MSNBC's Contessa Brewer mocked attendees of the Values Voter Summit today, directing her ire at former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, and the entire conservative movement.
"So, they're calling themselves values voters, but isn't this election really about the economy and not so much what we think of as values?" sniveled Brewer, who put air quotes around the term "values." Brewer's dismissive attitude toward values voters must not extend to homosexual rights activists like herself who frequently turn their anchor chairs into liberal soapboxes.
The champion of same-sex marriage revealed her disdain for Palin by noting that although the former Alaska governor was not present at the event, "her doppleganger, Christine O'Donnell is there and she is stealing the show."
Manufacturing controversy by imagining a Wild West "showdown at the Values Voter Summit," the paladin of homosexual equality scornfully described the annual summit as the "conservative Shangri- La," referring, apparently, to the fictional location in James Hilton's Lost Horizon which represents a sort of heaven on earth.
Setting aside the inherent hypocrisy in eschewing voters who focus on values issues like gay rights while exploiting her perch as a cable news anchor to advocate for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the fact that, as Brewer accurately reported, the top issue for voters this election cycle is the economy should compel the media to focus more on the lagging economic numbers than on a peaceful gathering of social conservatives.
A transcript of the relevant portions of the segment can be found below (H/T News Analyst Scott Whitlock for transcript assistance):
12 P.M. E.S.T.
CONTESSA BREWER: It's showdown at the Values Voter Summit. The Grand Old Party. The established, traditional candidates caught in the cross fire of conservatives who want something different. And right now both sides are under the same big tent, so to speak, today at this conservative Shangri-La, the Values Voters Summit. Let's show it to you. The Republicans recognize the split between the factions in their own party, but their most famous faces are focusing on a common enemy.
MITT ROMNEY: It's- I guess it is welcome to the Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, President Obama farewell party.
BREWER: And those in attendance are just starting to vote in a straw poll giving people a glimpse into who wants to run for president in 2012. Sarah Palin is up for the vote even though not physically present at the summit. Her doppleganger, Christine O'Donnell is there and she is stealing the show.
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: It's no secret that there's been a rather unflattering portrait of me painted these days. I'm not counting on the national media to vote for me on November 2nd. I'm asking all of you to vote for me.
BREWER: That splinter may give Democrats an opportunity here. Alaska's Senator Lisa Murkowski decides today whether to compete as a write-in candidate against the Tea Partier and Republican primary winner Joe Miller. That would definitely split the conservative vote and give Democrat a real chance to take away the seat. Domenico Montanaro is a political guru, a producer and off-air reporter extraordinaire for NBC News. Good to see you. When we're talking about the value voters is that code for Tea Partiers or a whole different group of people?
DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well, there's certainly overlap. I mean, there's a lot of folks here who certainly identify with the Tea Party as well. But, you know, Values Voters traditionally has been a summit here that's taken place in Washington every year focuses on you know, social issues. Things like gay marriage. You know, the- abortion. Things you would normally associate with social issues. That's bled over somewhat, though, this year with the Tea Party, and they're focused a little bit more on fiscal issues. Fiscal responsibility. Talking about making that a moral issue. We heard Jim DeMint talk about it. We even heard Mike Huckabee talk about it who has won here the straw poll the last few years. And, you know, we saw Mitt Romney gave his speech, you know, talking about pushing carts down Walmart. You know, talking about some terrorism issues and, you know, this is more of what you're hearing from somebody who's potentially running for president in 2012 as opposed to somebody who's necessarily just talking to a social issues group.
BREWER: So, they're calling themselves values voters, but isn't this election really about the economy and not so much what we think of as values? [Makes quotes marks]
MONTANARO: Right. Well, you know, the election certainly is about the economy. It's what's given people in the Tea Party movement, Republican, the upper hand. Now, the folks here, like I said, are also focused on that fiscal issue and want to take that and make that part of their platform. But, look, this is important for people running in 2012 because you need activists who vote on social issues. Especially in places like Iowa. Remember, Mitt Romney lost Iowa, despite the amount of money he spent, because Mike Huckabee, in a closed primary, with Christian activists liked his message and folksiness and the fact he was a Baptist preacher and delivered several one-liners, able to rally some of those folks. Someone to watch what a potential 1212 Mike Huckabee, watch Mike Pence. Stirs the crowd. Unapologetic about social issues and took that home to this audience here.