Ed Schultz Brands Santorum's Comments as 'Psycho Talk'

During his (in)famous "Psycho Talk" segment of his Thursday evening MSNBC show, host Ed Schultz played the clip of Rick Santorum's interview with Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews.com where Santorum challenged President Obama's plea of ignorance on the question of when a person receives the right to life. Schultz, himself a loud-mouth liberal radio talk show host prone to crazy talk branded Santorum's comments as "psycho talk."

Rick Santorum said the following about Barack Obama and abortion in the interview: "The question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."

He later followed up his comments with a statement comparing abortion with slavery, and said he is "disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."
 

Of course, many media pundits reported Santorum's comments as a giant misstep for someone considering a possible presidential or Senate run. The ensuing backlash prompted a statement from Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.

Among the media critics was Ed Schultz. "Santorum hasn`t lost his skill at using 'Psycho Talk.'," Schultz remarked before he played the former senator's quote – out of context of course – from the interview. "The Republicans are so bankrupt of ideas, that guy is their idea of a good Senate candidate?" Schultz laughed after playing the clip.

CNN also picked up on the comments Thursday evening on both "The Situation Room" and "John King, USA." Anchor Wolf Blitzer, on the 5 p.m. EST hour of "The Situation Room," described it as a "fiercely anti-abortion" Santorum having "some sharp words" for Obama.

CNN correspondent Roland Martin was angered over the remarks, reading a racial animus into Santorum's comment. "What the hell is Rick Santorum talking about?" he asked. "So, is he saying that white guys get it but the black guy doesn't get it?"

"For him to even bring that in just makes no sense whatsoever," Martin continued. "But also, the Supreme Court has ruled on this particular issue. You can target President Obama all you want to. Why don't you target the folks who are on the Supreme Court?"

A transcript of the segments, which aired at 5:32 p.m. and 6:26 p.m. EST respectively, is as follows:

CNN THE SITUATION ROOM 5:32 p.m.-5:35 p.m. EST

WOLF BLITZER: Let me play this clip. A potential Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, he had some sharp words. He's fiercely anti-abortion.

(...)

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN contributor: What the hell is Rick Santorum talking about? So, is he saying that white guys get it but the black guy doesn't get it?

For him to even bring that in just makes no sense whatsoever. But also, the Supreme Court has ruled on this particular issue. You can target President Obama all you want to. Why don't you target the folks who were on the Supreme Court -- and there was only one African- American who was on that court when it happened, when they actually ruled on Roe v. Wade.

So it's an illogical statement he's making, and it makes no sense on his whole point about --

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: What he's saying, Rick Santorum, Ed -- and let me let you weight in -- he's saying life begins at conception, that there's a person there in the fetus, and that since eary in our history, blacks were not considered full human beings, black people should be more sensitive. A black man he says, like President Obama, should be more sensitive to these human beings.

ED ROLLINS, CNN political contributor: Well, first of all, there's two widely viewed points, when conception -- when life begins, and obviously Rick Santorum is a very strong pro-life person, he believes life begins at conception.

At the end of the day, Roland's point is a very accurate point. Why is it black, white or anything else? It's either you believe in conception. And obviously then if you take -- you do abort that conception, or somewhere in the stage between the birth, it's a very difficult, very personal decision.

And obviously the president is pro-choice. Santorum is a pro- life leader. More and more of the debate will take place as time goes on, but I think the thing that has no place here is, as Roland said, whether you're black, white. If you believe -- you have a pro-life position, it doesn't matter who you are.

MSNBC THE ED SHOW 6:26 p.m.-6:28 p.m. EST

SCHULTZ: And in "Psycho Talk" tonight, the Republican Party is serving up a lot of leftovers to run for office in 2012. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is their best hope to try to win back the Senate seat he lost in 2006. But Santorum hasn`t lost his skill at using "Psycho Talk."

(...)

SCHULTZ: OK. The Republicans are so bankrupt of ideas, that guy is their idea of a good Senate candidate?

(...)

SCHULTZ: The Republicans are so hard up for quality candidates, they`re being forced to roll out washed up 2006ers like Allen and Santorum.

I say bring it on. Democrats can only benefit from all their stale "Psycho Talk."

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014