Notable Quotables - 10/18/1999

W. Fans: Geraldo, Eleanor, and Al

"George W. gave a helluva speech. I haven't heard a Republican, you know, raise the hair on the back of my neck that way in admiration in a long time, and he really put some beef to the whole compassionate issue on the conservative side."
- Geraldo Rivera, October 6 Rivera Live on CNBC.

"George W. Bush just wrote the ad for Dick Gephardt and the Democrats for next year. I mean, that statement about balancing the budget on the backs of the poor is terrific."
- Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, October 9.

"This is about as big a misstep as Bill Clinton taking on Sister Souljah seven years ago because let me tell you something, Tom DeLay and Dick Armey are the Sister Souljahs of the Republican Party. This was W. at his best."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on CNN's Capital Gang, October 9.


Only "Loudmouths" Object

"Beyond the posturing rivals and professional loudmouths, many conservative leaders secretly are not that concerned about what Bush said last week. They know he has a history of offering moderate rhetoric, then coming down solidly in their camp. Two weeks ago, he opposed a GOP plan to delay tax-credit payments to low-income workers, saying his party's leaders shouldn't balance their budget on the backs of the poor. But he supported the party's $800 billion tax-cut plan, which would require deep cuts in worthy programs aimed at the same people."
- Time Chief Political Correspondent Eric Pooley, October 18.

"Now Bush is navigating in the currents of the Caring Clinton '90s. He is a self-described conservative, but one who says he has developed a compassionate Third Way that has little in common with the coldblooded spirit of the Hill-based GOP.... 'Rush Limbaugh doesnt like us this week,' said one top Bush adviser, 'so what does that really mean?' If Bill Clinton's playbook is right, probably everything."
- Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, October 18 issue.


Ted Turner: I'm a Socialist

"I'd rather use it for the benefit of mankind rather than spend it selfishly. I'm a socialist at heart."
- CNN founder Ted Turner on what he does with his money, as quoted an a September 29 Reuters story on Turner's speech to a Time-Warner media forum in Shanghai.


Bush vs. The "Harsh Hard Right"

"It's as if Bush were taking tips from Republican nemesis, President Bill Clinton, who ran for re-election by distancing himself from troublesome congressional Democrats....right now, front-runner Bush seems to view hard-right Republican leaders like political kryptonite: get too close, it'll sap your strength."
- CBS reporter Bill Whitaker, October 6 Evening News.

"George W. Bush's declaration of independence from his own party brings to mind another speech a decade ago, when Bush's father sought to distance himself from the harsher side of the Reagan legacy."
- CNN anchor Judy Woodruff on Inside Politics, October 6.


Good Morning, Liberal America

Co-host Charles Gibson: "You have been pushing campaign finance reform for quite some time."
Sen. John McCain: "And we will go at it again tonight."
Gibson: "Given the fact that it is so important, what does it say about the system when one candidate raises more than $50 million. Is that obscene?"
- Exchange on Good Morning America, October 12.

"Bush said that your party was trying to, the congressional leadership was trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. You agreed with him when he said that. Is the leadership of your party in Congress out of touch with the American public, and is the party too much a captive of the Right?"
- Gibson, later in the same interview.

"So he's got a terrific platform, but it sounds like he's not going to run."
- Gibson on left-wing actor Warren Beatty, reacting to George Stephanopoulos, September 30 Good Morning America.


Soak the Rich Some More

"The government is being pretty clear with people: They will need an extra source of savings. But for so many people the burden of paying Social Security taxes makes that difficult. Eighty percent of Americans now pay more in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare than they do in income taxes. And it is suggested the rich could pay more. For example, it is often cited that the software billionaire Bill Gates pays the same Social Security tax as someone making $75,000 a year."
- Peter Jennings after a story on the government sending out a mailing informing citizens how much they will get from Social Security, ABC's World News Tonight, September 30.


