Rep. Eric Massa Smacks Down Dick Cheney--Challenges Him to a Debate
This was a thing of beauty. Ed Schultz takes a few swings at Dick Cheney himself and brings in Rep. Eric Massa who smacks down Cheney for politicizing the attempted terror attack and says he'll debate him any time, anywhere, even on Fox News if Cheney won't appear anywhere else. Just make sure you're in studio Congressman. They'll cut your mike if you're off the set.
And on the topic of Dick Cheney and his good little stenographer over at The Politico, Andrew Sullivan got this one right--Mike Allen, Cheney's Chief Spokesman:
There he goes again, the mouthpiece for Rove and Cheney, believing his "access" as a stenographer makes him a journalist. It doesn't. It makes him a stenographer.
I would be more than happy if everyone just started ignoring Dick Cheney and his stenographer Mike Allen. Cheney is a spineless hack who hides behind the shield of Fox News, and The Politico, or AEI or any of these other right wing neo-con think tanks that allow him to give speeches and take pot shots at Democrats. I agree with Rep. Massa and Ed Schultz. Let Dick Cheney come testify before Congress along with Janet Napolitano and let's see how he fairs defending their horrid record on terrorism.
Transcript via Lexis Nexis below the fold.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW from Minneapolis tonight.
Let`s start with a 2010 New Year`s resolution. Here`s a good one for the Democrats.
Every time Dick Cheney opens his fat mouth about protecting this country, the Democrats send out a press release reminding Americans of the world that we got hit on his watch. This week has been unbelievable to watch the news cycle.
Republicans have wasted no time, no time politicizing the recent terror attempt on Flight 253 to Detroit. It`s gotten ugly, folks. This is what it`s going to be like in 2010. And, of course, former Vice President Dick Cheney, he`s leading the way.
He went after President Obama for being weak on national security, saying in a statement again -- comes out with a quote -- "President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think that if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won`t be at war. He seems to think that if he gets rid of the words `war on terror,` we won`t be at war, but we are at war. And when President Obama pretends we aren`t, it makes us less safe."
You know, our son was home for the holidays, one of our kids, and got on an airplane this morning and went back home. What did Dick Cheney do to protect my family today? What did the Republicans do today to make sure that that flight that left Minneapolis was going to be totally safe and reach its destination with no problems?
Do we understand, as Americans, how sick this thinking is? Politicizing an attack that could have killed hundreds of people is flat- out despicable and dirty politics no matter who does it. But it is completely unacceptable, I think, coming from a former vice president.
Have you ever heard any other vice president talk like this? And while Cheney, he comes out swinging at President Obama, you know, he didn`t say a word about the actual terrorists, nor did he say a word about the civilians who was the hero of the day.
Dick Cheney, and I`ve said this before, he wants us to think that his line of thinking, his Republican cronies are more mindful of national security than President Obama and the Democrats will ever be. And Dick Cheney isn`t the only one trying to use this terrorism scare for political gain.
You see, the Republican Party is back at it. They`re going after House Democrats. They`re using Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano`s awkward initial response to the terror attempt as an opportunity to target Democrats for not getting in line.
You see, the NRCC is basically pressuring swing seat Democrats who sit on the House Homeland Security Committee to call for Napolitano to testify before Congress. None of those Democrats will join me talking about any of this, but I`ve got one of them will join me in just a moment.
Now, here`s what I want you to do -- get your cell phone out, folks. Terrorism, is it your number one concern? I want to know with tonight`s text survey, is terrorism the number one concern for you in 2010?
Text "A" for yes and "B" for no to 622639. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Now, the request has come out from the Republicans to get these folks, the Democrats who sit on the House Homeland Security Committee, to go testify and to go put pressure on Napolitano. And she`s got to resign, she screwed up, didn`t say it right.
How about if we get Dick Cheney to come to Washington, D.C., and testify about everything he knows? Are we really going to find out about the presidential daily briefing August 6, 2001?
Hey, Dick, let anything slip through the cracks on that one?
Joining me now is one of the Democrats being targeted by that NRCC campaign, former naval commander Congressman Eric Massa of New York. He joins me tonight.
And you have to understand here, folks, the one thing the Republicans hate, they hate a Democrat who served successfully in the United States military. This is one of the reasons why this gentlemen is going to be targeted by Republicans in 2010.
Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.
REP. ERIC MASSA (D), NEW YORK: Good evening, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What`s your response -- you bet, sir. Great to have you on. Happy New Year. We`re talking security as we roll into 2010.
