Notable Quotables - 03/21/1988


Nicaraguan Invasion of Honduras

"Speaker Wright said it may be an accident, maybe the Sandinistas didn't mean to cross the border."
- Pentagon reporter Fred Francis on NBC Nightly News, March 16.

"When the Contras retreated over the border with Honduras, the Nicaraguans followed. The White House calls that 'an invasion.'"
- ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings, March 16.

Alejandro Bendana, Sandinista spokesman: "President Ortega has been on the phone with President Azcona, we have offered that maybe the two Presidents should meet, and maybe the two heads of the armies, to try and diffuse the situation before the U.S. intervention makes it worse."
Elliott Abrams: "Well, this is a greater concentration, really, of lies than I think I've ever heard before in such a short period of time. It is true Ortega spoke to Azcona, we have heard from the Hondurans that Azcona told him to go to hell and get his troops out of Honduras."
- Exchange on the March 16 Nightline.

"Senator Lugar, what do you think? Is this the first step, do you fear, of a much larger step? Do you fear this might turn out to be the United States' version of Afghanistan?"
- Question posed by Good Morning America substitute co-host Morton Dean during interview with Senators Dodd and Lugar, March 17.

"The airlift of more than 3,000 additional U.S. soldiers into Honduras is under way...Sending them has raised protest and questions. Questions including those in Congress about whether Mr. Reagan is playing partisan election year politics by crying wolf, whether he is trying to stampede Congress into spending more money for aid to the Contras, and whether he is perhaps trying to distract attention away from the criminal indictments against some of his former top aides."
- Dan Rather opening the March 17 CBS Evening News.

"This is the dying gasp of President Reagan's obsession with the Contras and it shows the absolute contempt he has for Congress, for American public opinion and for the special prosecutor, Laurence Walsh. He [Reagan] manufactured the request and he over manufactured the response. It's total overreaction."
- Newsweek correspondent Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group, weekend of March 19.


Communist Christianity

"This summer the Kremlin will help the Church celebrate its millennium: the baptism of Russia, one thousand years ago."
- Reporter Bill McLaughlin on the March 6 CBS Evening News.



"As a practical matter, the homeless won't get very far unless they can persuade a Republican to break with Ronald Reagan's policies-or elect a Democrat."
- Tom Mathews, Senior Editor of Newsweek, in the March 21 issue.


Campaign '88

"Jesse Jackson toured Chicago and brought tears and excitement wherever he went. Watch him as he walks to the Robert Taylor project, home of some of this city's poorest people. They gave him what they had, they gave him love. This week Jackson has been king. Greeted like a rock star, in a campaign more emotional, perhaps, than Robert Kennedy's in 1968."
- Reporter Bruce Morton, CBS Evening News, March 15.

"You have spent a great deal of your adult life trying to turn the Democratic Party into a rational, moderate instrument ready to govern. When you end up, after all these years, with Barry Commoner and Jesse Jackson running the Democratic Party, isn't your life a failure?"
- Question posed by Robert Novak to Ben Wattenberg, a guest with Barry Commoner, New York Jackson campaign co-chair, on the March 15 edition of CNN's Crossfire.

"Kemp becomes a spectator as others use his game plan"
- The Washington Times, March 10.

"Rep. Kemp Ends GOP Presidential Bid; Reagan-Like Message Failed to Catch On"
- The Washington Post, next day.


Ed Meese

"Well, shouldn't you step aside, Mr. Attorney General?"

"Don't you think that it hurts him [Reagan] to have you there? Don't you think that maybe for his sake you might step aside?"

"If you are indicted, will you step aside?"
- Sam Donaldson's questions to Ed Meese, This Week with David Brinkley, March 13.

"If honest public officials can be hounded out of office by partisan political attacks and media barrages, then no public official is safe."
- Meese response.


CBS News

"It's especially painful to be done in by your friends. I guess things are so bad there [at CBS News] they're stabbing people in the front."
- CBS News Senior Political Producer Richard Cohen after being fired by News President Howard Stringer for "strange antics" during Super Tuesday rehearsal interviews with Dan Rather. Quoted by John Carmody in The Washington Post, March 15.

"She's the sort of correspondent for whom you wish nothing but the best. If she's the shape of things to come, then we're in very good shape indeed. Oh, I really do babble. But I'm so delighted with her, I'd like to clone her."
- Stringer on CBS West 57th correspondent Meredith Vieira, Cohen's wife. Quoted in March Esquire.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Richard Marois, Patrick Swan, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Cynthia Bulman; Administrative Assistant