but it was devastating. what happened to the families -- people can't start to imagine unless they've been through it, and i know a lot of folks have. the bottom line is when you find out that your plant that was making money, was successful and going forward and making quality products suddenly had your world turned upside down. romney called it his real world. we don't understand that.
why would you say such a thing, that this is the real world, that you have to destroy companies to call it profits from the rich, this type of thing? he doesn't get it and he doesn't understand the average person and i know we're going to hear that many times. >> one of the headlines is how romney wouldn't meet with workers. was there any attempt to include actual workers in the decision making process? >> what happened is that was early on, that headline run. we were consistently trying to get him to talk with us. a group of six people was able to get him cornered at the columbus day parade and insisted he did meet with them. he did meet with them that night in the evening without fanfare, and said he would look into it and get back to them. we're still waiting on that to happen. the only time he got back to us is when he sent a letter the day the plant closed. >> i think most americans understand when a new company comes in there's going to be some changes, everything from equipment to desks to heavy equipment to a few personnel,
but to fire everybody? what was happening? >> they called it an asset sale. we're only buying the assets. what happened was, and i've repeated this many times, is not only did they tell you you were fired, but they brought in guards that walked you out of the building and said, here's an application. if we want you, we'll hire you back, and when they do, it's reduced wages, reduced benefits. you no longer have a retirement plan. this is really hard stuff for the people that worked there. >> no doubt. >> here is more from president obama responding to this. >> when you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits. your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. your job is to think about the workers that get laid off and how are we paying for their re-training. >> what do you think of romney pointing to his business
experience as proof he can create jobs as president and compare that to what president obama said this afternoon? >> i think we need to really look at this very closely. mitt romney's style and his philosophy and business, we all know is creating wealth. what he doesn't seem to understand is by creating good jobs, and i agree that sometimes we don't always be able to employ the whole work force, but try to work with the workers to create a good product which in turn more middle class people get jobs and you see the cycle starts over and over again. that's what creates jobs. whenever he takes that away, it loses jobs. >> do you think president's obama should keep hitting on this story and keep hitting on the whole business experience after what cory booker said? what do you think? >> i think he's going to have to. that's his only record. he doesn't have anything else to fall back on except being governor and we know what that is. he did do the olympics and he had a lot of help to get that
accomplished. the record is the record. the facts speak for themselves. this is not just ampad, but you had many companies the same thing happened to. they draw the same kind of profits. they didn't create jobs to create more jobs. that's what the president is doing right now. he's doing it with gm, companies like that. >> these are not personal attacks. this is the record. good to have you with us tonight. questions about elizabeth warren's ancestry are still dogging her campaign. i have some advice for her, next. scott walker is in hot water with the feds. stay with us. [ water ] hey, it's me water.
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this campaign right now seems to be focusing on one issue, claims about your heritage. your response to that. >> i think it's clear that scott brown and the republican party would rather talk about anything than real issues that are going on in this country. >> that was democratic candidate for senate in massachusetts, elizabeth warren, speaking with us just last week. she's right. her opponent, scott brown, the senator from massachusetts and the republican party don't want to talk about the issues. they never do. they have created a distraction and it seems it won't go away. at issue is warren's ancestry.
warren, a native of oklahoma, has said in the past that she has native american roots, according to family lore. warren is not enrolled in a tribe, nor is there documentation proving her heritage. as the kansas city star put it, it seems that warren may be guilty of a crime millions of americans commit, claiming, with no actual proof, that some an assess to ancestor in the misty past was a cherokee. warren has not managed to stop the distraction or put an end to the question, and now scott brown is accusing warren to claim minority status in order to advance her career at harvard and the university of pennsylvania. he's going full berth here, folks, and demand she go release her personal records from those schools to prove that she did not fudge her resume nor benefit from affirmative action. the whole thing is insulting,
and it is demeaning. i think elizabeth warren needs to come out and put this thing to rest once and for all. she ought to be holding a press conference. and don't take any questions about anything else. come out and say, i am going to talk about who i am, where i'm from, who my parents are, who my grandparents are, and just be done with this thing. and you know what's going to happen? it's all going to blow over and scott brown will be forced to do what? defend his record. he'll have to explain, let's see, why he voted against health care reform at the expense of the middle class in the country. he'll have to explain why he's against insurance coverage for contraception at the expense of women, he'll have to explain why he doesn't want to raise taxes on corporations or on millionaires and billionaires. warren, on the other hand, has called out the wall street fat cats, and she's been very consistent there, and that's, i think, really what most people are concerned about. what kind of senate are we going to have when it comes to dealing with wall street?
