During an interview with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for NBC's online Meet the Press Press Pass, which is also aired by some NBC-owned stations following Meet the Press on Sundays, moderator David Gregory referenced Bush being at the Reagan Presidential Library and employed the tired liberal talking point that Ronald Reagan would be too moderate for the modern GOP: "...the president you speak of and so many conservatives do, raised taxes, was for immigration reform, that a lot of modern-day conservatives would – would find quite distasteful. Could he exist? Could he get elected in today's Republican Party? Or would he be seen as a liberal?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bush rejected Gregory's speculation: "He also stopped the – the advancement of the federal government's overreach, he cut taxes in a dramatic way..."
In an interview on Monday's Today with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his co-author Clint Bolick about their new book, Immigration Wars, co-host Matt Lauer seized Bush's critical words for fellow Republicans: "...this is an alarm to your party. You called Republicans 'tone deaf and hostile to immigrants and Hispanics,' you fault the party for being unwilling to expand the base, and you warn that Republicans face, your word, 'extinction' if they continue to alienate Hispanics. Is this damage that was caused and has been inflicted, whether self or not, something that can be repaired in time for 2016?"
Lauer began the segment by wondering: "Your brother [George W. Bush] won 44% of the Hispanic vote. By contrast, Governor Romney won 27%. 71% went to President Obama. Was it Governor Romney's fault or the party's fault?" Bush replied: "I think both. Governor Romney put himself in a box, I think, in the primary, by trying to out-conservative some very good conservative candidates, and never really recovered from it."
In an interview with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer couldn't understand why the American people didn't buy into the White House and media hype about how devastating the budget sequester would be: "The cuts went into effect Friday night, although they roll out over a long period of time. And yet, I'm surprised there hasn't been more outrage on the part of the general public." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer offered possible explanations: "Do you think that's because people are simply numb to this by now, the dysfunction of Washington, or do you think there's a little case of crying wolf here and they don't believe how severe the impact's going to be?" Bush replied: "Well, there was a lot of crying wolf." Lauer quickly tried to spread the blame to Republicans: "On both sides?" Bush promptly dismissed that notion: "No. I think the President kind of led the charge to say that widows and orphans were going to be out on the street."
In an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the Republican National Convention was not appealing to a broad audience: "When you talk about the conservatives and we talk about the gender gap and how important women are...do you think this convention is reaching out to the people who are going to decide this election, independents, moderates and women?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Earlier in the show, Lauer hyped the same concern while talking to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, wondering if Paul Ryan's "staunchly conservative views on topics like abortion" created a "fear" among Republicans that female voters would be turned off.
In an interview with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer used attack lines from deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter to question the honesty of Paul Ryan's vice presidential nomination acceptance speech: "[She] said, 'Forty minutes of vitriol and half a dozen previously debunked attacks.' Was it an honest speech or was it just a campaign convention speech?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When this NewsBuster entered a Spanish-language press conference at the Republican National Convention this morning, he was surprised to find former New Hampshire Governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu at the podium . . . holding forth in fluent Spanish.
Interviewed after his remarks, Sununu told NewsBusters that he was born in Havana and that his mother was originally from El Salvador. "As a boy, when I was bad, my mother would chew me out in Spanish. And since I was bad a lot, I learned a lot of Spanish!" Before saying goodbye, Sununu added "I love Brent Bozell!", President of NewsBusters's parent organization, Media Research Center. View a brief clip of Sununu speaking Spanish after the jump.
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart has made it crystal clear he wants Barack Obama to win in November.
On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush said, "I look forward to working on [Mitt Romney's] reelection in 2016 and making Jon Stewart awfully upset" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show concluded, the entire panel chose political figures echoing sentiments either from the left or at least in criticism of conservatives to answer host Matthews's "Big Question" of who has "made a big, gutsy decision so far this year."
On Friday's World News on ABC, anchor Diane Sawyer cited a recently hyped quote from former Governor Jeb Bush as the Florida Republican theorized that President Ronald Reagan "would be criticized" by Republicans today "for doing some of the things that he did."
As Sawyer recalled it, during a piece on former President George H.W. Bush, she asserted:
“About twenty years after a conservative leaves the scene or dies, he becomes acceptable,” to the media-left, George Will observed on Sunday’s This Week. “They say, if only people were more like Ronald Reagan and that wonderful libertarian curmudgeon Barry Goldwater.” Will recalled: “I worked for Bill Buckley, voted for Barry Goldwater and knew Ronald Reagan and no one talked about them on the left that way at the time.”
Will was responding to Jeb Bush’s media-embraced scolding of the GOP, which George Stephanopoulos helpfully displayed on screen. “Since Ronald Reagan,” Will pointed out, “the Republican Party has given its presidential nomination four times to the Bush family. Other times to Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Where is the extremist in that lot?”
Don't you find it odd that the word extremism seems to apply only to conservative Republicans? Terminology often drives political discourse and those who control the terms often determine the outcome.
