Skip to main content

tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  January 26, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

8:00 pm
national election this fall, we can thank newt gingrich for making it an even hotter one. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with the inimitable ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. hurricane newt continues to slam mitt romney in florida, but the romney campaign's biggest problem could still be offshore. and tonight, the president of the united states is responding on camera to this picture with arizona governor jan brewer. we'll show you what the president had to say. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. he's to desperate to be president, he doesn't think the truth matters. >> the mud is flying in the sunshine state, and now they're trying to smear nancy pelosi. >> pelosi says she'll leak information so secret, he once asked her own husband to leave their bedroom so she could discuss it privately on the phone. >> tonight, the democratic leader responds in an ed show
8:01 pm
exclusive. >> there is a campaign commercial out from the romney campaign, not the super pac super pac, that says that you have a secret dossier on newt gingrich. is that correct? >> brand-new problems for the romney campaign regarding offshore tax shelters. we'll have the latest. i thought that he was pretty thin skinned. >> now governor jan brewer says she felt, quote, threatened by the president's attitude? dr. james peterson is here to respond. and major arrests related to the fbi investigation of former members of scott walker's administration. john nichols of the nation has the report. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the last man standing in florida might be the one with the most cash. mitt romney and his buddies have outspent newt gingrich and his allies by about five to one in florida. romney's campaign and the pro-romney super pac have already spent $15.1 million in the sunshine state. big money is having an impact.
8:02 pm
the latest average of all florida polls shows romney with a five-point lead over gingrich. the former speaker can't outspend his opponent, so he's hitting even harder during campaign events. >> in 1994, he's running for the u.s. senate to the left of teddy kennedy. do you know how hard it is to run to the left of teddy kennedy? and he says, you know, i don't want to go back to the reagan/bush years, i was an independent there. he won't tell you that now, because he's counting on us not having youtube. that's how much he thinks we're stupid. and we're not stupid. the message we should give mitt romney is, you know, we aren't that stupid and you aren't that clever. >> romney's campaign is doing most of its talking on television. the romney camp is using house democratic leader nancy pelosi in an ad attacking the former speaker gingrich. >> nancy pelosi served on the
8:03 pm
committee that found newt gingrich guilty of ethics violations. almost all republicans voted against him. gingrich paid $300,000. later he resigned in disgrace. now pelosi says she'll leak information so secret, she once asked her own husband to leave their bedroom so she could discuss it privately on the phone. information so damaging, it would help obama win. newt gingrich. we can't afford the risk. >> i'm mitt romney and i approved this message. >> i spoke with leader pelosi earlier today. she gave us the definitive answer about any information she has on newt gingrich. there is a campaign commercial out from the romney kbcampaign, not the super pac, that says that you have a secret dossier on newt gingrich. is that correct? >> no, that's not true. let me tell you what is the truth. everything i've said or will ever say about newt gingrich's ethics is in the public record. i've said on and on, just read the public record. >> we'll have more of my
8:04 pm
exclusive interview with leader pelosi later in the program. newt gingrich also took some blows today from another former republican presidential nominee. bob dole got into the act and released a statement. "i have not been critical of newt gingrich, but it is now time to take a stand before it's too late. if gingrich is the nominee, it will have adverse impact on republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices." gingrich shot back at the republican establishment. >> remember, the republican establishment is just as much an establishment as the democratic establishment, and they are just as determine the to stop us. make no bones about it! >> the pro-gingrich super pac, winning the future, is trying to get some of its south carolina mojo back. the pac released a web trailer for another documentary
8:05 pm
attacking romney. >> there are a lot of reasons not to elect me. >> what's the bottom line? florida is turning into a knock-down, drag-out fight between newt gingrich and mitt romney. but romney may have bigger things to worry about. a new report shows that he didn't come clean with the american people about his family's finances. the "l.a. times" first reported, "at least 23 funds and partnerships listed in the couple's 2010 tax returns did not show up or were not listed in the same fashion on romney's most recent financial disclosure form." almost half of these funds were based in low-tax foreign countries like bermuda and the cayman islands. remember, mitt romney said his
