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Cover for Biden's Gaffe: 'Not Terrible Advice,' 'Informative'--5/1/2009


1. Cover for Biden's Gaffe: 'Not Terrible Advice,' 'Informative'
CBS's Katie Couric and ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson tried to provide cover Thursday night for Vice President Biden's gaffe about the swine flu threat, which forced two cabinet secretaries and he White House spokesman to correct his advice to avoid planes and subways, as Couric asked an expert to confirm "that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?" and Johnson spun it into a positive, proposing: "In an ironic way, the reaction -- the information that has come out in reaction -- has been very informative."

2. Joe Biden to ABC's Robin Roberts: I'm Humbled by Cheering Crowds
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts didn't bother to challenge Vice President Joe Biden when he asserted on Thursday that cheering crowds spontaneously appear wherever he goes. Paraphrasing a softball question given to Barack Obama at his Wednesday news conference, Roberts asked what had humbled the Vice President during his first 100 days in office. In a serious tone, Biden responded: "Everywhere I go, crowds spontaneously assemble. They start to cheer, whether I go to a play on Broadway or I'm going home to Wilmington, Delaware. I walk on the train. People stand up and clap." Roberts didn't offer a follow-up, but she could have referenced a January 3 incident, when (then) Vice President-elect Biden went unnoticed while trying to see a movie in Delaware. According to a reprinted Delaware Online article, "Remarkably, none of the other moviegoers appeared to notice. Employees said nobody mobbed Biden or called his name or asked for an autograph." Movie theater employee Becky Gingrich explained, "It didn't seem many people recognized him."

3. ABC's Gibson Already Presumes There Will Be a Second Obama Term?
Is World News anchor Charles Gibson already planning for Barack Obama's second term? The ABC journalist briefly wrapped up coverage from the President's prime-time press conference on Wednesday and signed off by asserting: "100 days in office. 1,362 days remaining in his first term." 1,362 days left in his first term?

4. Washington Post's Tom Shales Calls Obama 'Smartest Kid in Class'
Even though President Obama clearly stammered and struggled in some answers Wednesday night, especially the odd New York Times four-parter, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales loved "Obama's Enchanting Quizfest" (as the headline announced), and stressed how much better he was than Bush: "Barack Obama is a truly flabbergasting President. And in a good way -- not the way some of his predecessors were. He's not flabberghastly....His verbiage is a melting pot that's always bubbling. A few times, he did stumble over words, and once or twice appeared semantically stranded, unable to find the precise language he wanted to use. But compare him with his predecessor and such moments seem trifling." Shales contended in his April 30 "Style" section review that Obama was not only smarter than Bush, but obviously smarter than every reporter in the room: "He's not the student who wears a button that says, 'Smartest kid in class,' but clearly he is, at least when surrounded by the White House press corps."

5. NY Times Buries Their Own Jeff Zeleny's 'Enchanting' Question
At President Obama's 100-day press conference on Wednesday night, New York Times White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny became a mini-celebrity -- or a national laughingstock -- for asking President Obama how he was surprised/troubled/enchanted/humbled over the first 100 days. The Times itself seemed embarrassed by the question. The press conference was relegated to page A-19 in Thursday's paper, with the headline "Obama Voices Concern on Pakistan and Defends Interrogation Memo Release." Nine paragraphs in, Zeleny and Helene Cooper acknowledge the "light moments," but don't acknowledge they were a gift from Zeleny and the Times: "There were a few light moments, particularly when Mr. Obama was asked what has surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled him in the past 100 days. 'Wait, let me get this all down,' he said, taking out a pen."

6. CBS's Smith to RNC Chair Steele: 'Room For Moderates' In GOP?
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele about Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter switching to the Democratic Party: "Alright, so you see red states going to blue, though, in this last presidential election...You look at percentage-wise, lower numbers of people who declare themselves to be actual Republicans...Where does the future of your party lie?...Is there room for moderates?" Smith began the interview by asking Steele: "Olympia Snowe mourned his [Specter's] loss earlier this week. Rush Limbaugh said he was dead weight, good riddance. Who's right?"


 

Cover for Biden's Gaffe: 'Not Terrible
Advice,' 'Informative'

CBS's Katie Couric and ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson tried to provide cover Thursday night for Vice President Biden's gaffe about the swine flu threat, which forced two cabinet secretaries and he White House spokesman to correct his advice to avoid planes and subways, as Couric asked an expert to confirm "that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?" and Johnson spun it into a positive, proposing: "In an ironic way, the reaction -- the information that has come out in reaction -- has been very informative."

Talking with Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Couric pointed out how "the Vice President created a bit of a brouhaha when he said he would tell his family to avoid confined public spaces, but that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?" Ashton supported Couric's premise, suggesting "common sense precautions apply here," so "people who have weakened immune systems, who have cancer, are HIV-positive," if they would avoid people "a week ago, they should do it today." But Biden was not warning just those with such vulnerabilities.

