MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: Dec. 5, 2012
Location: Unknown

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SCHULTZ: I`m joined by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tonight, of Florida, chairwoman of the DNC. Great to have you with us, congresswoman.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Great to be with you, Ed.
Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Now, those are two key players there in the Republican party. One was on the ticket. The other was a Florida senator. What do you make of this about-face and philosophical change and approach towards the middle class. You buying it?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, it`s not an about-face, not by a long shot. There is not much compassion in either of those conservatives. And you know, I think what Mr. Ryan and Mr. Rubio must think is, you know, that movie, "Men in Black"? There have been three "Men in Black" movies. And I think one of the coolest things about that movie that most people remember is that little device that erases people`s memories.

Well, I think that Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio must believe that all Americans have had that device used on them. Because during the campaign, and even before that, Paul Ryan was the author of the Romney/Ryan budget, which increased taxes on the middle class to pay for 250,000 dollars in tax breaks for the average person making more than a million dollars. Marco Rubio went to 70 different cities in support of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan`s candidacy for president and vice president of the United States. He embraced the Romney/Ryan budget, repeatedly. He cast votes for it. He has embraced ending Medicare as we know it. He has a record, they both do, of doing everything they could to ensure that the wealthiest, most fortunate Americans have the wind at their backs and can do even better, and have done nothing to help the middle class.

SCHULTZ: I find it interesting --

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Look, just because you say the words middle class
-- sorry, go ahead.

SCHULTZ: Well, I find it very interesting that here`s Paul Ryan out there talking about the middle class. And now we`ve got to be concerned about all Americans. But he`s not stepping up right now saying, in the House, we could take this vote to help 98 percent of Americans and move it forward.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: So there`s really nothing genuine about it.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: I think Rubio has thrown out middle class 35 times in his speech, because he`s taking the available language that has been successful, that worked with the American people. When it comes to policy, it`s not there.

What about the fiscal cliff, congresswoman? Where is this all going at this hour, as you see it? Where are we?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, you`re exactly right, Ed. And Steny Hoyer, I know, mentioned it earlier on your program. There is a bill in the House of Representatives right now that has already passed the Senate. If Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio and the rest of the Republicans in the House and Senate want to make sure that we really give a fair shot, as President Obama has fought so hard for, to the middle class, we can take up that bill in the House next week, when we go back into session, and give that certainty to the middle class.

And then we can work in earnest together to pass legislation that would reduce the deficit in a balanced way, that would make sure that we don`t first throw the middle class under the bus, that whatever we put forward has spending cuts and revenue that is going to take care of the middle class and make sure that we have spending cuts and revenue that ensures that they`re fair and that the math works.

There has been no evidence thus far the Republicans are interested in doing that.

SCHULTZ: This would just be the perfect opportunity for these two gentlemen to step forward and show some leadership. Because the majority of Americans do want this right now.

Congresswoman, the president has asked you to stay on as DNC chair. What is the way forward for the Democrats? What`s happening here?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, we need to continue to focus on rebuilding our economy from the middle class out. President Obama talked eloquently and passionately during the campaign about making sure that we can get a handle on this deficit, that we can rebuild our economy from the middle class out, that we can focus on creating jobs and getting the economy turned around. And that`s what he`s going to be working in earnest to do. We really are hoping that we have an opportunity to work together with the Republicans to move our economy forward.

SCHULTZ: Well, this would be the time to do it, if they`ll just step forward. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much. There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE ED SHOW. Stay right with us.

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