Notable Quotables - 03/19/2001
CBS Found 67% Want Bush's Tax Cut, But on the Evening News:
Dan Rather: "President Bush insists what the economy really needs is his major tax cut. Democrats and some independent economists believe the Bush push is risky business...."
CBS News reporter John Roberts: "...The debate now is over which way to go: Mr. Bush's plan or the Democrats proposal for smaller targeted tax cuts. At the Stage Right Cafe in Omaha, where the sarcasm runs as strong as the coffee, they've heard all the talk about tax cuts."
Woman: "Some people think it's too small. Some people think it's too big. And some people think it's just right. Isn't that what it was?"
Roberts: "What do you think?"
Woman: "I think it could probably be reduced."
Roberts: "Jan Dill believes if Mr. Bush can hold the line on spending, his tax cut could work, but Sue Kilgarin fears the President is rolling the dice on eight years of success just for political gain."
Kilgarin: "I think a big tax cut is just a real feather in someone's cap."
February 28 CBS Evening News story the day CBS News released a poll which found 67 percent support for Bush's tax cut, a result the Evening News failed to report.
"New polls...show voters leaning slightly in favor of the Democratic plan."
Roberts on the CBS Evening News the next night.
Democrats Are Never Partisans
"So much for bi-partisanship, Charlie [Gibson]. The Republicans rammed through this tax cut, and all but ten Democrats voted against it, and the Democrats are accusing President Bush of reneging on his promise to change the tone in Washington."
ABC's Linda Douglass on World News Tonight, March 8, 2001.
"The vote on the budget plan was the closest and most partisan in 50 years. Not a single Republican supported it, and there was not a vote to spare in either house....Republicans did not offer an olive branch, and party leaders scoffed at suggestions that the President had won a big victory."
Douglass, then with CBS, after Bill Clinton's 1993 budget, which raised tax rates, passed Congress with only Democratic votes, August 7, 1993 CBS Evening News.
Bush Sabotaged Bi-Partisanship
"President Bush came to Washington promising to change the tone of the political debate, to make it more civil and, above all, make the results more bi-partisan. But the way Republicans handled the opening round of the tax cut legislation left some wondering whether the President really meant it."
Sam Donaldson on ABC's This Week, March 11.
Mrs. Roberts vs. Mr. Roberts
"It's a popular tax bill, you look at every poll that's out there."
ABC's Cokie Roberts on Bush's tax cut plan, March 11 This Week.
"Polls still show Americans are not wild about this tax bill."
Cokie's husband Steve Roberts of U.S. News on CNN's Late Edition, same day.
Reagan's 8 Years: "Tough Times"
NPR reporter Nina Totenberg: "Well, if Reagan's was small, and you're equating it with this one, you know Katy bar the door because we got into a terrible fix over that."
Charles Krauthammer: "Twenty years of expansion!"
Totenberg: "We didn't have that initially. We didn't. We had ten years, we had eight years of tough times."
Exchange on the March 3 Inside Washington after Krauthammer pointed out how Bush's one percent of GNP tax cut isn't so big compared to Kennedys at two percent of GNP and Reagans at three percent of GNP.
"George W. has reverted to the Republican fiscal policies of Ronald Reagan, the ones his father characterized as voodoo economics, meaning tax cuts that did not pay for themselves, as advertised, but produced huge deficits and quadrupled Americas national debt over a period of just 12 years. President Bush should have used a different presidential model: Dwight Eisenhower, whose fiscal discipline kept the economy growing and inflation under control."
U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman concluding a March 12 back page essay.
Tolerance at CNN: Jesus Freaks
"What are you, a bunch of Jesus freaks? You ought to be working for Fox."
CNN founder Ted Turner, on Ash Wednesday to CNN employees at Bernard Shaw's retirement party who displayed ash marks on their foreheads, as reported March 6 on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume.
Poof! There Goes Daschle's Vote
ABC reporter Terry Moran: "Mr. Bush has embarked on a two-day, five-state swing to sell his $1.6 trillion tax cut, as well as his blueprint for the federal budget unveiled yesterday. But the budget blueprint the White House has released may already have cost the President votes in Congress. Democrats lost no time in attacking the President's proposals as stingy to the point of meanness."
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle: "The administration also proposes to cut $17 billion from programs that provide health coverage to the poor."
March 1 Good Morning America.
Geraldo Feeling Lonely
"But Lanny [Davis], things have gotten pretty grim for the President's legacy in the last week or so. You even have The New York Observer, the weekly newspaper here in town, staunch Clinton supporter, calling for Senator Hillary Clinton to resign from the United States Senate, adopting former Carter administration official Ham Jordans label of grifters for both the Clintons. If, if the Observer is lost what's left? Besides me and you?"
Geraldo Rivera on CNBC's Rivera Live, February 28.
Too Many Guns...
George Stephanopoulos: "But I do think the Democrats are over-reading the politics on this. Now there's no question the single best predictor of how someone was going to vote in the last election was did you have a gun in the house by 40 points they went for Bush. But if you look at the three states "
Cokie Roberts: "Most Americans have a gun in the house."
Stephanopoulos: "Unfortunately, yeah."
Exchange on ABC's This Week, March 11.
...But Too Little Government
"How much do you fault the surplus of guns for the frightening increase in violence were seeing?"
"Well, I don't think it's pointing fingers, Mr. Secretary. But what do you say to those who want to see federal action to do something to keep guns out of the hands of young people?"
"It's a community problem, but doesn't the federal government have to take a lead in this?"
"As a final note, is there any specific one new thing that you can tell parents the Bush administration is going to do in response to this week's incidents?"
Questions from CBS's Bryant Gumbel to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, March 8 The Early Show.
Liberals Are Too Timid
"The most obnoxious hunk of rhetoric or pseudo-concept in this year's tax debate is the phrase class warfare....It is completely disingenuous and virtual red-baiting to spout off that criticizing tax changes for being too generous to the rich is class warfare; as if such talk is un-American. It would be silly, except for the fact that it does seem to actually silence some Democrats from talking about equity and fairness."
Commentary by CBSNews.com Editorial Director Dick Meyer, a former CBS Evening News producer, March 9.
Say You're Sorry, Arlen
"You know you, you angered a lot of feminists when you accused Anita Hill. In fact, you detailed how she changed her testimony during questioning, during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. And you accused of her publicly, quote, Flat out perjury. Any regrets?"
Katie Couric to Sen. Arlen Specter, March 6 Today.
"Pass massive tax cut before they have a budget. Don't try this at home."
Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom, assigning a down arrow to the House of Representatives, March 19.
"No one points a finger at them after Santee. Maybe they do have an office in the W. House."
Next Conventional Wisdom item, assigning an up arrow to the National Rifle Association.
Empty-Headed Early Show
"Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson have yet to make it, but laying out $30 million to build them a studio is like laying out $30 million for a picture frame before you've even found the picture to put it in."
60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt in a new book, quoted by Peter Johnson in the March 12 USA Today.
Has Hell Frozen Over?
"I think in the case of those of us who work in the so-called establishment, be it by and large middle-of-the-road media, not being dragged around by the, by the political persuasions of the time, making room for people to be on. I'm always struck by the fact that there are not enough conservative voices in mainstream broadcasting. And so I think that's unfortunate and it always reminds me of one of the best things we can do, and one of the things you do well on this program, present company excepted, is to make room for people to have their say."
ABC's Peter Jennings on CNBC's Tim Russert, describing "the biggest challenge to our profession," March 3.