8:06 pm
financial disclosure forms told us everything we needed to know about it. >> the most extensive disclosure that i made was the financial disclosure requirements under the law. we each had to do that, and i laid out what my assets are and where they are, and people have been looking at that as very similar to what it was four years ago. >> we must ask the question, did mitt romney break the law? romney's campaign says it will make minor technical amendments to romney's financial disclosure. you think? get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, will romney's hidden finances make republicans less likely to vote for him? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. our blog is there at we'll bring you the results later on in the show. this is a big development. joining me tonight is robert wexler, former congressman from florida's 19th district. mr. wexler, good to have you with us tonight on "the ed
8:07 pm
show." i know you're also an attorney. and i want to go right to the money here with mitt romney. will mitt romney's failure to disclose financial information, is this a real potential problem? and i ask this under two laws that have been passed. one of them, the ethics and government act, and also, the false statements accountability act, which really goes at people if they do not fully disclose. what about all this? >> well, ed, thank you for having me. and i wouldn't pretend to be a legal expert on this matter, but, certainly, if there is a discrepancy between the tax returns and the financial disclosure forms, that would certainly pose a very serious question. both a legal question and also, most undoubtedly, a political question in terms of why was this the discrepancy presented the way it was, and was something being hidden for some reason? >> how quickly do you think the romney camp has to clean this
8:08 pm
up? >> well, assuming that there is some kind of discrepancy, first we have to learn for sure if there is, then i would imagine very quickly, because you would not want, if you're a romney, in the romney camp, you would not want this discrepancy to be out there very long. now, they're going to have to analyze this, i imagine, from both a legal and a political point of view, and get both of them right. >> let's look at the breakdown of the vote in florida. there's the northern tier, there's the central part of the state, and then there's a lot of cultural diversity down in the southern portion of the state. romney is leading in florida right now, but does newt gingrich have what some are considering to be a very strong republican jewish vote? does he have that locked up? >> oh, i don't think he has a lock on the jewish vote any more than governor romney does. i think where governor romney has his advantage, most distinctly, is in the early voting. i believe close to 20% of the votes, maybe 400,000, were cast
8:09 pm
either on or before the date that the south carolina primary took place, when mr. gingrich's star began to soar. so i think that's the biggest part of romney's advantage. but florida is nope for very close races. so i suspect when all the dust is settled and all the money is spent and all the accusations are made, that it will probably be a very close race. >> how big is the foreclosure issue in florida? i know the housing market has been a real issue for a lot of homeowners in that state, a lot of foreclosures. it's really hurt a lot of people. what about that? >> it's a huge issue. florida is a real estate-based economy. of course, we are diverse state and we have many sources of economic growth, but the real estate industry, both the residential and the commercial side, have been particularly hard hit, and floridians of all political stripes are particularly sensitive on the
8:10 pm
real estate issue. the other thing, ed, that i think is important to point out, is the issue of immigration. florida is a very special mix. of course, the cuban american community has a special place in the law, and the puerto rican community, they're citizens of the country. but what we see in florida right now is governor romney taking a very different position than he took in iowa and in new hampshire. and of course, it would seem to be quite a hypocritical stance. whereas, before, he was strident. now, all of a sudden, he's expressing some kind of warmth or sympathy with young people that are not citizens, but maybe would join the military or go to universities. this kind of discrepancy will not hold up in the general election. >> getting back to the foreclosures, today, newt gingrich linked romney to home foreclosures in the state of florida. here it is. >> how can a guy who literally owned stocks in the goldman sachs investment fund that forecloses on floridians run the ads he's been running? >> is that a soft spot for florida voters?
