Notable Quotables - 04/16/2001


"Militant" Bush Worsened Crisis

"Terry, before this incident the Bush administration had been very militant rhetorically with the Chinese government. Any fear there there might be a backlash?"
-World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings to White House reporter Terry Moran, April 2.

"When Bush went out there he was very firm, but very hard-edged. And you'll notice that Premier Jiang did not demand an apology himself until after Bush came out."
-ABC's George Stephanopoulos on This Week, April 8.

"The [Chinese] military is especially angry with tough-talking policies from the Bush administration. For instance, the U.S. abandoning a policy of partnership, now calling China a strategic competitor, the U.S. backing off efforts to bring North Korea out of isolation; and worst of all, the U.S. thinking of selling Taiwan advanced weapons. And hurting the process at the outset, some here say, the President's first words a week ago were a demand."
-Barry Petersen from Beijing, April 9 CBS Evening News.


Cheering McCain's Victory

"Tom, this is a very big deal. The Senate is taking a giant step toward cleaning up a campaign money system that many Americans think is corrupt. After clearing a final hurdle this afternoon, reformers, at long last, could claim victory."
-Lisa Myers, March 29 NBC Nightly News.

"Senator, congratulations first of all and what worries you most as this bill now moves to the House?...Senator McCain, thank you very much and again congratulations."
-Tom Brokaw's first and last comment to Senator John McCain on the NBC Nightly News, March 29.


Liberal Spin Sounds Good to Sam

George Stephanopoulos: "Warren Buffett is showing the common sense that made him a wealthy man. We all know right now that money gets you in the door, whether it's Congress, whether it's the White House, whether it's the state legislatures. The soft money loophole has led to almost half a billion dollars contributed in the last campaign and you can't say that it's not buying policy. I mean, just look at this week: $3.4 million from the coal industry, Bush turns around on CO2 emissions."
Sam Donaldson: "We all know that you're correct."
-Exchange on ABC's This Week about financier Buffett's support of McCain-Feingold, March 18.

Alarmed At Bush's Madness

"The Sierra Club calls President Bush's latest moves on the environment March Madness. In the last two weeks, the administration has signaled that it may allow logging in pristine forests that had been declared off limits, has put off a decision to reduce arsenic in drinking water, has suspended a rule to protect the environment from damage caused by mining, has reversed a decision to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and the President also suggested drilling for oil in national parks and is pushing oil exploration in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Some in the President's own party are becoming alarmed."
-ABC's Linda Douglass opening a story aired on the March 24 World News Tonight/Saturday and repeated by Jack Ford on the March 27 Good Morning America.

"Mr. President, in the last few weeks you have rolled back health and safety and environmental measures proposed by the last administration and other previous administrations. This has been widely interpreted as a payback time to your corporate donors. Are they more important than the American peoples health and safety, and what else do you plan to repeal?"
-Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas to President Bush, March 29 news conference.


Oh, That Energy Crisis

"Just as President Bush used what he called the sputtering economy what some people called talking down the economy as a way to sell his tax cut, he is now saying that the country is in an energy crisis, even though there are no gas lines and the price of crude oil is actually declining, in order to sell his energy agenda, most particularly the controversial proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is something that critics say he's exaggerating."
-ABC's Terry Moran on World News Tonight, March 29.

"When we come back, America's energy crisis. Gas prices are soaring and they'll get even worse this summer."
-World News Tonight substitute anchor Charles Gibson, the next night.


Reagan's Mediocrity

"Leaving aside Reagan's mediocrity, the fact that he is alive should be enough to shame any public body into waiting to name anything for him."
-Former Washington Post foreign reporter Marc Fisher in a March 17 column against adding Reagan's name to the Metro subway stop at Reagan National Airport.


Blame Bush For Awful Air...

"President Bush insisted today that he was not caving in to big money contributors, big-time lobbyists, and overall industry pressure when he broke a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But the air was thick today with accusations from people who believe that's exactly what happened."
-Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, March 14.


