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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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I`m joined tonight by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. He is the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congressman, thanks for your time tonight.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: Is an apology enough? What do you make of the situation right now?

CLEAVER: Absolutely not. An apology is not enough. The question is for what is he apologizing? Is he apologizing because it was made public or is he apologizing because the inner parts of who is is being revealed.

Look, this man is a federal judge, a U.S. district court judge and a chief justice. And I don`t think that this man has expressed the -- in what he`s saying in this joke, the kind of temperament that a federal judge needs to have. Any minority who ever appears before this judge would not believe that they are going to get a fair shake.

And that is why Judy Chu of the Asian Pacific Caucus, Charlie Gonzales of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus and myself as the CBC chair all joined
together and said, this man needs to go. Now, at the minimum, he should be brought before the Judiciary Committee, because he asked for a review by his colleagues, but that is nothing.

The only way a federal judge can be removed is by the Congress of the United States. He must be impeached. And I think that this man needs to
at least be held accountable in front of the court of the United States -- the Congress of the United States.

The question is not whether Judge Cebull has foul racial opinions, but whether or not they have him. And by that I mean if what he said, and I
believe that he meant what he said in the joke, that that`s what he is, then this man is not fit to be on the court of the United States of America.

SCHULTZ: Well, the question begs if someone were to go in the courtroom with a Barack Obama t-shirt on and stand in front of this judge, could he objectively do what he has to do and follow the guidelines of the law without having his personal beliefs get involved? Is that really the
gist of it all for you?

CLEAVER: That is the issue. I think if a man stood before him who had driven on a sidewalk or something, he would probably get the electric
chair.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, what does it take to get him in front of the House Judiciary Committee?

CLEAVER: Well, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee would have to ask him to come. And of course if he doesn`t, the Judiciary Committee is one of the House committees that does, in fact, have subpoena powers.

And let me just tell you, if I were the chairman of that committee, I don`t care if that has been a Democrat, an African-American, Republican.

To say -- to send that joke out, as he did, means that there is something wrong. This man does not need to be on the court of the United States.

And every person who has ever appeared before him who was not like him
might think about making some kind of call for review.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, we will follow the story up -- follow up again next week. I don`t think this is going away. I appreciate
your time tonight. Thanks so much.

That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.

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