MSNBC's Martin Bashir: Mitch McConnell 'Suffering Some Kind of Mild Dementia'

MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who once argued Sarah Palin's bus tour was in "breach of federal law," attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, wondering if the 69-year-old Republican is "suffering some kind of mild dementia or long-term memory loss?"

Excoriating McConnell for rejecting tax increases as part of a potential budget deal, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor regurgitated a litany of liberal talking points about the Bush years on his eponymous program:

Mr. McConnell castigates two years of Democratic profligacy at the hands of President Obama, but has he failed to remember that it was President Bush who took us into Iraq, it was President Bush who introduced those tax cuts, and that the Congressional Budget Office says that these tax cuts alone will add $3.3 trillion if they're extended into 2020?

Bashir's guest, former Newsweek scribe Jonathan Alter, chuckled before dismissing the Senate Minority Leader as "just a very hearty and misleading partisan."

A transcript of the relevant portions of the segment can be found below:

MSNBC
Martin Bashir
June 29, 2011

3:36 p.m. ET

MARTIN BASHIR: Mr. McConnell castigates two years of Democratic profligacy at the hands of President Obama, but has he failed to remember that it was President Bush who took us into Iraq, it was President Bush who introduced those tax cuts, and that the Congressional Budget Office says that these tax cuts alone will add $3.3 trillion if they're extended into 2020? Is Mr. McConnell suffering some kind of mild dementia or long-term memory loss?
 


JONATHAN ALTER, Bloomberg columnist: No, he's just a very hearty and misleading partisan. Look, Martin, people are entitled to their own opinions, they're not entitled to their own facts, as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said. When Senator McConnell's office took office, took the presidency is 2001, we had a $200 billion surplus. When George Bush and Elaine Chao left office in 2009, we had a $1.2 trillion deficit, that's a $1.4 trillion turnaround on the watch of the Republicans.So for him to be blaming this all on the Democrats, and I'm not suggesting that we haven't added another $300 billion since Obama's been president, that's true. But for him to blame this all on the Democrats is just factually indefensible and untrue and they've got to stop saying these things that are untrue. They're not going to stop saying them because that's the nature of politics right now. But we need to concentrate on the facts. They took us from a surplus to a deficit. Both parties are to blame for the pickle that we're in right now. And the only way to get out of it, as even the most conservative Senator Tom Coburn knows, is with both spending cuts and tax increases. We cannot do it without a balanced approach.

--Alex Fitzsimmons is a News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.