This wasn't the first time Couric helped Biden. Last year, when candidate Biden declared in a taped interview with Couric that "when the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television," she ran the soundbite in which he had cited FDR to denounce Bush's handling of the economy, but failed to point out his historical error: FDR was not in office at the time of the 1929 crash and his "fireside chats" were on the radio. September 23 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

She wasn't so forgiving with Biden's opponent, Sarah Palin, as recounted in the October 1 CyberAlert item, "Couric Patronizingly Challenges & Lectures Palin; Coddled Biden," at: www.mrc.org

On ABC on Thursday night, Gibson played a clip of Biden from Thursday morning's Today show on NBC, then asked Johnson: "Is he overreacting?" Johnson made clear Biden was off-base, but then pivoted to spin the gaffe into a positive: "Unfortunately, the Vice President sounded like he knew what he was talking about when he really didn't. But in an ironic way, the reaction -- the information that has come out in reaction -- has been very informative so I think it'll pass and we'll be all right."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

# From the Thursday, April 30 CBS Evening News:

NANCY CORDES: But that's [wrong to think it's unsafe to travel] exactly what Vice President Biden seemed to suggest this morning when he implied that trains and planes should be avoided.
BIDEN ON NBC'S TODAY SHOW: I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now.
CORDES: It prompted this assertion from the Mayor of New York:
MAYOR BLOOMBERG: The bottom line is I feel perfectly safe on the subway.
CORDES: And a walk-back from the White House.
ROBERT GIBBS: I think the Vice President misrepresented what the Vice President wanted to say.
CORDES: Even the Transportation Secretary came forward to say it is safe to fly and he urged Americans not to cancel flights unless they suspect they have the flu. Katie.

....

COURIC: Meanwhile, as we saw, the Vice President created a bit of a brouhaha when he said he would tell his family to avoid confined public spaces, but that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?
DR. JENNIFER ASHTON: Right, you know really common sense precautions apply here, Katie. For people who have weakened immune systems, who have cancer, are HIV-positive, are on steroids, who would ordinarily avoid those in general -- if they would do it a week ago, they should do it today.
COURIC: Alright, but otherwise, maybe follow Mayor Bloomberg's advice.
ASHTON: Exactly.


# From ABC's World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: I want to play some remarks that the Vice President, Vice President Biden, made this morning. He was asked whether he would, what he would tell a member of his family if that person was about to travel. Let's listen.
BIDEN ON NBC'S TODAY: I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not going to Mexico. It's you're in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the entire aircraft.
GIBSON: Is he overreacting?
DR. TIM JOHNSON: Unfortunately, the Vice President sounded like he knew what he was talking about when he really didn't. But in an ironic way, the reaction -- the information that has come out in reaction -- has been very informative so I think it'll pass and we'll be all right.

 

 

Joe Biden to ABC's Robin Roberts: I'm
Humbled by Cheering Crowds

 

Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts didn't bother to challenge Vice President Joe Biden when he asserted on Thursday that cheering crowds spontaneously appear wherever he goes. Paraphrasing a softball question given to Barack Obama at his Wednesday news conference, Roberts asked what had humbled the Vice President during his first 100 days in office.

In a serious tone, Biden responded: "Everywhere I go, crowds spontaneously assemble. They start to cheer, whether I go to a play on Broadway or I'm going home to Wilmington, Delaware. I walk on the train. People stand up and clap." Roberts didn't offer a follow-up, but she could have referenced a January 3 incident, when (then) Vice President-elect Biden went unnoticed while trying to see a movie in Delaware. According to a reprinted Delaware Online article, "Remarkably, none of the other moviegoers appeared to notice. Employees said nobody mobbed Biden or called his name or asked for an autograph." Movie theater employee Becky Gingrich explained, "It didn't seem many people recognized him." See: current.com

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

During the Roberts interview, Biden attempted to work the "humble" part of the question into his response. He elaborated: "It's not about me. It's about, I think, the hope and expectation they [Americans] have for our administration. But it's spontaneous everywhere I've gone around the country."

Setting up the question, Roberts replayed the original "enchanted" question from the news conference, directed to Barack Obama. She enthused, " So, what has surprised you in your first 100 days?" And then followed-up by cooing, "And enchanted you?...And humbled you?"

A transcript of the April 30 interview, which aired at 7:08am, follows:

