CBS's Schieffer: S.C. Politics Like 'Desperate Housewives'; Dems 'Happy' Angle Won in Nevada
Speaking to Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez, Schieffer ran down the most watched races in Arkansas, California, South Carolina, and Nevada. When he got to South Carolina, he described gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley as "very conservative." After making the 'Desperate Housewives' comparison, he remarked how the GOP primary in the state was "providing some entertainment, as it were, for the rest of the country. I mean, you had Governor Sanford down there and his adventures. And now these allegations against Nikki Haley." He quickly added that the allegations of adultery against Haley were "without foundation" and that "Nobody has proven anything."
Rodriguez then asked if "Harry Reid is happy or fretting the fact" that tea party-backed Sharron Angle won the GOP senate primary in Nevada. Schieffer declared: "I suspect that Democrats in Nevada are very happy about this....I think the Reid people think that he would have a much better chance beating her than some of the other Republicans in the primaries."
Here is a full transcript of Rodriguez's June 9 discussion with Schieffer:
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Let's bring in CBS News chief Washington correspondent and host of Face the Nation Bob Schieffer. Good morning, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Hey, Maggie.
RODRIGUEZ: So there's been this anti-establishment sentiment for awhile in this country. But now – I'm sure it's not helping that no one seems to be able to solve this BP oil spill. Do you think that played into last night's results at all?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Primary Politics; What Message Did Voters Send?]
SCHIEFFER: It probably did. I mean, you know, there's just this general feeling that the government is sort of impotent to do much of anything about anything. And I think there's no question that has something to do with the voter frustration that's being felt out across the country. But it really is hard to draw much deep analysis or deeper meaning from these races last night, because they were all so different.
I mean, Blanche Lincoln barely eked out a primary win over her opponent, who was challenging her from the Left. He was well-financed by labor unions. It's not all that easy for a labor-backed candidate to win in the South, and this time we saw that once again, a labor-backed candidate did not win. But she is still the underdog going into November. She's going to have a very difficult time there.
Out in California, it was just all a question of money. And that's all there was to it. I mean, Meg Whitman, who won out there, won by spending nearly $80 million. Money still talks in politics. And we saw a real example of that.
Down in South Carolina, where they continue to draw their political plot lines from, you know, 'Desperate Housewives' or something, you saw again a very conservative candidate win. I mean, these campaigns down in South Carolina are really providing some entertainment, as it were, for the rest of the country. I mean, you had Governor Sanford down there and his adventures. And now these allegations against Nikki Haley. We should underline and point out, totally, totally-
SCHIEFFER: -without – without foundation.
SCHIEFFER: Nobody has proven anything. But it just shows, I mean, kind of the nature of politics down there this year. It's really, really kind of extraordinary.
RODRIGUEZ: We've been talking a lot about the tea party. And in Nevada, we had the tea party favorite Sharron Angle win last night. Do you think that majority leader Harry Reid is happy or fretting the fact that she won?
SCHIEFFER: I suspect that Democrats in Nevada are very happy about this. She was the tea party-backed candidate. The other part is, she is one of the few people in the state of Nevada who has endorsed, I understand, storing nuclear waste in Nevada. Nevada politics has always been about putting the nuclear waste someplace else. Now she has endorsed that. That's going to be very difficult for her. I think the Reid people think that he would have a much better chance beating her than some of the other Republicans in the primaries. Still going to be very, very close. He has a lot of work to do out there.
RODRIGUEZ: Alright. Bob Schieffer, as always, thank you so much, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: Thank you. Thank you, Maggie.
RODRIGUEZ: You're welcome.