George Will on Sunday gave a much-needed education to the entire "This Week" panel about how the Tea Party is moving the GOP in a positive direction that could alter politics in this nation for years to come.
As Christiane Amanpour and her Roundtable guests - Democrat strategist Donna Brazile, National Journal's Ron Brownstein, and Republican strategist Matthew Dowd - all fretted about the so-called Civil War brewing in the GOP, Will was once again the voice of reason.
"At the beginning of the year, the question was, will the Tea Party people play nicely with others and will they obey the rules of politics? Who's sort of not playing nicely?" asked Will.
"Mr. Crist starts losing the primary to a Tea Party favorite Rubio. He suddenly discovers that he's an independent and changes all his views overnight," he continued.
"Mrs. Murkowski loses a primary and suddenly discovers that she has a property right in her Senate seat and she's going to run as a write-in. Senator Bennett thought of that in Utah, Senator Castle in Delaware is thinking of a write-in candidate. Who are the extremists?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Yet nowhere in his 20-paragraph story did Balz delve into those poll numbers. Instead, Balz presented the Florida race as complete wild card that is unpredictable due to the three-way nature of the contest:
Gov. Charlie Crist is the man in the middle in Florida's high-stakes race for the Senate, a candidate without a party whose hopes of moving from Tallahassee to Washington depend on his ability to fend off a squeeze play from his Democratic and Republican rivals.
The three-way campaign for the Senate is the latest in a series of important races in Florida - including the 2000 recount that helped define red-blue divisions in America - but with dynamics new to the Sunshine State.
But a look at recent polling data available on RealClearPolitics.com seems to indicate Rubio went to bed on primary election night in good shape for the general election fight ahead.
During an interview on Saturday’s The Situation Room with independent Florida Senate candidate and Governor Charlie Crist, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer pressed the former Republican to announce which party he would choose to caucus with if he is elected to the Senate, and brought up his current associations with Democrats and flip-flops toward more liberal positions.
As Crist repeatedly tried to evade acknowledging the importance of being aligned with one of the two major parties to have influence, and the likelihood that he would ultimately choose to ally with one of the parties, Blitzer was persistent in pressing for an answer, at one point quipping: "You just can't caucus with yourself, if you will, if you want to have some influence."
Crist eventually seemed to hint that his decision would depend on which party holds the majority after November: "And you’ve just hit on the pivotal issue really: What is in the best interests of the people of Florida? We don’t know who’s going to be in the majority November 2 nd after the general election. And so I think it’s important to keep an open mind, to stay committed only to one thing, and that’s the people of my state."
After playing a clip of Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio accusing Crist of moving toward President Obama politically, Blitzer queried: "But are you increasingly embracing the Obama agenda? Because he’s saying you flip-flopped on a whole lot of issues where you were a Republican, but now you’re siding with the Democrats, including President Obama."
Culture and Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel joined "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy on Aug. 13 to discuss media coverage of Harry Reid and the media double standard on controversial statements made by liberals versus conservatives.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told supporters on Aug. 10 that he couldn't understand why "anyone with Hispanic heritage could be a Republican."
"If you watch the national media, there's no outrage," Burchfiel said when asked where the uproar over Reid's comments had come from. "There's certainly a lot of confusion, I think, among Hispanic conservatives as to the reasoning behind Harry Reid's comments. It's clear that he is not reading the same polls that other people are reading about the way that Hispanics feel about the current administration, the way that the feel about the economy and jobs, and even the way they feel about immigration."
Burchfiel suggested that Reid "maybe ask Brian Sandoval why a Hispanic might affiliate himself with the GOP or with conservative ideology." Sandoval, who is Hispanic, is the GOP's nominee for Nevada governor. He is leading his Democratic opponent, Reid's son, Rory, by 19 points in the latest Las Vegas Review-Journal poll.
Since neither of the likely Democrat nominees for the Senate from Florida appear to have a chance in hell of winning the general election, Newsweek has thrown its obvious support behind the conservative Republican in the race.
