Viewers who watched Ed Schultz on Wednesday witnessed something rare on the liberal host's show: a guest who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe appeared and even got in a dig at Schultz's expense. After the MSNBC anchor touted his working class background and love for trucks, Rowe quipped, "I can make a call. I can have [a truck] in your driveway before you say, 'holy crap, I'm cancelled!' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A surprised Schultz blurted, "I'm just trying every time slot here at MSNBC." Rowe joked, "Something's bound to stick." Earlier in the segment, the Dirty Jobs host laughed as Schultz called for him to join the Democratic Party: "You know, he is the perfect independent that we have to convince that it's their [Republicans] fault!"
A bewildered Schultz wondered why Rowe appeared with 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney: "What policies have the Republicans put on the table that would get a guy like you to say, I'm going to stand on a stage with Mitt Romney?"
A partial transcript of the October 9 segment is below:
ED SCHULTZ: Our next guest on this program is Discovery Channel host Mike Rowe. And I want to say, I am a fan. What this guy talks about is what we touch on on this program. You might know him from his show Dirty Jobs or from The Deadliest Catch. Rowe is a supporter of some very honorable things, like creating good middle class jobs and improving America's crumbling infrastructure. He even has a website, MikeRoweworks.com to promote trade jobs like construction and plumbing and welding. And I have to admit, I was somewhat stunned when I saw Mike Rowe on stage with Mitt Romney last fall in the midst of it all. Rowe actually touched on some central themes that we hit here on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Unfortunately, Republicans don't support much of what Mike Rowe is saying. They vote against student loans. They vote against any jobs bill that's out there. They vote against infastructure. They -- the facts are very clear. Republicans vote against all progress that the Democrats have put on the table. So since we have this theme tonight of talking about negotiation, I thought maybe I could negotiate with Mike Rowe because I think he is the perfect independent that the Democrats have to win over. I mean, he has got the working man hat. He's got the sweatshirt. You know, he is the perfect independent that we have to convince that it's their fault!
SCHULTZ: What policies have the Republicans put on the table that would get a guy like you to say, I'm going to stand on a stage with Mitt Romney?
MIKE ROWE [Dismissive tone] I don't know. Thanks, first of all. It's not a totally inaccurate assessment. A slightly more accurate assessment is I'm a fan of everything you describe. You and I grew up not far apart, it sounds like, back in the Chesapeake Bay. So, I– you know, I grew up with tradesmen and I've been a fan of those things forever. I've tried really hard to take the initiative that grew out of Dirty Jobs as non-partisan as possible.
ROWE: My wish fulfillment in life was not to share the stage with either ,Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, although I wrote each of them an identical letter. I was looking for access. I was looking for a place to talk about the definition of a good job, the changing generation of alternative education.
SCHULTZ: I've had new cars in my life and new trucks. Even at my age, there's something neat about having a new truck. There is something really neat about having a new truck.
ROWE: Ed, I know people.
SCHULTZ: There's something really neat about a guy working for 20 years, a middle class guy. "Oh, honey. I've got that F-150." That's America, isn't it?
ROWE: I can make a call. I can have one in your driveway before you say, "holy crap, I'm cancelled."
SCHULTZ: Before I'm cancelled?
ROWE: I just say things.
SCHULTZ: No, no. I'm just trying every time slot here at MSNBC.
ROWE [Laughing]: Something's bound to stick!