January 7th, 2010
02:07 PM ET
8 years ago

NRSC threatens MSNBC with legal action over Schultz

(CNN) - One day after MSNBC host Ed Schultz said Democrats had asked him to weigh a senatorial bid, Senate Republicans demanded that the network remove the liberal talker from their lineup until he ruled out a run, threatening legal action - even as Schultz himself denied any plans to launch a campaign.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee charged that his presence on the airwaves could mark a potential campaign finance violation.

"I am not running. What do you want me to say?" Schultz told listeners Thursday on his radio show, saying the GOP was just worried he would claim a win if he did: "They know I'd kick some ass."

Schultz – a former conservative who once weighed running for Congress as a Republican – told viewers Monday that he had been asked by Democratic leaders in his home state of North Dakota to consider entering the race to replace retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan, calling the prospect "intriguing."

"In discussing this matter on air, Mr. Schultz is soliciting and receiving feedback from his television audience regarding his viability as a federal candidate, raising his name recognition related to, and making a national audience aware of, his potential candidacy," NRSC chief counsel Sean Cairncross had written in a letter to network president Phil Griffin Thursday that termed Schultz's continued airtime a potential "in-kind" contribution.

"…We request that MSNBC immediately cease from continuing to provide prohibited corporate resources to underwrite Mr. Schultz's U.S. Senate candidate exploratory activities. If you do not do so, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action."

Republican Gov. John Hoeven had been viewed as holding a major advantage in a Senate matchup against Dorgan.

Filed under: NRSC
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Obama Victim

    Ed ...as are most Obama supporters....is an idiot

    January 7, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. btannerski

    Gotta luv those Republicans – forget the Bill of Rights, just shut down anyone who disagrees with you or is a threat to the supposed "Christian" party's beliefs.

    January 7, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Ivan

    What the Republicans are afraid of is that the economy will improve, there will be no terror attacks and the people in North Dekota and across the country will realize that the only thing Republicans have to offer is FEAR.

    January 7, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Ernestine

    You go ED!

    January 7, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Speaking for Liberals

    This story makes the NRSC look so pathetic weak and scared that I have to question if CNN isn't out to get the NRSC. The first statement alone makes them look incredibly bad.

    January 7, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Independant in Indiana

    Did they send the same letter to FOX for Mike Huckabee?

    January 7, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Catherine E. Jorgensen

    Ed Schultz is the right person to become ND Senator; he is passionate about the issues especially Health Care Reform, and most importantly, he is not afraid to speak his mind ... Republicans FEAR him. Go for it, ED

    January 7, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. republicans are babies

    He said on his show monday he could not run because he HAS NOT lived there for over TWO years.You have to live there the past FIVE years to RUN.Now cry me a river babies!

    January 7, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Enough

    It's no secret that MSNB and NBC, only to mention a few are highly liberal..........not to worry, that's why they barely have any viewers. Take not CNN, we want all the news, not selected news and we will go where we can get it.

    January 7, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Man, these guys take losing elections real hard.

    January 7, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Tracy-Oakley

    Schultz said he wasn't interested in running last night on Kieth Olbermann's show. Why is the NRSC so dumb and afraid of facts??

    January 7, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Mark

    So let me get this straight. First, Dorgan calls it quits. Second, Shultz's name is mentioned as a possible successor to run. Third, Schultz's says he's flattered and has no plans to run. Fourth, senate Republicans call for legal action against MSNBC because a commentator was mentioned as a possible candidate. I'm sure if people said Hannity, Beck, or O'Reilly should run, the Republicans would threaten legal action against Fox, right? GIve. Me. A. Break.

    January 7, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. George

    Wow the wingnuts are really going bazarre. What cry babies they are.
    Boo HOO, lets destroy America. Lets deny more people insurance so they can die.

    January 7, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. mjm

    So the failed conservative want-a-be, who voted for Bush in 2000 when he was a Republican, is now a failed talk show / radio show liberal.....that's just great.

    He has the lowest rated show on the lowest rated station (MSLSD), and somehow they thought this loser should hold higher office?

    The NRSC is right. He should be removed from the air....because he is terrible.

    January 7, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Aspen Professor

    Psssst Republicans - Ed Schultz is not running for election. Amazing how paranoid, full of hate, and hypocritical these Republicans have become. You folks have been listening to too many of your own lies.

    January 7, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    GOOD!!! MSNBC needs to know even they must follow the rules!!!

    January 7, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. donttreadonme

    Does it really matter? The truth is that MSNBC is owned by GE and GE received billions of dollars of Obama stimulus money. So let’s call it what it is? Fox leans conservative no denying, and CNN leans liberal no denying, and MSNBC is part of the Liberal Democratic party!

    January 7, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    A prime example of the rules according to MSNBC. Is it any wonder their audience share is in the toilet?

    January 7, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Mike Cooper

    I wonder what the opinion of the NRSC is regarding J.D. Hayworth's discussion of running against McCain over the air on his radio show?

    January 7, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Edna

    I thought Republicans were in office to work for the betterment of the American people. All they ever do is gripe and complain. You, go Ed Schultz!!!! I love your show. I wish you would run, because you surely would kick some... What has happened to the Republican Party? I would NEVER vote Republican even if it were the only party in power. Americans all over the country realize that they do not have our interests at heart and could care less about us. Vote them out in 2010!!!!!

    January 7, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Gary

    Sounds like the Republicans are scared.

    January 7, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. Moderate

    AAAHHH Go Cry in your Soup. Gee what a bunch of whinners.

    January 7, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. rob wilson

    Republicans can't stand the fact that they are losers, and that Ed Schultz will pound them in November. The "party of NO" continues it's self-destruction.

    January 7, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Jack Fl

    Reminds me of Thompson flirting around announcing his presidential candidencey. Where were those legal eagles then? People who apply rules others but not themselves...must be GOP

    January 7, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. John, Brooklyn, NY

    This is simply political harrassment on the part of the Republicans. Anyone in any profession can openly contemplate running for public office...and, unless they are openly campaigning for an office, their jobs or the air time that they get in the course of their jobs should not be fair game for scrutiny.

    Considering the free air time that the Republicans get for their causes on Fox, I would think that they could spare a few hours per week for a someone who is, at best, a PROSPECTIVE candidate...not an actual one.

    January 7, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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