...Poisoned Drinking Water...

"Brian, tonight critics of this administration say the President has declared war on the environment, working at lightning speed to undo what President Clinton did. Eleven million Americans, mostly in small towns and rural communities, their drinking water contains what the government deems acceptable levels of cancer-causing arsenic. Today environmental and consumer advocates stunned by a Bush administration decision to revoke stricter safety standards reducing arsenic levels in water. The EPA calling the new standards too costly and in need of further study."
-Campbell Brown, March 21 NBC Nightly News.

"Arsenic in the water. Starting up the Cold War. Make as much carbon dioxide as you like. Laugh about it. Bush has set himself up as a huge target. And the arsenic is going to be the equivalent of what your boss [Newt Gingrich] did with cutting school lunches."
-Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, addressing Tony Blankley, on the McLaughlin Group, March 24.


...And Rotten Meat For Kids

"Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to save a few pennies on the school lunch program by classifying ketchup as a vegetable? Last week the Bush administration went further, axing a regulation that forced the meat industry to test hamburgers served in school for salmonella. Imagine, Mad Cow Disease among children, K through 12. The day it hit the papers the proposal was quickly withdrawn. [If] the Bush administration keeps trying to kill health and safety regulations at this pace, soon we won't be able to eat, drink or breathe."
-"Outrage of the Week" from Time magazine's Margaret Carlson, April 7 CNN Capital Gang.


Clinton Might Do It With Dan

"My guess is he may do it with Dan Rather. He likes Dan, and Dan likes him, I think."
-Don Hewitt, Executive Producer of CBS's 60 Minutes, predicting who Bill Clinton will select for a post-White House interview, on C-SPAN's Booknotes, April 1.


Mozambique Floods: Your Fault

"Around the world, the anger runs as deep as the flood waters being blamed on the global warming the Kyoto treaty was supposed to fight. President Bush says he's putting American economic interests first in rejecting Kyoto, and in Britain, where they're having their wettest winter ever, they sadly agree....Others point to severe weather conditions around the planet flooding for the second consecutive year in Mozambique, drought and famine in the Sudan and they say the U.S. is substantially to blame. With only about four percent of the world's population, the United States famously produces about twenty-five percent of the worlds harmful greenhouse gas pollution."
-Reporter Mark Phillips, March 29 CBS Evening News.


Gumbel, Pining for Clinton

"I know you're not a political analyst, but the Bush White House has done very little about this [stock market fall] with the exception of seemingly adding fuel to the fire with talk of a worsening economy. Is there something official Washington should or could be doing to help right now?"
"But the reason I ask is for years the markets pooh-poohed Clintonomics and patted Greenspan on the back, but in truth do the markets now miss Bill Clinton and Bob Rubin?"
-CBS's Bryant Gumbel to Eric Wiegand of Credit Suisse Asset Management, March 22 The Early Show. Wiegand rejected Gumbels suggestion and blamed Greenspan.


Mr. Justice Right-Wing Nut Case

"It's pure ideology, alright. It's a scheme to make it easier to pack the federal courts with right-wing nut cases."
-Time correspondent Jack White on Bush's decision to reduce the role of the liberal American Bar Association in selecting federal judges, March 24 Inside Washington.


Kids Sacrificed for Big Tax Cuts

"On Capitol Hill, the Republican-controlled House voted mostly along party lines tonight to pass President Bush's federal budget blueprint. This includes his big tax cut plan, partly bankrolled, critics say, through cuts in many federal aid programs for children and education."
-Dan Rather, March 28 CBS Evening News.


As "Objective" As Always

"Dan himself has said that its a serious mistake, that he regrets it. But I don't believe for an instant it will affect Dan's constant pursuit of objectivity."
-Former CBS News reporter Bernard Kalb, on Dan Rather headlining a Democratic fundraiser in Texas, April 7 Reliable Sources on CNN.