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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  September 21, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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this is what the country wants. this is what the country needs. this is why i won nine bush states. i talked about change and damn it, we're going to do it. he didn't say anything of that in his interviews. folks, doing defensive interviews isn't going to sell anything to anybody. crow can't flay footsie with the republicans. they are not in the same game. the president is waiting for some democrat to pull a rabbit out of the hat to get this thing done. the democrats in the congress are looking to him on this. he's the leader of the party, the most powerful, most visible politician in the country. shaky democrats i think will line up behind the behind and be a heck of a lot stronger if he stands stronger and starts making demands. they don't want to be on the opposite side, right? the president can't be looking for coffer from the congress. he needs to take the lead. in the meantime the righties are whining there was no cooperation whatsoever on all of this.
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i say, who cares. here's what the president had to say about that. >> the opposition has made a decision, they're just not going to support anything. for political reasons. let me put it this way. you know, i'd love to get republican votes, but i don't count on them, and i'm confident that we're going to get health care passed. >> okay. then where's the next comment about so this is what we're going to get? the right is supporting something. it's called failure. they want to kill health care reform right now. later this fall. next year. into 2010. then they want to come back and tell voters and the democrats they can't get it done and the republicans will say, democrats have the white house, huge majorities in both houses of the congress and they still couldn't get this thing done. the president needs to take control of this now. he needs to put a demand when it comes to a strong health care bill. win the public option. to guarantee, guarantee
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competition to the private sector. tell waivering democrats that you're either with me or with the republicans. that's what you have to do. to it tonight on letterman. get your cell phones out, folks. maybe i'm wrong on this. i don't think i am. i want to know what you think. has president obama shown enough spine on health care? text a for yes, b for no to 6 2639. joining me now, house majority leader steny hoyer. great to have you with us tonight. appreciate your time. >> great to be with you. >> i'm not giving up. >> i hear that. >> i'm not giving up. strong views on this. i need to know, what is your response to john boehner, the minority leader in the house, saying it's dead, it's not going to pass? what do you say? >> he says it's not going to win. very frankly, if it doesn't win the losers are not going to be the democratic members of congress. it's going to be a american people, families priced out of the market, individuals who
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can't get insurance because they have pre-existing conditions. it's going to be the american public who's going to see prices spiral for government, for families and for individuals, small businesses. they're all going to lose. this is not an option. prices are driving people out of health care coverage. out of the confidence of being covered so they can get health care that they absolutely need. so when john boehner and mitch mcconnell and others say they are winning this battle, as mitch mcconnell said, very frankly if winning means we do not make sure that americans have health care coverage, that's not a win that i think the american people want. >> was the president direct enough yesterday in your opinion? did he get mission accomplished in dealing with all of the talking head shows to get his point across? are you comfortable with his performance? >> i think the president is -- one of his strengths is he projects thoughtfulness to the american people. i think he did that during the course of the campaign. i think he's doing it now.
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ed, he was at the university of maryland. there were 18,000 people there. it was on television as you know. he was very forceful about the need for a public option, to do exactly what you said it needed to do. give us competition and bring prices down. >> that's what i -- steny, that's what i find so amazing. he goes on the stump and he riles up the crowd, says all the right things. then when he comes back inside the beltway and has to talk to his own party he's not as demands in person or in interviews as he is to a crowd. i just can't get away from the contrast on this. now, you've got boehner saying, well, it's dead, it's not going to pass. >> i think boehner's wrong. i think it is going to pass. we're working very hard on it. i've been working hard on it just today. we're going to be working hard on it tomorrow and the next day and the day after until we get this passed. clearly, ed, as you and i both know, the american public is
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very conflicted, they're very worried that what they have now which they feel some degree of confidence in, they know the prices are going up, they know they're going up very fast and they're going up so fast they w may be priced out of the market. nevertheless, they have been made to be fearful about what the options are. it's very important that we inform the american people. there have been too many people trying to incite the american people. what the president, ed, tries to do and he did during the course of his campaign was try to inform people. he did that yesterday, i thought, in a thoughtful manner. you thought it was not tough or strong enough. he's been strong the public option is absolutely essential to bring prices down. >> you have four out of five bills in the house and senate, call for a combination. how can the president walk from that? how can he make the demand right now? if he's not counting on republican votes. heck, let's go for the jugular,
