On Tuesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, substitute host Alex Wagner and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid rejoiced over the prospect of Republicans "alienating" minorities as Wagner devoted a segment to the disagreement between former Senator Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation and Senator Marco Rubio over the economic impact of immigration reform.
As Wagner welcomed Reid as a guest, the two mocked Republicans:
Talking to Heritage Foundation president and former Republican Senator Jim DeMint on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory eagerly cited recent criticism of the GOP: "Colin Powell on this program a couple of weeks ago talking about a deep vein of intolerance within the Republican Party. How do you respond to that as you take a look at where the party needs to go?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
DeMint refused to give credence to the accusation, instead focusing on the issues of debt reduction and economic growth. However, Gregory refused to the let the topic go: "Senator, do you regret, you know, some of the comments about abortion in this last cycle, about rape, about again, what Colin Powell thought were veiled racist comments from the party?" At no point did Gregory provide a single example of GOP "intolerance" to back up the smear.
Charlie Rose and Gayle King pressed outgoing Senator Jim DeMint on Thursday's CBS This Morning over congressional Republicans resistance to tax hikes. When DeMint stated that President Obama will "probably eventually get his tax increases one way or another", Rose replied, "So, if he will get them, why not get them now and compromise and avoid going off the fiscal cliff?"
Open Obama booster King added the bad polling numbers for Republicans into the mix as she tried to get the senator to surrender to the President's demand: "You released a statement...saying this is not rocket science...with that in mind, why can't we come to terms? The public is viewing the Republican Party very negatively. Are you concerned about that?" Rose later wondered why DeMint was leaving the Senate to head the conservative Heritage Foundation.
After gushing on Wednesday over left-wing actress Ashley Judd possibly running for Senate in Kentucky, on Friday's NBC Today, the cast applauded liberal comedian Stephen Colbert suggesting in jest that he might replace outgoing South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, with co-host Willie Geist proclaiming: "I can tell you, having done a show with him [Colbert] in Charleston, he is an absolute rock star in that state."
Geist added: "It doesn't mean he will be a senator, but he could probably pull it off." Fill-in news reader Erica Hill remarked: "Doesn't mean he...won't be either." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: "He's already run for president. I mean, this is really a downgrade." Weatherman Al Roker quipped: "Comedy concert with him and [Minnesota Senator] Al Franken, that would be fantastic."
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced Thursday that he will be trading his Senate seat in January to assume the helm of the Heritage Foundation. Covering the surprising development in its Friday edition, Politico dismissed DeMint as a mediocre politician with an undistinguished record who is moving on to captain a conservative think tank that has become "predictable, uninspiring, and often lacking in influence."
Manu Raju and Scott Wong mocked DeMint's lack of credentials in their front-page story titled, "DeMint Departure Fallout." They described him as a popular senator who has actually "accomplished very little" in Congress because he "wasn't a legislator" and having "no signature laws to his name." Of course, this betrays an inside-the-Beltway way of thinking about success in Congress. Conservatives dedicated to shrinking the size and scope of the federal government are not going to be be known for legislative accomplishments, which more often than not are about expanding the federal government's size and scope, not dismantling old bureaucracies.
Following Senator Jim DeMint’s abrupt resignation to run The Heritage Foundation, much has been made over who South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley might name to replace him. One name mentioned is that of African American Congressman Tim Scott, a prospect which prompted MSNBC anchor Richard Lui to sneer: "... Is the South ready for a black Senator?"
On Friday’s MSNBC Live, Lui baited fellow MSNBCer Melissa Harris-Perry into trashing the South as intolerant. Surprisingly, she did not fall into this trap. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Nancy Cordes couldn't have made outgoing Senator Jim DeMint's conservative credentials clearer on Friday's CBS This Morning, labeling the South Carolina Republican "one of the most conservative members of the Senate." Cordes outlined that DeMint was a "Tea Party hero, who has raised more than $15 million...to help elect Tea Party senators...But he has also backed a series of losing far-right candidates."
However, the correspondent couldn't be bothered to identify Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert as a liberal, as she noted the comedian's efforts to get his fans to lobby South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to name him DeMint's replacement. She merely pointed out Colbert's persona as "one of the most conservative TV personalities out there - fake personalities, anyway." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Wolf Blitzer said Thursday that the Democratic fiscal cliff plan of raising tax rates on the top two percent of income earners is the "beginning" of a solution.
