Today, the news is all about the U.S. military’s successful elimination of Osama bin Laden (go USA!), but for much of the last two weeks the media have preoccupied themselves with demanding higher taxes and scorning proposed Republican budget cuts as mean-spirited attacks on the poor.
The worst of these quotes have been documented in this week’s Notable Quotables newsletter, now posted at www.mrc.org with seven video clips. (PDF) Here’s a sample of the most outrageous quotes:
GOP to “Screw” Young People, “Throw Granny Into the Snow”
“After many years where Democrats kind of cried wolf about Republicans wanting to throw granny into the snow, this time that’s what they have just voted to do.”
— Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter during the 6pm ET hour of MSNBC Live, April 15.
Host Chris Matthews: “Now the big dodge the Republicans have is, ‘Yeah, I voted for it, but it affects people 55, 54 and younger,’ and that woman, apparently, in that same exchange, turned around and said, ‘Yeah’ — when he tried to defend himself — said, ‘Yeah, but I care about my nieces and nephews. I don’t want them screwed out of Medicare.’...”
Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman: “By trying to exempt the younger people also, it doesn’t necessarily help the Republicans make their case, because what they’re saying to the younger voters is, ‘We’re going to screw you. We’re going to screw you.’”
— Exchange on Hardball, April 25. Under the proposed House Republican budget, annual Medicare spending would increase from $563 billion to $953 billion per year over the next 10 years.
Tea Party Just Wants to Hurt Poor and Minorities
“Thirty percent of general Tea Partiers want to cut Medicare. But you look at these numbers on the other side, 69 percent of Tea Partiers against these cuts in Medicare. ...The only cuts that they seem to want are the cuts for the poor people. And you have a modest majority, 52- [Jonathan Alter laughs.] You’re laughing because you know how right-wingers think. They don’t mind cutting the poor people who get Medicaid.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, April 20.
“People love Medicare. And the only one the Tea Party people want to cut is Medicaid because it’s for poor people and minorities. That’s how they see it at least.”
— Matthews on Hardball the next night.
Most Liberal President In History = “Moderate Republican”
“President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he’s facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him.”
— Washington Post business columnist Ezra Klein in an April 25 blog posting.
If a Republican President Had Said This....
Clip of President Obama’s budget speech: “I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill....That’s not a vision of the America I know....”
Time’s Mark Halperin: “If a Republican President called the Democratic proposals on something like this un-American, I think the press would be up in arms.”
Host Joe Scarborough: “They would savage him.”
Halperin: “They would be up in arms. I think that kind of rhetoric: for the President to say that what Paul Ryan is doing is not consistent with his vision of America, I think that’s rhetoric that only added insult, injury to the insult of inviting him to sit in the front row.”
— From MSNBC’s Morning Joe, April 14.
Slamming GOP’s “Big Tax Cut for the Wealthy”
“Why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean, they’re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?...If the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would be seem to me that’s where you get revenue.”
— Bob Schieffer to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on CBS’s Face the Nation, April 17.
Media Race to Aid Campaign for Higher Taxes
Leo Hindery, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength: “Every time I get a tax cut, I get richer. I don’t put money back into the economy. I just get richer.”
Correspondent Seth Doane: “Leo Hindery, Morris Pearl, and Dennis Mehiel don’t agree that raising taxes on the rich will hurt the economy or the rich. And they should know. They’re all multi-millionaires....[to Mehiel] Why, in your view, is paying taxes patriotic?”
Dennis Mehiel, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength: “There are things that we want to do as a society. They’re not free.”
— CBS’s Sunday Morning, April 17. Mehiel ran as a Democrat for Congress in 1994 and lieutenant governor of New York in 2002, while Hindery was one of the original financial backers for the left-wing group Media Matters in 2004.
Let’s Blame Republicans for Obama’s Low Poll Numbers
“In an odd way, the fact the Republicans and Congress are so poorly regarded, that the whole system is so poorly regarded, drags everybody down, including the President.”
— Former Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman on MSNBC’s The Last Word, April 22.