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let's do whatever we want to do on this deal. if this was the republicans in power that's the way they would play ball. >> they would play ball to the extent they had the votes to do so. that's our concern. we have to make sure we have the necessary votes in the house and the senate to pass not only a public option but to pass the bill as well and that's what we're working on. >> have you operated in good faith? i mean, they're claiming you have to hit the reset button and bipartisanship hasn't been there. i need to hear from you tonight throughout all of this, mr. majority leader steny hoyer with us, have you been a good faith negotiator and listened to the republicans? >> ed, i think the answer to that is yes. mr. beau staunny who gave the response to the president's speech when he gave a speech to the joint session of congress, mr. bu staunny said he believed we were 80% in agreement. i don't know that everyone agrees with that. that's what he said in response to the president's speech. if that is the case, i have been
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reaching out to where is that 80%? let's talk. as you know, roy blunt, former republican whip, good friend of mine, we met six years ago. i've invited him to give me alternatives. very frankly, we haven't gotten very far along that path but we're prepared to hear what their alternatives are and what the 80% they can agree on. let's talk about the 20%. >> sounds to me like the september stall is well into effect. >> ed, i think, unfortunately, the bottom line is when demint says they want to make health care the president's waterloo, it's all about defeating the president's plan, not about providing health care for the american public. >> congressman hoyer, great to have you with us. >> always great to be with you, ed. big day on the senate side. members of the united states senate finance committee are putting forth their changes to the baucus bill. three democratic members are offering amendments for a public option. senator olympia snowe, she wants
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a triggered option, whatever that is. also the conservative democrats are somewhere to the right of that. for more let me bring in roger simon, chief political columnist for politico. roger, scorecard, one to ten tonight. how did the president do on his media tour yesterday? >> i thought he did very well. i don't know if i can give it a number score. it's somewhere around eight i suppose. you know, he wanted to go on and put health care on the front burner once again. he got a lot of other questions and a lot of other subjects, but he, you know, he put that in the spotlight. did he get closer to narrowing it down to what bill he would sign and what bill he would veto? no. so that is why i think you can't give him any higher score than he got. >> well, the president refuses to be demanding at this point. after there's a declaration that they've got to hit the reset button, after republicans have put a line in the sand. i mean, when does the president
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get demanding on his own party? i find this very interesting. from this standpoint, roger. i want your take on this. here's the president telling the governor of new york not to run. >> right. >> okay. here's the president saying, oh, gosh, we've got to have an investigation on a.c.o.r.n. well, what about an investigation on dick cheney? why is it the president seems to grab the low-hanging fruit when it comes to what seems to be popular at the time but when it comes to demanding from his own party i have to say i see a weak nns this president, that he is too much of a consensus guy and doesn't go after it with his own party. i'm telling you, the american people want guaranteed, guaranteed competition for the private sector when it comes to health care costs. if they don't get it, this guy's teetering on failure with his base. one thing about the democrats, they will leave their candidate if they're not happy. it's like herding cats. you know that. the democrats, the base definitely will make a decision on this. i think the president is in a
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crucial territory right mow. your thoughts on all that? >> i understand your frustration and i share it. once the president has decided he's not going to get any republican votes, i think he's decided that, then one wonders why he doesn't take the harder line. he doesn't have to cater to those conservatives who aren't going to vote for his bill anyway. he can simply say to his own party, look, i won't sign a bill without the public option. i won't do it for the -- not for reasons of ideology, not because it's the most liberal thing to do, it's the best way to keep costs down. it's the only way to keep insurance companies honest. it's not enough to have universal health care if you can't afford the health care. we've got to keep health care affordable as well as universal. the public option is the best way. he is not willing to do that because i think he does not -- is not willing to risk losing the entire health care bill over what he stills calls just a slifrer of the public option. until he does that i think the public option just might be
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dead. i think it's dead in the senate right now. i think the only hope is with the house. >> well, if it's dead in the senate there are going to be senate democrats going to pay a price for that next year. roger, good to have you with us tonight. roger simon, chief political columnist for politico on "the ed show." coming up, i'm not the only one who's wondering if the white house has a backbone. there are thousands of doctors who are, quote, mad as hell at the state of reform right now. a leading doctor will sound the alarm at the bottom of the hour. mad as hell doctors on their way to the nation's capitol. it's hard to believe this man was a heart beat away from the presidency. a former staffer spilling the beans about the sleazy plans john edwards once had with his mistress. you won't believe it. plus, talk about grasping at strauss. the republican value voters have chosen the huckster over the mister and palin as their savior
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for 2012. i'll put all that to the panel coming up.
