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Image: Ed Schultz
Ed Schultz
updated 4/2/2009 5:06:45 PM ET 2009-04-02T21:06:45

Ed Schultz is veteran of 30 years in broadcasting and the radio industry's top-rated progressive talker, Schultz also serves as the host of the syndicated radio program "The Ed Schultz Show," airing live weekdays from noon - 3 p.m. ET with a weekly audience of more than 3 million listeners on 100 stations across the country. Schultz has been the breakthrough talent in an industry dominated by conservative voices. As an avid voice for the middle class, Schultz brings his hard-hitting style to MSNBC. Schultz also hosts "The Ed Show" which airs on MSNBC, Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

Schultz has won three Eric Sevareid Awards and has managed and been lead talent for a team that won two Marconi Radio Awards and a prestigious Peabody Award. He has been named one of the top ten radio hosts in the country by "Talkers" magazine. In 2007, Schultz was nominated for Syndicated News/Talk Personality of the year by "Radio & Records."

Schultz is the author of “Killer Politics” (2010) and "Straight Talk from the Heartland" (2004).

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    1. Schultz: Middle Class entitled to simple rights

      In "Killer Politics," Ed Schultz explains to readers the simple rights entitled to the Middle Class.

Schultz is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he led the nation in passing and achieved All-American status as a quarterback at MSUM. Schultz and his wife Wendy have six children. His son Dave Schultz is a professional golfer on the PGA Tour. He shares his passion for hunting, fishing and flying with his large family.

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Video: Fired up: Barton puts GOP at crossroads in oil disaster

  1. Transcript of: Fired up: Barton puts GOP at crossroads in oil disaster

    ED SCHULTZ, HOST: want to do in New Jersey . Commentary on that coming up a little bit later, as well. But this is the story that has me fired up at this hour. You know, let`s see, it`s June 21st , the longest day of the year . And the Democrats are finally starting to see the light ? Texas Congressman Joe Barton has put the Republican Party at a crossroads. Let`s see, you`re either with big oil or you`re not with big oil . The Obama administration has the minority party I think backed into a major political corner.

    RAHM EMANUEL, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: That`s not a political gaffe. Those were prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here is BP , not the fishermen. And remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul , running for Senate in Kentucky , what did he say? He said the way BP was being treated was un-American.

    SCHULTZ: Wow . Rahm Emanuel is finally showing us some Chicago politics. The Republicans are shaking in their boots because they know President Obama is going to make Joe Barton the poster child for the midterms, and he should, because that`s what they`re all about. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fired back today at the White House chief of staff and the president.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: Now, I`ve noticed that the president`s chief of staff had some ideas over the weekend about how to frame up the November elections. I can`t think of a better example of how detached Democrats seem to be at the moment from the concerns of the American people . Americans want to know what`s being done to fix a broken pipe at the bottom of the Gulf , not what`s being done to fix the elections.

    SCHULTZ: Classic , classic, classic Republican move. Attack where they`re weak. Sorry, Mitch , the American people know this isn`t about Rahm Emanuel . This is about the Republicans apologizing to BP . Until you call on Barton to step aside , the Republican Party will own this apology. Republicans are desperate to change the subject, as they always are. Listen to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski .

    SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: Let`s not be distracted by saying, you know, Joe Barton made this gaffe or this inappropriate comment. Let`s focus on what we need to do, which is getting relief to the Gulf , making sure that they have every asset possible, making sure that we`ve got a claims compensation system that works for them. Let`s focus on providing what the people of the Gulf need, not pointing fingers back and forth and saying, oh, you know, what you said was wrong.

    SCHULTZ: What garbage that is, Senator. We, as Americans , we now how to walk and chew gum at the same time. It`s BS. What Joe Barton said was absolutely no gaffe. He`s what the Republican Party is all about -- defend big oil , defeat President Obama , win at any cost. And bottom line is, they have basically turned their backs on the concerns of the American middle class . Let`s not forget that. The only mistake Joe Barton made was he basically was telling Americans exactly what he thinks so everybody could see. I think that Barton should step down as ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee . And if he doesn`t do that, if he doesn`t bear the responsibility of leadership -- it`s about leadership. And if he can`t do that, then the Republicans are going to have to bear the brunt of it, because no one in the Republican Party has the guts -- I think there`s a couple people out there, but the leadership is fully behind him. What does that speak to where they really stand? Are they with the corporations or are they with the people? And I don`t believe that Americans , including myself, can ever view Joe Barton as an honest broker again when it comes to energy policy when he takes the kind of money he takes from big oil and then openly, not a gaffe, but prepared remarks with a statement, apologizes to the very corporation that is butchering our environment and trashing our economy along the Gulf Coast . Get your cell phones out, folks. I want you to know what you think about all of this tonight. Tonight`s next survey question is: Do you think the Republicans have the guts to force Congressman Joe Barton to step down from the Energy Committee ? Do they have the guts to do that? Text "A" for yes, text " B " for no to 622639. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show. Now, the political opportunity here, let`s talk about that. Joining me now is New York Congressman Anthony Weiner . He serves with Joe Barton on the Energy and Commerce Committee . Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Thanks, Ed.

    SCHULTZ: Why aren`t Democrats screaming from the top of every building in Washington that this guy needs to be replaced if he`s this close to big oil and has shown his cards when the Democrats are supposed to be the party that`s so concerned about climate change and energy and moving the country forward? Why wouldn`t you want to try to take this guy out just on the shame alone?

