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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Location: Unknown

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Senator, good to have you with us.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Good to be back.

SCHULTZ: This has bee -- I spoke with Chris Redfern today of the Ohio Democratic Party. This has been a financial slaughter against you, an onslaught of cash. Why are they after you so much? Why are you attracting more dollars than any other Democratic senator?

BROWN: I think they spent 17 million -- I know they spent 17 million. I think that people are starting to ask that question. I think that people are starting to understand that it`s Wall Street money because of my legislation to break up the big banks. I think it`s China money and corporate outsourcing money, because I have gone after the Chinese on leveling the playing field on currency and got our bill through the House last year -- or got our bill through the Senate. We need to get it through the House.

And I think it`s oil company money, clearly, because I have taken on the oil interests on taking away their tax breaks. So it`s pretty clear why they are in the state, why they`re spending that much money. I`m a progressive. I`m proud of that. I will continue to fight it. In the end, it`s whose side are you on? I`m on the side of the middle class, and on the side of giving opportunity to those who aspire to be in the middle class.

SCHULTZ: Your opponent calls you a liberal and a hyper partisan. How do you respond to that?

BROWN: I think it`s -- talk about what matters to people`s lives. This auto rescue has been huge for the state of Ohio. We celebrated this weekend two years of the Chevy Cruze, a car -- a best-selling Chevy that`s made mostly in Ohio. We`re seeing the president`s enforcing and we`re enforcing trade rules. We have a new steel mill in northeast Ohio, something that surprises people.

I`m clearly on the side of the middle class, clearly fighting for those issues, against this kind of money. And when Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers and those groups and Exxon and all dump 17 million in a state going after somebody, you know what it`s all about. That`s why we have now -- we`ve had over 400,000 people signed my website, SherrodBrown.com, signed our petition to overturn Citizens United for a constitutional amendment.

We`re fighting them on the grass roots level. That`s how we beat this big money. We have 80,000 people that have contributed to my campaign,
compared to a small number of people that have given tens of millions of
dollars to Citizens United and all these super PACs.

SCHULTZ: There`s been an attack on labor unions in this country. There`s no question about it. We have seen radical governors do it. The Democrats have been looking for voices that support labor. We all know that Ted Kennedy carried that torch for many, many years. There`s you. There`s Bernie Sanders. There`s a few others. But you two really are the ones that are really out there for workers in a big, big way.

Is this part of it? And by the way, your opponent called you un-American and says that you should be ashamed of voting for the automobile rescue. I know I`m throwing a lot at you here, but when I heard that and I saw that, I couldn`t believe it.

How could anybody in Ohio vote for somebody who would be against jobs?

Because that`s exactly what this automobile loan was all about.

BROWN: And the other senator from Ohio in those days, back when we did the auto rescue in `09 -- `08 and `09, George Voinovich, Republican from Cleveland, he supported the auto rescue.

It`s clear my opponent is so out of touch on the automobile rescue. But so out of touch on middle class issues. We defeated, as you know, because you spent time at that fire house in Columbus and you were on the air all the time all the time about our fight collective bargaining rights. First time -- only time in American history when collective bargaining rights were on a statewide ballot. We won by 22 points.

Not because 50 percent or 60 percent of Ohioans belong to labor unions, but because people understood that an attack on collective bargaining rights is an attack on the middle class. That`s what all that was about. That`s what these elections are about. Whose side are you on in this?

SCHULTZ: Senator, the last thing you need is voter suppression. Are you confident that Ohio is going to be able to overcome the shenanigans of the Republicans? And how is this going to affect your race?

BROWN: Yes, I`m confident. They -- after the election in 2010, they went after collective bargaining rights. They went after women`s rights. And they went after voter rights. We`re going to win this year because we`re well organized and are going to figure out how to get people to the polls in big numbers. People are ready to vote as they were in 2011 on collective bargaining.

And we`re going to overcome the money. They are going after us with big money. They`re going after us by trying to suppress the vote. That`s why people coming on to SherrodBrown.com and helping us out will really matter. Because it`s all about grass roots blunting that 17 million dollars in Ohio, outside money coming at me. I appreciate that.

SCHULTZ: Senator, good luck to you. It`s a heck of a battle. They are coming after you. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown with us here on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much.

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