Notable Quotables - 10/29/1990


Budget Balderdash

"Well, House Republicans are the big problem because they've been trying to count, and they really are a minority of a minority and they're inconsequential. So they are now being ripped apart....They are just really torn apart between wanting chaos, wanting to destroy everything and not have an agreement, sort of a scorched-earth, Newt Gingrich-led policy, and wanting to be conciliatory and come up with a solution....The Democratic plan is really a genius of a plan because it does everything that most people, 81 percent of Americans, would want: It raises taxes on the rich."
- NBC Capitol Hill reporter Andrea Mitchell on Sunday Today, October 14.

"The American people have failed to realize that they have a responsibility in all of this. But one of the reasons is that for ten years, Republicans in the White House, first Ronald Reagan and then George Bush, have been telling them they don't have to pay for what they get."
- Andrea Mitchell, Oct. 12 Nightly News.

"We wanted everything but the pain of paying for it. It began with a promise from a new President....In a decade [the] deficit more than tripled. How? Ronald Reagan ran for President promising Americans more while asking for less: the Reagan Revolution."
- Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News, October 5.

"I wonder if you think, though, that you're paying the price now in asking the American people for sacrifice and having them rebuff it the way it happened, paying the price for all those years in the Reagan-Bush Administration that you sold supply-side economics?"
- Question from CBS White House reporter Wyatt Andrews to President Bush at a October 9 press conference.

"Can we clarify something that we talked about earlier? Many of the lawmakers say that the repudiation of the budget package reflects the fact that people feel that economic policy in this country over the last ten years was fundamentally unfair, that it redistributed income too much to the wealthy and too little to the poor. Do you think that was part of the reason your budget was rejected?"
- Later question from Wall Street Journal White House reporter Michel McQueen.

Bryant Blames It On Gingrich & Reagan

Bob Squier, Democratic Strategist: "I think that it was a game of chicken. I think what you had was Gingrich, who is supposed to be part of the leadership, leading people literally out of the deal."
Bryant Gumbel: "Acting irresponsibly."
Gumbel: "....Is this the legacy of Ronald Reagan politics, I mean, feel-good politics of the '80s, no-responsibility politics of the '80s?"
Roger Ailes, Republican Strategist: "I think that's a misnomer..."
Gumbel: "But weren't the '80s about spending what we didn't have? And that was Ronald Reagan."
- Exchanges on Today, October 5.


Soak the Rich

"For a long time they [taxpayers] accepted the conventional wisdom that if you cut taxes for the rich the benefits would trickle down to everybody. But all the latest polls now show that most taxpayers have finally come to suspect otherwise....So if and when they do sort out that deficit mess it's likely the rich are going to get soaked, at least a little, to make up for the soaking they avoided in the '80s."
- Reporter Richard Threlkeld, October 16 CBS Evening News.

"From 1981 to 1987 the income taxes actually paid by the top one percent of taxpayers rose by 49 percent in real terms....while the bottom 50 percent paid 15 percent less."
- Economics columnist Warren Brookes, October 12.


Gorby's Nobel

"Like Winston Churchill at the end of World War II, Gorbachev now is in danger of losing the support of his countrymen despite the enormity of the gift he has given them. That gift includes the freedom to say what they think; the opportunity to know the true history of their country; the chance to live someday in a 'normal' country, to use an adjective much favored by Russians in these exciting times."
- Washington Post Deputy Managing Editor Robert Kaiser in a front-page "news analysis," October 16.

"Beginning with his withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Gorbachev did indeed change the world. With President Reagan, he ended the Cold War. Missiles began to be destroyed. Then, barnstorming Europe, Gorbachev preached that cooperation should replace confrontation. He became a folk hero...Gorbachev brought troops home from Eastern Europe, saying no country should use force to change the policies of another."
- Bob Abernethy on the NBC Nightly News, October 15.


Sam's Economic Wisdom

"The price of gas today in the United States has gone up - $1.40, $1.50, maybe even $1.60 some places, but around the world the price is $3 and $4 a gallon, and people pay it gladly. Senator Lieberman, do you think we have some God-given right to low prices?"
- Sam Donaldson on Nightline, October 17.


Abysmal Failure to Spend More

"Time and again, Washington has failed to address the needs of working parents - most recently in June, when President Bush vetoed the family-leave bill on the ground it was too burdensome for business. The bill would have allowed a worker to take up to 12 weeks a year of unpaid leave to care for a newborn, an adopted child, or a sick family member. That is abysmal compared to what other industrialized nations allowed."
- Time Associate Editor Nancy Gibbs, October 8.


Liberal Center

"On issues and political philosophy, the candidates are at the center of the spectrum. Both are pro-choice on abortion. Each sees the need for more state support for public education, including a first-time-ever sales tax and local property tax reform."
- Christian Science Monitor reporter Brad Knickerbocker on Oregon gubernatorial candidates, October 15.

Defining Civil Rights

"Having worked hard to convince civil rights leaders that he is sympathetic to their causes, the President today will campaign on behalf of Sen. Jesse Helms, who has arguably the worst civil rights record in the Senate."
- Boston Globe reporter Stephen Kurkjian in an October 10 "news analysis."

"Are you not also in danger of people looking at the Republican Party after this whole experience, and saying, 'Oh, now we do know what they stand for that's different. They stand for helping the rich and at the same time, the President's talking about vetoing the civil rights bill, so helping the rich and white guys?"
- Cokie Roberts to Richard Darman, October 21 This Week with David Brinkley.

"Civil rights leaders say Bush's veto will play well with whites who support former Klansman David Duke but not with black voters."
- NBC White House reporter John Cochran, October 17 Nightly News.


Jesse's Sensitive Realities

"From there on in, however, [The Jesse Jackson Show] was all strength - particularly the last half-hour, when Jackson and a distinguished panel...dealt with sensitive realities, including the fact that...the seemingly innocent naming of sports teams after 'redskins' or 'chiefs' represents a dangerous time bomb."
- Hollywood Reporter TV reviewer Laurence Vittes, October 2.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Callista Gould, Jim Heiser, Marian Kelley, Gerard Scimeca; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Administrative Assistant