    WEINER: Well, listen, I`ve got to tell you something, because it`s not as if the second ranking member or the Energy and Commerce Committee or the third or fourth doesn`t reflect those views, as well. Look, there is an indiscriminate support of big oil and big business among the Republican Party . And I have some empathy for Joe Barton . First of all, I think he`s a good guy, but he was not anything near even the first to say this. In 10 minutes this afternoon on the Internet , here`s where I came up with other people who called it a shakedown: Michele Bachmann , Sarah Palin , Newt Gingrich , Rush Limbaugh , Tom Price. The entire Republican Party . My concern is we shouldn`t be focusing on Joe Barton . We should be focusing on what Rahm Emanuel spoke about this weekend. This is a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans .

    SCHULTZ: Congressman --

    WEINER: They support big business . We support trying to regulate them fairly.

    SCHULTZ: Yes, they do. Yes, they do. But all of the people that you named, Congressman, are not in a leadership position. They don`t chair any committees. And I have an ethical issue with the Democrats principally here. If you don`t have the guts to put the pressure on this guy to get him out of this position, how are liberals supposed to really believe that you`re serious about climate change ?

    WEINER: Because Joe --

    SCHULTZ: Quite frankly, I don`t care what Michele Bachmann says, and I don`t think most Americans do. You know my point here.

    WEINER: Well, listen, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are the leaders of that party. But the point that I`m trying to make here is, I think we`ve got to keep our eyes on the prize . This is not about Joe Barton . What if Joe Barton tomorrow wasn`t the ranking member ? Do you think any way that we`ve moved any closer to the Republican Party learning lessons here? Absolutely not. He reflects -- to his credit, he reflects what Republicans in Washington believe. You know, some people say that the meaning of a gaffe is saying what you really believe and having someone hear it. That`s basically what happened here. This was no gaffe. This reflects the values of the Republican Party . And I think focusing on one person is not the thing here. The idea here is very simple. There`s one party in Washington that is trying to reel in the worst abuses of big oil , trying to make sure the regulations are there in place, and trying to get this cleaned up. And another whose instinctive reaction is to defend big oil . That`s who will be in charge in Washington if we allow the Republicans to win in November.

    SCHULTZ: Well, that`s the point. I mean, why wouldn`t you look out for the people right now? But, of course, you`re saying that the entire Republican philosophy is that. Barton has taken $1.4 million from the oil and gas industry since 1990 . So, I don`t think his remarks were inappropriate. Heck, he`s bought and paid for by big oil . I mean, he did exactly what they wanted him to do. Now, moving forward, let`s talk politics of this. What`s the political opportunity here? Just to paint Joe Barton as, this is the real Republican Party and not let the voters forget it?

    WEINER: Well, you know, so much of what goes on in Washington is outside the view of many Americans . Most Americans don`t keep track of who`s regulating what. They`re interested in how they`re going to put food on the table and how they`re going to protect their job in a tough economy

    SCHULTZ: Yes.

    WEINER: But I`ll tell you, what we are learning here, this is one of those moments, one of those " ah-ha " moments for the American people where they get to visualize what the world would be like if the Republicans took over the House of Representatives . Joe Barton , whatever you think of his views, he would be in charge of the most important committee in Congress . So, to the extent that most Americans are not thinking about politics, they`re thinking about their everyday lives, this is a moment for them to understand that their lives would be very different if the Republicans are successful this November. Every election is a choice, and the choice is the Barton philosophy on managing big oil , which is to give them whatever they want, and our team.

    SCHULTZ: He`s your poster child, there`s no doubt about it . Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

    WEINER: Thank you, Ed.

    SCHULTZ: Thanks so much. For more, let`s bring in Bob Shrum , Democratic strategist and professor at New York University . Bob , great to have you with us. Is this actually a campaign`s dream, to have a target like this politically? What do you think?

    BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it`s pretty extraordinary, because everybody`s been talking about a Katrina moment , and trying to say that somehow or other, this oil spill was going to be Barack Obama `s Katrina . Actually, when Joe Barton spoke the other day, he committed the equivalent of, "You did a heck of a job, Brownie ." That`s going to be the indelible political image out of this, and his offense was not what he said, but that he said it. He spoke the dark heart of the Republican Party . And it`s not just a few members of that party. The Republican House Study Group -- I think it`s over 100 members of the congressional Republicans belong to it -- used the word "shakedown." And it`s not just the oil issue. It goes across the board. This is, for example, the same party that is stopping extended unemployment compensation benefits so people can feed their families while trying to end the estate tax for billionaires.

    SCHULTZ: So, how aggressive should the Democrats be? I mean, obviously, his apology was weak. It`s not being accepted by many. So, this is the defining moment for the Democrats , isn`t it?

    SHRUM: Oh, I think it`s several ways it`s the defining moment . First, I agree with you, people ought to demand that he step down. It`s entirely inappropriate to have him in that job. But secondly, it`s a defining moment because it opens the door to a narrative that will create a choice for voters. The Republicans want this election to be a referendum. Are you unhappy with the unemployment? Which, by the way, we`re hoping that you forget that we caused during the Bush years when the whole economy collapsed just as Obama was coming into office. That`s what they want this election to be about. I think what we have to make it about, what Democrats have to make it about, is a choice. And I think that what Barton did was crystallize that choice. It was a moment when the country saw the difference between the two parties.

    SCHULTZ: Bob Shrum , always a pleasure.

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