CBS Plugs Moderate Republicans Voting with Obama

On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Kimberly Dozier filed a report profiling moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine, in light of their vote in favor of President Obama's economic plan, and relayed their criticisms that other Republicans should show more willingness to "compromise." Dozier also likened Collins to another former Republican Senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, who is known for being "the first Senator to stand up to McCarthyism."

Dozier began her report: "President Obama owes his stimulus package to three Senators from the losing side. Three renegade Republicans tipped the balance: Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania and two women Senators from the sparsely populated state of Maine – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins."

After playing audio clips of ads attacking Collins and Snowe for their vote, and a clip of Snowe comparing her situation to that of a "skunk at a lawn party," Dozier recounted Snowe’s admonishment of fellow Republicans for not engaging in "compromise" and showed clip of Snowe contending that her views are in line with the "original principles of the Republican party":

KIMBERLY DOZIER: She says her party is missing the point that Americans want Republicans to be part of the process, even if it means compromise.

OLYMPIA SNOWE: I think I reflect my roots, you know, the original principles of the Republican party. I haven’t changed. I have felt that my party has changed.

After relaying that many Republicans from outside Maine have complained about her actions, Dozier likened Collins to another former Republican Senator from Maine who confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Dozier: "But no apologies here. You could call that a Maine tradition, which started with Senator Margaret Chase Smith in the 1950s, the first Senator to stand up to McCarthyism. Her picture hangs near Collins’s desk."

After a clip of Collins declaring that former Senator Smith is her "hero," and was "known for taking on her party," Dozier further relayed the views of Republicans who "think the three GOP outlaws are actually in the right," followed by a clip of Collins saying that other Republican Senators who voted against the bill wished they had felt free to vote for it instead: "Several of my Republican colleagues, while they’re voting against the bill, have told me that they believe that I did the right thing, and that they wish they could join me."

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Saturday, February 14, CBS Evening News:

JEFF GLOR: The compromise stimulus bill passed by a vote of 60 to 38, the bare minimum, and only with help from a vanishing breed: moderate Republicans. Kimberly Dozier has more on that.

KIMBERLY DOZIER: President Obama owes his stimulus package to three Senators from the losing side. Three renegade Republicans tipped the balance: Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania and two women Senators from the sparsely populated state of Maine – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I really believe that what I decided to do was right.

DOZIER: They used the political weight of their swing vote to wield influence far greater than their state’s 1.3 million residents. But if you go by these conservative Republican ads, you could say they’re now off the official GOP Christmas card list.

AUDIO OF AD #1: Stand up to Obama and Collins.

AUDIO OF AD #2: Call Snowe today at (202) 224-3121, and tell her you’re angry with her vote.

SENATOR OLYMPIA SNOWE (R-ME): I guess it’s sort of like being a skunk at the, you know, lawn party – lawn party, you know, – and so, I said I think that’s, you know, what happens

DOZIER: She says her party is missing the point that Americans want Republicans to be part of the process, even if it means compromise.

SNOWE: I think I reflect my roots, you know, the original principles of the Republican party. I haven’t changed. I have felt that my party has changed.

DOZIER: Their constituents have been supportive, but-

COLLINS: -the emails that I’m getting from all over the country are not so kind, and we’ve been inundated with emails, more than 75,000.

DOZIER: But no apologies here. You could call that a Maine tradition, which started with Senator Margaret Chase Smith in the 1950s, the first Senator to stand up to McCarthyism. Her picture hangs near Collins’s desk.

COLLINS: She truly is my hero. She was known for taking on her party-

DOZIER: And she says some in her party think the three GOP outlaws are actually in the right.

COLLINS: Several of my Republican colleagues, while they’re voting against the bill, have told me that they believe that I did the right thing, and that they wish they could join me.

DOZIER: -especially with the added influence the bold bipartisans will surely have here. Kimberly Dozier, CBS News, Washington.