Ted Cruz = “The David Koresh of the Republican Party”
“Do you think Ted Cruz is a bit like the David Koresh of the Republican Party? He’s a bit like a character who believes himself to be anointed, believes himself to be a prophet, ignores everything, and torches the place in the process....Is he the David Koresh of the Republican Party?”
— MSNBC host Martin Bashir tossing out a question to his panel, October 16, referring to the Branch Davidian leader who led 76 members of his cult to their deaths during a 1993 standoff near Waco, Texas.
“Question: If Ted Cruz and John Boehner were both on a sinking ship, who would be saved? Answer: America. Harsh? Look around you at what is happening to America and you will see harsh. I am not talking about closed parks and monuments. I am talking about the funds cut to nearly 9 million mothers and young children for food, breastfeeding support and infant formula. That is harsh. Making a war against babies is harsh. And for what? Because Cruz, Republican Senator from Texas, has grown so drunk on the sound of his own voice and so besotted with illusions of his own grandeur that he believes halting government today will propel him into the White House tomorrow?”
— Politico’s chief political columnist Roger Simon in an October 14 column.
Terrible GOP Led by a “Clavern of Sociopaths”
“This [government shutdown] has been in its way worse than Watergate. Watergate ultimately vindicated our system against the machinations of one sociopath....Today, we have a clavern of sociopaths who know nothing of honor, and we have no easy way to stop them. Except at the ballot box. Except that they’ve rigged that, too, with their House districts. They’ve rigged the whole game so that they light the match and then point at President Obama and shout: ‘Look! Fire!’ And overseeing it all is House Speaker John Boehner, as of Tuesday officially the worst high-ranking elected officer in the history of the United States. I know, there’s been a congeries of drunkards and rapists I can barely imagine. I don’t care. Boehner is worse than all of them.”
— Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky in an October 16 article.
You Must Hate ObamaCare More than You Love America
“Congresswoman, let me ask you though, when it comes to ObamaCare, do you hate ObamaCare more than you love your country?...Because you’ve taken the government hostage through a shutdown, and all the American people — you’re walking them to a cliff, the economy, and you’re going to push them over one-by-one, based on the fact that you don’t like the ACA. That’s all it is. You don’t like the Affordable Care Act.”
— Anchor Thomas Roberts scolding Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on MSNBC Live, October 15.
Liberal Media Debate: Is Ted Cruz a Dumb Demagogue or a Smart Demagogue?
Washington Post’s Colby King: “We’ve seen this story before, and it didn’t start in the ’60s. There was a guy named Joe McCarthy, who even railed on against his own administration, the Eisenhower administration. And he had a narrow base of support, but it was loyal there. And he went after an issue, and he was a demagogue. And this guy [Senator Ted Cruz] is a demagogue, too, but he’s winning — as Mark [Shields] has said — because the base that he’s got will keep him going, and they’ll put money behind him.”
Politico’s Evan Thomas: “He’s a lot smarter than McCarthy. In that way, he can be more dangerous.”
King: “Well, I don’t know if he’s smarter.”
— Discussion on Inside Washington, October 18.
Matthews Unhinged: Slamming Racist, Confederate Haters
“Fight, fight, fight! That’s the echo of this week. You hear it in every remark or grunt from the hard angry right. They call themselves ‘the American people,’ as if the majority that voted for President Obama are some invading force of others, or a group of lesser Americans who should be credited with only three-fifths of a vote, like they were before the Civil War and the 13th Amendment made them whole. It’s that fight again....Alongside the battlefield, where the women and children once watched, we see the [Rush] Limbaughs and the [Erick] Ericksons turned out to cheerlead, the right-wing camp followers plying their trade like the women who got their name back in the earlier time from General Hooker. Yes, there’s money in war, even this phony war of faux filibusters and televised jibes at park police — a confederacy of hate.”
— Host Chris Matthews opening Hardball, October 18.
Time for Republicans to Toss the Tea Party Overboard
“The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the Tea Party movement?”
— Political correspondent Karen Tumulty in a front-page Washington Post article, October 18.
“The real question is, has the rest of the Republican Party had enough of this? Mostly the business interests that are basically funding the Tea Party. They thought they had common interests. There really isn’t — right now, with all the economic destruction the Tea Party has brought about, they are not on the same page this way at all.”
— Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, October 11.
Does the Republican Party Need a Psychiatrist?
Co-host Gayle King: “You talk in your book about your medical training in psychiatry and about how powerful it can be — how powerful denial can be. Do you think that the GOP, Tea Party Republicans are in denial?”
