January 7th, 2010
02:07 PM ET
4 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. SLM

    I wouldn't worry about it, MSNBC has no viewers anyway. One would think these far left rags and so called news channels would be able to figure out that noboby watches them anyway.

    January 7, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Preston k

    Pkm doesthe gop ever think that they act like bullies the gop should be called the stupid party

    January 7, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. larry

    well see what the republicans do if Hulkabee decides to run again..he has his show and has not said if he will run....

    January 7, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. kyle hunter

    Mr Schultz commenting on being asked is okay. Even commenting on the NRSC's complait is okay. If he were to keep repeating the comments with nothing newsworthy to add, then I think the NRSC's complaint is a valid one.

    January 7, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Bob in Pa

    What makes the difference. Anyone who watches MSNBC is probably already a lefty loon anyways. Although, I have to admit to tuning into Oberman just to watch him foam at the mouth.

    January 7, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. jj wiggins

    stop crying he has stated that he will not run. It sounds as if they are trying to block his freedom of speech. what about his constitutional rights . Oh i get it does not benifit them. Smh

    January 7, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. mark

    Geez, these remarks are probably coming from some of the same people who put ex arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on fox for the next 4 years to try and get his name out there. Hypocrisy is totally lost on these people.

    January 7, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Obama 2.0

    Fine. Cut MSNBC, Run and win!

    January 7, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Jane/Seattle

    If these guys are scared of Ed Schultz I know they must be running for the trenches! Just wait until Thom Hartmann talks with them! Thanks, Ed, for being there. You've come a long way, Baby, for a recovering Republican! Call Thom on the show a lot, please, ED!

    Hey, Cheney had a "blind" trust and that was No Conflict at all? What a bunch of Tools!

    January 7, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. Eyckie

    'The sky is falling, the sky is falling'. Who do Republicans think they are? If you could get Beck, O'Reilly or any of the Fox wackjobs to run as a Repub you certainly would.

    Haven't I heard that Beck is thinking of running?

    It's okay for Repubs but not okay for Dems? Give you heads a shake.

    January 7, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. eric in Denver

    Please let Ed run that would guarantee a republican victory. The hate monger Schultz would be crushed by any republican opponent. He only appeals to the way left which is about 15% of this country. Based on North Dakota demographics he would probably garner 5% of the vote. Good luck you clown!!!!

    January 7, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Schultz was just asked yesterday if he would run for the Senate seat. At least give the guy sometime to make up his mind.

    January 7, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Justin

    Nice try.......what a joke, repukes. What part of "I am not running" are you finding difficult to understand? Too many syllables?

    January 7, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. ED FL

    Hopefully he will run ,that will get another hot air talkinghead off of the TV.

    January 7, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Truth Teller

    Run Ed Run, You would kick butt there.

    January 7, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Gotta love Ed

    Looks like Ed Schultz just might have hit a really big nerve within the GOP. I love Ed Schultz and would love to see him in the Senate. We need more Dems with the cahones both he and Rep. Grayson exhibit representing us in congress and to fight back against the right wing nut bags and support our President. It is amazing how with each passing day the GOP make absolute fools of themselves. How anyone can even consider or support a republican after the massive damage they caused this country is beyond me. Dems had better plan to turn out in droves in November and shut these domestic terroists (the GOP) up....once and for all!

    January 7, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Darlington

    What a bunch of sissies the republican are, always looking for a cheap shots. They should take a chill pill and shut up, ED-Schultz says he is not weighting a run for the senate for now so...

    January 7, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. EL

    Please Repub get a grip!!! compention. How about that nut job palin, wouldn't mind her all over the news would you!!!

    January 7, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. jsilver2th

    I hereby invite Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to run for Congress.

    January 7, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Scott Taylor

    This is just too funny. Considering all of the republicans that have been formal candidates while holding tv and radio jobs, the audacity of the NRSC is just amazing.

    January 7, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Chipster

    Pssst! GOP, listen up! You can't violate campaign finance regulations unless you're a candidate. Schultz didn't ask his audience for advice. He isn't running for office.

    I think Republicans have lost their collective minds! Caincross claims that this is some sort of "in kind" contribution? To what? How does someone contribute to someone who just said they declined to run for office? Newsflash: GOP checked reality at the door!

    January 7, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Robert

    Ha, I wish Schultz would run. He has no shot of winning in the current political climate. Al Franken would've been slaughtered if he were running this year and the two are pretty comparable.

    January 7, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. CHARLES E MONELL

    Has any Republican, in any capacity, ever been invited to appear and speak on any or all networks? Has the general public ever been made aware of those persons political aspirations?

    The Republicans accomplished very little during the Bush administration, when they had the power. Apparently the 8 year lull has left them almost comatose and mentally challanged.

    January 7, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. Wanda

    Whine - whine – and whine some more Repugs!

    January 7, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Tea Party Sheep . . .

    Republics running scared.

    January 7, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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