The Ed Show | March 14, 2013
>>> welcome to "the ed show" from new york. america met scott prody last night. and what a reaction. i'll tell you what members of the romney camp are saying about comments now. let's get to work.
>> i don't know how i describe myself, but i -- i was behind this whole thing.
>> the world is reacting to our first interview with the bartender who changed political history. tonight, the footage you haven't seen including the heroic act that convinced scott prody he needed to release the tape.
>> looking back on it, it's one of the proudest moments of my life.
>>> they're refighting the vietnam war over at cpac.
>> vietnam was winnable, but people in washington decided we would not win it.
>>> howard fineman has a wrap-up of the conservative conclave.
>>> plus more republican obstruction of appointees has democrats fuming. i'll ask former senator tom daschle if harry reid needs to revisit the filibuster reform.
>>> and yesterday it was the president. now democratic leadership looks like they may cave on social security . i'll ask the big congressional panel where they stand.
>>> good to have you with us, folks, thanks for watching. people around the country are still buzzing about the man behind the 47% video who revealed his identity on this show last night. now, today the world is getting to know the real scott prody. he described himself on this program as a regular guy. he's got bills to pay, he struggles in the middle class like anybody else. he has a dream to go to law school and he's -- really, here's another thing about him that i think you should know. he's a bartender. this is interesting. bartenders are in the service and hospitality industry , they are also some of the best armchair psychologists you can find. some of the best people readers o on the earth. they can tell if somebody's in a good mood, one of the nicest people you've ever met. you know huh it is, they interact with everyone. people confide in bartenders. they tell bartenders things that they might not tell anybody else. people come into the bar, you know, that they come in happy, they come in sad, they come in after a real tough day. often times they come in to celebrate. what i'm saying is that the bartender sees it all. the bartender knows people. in a way, you know, it's kind of perfect that the guy who secretly recorded mitt romney was in this industry and a bartender. you know, a working guy , a wage earner. you know, bills to pay. a guy who knows people. you know, it took him about 30 seconds to sum up the phony in the room. he saw a guy who was ordering the wait staff around when he walked through the door. but he also understood the seriousness of what was being said. he knew that the impact what it was going to have and was not going to be careless about his responsibility.
>> you were convinced that you had something the media never had.
>> right. maybe the media had it. i -- i -- when listening to this speech. i thought if he had said something silly or stupid or off the cuff or, you know, if something didn't actually come out right and he just had said something embarrassing, i would never have just released it. but when i listened to him talk, that wasn't off the cuff, i believed he meant what he said. he spoke with the most conviction i'd ever heard him speak with. i felt that, you know what, this wasn't just a mistake, it wasn't a gotcha moment. this is what he believes.
>> scott prouty knew the words were romney 's real beliefs. romney 's people also knew it. peter alexander told matt lauer the romney campaign knew how harmful the candidate's words were.
>> the release of that tape last summer stunned the staff. the governor, i was told even apologized to them for the mess he had caused. and even now i still remember what another frustrated adviser told me at the time. he said when you're running for president, you've got to know that the camera is always on.
>> well, he forgot that. scott prouty wanted to make sure that the american people understood the true meaning of what was being said by a man running for president. the country needed to know what this candidate thought of workers. his analysis came from experience because he has dealt with a lot of people. he can see people coming from a mile away. he's a bartender. that's his job. the outpouring of support for scott prouty captures the importance of what he did. people understand the courage it took to come forward. this is not the first time scott prouty put his neck on the line. here's another part of my interview with him. it sums up scott prouty , i think, pretty well.
>> there was a story about you that you stopped on the side of the road of an accident and jumped in the everglades and saved a woman and her child. is that true?
>> it was a single mom , the baby seat was in the car but there was no child in the car. but, yeah, it was a few years back, five years back and i was honored for saving a lady's life that her car crashed in the water and i'd gone down and swam up and down and was able to cut her out eventually and, you know, brought her out and -- david had said, you know, the reason that it was even involved in this, i was on the phone with david early on when we were discussing --
>> david cornyn.
>> discussing the release and he'd said, you know, this is incredibly -- either incredibly brave of you to do or incredibly stupid. you know, and it was that second i said, well, the last incredibly brave or incredibly stupid thing i did looking back on it is one of the proudest moments of my life. so, you know, i think we're going to roll the dice here and we're going to go down that path one more time because it worked. i'm glad i did it then, and i think -- and i slept at night because i didn't watch this woman drown in her car. i was able to live with myself because i jumped in and was, you know, there was other people on the bank and other people trying to help, but i was able to go and pull her out and dive back down and look for the baby. but i came out of it okay. she survived, but i -- i'm glad it's one of the most proudest moments of my life. and it was -- it was something that said, you know what, if you can jump in, jump in. and i had a chance to jump in with this again and said you know what, i'm going to jump in one more time.
>> well, the american people are thankful that scott prouty decided to jump in one more time. as a broadcaster, i'm honored to have been able to tell the story along with him. it was an honor to be a part of it and i appreciate it very much.