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up next, our top commander in afghanistan is warning the president if he doesn't increase our forces there soon we'll lose the war? i think we ought to get out of there once and for all. i don't want us to be like the russians and lose everything. i'll ask retired army colonel and medal of honor recipient jack jacobs what would he do? doctors recommend most for joint pain. for joint pain. discover a light yogurt like no other. activia light! delicious, fat free, and above all... the only one that has bifidus regularis and is clinically proven to help regulate your digestive system. activia light. ♪ activiaaa!
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i'm not interested in just being in afghanistan for the sake of being in afghanistan or
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saving face or in some way, you know, sending a message that america is here for the der ration. i think it's important that we match strategy to resources. until i'm satisfied that we have the right strategy, i'm not going to be sending some young man or woman over there beyond what we already have. >> welcome back to "the ed show." president obama still trying to figure out the right strategy in afghanistan. his top command r over there has urgent warnings. "washington post" got ahold of general mcchrystal's confidential assessment of the situation in afghanistan. in it he says if he doesn't get more troops within the next year the war will, quote, likely result in failure. i think we're in a no-win situations in afghanistan, anyway. the president of the united states is risking turning it into his iraq. is he not? let me bring in msnbc military analyst retired army colonel and all-around good guy and tough
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guy. jack jacobs. >> short but tough. >> this is ominous, to say the least. if the president is going to listen to the general's on the ground, we're going to have to send more troops over there. is that the right move? >> i think we're going to have a send a lot more troops. i think it's not yet clear how many troops he's going to ask for. i think it's more than most people think. they say he needs twice as many twoops as he's got there now. the real question is whether or not we have the right strategy to use the troops properly in a war that's probably going to go on for a long period of time. >> do we have the appetite for this? >> no, i don't think so. >> do we have the resources for this? i thought we depleted resources as what was going on in iraq? >> the president said as a campaign promise we were going to get out of the bad war, iraq, get into the war in afghanistan to protect against the afghanistan. i don't think after years of war
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we have the resources to make it happen over a period of time. >> is there an exit strategy? >> there's plan to get out. the plan to get out is get out as quickly as we can but leave mobile training camps in the area to train locals. what needs to be done to reject the taliban. >> cnn opinion research corporation poll, do you support or oppose afghan war? 39% oppose. 58% are opposed. 39% support it. it's tough to ask for more troops and money on a consistent basis when this is the number you're dealing with with the public. >> it certainly is. what's going to happen here, presidential leadership. it's teddy roosevelt who said the presidency is only a bully pulpit but unless the president can explain to the congress who is going to write the check and the people who have to provide the people to go over there he's not going to be successful.
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>> mcchrystal says success is still achievable. what does that mean and at what cost? >> we have the stop the polite fiction of an afghanistan centrally governed from kabul. i've been there. people in the outlying areas where the taliban are located do not care about kabul. they're not interested in that. we can focus our attention on local areas, empowering the chiefs to protect themselves and to develop economic zones where they can make money from something other than poppies. that's going to take troops, it's going to take a long time and it's going to take money i'm not certain the american public is willing to -- >> how do you think the generals should handle the situation with the president? >> that's the biggest question of all. this will be the first time a group of generals will have said, we need "x" and if the president is not willing to give "x" or the congress not willing to give "x" the generals in charge need to make a decision whether or not to stand up to what they know to be militarily
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correct and say we're not doing it then. or go ahead and wind up losing and sacrificing troops in the process. >> from a resources standpoint, not strategy and not mission, but resources standpoint, how is what we're doing different resource wise from what the soviets went through back in the '80s when they saw their resources completely deteriorated and really effected that country dramatically? >> they fought in afghanistan the way we fought in iraq. they fought an unconventional conflict with conventional troops. it won't work. it's one of the reasons petraeus is now in the saddle and why stan mcchrystal is in the saddle over in afghanistan. they know how to fight an unconventional war. like chip o'neal said about politics, it's all local down there. it does require resources and a lot of money and a lot of time. i'm not sure whether the
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american public is ready to put it up. >> we're talking about compartmentalizing the country? >> well-put. >> great to have you with us tonight. coming up, get ready for popcorn, i guess you could say, tonight, because tommy twinkle toes is lacing up the dance shoes and strapping on the sequins. we'll finally get him right where we've wanted him all along. right in the entertainment zone, right? you're the colon lady!
