On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell seemed unsure about the extent of Tea Party's political influence. During an interview of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, O'Donnell first indicated that the movement was a potent force: "I want to ask you...about how powerful the Tea Party is. Is the Tea Party holding back House Republicans and Speaker Boehner from agreeing to additional revenues?"
The anchor later hinted the Tea Party's power was on the wane: "FreedomWorks spent $40 million in the last election, and you had less than one-in-four of a winning record on the candidates you backed. Was it the organization, or is the Tea Party weakened?"
Is Chris Matthews going crazy? He has really gone off the rails of late attacking, more viciously than usual, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and comparing the Tea Party movement to Egypt's Islamofascist group the Muslim Brotherhood.
While we at NewsBusters are more likely to ascribe these knee-jerk attacks to Matthews's intense partisanship, others have their own theories. FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, for one, thinks Matthews might be losing it. "I'm kind of sad for Chris," Armey "Fox and Friends" host Brian Kilmeade on Monday. "[H]e just seems to be slipping out of touch with reality" (video and transcript below the break).
Liberal internet publisher Arianna Huffington on Sunday went on ABC's "This Week" to spout some of her typical left-wing nonsense about the significance of the previous day's Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally in Washington as well as what a Republican victory on Election Day means.
Fortunately, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and ABC's Cokie Roberts were there to refute her inanities (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
The PBS NewsHour tried to balance a conservative Republican with a liberal Democrat when it interviewed (on two different Thursdays) Dick Armey and Arianna Huffington. Left-wingers complained to PBS ombudsman Michael Getler that NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff failed to press Armey about the Tea Party's funding from corporate billionaires. The far-left media monitors at FAIR wanted Woodruff to bash Armey as a hypocrite who benefits from government entitlements, like Bill Moyers did.
Getler's response was jaw-dropping. He claimed that PBS had failed to achieve balance, since Armey is conservative and Arianna Huffington is a centrist "and her widely viewed website strike me, as a reader, as an equal-opportunity critic. Armey is not. There are plenty of sharp, critical assessments of the Democratic Party and administration on her site." Doesn't it matter that those critics are banging away that Obama isn't socialist enough?
Worse yet, Getler said this should be "remedied" by bringing on another leftist, author Will Bunch of Media Matters for America, because Arianna was clearly not left-wing enough or critical enough of the Tea Party. Getler lamented that PBS has lost left-wing shows like Now and Bill Moyers Journal that are "not in the safe comfortable center."
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Freedomworks Chair Dick Armey addressed a widening gap within the GOP. Armey sees the dividing line between those who do and do not support Rep. Paul Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future."
Is Armey right to frame the intra-party battle the way he does? (Note: Noel Sheppard delved deeper into Armey's appearance on MTP in his post yesterday.)
David Gregory on Sunday finally got an answer to his question about extending the Bush tax cuts, but it certainly wasn't what he was expecting.
For those that have been watching "Meet the Press" this month, the host has been grilling his conservative guests about this issue ever since former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told him on August 1 that tax cuts don't pay for themselves.
Having badgered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about this earlier in the program with no success, Gregory broached the subject with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey in a subsequent segment.
With a hanging curveball coming into his wheelhouse, Armey whacked a long drive that still hasn't landed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
February 2009 was a pretty dark time for the conservative movement. The arguably most liberal president in the history of the United States has been sworn in to office just weeks early. The Congress had solid Democratic majorities in both chambers. And there were overtures that only way to save the nation from suffering the worst of a downtrodden economy was through an avalanche of costly legislation that would create huge budget deficits and ever-expanding bureaucracy.
But in the midst of that dark spell, CNBC's Rick Santelli lit the spark that ignited the conservative pushback. On CNBC's Feb. 19, 2009 "Squawk Box," Santelli called for a "tea party" in Lake Michigan to protest the idea the Obama administration was preparing to enact a massive housing bailout to reward people who took part in risky behavior by purchasing a home they couldn't afford.
NBC's Matt Lauer, invited on former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Freedom Works' Matt Kibbe to discuss the Ground Zero mosque controversy and claimed that since the group behind the mosque existed in Manhattan before the World Trade Center attack, questioned: "So because of 9/11, do they have to move further away? Do they have to go elsewhere?" Armey, who was on with Kibbe to promote their new book Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, responded to the Today show co-anchor "that because you have the right to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do" and pointed out to Lauer that those behind the mosque should be more "responsive to the concerns that are being raised."
The following is the full interview with Armey and Kibbe as it was aired on the August 17 Today show:
Some Tea Party leaders are calling for conservatives to boycott MSNBC's advertisers, after the network ran a documentary on June 16 that they say unfairly slandered the movement.
Two of the Tea Party leaders interviewed in the Chris Matthews-narrated documentary are asking supporters to write, call and fax the offices of Dawn and its parent company Proctor and Gamble and request that they cease giving advertising dollars to Matthews' "Hardball" program on MSNBC. FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey and Kitchen Table Patriots member Ana Puig jointly called the documentary a "propaganda piece" and urged Tea Party groups around the country to boycott Dawn products.
