Notable Quotables - 11/08/2004

My Apologies, Mr. Bin Laden

"The text of all this, by the way, you can find at Of course, it's quite fascinating and disgusting to read."
-ABC's Peter Jennings on the October 29 World News Tonight following a report by Brian Ross about a new videotaped message from Osama bin Laden.

"Probably not appropriate of me to characterize the tape as I did - calling it 'disgusting.' But how does a politician identify with the disgust of most, if not all Americans, and still either use this for his presidential campaign or see that it doesn't hurt him?"
-Jennings beginning a segment with ABC political analyst George Stephanopoulos on the same show a few minutes later.


Cronkite's Axis of Evil

"I have a feeling that it [the bin Laden tape] could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaign right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa dump, explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign."
-Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite on CNN's Larry King Live, October 29.


CBS's Halloween Trick

Steve Kroft: "Most of the vehicles in Iraq arrived there without armor plating because the Pentagon war planners didn't anticipate a long, bloody insurgency. But 18 months after President Bush declared an end of major combat, the Pentagon is still struggling to provide equipment needed to fight the war....According to Senator John McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee who speaks out against pork-barrel spending, there is a total of $8.9 billion of pork in this year's defense bill, which would go a long way towards upgrading all the equipment used by the National Guard."
Kroft to McCain: "How can we be spending money on pork when we're fighting a war in Iraq?"
Senator John McCain: "I don't think that this war has truly come home to the Congress of the United States. This is the first time in history we've cut taxes during a war."
-CBS's 60 Minutes, October 31.


A Last-Minute Push for Kerry

"Good evening. The FBI has revealed that it is expanding its investigation into how Halliburton company billed taxpayers for its contract work in Iraq. The FBI will now include a criminal investigation of how the Bush administration awarded Halliburton those no-bid contracts in the first place and whether there was any insider favoritism."
-Dan Rather leading off the CBS Evening News, October 28, as an on-screen graphic showed the White House with the words "Criminal Probe" underneath.

"Clearly a bad week for Mr. Bush has gotten only worse, this [Halliburton] story coming on the heels of those missing explosives in Iraq....On this third day of high stakes back-and-forth in the last week of the campaign, the usually sure-footed Bush campaign seemed a little off stride.... When he woke up this morning, the President was simply concerned with moving the conversation beyond those missing explosives, but now he may like what's replacing it even less."
-Jim Axelrod reporting on Bush's campaign activities for the October 28 CBS Evening News.

"It's been a bad week for a President who doesn't like surprises. That was only an air cannon full of confetti going off early, but it came on top of days of questions about the missing Iraqi explosives and word of a widening investigation into Halliburton. And Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who was supposed to add some star power to Mr. Bush's campaign swing through New Hampshire, suddenly cancelled citing his injured ankle."
-CBS's Bill Plante on the October 29 Evening News.


Byron Pitts: "Welcomed by a sea of supporters, 'the Boss,' Bruce Springsteen at his side, his beloved BoSox, baseballs world champs, John Kerry can only hope to feel this good next Tuesday night."
John Kerry: "When George Bush heard that the Boss was playing with me and gonna be with me today, he thought they meant Dick Cheney."
Pitts: "Humor aside, Springsteen said his presence here was heartfelt."
Bruce Springsteen: "He has lived our history over the past 50 years. He has an informed, adult view of America and its people."
Pitts: "Buoyed by the momentum that the weapons controversy has given him, Kerry went on the attack again."
-CBS Evening News, October 28.


Evil CEO Rigged Vote Machines?

"Keith, here's something you should know: One of the big companies making electronic voting machines, and by the way, not one of these [gestures to voting machine on display at NBC's Democracy Plaza], but the company is Diebold, D-I-E-B-O-L-D. The CEO of the company last year held a fund-raiser for the Republicans, and he said that he believed his job was to make sure that he got every delegate in Ohio voting for George W. Bush. That is the CEO of a company that is making voting machines. You can understand why there's some mistrust out there."
-NBC reporter Tom Costello reporting polls showing that half of voters anticipated election problems, on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, October 20.


Bush Must Recite More Kerry Spin

John Roberts: "The attacks from both sides are getting sharper. And in this battle's final stage, the first casualty appears to be the truth....When the President hammers John Kerry's votes to cut intelligence budgets in the early '90s, he doesn't mention that Republicans were doing the same thing....And when Mr. Bush mocks Kerry for showing weakness in the war on terror, he ignores the fact Kerry also talks tough."
Senator John Kerry, September 24: "I will wage this war relentlessly with a single-minded determination to capture or kill the terrorists."
-CBS Evening News, October 19.


Huffing Over Anti-Kerry Joke

Carol Lin: "I've got to show you some pictures that came into the CNN Center tonight. I think you'll be able to see them in your monitor. These are the most senior people of the Bush campaign, de-planing tonight in duck hunting outfits, Kerry pumpkins. It is Halloween. Was this just to be funny, or was this a cheap shot at the Kerry campaign?"
Reed Dickens, Bush/Cheney campaign spokesman: "I think out on the road they have a lot of fun...."
Lin: "Wait a second, Reed. If you're, if you're an unemployed steel worker out there, or you're technologist who has seen your job outsourced to India, or you're a father or a mother with a son or daughter in Iraq and you see the lead characters Karen Hughes, Karl Rove, no less coming out in these outfits to make fun of John Kerry, how do you think those undecided voters are going, going to read these pictures?"
Dickens: "I think you're being a little unfair. It's Halloween night, and these people travel all the time."
-CNN Sunday Night, October 31.

Clinton Years = Good Old Days

Byron Pitts: "Today, John Kerry came to Philadelphia in need of reinforcements-"
Mayor John Street (D-PA): "The last duly elected President of the United States!"
Pitts: "-and found an army of one."
Former President Bill Clinton: "If this isn't good for my heart, I don't know what is. Thank you."
Pitts: "Before an estimated crowd of some 100,000 supporters, former President Bill Clinton, looking paler than normal, came back on the stump for the first time since undergoing quadruple bypass surgery last month. His mission: remind supporters of the good old days when employment was up, the deficit was down and a Democrat was in the White House."
-CBS Evening News, October 25.


You're Worse Off Under Bush

"Is the average American better off now than he or she was four years ago? Well, this is where it gets a bit tricky. On average, Americans have more money. But most Americans are, in fact, worse off. Now, how can that be? Because average income includes the very rich....In fact, the median household income, the number smack in the middle of all Americans, is now $41,550, $30 lower than it was four years ago."
-Anthony Mason on the October 22.


Bush Wants Us All to Die

"This [flu vaccine shortage] wasn't an act of God, this wasn't a hurricane or an earthquake. This is an act of incompetence....I have every confidence that if there were a smallpox attack the President, the President's staff, members of Congress and the well-connected would get their vaccine but the rest of us would not."
-Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, October 23.


Hollywood Casts Its Vote

"He's [John Kerry] running against the worst President in the history of the United States! [audience applause] And that's not hyperbole. That's not hyperbole. The environment, the demonization of gays, the repression of black voters, the favoritism of Halliburton, this unending war....We can't consume everybody's life with this fear when we've been attacked twice in twenty years."
-Actor/comedian Richard Belzer, who plays Detective John Munch on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, October 29.