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oh, always good to start off the week with a real psycho talker. tonight, tom delay, back out in the public. couldn't hack it in government so he's switching to show business. >> for the first time ever, the republican hammer moves to the left. tom delay is "dancing with the stars." >> that's right. tonight, the hammer is putting on the sequins and heels to take a spin around the dance floor. and this is a guy who's got some experience when it comes to the spin, right? remember back in 2004 when he said that the democrats wanted to, quote, win the white house more than they wanted to win the war on terror? he was dancing back then and he's dancing right now. and just last month he made it into "psycho talk" when he went on to "hardball" and joined the wacky righties in support of a
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crazy berther theory. >> i would like the president to produce his birth certificate. yeah. i can -- i can -- most illegal aliens in america can. why can't the president of the united states produce a birth certificate? >> actually delay is where he needs to be in the entertainment business. tom, get out there tonight and break a leg. in fact, why don't you break both of them? you know, you do have access to great health care with that government-run program you've had all these years. folk, you may want to think twice before you flip over on the tube tonight supporting a guy with such a long history of "psycho talk." coming up, in my "playbook," just when you think you've heard it all, there's more. former aide to john edwards is, well, singing like a canary about what he had planned for his mistress. here's a hint. it involved a rooftop and the dave matthew's band. hmm. plus, thousands of doctors. you don't want to miss this.
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thousands of doctors are mad about the state of health care reform. they're taking it to the streets. a top doctor says the president is as much a part of the problem as he is the solution. right? he'll explain why you need to get mad as hell in just a minute. ♪
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progressive. call or click today. welcome back to "the ed show." get mad, stay mad, make history. that's the sloegen for the mad as hell doctors. i met these guys in portland, oregon, at a town hall earlier this year. they believe the public option is doomed. they're demanding single payer. i'm all for that. this month the doctors are taking their call for real health care reform on the road, driving a bus to washington, d.c., and making stops at about a dozen states along the way to rally americans. tonight they are in tennessee. joining me from nashville, an emergency room doctor, in oregon
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and he is mad as hell. you don't like mad as hell but inside you are, doctor. good to have you with us. >> good to be here. >> i met you at portland at the town hall that we did out there with kpoj and one of the doctors stood up and got after it and we knew that this was going to happen. i get a lot of e-mail around the country, say, you got to pay attention to these guys. what would you say to the president right now if you saw him? what's the message? >> what i'm mad about, what we're mad about is actually not health care. what we're mad about is that the industry has once again manipulated the public process, be the political process to create and manipulate public policy for profits instead of health. i think that the industry is just far more powerful within the beltway than i think even president obama could even imagine before he was president. i think he's as much a victim as
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he is not showing the courage to tell the american public the truth. >> thank you. i'm not alone. i'm finding somebody else saying the same thing i am. i think it's a matter of being direct with the folks. you say the public option is doomed. why do you say that? >> this is how we're going to fix health care, all right? we're going to mandate everybody in the country who doesn't have health insurance buy a commercial product that's flawed. that would be health insurance. and if you can't afford it we'll make you pay slightly more than you can comfortably afford and the taxpayer will pay the difference. that's fixing health care. now, the public plan option isn't available until 2013. if you get your insurance through your employer then you don't actually qualify for the public plan option. it turns out that employed people are healthier than unemployed people. >> you see everything as an e.r. doctor. this is what the american people
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are seeing right now when they talk about reform. that is the top five drug companies and the amount of money they're making, gross profit $225 billion and spend $71 billion on marketing and $32 billion on research. how does that sit with you as a professional doctor? how does that set with you, those kinds of numbers and the resources spent on that? >> that's part of the problem. it's not just the drug industry. we're spenting 20 pk % of healt care dollars servicing the industry. they adding in to health, only add to cost and only complicate the lives of providers trying to provide you help. the drug companies and insurance companies are the problem. for me getting rid of the insurance companies is not just about saving 20% off the top. it's about having a system in place so that maybe some public health people could make the really important decisions we need to make that gives us
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health for our health care dollars instead of prosts for the industry. >> here's the kind of thinking you're up against. tom coburn, a senator, here's what he has to say on this doctor show he does. >> when people run across the border, they're running across for specialty care or running across because they have a waiting line so long they can't get into the canadian system. >> how do you feel about that? >> 85% of canadians are happy with their health care system. we don't come close. >> what kind of response are you getting from people you're running into across the country? >> at every rally and presentation we find an absolutely enthusiastic response from people. the people in minnesota and wisconsin seem to understand single payer is the only way we're going to be able to afford the imperative of universal access without breaking the bank. this is not spend a lot liberals. these are fiscally conservative