>>> you know when you do big interviews in this business, there's a stroke of luck that goes along with it. not everybody gets what they want. most people feel if they get close to a story, they deserve the interview. i don't know if i deserve the interview or not, but i do know this, that scott prouty and i do align ourselves when it comes to workers rights and workers issues in the middle class and maybe he just felt a little bit more comfortable here. and i'm proud of our team for that. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. it warms my heart to see what has unfolded in social media since the interview aired last night. is scott prouty a hero? text "a" for yes, "b" for no. you can go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring the results later on in the show. i'm joined by leo gerard . good to have you with us tonight.
>> good to be with you, ed, and congratulations on the interview.
>> well, thank you. what has been your role in scott prouty 's story?
>> well, i -- i don't want to speak necessarily about my role. i talk about our union's role. through our relationship with charlie kernagen and the institute for global human rights , we got to meet scott during the inauguration festivities in washington and got to sit down with him and talk about his views about life and his respect for charlie and what charlie does every day going around world trying to help people who are working in terrible conditions. and scott managed to see charlie 's work on that very same factory that romney was talking about. and you and i did a show on that, i think, at some point in time where that factory was purchased by romney 's bermuda corporation. and when charlie put that out, he and scott connected. and through our relationship with charlie , we got to meet scott . and i'm happy to say that scott is now going to come and work for the united steel workers . and we're going to do everything we can to help him to make sure he gets the kind of support he needs to take himself through this very, very emotional time for him and this very important time frame for him. he's just, i think, a rare human being that did the right thing for the right reason and didn't want to be the center of attention but wanted america to see the difference between the make believe romney and the real romney when he was behind closed doors with his ultra rich friends.
>> what kind of work is he going to do for the steel workers?
>> i think we're going to talk to him and do the kind of work he's excited about doing. he's very close with charlie and we do all kinds of work in different parts of the world. we send people into countries where workers are getting oppressed and we try to help, for example, we've helped build unions in liberia, now working with in nigeria. we were in bangladesh with charlie when the fires occurred. and all the women got killed. charlie and scott have been talking about those things through the relationship and the friendship they've built since they met along the way. and scott is a very talented and smart and strategic young person . and if we can help him meet his dream of going to law school , earning some money to go to law school , we're going to try to do that for him. he's a hero in this election. and god bless him because i can't imagine what we'd be doing now had mitt romney been able to fool the american public.
>> well, how much weight do you put on his actions in the outcome of the election? do you really think that it was the game changer? and had this not been exposed maybe romney would've won? or would he have won?
>> i'm not smart enough to figure that out, but i do know this. when i was on the campaign trail talking to ordinary workers spending our time with our members or people that weren't our members talking to workers in various settings. they resented what they saw mitt romney say. mitt romney basically called 47% of america free loaders, those are people that are living, veterans that have come out, people who are disabled, workers who don't earn enough to pay taxes even. and so there was a lot of anger that got generated. and i think it also generated a lot of motivation. i know that our people got more mobilized as a result of that video. and i'm sure that others did. and i think that what scott did, and i think his strategy was flawless. i think what he did with no prompting by anybody but him thinking it through, he wanted those that couldn't afford the $50,000 dinner to be able to see the real mitt romney . and the others that got scott upset is that mitt romney was talking about himself being a job creator and then he saw what mitt romney was doing in china buying these factories at bain capital . and he saw that as a complete sort of contradiction of what mitt romney was trying to portray. i think in the sense that mitt romney helped the obama machinery show what romney really was about, i think it was if not a game changer darn near a game changer and i think america owes scott a big debt of thanks.
>> well, he is a hero in my opinion and a lot of americans on social media are saying the same thing. it took a lot of guts to do what he did. it certainly is going to change fund raising , there's no such thing as behind closed doors anymore or whoever's going to be the next person to get caught isn't going to be thought of as very intelligent. but --
>> well i --
>> the treatment of workers is what really tripped his trigger to release this whole thing and the oppression of the workers is what it was really one of the things that captured his attention. and i want to ask you, mr. gerard, do you think the republican party will change its attitude to the 47%. senator cruz the other day said -- at least i interpreted his comments as not really.
>> look, i think the current batch of republicans and those that are behind him in the extreme republicans that are the voice of the 1%, i don't think they're going to change. i think they're just sorry their guy got caught.
>> you watch what they're doing, we have a contest going on in america right now between the president who wants to get out of the current mess we're in through growth and the republicans and those in the congress that are republicans wanting to get the country into austerity. and if you look at what's happening in europe, look at what's happened at great britain that accepted austerity. they're in a triple-dip recession. so i think that they're not going to change. and the one thing that about scott to tell everybody. he wanted everybody to see the real mitt romney . and when romney was almost arrogant enough to say that hep went into that factory and saw the barbed wire in the fences and --
>> sure. and that was to keep people out, right.
>> to keep people in. to keep people out. well, look, i'm not the smartest guy in the world, but i've driven by prisons and when it's turned inside, it's not so that you can keep people out, it's so you can keep people in.
>> thank you, mr. gerard, i appreciate it so much. thanks for being on the ed show tonight. remember to answer tonight's questionnaire at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and on facebook. and do that for the weekend show coming up too.
>>> conservatives are out in full force at their annual convention.