Notable Quotables - 10/20/2008

Vol. 21; No. 21

Evil GOP Is Endangering Obama


“[Senator Joe] Biden’s got Obama’s back, especially now after a couple of weeks of sharp character attacks from John McCain and Sarah Palin....attacks that stoked the anger at Republican rallies, where there have been reports of attendees yelling things like ‘terrorist’ and ‘kill him.’ [to Biden] Are you at all concerned in this home stretch for Senator Obama’s safety?”
— ABC’s Terry Moran profiling Biden on Nightline, Oct. 13.

“What about the tone of the campaign? Joe Biden said it’s ugly. In the primary, you also brought up Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright. Where’s the line, and have the Republicans crossed it?...Some of this, there’s concerns about actually inciting violence.”
— NBC reporter Ron Allen in an interview with Hillary Clinton shown on Today, October 13.


McCain’s “Disgraceful” Campaign

“If he [Obama] loses the election because of that [his ties to Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers], it’s disgraceful. If the Republicans make that the issue at the end, it’s a disgrace....They should not be trying to beat Obama based on the company he kept.”
Newsweek’s Evan Thomas, Oct. 10 Inside Washington.

“It’s hard to tell which one’s sinking faster, the stock market, or the tone of this campaign....The McCain campaign spent Monday blasting Barack Obama as a mystery man.... Using a new ad to pile on adjectives, ‘dangerous,’ ‘dishonorable,’ ‘liberal,’ and ‘risky.’...Trying to link Obama with controversial characters like the once radical anti-war advocate William Ayers and fiery pastor Jeremiah Wright.”
— Reporter Jeff Glor on CBS’s The Early Show, October 7.

“In the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters....It’s a full-bore attack on Obama’s character, suggesting he’s yellow, disloyal and doesn’t belong....John McCain insisted he wasn’t going to run a campaign like this, and that’s left some of his supporters to wonder why he’s doing it now.”
— ABC’s David Wright, October 9 Good Morning America.

“I think the McCain campaign would be perfectly happy to see turnout lower than it would otherwise be and this may be one way to do it....There’s a theory that says ‘make the campaign ugly and people won’t turn out to vote.’”
— CBS’s Jeff Greenfield on the October 6 Evening News.


Palin: “Attack Dog” Like Agnew

“A campaign that’s turned down and dirty: Down in the polls, the McCain campaign has found a new attack dog....Yesterday she [Sarah Palin] took after Barack Obama in a style reminiscent of Spiro Agnew when he was Richard Nixon’s running mate.”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, October 5.

Co-host Ann Curry: “Sarah Palin is now saying that the gloves are off. She’s linked Obama to domestic terrorism. She’s, she’s been bringing up Reverend Wright’s name.... Explain what’s happening here, Joe.”
Senator Joe Biden: “They’re losing. She’s been told to go out and pull out all the stops....”
Curry: “Is this an ugly stop?”
— NBC’s Today, October 8.

It’s Racist to Link Obama & Ayers

“Her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret....Palin’s words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee ‘palling around’ with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn’t see their America?”
— Associated Press writer Douglass K. Daniel in an October 5 dispatch. Ayers is white.

Which Way Is It, CNN?

“Our verdict here is false. There’s no indication that Ayers and Obama are palling around, or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years. And also, there’s nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activities.”
— “Truth Squad” reporter Josh Levs on CNN’s Sunday Morning, October 5.


“The relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said....For seven years, Bill Ayers and Obama, among many others, worked on funding for education projects, including some experiments supported by Ayers....For Obama, the chairmanship of the $100 million Annenberg board helped vault him from South Side Chicago lawyer to political player.”
— Correspondent Drew Griffin on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, October 6.

How Dare McCain Attack You?...

“John McCain has unloaded on you in the last 72, 96 hours, as has Sarah Palin. McCain saying, essentially, ‘We don’t know who Barack Obama is, where he came from. I’m an open book. He’s not.’ Were you surprised that he didn’t bring it up last night at the debate?...Sarah Palin has come at you because of the Bill Ayers connection. Are you going to have to address that again?”
— Charles Gibson’s questions to Barack Obama during an interview shown on ABC’s World News, October 8.

...How Dare You Attack Obama?

“[Why] have you focused so in what you’ve had to say on Senator Obama’s character? Talked about the fact that we don’t know him, that he’s come out of nowhere, that he’s not an open book....You don’t think he’s been thoroughly vetted, having gone through all the primaries he did, all the campaigning, running for President as long as you have — two years?...You’re comfortable that this should be a focus in the last days of the campaign?”
— Gibson to John McCain the next night.

Headline: Palin Not Embarrassing

“Everyone was waiting to see how the political newcomer would do tonight and perhaps the headline is Governor Sarah Palin did not embarrass herself or her running mate as some Republicans might have feared and some Democrats might have hoped.”
— CBS’s Katie Couric during live coverage following the vice presidential debate on October 2.

Disparaging Palin’s “Brain Power”

“Is this [vice presidential debate] about her brain power?... Do you think cute will beat brains?...Do you think she’d do better on the questions on Jeopardy or the interview they do during a half-time?...My suspicion is that she has the same lack of intellectual curiosity that the President of the United States has right now and that is scary!”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during the 7pm EDT Hardball on October 2, a couple of hours before the debate.

“Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start....For John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible.”
Newsweek international editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria in his Oct. 6 column, “Palin Is Ready? Please.”

Sarah Palin = Huey Long

“Here’s what’s disturbing: Either she didn’t know, because actually the legislative role [of the Vice President] is just about zero as Biden says, or scarier she has a little bit of Huey Long in her. The kind of — you could see her being a demagogue, saying ‘I got to do this, the rules are in the way, to heck with the rules, let’s do it.’”
Newsweek’s Evan Thomas reacting to Palin suggesting at the debate that a vice president has a legislative role, on Inside Washington, October 3.

George Goes “Two for Two”

“Obama is two for two....He definitely won tonight. I think, again, he showed over the course of this debate, over the course of the two debates, he is answering the number one question Americans have about him: Does he have the experience it takes to serve effectively as President? Over the course now of three hours of debates, he is answering that question minute by minute.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos grading the presidential debate on Nightline, October 7.

“Debonair” vs. “Menacing”

“Barack Obama is gifted in his birth by a wonderful smile. He has a wonderful way of disengaging or disarming attacks on him, even when they’re ferocious. John McCain, when he smiles, has a somewhat menacing quality.... Barack Obama comes off as debonair, even under attack.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during live coverage following the October 7 presidential debate.

He’s “The One” — Not “That One”

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: “He [McCain] is just not doing very well in these debates. I don’t mean to belabor this point, but that moment when he said ‘that one’ and referred to Obama that way, I think that’s going to be memorable and I don’t think that’s going to be a happy memory.”
Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux: “It’s like ‘that woman,’ you know, that we’ve heard ‘that woman,’ I mean a lot of people are saying that was the kind of language that was very condescending, very patronizing....”
— Live coverage following the presidential debate Oct. 7.

Obama & Biden = Knowledge


Chris Matthews: “What are you looking for tonight?”
Unidentified college student: “I’d like, I’d like a display of knowledge and expertise.”
Matthews: “So you’re on the Obama side, right?”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, October 2.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Justin McCarthy
INTERN: Lyndsi Thomas