The likelihood of that happening ranks right around zero which is why Newsweek is promoting Florida governor Charlie Crist, running in that race as an independent, as the best person to defeat conservative Republican Marco Rubio. In fact, Newsweek is plugging Crist to the extent that they have conveniently neglected to mention how he broke his promise not to run as an independent as well as his pledge to return campaign contributions by Republicans. Here are some tidbits from the Newsweek puff piece disguised as a news story:
Crist’s resurgence also stems in part from his shift back to where he’s always seemed most comfortable: the political center. That’s where he’s largely governed as the state’s chief executive—pursuing a Republican agenda of low taxes and limited government, but also collaborating with Democrats on environmental issues and judicial appointments. The approach made him one of the most popular governors in the country.
UPDATE: It turns out that the future is NOW. This Matthews video is running as a Marco Rubio campaign commercial as of yesterday.
Are you happy with the job that the Obama administration and the Democrats are doing? If so, then vote for Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate because Chris Matthews happily proclaimed that Crist is going to be the new star in the Democrat caucus. However, if you are dissatisfied with the direction this nation is going and want to change it, then Marco Rubio will be your choice which is why your humble correspondent won't be a bit surprised to see this video of Matthews making his proclamation about Crist on Morning Joe end up as a Rubio campaign commercial. Here is a transcript of Matthews delivering his kiss of death product endorsement of Charlie Crist:
Charlie Crist is going to be the new star of the Democratic caucus in the Senate. He's going to be a major player in the Democratic Party down the road. He'll be a moderate Democrat somewhere in the middle. I think he's very shrewd and nimble.
It was bound to happen and no one can really blame them for doing so, but someone eventually had to determine who the political winners and losers are for the tragic circumstances surrounding the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Looking forward to the upcoming election cycle, MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough determined the time was right to take a stab at it, although reluctantly on his June 2 broadcast.
"[W]e will stay with BP for one second but talk about presidential politics and I know this will be offensive to some people but it's just a reality that there is somebody in the White House, somebody in the Democratic Party, somebody in the Republican Party that's trying to figure out the political impact of this environmental tragedy. And we were talking with Chuck Todd last hour about how it ramps up when the oil starts washing on Florida shores, Chris. That makes this a much bigger political event in terms of presidential politics, like it or not."
Media Research Center President and Brent Bozell appeared on last night's "Hannity" for a new recurring segment entitled "Media Mash," where the NewsBusters publisher and the Fox News host go over some of the latest instances of the liberal media's bias.
Last night's topics included media coverage of Florida Senate candidate Charlie Crist's jumping ship from the GOP to run as an independent and the new Arizona anti-immigration law, and Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber suspect.
Both Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist appeared live on Friday's Today show, and both received the same question by NBC's Meredith Vieira, was Crist's departure from the GOP just another example of the Republicans being "intolerant" to moderates? In addition to advancing that liberal view of the Florida Senate race, Vieira also questioned if Rubio was being "manipulated" by the Tea Party, as seen in the following exchange:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: Do you feel you're being manipulated at all by the Tea Party? Because they're the ones that have sort of helped boost your numbers. You've become their darling.
MARCO RUBIO: Absolutely not. Well you know what? The Tea Party is just a collection of every day Americans, most of whom have never participated in politics before, who are tired of the direction of this country and want their voices heard. This is not a professional political movement. In fact, it's only a year old but I think it's been a good thing for American politics to see people get involved and have their voices heard. I'm proud of the, of the support they've given me. [audio availabe here]
Before that exchange Vieira threw out the "GOP is too intolerant" line, first to Crist:
Chris Matthews -- who was offended by Rush Limbaugh calling the Obama administration the "regime"-- claimed the Republicans were engaged in a "Stalinesque" purge. On Tuesday's Hardball Matthews charged that conservatives challenging moderates within the Republican Party (like Marco Rubio versus Charlie Crist in Florida) was akin to Joseph Stalin's violent purges in the 1930s, as he teased an upcoming segment this way: "Coming up what happens to Republicans who don't march to the right wing tune? Well they're getting purged. This is Stalinesque, this stuff."
Later on in the segment Matthews claimed the GOP was engaging in something "particularly nasty" in "pruning itself" and warned Republicans risked losing "sophisticated" voters in the suburbs if it continued to turn towards "Palin-ism and gun-toters."
The following Matthews quotes were aired on the April 20 edition of Hardball:
Arianna Huffington stuck her foot in her mouth during Tuesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, and ended up being totally humiliated by host Joe Scarborough and guests Rudy Giuliani and Mort Zuckerman.
