George Will Takes on Former Obama Administration Official for Calling Tea Partiers 'Terrorists'

As NewsBusters previously reported, former Obama administration car czar Steve Rattner last month called Tea Partiers terrorists on national television.

On Sunday's "This Week," George Will took Rattner on for making such an inflammatory statement (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: People know that you have a debt crisis and you have to deal with it. The question is, and you, I think, I don't know whether you want to say this, but you called the Congressman an economic terrorist.

STEVE RATTNER, MSNBC ECONOMIC ANALYST AND FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CAR CZAR: Not, not the Congressman personally. I did say that I thought those who essentially were trying to hold up and bring the U.S. to the brink of default without being reasonable in their compromise. Look, the President was willing to go more than halfway. He was willing to go 75 percent of the way in a package that would have both revenues…

CONGRESSMAN JASON CHAFFETZ, (R-UTAH): No, but we…

RATTNER: Wait a minute, let me finish, and spending cuts that would have achieved this $4 trillion grand bargain and would have perhaps averted this downgrade or certainly put us on a better path for fiscal responsibility. But you do have one group of people who are saying no tax increases, never, no how, when in fact the tax decreases under President Bush partly got us in this problem. If you take today’s one and a half trillion dollar deficit, a trillion of it is from excess spending. 400 billion of it is from the Bush tax cuts.

Indeed. However, if we went back to the exact same outlays called for in the 2007 budget approved by a Republican Congress, we'd actually have a $200 billion surplus in fiscal 2012 based on OMB's projected tax receipts.

If we adjusted 2007's spending for inflation, we'd only have a $43 billion deficit next year thereby totally avoiding S&P's downgrade without raising taxes one cent.

But I digress:

ROBERTS: The Standard & Poor's report, which, again, I would like to disassociate myself from, but it does say that one of the reasons that they think that the fiscal house will not be in order is because they think the Bush tax cuts will stay in forever and that they think the intransigence of Republicans on this line is one of the reasons that they have downgraded the credit rating.

GEORGE WILL: All of the people comparing the Tea Party to suicide bombers, one of whom is Steve here…

AMANPOUR: I don't think he said that, did he?

WILL: Yes.

RATTNER: No.

ROBERTS: Terrorists are suicide bombers.

WILL: I can read you the transcript from the morning show.

RATTNER: I was there. I was there.

WILL: I understand, I was watching.

And so were we. As NewsBusters reported, here's what Rattner said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on July 29:

RATTNER: You know, the problem with this is it's like a form of economic terrorism. I imagine these Tea Party guys are like strapped with dynamite, standing in the middle of Times Square at rush hour and saying, 'either you do it my way, or we're going to blow you up, ourselves up, and the whole country up with us.' So you tell me how those kinds of standoffs end.

Sounds like Will has a better grasp of what Rattner said that morning, dontcha think? But I again digress:

WILL: Anyway, what you, you do know that 95 House Democrats voted against raising the debt ceiling as compared to only 66 House Republicans. You do know that 26 Democratic Senators voted against raising the debt ceiling?

Indeed.

What liberals like Rattner have totally ignored was that if interfering with an agreement to raise the debt ceiling was an act of terrorism, Democrats in both chambers of Congress were far more guilty than Republicans.

Alas, one would have to be an impartial journalist to figure that out, and such a thing really doesn't exist anymore - certainly not on MSNBC where Rattner contributes.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.