"But it's a beginning. A billion here, a billion there, it winds up being real money," Blitzer told Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Thursday's The Situation Room. Blitzer had already pushed House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to consider tax hikes in a fiscal cliff deal. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
South Carolina's Jim DeMint made quite a splash Thursday when he announced he was leaving the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation.
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, also a South Carolina native, tossed his hat into the ring hours later asking viewers to tweet Governor Nikki Haley and tell her why she should name him to be DeMint's replacement (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the summer of 2009, conservative activists turned up the heat on Democratic politicians to protest the innovation-destroying, liberty-usurping Obamacare mandate. In the summer of 2012, it's squishy Republican politicians who deserve the grassroots flames.
In case you hadn't heard, even if the Supreme Court overturns the progressives' federal health care juggernaut, prominent GOP leaders vow to preserve its most "popular" provisions. These big-government Republicans show appalling indifference to the dire market disruptions and culture of dependency that Obamacare schemes have wrought.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted Newt Gingrich should apologize for a supposedly racially-tinged comment he recently made: "I want to give you an opportunity, because the point was made...about it's better for black Americans to seek a job than it is to seek food stamps, and many people stepped forward to say, isn't that simply true for all Americans who are desperately looking for jobs?"
Rose ended his interview of the former House Speaker with the controversy over a remark the presidential candidate made on January 5 during a campaign stop in Plymouth, New Hampshire: "I'm prepared if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps."
CBS’s Bob Schieffer decided his viewers needed a special warning about how far out of the mainstream an upcoming guest dwells, plugging at the top of Sunday’s Face the Nation how he’d have as guests Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and then: “for context on how it’s going, we’ll bring in South Carolina’s very conservative Senator, Jim DeMint.”
After the House passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance act Tuesday evening with the support of five Democrats, Sen. Jim DeMint is circulating a Club for Growth video with 20 prominent Democrat senators previously announcing support for a balanced budget amendment in hopes of swaying their votes this weekend.
Do you think any of these Democrats will maintain support for such an amendment? Check out the video after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
American Morning co-host Christine Romans used David Brooks' words to press Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Wednesday on the stubbornness of conservative Republicans in the debt ceiling debate. Brooks, the faux "conservative" writer for the New York Times, wrote a scathing column Monday hitting Republicans for their refusal to accept Democrat "compromises" in the debt ceiling debate.
Romans twice referenced critics of the Republicans, first saying that critics fear the "new awakening" of the Tea Party and the 2010 elections as "dangerous for America." Later she read DeMint a quote from Brooks's piece in the Times.
Battles over state policies concerning public employee unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, and elsewhere have focused some attention on a question some conservatives have been asking for years: should collective bargaining be legal in the public sector?
Is context a four-letter word to MSNBC's Chris Matthews?
During the "Sideshow" segment on Friday's "Hardball," Matthews ripped a comment conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) made during a recent speech to the Federalist Society in order to paint DeMint either as a birther or as one playing cynically to those who believe President Obama was not born in the United States.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Here's what he said: "This whole idea that the president is the leader of our country is a mistake." This whole idea that the president is the leader of our country is a mistake. How does that make any sense, unless you're a birther, and that's what he sounds like.
Update: Joe denies judging Kyl and DeMint. See video after the jump.
Call it an episode of Short Self-Attention Span Theater . . .
Mere moments after citing Matthew 7's instruction to "judge not, that ye be not judged," Joe Scarborough judged Jon Kyl and Jim DeMint to be "un-Christlike."
Scarborough's strange self-contradiction came in the course of his diatribe against the two Republican senators for having criticized Harry Reid for threatening to keep the Senate in session through Christmas.
Congressman Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that authorizes spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, sent a letter Friday to Media Research Center President Brent Bozell about his call for an investigation in the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio.
Hey, it's Friday night. Time to kick back, relax, and have a few chuckles, courtesy Ed Schultz. On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz, somehow managing to keep a straight face, claimed that NPR is "as down the middle as you can get."
Schultz served up his side-splitter in condemning Jim DeMint and other Republicans for proposing the federal defunding of NPR. In the world according to Ed, the Republican suggestion to withdraw NPR's taxpayer subsidies reflects a GOP plan to "shut down any dissenting voices in this country." Ed, buddy: Dems control the White House and both houses of Congress. NPR is the voice of pro-government flackery, not dissent. The rebels are . . . the Republicans!
