CBS’s Schieffer: Bush Like ‘Queen of Hearts From Alice In Wonderland’

Bob Schieffer, CBS In a bizarre rant against President Bush at the end of Sunday’s "Face the Nation," CBS host Bob Schieffer made an odd analogy between the president and the fairy tale villain in reaction to the Bush Administration’s opposition to providing the Food and Drug Administration with more regulatory power over the tobacco industry: "The administration, incredibly, in my opinion, opposes it for a reason that would make the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland proud."

Schieffer began his commentary by declaring: "I'm delighted the House will vote this week on legislation that for the first time will give the Food and Drug Administration real power to regulate tobacco products. I hope it passes." He then decried the Bush Administration’s reason for opposing the measure:

Their reason: That the FDA already has such a huge job monitoring food safety, that it just doesn't have the resources to take on the additional job of regulating tobacco. If it did, the administration argues, regulating food and drugs might suffer. I couldn't be more serious. That really is their main reason. By that logic, we shouldn't have asked the military or our intelligence agencies to get involved in fighting terrorism after 9/11. For sure, they already had plenty to do before Osama Bin Laden came along.

Considering how long it has taken for the FDA to find the source of a recent nationwide salmonella outbreak, it seems the administration’s concerns are well-grounded.

Schieffer concluded his rant by again referencing the Alice in Wonderland character:

After the Queen of Hearts issued her weird orders her husband the King had a way of undoing them when she wasn't looking. Well, maybe Congress can do the same and pass this by veto-proof margins because every day 1,000 children in America are learning to smoke and for 20 years now, 400,000 Americans have died each year from tobacco-related diseases. That's no fairy tale. Those are just the facts.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

10:30AM TEASER:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Then I'll have a final word on that other war on cancer. Are we serious about it, or are we looking for a political settlement there, too?

10:54AM SEGMENT:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today's final thought, and I begin with a disclosure. I am a cancer survivor and I've lived for a long time with another disease called ulcerative colitis, both of which I probably got because of a long ago heavy addiction to nicotine. So I'm delighted the House will vote this week on legislation that for the first time will give the Food and Drug Administration real power to regulate tobacco products. I hope it passes. For the record, John McCain and Barack Obama, who don't agree on much, agree this needs to be done. So does the American Cancer Society, as well as the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and on and on. The administration, incredibly, in my opinion, opposes it for a reason that would make the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland proud. Their reason: That the FDA already has such a huge job monitoring food safety, that it just doesn't have the resources to take on the additional job of regulating tobacco. If it did, the administration argues, regulating food and drugs might suffer. I couldn't be more serious. That really is their main reason. By that logic, we shouldn't have asked the military or our intelligence agencies to get involved in fighting terrorism after 9/11. For sure, they already had plenty to do before Osama Bin Laden came along. After the Queen of Hearts issued her weird orders her husband the King had a way of undoing them when she wasn't looking. Well, maybe Congress can do the same and pass this by veto-proof margins because every day 1,000 children in America are learning to smoke and for 20 years now, 400,000 Americans have died each year from tobacco-related diseases. That's no fairy tale. Those are just the facts.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC