Ed Schultz: ‘People Are Better off Today Than They Were Four Years Ago.’

Ed Schultz used his opening monologue during his MSNBC show on Tuesday to paint Republicans as the “desperate” and “delusional” party in trouble ahead of the midterm elections and informed his audience that “people are better off today than they were four years ago” (before dismissing the struggling wages in the country as “a different thing”).

He began by dismissing the idea that Republicans are better positioned to gain ground in Congress following the midterm elections and strangely bashed The Washington Post and The New York Times for predicting GOP victories. He said The Washington Post was “trying to convince the world” that Republicans will succeed in November while the liberal New York Times apparently “doesn’t seem to get enough of it.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

Next, he stooped even lower to attack incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue to say that “Republicans look desperate” ahead of the November 4 election.  

After attacking Perdue, Schultz contradicted himself as he both lamented that the “[m]iddle class income has dropped in this country since the recovery of the recession” and proclaimed that: “The economy has seen 55 months of private sector job growth. That's a record. ObamaCare is on a roll. Whether you like it or not, the numbers are numbers.”

Next, following a clip of Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus making the case for why Americans should support Republican candidates and not “Democrat Senators” who “followed this President lock step in spite of the fact that things aren’t going in the right direction, whether it be ObamaCare, jobs, the economy, Keystone pipeline, all of the above,” the liberal MSNBC host accused Priebus and the GOP of being against anything positive (including the Keystone pipeline, which Schultz actually opposes).

He declared to viewers that the RNC Chairman must be “living on the moon somewhere” because “a majority of Americans” are “better off today than they were four years ago.” Immediately after that, however, he said that the lower wages Americans are currently seeing is unrelated to people being “better off” as “that’s a different thing” and would improve if “we were to invest, as a country in our infrastructure.”

While Schultz speaks glowingly of the economy, the numbers suggest otherwise. As I pointed out last week, numerous indicators are far worse in 2014 than they were before President Obama took office. For example, median household incomes still remain eight percent lower than before the recession began in 2007. Also, as Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs stated

The national debt, when Mr. Obama came into office: $10.6 trillion. Today: $17.8 trillion. The debt is crushing in size and its impact on our government and taxpayers alike. Median household income, back then, was nearly $57,000. Now it's down to $54,000. Indisputable, Mr. President? The labor participation rate back then was nearly 66 percent. It’s now 63 percent. The home ownership rate back then: 67 and a half percent. Today under 65 percent. The number of Americans on food stamps, then: 32 million. Now: 46 million.

The complete transcript of Ed Schultz’s opening monologue on his MSNBC show, The Ed Show, on October 7 is transcribed below.

MSNBC’s The Ed Show
October 7, 2014
5:01 p.m. Eastern

ED SCHULTZ: If you go around the country and talk to folks, you’ll hear that they’re really disgusted with the Citizens United decision and the big money that’s in politics and maybe this is a wake up call for all Americans that, you know, we’re not too far away from election, we can do something about it. In fact, today marks exactly four weeks until the midterms. You know, when everyone just goes to sleep and they just have an election, right? It’s crunch time for politicians to get out there and of course the experts are saying that Republicans – oh, I tell you what, when it comes to November, they’re just going to mop the floor. Well, look the headlines, Republicans are headed towards a big turn out edge in the midterms, Washington Post trying to convince the world of that. Republicans pull ahead again in the battle for the Senate, New York Times doesn't seem to get enough of it and, of course, the headline from Fox News reads “Will the GOP party like it's 1946? Republicans aim for historic House majority.”

I think everyone ought to be thinking they’re getting a little bit ahead of themselves. There's always in having spent so many years in the middle of the country, there just always seems to be this attitude that all the liberals are on the east and west coast and there’s just no democrats in between and the Republicans, they back it up by showing you the last map by showing you how much red is out there. This is going to be a razor finish. This is going to be tight. This is going to be photo finish in many areas. Especially this headline from the guys over at Fox, if you look at what's going on around the country, I think Republicans look desperate, when it comes down to it, the party of progress, the party of ideas and the party that has done something to help the economy, I believe, it’s going to be okay. Case in point: North Dakota Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer, I think he's put himself in a really tough spot and this is a sign of desperation, as I see it. Cramer has been out running this ad that veterans in North Dakota have turned to say, “we don't appreciate this.”