Conservative Republican Senator "Jim DeMint relishes life on the Republican fringe," a teaser headline on the website for the Los Angeles Times noted this afternoon (see screen capture below at right).
"The South Carolina senator's refusal to compromise has made him a conservative hero. He showers cash on 'tea party' candidates like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, but he's winning few friends in D.C.," reads the subheadline to Tribune newspapers Washington bureau writer Lisa Mascaro's October 18 story.
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Sarah Palin and Rand Paul were Judge Napolitano's guests on Saturday's "Freedom Watch" on FBN. First part below (relevant section at 5:20), rest available here:
New York Times "Tea Party" correspondent Kate Zernike again insisted that the main victims of Tea Party enthusiasm will be, not Democrats, but mainstream Republicans, in Thursday's "G.O.P. Gets a Partner, But Who Will Lead?"
It's basically a snapshot of the growing conflict between Sen. Jim DeMint, who has pushed conservative Tea Party candidates, and Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, whose job it is to elect Republicans.
A photo caption over a picture of DeMint reads: "Senator Jim DeMint has embraced the ideological purity that characterize many candidates with Tea Patty backing."
If ever there was proof that the Tea Party and the Republican Party do not necessarily go hand in hand, it is Christine O'Donnell's victory over the establishment in the Republican Senate primary in Delaware.
So what happens now, with the primary season ending, and the Tea Party having defined it? Does the Tea Party remake the G.O.P. in its image, staging a "hostile takeover," as Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, the libertarian advocacy group, urged activists rallying outside the Capitol last weekend to do? Or will the Republican Party co-opt the Tea Party, as Trent Lott, a former leader of the Senate Republicans, said it must?
The embodiment of this question might be Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who has made himself and his Senate Conservatives Fund a kind of Tea Party Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Sitting at the intersection of the Republican Party and the Tea Party, Mr. DeMint could be a model for how the two might co-exist -- or an example of how the drive for ideological purity could turn the Republicans into a niche party.
It's quite possible NBC's Meredith Vieira has never shown more concern about the Republican Party's ability to win elections than she did on Thursday's Today show, of course that may be because conservative Tea Party candidates are now forcing out the more moderate members of its ranks. In a segment entitled, "Tea Time, Is The Tea Party Hurting The GOP?" the Today co-anchor invited on Republican Senator Jim DeMint to question if conservative candidates like Christine O'Donnell "can win in November?" To which DeMint responded that the conservative candidates he's been supporting are doing just fine: "Well Meredith, they told me Marco Rubio couldn't win. And he is blowing it away in Florida because he's telling people the truth. And they said the same thing about Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Rand Paul in Kentucky. They're well ahead in, in the polls because people want a change in Washington."
The following is the full interview with DeMint as it was aired on the September 16 Today show:
While lefties are foaming at the mouth over what Republican Senate candidates like Sharon Angle and Rand Paul have to say, they're not quite willing to publicly embrace or defend the antics of their own duly elected nominee, South Carolina U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Alvin Greene. That is, they weren't until now.
On the Aug. 17 broadcast of her radio show, Randi Rhodes went to bat for Greene. According to Rhodes, the indiscretions that brought Greene indictments, in which he allegedly showed obscene photos to a University of South Carolina student and then talked about going to her dorm room, weren't really that bad. Although it's not clear if Rhodes was being serious, and it's difficult to tell, she claimed he was "sharing a wonderful moment of pornography" with this student and bewildered why such an approach warranted criminal charges.
"Let me tell you - you know my candidate for Senate in South Carolina is Alvin Greene," Rhodes said. "I left off where he was supposedly indicted for you know sharing a wonderful moment of pornography with a girl who was over 18 in a college library - in a college library where he had attended college by the way, so he still has his ID card to get on the campus, so. I don't know what law he broke, but apparently they say he did and they indicted him. And so the local TV went over to his house to see what his comments were about the indictment."
Keith Olbermann on Monday revised history to praise former President Bill Clinton and bash former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In the opening segment of MSNBC's "Countdown," the host railed against a proposal by Republicans to once again reintroduce the balanced budget amendment.
Olbermann pointed out to his tiny audience that this was "also pushed by then Speaker Newt Gingrich as part of the 1994 Contract With America."
With total disregard for historical facts, the "Countdown" host continued, "Gingrich failed to pass it, President Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget, created 22 million jobs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The man that surprisingly won Tuesday's Democrat primary for senator in South Carolina was interviewed by Keith Olbermann Thursday, and a more hapless candidate might never before have appeared on the national stage.