8:11 pm
what do you think? >> i think, you know, in that governor romney has predicated his campaign on his business acumen, all of these issues are quite relevant to his qualifications. >> sure. >> i think it is ironic, i think we all must see the irony that in a republican primary, these kinds of issues seem to be at the forefront. issues of wealth, issues of fairness, all of a sudden. issues of how governor romney made his money. but the ultimate judge, of course, will be the people. it's interesting that republicans seem to care a great deal about this. i think when we get to the general, should governor romney be the nominee, that independent voters in particular would be troubled. >> well, let's talk about the democrats, getting those independent voters in florida. are florida democrats confident that they can win the state in november? and i ask this with the backdrop of a governor, rick scott, who is not very popular, some pretty
8:12 pm
outlandish statements that have been made about president obama, from this tea party congressman west. there's been a lot of political activity in florida, and it all seems to show that the democrats appear to be pretty normal and behind the working folk of america. are you confident that the democrats can win florida? >> i'm very confident that democrats under president obama's leadership will win florida. that confidence, of course, is tempered by a cautiousness, because florida, as you rightfully point out, has been hit very hard in terms of the real estate industry. the unemployment rate in florida is higher than the national norm. but the basic essence of the obama economic message that 3.2 million people have jobs that have been created in the private sector, 100,000 jobs in the automobile sector. great news that general motors is now back as the number one leading automobile manufacturer and seller in the world. these are the kinds of issues
8:13 pm
that really are important in florida. but also, in florida, national security and foreign policy plays a particularly important role and the president's extremely impressive record on skrooel and his strength in terms of osama bin laden and eliminating al qaeda and we saw it just over the weekend in terms of his bold action in somalia, these are the kind of issues that play across the line in florida, from the panhandle back to south florida. >> robert wexler, great to have you with us tonight. thank you so much. remember, share your thoughts on twitter @edshow. we want to know what you think. coming up, nancy pelosi gives newt gingrich a taste of his own medicine about their time on the sofa. president obama strikes back at republicans who are crying about class warfare. and our political panel weighs in on romney screwing up his financial disclosure form. lots coming up. stay with us. [ other merv ] welcome back to the cleaning games.
8:14 pm
[ merv ] mr. clean magic eraser extra power was three times faster on permanent marker. it looks like mr. clean has won everything. the cleaning games are finished? and so are we. [ male announcer ] clean more, work less, with the mr. clean magic eraser extra power.
8:15 pm
coming up, nancy pelosi on
8:16 pm
mitt romney's offshore bank accounts and his tax rate. the president tonight told abc news his thoughts on the food stamp president charges made by newt gingrich. we'll show you what he said. jan brewer, the governor of arizona, said she felt threatened by the president during this exchange. now a fellow republican is questioning the governor's account of events. and breaking news out of wisconsin tonight. two more former scott walker aides have been arrested. john nichols of "the nation" magazine says this is going to have a big impact on the recall. share your thoughts on twitter using the #edshow. we're right back.
8:17 pm
8:18 pm
welcome back to "the ed show." i had an opportunity today to sit down with house democratic leader nancy pelosi earlier at the democrats' retreat in maryland. i asked her about the republican presidential field, the state of the race, and about her starring role in a romney campaign ad. how do you feel about being in a romney campaign ad hitting newt gingrich? >> well, it's happened before. welcome to the climate change ad. but, you know, it's so funny. everybody makes it, oh, you sat on the sofa with nancy pelosi. the point is, we came together to talk about the climate crisis, which i thought he had an interest in. i wasn't particularly interested in sitting on the sofa with him either, but the bigger issue of climate change together. and al gore bringing people who had been on opposite sides of different issues together. and i thought it was powerful,
8:19 pm
it was worth it. i haven't seen the ads, but this is more about what president obama's going to do as he wins re-election. it's about reigniting the american dream. that's what democrats are gathered here to do in cambridge, maryland, is to talk about how we do the work that is necessary to reignite the american dream. to make it in america, build our industrial and manufacturing base, to build the infrastructure of america, to have the education and training necessary for our children and for america's competitiveness. >> if the ad is inaccurate, should the romney camp pull it? >> you know what, i haven't seen the ad. i don't want to get involved in that campaign. i have just casually mentioned that people should read the public record, and much has been read into that. i think it takes away the focus of what is really serious here. the risk that president obama pointed out in his state of the union address, the risk to the middle class. how crucial this time is to the middle class. and how we have to make
8:20 pm
decisions, which are a stark contrast to what the republicans have put forth. >> we are having a big discussion in this country right now about income inequality and taxation, the president brought up, challenged the tax code in the state of the union address. and we have one of the candidates over on the republican side who has money in a swiss bank or had money over there and money in the cayman islands. does that present a problem, do you think? >> i think it presents a problem. but the issue of income and equity equality, it's not just about what people earn, it's about what they can own. their home, their small business and the rest. it's about fairness. and this income inequality is immoral. it's an immorality. i wish that some of our faith-based groups would speak out about this as well. >> is it immoral that mitt romney pays 13.9% at least one of the years he released. >> well, you're better versed on his tax returns than i am. all i'm saying is that we need
