Obama's Media Helpers: It's Not a Deal Unless Taxes Go Up

Vol. 24, No. 15


Obama's Media Helpers: It's Not a Deal Unless Taxes Go Up


"Where are the concessions that the Republicans are willing to make? I heard the President, just this week, saying yeah, he'd be willing to talk about means testing for people on Medicare. I don't hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that's their negotiating posture....Can you have meaningful reform here without increasing revenues in some way?"
— Moderator Bob Schieffer to Florida's Republican Senator Marco Rubio on CBS's Face the Nation, July 17.

"Obviously, the Republicans made that a line in the sand: 'No new taxes.' And yet, poll after poll recently have basically said the American people are not with you on that issue. The majority actually says that there should be a balanced approach. Whether it's the Quinnipiac, even including, not even a majority of Republicans say there should be no new taxes. So, do you think that you're out of step with the American people on this?"
— ABC's Christiane Amanpour to Arizona's Republican Senator Jon Kyl on This Week, July 17.

"When it comes to taxes, this issue of revenues, is there any way this deal gets done without the Republicans compromising somewhat on taxes?...President Obama talks about shared sacrifice. Where is the shared sacrifice going to come from on the Republican side?"
— Co-host Matt Lauer to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on NBC's Today, July 12.

"I think the Republicans look stupid and mean.... I'm sorry, this is stupid. This is a no-brainer in terms of a deal. This is a no brainer and they look mean and they look difficult and they're going to lose this."
— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's Morning Joe, July 12.


Why Do Rich Fat Cats Have Their Boot on Workers' Throats?


"We haven't had tax increases over the last ten years. We've had a recession, we've had two wars to fight. Why do you think the top 2 percent of America has a chokehold on the other 98 percent?"
— MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts during live coverage following President Obama's July 15 press conference.


"Disgusted" by GOP Elevating "Pettiness" Over 'Patriotism'


Correspondent Jake Tapper: "Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, who co-chaired the deficit commission, said the American people are rightly disgusted, and he's personally bothered by Republicans undermining any chance of Speaker Boehner compromising."
Former Senator Alan Simpson: "If that — the stuff that's going on in my party, where the pettiness overcomes the patriotism, it's disgusting to me."
— ABC's World News, July 12.


Decrying Republican "Hostage-Takers" — "It's Terrorism"


Salon's Joan Walsh: "These people, the Tea Partiers and their friends and their enablers and their corporate friends like Dick Armey, they have created this shrieking on the right....They're paying the lowest taxes in 50 years — more than 50 years, more than my lifetime — and they are still complaining. And some of them aren't complaining. There are some good business people who know this game of chicken, in particular, is deadly and it's wrong and it's hostage-taking. And you shouldn't negotiate with hostage-takers."
Host Chris Matthews: "I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree. It's terrorism."
— MSNBC's Hardball, July 5.


Actually Balancing the Budget = "Just Wasting Time"


"Tea Party conservatives love this plan. The President has already said that he's going to veto it. Do we really have time for a plan that is really just show, Kelly?"
— Co-host Ann Curry on NBC's Today, July 19, talking about the Republican plan to "cut, cap and balance" the federal budget.

"No one believes that this has any chance of passing; therefore, this looks very political. Is that risky for the Republicans in terms of it looking like they're just wasting time?"
— Co-host Amy Robach on the July 16 Today.


Obama's "Very Significant Cuts" vs. "Intransigent" Republicans

"It's also worth pointing out that the President and Democrats are putting some very significant cuts on the table....I think the frustration the President has, is 'Look, I've come three-quarters the way to your position, and you're not willing to give me that last 25 percent that I can use to say to Democrats there is something in this for you.' So I think the intransigence of the Republicans is really beginning to wear on him and just strikes him as more and more unreasonable."
New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler in a podcast for the paper's "The Caucus" political blog posted July 15. [MP3 Audio (1:01)]

"Unreasonable" to Blame Obama's Spending for Big Debt


Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform: "Our friend, President Obama, has said he won't try and solve the problem he created with his spending unless people give him more money."
Host Ali Velshi: "Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. 'He created with his spending?' You didn't just suggest that our budget problem is because of President Obama, did you, Grover?...Are we in this debt situation because of the Obama administration, Grover?"
Norquist: "Yes."
Velshi: "Okay, we're going to pass by that question, because that's an unreasonable position."
— Exchange on CNN's Your Money, July 16.