Despite Alvin Greene's stumbling, seemingly unaware persona, the "Countdown" host never seriously grilled him about anything concerning how he could possibly have won this primary without holding any campaign functions, distributing any campaign signs or literature, or creating a website.
As you watch this tremendously uncomfortable interview, imagine how Greene would have been treated by Olbermann if he was a Republican (video follows with commentary, h/t Right Scoop):
Host Bob Schieffer led Sunday's Face the Nation by fretting over opposition to the passage of ObamaCare: "What about the violence in the wake of the congressional action? Isolated incidents or signs of a dangerous anger?" He told viewers that he would talk to "Republican firebrands, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann" about the issue.
Schieffer pressed DeMint on some of the threats against members of Congress: "Senator, we saw some pretty scary stuff last week....We saw members' offices that were trashed. We saw death threats....Do you think the parties have an obligation to try to tone down some of this runaway rhetoric? Is it, in fact, dangerous?" The Senator defended tea party protestors: "I've been with hundreds of thousands of tea party patriots...and I've never seen any violence or heard any bad language....it's unfair and untrue to try to paint this whole American awakening with some of the bad comments that we heard last week in Washington."
Later turning to Bachmann, Schieffer tried to portray the Congresswoman as extreme: "You said last week that health care reform was dangerous and you equated it with tyranny. Do you really mean that?...You said that you thought Barack Obama had anti-American views....what do you mean the President is anti-American?" He continued his interrogation by pointing to comments made by Sarah Palin: "[She] famously said last week that it is not time for Republicans to retreat. It is time to reload....said she wasn't talking about guns. She was talking about getting out there and using the vote. Do you think Sarah Palin has overstated it here?"
At first glance it appeared Today viewers were in for a balanced segment with NBC's Meredith Vieira interviewing both Republican Senator Jim DeMint and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin about the health care bill bill on Wednesday's show. However Vieira saved her most slanted questions for DeMint as she mocked his earlier prediction of an Obamacare defeat being his Waterloo, "Is it now your party's Waterloo?" and after selectively citing one poll that showed a favorable view of the bill questioned which party was really "out of touch with the public?"
First up, in addition to Vieira throwing DeMint's previous "Waterloo" comments back in his face, she included (most likely) David Frum's criticism at DeMint:
VIEIRA: Senator DeMint, if I could start with you, back in July you said, "If we're able to stop Obama on this," meaning this health care reform bill, "it will be his Waterloo, it will break him." Well, the bill is now law and a former speech writer for former President George W. Bush has said Republicans messed up big by adopting the "Hell no!" approach to this bill. So do you still feel it is the President's Waterloo or is it now your party's Waterloo?
Immediately after taking shots from some conservative voices for his Feb. 8 remarks that heavy snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic is "reportedly" a result of global warming, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan fired back at his detractors on his Feb. 10 program.
The once seemingly rational host of CNBC's "Fast Money" voiced his frustration with the entire global warming debate as it stood in the wake of this record-setting winter weather event. Ratigan suggested neither side should use the crippling snowfall as evidence to further their respective arguments. However he did direct the lion's share of his criticism at conservatives.
"The weather we know is frightful, but my goodness me, so is the political back-and-forth over climate change in the context of these storms that are hitting D.C. especially," Ratigan said. "Both sides trying to use hometown ‘snowpocalypse' as free advertising for their chosen position on climate change, baby. Conservatives today, using the blizzard to pull a snow job on Al Gore and his liberal brethren. From South Carolina, Sen. Jim DeMint says quote, ‘It's going to keep snowing in D.C. until Al Gore cries uncle.' That was a good one. Meanwhile, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asks ‘Where is Al Gore now?'"
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on Wednesday took issue with a meteorologist who wouldn't refute Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) joke about snow continuing until Al Gore cries uncle.
After Raphael Miranda told viewers about the blizzard pummeling the East Coast, Brewer for some strange reason brought up DeMint's Twitter comment: "He's basically making this argument against global warming because they've had so much snow in Washington, D.C. Is this, does this have anything to do with global warming?"
When Miranda didn't give the answer Brewer was looking for, she amazingly responded, "You're playing it right down the middle. But I was taught that we're talking about climate change here and more severe weather."
The nerve of this meteorologist to not only play it "right down the middle," but also not give her the answer she wanted (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Ed Morrissey):