8:21 pm
to eliminate the tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country, that we have to have fairness and simplicity in our tax code and we have to do it in a way that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit of america, that encourages small businesses, that is fair to wage owners and earners as well as those who want to start their own business or be self-employed. so the imbalance of it all is not good for the country, and many people who are high income earners know that. they don't subscribe to the romney route. >> the romney route is to have money offshore. the the romney route is to have accounts offshore. what message does that send to the american people? >> you know, republicans are going to have to make a judgment. i think they have a contest without a winner. that's how i would describe the republican, we're calling it primary, caucus, whatever, their nominating process. i think it's a process without a
8:22 pm
winner. and it will be interesting to see what values they choose, one over the other, in terms of is it more important to have money, can i bring money wraoffshore. >> where do you think the american people will come down on that? >> well, that's the republican party. i have no doubt that president obama will be re-elected president of the united states. he is a person of vision, of knowledge, of judgment. a person who thinks in a strategic way, with a plan to get things done for the american people. >> the president seems to be getting rave reviews from democrats, from his state of the union address, but he also said in the state of the union address that somebody's going to have to take a hair cut. we can't have it both ways as far as the tax cuts and cutting programs and budgets. how essential is it, in your opinion, that the democrats don't let social security, medicare, and medicaid become a punching bag financially to allow the republicans to get
8:23 pm
what they want? and this really is something that is very important to the democratic base. >> well, it's not only important to the democratic base, any measure of public opinion will show you that whether it's the democrats, republicans, independents, young people or old people, women in particular know that social security and medicare are essential. >> will you protect it? >> yes, we will. let me also say this. the president has been clear. we've made the discretionary cuts that we're going to make. you know, when they try to keep a tax break at the high end and say, now you have to cut some place, we're not going there. in terms of the mandatories, which is different from the discretionary, forgive me nfor talking -- >> sure. >> -- that language. the fact is, if there's a way to make social security solvent for a longer period of time, let's put that on the table and keep that money in the social security trust fund.
8:24 pm
the message has to be clear that social security is not a slush fund or an atm machine for tax cuts for the rich. so if if you want to talk about social security and strengthening it, let's talk about that. but not to take money from it. it has not contributed to the deficit and it's not going to underwrite tax cuts for the rich. >> citizens united playing a big role in the campaign. will the democrats be able to compete against the corporate money that is just flowing in to romney, gingrich, even governor walker in wisconsin, where there is going to be a recall election? i mean, how do you view citizens united playing out and affecting 2012? >> well, as you well know, last saturday was the two-year anniversary of this most unfortunate supreme court decision. i understand a lot about government and politics. i'll never understand why they thought that that was a good idea, that you could have unlimited, unidentified special
8:25 pm
interest money, drowning -- >> we're seeing that now. >> deluging the political system in our country. and that's why when we talk about reigniting the american dream and building ladders of success, you cannot have opportunity and fairness in our country as a policy unless you have openness and transparency in the political system. so we're talking about a new politics, free of special interest money. chris van hollen has taken the lead on the disclose act, something that we can put forth now, disclose. when we win, we will reform. we have to have clean campaigns. the status quo can not exist. and at the same time, we will work to amend the constitution, to eliminate this travesty of justice. coming up, president obama responding to the charge that he's america's food stamp president. and he's setting the record straight on his meeting jan brewer. and next, new jersey's
8:26 pm
radical governor needs a lesson on the civil rights movement. chris christie, he's going in the zone. stay with us. managing my diabetes is part of my life,
8:27 pm
between taking insulin, testing my blood sugar. is this part of your life? freestyle lite test strips? why, are they any beep! wow, that hardly needs any blood! yeah. and the unique zipwik tab targets the blood and pulls it in. so easy. freestyle lite needs just a third the blood of onetouch ultra. really? yep, which is great for people who use insulin and test a lot. max and i are gonna run out and get some right now. or you can call or click today and get strips and a meter free. test easy. [ male announcer ] a simple gesture can spark romance anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right, even if it's not every day. [ man ] tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications
8:28 pm
and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to how's it going? hey, good afternoon. don't feed that meter. with the hundreds i've saved at progressive, this meter's on me. good afternoon. how are you? how are you? with the hundreds i've saved on car insurance this year, this meter's on me. three random acts of savings. the time never runs out on savings. for real? yeah, absolutely. this meter's on me.
