Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded on Monday to comments from Republican strategists Mike Murphy and Steve Schmidt, who have called on the party to “stray away from a vision” that is right out of the conservative commentator's “dream journal.”
The radio personality deflected the criticism, noting that the moderate GOP consultants got the candidate they wanted -- former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney -- and stated that strategists get rich regardless of who wins the elections.
Last week it was Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blaming Mitt Romney's loss on conservative "loons and wackos," this week on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, fellow Republican strategist Mike Murphy joined the media chorus demanding the GOP move left: "...if we don't modernize conservatism, we can go extinct....we've got to get kind of a party view of America that's not right out of Rush Limbaugh's dream journal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy explained how to "modernize" the party: "We alienate young voters because of gay marriage, we have a policy problem. We alienate Latinos – the fastest growing voter group in the country, because of our fetish on so-called amnesty....It's a fundamental rethink that begins with policy..." Moments later, he asserted: "...the biggest problem Mitt Romney had was the Republican primary. That's what's driving the Republican brand right now to a disaster."
Appearing as a panelist on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, Republican strategist Mike Murphy called out journalists for refusing to provide balanced coverage of abortion: "It's always amazed me how the media assumes there's no such thing in the world as a pro-life woman, it's the most under-represented, you know, group in the world, we never talk about them." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy's observation was prompted by former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers proclaiming that Romney has "been all over the map on every issue that's important to women in this election," meaning contraception and abortion. Her comments followed moderator David Gregory declaring: "...understanding women's choices today, pressures they face, about access to contraception, about abortion...the President wants to – to drive up that wedge and get women to vote for him."
Norah O'Donnell hounded Republican strategist Mike Murphy on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, repeatedly hinting that Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the issue of abortion during his Tuesday interview with The Des Moines Register. O'Donnell conspicuously failed to mention that during the same interview, Romney promised to "reinstate the Mexico City policy....that foreign aid dollars...would not be used to carry out abortion in other countries." [Update, 3:55 pm Eastern: audio clips available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, the anchor's former employer, NBC, pointed out on Wednesday's Today show that "Romney did say he would instead use an executive order to reinstate a ban on using American foreign aid to fund abortions."
The Hill reported that National Public Radio has hired the firm Navigators Global to preserve federal subsidies through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The House GOP majority has organized several votes and bills to defund public broadcasting, and Navigators Global is a lobbying shop chock full of Republicans -- the most notable being Mike Murphy, the former Mitt Romney strategist.
NPR chief marketing officer Dana Davis Rehm told the newspaper "It is part of our mission to represent the interests of NPR member stations to Congress, executive, regulatory and judicial bodies." That's in part because NPR gets its funds from member stations sending in money for programming. Rehm sang the usual song about how public radio is such an effective way to spend taxpayer money:
No love on the Sunday morning television talk shows for Rush Limbaugh, not even a mild defense as the unifying theme was disappointment in Mitt Romney for not denouncing the leading national conservative talk radio host. “The problem with Rush Limbaugh,” NBC News White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie complained in pretending to care about the fate of Republicans, “is that he re-framed the debate on Democrat’s terms” and “Romney lost an opportunity there to speak out forcefully against” Limbaugh which “would have shown some political courage, some backbone and ultimately,” she argued, “that would help him with conservatives.”
Meet the Press host David Gregory jumped in to assert “Sister Souljah’s not just a rap reference, it’s a political reference.” He cued up Republican strategist/Romney backer Mike Murphy: “Was this a ‘Sister Souljah Moment’ that Romney missed?” Murphy, naturally, agreed as he added in a snarky shot at Limbaugh: “It could have been and it should have been. The big myth about Rush Limbaugh is he can’t deliver a pizza let alone a vote.”
Given his high unfavorable rating, Newt Gingrich “cannot win a national election,” MSNBC’s very liberal host Lawrence O’Donnell insisted early Saturday night when it became clear Gingrich would win the South Carolina primary, “it’s impossible.” O’Donnell’s assessment, however, is held beyond left-wingers animating MSNBC shows.
Saturday night, Fox News veteran Brit Hume asserted: “Republicans in Congress will be terrified to run with this man for fear they will lose the House and the Senate.” Sunday morning on ABC, George Will imagined “people are waking up who are running for office as Republicans – from dog-catcher to Senate – and they’re saying, ‘good God, Newt Gingrich might be at top of this ticket.’”
White House senior adviser David Plouffe said on Sunday's Meet the Press that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney "has no core" and would say "the sky was green and the grass was blue to win an election."