As the subject of Florida's Senate race was broached, Huffington decided to attack the former Mayor of New York City rather than address the qualifications of Republican candidates Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio.
"Your judgment in people has not been stellar -- Bernard Kerik, anybody, so the fact that you're supporting Rubio now, I don't know exactly how seriously we should take it," irrelevantly spouted the liberal publisher.
Marvelously, some of the gentlemen on the panel didn't appreciate the cheap shot including Giuliani himself who finally said, "I come on here just to talk about Marco Rubio, you're attacking me on Bernie Kerik, you're attacking me on how I ran my presidential race. I imagine you're going to attack me on what I did in the Little League when I was a child" (video follows with partial transcript, h/t NB reader Pam):
On Wednesday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his regular "Quick Comment" segment to lecture Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio for recently remarking that people like Olbermann "hate America" and should be traded to other countries in exchange for immigrants who love America. As the MSNBC host referred to his own great grandparents who immigrated to America "for its opportunity and its freedom," Olbermann charged that they had come to this country to escape people like Rubio: "Mr. Rubio, I am the great grandson of immigrants, as you are the son of immigrants, who came to this country for its opportunity and its freedom. And I know one thing for sure: my ancestors and yours were trying to get away from people like you."
Notably, just over a year ago on the March 24, 2009, Countdown show, Olbermann seemed to express a negative view of American "values" generally when he mocked the name of Gary Bauer's American Values organization as sounding like a "discount septic tank operation." Olbermann: "Gary Bauer, former presidential candidate, former Reagan domestic policy adviser and now president of American Values which, despite the name, is not a discount septic tank operation, writing at Politico a mere two months after the last of dozens of conflicting Pentagon reports suggested with almost no verification that 61 former Gitmo detainees had been identified as returning to terrorism."
MSNBC regular Donny Deutsch on Wednesday apologized, via Twitter, for deriding Republican senatorial hopeful Marco Rubio as a "coconut," a racial slur which the New York Times defines as "being brown on the outside and white on the inside." (Rubio's parents are Cuban exiles.) Over two Tweets, Deutsch announced, "In discussing Mr. Rubio, I used a word intended to describe his inexperience on the national stage."
The former CNBC host continued, "I now realize the word has connotations as an ethnic slur, & is therefore inappropriate. I apologize to Mr. Rubio & to anyone else I have offended." As first reported, with video, on NewsBusters, Deutsch employed the term on Monday's Joy Behar Show while deriding Rubio as inexperienced. He complained, "...You almost need that blank piece of paper. That's the new model. Like, you know, this coconut Rubio down in Florida."
MSNBC and CNBC contributor -- and professed Charlie Crist admirer -- Donny Deutsch used racially charged language on Monday night, smearing Republican senatorial candidate Marco Rubio as a "coconut." Deutsch appeared on HLN's Joy Behar Show and used the word, which both the New York Times and Urban Dictionary define as a "person who is tan on the outside" and "white on the inside." Rubio is the son of Cuban exiles. [Audio available here.]
Deutsch employed the derogatory term while hitting politicians with no experience. He noted the success of such candidates and derided, "...You almost need that blank piece of paper. That's the new model. Like, you know, this coconut Rubio down in Florida."
UPDATE: 2010-02-23 18:20 Deutsch responded on his Twitter page: "I said 'coconut' meaning simple, goofy, bananas...wasn't even aware it could be a racially charged word."
In his Feb. 19 "Washington Sketch" column, Milbank declared Marco Rubio, an opponent of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's GOP Senate primary "the anti-Crist." Get it - "anti-Crist," as in "anti-Christ?"
In an interview with Florida Governor Charlie Crist on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez turned to the hotly contested Senate race: “your opponent in the primary, fellow Republican Marco Rubio, and you...are in a dead heat in this race. Critics say that it’s because he is a true conservative and you are...a RINO, a ‘Republican In Name Only.’ How do you respond to that criticism?”
As Rodriguez spoke, the latest Quinnipiac University poll of the primary appeared on screen, showing Rubio with 47% among Republican voters and Crist with 44%. Crist defended his conservative credentials: “Well, if I’m a RINO, then so is Ronald Reagan.” At the same, time he seemed to attack conservative Rubio for being an “ideologue”: “...we do things a little differently here in Florida, we actually work together to get things done for the people. And I think that’s exactly what the American people want. They don’t want bickering and some ideologue on one end or the other to sort of be a standard bearer.”
