No Mandate for Conservatives After Election Sweep; GOP Now Needs to Ditch Tea Party & Talk Radio

Vol. 27, No. 22

Denying Mandate for Conservatives After Election Sweep

“I don’t think that this was a big, ideological election as much as it was ‘we want to change the team. We want to find somebody who can get things done.’... Does [incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell back away from repealing, for example, Affordable Care? Will we not hear about Benghazi again for a while and all the other issues that have been coming up? It was not so long ago a lot of Republicans said impeach the President. Do they want to go there? That’s not the message that the country has sent.”
— Tom Brokaw during NBC’s election night coverage, November 4.

“No matter how well Republicans do at the polls Tuesday — and my hunch is they won’t do as well as they hope — the GOP won’t be able to claim any kind of mandate. That’s because they have refused to articulate any vision for governing....The dominant Republican message is an exhortation to vote against someone who’s not on any ballot: President Obama.”
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson in an October 30 column.

Democratic Defeat Really a “Referendum on Both Parties”

“The mood was nasty and most of the country took it out on Barack Obama. This was a referendum on Barack Obama — it was really a referendum on both parties.”
— Bob Schieffer during CBS’s 1am ET/10pm PT election night special.

Victorious GOP Now Needs to Ditch the Tea Party and Talk Radio

“[Republicans are] going to have to take some risks — risk of dealing with the President, risk of being the party who are for fundamental restructuring of entitlement programs, the risks of trying to pass immigration reform for the good of their 2016 nominee, the risks of standing up to the Tea Party caucus and talk radio....They’re going to have to, if they want to do what’s good for their politics and good for the country.”
— Bloomberg TV host Mark Halperin on ABC’s This Week, November 9.

Expecting Conservatives to Make the Concessions

“Senator Portman from Ohio was talking about the agenda for the Republicans if they gain control of the Senate. The question then is, what are they prepared to give to the Democrats to meet them in the middle ground? What are they going to do about immigration? What are they going to do about the minimum wage?”
— Tom Brokaw on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, November 3.

“Republicans have control of the House and Senate for the first time in eight years....In January, voters are gonna say, ‘What are you going to do with the power?’ Opposing the President’s policy is not a policy. Specifically, what can Republicans do with this power?...Tell me specifically one area where you would like this new Republican majority to compromise, real compromise, with President Obama.”
— Co-host Matt Lauer to Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) on NBC’s Today, November 5.

For Republicans, Winning Will Be Even Worse than Losing

“Even if Republicans win, I think they’re going to be in a hell of a jam....It’s going to be extremely difficult in this environment to govern.”
Politico executive editor Jim VandeHei on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, November 4.

“Why a Win This Year Won’t Help the G.O.P.”
— Headline over a November 2 New York Times “Week in Review” piece by Nate Cohn. Online, the headline over the same article read: “Why 2014 Is Actually Shaping Up As a Bad GOP Year.”

Republicans Won Through Scare Tactics and Sabotage

“It’s not a substantive argument. It was a scare tactic by the Republican opponents of Democratic incumbents who tried to focus on ISIS and Ebola in the scariest, most non-factual ways, to take the eye off the real issues.”
— NBC’s Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC’s election night coverage, November 4.

“Politics determines who has the power, not who has the truth. Still, it’s not often that a party that is so wrong about so much does as well as Republicans did on Tuesday....The biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy.”
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, November 7.

Preparing to Blame Conservatives for Any Lack of Progress

“Mr. Speaker, you have a new crop of conservatives coming into the House who have suggested, among other things, that women need to submit to the authority of their husbands, that Hillary Clinton is the anti-Christ, and that the families of Sandy Hook victims should just get over it. So the ‘hell no caucus,’ as you’ve put it, is getting bigger and some of them don’t think you’re conservative enough.”
— CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes to House Speaker John Boehner at a November 6 press conference.

Obama’s Failures Caused by Fox News and Talk Radio

“A lot of this [Obama’s poor relationship with congressional Republicans] also has to do with the fact that he gets hammered 24/7 by Fox News on the right and by talk radio which is a huge voice in this country. I was in the Midwest the other day listening to talk radio, I don’t know who the guy was, but he’s saying ‘Obama’s voters are people who live in excrement,’ that was his phrase, ‘and they expect us to lift them out of excrement. I’m not going to lift a hand.’ That was the kind of language that was going on. At some point that penetrates.”
— Tom Brokaw on PBS’s Charlie Rose, November 4.

