Notable Quotables - 02/19/2001

A Uniter Would Not Back Conservative Policies

"The Bush White House packaged in its first week an image of the President as a uniter. But Mr. Bush's message has often been at odds with the mission: The Ashcroft nomination, new restrictions on abortion counseling, plans for school vouchers, an in-your-face attitude that has Democrats reluctant to let down their guard."
Reporter John Roberts, January 26 CBS Evening News.


Real Clinton Scandal: Giving Talking Points to the Right Wing

"Well, Clinton really stunk up the joint, didn't he? I mean Eric Holder's a friend of mine and he's a decent man and an honorable public servant. But like so many other people who have come close to Bill Clinton, he has been caught up in the trail of slime that Clinton has left behind him like a slug making its way through a garden. But what I really have against Clinton in this case, though, is he's giving these people like Bob Barr another excuse to get up in front of the public and pontificate endlessly about these problems."
Time national correspondent Jack White, Inside Washington, February 10.

"It looks terrible. She's about to get $8 million for a book. You know, why didn't she wait and buy her own flatware with her money instead of handing Michael [Barone] and the right wing all of these weapons all of the time? You know, it's so unnecessary."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on Hillary getting gifts before being sworn in as a Senator, Jan. 27 McLaughlin Group.


Predictable Pro-Clinton Spin

"We now have five living ex-U.S. Presidents, a record number, and American taxpayers are currently paying retirement benefits for all of them. But as Bill Plante reports, the newest member of the Presidents Club is drawing predictable Republican fire for his spending habits."
CBS Early Show host Bryant Gumbel, February 2.

Press Corps: McCain Groupies

"John McCain was here and he left the building like a rock star, just mobbed by the media as he walked down the driveway towards his car."
ABC reporter Terry Moran on John McCain leaving the White House, January 24 World News Tonight.

Still Paying Reagan's Bill

"Democrats, collaborating on a smaller tax cut proposal, have vowed to fight the Bush plan, targeting it as a budget buster that caters to the rich....On the Republican side, Mr. Bush faces a different problem. Already they're talking up adding more tax cuts to his plan. And then, there's the lobbyists who wonder why Mr. Bush gave nothing to corporate America. Critics charge the bill could eventually top $3 trillion....Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice can't forget the last time Congress went on a tax cut spree in 1981. America is still paying the bill."
CBS White House correspondent John Roberts, February 5 CBS Evening News.

"The last time a Republican Governor rode into Washington from the West promising to cut taxes before sun up, it caused a bloodbath of red ink that lasted for nearly 20 years."
Start of commentary by Dick Meyer, Feb. 6.


Rich No Worse Than Weinberger

"The moral outrage that many feel, even many Democrats, over his dealing with the Iranians because that's what it was, an oil deal with the Iranians has to be, I think, considered hypocritical when you consider that the Reagan administration was dealing with the same Ayatollah government at exactly the same time that Mr. Rich was. Now can you spell Iran-Contra? And do you remember the pardons issued for the people involved in that illegal action? Including the pardon that George H. Bush gave to former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger?"
Geraldo Rivera on CNBC's Rivera Live, January 24.


Homelessness Re-Discovered

ABC anchor Carole Simpson: "After one of the longest periods of prosperity in U.S. history, America's robust economy is slowing. Layoffs and the high cost of housing are creating hardships. Homelessness, which is estimated to affect from two and a half to three and a half million people, is again on the rise."
Bob Jamieson: "The U.S. Conference of Mayors reports a 17 percent increase in the number of families asking for help because of homelessness. In part, the long economic boom is blamed for causing rents to skyrocket. Since 1994 housing costs have increased at a rate 40 percent greater than inflation every year. In New York City the number of homeless in the shelter system has risen above 25,000 a night for the first time since the late 1980s."
World News Tonight/Sunday, February 11.


Bush, Threat to Women's Rights

"President George W. Bush has wasted no time coming out against womens reproductive health rights with both fists swinging."
February 1 CBS e-mail promoting a February 2 Early Show segment featuring two pro-abortion activists.