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people who understand we can't throw more money at our health care system. it's about doing the efficient thing. >> doctor, when you get to washington, let's hook up again and do more on this. i appreciate your time. i know a lot of you guys are taking your personal time to send a message to america. i appreciate what you're doing. think it's going to have an impact. dr. hochfell with us. founding editor of "huffington post." you know what, roy, i think that the worst thing the white house can do is underestimate the base if they don't get this right. i guess i wasn't satisfied with the president's performance yesterday because he wasn't direct enough. what's out there in the blogosphere? how do you think it's going to be received over the next 24-48 hours? >> what we saw this weekend was a classic example of reassuring the patient while sending in the priest to give the last rights. on the one hand we heard obama say it's not dead yet but at the same time he's saying the praises of the baucus bill,
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which we all know is a gift to the insurance industry. how did it come down to this, ed, the fact he said he was very excited that olympia snowe was warming to the idea of reform? is that what it's all about now, just getting one person, olympia snowe, to say she'll sign up all in the name of bipartisanship? it's really sad, ed. >> i will say this. the baucus bill, if it passes the way it is right now, has got some workable things in it when it comes to pre-existing condition and stuff like this. i don't think it guarantees the competition. that means the middle class is going to see their rates continue to go up. now, i just don't know what the president doesn't get about that where he can't make a demand to his own party after he's been told by counterparts that, hey, it's dead, it's not going to pass. why isn't he doing this? who's advising the president on this? >> i think we know it's rahm emanuel and people like that. that's the scary thing. we need him to take off the kid
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gloves and put on the brass knuckles. not to go against the republicans but his own party. say, look, do you want me to campaign for you? do you want to have an instant replay of 1994? >> roy, what's next? we've had a joint session of congress, speech there, we've seen primetime news conferences. we've seen town halls. we've seen the talk to everybody on sunday. what's his next play to get what the people want and that is true competition for the industry? >> yeah. i think he's got to get it in his own head that that's what he wants. he's not reluctant to say, governor paterson, you're out, right? he's not reluctant to say, van jones, good-bye. not reluctant to say a.c.o.r.n., you need to be investigated. he seems to be reluctant to say, here's my line in a sand. i'm worried we're going to get diluted health care and it's not going to work and the republicans are going to turn around and say government is the
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real problem. >> i agree. for more, let me bring in our panel tonight. democratic strategy jammal simmons, a.b. stoddard, associate editor of the hill and republican strategy ron christie with us tonight. a.b., i'll go with you first. is this just a political strategy boehner is saying that health care reform is dead, it isn't going to pass? do you think he really believes this isn't going to go anywhere? >> i think he believes the republicans can give health care a terrible tile on the house side. things are looking very chaotic over there. the bills are over $1 trillion. the president says he wants $9 billion. they have rejiggering to do. i think the republicans will be hardening their opposition because they see the white house doesn't want to use this procedure called reconciliation to pass this, which, of course, ed, you want them to use. that they're looking at a 60-vote strategy. senator olympia snowe of maine is sounding like she would want
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to work with the democrats more than she wants to back away. again, we don't have a final plan on the table but i think you're going to see republicans counting these votes saying, wow, if you hold 59 and fill the massachusetts seat and have olympia snowe you get 60. >> would a trigger option be acceptable to the base? quick definition. we'd see if the co-op or whatever would work. if it didn't, it would kick into a public option. >> the real objective isn't public option or no public option. i know you love the public option. >> it's the best way to guarantee competition. >> right. it's competition. it's affordability. it's getting the cost curve down. something that does that will work. part of what the trigger is, let's give the private market a chance. if it doesn't work, we automatically have an option that kicks the public option in. the country is a little more
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conservative than we may want to give it credit for. we have seven senators, democrats in states that john mccain won and dozens of house democrats who run in districts where john mccain won. we have to be considerate of their politics also. >> well, i just think that the democrats could make a great play here. hold off on the health care reform for another year. let's go to the midterms and see what the people say about the objectioni obstructionist. >> we saw that in 1994 and got or clock cleaned. >> the climate is different now. you have a president who campaigned on change, and a watered-down republican bill that where they continue to say it's not going to pass. that's capitulation in my world. that's what i think. all right. ron christie, your thoughts on this? i mean, are you still leading the game? >> of course we are, ed. i think the one thing i found the most, perhaps, of this entire debate, is how the
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president of the united states continues to take to the airwaves and think he can sell this plan, himself. i think the american people have listened to the details, they've listened to president, they've heard from their representatives and frankly, ed, aren't bigs the specifics. they can't belief you can add millions of people to the roles of health care and at the same time lower costs. america is still a center right country. we're not as right -- we're not to the left as we would be led to believe, ed. >> i'm not trying to say, hey, we've all turned lefty across america, but we're not a center right country. we're a center left country. we have proven that. that happened with four senate pickups in '06 before barack obama got on the scene and, of course, sweeping changes at the electorate in '08. >> it's your opinion. this is my opinion. we're still a center right country. 56% of the american people do not like the president's plan. only 42% agree with it.
