NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the November 28 edition of CNBC's Kudlow Report, in his capacity as chairman of For America.
Kudlow brought the Media Research Center founder on to discuss the fiscal cliff and the need for Republicans to stand firm on opposing tax hikes, especially in light of the liberal media's tag-teaming with Democrats. "I can't hardly pick up a newspaper or website and not see anybody blaming [anti-tax-hike activist] Grover [Norquist]," Kudlow observed. You can watch that full segment below the page break. You can also find a transcript courtesy of Media Research Center intern Ryan Robertson below ( MP3 audio here):
The Kudlow Report
Nov. 27, 2012
7:08 p.m. EST
LARRY KUDLOW: Next up is the Republican party about to lose it's soul and principles over the fiscal cliff debate. Why is nobody talking in the media about spending cuts? Which really are the root of the problem. Let's talk to Brent Bozell, For America chairman and founder and president of the Media Research Center. Brent, great to see you on the show. Thank you for coming.
BRENT BOZELL: My pleasure.
KUDLOW: Let me start with this thought. Over this fiscal cliff debate with taxes and spending. Nobody is cutting spending. Everybody is talking about taxes. Is the GOP losing its soul and its principles?
BOZELL: Well absolutely, and just about no one is being serious in this debate. You just heard the last couple guests, like the fellow from AEI was making sound statements. But this Dean Baker guy, who is just whistling past the graveyard and he's saying there's no problem that the Obama budget calls for spending giving us a deficit of $1 trillion per year as far as the eye can see. He's saying spending isn't the problem. Look, tax cuts didn't cause this. It is spending that caused this. If you want to correct it, you go to spending! You've got the CBO itself saying the only way to do this is by getting ObamaCare and the individual mandate out of there. The CBO is saying this! So what are the Republicans starting to say? Well, let's go for tax increases. This will destroy the Republican party because at this point the party will have lost it soul. What else differentiates it from the Democrats if they go along with it? And here's the problem Larry with this, the Republicans have been saying for two years that this tax increase would destroy jobs and destroy any hope for a recovery. Either they were lying then or if they were going along with it. They were lying now when they say it isn't going to have that impact. Which one is it?
KUDLOW: This is interesting to me. Why is the media working with the Democrats on this very point about taxes? Why is their primary target about spending not the economy which is growing at an anemic pace. But their primary target is Grover Norquist, a friend of yours and a friend of mine. Grover Norquist, who has never been a House member or a Senate member, has never spent a dime of federal money is being blamed for the entire problem. Even Republicans are blaming Grover Norquist. Some of them, not all of them. What do you make this? It's a jihad against Grover Norquist, and he's the guy who actually has some sanity in fiscal policy.
BOZELL: This is sheer dishonesty. And this wreaks of the corruption in Washington, D.C., and Larry, you know what I'm talking about. When a senator says that his pledge is outdated, since when is a commitment something that's outdated? It is either kept or it's broken. When they blame, look, you yourself said it at the beginning of this. The United States senators said that entitlements are off the table. Entitlements are the problem! They just said the solution is off the table. Let's go blame Grover Norquist. Let's raise taxes. We all know that if you raise taxes on the rich, it pays for what, eight days? After which, you now have the same problem but now the rich don't have their money either. We know this!
KUDLOW: Yes, I do. It's just interesting to me. Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, Peter King, they're all friends of ours, two senators one House member. Okay so I guess they're walking away from the Grover Norquist pledge. Grover's been on the show many times. I don't see what all this hysteria. I can't hardly pick up a newspaper or website and not see anybody blaming Grover. It's like Grover's the guy who gave us the deficit, Grover's the guy who gave us the spending, Grover's the guy who gave us the lousy economy. This is ignoring any fundamental issues that have to be worked through. I don't understand why the media plays this game.
BOZELL: Here's another way of saying it. We made a commitment to our base that supported us and elected us. We said to the voters we would keep taxes low, we would not increase taxes. How dare Grover Norquist or anyone else keep us to the promises that got us elected. That's exactly what they're saying. But let me tell you something Larry, that the moment these people are are primaried. The moment a conservative runs against them, my goodness they're all going to be Reaganites. It happens to Orrin Hatch this time, John McCain last time, Lindsey Graham. They will become Reaganites the moment that they are challenged.
KUDLOW: I will tell you this, Brent Bozell.
BOZELL: They care about their jobs.
KUDLOW: I can tell you this. Not one drop of revenue should be put on the table until we have massive across the board spending reductions and entitlement reform.
BOZELL: Absolutely, Absolutely, and --
KUDLOW: That is what is missing. The GOP should stand up and say not one drop of revenue until you and the other side of the aisle if that's way it's going to be. You show me good faith with the spending reduction, supposed to have $1.2 trillion, it never materialized and the entitlement reforms you all talk about, except when it comes time to do something about it. That's what's missing from this debate.
BOZELL: Absolutely, and Larry, step B is that the small business community should say to the Republican party -- not one penny until I know you are not going to screw me.
KUDLOW: Alright, great stuff! Brent Bozell, thank you my friend, appreciate seeing you very much.
7:13 p.m. EST