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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

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SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois. Also with
us, Michael Steele, MSNBC analyst and former chairman of the RNC.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Thanks.

MICHAEL STEEL, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Good to see you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, you were on the floor today introducing your
Republican colleagues to Hispanic voters in America. Did they hear your
message?

GUTIERREZ: I certainly hope so, because I think America`s a nation of
immigrants. A nation that welcomes new blood and new vitality and that`s
what`s made us strong and makes us the kind of democracy we are in the
world.

And so, I hope that they did, because to be quite honest, what I said
today on the House floor was if you talk about self-deportation to 10
million people, millions of whom have American citizen children, if you say
to thousands, tens of thousands of young people who gathered across this
country and said to President Obama, yes, we`re going to take you up, we
don`t want to be deported, we want a work permit, that you`re just going to
not extend that program that -- as a matter of fact you will veto the DREAM
Act.

If you`re going to go hang out with the SB-1070 folks in Arizona and
Governor Brewer and then go to Iowa with members of Congress who say the
only way we can control these immigrants is the same way we control our
farm animals, the use of electricity --

SCHULTZ: Michael, how much --

GUTIERREZ: -- that`s a party that says, we don`t really know who you
are.

SCHULTZ: Michael, respond to that. There`s a lot there to unpack.

STEELE: There is a lot there to unpack. I think the congressman is
largely correct in his assessment and I appreciate his introduction of the
Hispanic community to the party. And in the sense that for the past 10
years or so, but more recently, especially, we have really been tone-deaf.
You had George Bush and a few others who tried to crack open and sort of
expose some opportunities for the party to have a real dialogue and
communication, but we`ve seen how that`s played out.

So this is real-time. I think your -- I think your clarion call to
the left is very appropriate. This is, you know, the spoils of war is the
opportunity to govern in victory. And for the Republican Party right now,
it`s not just soul searching. It`s, you know, following up on what Haley
Barbour said. The establishment needs to -- before you do that proctology
exam, pull your head out and understand exactly what`s going on.
And really what this time means for Hispanics, African-Americans and
all Americans, when you`re looking at a two-party system and one party is
tone-deaf to exactly what`s happening.

SCHULTZ: All right. Michael, let`s put aside the financial talk and
the big battle going on in Washington right now.

STEELE: Right.

SCHULTZ: If the Republican Party were to change, don`t you have to
come around on women`s issues like equal pay? Like letting them make
decisions with their body when it comes to health care?

I mean, there are some social fundamental things right now that the
Republican Party`s out of step with. At least that`s what I saw in this
election. Your thoughts on that?

STEELE: I think there`s some legitimacy to that. Look, you know,
we`re fundamentally a pro-life party. We believe very much in the sanctity
of life. But there`s a way you can have that discussion without making
women especially feel that they`re out of place, out of step, because of
their particular belief or value system on that issue.

Look, you know, there`s a broad cloth or swath of issues out there
where we can find that common ground to stand on that talk to where people
are. And I to your point, Ed, that the party has to recognize that, you
know, not everything is going to be lockstep with us 100 percent, on most
things. Ronald Reagan said, I thought were very true, where we have that
common ground, let`s stand there for the fight for better jobs, equal pay --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

STEELE: -- and opportunity.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, I want to ask you, my commentary you heard a
moment ago, now is the time to move.

GUTIERREZ: Yes.

SCHULTZ: And if you`ve got minorities on your side, they`re voting
with you, and there`s more young kids coming in to us, that want to see an
opportunity that the Democrats are putting on the table --

GUTIERREZ: Sure.

SCHULTZ: -- if you don`t legislatively move right now, are you
missing an opportunity? I don`t want to ask about what are the Republicans
going to do to fix their camp.

GUTIERREZ: No.

SCHULTZ: What are the Republicans going to do to enhance their camp?

GUTIERREZ: I think the republic -- I think that the Democratic Party
has to respond. Here`s what I`ve said, Ed. I said, the same energy, the
same vocation, the same numbers, the same enthusiasm that Latinos came out to vote for President Barack Obama, that`s the kind of enthusiasm, energy,
vocation, and commitment --

SCHULTZ: We got to do the DREAM Act.

GUTIERREZ: -- that we have to show to the cause. We cannot start to
wander or wonder whether or not we were right, because let me just say
this. One out of 10 voters today is Latino. In 10 years, most will tell
you that 25 percent of all voting age Americans will be Latino. So it`s a
growing population.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

GUTIERREZ: And it`s a population, because democracy is a tough thing.
But --

SCHULTZ: What about that, Michael?

STEELE: I think the congressman is exactly right. I`ve been saying
since election night the reality for the GOP is that every month 50,000
Hispanics turn 18 years old. And if we are not prepared to deal with that
math --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

STEELE: -- to deal with that reality, then we will be the party of
the Whigs. We will go --

SCHULTZ: And, gentlemen, we will leave it there. Thank you.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Michael Steele with us tonight here on
THE ED SHOW -- thanks so much.

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