Notable Quotables - 11/01/1999

So Never Cut A Cent, Ever

"If you take that penny, for instance, out of the National Institutes of Health grants, that may be the penny that cures cancer. Are you willing to do that?"
- ABC's Sam Donaldson to House Majority Whip Tom DeLay on the proposed 1.4 percent across-the-board non-entitlement spending reduction, October 24 This Week.


Spending Cuts Not an Option

"But now, by swearing not to touch the Social Security surplus, as they have so often in the past, both parties are faced with a problem: either fund everything they want to do with available revenues or raise taxes to do it."
- ABC's John Martin concluding an October 19 World News Tonight story.


Ken Starr: McCarthy or Booth?

"He gave a lot. He gave a lot of heartache. He gave five years of right-wing zealotry, and he gave the most overblown political persecution since Joe McCarthy, at least in this correspondent's opinion."
- Geraldo Rivera on CNBC's Upfront Tonight, Oct. 18.

"Today's Washington Post [editorial] says...'Mr. Starr should be remembered as a man who, hampered alike by intensely adverse conditions and by his own missteps, managed to perform a significant public service', end quote. Missteps? What would The Washington Post call the Lincoln assassination? Missteps?"
- Geraldo on CNBC's Rivera Live, October 20.


I Still Pass the Media's PC Test

"Once a good friend of mine - you'd know his name, I'm going to tell you, he's a good reporter in Washington - many years ago wrote me a blistering letter along the lines that you just said: 'Well, you've got too much money now, and you're out of touch and all of this, and you don't care about the working America.' And I wrote him back and said, well, what are the issues that I am for on the roundtable every Sunday? I'm for an increase in the minimum wage. I'm for higher taxes on the wealthy. I mean, I went down the whole list of things that were there. I said, that's what I stand for. What does it matter what my bank account is if my actions, my words and my heart are in the right place, according to you?"
- ABC's Sam Donaldson on CNN's Reliable Sources, October 9.


Dole Folds: Blame the System

"Tonight we begin with what has been called the mother's milk of politics. Money, tons of money. So much money these days it is spilling into the billions. How it affects those who have it and don't want to give it up, and how it affected Elizabeth Dole's dream of running for President.

"We begin with what is called soft money, but it's hard cash, hundreds of millions of dollars in political cash funneled to political parties to help members of Congress already in office. It pours in from large corporations and other special interests with big stakes in how those members vote. It's gotten to be so big and so controversial there's a growing demand to change the system, but that demand died again today when it hit the U.S. Senate."
- Tom Brokaw, October 20 NBC Nightly News.

"Elizabeth Dole. How do you decide after all that passionate campaigning, all those chicken dinners, that its time to hang it up? Well, one way you decide is when George W. Bush has vacuumed up all the money. So yesterday we asked Elizabeth Dole if she felt the system had let her down by making it impossible to raise the kind of money she needed to compete."
- Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer, October 21.

"Do you blame George W. Bush for monopolizing the money?"
"But is that an abuse of the system, or is the system so deeply flawed that it allows something that you think distorts the democratic process?"
- Sawyer's next two questions to Dole.


Schieffer Warned Conservatives

"If you allow this [nuclear test-ban] treaty to come to a vote and it dies, as it surely will, a terrible and dangerous message will go out to the rest of the world, that America no longer cares about arms control....I know beating the President at his own game would be fun for you, but some things are just too serious for partisan victories. Besides, no one will remember the Democrats maneuvered you into all of this. They'll just remember Republicans killed a treaty that, according to the polls, most Americans wanted. And that's exactly the box Democrats were trying to put you in in the first place."
- CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer concluding the show, October 10.


He's Liberal, But Look at His Pals

"Gumbel often draws flak from the right because he makes no secret of his liberal leanings. But here, too, the private Gumbel might surprise people. He became friendly with Richard Nixon during his twilight years, interviewing him at NBC and dining at his New Jersey home. George Bush helped get him into Bethesda's exclusive Burning Tree Club. Gumbel is also pals with Fox News President Roger Ailes, who appeared on a weekly Today segment when he was a Republican strategist."
- October 23 profile of Gumbel by The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz.


GOP Embarrasses America

"Mr. President, hasn't the treaty rejection really wiped out our moral authority to ask other nations around the world to stop testing? And was there - do you think there was a personal element in the Republican, a personal vendetta against you in the turn down?"
- UPI's Helen Thomas to President Clinton at his October 14 press conference.

Washington Week in Review moderator Gwen Ifill: "Tom Reid is with us in London, and I'm really curious about the degree to which in London and abroad you're hearing whether, I'm just curious, are people laughing at us?"
T.R. Reid, The Washington Post: "You know, I think they are. The tone, actually, is very harsh: You call this leadership? The Senate vote was irresponsible. It was disgraceful. It was dangerous. But you know, at some level, I think they actually loved this....they love this in the British media because it portrays Americans as kind of, you know, humorless fanatics, and they kind of believe that about us, anyway."
ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz: "...I think Trent Lott may, I mean, Trent Lott talks about, well, we don't care, you know, what the allies are saying. We don't trust the nuclear test-ban treaty anyway. I think what it showed is they don't really care about the world at all."
- October 15.

Close Free Speech "Loopholes"

"Reform legislation to rein in campaign spending, by closing a loophole in the law which allows special interests to give unlimited sums of money to the political parties, all but died in the Senate today. Supporters of the legislation were unable to break a Republican filibuster and bring the legislation to a vote."
- CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer, October 19.


Touting Imaginary Centrists

Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer: "So she [Hillary Clinton] starts out liberal and then tracks over to the center. That's the classic mode?"
ABC political analyst George Stephanopoulos: "Very classic mode, especially in New York. Chuck Schumer, who won the Senate race last time, really had to come out as a centrist, not a traditional liberal Democrat."
- October 18. (Schumer's American Conservative Union in 1996: 5. Americans for Democratic Action rating: 90.)


Ten-Foot Pole for Pro-Life Terms

"For the third time in four years, the U.S. Senate tonight approved a measure to ban a type of late-term abortions. President Clinton says he will veto it, just like the others, if and when it gets to his desk. Supporters of the ban refer to these abortions as quote, partial-births. Opponents say it's all really aimed at reversing a woman's legal right to choose whether or not to have an abortion."
- Dan Rather, October 21 CBS Evening News.

"The Senate has again approved a Republican-led effort to outlaw a late-term abortion procedure. But the vote to ban what anti-abortion groups call partial-birth abortion fell short of a crucial threshold."
- CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, October 21 The World Today.


Clinton Will Be Happy With Hugh

"Maybe chastity in itself is an overrated virtue. I'm not advocating licentiousness, but I think there's been so much made of that lately that it's created almost a psychosis in our society."
- ABC 20/20 host Hugh Downs sounding off during his last show, September 24.


The Chutzpah President

"Eight years ago when Wilt Chamberlain's book came out, I looked at that and it said he claimed to have had sex with 20,000 different women....I said it's too bad that there's no reference in here to any moral dimension at all, no sense of right and wrong. It really needs to be talked about, and it's a bad example for young people...the next morning I came down to do a follow-up...and there was a man standing in the corner on the way out. He was about to begin the next segment. And I did not know who it was, didn't recognize him at all. And he said, I heard what you said yesterday, and he said, I could not agree with you more. And he said, I'm glad that that really got said. He said I'm Bill Clinton."
- Charles Osgood on CBS's This Morning, October 13.

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