After Republican strategist Mike Murphy took exception with these comments during the program's roundtable segment, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw came to Plouffe's defense (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One of the iron laws of liberal media bias in every electoral cycle is that moderates are more electable than "ultraconservatives," and when moderates lose (John McCain, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford), the law is never junked. Naturally, Time magazine turned to McCain consultant Mike Murphy for a column that mocked the electoral chances of Michele Bachmann for President:
Liberals already nervous about the President’s failures on the economy and his cynical wiggling on gay marriage now curse at a new villain on their television screens, secretly hoping Tina Fey does something and quick, because this new GOP bogeywoman seems far more polished, and therefore more worrisome, than Palin ever was. GOP professionals curse under their breath and reach for another Excedrin. Damn, they say, what is it about our party base and hopelessly unelectable women in snappy outfits?
It appears Republicans need to be read their conservative Miranda rights: anything negative you say about Sarah Palin can and will be used against her by the liberal media.
Such was made infinitely clear on Monday's "Hardball" when the host first teased, "Has someone sounded the dog whistle," and later opened a segment, "Are Republicans putting out the word that it's time to stop Sarah Palin?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Only a matter of time before MSNBC's answer to Eve Harrington (shown here being introduced to theater critic Addison DeWitt/Keith Olbermann) took a shot across the bow of unsuspecting coworkers.
On her show Wednesday night, Maddow recounted the "single strangest on-air moment for me" on election night in 2008 (video below the fold) --
MADDOW: This happened after midnight East Coast time, Barack Obama had already won the presidency and we were here in this studio (Maddow, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, former congressman Harold Ford and Republican strategist Mike Murphy) covering the reaction to the election results around the country. And in the midst of that, with everybody else I work with here at MSNBC, this happened --
GREGORY (describing aerial footage of large crowd in downtown San Francisco): I believe we've got some pictures out of San Francisco as well, some of the celebration pouring out in the Castro District of the city as it's known. A place near and dear to your heart, Chris Matthews.
Less than two hours after Peggy Noonan and former McCain advisor Mike Murphy appeared on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon, a YouTube video appeared of their candid exchange in which they dismissed Sarah Palin’s viability as a VP pick. The speed at which the video appeared indicated that it almost certainly originated from someone inside MSNBC, another favor for the Democrats this election year.
Joshua Micah Marshall’s blog Talking Points Memo and the blog of Michael Calderone of the Politico broke news of Noonan and Murphy’s comments. The exchange started as MSNBC Chuck Todd previewed what was coming up next on the program before a commercial break 20 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour, as Noonan and Murphy began a discussion off-camera, picked up by a hot mike. Todd then joined the discussion once the commercial break began. None of their discussion actually made it on the air for this reason.
Few Republicans have made it onto MSNBC air during the network's Dem convention coverage, but even that is apparently too much for Keith Olbermann. As Chris Matthews was interviewing GOP consultant Mike Murphy in the interlude between Bill Clinton and Joe Biden tonight, Olbermann could be heard off-camera angrily demanding "let's wrap him up, alright?"
It was Murphy's surmise that, in the privacy of the polling booth, Bill and Hilary would pull the lever for McCain that seemed to set Olbermann off, prompting him to call for the hook.
MIKE MURPHY: I think Hillary and Bill Clinton are the happiest people in town because they came, they both crushed in good speeches, and they left. And now they can go do what I would bet money they'll do which is quietly vote for John S. McCain. I believe that. I believe it. I believe it.
The Barnicle clan should be grateful Mike landed the MSNBC gig. It could have been tough making ends meet had he chosen a career in used-car sales. I base that on some hilarious footage from today's Morning Joe, as Mike failed to persuade a Hillary fan to back Barack. And don't miss Mike Murphy's brilliant analysis, at the end, of what was missing in Hillary's speech.
At 7:35 AM EDT, a Hillary supporter, Judy Duvall of Fort Collins, CO, was brought by the set, still sporting her Hillary button. Under questioning from Joe Scarborough, Judy said that Hillary's speech was great but hadn't convinced her to support Obama. A bit later, after Republican consultant Mike Murphy had offered his IMHO-brilliant analysis of Hillary's speech [see below], Judy was brought back to the set to permit Barnicle to make his case.
Many McCain fans are no doubt bracing for the waves of European adulation that are about to break over Barack Obama, the MSM avidly reporting the scenes. With polls showing Obama with a 50+ percentage-point lead across the Old Continent [the French leading the Obamaphile way at 64-4%], the Dem candidate is assured of ecstatic crowds wherever he goes. Euro-Obamamania begins in Berlin today, with a speech by the candidate at the "Victory Column" in Tiergarten park.
But could all the adoration backfire? That emerging theme has found expression in two very different ways this morning. On the one hand, a scholarly exposition by Prof. Thomas Madden, writing at NRO—who draws parallels to the world of ancient Greco-Roman politics—and in more colloquial fashion by Joe Scarborough.
Here's how the Morning Joe host put it today at 6:34 AM EDT, in an exchange with Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. Republican strategist Mike Murphy got in a good line at the very end.