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Joining me now is one of the Democrats being targeted by that NRCC campaign, former naval commander Congressman Eric Massa of New York. He joins me tonight.
And you have to understand here, folks, the one thing the Republicans hate, they hate a Democrat who served successfully in the United States military. This is one of the reasons why this gentlemen is going to be targeted by Republicans in 2010.
Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
REP. ERIC MASSA (D), NEW YORK: Good evening, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What"s your response--you bet, sir. Great to have you on.
Happy New Year. We"re talking security as we roll into 2010.
MASSA: That"s right.
SCHULTZ: What is your response to Dick Cheney? And what should be, in your opinion, Congressman, the proper Democratic response that every time this guy starts shooting his mouth off about security?
MASSA: Ed, let me get right to the point. I don"t want to mince any words.
I am sick and tired of the former vice president of the United States taking shots not only at this administration for problems that he was largely and personal responsible for, but by an extension, and those of us who served in the military and bring that experience, having everyone believe that, somehow, one political party--in his case, the Republican Party--owns the high ground on national security. This man suffers from a horrible case of political Tourette"s, and it"s about time that we stand up and kick right back because I"m sick and tired of him kicking us in our shins.
We need to grow a spine and stand up and show America, exactly who did what? Now, your predecessor in the previous half-hour said no Democrat has actually taken this on and highlighted the fact that it was Dick Cheney, personally responsible for the release of the masterminds of the Christmas airline terror plot who went to Yemen and actually made the explosives--and trust me, not just one set of explosives--that were given to this 23-year-old terrorist that posed a threat to this airliner.
And let me also remind people, it"s people like Senator Jim DeMint who is personally responsible for placing you, the traveling American public, at risk, because he has refused individually placing a hold on the nominee of the director of the Transportation Security Agency, the TSA, that branch of our government which is primarily responsible for the security of the traveling American public. People like Jim DeMint and people like Dick Cheney need to go away so we can solve the problems they"ve created.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, you speak in truth to power in all of this. We all, as Americans, have got to do more. The due diligence of safety is never going to end. We all realize we"re living in a different age.
But I know that there"s a lot of liberals and progressives across this country that are upset that Democrats don"t talk the way you just spoke on this program, get aggressive and get after it, and put the Republicans in their place. There are Democrats who are in Afghanistan right now. There are Democrats who are in Iraq right now. They have died for this country. Dick Cheney had five deferments.
What do we have to do to get the Democrats to be aggressive on security? We got hit on their watch. They were told that bin Laden was going to do this and they sat on their fat ass on vacation and did nothing about it.
That"s my resolution. Every time Cheney opens his mouth, this program is going to be dedicated in 2010 to kicking it right back at him. He"s a coward.
In fact, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said on my radio show that Dick Cheney is a coward. And I don"t think that it lowers the bar at all for the Democrats to come out and get after it and call it like it is.
How do you feel about that? What would be the political downside to that?
MASSA: Well, none. Telling the truth--there"s never a political downside to telling the truth.
And by the way, I"ve probably got to tell you what my parents tell me.
Take a deep breath, we"ve got a long 2010 ahead of us.
We are trying to solve tremendous problems that largely have been given to us. You know, President Obama came out after 72 hours. By the way, it took President Bush seven days to respond to the shoe bomber.
So, President Obama took some time to gather facts. He came out and he said, as I said the day before him, we had a systemic failure.
He spoke truth to power. He basically corrected Secretary Napolitano.
And that wasn"t good enough for former Vice President Dick Cheney.
It makes no difference what we do. This man suffers from political diarrhea of the mouth. And unless we stand up and call it as it is, he"s going to keep on getting away with it.
But let me change the paradigm. This is not about Democrats and it"s not about Republicans. It"s about Americans.
This is not a political problem. It"s a national security issue. And for the Republicans to come out swinging and make this a political issue is the height of absolute arrogance and the depth of incompetence. And it"s about time we stand up and push back on him.
That"s why I"m the most targeted member of Congress, because I"ll stand up and take it. I don"t want the president being diverted from his mission on this, having to deal with Dick Cheney. I want Dick Cheney debate me, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. And let"s see how he stands up to the truth.
SCHULTZ: Well, he won"t go on any other network but Fox. We all know that.
MASSA: Of course. Then Ed, here"s a proposition--I"ll go on Fox and I"ll debate Dick Cheney on his home territory, because he"s standing on quicksand on this issue.
SCHULTZ: I"d love to have both of you on. Of course, Cheney won"t come on this program, for sure. And his daughter has dodged numerous times on this program. They go where they"re going to be safe, in my opinion.
Congressman, you"re a hero. Let"s have a great 2010. Keep telling it like it is. I appreciate your time tonight.
MASSA: Ed, the real heroes are out there trying to keep us safe. God bless you. Good health to you. Have a great 2010. See you on the rebound.
SCHULTZ: We will do that, my friend.
Now, there"s a guy in Congress, right there, Congressman Massa, who you can trust, who tells it like it is, that cares about this country. It"s not left, right, blue, green, center, whatever. It"s about the right thing to do. We need more people in the Congress like that gentleman right there, military experience who will get right after it.
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