Andrea Derides Call to Repeal ObamaCare: “It’s So Retro”

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough: “Republicans that are out there in red states talking about cutting education, cutting infrastructure, cutting R&D, are losing, even losing among Republicans. I said five minutes ago, they’re going to have to start talking about more than just cutting. He [Rand Paul] just did.”
Moderator Chuck Todd: “Rand Paul has figured this out.”
NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell: “He’s figured it out. That is smart, except for the repeal of ObamaCare, which is a waste of time. It contributes to gridlock.”
Todd: “And it’s going to set the wrong tone.”
Mitchell: “It’s so retro.”
— Commenting on an earlier interview with Senator Rand Paul on NBC’s Meet the Press, November 2.

Why Would Anyone Vote Against Beneficial ObamaCare?

“Why do people vote against their own interests? Because if you look at West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas — they’ve put a lot of Republicans — they put mostly Republicans in office this election, but they are the states that are benefitting the most from the Affordable Care Act. Why is that?”
— Anchor Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, November 6.

Republicans Win, Planet Earth Loses

“Before [election] night was over, Americans had turned their backs on the planet. By handing over the Senate to Mitch McConnell and his merry band of Republicans, voters all but ensured that no progress will be made on climate change during the next two years — and that even some tenuous steps in the right direction may be reversed.”
— Journalist Dan Kennedy in a November 5 piece published on the Boston PBS affiliate WGBH News Web site, “Why the Midterms Could Prove to Be a Disaster for the Planet.”

“This is not good news for the climate. The party that controls the majority and the committee chairmanships controls the agenda....Don’t be so naive as to mistake congressional Republicans for rational human beings or patriotic Americans.”
— Former Newsweek editor Ben Adler writing at the left-wing, November 5.

Bob Feels Obama’s Pain: “Ever Going to Get a Break?”

“You had a tough summer. We saw the rise of ISIS, the outbreak of Ebola, trouble in the Ukraine, illegal immigrants coming across the border. Did you ever go back to the residence at night and say, ‘Are we ever going to get a break here?’...You came here talking about hope and change. Do you still hope? Is change — was it harder than you thought it would be?”
— Two of host Bob Schieffer’s questions to President Obama in an interview shown on CBS’s Face the Nation, November 9.

Chris Sneers at “Demagogue” Ted Cruz

Clip of Ted Cruz: “The era of Obama lawlessness is over.”
Host Chris Matthews: “That’s the definition of a demagogue. Put that face — or Joe McCarthy’s, because they look alike — put them in the dictionary next to each other. Did you ever see that before? Seven Days in May. It looked like a military coup there, with the big flag of Texas there. What was he, seceding?”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, November 5.

CNN’s Cuomo Upset by Idea of Osama bin Laden Losing His Life

Co-anchor Michaela Pereira: “Osama bin Laden is gone. A lot of people can sleep at night.”
Fill-in co-anchor Alisyn Camerota: “I find it satisfying to hear about his last seconds, I’ve got to say.”
Co-anchor Chris Cuomo: “I do, too, but I think that — you know, actually, I don’t know that I do. I don’t like the idea of anybody having to lose their life.”
— CNN’s New Day, November 10.

Conservatives = Always Wrong Crackpots

“Are conservatives ever right? The question isn’t meant to suggest that liberals are never wrong. But reviewing the last few decades of conservative policy initiatives — or their objections over that timespan to policies they hate — shows a consistent pattern of failure: predictions never pan out, and intended results turn to catastrophic flops....Too often, it seems, conservatives have scorned experts as incompetent, biased, or otherwise worth ignoring because they came up with answers that didn’t fit their politically desired answer.”
Vanity Fair contributing editor and former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald in a November 6 piece: “30 Years of Conservative Nonsense, An Explainer.”

“Royal” Clintons Can’t Be Expected to Fly with Commoners

“They’re the Clintons. They’re American royalty. I don’t want to see them flying on domestic Delta flights in first class. I mean, they were flying on Air Force One for eight years.”
— TheGrio’s Chris Witherspoon on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, November 11, talking about how Democratic candidates paid $700,000 to fly the Clintons to various campaign events this fall.

HBO Character On Rush Limbaugh: “Makes Me Want to Puke”

“Was that Rush Limbaugh? You, Mr. High-and-Mighty-Harvard. You listen to that idiot?...He’s a liar and a hatemonger — makes me want to puke.”
— “Olive Kitteridge,” played by Frances McDormand, after hearing Rush Limbaugh’s show playing on a car radio during the Olive Kitteridge mini-series on HBO about the later years of a woman living in a Maine town.

GOP Election Win = “WAR, WAR AND MORE WAR”

“Well, we can look forward to: unregulated banks, no health care, filthy air and oceans, and WAR, WAR AND MORE WAR. Thanks, folks!”
— Post-election message posted on Twitter by actress Bette Midler, November 5.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Jeffrey Meyer and Curtis Houck
MEDIA CONTACT: Jessie Markell