'Jesus-Loving' Democrats Get a Pass, Jesus-Citing Bush Was Pounded in 2000
While faux-conservative Democratic candidates like Harold Ford (lifetime ACU: 19) declare repeatedly in public their love for Jesus Christ (a "Jesus-loving, gun-supporting believer," Ford said yesterday), let's remember how the folks at NBC greeted Bush's embrace of Jesus as a philosopher at the dawn of 2000. From our newsletter Notable Quotables, recall how they freaked out on behalf of every religious minority in America:
"Governor Bush, in the last debate when you talked about Jesus being the philosopher-thinker that you most respected, many people applauded you. Others said what role would religion have in the Oval Office with George W. Bush. Fifteen million atheists in this country, five million Jews, five million Muslims, millions more Buddhists and Hindus. Should they feel excluded from George W. Bush because of his allegiance to Jesus?...Would you take an expression like ‘What would Jesus do?’ into the Oval Office?"-- Questions from New Hampshire Republican debate moderator Tim Russert to George W. Bush, January 6, 2000.
So are there no Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus in Tennessee? Here's more from the same day:
Tim Russert to George W. Bush in relaying a question from anchor Brian Williams: "Brian asked about the whole issue of Jesus Christ being introduced in the Republican Party and into the country at-large. Is it an issue that you think could hurt you in the general election where non-Christians begin to think there’s something mysterious going on here?"
Bush: "....It’s my foundation and if it costs me votes to have answered the question that way, so be it."
Russert: "I think people watching, some want to hear your God is Jesus Christ, they don’t have a God, or they have Yahweh or they have Allah. They want to know it’s okay." -- MSNBC’s post New Hampshire Republican debate coverage, January 6.
Tim Russert: "Every Republican debate seems to have discussion about abortion, gay rights, Jesus Christ. Fairly or unfairly are you concerned that many people in the country are watching that exchange and saying, ‘you know, that’s a little bit more about religion than it is about politics and that concerns me’?"
Gary Bauer: "Well Tim, in all due fairness, you guys brought those issues up." -- Another exchange from MSNBC’s special after the January 6 Republican debate.
"Howard, who are the Republicans who are not happy with the way this event looked tonight and similar groupings of these six, meaning, and it’s red meat for conservatives, the positions rather strident tonight: anti-gay, pro-Jesus, and anti-abortion and no gray matter in between?" -- Brian Williams to Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, January 6 MSNBC’s The News with Brian Williams.