Co-host Charlie Rose: “That’s a good question....Do you think the party needs some psychiatry?”
— Interviewing conservative columnist and author Charles Krauthammer on CBS This Morning, October 22.
Before It Opened, Journalists Marveled Over Healthcare.gov
“Think of it as a health insurance mall for your state where each store represents a different insurance company. You’ll get an easy to read map or menu of options to help you navigate which plan makes the most sense for you and your family.”
— ABC business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis on Good Morning America, September 30.
“You know what’s interesting is, this is really like going to shop for a flight on Travelocity.”
— CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger on CBS This Morning, September 30.
“This is the Web site folks, healthcare.gov. If you go to this Web site, you will find out how easy it is to read, how easy it is to navigate all the information, all the basic questions, and all the direction you need to take to get involved, to get health care. This is a great guide, if I may say, for any of you out there who feel so confused by all of these right-wing commercials that are just permeating through your television screen.”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, September 30.
ObamaCare’s Problems Caused by Failure to Spend Enough?
“Congress repeatedly refused to authorize requests by the Obama administration for additional funding for the rollout of the health care law. Administration officials say that funding potentially could have made a difference. So does Congress, do your colleagues bear any responsibility for this rocky rollout for refusing that funding?”
— Fill-in host and NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, October 23. The latest official figures (as of March 31) show the government spent $394 million in contracts related to setting up the Web-based ObamaCare exchanges.
Endorsing ObamaCare: “You Haven’t Got to Persuade Me”
Obama spokesman Jay Carney: “Republicans, Ted Cruz in particular, not John McCain, but Ted Cruz led a campaign to shut the government down over his opposition to ObamaCare. And remember what that means, that’s opposition to a plan and a program that will provide affordable health insurance to millions of Americans, private sector health insurance through these marketplaces.”
Host Piers Morgan: “Right, but I agree with you. You haven’t got to persuade me. But my position, though, is that it’s very frustrating for your supporters like me and others. I don’t agree with all of ObamaCare, but I broadly agree with the ethos behind it. I come from a country where everybody gets free health care if they want it. So I totally subscribe to the ethos of what you’re doing.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, October 21, talking about the failure of the ObamaCare Web site.
Ed Cites Taliban Slam As Proof of “Erosion” to U.S. Credibility
“No matter what the final outcome of the showdown is, one thing is very clear. The damage to our global reputation has already been done. The self-inflicted crisis has eroded our credibility across the globe....In Germany, they’re saying, ‘America is already politically bankrupt’ and calling Republicans ‘the kamikaze party.’ Heck, even the Taliban militants took the opportunity to taunt the United States. The group issued this statement, accusing U.S. politicians of ‘sucking the blood of their own people.’”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, October 16.
Republicans Are So Racist, They’re Ready to Destroy America
“I knew some whites would have difficulty w/ a browner America but didn’t know they’d wanna destroy the country over it”
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist and longtime editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker in an October 15 tweet.
Liberal Media Hero “Finally” Gets a Job Worthy of His Talent
“Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.”
— Reporter Kate Zernike’s lead paragraph in an October 17 New York Times story about Booker’s election.
Chris Matthews, America’s “National Treasure”
“Everything he does, especially as he gets older and succeeds, is really impressive....We call him a national treasure at MSNBC....He’s beloved at MSNBC and around politics.”
— MSNBC President Phil Griffin talking about Chris Matthews at an October 15 promotional event for the Hardball host’s new book, and quoted the next day by Politico’s Patrick Gavin.
Prime Time Bias: Appalled by Palin-Supporting Gun Owner
Francesca: “But his views, Diane. All his views. He supports Sarah Palin!”
Diane Lockhart, laughing: “I know. I can’t believe it. I fell in love with a Palin supporter.”
Lyle, just after grabbing hold of Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, on a bookshelf: “It’s not funny, Diane. Did you see her? She’s back on Fox.”...
Francesca: “Issues matter. I know we’re all supposed to disagree and smile and go home and pretend it’s all some big tennis match. But people end up poorer. Guns end up killing people. Global warming keeps destroying our-”
— Scene during the October 20 episode of CBS’s The Good Wife, about college friends appalled by who a Chicago law firm partner plans to marry.
Sign up to receive Notable Quotables via e-mail.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
DEPUTY RESEARCH DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Dickens
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Brad Wilmouth, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Matt Hadro
INTERN: Paul Bremmer
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeremy Little (703) 683-5004