8:29 pm
thank you. de nada. got to keep moving, keep spreading the savings. hey, how's it going? don't feed that meter. with all the hundreds i've saved on car insurance this year, this meter's on me. five random acts of savings. six random acts of savings. there's a catch? there's no catch. nothing but savings. thank you very much. absolutely. you have a great day. you, too. you're sexy. [ laughs ] and in psycho talk tonight, i don't if there's any humor in this at all, because there isn't. governor chris christie of new jersey says people would have been better off putting civil rights on a ballot down in the south in the 1960s. christie made the outrageous
8:30 pm
comment when he was talking about putting gay marriage in a state referendum. he said he would veto a gay marriage bill from the legislature. but then he said this -- >> the fact of the matter is that i think people would have been happy to have a referendum, you know, on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets, in the south. okay? >> yeah, kay? there's a guy out of touch, folks. reaction to governor christie's remark was very swift. from new jersey assembly speaker sheila oliver, "governor, people were fighting and dying in the streets of the south for a reason. the majority refused to grant minorities equal rights by any method." from assemblyman gordon johnson, he says, "the governor apparently doesn't even understand that minorities likely would have been blocked from voting on a civil rights referendum in the south in the 1960s. you know why? because they didn't have civil
8:31 pm
rights!" and from newark mayor, cory booker, "i shud tore think what would have happened if the civil rights gains, heroically established by courageous lawmakers in the is the 60s were instead conveniently left up to popular votes in our 50 states." for governor christie to say people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights is just flat-out clueless. indefensible psycho talk. bill gates says he agrees with me. >> the president is on the stump. the romney campaign is on the ropes and the fair share conversation. we'll get the latest with ari melber and professor caroline helband next. i felt a little bit
8:32 pm
threatened. >> now jan brewer says she felt threatened by ft. on the tarmac in phoenix? james peterson on the racial aspect of that remark. i will continue to be a good steward of the taxpayer's dollar. >> liar! >> and a bad night last night turned into a worse day today for scott walker. there have been two more arrests made. john nichols has the latest. ♪ let's go ♪ ♪ cruise like a norwegian ♪
8:33 pm
the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. you can adjust it to whatever your needs are. so whatever you feel like, the sleep number bed's going to provide it for you. and now, the company that redefined sleep is redefining memory foam. save $400 on our all-new memory foam bed.
8:34 pm
and at our white sale, stock up and save on our exclusive bedding collection. only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699.
8:35 pm
welcome back to "the ed show." president obama has been forced to bat down ridiculous attacks from the right on income inequality. today in las vegas, he talked about so-called envy. >> when americans talk about folks like me paying their fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich. just yesterday, bill gates says he agrees with me that most, that americans who can't afford
8:36 pm
it should pay their fair share. i promise you, bill gates does not envy the rich. he doesn't envy wealthy people. this has nothing to do with envy. it has everything to do with math. >> republicans are nervous about losing this argument. income inequality and taxes are issues where americans are clearly siding with the democrats. so republicans cry class warfare. today, warren buffett had a few words to say about that. >> so, if this is the war, i wouldn't call it a war, i'd call it a struggle, but if this is a war, you know, my side has had the nuclear bomb. we've got "k" street and lobbyists and we've got money on our side in terms of contributions, we've got money on our side in terms of lobbyists. >> and mitt romney seems to be the poster boy for an unfair system that's stacked against the middle class. he can't even get his offshore accounts straight on a financial disclosure form. let's turn to our panel tonight. let's bring in ari melber, who is a correspondent for "the nation" magazine and also
8:37 pm
professor caroline heldman, professor of politics at occidental college. great to have both of you with us. all right, ari, let me ask you first. is romney just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong tax reform and the wrong financial disclosure sheet? isn't this a huge problem? >> it is a big problem. usually being really rich is a huge advantage in running for office. and we know about people who self-fund, which he has done some of. so it's a great thing to have that much money to spend. but, boy, he is caught in the bu buzzsaw of this debate, and i thought it was most striking not with warren buffett or obama, but in the republican debate when he turned to the newt and said, well, under your plan, someone like me would pay nothing. someone who makes as many millions as he does. you really don't want to be cast in that role in this kind of climate. >> professor, about income inequality. can the democrats ride this conversation all the way to november? >> i think they can, if you look at polls, three quarters of americans want the wealthy americans, meaning the top 1%, to pay more in taxes.
