Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan on Monday smeared conservatives, saying that the right doesn’t care if "half the country dies" in order to "take down Obama" on health care. Ratigan made his vitriolic remark while discussing glee over the President’s botched handling of the Chicago Olympic bid. Audio can be found here.
MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer complained, "Can you imagine this that some people actually went as far as to cheer?" This led Ratigan to froth, "Sure. I mean, there are people that are actually trying to derail health care in order to take down Obama, even if it means half the country dies. So, of course, they don't care about Chicago’s Olympics. Are you kidding me?"
Ratigan isn’t the first MSNBC host to accuse conservatives of wishing death on Americans. On the September 23 Ed Show, Ed Schultz screamed, "The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead! They’d rather make money off your dead corpse! They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don’t have anything for her."
The difference between Ratigan and Schultz, of course, is that the latter is also the host of a liberal radio show. Ratigan, in theory, is supposed to display some journalistic objectivity. Clearly, that didn’t happen on Monday.
Later in the segment, the Morning Meeting anchor interviewed Republican strategist Ron Christie and former DNC Communications Director Karen Finney. Ratigan launched into a bizarre, off-topic rant about "corporate communism:"
DYLAN RATIGAN: The unemployment data in this country is a direct result of the perpetuation of corporate communism, which has not been forced to adapt as every other industry in this country has...I don't understand why the Republicans are not more aggressive in demanding the release of this country from the hostage state that it is in from the possession of the possession of these communists.
A transcript of the October 5 segment, which aired at 10:17am EDT, follows:
DYLAN RATIGAN: Some Republicans and conservatives celebrating Obama’s failed attempt to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. Down with Chicago! Contessa Brewer has the latest.
CONTESSA BREWER: Can you imagine this that some people actually went as far as to cheer?
RATIGAN: Sure. I mean, there are people that are actually trying to derail health care in order to take down Obama, even if it means half the country dies. So, of course, they don't care about Chicago’s Olympics. Are you kidding me?
BREWER: I have to say, I think it's actually pathetic that when the International Olympic Committee announces Chicago gets eliminated first round and then we get this video. It was obtained by Hotline. Just watch.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They were out on the first vote.
BREWER: That applause was from some members of Americans for Prosperity, one of the main conservative groups involved in the tea party protests. And, of course, Rush Limbaugh is also weighing in on the President's setback.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Folks! Worse day of his presidency! This is the guy who is going to talk Iran into giving up its nukes! Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm!
PAUL KRUGMAN: Here is what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman had to say about the conservative reaction. Quote, "We learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old." Well, not all conservatives were cheering for the political setback of the president. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough thanked the President for going to Copenhagen. Here’s what he said about Limbaugh on Morning Joe.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Middle Americans that swing the election see that and think, "Oh my God! Republicans have gone off the deep end."
BREWER: You may remember during the Bush presidency, Republicans labeled some Democrats unpatriotic for challenging the administration's Iraq war policy and post 9/11 strategy. Dylan?
RATIGAN: Oh, I do remember that, actually. Thank you for the reminder, though, Contessa. Bringing in our panel, Ron Christie and Karen Finney, Democratic strategist and Jonathan Capehart, editorial writer. Ron, how do you utilize the opportunity that exists for conservatives in general in this country to actually restore the most basic spirits of competition and freedom and all of the rest of it and get away from the foolishness that we see from the deep right and, for that matter, the deep left?
RON CHRISTIE (Republican strategist): Well, Dylan, I think there are plenty of opportunities for Republicans to engage in policy matters and I think when you look at this Olympic example, I want the United States to win. I think we all wanted Chicago to win. The Olympics bring millions upon millions of dollar to the host city. It's a very good thing and spot lights American values. I don't think there is any glee taken from America losing. I think the issue with Republicans, they might have policy disagreements with the President. You can't make this personal because it makes you look spiteful, frankly.
RATIGAN: Yeah. Karen, you probably agree with that.
KAREN FINNEY (Fmr. DNC Communications director): I can't believe it, Ron and I agree! This is a historic moment on national television.
RATIGAN: Mark the time and date. Mark the time and date.
FINNEY: Ron, certainly you have to admit that, you know, when people see images of, you know, Rush Limbaugh and others and commentary from your Republican counterparts, gleeful, joyful, talking about, you know, wanting to make health care the president's Waterloo, that is unpatriotic. At some point we have to come together as a country and it starts to look like it’s the Republicans are more interested in politics than actually getting something done.
CHRISTIE: We've seen the Democrats say the Republicans aren't interesting in policy debate. It has got to stop on both sides.
FINNEY: When have the Republicans come to the table on the policy side with some ideas, not just rhetoric?
CHRISTIE: Actually, Republicans have come to the table with several many, several good ideas as it relates to health care being able to purchase insurance across state lines, making sure to have meaningful tort reform. And a lot of the Democrats have said, "Oh, no." Those are diversionary. Those are stall tactics."
FINNEY: No, I think the President has said both of those ideas should be in. So-
CHRISTIE: Actually they are not in the bill, Karen. In fact, a lot of the Democrats in the Senate are reluctant to have meaning tort reform. We’re hearing about a pilot project. I think when you talk about patriotism I think both sides need to stop this partisan bickering and realize the American people right now- we’re in a very serious crisis. Two wars, an economic crisis. Enough’s enough. Let’s find common ground and get some policy differences settled.
RATIGAN: Don't you think there is an opportunity, Ron? As I see it, for the Republicans if they can get their act together, to go straight at those in our Congress who are currently enabling anti-competitive practices to perpetuate themselves and the reality is- And we can go through this another day on the show. As long as you perpetuate failed businesses in anti-competitive structures are you going to have massive job losses. Do you think the unemployment data in this country is an accident? The unemployment data in this country is a direct result of the perpetuation of corporate communism, which has not been forced to adapt as every other industry in this country has. But the banks haven't been forced to adapt and the health insurance companies haven't been able to adapt. Music industry had to adapt. Retailers had to adapt. Technology companies had to adapt and yet the corporate communists that control our insurance and banking structure have a strangle hold on innovation and adaptation in this country. I don't understand why the Republicans are not more aggressive in demanding the release of this country from the hostage state that it is in from the possession of the possession of these communists.
CHRISTIE: Well, I tell you, if there anything about communism, Dylan, I think I'd look at the anti-competitive practices the government has done. The government has become involved. Dylan, the government now is major shareholder in GM and the government-
RATIGAN: Listen, I know. Ron, No, no. I don't need the list. I know the list. My point is why are the Republicans not fighting to end the corporate communism that is costing this country its economic future? And no one is doing it.
CHRISTIE: Dylan, we’d be very wise to do so. Dylan, we would be very wise to do so. I think people are looking around this country and saying what in the heck is government doing so much in private business, private enterprise? And why is the government trying to take over the health care sector? Why is the government-
RATIGAN: But, the government isn’t even doing that. I would say, why is the government not releasing the true and fair market of free choice? They can’t even- The health insurance companies have an anti-trust exemption. Anyway, I gotta go. This is preposterous. The corporate communists are in full control, as far as I can tell.