While Rodriguez mentioned conservative criticism of Crist, she did not bring up the Governor’s well known hug with President Obama last year and staunch support for the stimulus package. In contrast, back in 2006, CBS correspondent Trish Regan labeled Democratic Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman’s embrace with President Bush as an “infamous kiss.” On the August 8 Early Show she touted how Lieberman’s left-wing primary challenger “Ned Lamont has used this now infamous kiss to his advantage on campaign buttons and television ads, suggesting Lieberman is just too cozy with the President.” Apparently CBS isn’t interested in Crist being “cozy” with Obama.
On Thursday’s World News, ABC correspondent Kate Snow filed a report that avoided portraying Tea Party activists as extremists, instead conveying the movement’s growing appeal and the fact that even some former Barack Obama supporters have signed on. Snow: "The majority of supporters are long-time Republicans like Danita, but there are growing numbers of independents, and even some former Obama supporters."
After recounting the movement’s recent successes in bringing down moderate political figures for not being conservative enough, Snow related that "moderates are scrambling to show their support." The piece also included a soundbite of ABC News contributor Matthew Dowd who suggested that Democrats are making a mistake in "trying to marginalize" the movement. Dowd: "I think Republicans definitely dismiss this at their peril. I also think Democrats, by trying to marginalize it, underestimate the anger out there."
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, January 7, World News on ABC:
The Times dispatched its political personality profiler and snarkster-in-chief Mark Leibovich to Florida to report on the hot race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. In the course of his report, Leibovich ran into a conservative in a parking lot who showed "contempt" for the New York Times. (Wonder why?)
Moderate Gov. Charlie Crist looks set to battle insurgent conservative Marco Rubio in the Republican primary in late August. Leibovich's piece, "The First Senator From the Tea Party?" which will appear in the Times Magazine next Sunday, described the reporter's attendance at a Tea Party rally in Orlando, from which he dutifully filed anecdotes about racist attacks, bullying, and birther-paranoia on the part of conservatives.
First, Leibovich sat down with the "embattled Republican" Crist, the "pragmatist" battling "ideological purists" in his own party:
To many Republicans, the governor's biggest sin was his support for the Obama administration's $787 billion economic-stimulus package. That's what comes up the most, although a fair number of conservatives also blame Crist for his seemingly decisive endorsement of John McCain three days before the Florida primary in the 2008 presidential campaign, effectively handing the state to an eventual nominee for whom many conservatives had little use. They see Crist's career as pockmarked with instances of consensus-seeking, deal-making and bipartisanship -- three particularly vulgar notions to a simmering Tea Party movement on the right. Conservatives have tagged Crist as being part of that pariah breed of Republican today: a "moderate." Or worse.
Whenever Time magazine praises a Republican, you can almost always be sure it is because of an ulterior motive. And, sure enough, the motive for Time magazine to praise Florida Republican governor Charlie Crist is to slam his much more conservative senate primary opponent, former state House speaker Marco Rubio. Note the sympathy for Crist in this Time story by Tim Padgett coupled with criticism of Rubio:
Ever since a conservative tent revival began sweeping America last summer, sparked by angry misgivings about health care reform and other harbingers of big government, Republican purists have targeted Crist's moderate, bipartisan style. Seizing on his embrace of President Obama's $787 billion economic-stimulus plan, they've treated him as a whipping boy...
...Along the way they've anointed Rubio, a 38-year-old Cuban American, as the right wing's new boy wonder, a genuinely conservative David who can slay Crist's Goliath RINO (Republican in Name Only) in the primary next August.
Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," mocked Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio for pondering, on his Twitter page, that the "situation in Iran would be a little different if they had a 2nd Amendment like ours." Matthews, completely missing the point that our Founding Fathers understood that it is much harder to repress a free people that is armed, derided Rubio in the "Sideshow" portion of his June 22 show:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Next up, a reminder to think before you hit the "send" button. You've all seen what's happening in the streets of Tehran. How people are getting beaten, getting hit with tear gas, getting shot. Take a look at what Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio of Florida posted on his Twitter page after watching those scenes that we've been watching.