she created the consumer financial protection bureau, giving the middle class a fighting chance against these big banks. the middle class needs elizabeth warren in the senate. and scott brown absolutely knows it and that's why he's playing this card. and as one op-ed writer pointed out, that's why brown is calling for warren to release her harvard personnel records as a candidate. he's outclassed as a politician. he's got a chance, and this is it. well put. let's turn to massachusetts state senator katherine clark. katherine, great to have you on the ed show tonight. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me, ed. it's great to be here. >> why doesn't elizabeth warren just come out, hold a press conference, focus right in on this issue and be done with it? >> i think it's just what you were saying, ed, because the issues that i hear about from my constituents, the issues in massachusetts, have nothing to do with elizabeth warren's
heritage. elizabeth warren achieved her success as a professor and a scholar and as someone who fights and really wants to be a voice for middle class families. >> but this issue seems to be dogging her. this issue won't go away. i understand the paper is there and massachusetts are all over. why doesn't she just come out, call a press conference and explain her whole family heritage, and if she made a mistake, just admit it and life goes on? >> she achieved her success the old-fashioned way. she earned it. and both harvard, penn have all agreed that some, you know, fictitious minority status made up by the brown campaign had nothing to do with her success as a professor at those institutions, and this has created a media flurry, but it is not resonating with the voters of massachusetts. just this past weekend, we graduated thousands of students
from our higher ed institutions, and you know what those families care about and those students? scott brown's vote on financial aid. he doubled what our students are going to have to pay in interest. >> i don't disagree with that, but the fact is that she is, i guess, trailing a little bit in the polls, it's very close, within a margin, but this is an issue they continue to push and this is the issue that the brown campaign puts out on tv. and the point i'm making is that senator richard blumenthal of connecticut made misstatements about his service in vietnam, he came out, had a press conference with the veterans, he cleared the air, and he won the race. >> it's a very different situation than what happened with blumenthal. elizabeth warren has been very clear. this is what she was taught from the time she was a small girl, that she has native american relatives. and it's been demonstrated by some of the research that has
been done that, in fact, there are records that support that claim. but it is a waste of our time as taxpayers, as voters in massachusetts, to be focused on the generation's past in elizabeth warren's family. the issues that matter to us here in massachusetts are primarily economic. and those are the issues this discussion needs to come around to. and i think that it's very hard when you have the brown campaign trying to make a big deal politically out of a recipe book to hold a press conference and to really give any sort of credibility to that argument really takes us away from the issues that matter. >> did she ever put down on an application that she was native american? i mean, it's a fair question. and if she did, so what, it was years ago or whatever, but what they're trying to do is they're trying to paint her out to be
someone that's not credible, not telling the truth, hiding something, maybe took an advantage when she didn't deserve it. i just think that needs to be addressed, and i think she should be honest. when you pick up the largest newspapers in the country and they're writing about this, it would seem to me that it is disfocusing the campaign somewhat. >> i think that issue has been addressed. both harvard and penn have come out and said minority status had nothing to do with this. and this is really -- to keep coming back to this issue is a distraction that just isn't appealing to the voters and to the families here. we're concerned about jobs, we're concerned about the breaks for big oil that scott brown voted for. the most profitable companies on the planet -- >> he's definitely been a country clubber for the wall streeters. there are two clearly different directions between scott brown and where elizabeth warren would
take the citizens of massachusetts. great to have you with us tonight. massachusetts senator katherine clark, i appreciate your time on the show. there's more coming up on the ed show. stay with us. we'll be right back. thousands of e-mails showing used for scott walker's campaign. >> what does that make her? >> it makes her a slut, right? it makes her a prostitute. >> and rush limbaugh's comments on sandra fluk are coming back to haunt him.
