Notable Quotables - 04/16/2001
An online exclusive: Notable Quotables-worthy quotes we weren't able to squeeze into the hard copy printed edition.
Pushing an Apology to China
"Forty percent of the American public, according to our most recent poll, says it would be alright to apologize. That's a minority, but still a sizable minority. What would the United States actually lose if it resolves this whole matter by offering an apology?"
- Sam Donaldson to Democratic Senators Joe Biden and John Breaux on ABC's This Week, April 8.
McCain Needed Media Help...
"McCain's aim is to trade on his rock-star status (and wartime heroics) to prevent that. To do so, he needs his old allies in the press. If the media could devote a fraction of the passion and time to the causes of the disease that it lavished on the John Huang-Marc Rich-Lincoln Bedroom symptoms, real change might even be possible."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, March 19 issue.
...And They Came Through
"Just a little while ago on Capitol Hill there was something of an historic event: The Senate cleared the last major hurdle to passing campaign finance reform."
- ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas, March 29 World News Tonight.
"In the Senate, another major victory for John McCain;s efforts at campaign finance reform. Senators passed an important amendment to his legislation. It raised the amount of so-called hard money a person can give politicians in a calendar year. We're joined now by ABC's Linda Douglass on Capitol Hill. Linda, few thought campaign finance reform would get even this far."
- ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas, March 28 World News Tonight.
"In the U.S. Senate, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation survived some attempts to gut it today, but a poisoned pill may already be planted that could kill it off. Here's how: Opponents of the bill, including Republican Senate Leader Trent Lott, helped pass a provision to ban issue-related advertising by profit and non-profit groups in the last 60 days before an election. This is almost certain to be challenged as a violation of free speech, so opponents of McCain-Feingold will now try to add a provision to nullify the whole bill if any part of it is ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Senator McCain tells CBS News he has ten Republican votes but needs a lot of Democrats to prevent what he calls this sneaky, tricky poisoned pill."
- CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, March 27.
"Republican leaders have always blocked campaign finance reform from coming to a final vote, but in a Senate divided 50-50, that's no longer possible. So with a filibuster no longer a question, individual amendments are being debated and voted on. No one knows which amendments will be considered until they're introduced on the floor. So the debate has been spontaneous and compromises are being struck and legislation is being written, well, like it's usually portrayed in the movies. What has surprised the Senators is that they love it. It's been so long since they've had a real debate, they had forgotten how much fun it can be. I'm with them. I don't know how this one is going to come out, but campaign finance is finally getting the airing it deserved and the Senate has never looked better."
- Bob Schieffer's end of the show commentary on the March 25 Face the Nation.
"Another huge battle joined over the influence of interest groups and their big money contributions to political parties. Campaign finance bills have been shot down in the Senate every year for the past half dozen years, but this year reformers think the time for what's known as McCain-Feingold has finally arrived."
- NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams opening the show on March 19.
"As revelations surface about Denise Rich's unsavory political contributions and Hillary Clinton's $9.6 million of soft money, most of it funneled through the state party, the Senate considers McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. President Bush would do nothing about the Denise Richs, mocking his pledge to restore integrity to politics, and the author of the alternative, Senator Chuck Hagel is a good man with a sham plan that would embrace Hillary's scam. We'll soon see which Senators are addicted to this system of political bribery and which ones want to clean up corruption."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on CNN's Capital Gang, March 17.
President George "Rollback" Bush
"Tom, tonight the White House is calling the global warming treaty bad for the economy, but the decision to abandon it is giving new ammunition to Democrats. After first promising during the campaign to set limits on carbon dioxide emissions, a key contributor to global warming, then reversing his campaign promise, the President today takes the reversal a step further, pulling the U.S. out of a landmark international global warming treaty."
- Campbell Brown, March 28 NBC Nightly News.
"President Bush is ordering another rollback, another reversal in U.S. environmental policy. This time it amounts to abandoning support for an international treaty designed to reduce emissions linked to global warming. CBS's John Roberts has more about the heat this is generating, environmental and political."
- Dan Rather, March 28 CBS Evening News.
Dire Forecast of Global Warming Doom
"But if the rise is significantly larger [than the UN forecast], the result could be disastrous. With seas rising as much as 3 ft., enormous areas of densely populated land - coastal Florida, much of Louisiana, the Nile Delta, the Maldives, Bangladesh - would become uninhabitable. Entire climatic zones might shift dramatically, making central Canada look more like central Illinois, Georgia more like Guatemala. Agriculture would be thrown into turmoil. Hundreds of millions of people would have to migrate out of unlivable regions."
- Time Senior Writer Michael Lemonick, April 9 issue.
"Senator, may I ask you a consistency question? You've been speaking a lot about the First Amendment, something everyone on this panel's going to agree with you on and that this is a free speech issue. But your party and President Bush have also returned to the gag rule with respect to abortion counseling overseas. Is that not a similar free speech issue?"
- Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly to Senator Mitch McConnell, April 1 Fox News Sunday.
Bush Didn't Win
"This election that we just had was so close that we didn't know who was going to be President and probably the wrong man is President, anyway, after they recounted, recounted those votes."
- CNN founder Ted Turner during ceremony to receive the "Norman Cousins Global Governance Award" from the World Federalist Association, as shown on March 15 by FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume.
Tax Cuts Hurt Children
"Is this what the electorate wanted? Did Americans really want a President who would smile in the faces of poor children even as he was scheming to cut their benefits? Did they want a man who would fight like crazy for enormous tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting funds for programs to help abused and neglected kids?....
"The simple truth is that the oversized tax cuts and Mr. Bush's devotion to the ideologues and the well-heeled special interests that backed his campaign are playing havoc with the real-world interests not just of children, but of most ordinary Americans.
"Mr. Bush is presiding over a right-wing juggernaut that has already reneged on his campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions (an important step in the fight against global warming); that has repealed a set of workplace safety rules that were designed to protect tens of millions of Americans but were opposed as too onerous by business groups; that has withdrawn new regulations requiring a substantial reduction in the permissible levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen, in drinking water; and that has (to the loud cheers of the most conservative elements in the G.O.P.) ended the American Bar Association's half-century-old advisory role in the selection of federal judges, thus making it easier to appoint judges with extreme right-wing sensibilities."
- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in his New York Times column, March 25.