"The program ‘Rise of the New Right' was low-ball journalism at its worst," said the Kitchen Table Patriots in a statement released today. "Chris Matthews and his Hardball program slandered the Tea Party movement, and misled the American people by distorting facts about the Tea Party movement, its motivations and its history." (Videos at the bottom of post.)
On CNN's American Morning today, anchor John Roberts pressed one of President Barack Obama's talking points on the Democratic health care plan. Roberts talked with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who opposes ObamaCare. Currently the chairman of FreedomWorks, Armey criticized "the audacity of the government mandating to the American people: you must all buy a product that I define for you." Then Roberts went to work:
ROBERTS: But why is it mandate for having health insurance a bad thing? There's a mandate for having car insurance.
ARMEY: Well, first of all, you have to understand, America is a nation that was founded on the concept of personal liberty, that liberty is a gift given to mankind by the Lord God Almighty and it's the duty of governments to protect your liberty.
ROBERTS: Do you have car insurance?
ARMEY: Not to trespass against your liberty.
ROBERTS: Do you have car insurance?
ARMEY: Do I have car insurance? Of course, I have car insurance.
Dick Armey on Wednesday took a shot at MSNBC calling the cable television network a soft news source that panders to the Left.
The former House Majority leader was a guest host on this morning's "Squawk Box," and during an interview with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) about a number of issues before Congress including healthcare reform, Armey took the opportunity to make a media bias comment.
Speaking about the Democrats, Armey said, "They need to understand they live in an Internet world now, and people are getting their information from some place other than MSNBC or other soft news sources that are pandering to the Left" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 7:15, h/t to Story Balloon for video find):
NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday said the Tea Party movement has made it impossible for President Obama to buy the Republican votes he needs to pass his agenda.
Appearing on "Meet the Press," Todd told his fellow panelists, "I think the most striking thing about the minority party today...is that a Republican can't go home, and it's mostly because of this tea party crowd, cannot go home and sell a piece of pork that they got from Washington."
In Todd's view, this makes it tough for Obama because "it's not as if he can trade, you know, go and have these trades with a Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, or let's say Lamar [Alexander]...or something like this, because they're not getting a benefit at home of bringing something back" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
On Dec. 22, when Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, it was to be expected MSNBC, the so-called "Place for Politics" would spin it in anyway imaginable. But Rachel Maddow decided to use the left's favorite boogeyman, the tea party movement, to denigrate conservatives and distract from what could be real problems for House Democrats.
CBS devoted half of Sunday's Face the Nation to the pressing question of “divisions within the Republican Party: Is there room for moderates?” Fill-in host Harry Smith of the Early Show allowed guests Dick Armey and Ed Gillespie plenty of time to reject his premise, but he forwarded the media's widely-held presumption in a series of statements as he simply cued up Dede Scozzafava, the Republican who endorsed the Democrat in the special New York House race: “Do you think you were too moderate?”
To Armey and Gillespie, Smith cited a list of principles some in the GOP want candidates to agree to in order to earn party support, and then posed a series of loaded questions, such as, “Is this litmus test a good idea?” and “some have called it a suicide pact,” as well as: “Is moderate a dirty word now in the Republican Party?” Smith was also bewildered anyone could consider South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham inadequately conservative: “Can someone with that kind of credentials be not conservative enough?”
Smith told Armey “some people suggest that the Republicans are fighting a demographic battle that they can't win, that this is going to end up being exclusionary...”
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," a bit of a squabble happened when panelists Dick Armey and Rachel Maddow bickered over whether or not MoveOn.org once ran an ad equating former President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.
Regardless of who was right, someone should instruct Maddow as to the difference between being a guest and a host, for her continual interruptions when Armey was speaking, though quite commonplace for an MSNBC anchor, were downright rude.
Just watch what happened when host David Gregory asked the very first question directed at Armey (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 3:25):
On today's Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow demanded to know whether Dick Armey was a member of a coalition with the Tea Party Patriots, a group she alleges to promote "violence." Moderator David Gregory joined in the cross-examination of Armey, head of Freedom Works.
The good folks at MSNBC have been disparaging tax protesting Tea Parties by referring to them as the sexually charged double entendre "teabagging."
As decency prevents a clinical explanation of the term, curious readers not in the know should check the Urban Dictionary with an objectionable content forewarning.
With that as pretext, MSNBC's David Shuster filling in for Keith Olbermann on Monday's "Countdown" made numerous references to this sexual practice during his segment about the upcoming Tea Parties.
He began the story: "It's going to be teabagging day for the right-wing and they're going nuts for it. Thousands of them whipped out the festivities early this past weekend, and while the parties are officially toothless, the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals."
And that was just the beginning. See if you can count them all: (video embedded below the fold with partial potentially offensive transcript):
On this evening's Hardball, Dick Armey told Joan Walsh:
I'm so damn glad that you could never be my wife, cause I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day.
The former Republican representative from Texas had been wrangling with Salon editor Walsh over the politics of the stimulus package and the role Rush Limbaugh has been playing, when things got out of hand . . . [H/t reader JF.]