8:38 pm
and it's no surprise. i mean, look at mitt romney, he's making $60,000 a day, and he's making money off of money. he's not making that off of labor. and he's paying less than 15%, which is far less than your working class americans are paying in taxes. so it makes a lot of common sense for obama to really hammer away at this in the general election. >> how much of a problem, professor, do you think this is for mitt romney, when it comes to ethics in government, some regulations about being forthcoming under a number of different laws. what do you make of it? >> well, i think back to 2008 when john mccain looked at 23 years of mitt romney's returns and he chose sarah palin as his vice presidential choice. so i think there's actually a lot there that he is very afraid to release. otherwise, he would have done it already. >> here's president obama on whether gingrich's food stamp president has an undercurrent of race. let's play it. >> i think the american people are going to make a judgment about who's trying to bring the
8:39 pm
country together and who's dividing it. who reflects sort of the core values that help create this country, values of hard work and responsibility, but also looking out for one another, and who is, you know, tapping into some of our worst instincts. >> is that what he did? >> no, i'm just saying they're going to be making these decisions. >> was the president a little hesitant there, ari? >> i think he was. the white house doesn't want to carry the the water on this, and we know why. it's really up to us, and i mean us as citizens, to decide whether we're going to stand for this garbage. ly i will note, there has some stuff like this around the edges last time and it didn't work against the president. newt gingrich may not end up being the nominee, but he's making racially motivated attacks that i think the american people will reject when we get out to a general electorate. >> ari melber, professor heldman, thanks so much. up next, jan brewer said she
8:40 pm
felt threatened by president obama during her finger-pointing session yesterday. we have the president's response. stay tuned. if you're one of those folks who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... well that's like checking on your burgers after they're burnt! [ male announcer ] treat your frequent heartburn by blocking the acid with prilosec otc.
8:41 pm
and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn. arizona governor jan brewer said she felt threatened by the president of the united states. dr. james peterson joins me next. don't forget to tweet us using #edshow. ♪[music plays] when you're responsible for this much of the team... you need a car you can count on. ♪[music plays]
8:42 pm
8:43 pm
arizona governor john braeuer brewer has spent the last 24 hours trashing the president of the united states, to just about anybody who will listen. this photograph of brewer pointing her finger at president obama in phoenix yesterday was the governor's ticket to a series of media appearances. she seemed to be on a mission to portray the president as a menacing guy. >> i was trying to be very gracious to him, and he just reacted in a very negative manner of which took me back.
8:44 pm
and he immediately took umbrage, if you will, with my back that i wrote, "scorpions for breakfast," and was somewhat of disgruntled, if you will. in my opinion, it was a terrible encounter. i don't know why he was surprised by my book, but he evidently is and he was very thin skinned in regards to it. i felt a little bit threatened, if you will, in the attitude that he had. >> threatened. that's the word she used to describe the encounter. their conversation took place on the tarmac in front of the president's security team and the entire press corps, but she was threatened, felt threatened. the president apparently told brewer a passage in her new book about an oval office meeting between the two of them was, well, inaccurate. brewer was the one jabbing her finger in the president's face. but she wants us to believe that she felt threatened. here's president obama's side of the story. >> i think it's always good
8:45 pm
publicity for a republican if they're in an argument with me. but this was really not a big deal. >> were you tense? >> you know, diane, i'm usually accused of not being tense enough, right? too relaxed. >> so you weren't? >> no. >> i'm joined by dr. james peterson, director of africana studies and associate professor of english at lehie university. good to have yo with us tonight. >> how you doing, ed? >> good. >> she said she felt threatened. two questions. first of all, what's your reaction to the picture and what's your reaction to her saying she felt threatened. >> first, the picture is absurd. it's pretty offensive. this is not the way that you interact with the president of the united states. and we know the context of this. we haven't seen this kind of disrespect directed at any of the presidents during my lifetime. and let me say one other thing about the picture. there is no grace at pointing your finger in someone's face. however she's trying to
8:46 pm
