Tina Brown: GOP Donning 'Suicide Vests,' Boehner a 'Rallier of These Crazy People'

On Tuesday's AC360 Later, Tina Brown said that Republicans are fighting ObamaCare with "suicide vests" and that President Obama looks "statesmanlike" in talking to Iran but not the GOP.

"Maybe Vladimir Putin can break the logjam here," The Daily Beast co-founder quipped. She added, "it is just incredible to me to watch these Republicans putting on their suicide vests and thinking this is going to have some kind of outcome for America."

House Speaker Boehner has "just become this rallier of these crazy people," Brown continued. Of President Obama, she praised him for being "aloof" and not negotiating with the GOP.

"[T]his is the one time where his [Obama's] aloofness suddenly looks I think much more statesmanlike. Here's the guy who has been dealing with Iran, and he's been actually waiting to just let these people commit suicide."

Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on AC360 Later on October 1 at 10:02 p.m. EDT:

[10:02]

ANDERSON COOPER: Tina, what do you make of this?

TINA BROWN, co-founder, TheDailyBeast.com: Maybe Vladimir Putin can break the logjam here.

(Laughter)

BROWN: We need a mediator like him. it is just incredible to me to watch these Republicans putting on their suicide vests and thinking this is going to have some kind of outcome for America. It is just absolutely preposterous. And what is the most depressing thing really, is to see how John Boehner's job insecurity, his terror of losing his Speakership means that he's just become this rallier of these crazy people, when only a few months back he said after the election, right after the re-election of Obama, he said Obamacare is the law of the land, he said at that time. He later on said that he didn't believe in the government shutdown.

COOPER: There was certainly a lot of talk back two years ago about working together, about the importance of it. And that sort of – now you can't even find anybody talking about that.

(...)

[10:13]

BROWN: But everybody always keeps saying about Obama, he should get involved and be less aloof. But, as you say, this is the one time where his aloofness suddenly looks I think much more statesmanlike. Here's the guy who has been dealing with Iran, and he's been actually waiting to just let these people commit suicide.

(Crosstalk)

LAZIO: (R), former U.S. congressman: But politics is a very social business. It's certainly based on trust and likability and am I going to give a little bit because I think this person's not going to burn me later on, and it really takes engagement. In that sense, the President just is – this is not his sweet spot.

(Crosstalk)

BROWN: I agree with that. I definitely think that he doesn't have that kind of retail sort of emotional content thing that Bill Clinton had, for instance. I don't think he does have that. But at the same time, when you look at the other side at the moment, there's such a kind of joyous, raucous nihilism about it.

(...)

COOPER: How does this end? It's got to end at some point sooner or later. How does it end?

LAZIO: I think it rolls into the debt limit. And if there's going to be a deal, it will be in that context.

(Crosstalk)

CHARLES BLOW, CNN contributor: I think that's probably right.

ROSS DOUTHAT, The New York Times: I think the question is, do they do something? Do they figure out a way to do some stopgap thing so we can say the government isn't shut down anymore for the week before we actually hit the debt ceiling?

(Crosstalk)

COOPER: When you say stopgap, you mean piecemeal?

DOUTHAT: I mean like what McConnell floated, what Rand Paul basically endorsed today, yeah, basically, whatever, a two-week C.R. or something. And then this becomes a debt ceiling negotiation.

(Crosstalk)

DOUTHAT: Which will be so much more exciting because –

BROWN: But is it possible that actually Ted Cruz will sort of blow himself up in a kind of -- with hubris in a way? The moment he has the suave sophistry –

BLOW: How can it get worse than it is?

BROWN: Is there a way to –

DOUTHAT: He's got to make it until 2016. He can't –

BROWN: But do you remember how Newt Gingrich kind of got blown up by the way he behaved on the plane with Bill Clinton, if you know what I mean? There are moments when the public and the electorate suddenly see these people for what they are.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014