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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript


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SCHULTZ: I am joined tonight by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan.
Congressman, good to have you with us on this Friday evening.
You know, I think that might have been about the best advice ever come
from the former speaker, calling it a dead loser.
He is calling their bluff here. But why do the Republicans keep going
down this road?

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: Well, they just -- you know, they got this
thing going on where they just keep talking to each other, and they keep
lurching and further and further to the right. And just think when Newt
Gingrich becomes the voice of reason within the Republican Party, how far
to the right they must have lurched.
And I just think they`re worried, because if they pull up the debt
ceiling as -- and they try to hold the president and the Democrats hostage
over the debt ceiling, the contrast is going to be, well, what are you
going to cut? Are you going to put these deep cuts in the Medicare? Are
you going to put them in Medicaid and nursing homes and these kinds of
So if they bring it up, they`re really playing with fire not only for
the financial side of things, but then, if you`re holding them hostage,
what do you want them to cut?

SCHULTZ: Well, from your perspective on the Democratic side, the
progressive side, there is an opportunity here for the Republicans to
confuse a lot of people. Debt ceiling, government shutdown, you know, a
lot of misinformation out there, who to believe, and, you know, a lot of
average Americans really aren`t schooled up on exactly what all of this
means. That`s why I think that Gingrich may have done the country a favor
right there by cutting right to the chase on what it would really mean.
But what do the Democrats have to do in this campaign?

RYAN: I think do what I heard a clip earlier in the show, what Ronald
Reagan did. You go out as president, you use the bully pulpit, and you
clearly and articulately explain to the American people the differences.
Reagan was talking about Social Security and the deficit.
The president can come out and explain exactly how this is going down,
and the good part about it is the narrative has already been cast. The
Republicans look extremely extreme. They had a great deal the other day
and they even tried to muck that thing up, you know, while they were
dealing with it within the Republican caucus the other day.
So, the narrative is favoring Obama now. So, if he goes out as the
president and explains exactly the difference between a debt ceiling and a
government shutdown, and what is at stake if they hold us hostage, I think
the story is already leaning in his favor, and all he has to do is really
explain to it the American people and he`ll be a winner. And what Gingrich
said will happen.

SCHULTZ: What about the vice president`s role here? The president
has relied on Joe Biden, been pretty successful so far. Should the vice
president be brought in sooner this time around?

RYAN: I think you should have the vice president have the Republican
senators come through, and he should just take pictures with them, and just
continue the charm offensive.


RYAN: But, clearly, Biden is going to be a huge player in all of
this. He is just so schooled and so sophisticated and knows the nuances of
every single issue that`s coming down the pike. I think the president will
be very wise to put president or Vice President Biden in the middle of
these negotiations.

SCHULTZ: But when it comes to Social Security, as we`ve talked about,
President Obama is on record in his book, in the debates, and in some stump
speeches and interviews about where he stands on being open to change. How
can he go back and negotiate on debt ceiling when the Republicans are
sitting there looking at chipping away at the big three, and not move on

RYAN: Well, I mean, it`s disheartening to hear it. But I think the
president got to keep his eye on the ball here. Social Security is not the
problem for this particular issue that we`re talking about. If he wants to
deal with that on a sidebar issue in another way, and there are other
solutions there that aren`t what the president or the Republicans are
talking about, I think he`s got to -- that`s his job too as president, Ed.
Keep the focus. Keep everybody`s eye on the ball with the current
issue of the day. And he can`t let us get distracted. He can`t let the
American people get distracted by this sidebar discussion about Social

SCHULTZ: Congressman Tim Ryan, great to have you on THE ED SHOW
tonight. Thanks so much.

RYAN: All right, Ed.


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