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i think the democrats need to say to themselves, why do everything all at once? >> i could point out "the new england journal of medicine" that came out the other day with a poll saying most americans want it, especially the health care providers. all sorts of polls out there. ron, i have a good one for you later on in the show. a follow-up for what we talked about on friday. caribou barbie has got stiff competition for 2012. the huckster is the front-runner among conservatives by a 2-1 margin. i'll ask the panel what's going on with that.
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it's still not too late to let us know what you think. tonight's text survey is, has the president shown enough spine on health care? text a for yes, b for no to 622639. hey mom, i need some minutes.
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welcome back to "the ed show." in my "playbook" tonight, conservatives got together in d.c. for a right ring pep rally. among the festivities was a straw poll to see who they wanted for president. the huckster led with 28% of the vote, follow heed by mitt romney, tim pawlenty and sarah palin came in fourth. bring in our panel, jamal simmons, a. b. stoddard and ron christie. ron, if you're a supporter of huckabee tonight, are you feeling good about the weekend? >> i think both, ed. i don't think it's means anything. if i'm a supporter of governor huckabee that's a good start out of the gate. we have a year and a half to go before the american people start looking to the republicans and say who is the next republican candidate for president going to be? there are two critical races in
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new jersey and virginia this year, ed. that's what more conservatives around the country are looking for rather than saying did governor palin or governor romney do well? far too early. >> two top summits for the crowd was abortion and taxes. >> we've heard that before, haven't we? >> what do you think? >> if the republicans want to run for president again on those two issues tell them to have at it, especially on the choice issue. republicans typically nominate somebody who ran for president before. tim pawlenty may be the best choice they have. i doubt he's going to have that much strong of a chance. if you take a look back at history, bob dole, nixon, ronald reagan, they all ran for president before. >> if sarah palin is going to be in the mix, being a no-show doesn't really help, does it? >> this is a strange strategy of sarah palin. she doesn't show up at these events. i think she would have broken far more than 12%.
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if she had been there and given a speech i think she would have done much better. a lot of people in these crowds get excited by sarah palin. i think she would have done better. again, like you said, you really have to show up. interesting thing about mike huckabee is this. he won the straw poll at value voters summit in 2007. he also won iowa. doesn't get you far enough. he did win by double digits. >> those are the numbers. huckabee, romney, sarah palin at 12%. ron, i want to bring up a conversation we had on friday. we did go back and check on this. we did cover the story you and i were talking about on august 11th. we looked for the videotape. ron, the guy was a faker. come on, now, you know that. right wing story, there's a good lefty story. i'm taking the lefty story on that. >> if he was a faker then he wouldn't have had the st. louis police department go in and arrest six people for battery. >> it takes six to tango in a bar show, ron. you know that. >> ed, my whole point was you
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didn't see violence at republican town halls. you only saw people -- >> this wasn't violence. he was a faker. we did cover it. i told you i'd bring it up again. i appreciate your time, panel. first, when you thought john edwards couldn't sink lower his former aide is writing a tell-all book. in it apparently writes edwards told his former mistress he would marry her after his wife died. he practically planned the entire wedding. edwards allegedly told her that they would marry on a rooftop ceremony and the dave matthew's band would make an appearance. what the heck was he thinking? this guy's got a screw loose in my opinion. i usually don't have an appetite for this stuff on our show. get over it. this is john edwards. how could you fool so many people? i want to tell you about brett favre. see the swing pass right here in the fourth quarter of the
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our main event tonight on "the ed show," joining me, president of service employees international union. mr. stern, great to have you with us. >> how are you? >> why can't the president get tough on his own party and make
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a demand? when the conservatives are saying it's not going to pass? >> one, we're going out tomorrow at 150 different place with a rally that says big insurance, sick of it. in front of wellpoint, aetna and big insurance companies. two, i think the president needs to say let's get this bill going. let's take real votes. then in the end, ed, i think what's going to happen. in the senate, co-op is dead. i don't think we're going to see the co-op get. let it rest in peace. nancy pelosi passes 234 the house. then we have a public option and triggered public option. people in montana are going to ask max baucus, why in the world do some states and options and montana and north dakotas don't? >> refreshing view. you say the co-op isn't going to happen. we're down to the public option and trigger option. is that when the president is going to engage when we go to conference? >> we have the democratic party in one room, top leaders. i think it's showtime for them