"Intelligent" Catholics Like Dung

"And I think Giuliani is insulting to Catholics. I think this is kind of a pander to the Catholic vote. It is going to feed this notion of Catholics live by a dogma when in fact a lot of very intelligent Catholics have said 'I might not agree with this, but I want the right to see it.' I think that's the right position and I think Giuliani is taking the wrong position."
- Steve Roberts of U.S. News on New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's move to defund a museum showing a portrait of the Virgin Mary surrounded by elephant dung and cutouts from porn magazines, CNN's Late Edition, October 3.


If Only We Listened to Clinton...

Tom Brokaw: "In the midst of the greatest wave of prosperity in American history, more people making more money than ever before, there's a ticking time bomb: Health care and how to pay for it. The percentage of Americans without health insurance went up sharply last year so now one in six is unprotected...."
Reporter Jim Avila: "....A flaw in the booming economy President Clinton said today he warned America about five years ago, when health care reform was killed."
Clinton: "We told you in 1994 that if this were voted down the insurance companies would continue to drop people."
Avila: "An I told you so from the President tonight, but little comfort for millions of the unprotected without insurance in prosperous America."
- October 4 NBC Nightly News.

"Shenanigans on Capitol Hill could doom health care reform. Again tonight, the Patients' Bill of Rights looks to be DOA.... House Republicans late today passed one version that President Clinton is almost sure to veto. The long-stalled, heavily lobbied Patients' Bill of Rights is supposed to give people more say in the decisions of managed health care plans. Instead, it is the latest example of political gridlock turning into a chain reaction pileup of the nations agenda."
- CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, October 6.

"For all the arm-twisting and all the legislative roadblocks thrown up by Republican leaders who sided with the insurance companies, a bipartisan group of legislators banded together and against great odds passed the reform bill. For all its power, the lobby just couldn't match the HMO horror stories from constituents that members brought to the floor....This will be remembered as the day that some Republicans and Democrats finally banded together, took on one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America, and beat 'em. Dan."
- Beginning and end of Bob Schieffer's October 7 CBS Evening News story.


America Wins With Liberal Laws

"Congress went to war today, as we mentioned, over health care and the millions of people who have had it with their HMOs. Tonight, American citizens just might have emerged as winners in at least Round One."
- MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on The News, October 7.


Celebrating Communist China

"Finally this evening, part history and part myth. It was 50 years ago this week that the People's Republic of China came into being, Mao Tse-Tung its founding father. China's going all out to celebrate the triumphs of the communist revolution and ignore its failures. And all the ceremony will also ignore the fact that China, today, is hardly a communist country."
- ABC anchor Peter Jennings, Sept. 29 World News Tonight.

"Nanjie is a glimpse of what all China might have been had communism succeeded. At the Lee family household daughter Mung's piano is about all that's privately owned. The apartment, the TV, VCR, the apples all supplied by the commune. We feel safe here, says Mrs. Lee, and my husband and I will never lose our jobs....At the local opera school, paid for by the village, children sing communism's praises. Today, Mao wouldn't recognize the China he took over fifty years ago. But Nanjie teaches its children that at least in this village communism had it right and that would be music to Mao's ears."
- Reporter Barry Petersen on a Chinese village that recently became a communist collective, Sept. 30 CBS Evening News.

"As for Mao, he's still considered the George Washington of the new China by some."
- Petersen on Sunday Morning, October 3.

"Bolder, Adventurous" Statism

"Anger at government has diminished in the last five years, and that is a big change. Maybe big ideas won't frighten Americans the way they frightened Harry and Louise just a few years ago. Maybe people are now feeling bolder and more adventurous. That is what Bill Bradley is counting on."
- CNN political analyst Bill Schneider, Sept. 28 Inside Politics.


Too Cute By a Hair

"When it comes to fighting baldness, the next wave could be gene therapy. So far, it works on laboratory animals, but the growth potential for hair and for drug company profits has scientists scurrying to baldly go where no one has gone before. CBS's Elizabeth Kaledin has the follicle facts on file."
- Dan Rather, October 5 CBS Evening News.


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