Establishment Republicans have too often been uncomfortable in their own skin. When they win elections, they sometimes seem unsure of what to do next. Democrats never seem to have this problem. They operate according to their core convictions and are never considered extreme. Instead, they are moderate, even normal. When Republicans stick to their convictions, they are branded with a scarlet "E."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is attracting lots of media attention Bush for claiming that even conservative hero Ronald Reagan would struggle in today's Republican Party, a Tea Party-infused "orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement."
New York Times Political reporter Jim Rutenberg was intrigued: "Jeb Bush Offers Critical Views of Modern Republican Party and Its 'Orthodoxy.'" The online headline to his Tuesday story was more explicitly partisan: "Jeb Bush Questions G.O.P.’s Shift to the Right." A photo caption of Bush emphasized: "Jeb Bush, pictured here in January, criticized the current state of the Republican party for its strict adherence to ideology."
The BuzzFeed Website carried an article on Monday based on an interview with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in which he said that his father, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan would have a difficult time getting nominated by today's “ultra-conservative” Republican Party in a “hyper-partisan moment.”
The only problem is that Bush never used the words “ultra-conservative” or “hyper-partisan”in the interview (at least not in any of the text provided).. Those words were added by the unidentified “BuzzFeed Staff” who wrote the article.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose went out of his way to spotlight how guest Jeb Bush once complimented President Obama, and played up his disagreements with fellow Republicans. Rose touted how supposedly only Bush had the "courage" to differ with "every Republican candidate in the primary" in being open to eliminating tax deductions to increase revenue.
The anchor also highlighted how Obama claimed that he emulated the father of the former Florida governor: "The President of the United States says that his foreign policy, in sense, in part, is modeled after the foreign policy of your father, President Bush 41."
New York Magazine's John Heilemann on Friday said the Republican presidential field is the weakest anybody has seen in our lifetime.
This absurd statement was made on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" in a segment about which GOPers will be throwing their name into the ring in the coming months before next year's elections (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana decided to announce recently that he isn't going to run for the Republican nomination for president -- and instead is likely to run for governor of his state -- you would have thought, from the reaction in some quarters, that he had committed the ultimate act of betrayal. At least one senior longtime Republican political aide thought that Pence had somehow let down his principles and his country by not taking a chance on the presidential race. Folks on the Pence for president bandwagon were in a deep funk. "Seriously, who else do we have?" one asked me. "Unless something miraculous happens and we get an unexpected gift candidate."
Another GOP stalwart agreed: "Sad to say, but at a time when we need someone with guts, like Reagan in '76, challenging an incumbent president of his own party, or Rubio staying in the Florida Senate race when he was 40 points down to Crist, we get political calculation and personal ambition." Poor Mike Pence! Let's remember, the congressman has young kids and other options, and the presidency was a gamble.
As the Democrat-loving media pile on California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman over the illegal alien status of her former housekeeper, a strange thing happened at the New York Times Friday: columnist David Brooks published a positive piece about the former eBay CEO.
In fact, "The Austerity Caucus" never mentioned this new scandal that has most mainstream media members doing backflips.
Instead, Brooks presented a surprisingly even portrait of an extremely intelligent woman always ready to spout off facts about an issue with lightning speed:
On ABC’s World News Saturday, and the same day’s CBS Evening News, correspondents suggested that conservative positions on social issues were responsible for the Republican party’s recent electoral misfortunes, as the two programs filed stories about an appearance in Arlington by Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney as part of an effort to rebuild the party’s appeal. ABC cited a recent ABC News / Washington Post poll showing only 21 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, while CBS cited a Pew Research poll finding the number had dropped from 30 percent in 2004 to 23 percent currently.
After a soundbite of Jeb Bush explaining that Republicans needed to spend more time "listening," "learning," and "upgrading our message," ABC’s Rachel Martin contended that "That means moving hot-button social issues like abortion and gay marriage to the side, and shifting the focus to health care, education and the economy."
And, ignoring the fact that a substantial number of moderate House Democrats have taken conservative positions on issues like guns and abortion to win in their own conservative leaning districts, CBS’s Kimberly Dozier more directly charged that conservative positions on such issues by Republicans had hurt the party: "The trio notably avoided controversial touch stones like gun rights or abortion, which are blamed for driving away moderates and independents." Notably, 65 House Democrats recently sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder stating their opposition to a new assault weapons ban.
We here at NewsBusters spend a lot of time pointing out examples of liberal media bias and stupidity, and taking to task empty-suit reporters for a variety of offenses, including "gotcha" journalism wherein reporters set out their questions like a fur-trapper laying a line of traps. You've seen it - questions using quotes out of context, twisting words into a trap for the targeted political figure - usually a Republican of course.
Well, today I'd like to point you in the direction of someone who does it right. Peter Robinson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, has been doing a series of in-depth interviews with various political figures, distinguished scholars, and leading journalists, and they are some of the most interesting and serious journalism you'll find anywhere.
There's no attempt to trip the interviewee into a gaffe, no gotcha journalism, no rhetorical tricks and traps. Just good questions designed to shed light on serious topics and issues.