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Notable Quotables - 01/24/2000

Stop That Scary Religious Talk


"Governor Bush, in the last debate when you talked about Jesus being the philosopher-thinker that you most respected, many people applauded you. Others said what role would religion have in the Oval Office with George W. Bush. Fifteen million atheists in this country, five million Jews, five million Muslims, millions more Buddhists and Hindus. Should they feel excluded from George W. Bush because of his allegiance to Jesus?...Would you take an expression like 'What would Jesus do?' into the Oval Office?"
- Questions from New Hampshire Republican debate moderator Tim Russert to George W. Bush, January 6.

Tim Russert to George W. Bush in relaying a question from anchor Brian Williams: "Brian asked about the whole issue of Jesus Christ being introduced in the Republican Party and into the country at-large. Is it an issue that you think could hurt you in the general election where non-Christians begin to think there's something mysterious going on here?"
Bush: "....It's my foundation and if it costs me votes to have answered the question that way, so be it."
Russert: "I think people watching, some want to hear your God is Jesus Christ, they don't have a God, or they have Yahweh or they have Allah. They want to know it's okay."
- MSNBC's post New Hampshire Republican debate coverage, January 6.

Tim Russert: "Every Republican debate seems to have discussion about abortion, gay rights, Jesus Christ. Fairly or unfairly are you concerned that many people in the country are watching that exchange and saying, 'you know, that's a little bit more about religion than it is about politics and that concerns me?'"
Gary Bauer: "Well Tim, in all due fairness, you guys brought those issues up."
- Another exchange from MSNBC's special after the January 6 Republican debate.

 

Feeding Red Meat To the Right


"Howard, who are the Republicans who are not happy with the way this event looked tonight and similar groupings of these six, meaning, and it's red meat for conservatives, the positions rather strident tonight: anti-gay, pro-Jesus, and anti-abortion and no gray matter in between?"
- Brian Williams to Newsweek's Howard Fineman, January 6 MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams.

 

Still Recycling the Houston Spin


"The idea who won the Republican debate last night is that the Democrats won, because they looked like they were at their convention in Houston, which is the - you know, there's the crowd like it's happy hour at the Holiday Inn, waving and cheering and stomping the most simple-minded statements. And this comes across as, you know, intolerant. And they're not right on the issues that people care about. And, you know, they've got to play outside that room in South Carolina. And they're not going to with that stuff."
- Times Margaret Carlson on the South Carolina Republican debate, January 8 Capital Gang on CNN.

 

Tim the Tax Man


Tim Russert to Steve Forbes: "The state of Michigan collects $7 billion a year from a sales tax on goods purchased in the state. Because the number of people in Michigan now buying from the Internet, there's been a loss in state revenues approaching $200-300 million. With that in mind, Mr. Forbes, are you prepared, as more and more people buy on the Internet, to allow Michigan to lose more and more sales tax revenue when, in fact, two-thirds of that revenue goes directly to education in this state?"
Russert: "The state government of Michigan has sent a form to taxpayers throughout the state which asks them to itemize all the items they purchased on the Internet and to voluntarily pay the six percent tax. Should taxpayers in Michigan comply with that law?"
Forbes: "....The municipalities in America will be collecting a lot of money because of the Internet, far more than what they might lose because if they think they're afraid they might lose something on the sales tax."
Russert: "So consumers should break the law in Michigan by not paying?"
- January 10 Republican debate in Michigan moderated by Tim Russert and shown on MSNBC, January 10.

 

Eleanor Clifts Colossus


"President Clinton, surviving impeachment and remains a colossus on the world stage as witnessed by his prosecution of the war in Kosovo, plus the peace accord in Northern Ireland, and peace with negotiations in the Middle East, which wouldn't have happened without his prodding."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on her pick for the "Biggest Winner of the Year," December 25, 1999 McLaughlin Group.

 

CBS's Global Warming Mantra


"U.S. government climate experts tell CBS News that they now believe global warming is real and under way."
- Dan Rather, January 10 CBS Evening News.

"CBS News has dug out new and exclusive information about just how seriously the U.S. government now regards global warming. Sources tell Jim Axelrod that President Clinton will soon commit more money to understand it and fight it. This follows Axelrod's report Monday disclosing that U.S. climate experts now believe global warming indeed is real and under way."
- Rather, January 12 CBS Evening News.

"Some of the world's top ocean life experts are now meeting in Alabama about one possible impact of global warming. It's a global explosion of jellyfish ruining tourism, stinging swimmers, and a possible sign of coming climate changes that could have even more impact on people. CBS's Maureen Maher has the hard facts on a squishy problem."
- Rather, January 12 CBS Evening News.

"On the subject of global warming, U.S. climate experts now believe it is real and it is under way and President Clinton says he will seek funding to fight it." - Rather, January 13 CBS Evening News.
"A sudden severe and spreading cold blast in the Northeast could be a foretaste of what's coming a lot of places in this unusual winter: Namely, more frequent, more extreme rapid-fire weather shifts up and down. U.S. climate experts say global warming and a sustained La Nina may be generating all this."
- Rather, January 18 CBS Evening News.

 

Centrist Dems, Hard Right GOP


"Well, they're both basically centrist Democrats. I think they have one huge fundamental policy difference, over issue of health care. Bill Bradley says we have to cover everybody, and Al Gore says that's going to cost too much and its going to endanger Medicare."
- ABC political analyst George Stephanopoulos, January 6 Good Morning America.

"Bush knows in the general election if he goes to the hard- right Republican platform in the past on abortion, he's going to turn off a lot of voters, particularly women voters, and he avoided the Steve Forbes trap there quite well."
- Stephanopoulos on the January 11 Good Morning America, the day after the GOP debate in Michigan.

 

ABC's Toobin Agrees with Hillary


Don Imus: "Was the First Lady right when she went on the Today show and described this attempt to get her husband as a 'vast right wing conspiracy'?"
ABC legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: "I think she was more right than wrong....And if you look at how I think the legal system was manipulated by Clinton's enemies, you know, practically from day one of his presidency, yes, I think its fair to say there was a conspiracy to try to force Clinton out of office, but one in which the President, you know, gave his enemies tremendous ammunition."
- January 11 appearance on Imus in the Morning on MSNBC by Toobin, author of A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President.

Charles Gibson: "You say, 'The most astonishing fact in this story may be this one. In spite of his consistently reprehensible behavior, Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The President's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him. The bigger the stakes, the smaller they acted. They were willing to trample all standards of fairness, not to mention the Constitution, in their effort to drive him from office.'"
Toobin: "...I don't spare any invective on how bad his behavior was, you know, so consumed with self pity that he kept what he called the Richard Jewell file in his desk. But he didn't commit impeachable offenses."
- ABC's Good Morning America, January 12.

 

Avoiding "Partial-Birth Abortion"


"The United States Supreme Court agreed today to revisit one of the most controversial issues of our time: a womans right to choose whether to have an abortion. The Court says it will hear arguments in a case involving a particular kind of late-term abortion."
- Dan Rather on the January 17 CBS Evening News.

"The justices are going to decide on the constitutionality of a Nebraska law banning a controversial procedure involved in late term abortions."
- Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight, Jan. 17.

 

224-Year-Old Bias


"Our own cause is, at its heart, a fight against British taxation, is it not? In the end sir, we all kill for profit the British and the Hessians, and us."
- General Nathaniel Greene to George Washington after the Continental Army defeated the Hessians in Trenton, as portrayed in A&E's January 10 movie about the 1776 battle, The Crossing.