MASSA: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: What is your response to Dick Cheney? And what should be, in your opinion, Congressman, the proper Democratic response that every time this guy starts shooting his mouth off about security?
MASSA: Ed, let me get right to the point. I don`t want to mince any words.
I am sick and tired of the former vice president of the United States taking shots not only at this administration for problems that he was largely and personal responsible for, but by an extension, and those of us who served in the military and bring that experience, having everyone believe that, somehow, one political party -- in his case, the Republican Party -- owns the high ground on national security. This man suffers from a horrible case of political Tourette`s, and it`s about time that we stand up and kick right back because I`m sick and tired of him kicking us in our shins.
We need to grow a spine and stand up and show America, exactly who did what? Now, your predecessor in the previous half-hour said no Democrat has actually taken this on and highlighted the fact that it was Dick Cheney, personally responsible for the release of the masterminds of the Christmas airline terror plot who went to Yemen and actually made the explosives -- and trust me, not just one set of explosives -- that were given to this 23- year-old terrorist that posed a threat to this airliner.
And let me also remind people, it`s people like Senator Jim DeMint who is personally responsible for placing you, the traveling American public, at risk, because he has refused individually placing a hold on the nominee of the director of the Transportation Security Agency, the TSA, that branch of our government which is primarily responsible for the security of the traveling American public. People like Jim DeMint and people like Dick Cheney need to go away so we can solve the problems they`ve created.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, you speak in truth to power in all of this. We all, as Americans, have got to do more. The due diligence of safety is never going to end. We all realize we`re living in a different age.
But I know that there`s a lot of liberals and progressives across this country that are upset that Democrats don`t talk the way you just spoke on this program, get aggressive and get after it, and put the Republicans in their place. There are Democrats who are in Afghanistan right now. There are Democrats who are in Iraq right now. They have died for this country. Dick Cheney had five deferments.
What do we have to do to get the Democrats to be aggressive on security? We got hit on their watch. They were told that bin Laden was going to do this and they sat on their fat ass on vacation and did nothing about it.
That`s my resolution. Every time Cheney opens his mouth, this program is going to be dedicated in 2010 to kicking it right back at him. He`s a coward.
In fact, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said on my radio show that Dick Cheney is a coward. And I don`t think that it lowers the bar at all for the Democrats to come out and get after it and call it like it is.
How do you feel about that? What would be the political downside to that?
MASSA: Well, none. Telling the truth -- there`s never a political downside to telling the truth.
And by the way, I`ve probably got to tell you what my parents tell me. Take a deep breath, we`ve got a long 2010 ahead of us.
We are trying to solve tremendous problems that largely have been given to us. You know, President Obama came out after 72 hours. By the way, it took President Bush seven days to respond to the shoe bomber.
So, President Obama took some time to gather facts. He came out and he said, as I said the day before him, we had a systemic failure.
He spoke truth to power. He basically corrected Secretary Napolitano. And that wasn`t good enough for former Vice President Dick Cheney.
It makes no difference what we do. This man suffers from political diarrhea of the mouth. And unless we stand up and call it as it is, he`s going to keep on getting away with it.
But let me change the paradigm. This is not about Democrats and it`s not about Republicans. It`s about Americans.
This is not a political problem. It`s a national security issue. And for the Republicans to come out swinging and make this a political issue is the height of absolute arrogance and the depth of incompetence. And it`s about time we stand up and push back on him.
That`s why I`m the most targeted member of Congress, because I`ll stand up and take it. I don`t want the president being diverted from his mission on this, having to deal with Dick Cheney. I want Dick Cheney debate me, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. And let`s see how he stands up to the truth.
SCHULTZ: Well, he won`t go on any other network but Fox. We all know that.
MASSA: Of course. Then Ed, here`s a proposition -- I`ll go on Fox and I`ll debate Dick Cheney on his home territory, because he`s standing on quicksand on this issue.
SCHULTZ: I`d love to have both of you on. Of course, Cheney won`t come on this program, for sure. And his daughter has dodged numerous times on this program. They go where they`re going to be safe, in my opinion.
Congressman, you`re a hero. Let`s have a great 2010. Keep telling it like it is. I appreciate your time tonight.
MASSA: Ed, the real heroes are out there trying to keep us safe. God bless you. Good health to you. Have a great 2010. See you on the rebound.
SCHULTZ: We will do that, my friend.
Now, there`s a guy in Congress, right there, Congressman Massa, who you can trust, who tells it like it is, that cares about this country. It`s not left, right, blue, green, center, whatever. It`s about the right thing to do. We need more people in the Congress like that gentleman right there, military experience who will get right after it.