Notable Quotables - 07/29/1996


Donaldson's Dole Strategy: Go Left

"I want the Bob Dole who saved affirmative action in the Nixon administration. I want the Bob Dole whose civil rights record is excellent when it comes to his voting record in the Senate. I want the Bob Dole who is moderate, who wants the big tent idea, who doesn't want to punish all those people who don't believe abortion is like a certain wing of his party does [sic]. And I want the Bob Dole who wants to balance the federal budget rather than give huge tax cuts in a pie-in-the-sky, let's follow this supply side mumbo-jumbo. But that Bob Dole can't seem to get out. And if it doesn't get out, I would agree, that's it."
- Sam Donaldson on ABC's This Week with David Brinkley, July 14.


MSNBC: Not Much of an Alternative

"I was just looking at draft platforms, Republican platforms, from South Carolina, Kansas, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, and Mississippi, and all of them are uncompromising, all of them written by the religious right, all of them uncompromising on this [abortion] and other issues. Are you really comfortable in a party where there are a lot of theological imperatives being imposed upon a political platform?"

"If Republicans are the party of opportunity for most Americans, the fact of the matter is that you Republicans have occupied the White House for 20 out of the last 24 years and the economic inequalities in this country have grown. There seems to be a failure of correspondence there."
- Questions from Bill Moyers to Steve Forbes on MSNBC's InterNight, July 19.

"But if that platform in San Diego contains the very strong anti-abortion plank that it presently contains, aren't women still going to feel, despite all you've just said, that there's a not for welcome sign out?"
- Moyers to Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, same show.


Keep Moms on Welfare: That'll Help the Kids a Lot

"Mr. President, before we get back to the Internet questions, I wanted to follow up just for a moment on welfare if I can. If in fact you sign the Republican bill that's likely to come down from the Hill, all the projections show that that will push, at least short term, more than a million youngsters in this country below the poverty line. That's a high risk for youngsters in this country who are already in peril."
- Tom Brokaw to President Bill Clinton, July 15 InterNight on MSNBC.

"There is something very creepy about the welfare debate....The politicians have gotten together and decided it's a good idea to throw a million or so children into poverty. But they can't say that. The proponents of this so-called `reform' effort have gone out of their way to avoid being seen for what they are - men and women of extreme privilege who are taking food out of the mouths of infants and children, the poverty-stricken elderly, the disabled....Old women, small children, the disabled. A country that would single out such individuals for deliberate harm falls somewhere well short of greatness."
- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in his New York Times column, July 22.


The More You Know, the More You Believe in Nothing

"One reason the disaffection of moderate women has looked like such a sore thumb this summer, experts say, is that the moderates make up a disproportionate share of the party's highly visible elite. Many were activists who built the party before forces on the right took it over in the 1980s. Most are better educated than average Republicans, and higher levels of education tend to go hand in hand with more flexible stances on issues like abortion."
- New York Times reporter Michael Wines, July 21 Week in Review section.

The Religious Right Ruins Another Country

"Bar-Ilan Street has become a symbol of the religious right's power in the new government of Prime Minister Netanyahu....Added to the fears that the ultra-religious minority will be freer under the Netanyahu government to try to impose its views on the majority of Israelis are the fears of the Palestinians. They see the struggle for Bar-Ilan Street in a wider context. They fear the religious right will doom any meaningful negotiations over the future of Jerusalem."
- ABC reporter Bob Jamieson on protests by Orthodox Jews over a major Jerusalem road not being closed for the Sabbath, July 13 World News Tonight.


We Should All Be Paid the Same

"Governor, a recent study of household income by the Census Bureau confirms that there has been, the gap between rich and poor in America is wider than it has ever been and it is continuing to grow. You are a great believer in the benefit of the free market economy, but doesn't something have to be done to change this picture? And what specific steps would you take as Senator to make sure the nation's poor and wealthy are more equitable?"
- Question from Boston Globe reporter Adrian Walker to Republican Senate candidate Bill Weld during the July 2 Senate debate in Massachusetts with Senator John Kerry (D).

Gun Control Would Really Stop Violence: Look at D.C.

"The first requirement for being nice is to refrain from killing someone, and there we have a problem. But isn't it possible that Americans murder each other at much higher rates than most other nationalities not because we are meaner but because we make it easier, through lax gun control?"
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter in a July 15 issue story on how the U.S. "is not as mean as people think."


Far-Right Supreme Court

Alan Murray, The Wall Street Journal: "Linda, you say this has been the Rehnquist Court, but what effect have the Clinton appointees had on the Court's decisions? How have they pushed the Court?" New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse: "Well, I'm not sure they've pushed the Court, in so far as there's any, quote, `liberal' outcomes at the Court these days, it's kind of a holding action. These two, Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg, are liberals within the current spectrum of the Court, but it's important to realize how far to the right the spectrum has shifted in the last couple of years."
- Exchange on Washington Week in Review, July 12.


No Truth in Talk Radio

"Let me talk about something that has always troubled me everytime I listen to talk radio as I travel. Democratic or Republican talker, it doesn't seem to matter, there just doesn't seem to be a standard of truth. I mean, it's like you're not really news media. You're media, but not news."
- Scripps Howard columnist and former Washington Post reporter Martin Schram, June 23 CNN Reliable Sources.

Oh Sure, Reporters Wanted to Vote for a Republican...

Margaret Carlson, Time: "This study is bandied about so much it should just be kind of stamped on your forehead, John. It is stamped on your forehead, I can read it there. The two candidates, remember, Bill Clinton was a New Democrat. George Bush now looks like the most moderate of Republicans. It wasn't even a liberal-conservative thing."
John Sununu: "And he still couldn't get more than seven percent of your vote!"
Carlson: "Well, I mean look at the two candidates. It could have been your candidate, John, and not a liberal bias. Bill Clinton was a better candidate. Someone suggested to me `What if the candidate had been Jesse Jackson and George Bush?' George Bush would've probably won. What if it were Jesse Jackson and Christie Whitman? William Weld? A Republican would win. A Republican would win!"
- July 3 exchange on CNN's Crossfire about Freedom Forum poll showing 89 percent of Washington reporters voted for Clinton.


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