In his hilariously over-the-top, self-aggrandizing return to MSNBC's 5pm EDT hour, Ed Schultz slammed the Republicans for spending the summer "lying." As I Want It All by Queen blared, Schultz could be seen giving high fives to adoring crowds. In full promotion mode for the President, the liberal host declared of Obamacare: "This is the most positive thing that this country has done since the civil rights legislation that was passed back in the '60s." (Apparently winning the Cold War didn't make the cut.)
During the rock montage, Schultz appeared to take credit for Obamacare, announcing, "One of the missions that I had when I came to MSNBC was that-- President Obama had just been elected-- I wanted to do health care." The host offered a loaded question to his audience, instructing, "Get your cell phones out. I want you know what you think: Will Republicans ever have the character to admit Obamacare saves lives? Text A for yes, B for no to 67622." [MP3 audio here.]
Continuing the self indulgence, Schultz told viewers how he spent his summer vacation. The host showed a picture of a fish he caught.
The MSNBC anchor contrasted, "...[Republicans] have spent their summer running around the country at town halls lying about Obama are. I'm not going to let them off the hook."
The 5pm spot on MSNBC was previously held by Chris Matthews, host of Hardball.
A partial transcript is below:
ED SCHULTZ: One of the missions that I had when I came to MSNBC was that-- President Obama had just been elected-- I wanted to do health care.
SCHULTZ: It is great to be here Monday through Friday, 5:00 eastern time. Let me give you give you the Ed guarantee when we start this thing back up again Monday through Friday. This show is not going to change. I'm still Ed. I'm still going after the stories that affect the middle class and everyday Americans, issues that make a difference to families and issues that affect your life. Issues like protecting the middle class, workers' rights, equal rights, civil rights, health care, income inequality, women's rights and any other story that makes you right to the dinner table every night. I want you to join me every night, 5:00 eastern time. So tonight, I thought I would start with the health care.
And I want all of you to know that I've been doing everything I possibly can to keep my blood pressure down this summer. You know what I mean? [Picture of Schultz fishing.] Oh, look at that. This was a heck of a fish. Son of a gun. We got a lot of them this summer. Now, while I was keeping my blood pressure down worrying about health care and doing stuff like this, the Republicans, they have spent their summer running around the country at town halls lying about Obama are. I'm not going to let them off the hook. I've spent my summer doing this. They've spent their summer lying. You know what is so vitally important about what we have to understand about Obamacare is that this will change the country. I see these, these talking heads over on the right they say "Well, how is that hope and change working out for you?" Well, let me tell you something, one you're from right now, when all the positive stories are floating around about what Obamacare has done for people, they're going to be saying "Well, I really wasn't against it." It's hugely important for Obamacare to be implemented so it will affect the low number, 30 million Americans. They can receive life-saving health care they so desperately need. Make no mistake. Obamacare saves lives and it is good for America. You know, so much of what we see in the news is negative. But you know what? It's not negative. This is the most positive thing that this country has done since the civil rights legislation that was passed back in the '60s. And, of course, we know they're trying to go after that, too.
SCHULTZ: President Obama is spot on. Taking away your health care by shutting down the United States government simply is not an economic plan. Holding America hostage is not an economic plan. It's immoral.
SCHULTZ: Get your cell phones out. I want you know what you think: Will Republicans ever have the character to admit Obamacare saves lives? Text A for yes, B for no to 67622.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.