characterize her side of the interaction, it gets sort of erased by the fact that you have your finger waved in the president's face. we've had an ongoing conversation, ed, with you, yourself, other folk on your show, about the ways in which republicans and other folk on the right are coding some of their language around situations of race. this idea that somehow a black man, just by being a black man, is going to be threatening is really, really problematic. the bottom line here is this is one of the most mild-mannered, moderate folk that people have ever done. anyone who's interacted with him has said as much. the idea that he would be menacing or trying to intimidate the governor simply doesn't make sense. >> well, when you look at her history, and some of the things that she has advocated for as far as illegal immigration, young -- and coupling with that picture, do you think jan brewer has a problem with race? >> if we judged her by her policies, remember, this is what's strange about this as
8:47 pm
well. because from the left, the president has been fairly conservative on immigration issues. obviously, from the right, they feel like he's been to the left, which is the mark of a good moderate. but there should be no beef between governor brewer and the president based upon some of these issues. what the attorney general's office did is they realized that governor brewer was willing to racially profile latino and hispanic folk and anyone who looked like them throughout the state of arizona. that is unacceptable. we live in a free country. so there's no -- you know, from my mind, the policy here is really, really important to consider as well. >> the interaction was about a disagreement over the way brewer portrayed a meeting that took place with the president back in 2010. it was in her new book. here's what brewer had to say about her oval office meeting, right after it happened. >> it was a very cordial discussion. >> what was the tone like? >> very cordial. very, very cordial. >> very cordial. well, brewer's book tells a
8:48 pm
different story. she calls the president condescending and pratronizing. so which one do you believe? >> someone here is lying and it's not the president of the united states. >> she's lying? >> yes, clearly. she came out and said that it was cordial, that the interaction was cordial. she repeated that there, but she had to write something different, because her book is more about policy and politics than about the truth. >> and do you think that she actually used this moment to get visibility and to sell a book? >> well, i think that all people in the public eye, especially those folk on the right, but the folk on the left do this as well, use books as leveraging tools to promote themselves. they use photo opes like these as leveraging opportunities to promote themselves. this is just a little bit more seedy than what we normally see. because, one, she's playing on issues of race and that's completely unnecessary, and two, she's not telling the truth. she didn't tell the truth in the book about the interaction. obviously, she's not telling the truth about this finger-wagging
8:49 pm
interaction she just had recently. >> mayor scott smith of mesa, arizona, was there during the conversation in phoenix. he disputes brewer's story about president obama being tense and running off after the conversation, cutting her short. talking points memos reports mayor smith said, "there was no sense that he was running to or from anything. in fact, he said the president stayed and had a pleasant conversation with smith, who's a republican, and phoenix mayor greg stanton, a democrat." what does this tell you? >> again, it tells us that governor brewer is trying to play with the facts in order to enhance this photo opportunity. >> and then she does the media tour. >> exactly. >> she's doing the grandstanding and the media tour, gaming on all of this. that picture, i think, despicable, and i don't care who the president is, no president deserves to be put in that position, and for her to say that she felt threatened, right next to air force one and all of
8:50 pm
the security teams and all of the media, she felt threatened? what did she think president obama was going to do? >> right, what is he going to do? is he going to hit you? do you think he's going to smack -- it's insane. but this is where we are in politics right now, ed. where we are in politics right now, people play the race card, people will manipulate imagery in the public sphere to try to tell lies. the bottom line is with we've got to improve the public discourse around politics. >> dr. james peterson, good to have yo with us tonight. thank you so much. former associates of governor scott walker are facing jail time as a republican election scandal in wisconsin heats up. i'll tell you what, they've got it all in the badger state. as someone who uses insulin,
8:51 pm
i'm always looking for new ways to help me manage my diabetes. take a look at this. freestyle lite test strips? they need just a third the blood of onetouch ultra. really? and the unique zipwik tab targets the blood and pulls it in. wow! look at that! and you can get these strips for a $15 monthly co-pay simply by joining
8:52 pm
the freestyle promise program. alright! looks like i'm going to be testing and saving at the same time. call or click today and join for free. test easy. excuse me. him? he's helping me get back to normal. hey, i don't even live in a floodplain. but i've got flood insurance, so i'm covered. how's that? nice. flood insurance, it helps make your home a home again. or, your me a me again. ooh, check it out fred, new foundation. got any of those in my size? [ female announcer ] only flood insurance covers floods. for a free brochure, call the number on your screen. ed show survey tonight. i asked, you will romney's hidden finances make republicans less likely to vote for him? 63% of you said yes, 37% said no. coming up, two of wisconsin governor scott walker's former