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about where they stand with the american people. >> what if the president doesn't engage as far as -- and start demanding public option? what would your response be to that? >> what we're doing now. we're going out. this not a spectator sport making change. you have to go out and rally the people. that's what we're doing tomorrow with the insurance companies. that's what we're doing tomorrow bringing smocks signed by nurses and health care workers to democratic congressmen. we're saying america wants change. we're tired of 50 years of the insurance company rule. we want a change and want it now. >> do you think the doctor -- or the president should, i say, was strong enough yesterday? do you think that, i mean, we've seen a joint session speech, we've seen press conferences, we've seen rallies. what other card can he play right now? >> i think the card he can play and keeps playing is he doesn't turn around and back down. we've never made this change in 233 year in this country. a lot of people tell the president it's too hard, turn around, go home, take small change. he's stuck with it.
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we have to stick with him and get the job done. >> do you think the media is buying the conservative talking points of the public option being dead? >> i think the media is, absolutely. america is not. they want real choice. they want their cost tied down. they're tired of 50 years of the insurance company telling them what to do, raising rates. women who are victims of violence they have pre-existing conditions. people who had se sarn sections they can't get health care. i think people are nervous. i think people are scared. again, it's not a spectator sport. i say, let's get out and make change happen. let's turn up the heat until the politicians see the light. >> i hope the democrats wake u and get it done. andy stern, appreciate your time tonight. thanks so much. earlier in the program we asked you what you thought. as president obama shown enough spine on health care? 21% of you say yes.
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79% of you say no. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. for more information on "the ed show," go to our website at or check out my radio website at we'll be talking about this a lot more tomorrow. mr. stern will be joining us on the radio tomorrow. he doesn't know that but i'm announcing that right now because he says the co-op in the senate is history. that is music to my years. okay? "hardball" is chris matthews starts right now here on the place for politics, msnbc. we'll see you 6:00 eastern time right here on msnbc. command decision. let's play "hardball."
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good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, this is why we have presidents. president obama cannot escape the most brutal decision of his presidency. whether to put more troops into the american war in afghanistan, or pull out and let the taliban and al qaeda win. that was the word delivered to the president, if you hadn't read it already, on the front page of today's "washington post." the commander of our forces says we have to either put in more troops and fight to protect the people of afghanistan or we will lose, period. that there is no middle way left. so what will president obama do? will he bite the bullet and fight his own democratic party and escalate the war, or will he bite the bullet and pull out? which set of consequences will he find the least horrible? we'll talk to a democrat who says it's time to go, and a republican who wants to give general mcchrystal the troops he wants. plus, different channel, same results. remember those inaugural balls last january when the new president danced exactly the same dance with exactly the same
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steps in ball after ball after ball? well, that's what yesterday's tv blitz by president obama reminded me of. the president saying exactly the same thing, making exactly the same points, in show after show after show. so what, if anything, did the president achieve yesterday? and you wouldn't think things could get worse for john edwards when we read -- we read over the weekend he's about to admit he did father rielle hunter's child. after that, more uncomfortable details. and you have to ask, what was he thinking when he ran for president? what would have happened if edwards actually won the role for president? what would have happened had he actually won the democratic nomination before this whole mess broke public? also, as if things weren't bad enough for new york governor david paterson, now president obama has sent an operative to albany, new york to tell the governor he wants him out of the race, and if he does run against guiliani, governor paterson won't have the white house's support. it's a cold political move by president obama, much like the


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