CONGRESSMAN KEVIN CRAMER ( R- N.D.): Our veterans are owed a special place in our heart. That's why I have worked to fund honor flights so they can visit their memorial and Congress, I fought hard against cuts to veteran benefits. Nothing has angered me more than how the VA has treated our veterans around this country and that is going to change. I'm Kevin Cramer and I approve this message because we're going to honor our veterans for their service to our country. 

SCHULTZ: The audio sounds good, but the setting, well, not so good. There's a few problems here. If Cramer had to bother to ask for permission, he would have been denied being able to do that commercial in front of a veteran cemetery. A North Dakota National Guard spokesperson said, “The answer is no, they cannot do it...we never got a call asking for permission.” Now, Cramer has stopped running the ad due to public criticism. Ironically, if you look back at his voting record, he's never really been a big supporter of the veterans. In fact, he's voted to cut billions of dollars in veteran funding. His Democratic opponent, George Sinner, long time native in North Dakota, has no problem pointing out this.

GEORGE SINNER [in SINNER FOR CONGRESS AD]: I don't understand how Kevin Cramer could vote to cut $6 billion from veteran retirement. I am George Sinner and I approve this message because, when I get to Congress, I will make it illegal to cut vets benefits. 

SCHULTZ: So, his opponent says he cut $6 billion from veterans benefits, but Cramer had no problem going out and doing an ad at a cemetery where veterans were laid to rest. Just how desperate are the Republicans in the middle of the country to get the old folks, to get the base that they’ve had so many years, to get the veterans to vote their way. Then we have this guy down in Georgia, David Perdue, trying to take over the Senate seat that is being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. He is – also, has a big problem on his hands as I see it. See, Perdue is actually proud of his career as an outsourcer.

On Friday, a report surfaced about his long history of outsourcing jobs at a textile factory. When it came time to answer the issue, he said, quote, “Defend it? I’m proud of it...This is a part of American business, part of any business. Outsourcing is the procurement of products and services to help your business run. People do that all day.” Uh, wait a minute. Wasn't the 2012 election, where President Obama had a theme that he cared about workers and the other guy was only, you know, 47%. Remember all that? I remember going to Freeport, Illinois where jobs were outsourced and I remember that being a big theme across the country that outsourcing jobs is just not a good for economy. So, I think there’s some desperation and a lack of focus on the part of the right wing right now. He went on to blame job loss on regulation. Someone needs to remind Mr. Perdue that outsourcing manufacturing jobs has devastated the middle class in this country and the middle class is paying attention. This chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly shows his practices have basically crushed American jobs. Outsourcing hurts the economy, the middle class. Middle class income has dropped in this country since the recovery of the recession.

Now, you can vote for this chart or you can take a page out of President Obama’s success and go with the Democrats and so, this is a great opportunity to stand up and say what you think about our country. The economy has seen 55 months of private sector job growth. That's a record. ObamaCare is on a roll. Whether you like it or not, the numbers are numbers. [POINTS TO 10.3 MILLION UNINSURED NOW IN OBAMACARE GRAPHIC] This is how many people have been effected in our society because we now have new standards in health care. If you don’t like it, maybe your next door neighbor has it. Why would you want to take it away from ‘em? The Republicans voted to do it over 50 times in the House, and you know what’s interesting? Even this week, Wal-Mart came on board with ObamaCare. They announced that 20,000 jobs. 20,000 of their stores and their staffers, with insurance agents, they’re going to staff their stores with insurance agents to help customers enroll in ObamaCare. You see, Republicans, as I see it, pretty much are delusional right now. They actually think that all of this good news is going to help them. 

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REINCE PREBIUS: The fact of the matter is what this election’s come down to, and I think we know it, is whether or not people feel better off today than they did four or five years ago, whether these Democrat Senators followed this President lock step in spite of the fact that things aren’t going in the right direction, whether it be ObamaCare, jobs, the economy, Keystone pipeline, all of the above. It’s not working for ‘em. 

SCHULTZ: Not working for ‘em? All of the things that Reince Prebius has just talked about the Republicans have been against. Positive, positive, positive, positive job numbers, positive economy, Obamacare, you know, they don't know what – they don't have a plan. They've never been part of a plan. Reince Prebius is living on the moon somewhere. I don’t know what newscast he’s watching, but he’s not watching one where the people are paying attention to. People are better off today than they were four years ago. The majority of Americans are. Now wages, that's a different thing. People are back into the economy, but not at the wage level. Well, but they're back into the economy and the fact of the matter is, if we were to invest, as a country in our infrastructure, things would be a heck of a lot better than they are right now.

— Curtis Houck is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.