"During the campaign, President Bush barely mentioned the word 'abortion,' but pro-choice advocates fear Thursdays confirmation of John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General marked the beginning of this administration's attempt to chip away at a woman's right to choose. Activists also fear that today's young women are not prepared to go to battle to protect their reproductive rights....First off, we should say we're not here to debate the right and wrong of abortion, just different generations commitment to reproductive rights."
CBS Early Show co-host Jane Clayson setting up the February 2 segment with two pro-abortion guests.

"Bush will now deny federal aid to overseas agencies that provide family planning and abortion counseling to the world's poorest women. I am uncomfortable with abortion, but I am more uncomfortable about the prospect of more women dying from botched abortions, or bringing more children than they can feed into the world."
ABC anchor Carole Simpsons online commentary, "On My Mind," posted January 28.


Endorsing Daschle's Distortions

"The tax cut was roundly criticized during the election campaign for catering to the rich. One analysis calculated the average give back for the top one percent of earners at $46,000 while another found a single mother of two with an income of $22,000 would get nothing back."
John Roberts, January 25 CBS Evening News.

"Now Mr. Secretary, you may dispute the exact numbers, but in essence, he's correct, isn't he?"
Question from ABC's Charles Gibson to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, after clip of Sen. Tom Daschle saying Bush's tax cuts would give millionaires enough money to buy a Lexus while a typical working person only gets enough for a muffler, Good Morning America, Feb. 9.


We? Did AOL Cut Carlsons Pay?

"I thought the Publisher's Clearing House, Ed McMahon was going to come out because I think the working class has about as much chance of getting help under this bill without the payroll tax cut as we do winning the sweepstakes."
Time's Margaret Carlson, Feb. 10 CNN Capital Gang.


"Reverse Robin Hood" Bush

"They have succeeded so far in this patently false claim that this is a tax cut that's tilted to the middle and working class. It's not....It does nothing about payroll taxes, even though 74 percent of Americans pay more payroll taxes than income taxes. It does nothing about the earned income tax credit for working Americans, and on the refundable or on the tax credit, the child tax credit it gives it to people making $150 to $200,000 a year for the first time. But because it doesn't make it refundable, if you make 15 to 20 grand you get nothing. This is a reverse Robin Hood bill."
Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, February 10 CNN Capital Gang.


Massive & Controversial

"President Bush is launching a major public relations campaign today. He's trying to sell his massive and controversial tax cut plan to American taxpayers."
ABC's Antonio Mora, Good Morning America, Feb. 5.

"President George W. Bush began his big push for a big tax cut, as he put it, 'tax relief for all.' President Bush made the massive tax cut a centerpiece of his campaign."
Tom Brokaw, February 5 NBC Nightly News.


Calling It a "Bush Recession"

"Good evening. President Bush today again talked down the U.S. economy, and this time he did it in some of the strongest terms yet, as he sent Congress the big tax cut plan he says will stoke the economy up. Some economists worry that it's a long-term risk. Mr. Bush said his more than one-and-a-half trillion dollars in tax cuts are just right. Democrats said again the Bush cuts are mostly a boon to the rich, and they say the cuts risk squandering the nation's budget surplus."
CBS anchor Dan Rather, February 8.


Jeering Reagan On His Birthday

"The ex-President did some good things, but, you know, to me, a lot of Republicans have two blind spots: their hatred of Bill Clinton and their deification of Ronald Reagan. You know, when it comes to Ronald Reagan, they're like the doting parents of an eight-year-old everything he does is remarkable. He singlehandedly won the Cold War, which is, thats the one that gets me the most. The Cold War was so much more won by Harry Truman at the beginning and Gorbachev at the end than Ronald Reagan....But when it came to things he just talked about, like eliminating the deficits and eliminating welfare, it was Bill Clinton who actually did those things."
Bill Maher, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect, Feb. 6.