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for investors, then you're missing what this job is about. >> president obama explains makingmakthe difference between making money and making a difference today. 12 lawsuits filed in courts across the country representing 40 institutions challenging the obama administration's policy to ensure contraception in employee health care policies. i'm joined tonight by the great lefty panel. cory booker goes on "meet the
press" and causes quite a stir. how does he fix this? how does he come out and fix this? what does he say? he avoided interviews all day long but apparently made the decision to go on with rachel tonight in front of a big audience and explain it. how does he fix it? >> i think the only way he fixes it so to say he was out of line. the president came out and made a good case, that if romney is basing his presidential appeal on experience at bain capital, then it needs to be scrutinized, and frankly, i think everyone was surprised that mayor booker would think that that's not something appropriate to bring up. we're talking about making money on the backs of working class people by shutting down factories and offshore, you know, tax havens. so these are things that the american public should know about. >> james peterson, he says he is nauseated by the obama campaign pointing out the record about what mitt romney did in the private sector. he's nauseated by that. what about that?
>> i'm from new jersey, and i think if you're from newark and the people are not surprised by mayor booker's comments. if you look at his political career over the long ark of that career, you consider the fact he moved to newark to really become mayor and his entire political career has been supported by private equity. he's got a partnership with the wall street folk that go back deep into his career. i'm not surprised by his position here. >> i think he thought he could pacify that by throwing in the reverend wright comment in his answer. >> equivalency. no equivalency. >> exactly. here's more from the president this afternoon. >> this is not a distraction. this is what this campaign is going to be about. is what is a strategy for us to move this country forward in way where everybody can succeed. that means i've got to think about those workers in that video just as much as i'm thinking about folks who have
been much more successful. >> jimmy williams, that sounds like a full throttle defense of his campaign and his focus, and i don't think he's going to be changing. how did the president handle it? >> he's completely on message. unfortunately, mr. booker was not. what's interesting is that the dirty little secret is out. private equity is not about jobs. it's about wealth creation and extraction of wealth. there's nothing wrong with that. this seems to be lost on folks. once again, mitt romney is incredible on an issue. he's running around saying he created hundreds of thousands of jobs. his campaign changed that to tens of thousands of jobs, now it's thousands of jobs. he's incredible and has a lack of credibility. if i were the obama campaign, i would hark on this all day long. you have someone running against the president of the united states who you cannot believe anything that he says.
>> i want to get to the notre dame lawsuit. caroline, the fight over basic health care for women apparently is not over. how do you read today's lawsuit in the move by notre dame? >> frankly not surprised that these catholic institutions are getting together and suing over this. kicking and dragging, bringing them into the 21st century, this is a classic case of religious traditionalism clashing over what is best for women and what is best for the country. the fact that 99% of catholic women use contraception or have at some point in their life means the church is way out of line even with their own constituency. so not surprised but it's a little disappoint that go they're playing hardball politics. >> james, these suits have been filed even though the administration gave religious affiliated institutions like notre dame a one-year reprieve from the policy while a compromise was reached. but they come out pretty dog ghana greone aggressive.
>> they put options on the table to administer and supply contraceptions here. but here's the thing. i want institutions, especially churches, to make sure their own house is in order before they try to pass judgment on other institutions. we have to also keep bringing this up. contraception does not just have to do with conception. contraception for women sometimes is a life and death health issue that is not related at all to sex or sexual reproducti reproduction. because we have an institution coming out with conservative actuary way without all the facts being on the table. >> there you have an employer making decisions on the health care. >> you have churches run by men telling women what to do with their bodies. i'm sorry, i don't date women. i'm a gay american, but i have to tell you, that sounds like a really stupid way to get people to be on your side. >> thanks for joining us tonight. appreciate it. mitt romney's campaign co-chair makes a trip to wisconsin to help scott walker.
