Notable Quotables: "Amazing" Obama vs. "Bizarre" Tea Party Candidates

Vol. 23, No. 20

"Amazing" Obama vs. "Bizarre" Tea Party Candidates


"People from all over the world, frankly, say to me, here comes a President with a huge mandate, a huge reservoir of goodwill, huge promises to change, and, with all of that, his popularity is down. People don't appreciate some of the amazing legislative agenda that he's accomplished."
- Host Christiane Amanpour to White House advisor David Axelrod on ABC's This Week, September 26. [Audio/video (0:34): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


"What is Christine O'Donnell's qualification for actually governing? What is Sharron Angle's actual qualification for governing? Are you not afraid that they might be a turnoff?...Are you not afraid that their somewhat, one would say, some might say bizarre statements, their sort of fringe quality might actually turn people off?"
- Amanpour to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell later on the same program.

Just a Bunch of Wacky "Ultra-Conservative" Extremists


"[GOP Senate candidate Joe] Miller's message is ultra-conservative, campaigning to end what he called the 'welfare state,' in part, by phasing out Social Security and Medicare, views [incumbent Senator Lisa] Murkowski calls extreme."
- Correspondent Lee Cowan on the September 22 NBC Nightly News.



"House Republicans unveil their Pledge to America today, and it could be the biggest cover-up since Watergate. Their manifesto showcases all the predictable soft sell proposals you'd expect from establishment Republicans but goes radio silent on the more radical ideas of their party - the wild stuff, you know, about changing the Constitution. And make no mistake, the fringe on the right will have a strong voice if Republicans win control of the Congress."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, September 23. [Audio/video (0:35): Windows Media | MP3 audio]



"Sometimes we're wrong when we listen too much to the Democratic message. That's the Democratic Party message, that the Tea Party is bad for them [Republicans]. I think we should scrutinize that a bit more, be a little more skeptical of it. The other is that they're all crazy. And that's the trouble with focusing on all these statements and everything. We're playing into that Democratic message that these candidates are insane."
- Former MSNBC political analyst Craig Crawford on CNN's Reliable Sources, September 19.

Tea Party = "Us vs. Them" Racism


"People, again, have trouble separating race and the Tea Party movement, because there is this feeling of, 'We want to keep ours,' and there is very much an 'us vs. them,' and when you talk about 'them,' it always brings up - 'the them' are the poor, the disadvantaged, blacks, etc., and now I would say illegal immigrants as well."
- New York Times reporter Kate Zernike on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, September 10.

Setting Republicans Up for Their Own McGovern-Like Drubbing


"The Tea Party is now the Republican Party. I mean, I think what we're seeing in the Republican Party is something akin to what happened to the Democratic Party between 1968 and 1972 in which the forces of George McGovern took over the Democratic Party, overthrew the Democratic Party establishment and moved it substantially to the left. What they didn't realize was that while they were able to take over the Democratic Party, they were pushing that party further away from where average Americans are."
- Daily Beast senior political writer Peter Beinart on ABC's This Week, September 19.

Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" vs. What's "Good for Kids"


Co-host Kiran Chetry: "If you strip away the core message of the Tea Party candidates, which Sarah Palin has really helped endorse, they just want less government, they want less spending. That, unfortunately at times, butts up against things that many say would be good for kids...."
Newsweek's Lisa Miller: "All the candidates that we - whose records we looked at, are against the Obama health plan in general, and yes, the CHIP [children's health insurance] program in specific. There are rising numbers of poor children in this country, a quarter of America's children are poor. It seems like a funny way to say that you're for kids, and be against all of these programs."
- CNN's American Morning, September 27, talking about Miller's October 4 Newsweek cover story, "The Bear Truth: Will the 'Mama Grizzlies' Really Protect America's Kids?" [Audio/video (0:57): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Christine O'Donnell = Dictators of Iran & North Korea?


"She also mentioned that, perhaps, it would be good if the media was kept out of certain events. And frankly, I think, for most Americans, that gives you a little chill. When we go to places like Cuba and Iran and North Korea and China, we're often kept out. The media is kept out. There's no free reporting, and it's just something that we really don't like to hear in the United States of America - to keep the media out."
- CNN's Gary Tuchman on Anderson Cooper 360, September 21, finishing up a "fact check" of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. [Audio/video (0:31): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


"She's smart to do this [avoid the national media]. You know, the national media is not doing her any favors and, basically, a lot of people want her on so that she can have a car crash on air. She needs to focus on Delaware."
- CBS political analyst John Dickerson on The Early Show, September 22.

