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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Government Shutdown

Interview

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Location: Unknown

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And that is President Obama, I thought the President was very strong yesterday. Let`s bring in Congressman John Larson of Connecticut who told it like it is last night on the House floor. Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. JOHN LARSON, D-CONN.: Always good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: No one could have done it any better that you. You laid it right there. It`s about the country why can`t they realize that?

LARSON: Well, you know, it is about the country, and it breaks my heart both as a student of history and to know that this is totally preventable. And, you know, when you have one person in a small minority.

When you have Ted Cruz, that ideologically is driving this train, it`s got to be confounding. I know there are a good Republicans that are out there, Peter King and others who have been quite vocal. We need that part of the caucus, the moderate wing, however, many of them are left than the Republican party to stand up ...

SCHULTZ: You think they`ll do it?

LARSON: . and recognize that we can`t take this country this way.

SCHULTZ: You think they`ll do it?

LARSON: I hope so, they keep on saying they will, but you pointed out on your show, money has a lot to do with this and the influence .

SCHULTZ: And do you agree with that?

LARSON: . of money putting into this. Yes I do. I think that money and threats of primaries against so many moderate Republicans if they go against the grain, if they do anything other than what Ted Cruz tells .

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: . them to do. Right now Cruz is both Senate Minority Leader and Speaker of the House.

SCHULTZ: Well, I want to play a clip from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the floor this morning here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Democratic leaders in Congress finally have their price for government shutdown that no one seems to want but them. Shall we know the Democrats who shut down the government we yell and point fingers they`ve already started that particular routine. They all say it was the mean old Republicans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Congressman what`s your reaction to that?

LARSON: Well, you know, Ed I`m an old history teacher and I remember George Washington`s farewell address and in that address his admonition to the country was as follows, he was concerned about excessive party spirit, but most of all concerned about what would happen when a small group within the government was at war with its own government. That`s what we`re witnessing. Mitch McConnell, the traditionalist is trying to fend it off, John Boehner an institutionalist is trying to fend it off, but Ted Cruz is what`s driving this train, they are at war with their own government, and they`re seeking to take it down.

SCHULTZ: And John Boehner .

LARSON: And that is a shame.

SCHULTZ: . and John Boehner won`t bring it to the floor for House because he know it will pass but that would be bad, bad stuff for the Republicans, right?

LARSON: John Boehner is either going to go down in history as one of the courageous speakers or he`s going to go down as one of the worst based on how he handles this going forward. I have great respect for him, he is a decent person and I know this must really drive him crazy at its core .

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: . because he is an institutionalist, but it`s his responsibility. He is the speaker of the entire house.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Congressman John Larson good to have you with us tonight, I appreciate your time.

LARSON: Always a pleasure.

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