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offers strategies that can help. up next, the video of scott walker introducing his divide and conquer plan to the american donor. and the number one radio talker takes a huge hit in the ratings. i'll ask michael harrison what it means for limbaugh and the radio industry. don't forget, listen to my radio show on sirius xm channel 127 monday through friday. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. are you guys okay? yeah. ♪
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saying the race is closer than the polls indicate. barrett is doing his best to fight back despite being outspent 25 to 1. barrett's new commercial hits walker where it hurts. >> scott walker is playing tricks with job numbers because he didn't like the real ones just like the trick he's playing be john doe scandals. felonies, guilty pleas and over a thousand e-mails showing tax dollars used for walker's campaign. if walker received our spent any of these e-mails, he's in deep trouble. he's hired criminal attorneys and walker refuses to tell us what he said to the prosecutors. doesn't wisconsin deserve the truth before the election? >> beyond the john doe investigation, walker is in hot water with the united states congress. back in april of 2011 he told the house overnight committee his attack on collective bargaining was all about the budget. earlier this month a new video surfaced from january of 2011 showing walker telling billionaire donor he wanted to
divide and conquer. the union sent wisconsin into a completely red state. ranking member elijah cummings and two other democrats sent a letter to darrell issa requesting a clarification from walker over his sworn testimony. walker's trying to change the subject by touring the badger state. today, walker toured an agricultural equipment company in lacrosse, wisconsin. he was joined by a failed presidential candidate who left his state billions of dollars in debt. yes, there he is. romney campaign co-chair tim w pawlen pawlenty, former governor of new mexico. the romney campaign knows how big the walker-barrett election is. my question tonight, does the obama campaign now how big it is? i'll have much more on this topic tomorrow night. tonight, in our survey, i asked does mitt romney care more about people or profits? 4% said people.
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goes before a congressional committee and says she must be paid to have sex? what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? it makes her a prostitute. she wants to be paid to have sex. >> welcome back to the ed show. the time of the controversy of the sandra fluke, i said he was too big to fail. he was the number one talker in america. you can't deny it. yet all across america, stations that carry his program are taking a hit. listeners are tuning rush limbaugh out in blue states and in red states. in new york ratings fell 27% last month. in the key 25 to 54 demographic. in houston, texas, not exactly blue territory, he's down 31%. in jacksonville, down 35%. let's go out on the west coast. in seattle down 40%. that's four different parts of
the country, isn't it? as for advertiser boycott, the head that carries limbaugh on 38 stations says that rush's remarks about sandra fluke cost the company millions let's turn to michael harrison tonight publisher of talker's magazine and an expert in the industry. michael, good to have you with us tonight. i'll let you do the talking on this. what do these numbers mean not only for limbaugh but the stations that carry him? >> as a radio talker you know what the numbers mean, so you know what i'm about to say is true. judging rush limb baugh's caree and the political implications and what it means to the industry based on four markets and $4 million lost is like judging the presidential election in the new hampshire primary. it's way too soon. the whole state of radio ratings is in influx with the ppm.
even people in the industry don't understand it. i think that much of this discussion is inspired by politics as opposed to broadcasting or advertising agency concerns. as long as rush limbaugh is a major political figure considered by many to be a force and that talk radio is caught in the crossfire between the left, the right, democrats and republicans, no matter what happens, no matter what the percentages, it's going to be shown as a sign that somehow there is this great shift in the political landscape. i find it hard to believe that the american public would be so outraged by one statement or one -- even if it's the most horrendous statement, when you see the kind of things that pass for entertainment in our culture today. i see the whole thing as nothing but a political football. >> has all of this damaged the industry or danld hmaged his brt
all? >> well, i don't know if it's damaged his brand because the month before the ratings that you've cited as going down, went up. perhaps this is nothing more than an adjustment. damage to industry, yes. because for the first time in modern history, people have gone after talk show hosts or radio performers with whom they disagree by going after their sponsors and harassing the very life blood of how this industry operates, which may not infringe upon the letter of the first amendment but it does infringe upon the spirit and it's the kind of practice that's hitting below the belt that could work against the left and right depending on who is in power and who wants to use it. the very things that are being used against lush limbaugh could be used against you. i would be here defending you if you were in the hot seat. >> absolutely. we're all in the fish bowl, but limbaugh is the biggest cheese out there, no doubt. tell me, has he changed his tone at?