8:53 pm
staffers are arrested as part of an ongoing john doe investigation in the state. all the details, the dynamics, and the nuts and bolts with john nichols next. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaids, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles
8:54 pm
or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to to learn about a free trial offer. nchtsz. big trouble for governor scott walker. two staffers who worked for walker when he was milwaukee county executive have been charged with illegally doing campaign work while being paid by the county. it's all part of an ongoing john
8:55 pm
doe investigation involving walker's staffers. his former staffers. today, with the milwaukee county district attorney filed a complaint directly connecting illegal activity to walker's campaign for governor in 2010. darlene wink, a former constituent service coordinator was charged with two misdemeanors for using county resources to raise money for walker's campaign. also, scott walker's former deputy chief of staff, kelly rhineflesh, was charged with four counts of misconduct in office. in the way these walker staffers allegedly broke the law is unbelievable. the district attorney's complaint reveals the existence of a secret e-mail system used by insider staffers to conduct fund-raising and over political activities on taxpayer time. thousands of e-mails were allegedly exchanged between county workers and walker's campaign staffers. secret e-mails were also
8:56 pm
exchanged with campaign workers for then-state representative brett davis, who was running for lieutenant governor. davis is now governor walker's state medicare director. but there's more. the secret e-mail system was allegedly set up by former walker deputy chief of staff tim russe russell, who has already been charged with embezzling $60,000 from a veterans' fund-raising event. so the big question. what did scott walker know and when did he know it, if anything? here's what we know from the d.a.'s complaint. the secret e-mail system. the secret e-mail system was set up through a wireless router housed in an office 25 feet away from scott walker's office. also, darlene wink, one of the two individuals charged today, resigned from her county position in may of 2010 after admitting she was doing campaign work on county time. shortly after her resignation, scott walker sent this private
8:57 pm
e-mail to tim russell. "we cannot afford another story like this one. no one can give them any reason to do another story. that means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day, et cetera." governor walker has not commented on the most recent charges and cancelled a scheduled event today, citing bad weather. for more on this, let's bring in john nichols, washington correspondent of "the nation" magazine. he is live tonight from madison, wisconsin. john, how bad is this for walker? >> it's pretty bad. remember, this is the day after the governor's state of the state address. he was supposed to do a tour of the state, stops all over, emphasizing the points that he made in his speech. instead, he was avoiding the cameras and his press secretary was not able to put out a statement responding to these
8:58 pm
charges, these criminal complaints that have come out, because colin wearily is listed in the criminal complaint. he is one of the people communicating with this secret illegal campaign operation within the county executive's office. among the other people communicating was reince priebus, who went on to become the chairman of the republican national committee. >> okay. so the scope broadens here. but we really, right now, are at a point of asking a nixonian type question. what did he know, when did he know it? how involved is walker? how could he not know if his office is 25 feet away from alleged illegal activity? >> well, and remember also, we're talking about tim russell here, who was in so much trouble a week or so ago and is listed in this complaint. his name's all over it. tim russell was for a decade scott walker's wingman. the guy who was at his side in everything that he was doing.
8:59 pm
another person who's listed in this, all over it is the guy who went on to become governor walker's chief of staff. and the woman who was charged with four counts of misconduct in office, it went on to serve as a fund-raiser for governor walker's campaign and was working for that campaign, right up until recent days. so it's hard to imagine the governor didn't know about this. i think it -- >> yeah, how does it affect the recall? >> it becomes a much bigger story. you know, most of your viewers have watched the debate what the governor walker did with the labor unions. they're very conscious of that as a central issue. but in wisconsin, a state that has always set a very high ethical standard, these sorts of issues are devastating. >> okay. we'll do more on this in the coming days. it just is as thick as it gets, politically in wisconsin. john nichols, thanks for your time tonight. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz, y


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on