Pleading with Obama to Hit Republicans Even Harder


"You said at a speech recently, you said, you know, 'The Republicans, they're treating me like a dog.' There's a lot of rhetoric out there, coming from the Republicans toward you, coming from the Tea Party toward you. Former President Clinton said he doesn't think the Democrats, and you included, have been rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks. Over these next five weeks, Mr. President, do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?"
- Matt Lauer to President Obama in a September 27 interview shown across most of NBC Universal's networks, including NBC, MSNBC, Bravo, USA and SyFy. [Audio/video (0:41): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Government "Desperately" Needs More Money


"I know it's not great for the economy right now to be having a tax hike, but you're just returning rates to where they were in the 1990s, when the economy was doing pretty well. God knows the federal government desperately needs that revenue, so this is one case where I think gridlock is a good thing."
- Newsweek columnist and former assistant managing editor Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, September 17. [Audio/video (0:46): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"The top tax rate now is 35 percent. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, nearly 40 percent. For the record, under President Eisenhower, a Republican, the top rate was 91 percent. Really. Middle class wages were rising and the rich actually got richer."
- CBS's Martha Teichner in a September 26 Sunday Morning segment.

How "Short-Sighted" to Bar "First-Class" Clinton from 3rd Term


Host Joe Scarborough: "You've always been known as the brightest, the first-class....Doesn't it make sense for this country to say, 'Okay, let a guy serve, or a woman serve for eight years, then they can take a term or two off. But then if they have something to give back to America in the terms of leadership, give them that opportunity.' It seems so short-sighted, just because the Republicans were upset that FDR was President for four terms."
Former President Bill Clinton: "Well, that's what I believe the rules should be...."
- MSNBC's Morning Joe, September 23. [Audio/video (1:25): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

ABC Runs Pro-ObamaCare White House Video as "News"


Anchor Diane Sawyer: "Today we got to listen in on a phone call - President Obama talking recently to Gail O'Brien, a cancer patient in New Hampshire who is now able to get health insurance."
President Obama, with "White House video" on screen as music plays: "Hi, Gail?"
Gail O'Brien: "Hello."
Obama: "How are you?"
O'Brien: "I'm doing really well, thank you. This is an honor. I want to thank you, so much."
- ABC's World News, September 23. [Audio/video (0:44): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"For Many, Health Care Relief Begins Today"
- New York Times headline over a series of articles about official launching of ObamaCare, September 23.

From "Egalitarian Utopia" to "Society of Haves and Have-Nots"

"Cuba's communist leaders mapped out a brave new world of free enterprise on Friday, approving a laundry list of small-time businesses, allowing islanders to take on employees and even promising credit to burgeoning entrepreneurs. The reforms - laid out in a three-page spread in the Communist Party-daily Granma - seem sure to create a society of haves and have-nots in a land that has spent half a century striving for an egalitarian utopia."
- Associated Press writer Paul Haven in a September 24 dispatch from Havana.

"Fantastic" Jimmy: More Successful than All but LBJ


Correspondent Lesley Stahl: "When all is said and done - and many will be surprised to hear this - Jimmy Carter got more of his programs passed than Reagan and Nixon, Ford, Bush 1, Clinton or Bush 2."
Former President Jimmy Carter: "I had the best batting average in the Congress in recent history of any President, except Lyndon Johnson."...
Stahl: "A lot of critics of yours, when you were President, say that you've been a fantastic ex-President. You hear that all the time."
Carter: "I don't mind that."
- CBS's 60 Minutes, September 19.

Christine O'Donnell: A "Witch Who Doesn't Masturbate"


"She's a witch who doesn't masturbate, who has never had premarital sex. Why is she running for office?...Isn't it interesting that Sarah Palin backs her up, and one of the reasons she got elected is because Sarah did those robo-calls to make sure that she got elected. And if I recall, wasn't Sarah exorcised in Alaska by a preacher one time? She believes in exorcism. These two are into it together....Talk about a coven. This is a coven!"
- Co-host Joy Behar on ABC's The View, September 20. [Audio/video (0:29): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Wishing Obama Were as "Bold" as Jimmy Carter


"I love Jimmy Carter! Jimmy Carter is so honest and out there. You know sometimes, I hear people say, 'Oh, Obama, his term could become like Jimmy Carter's.' Yeah, I wish. You know, Jimmy Carter did some real bold things, like returning the Panama Canal. Can you see a president trying to do that today? Or, or getting on national television and telling the American people that they're lazy and they're using too much energy?...I think this country needs a lot more of that sort of forthright honesty."
- HBO Real Time host Bill Maher on MSNBC's Hardball, September 21. [Audio/video (1:01): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

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