Big Spending Obama Now "the Debt Slayer"


Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson: "Politically, I think the White House believes this is a winner for them, to go for the big deal, to be seen going for the big deal and-"
Moderator David Gregory: "-the debt slayer. The President as debt slayer."
Robinson: "Exactly."
— NBC's Meet the Press, July 10.


Reporters Beg Obama to Stick to His Liberal Guns


"You keep talking about balance, shared sacrifice, but in the $4 trillion deal that you're talking about, roughly, it seems to be now at about four-to-one spending to taxes; we're talking about $800 billion in taxes, roughly. That doesn't seem very fair to some Democrats."
USA Today White House correspondent Rich Wolf to President Obama at his July 11 press conference.

"With unemployment now at 9.2 percent and a large chunk of those lost jobs coming from the private sector, is now a really good time to cut trillions of dollars in spending? How will we still create jobs?"
— The Huffington Post's Sam Stein to Obama later at the same press conference.

"And now with these budget cuts looming, you have minorities, the poor, the elderly, as well as people who are scared of losing jobs, fearful...."
— April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, later at the same press conference.


Chris Shifts From Slanting the News to Outright Lobbying


"Who will take the wheel? Who will drive the car? Will it be the grown-ups in the front seat or the kids crying and complaining and threatening in the back seat? On one side are those kids in the back seat, Tea Party members of Congress and their stay-at-home blogging cheerleaders, who either don't understand or don't care about the consequences of default, of the U.S. not meeting its obligations, of us looking like a joke....Do we want the land of the free to be the land of the deadbeat? If not, try something right now. Call your congressman or woman and say you don't want this crisis to go where it's headed right now....202-225-3121. Again, 202-225-3121. If you forget that, it's in the phone book or in 411."
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, July 14. [Audio/video (1:50): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


MSNBC Anchor Smears Murdoch as a Corrupt Murderer


Matt Lauer: "So as you've watched this story unfold over the last month or so, what jumps out at you?"
MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir: "It's the power of Rupert Murdoch. It's hard to imagine the power that he exerted on politicians. Imagine a combination of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist, and someone like James 'Whitey' Bulger, the mobster. And what he had was the power to reward and to punish."
— Exchange on NBC's Today, July 14. Abramoff was convicted on corruption charges in 2008 and sentenced to four years in prison; Bulger, who was arrested in June, is charged with murdering 19 people. [Audio/video (0:43): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


"Decent, Honorable Democrats" vs. GOP "Attack Machine"

"The last time most Americans saw John Kerry, he was tying himself in knots trying to rebut the charge that he was for the war in Iraq before he was against it. That was unfair, like a great deal that happened during the 2004 campaign, but politics are unfair. Kerry seemed to be the latest in a long line of decent, serious, honorable Democratic presidential candidates cut to ribbons by the Republican attack machine and bested by G.O.P. contenders whom voters would much rather have a beer with...."
— Contributing writer James Traub in profile of Kerry for the July 17 New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Gushing Over Obama: He's Done "Remarkably Well"


Host Charlie Rose: "How is he doing overall in your judgment, the President?"
ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "Solid. I mean, it's hard to imagine — I'm trying to think in our lifetime if anybody has been dealt a tougher hand coming into the White House. And given that, I think he has done remarkably well....I think people respect him even more than they like him."
— Exchange on PBS's Charlie Rose, July 12. [Audio/video (1:19): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


The "Ecstatic Human Achievement" That Is Barack Obama


"Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we're going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph....'I am large, I contain multitudes,' Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy....Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a 'world-historical soul,' an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be."
Esquire's Stephen Marche in a column for the magazine's August 2011 issue: "How Can We Not Love Obama? Because Like It or Not, He Is All of Us."

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Matthew Hadro
INTERNS: Alex Fitzsimmons, Eric Ames