ROBIN ROBERTS: Well, President Obama marked the 100th day of his office- in office with a prime-time news conference last night. The first issue he addressed, swine flu, and its impact on parents and children. We asked Vice President Joe Biden about that and other issues when he joined us just moments ago from his official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington. Good to see you, Vice President Biden. Thank you very much for joining us this morning. The President talked about parents and businesses having a contingency plan in case more children need to stay home from school. Do you know exactly what he means by contingency plan?
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, yes, I do. For example, that- a parent whose child's school is closed out of a precaution, or because there's been a confirmed case of flu, should not take that child into a day-care center. They're going to have to take them home. And the hope is that the employers will have- be generous, in terms of how they treat that employee's necessary action of taking the child home and not being at work. And so, the urging is the contingency plans that businesses should have, if they're going- if this hits in a way that their employees have to care for their children.
ROBERTS: Our Jake Tapper asked the President if he thought that the previous administration had sanctioned torture. And this is how the President responded.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe that waterboarding was torture. And I think that the- whatever legal rationales were used, it was a mistake.
ROBERTS: There's a couple times that Jake tried to get an answer from the President and wasn't quite able to. So, let me ask you. Do you think that the Bush administration sanctioned torture?
BIDEN: I think the Bush administration misread the law, justified the action, which both the President and I believe to be torture on a faulty rationale. So, I think they were mistaken in their judgment as to whether or not it constituted torture. We believe it was torture. We've ended the practice.
ROBERTS: There's a lot of talk about- and you all have talked a lot about, the economy, and what's going on, of course. And the economy shrank at an alarming rate. 6.1 percent in the first quarter. Is it going to continue at this rate before it gets better, Vice President?
BIDEN: I think unemployment is going to continue this rate before it gets better. But I don't think the economy is likely to continue shrinking at this rate. Remember that, you know, we said it was an alarming rate. But it wasn't an unpredictable rate. We've been in office for a third of this quarter. Or two-thirds of this quarter. And the plans we have put in place to begin to turn this economy around, are going to take some time. So, it wasn't a shock. Disappointing that it grew- that it shrunk at that number.
ROBERTS: Well, let's end, as it did at the press conference, on a bit of a lighter note. The President, when he was asked about what surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled him? This is what the President said last night.
OBAMA: I've got- what was the first one?
JEFF ZELENY (New York Times): Surprised, troubled. Surprised.
OBAMA: Surprised.
ZELENY: Troubled.
OBAMA: Troubled.
ZELENY: Enchanted.
OBAMA: Enchanted?
ZELENY: And humbled.
[clip ends]
ROBERTS: We won't make you have to write it down. But, we'll do a little lightning round. So, what has surprised you in your first 100 days?
BIDEN: What surprise me is the pace. I've been in Washington a long time. The pace of decisions that had to be made. What has troubled me is the failure of us to get the kind of cooperation we hoped we would get on major issues with some of our Republican colleagues. There seemed to be, at least at the outset, a determination not to cooperate. I hopeful that's going to change. We continue to reach out. But, I was a little surprised that on the big-ticket items that we're facing, in terms of crisis, there might have been a little more cooperation. But this is early.
ROBERTS: And enchanted you?
BIDEN: My wife, on the night of the inauguration.
ROBERTS: And humbled you?
BIDEN: She was gorgeous.
ROBERTS: She was.
BIDEN: What's humbled me, as you walk out, I mean, everywhere I go, crowds spontaneously assemble. They start to cheer, whether I go to a play on Broadway or I'm going home to Wilmington, Delaware. I walk on the train. People stand up and clap. I mean, it's humbled me. It's not about me. It's about, I think, the hope and expectation they have for our administration. But it's spontaneous everywhere I've gone around the country. And it really is humbling. And it makes you realize that people are really banking on us, you know, changing the day. And it really it is humbling.
ROBERTS: I'm sure it is. Vice President Joe Biden, always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much for joining us. Have a great day.
BIDEN: Thank you, Robin. Thanks a lot.

 

 

ABC's Gibson Already Presumes There Will
Be a Second Obama Term?

Is World News anchor Charles Gibson already planning for Barack Obama's second term? The ABC journalist briefly wrapped up coverage from the President's prime-time press conference on Wednesday and signed off by asserting: "100 days in office. 1,362 days remaining in his first term." 1,362 days left in his first term?

Even Gibson, however, seemed to notice the incredible softball question from New Times reporter Jeff Zeleny about what had "enchanted" Obama the most during his first 100 days: "I suspect the question that will get the most attention, what has surprised you about being President, what troubled you, what enchanted you and what has humbled you now that you've been in the White House?"

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

A transcript of Gibson's close of the April 29 news conference follows: "The President concluding his third primetime news conference on 100 days in the White House. Starting with a statement of saying that he feels they've had a good start, pleased, not satisfied with the way things have gone. Thought they'd gotten off to a good start. But, as he said, it is just a start. And then he also talked about the flu outbreak that's occurred in this country and, interestingly, said that parents, perhaps, should be thinking about contingency plans if, indeed, the schools of their children have to close.
"And then it was a wide-ranging news conference, covering so many different subjects, border closings, the auto injury, questions about torture, questions about Pakistan and then I suspect the question that will get the most attention, what has surprised you about being President, what troubled you, what enchanted you and what has humbled you now that you've been in the White House. And he concluded there, as you saw, with a rather exhaustive list of the kinds of problems that he has had to deal with in his first 100 days in office, that he will have to deal with in succeeding days. He said it is not the hand, necessarily, that I would like to have been dealt, but it is the one I was dealt and we will deal with it. 100 days in office. 1,362 days remaining in his first term. We're going to return you now to regular programming."

 

 

Washington Post's Tom Shales Calls Obama
'Smartest Kid in Class'

Even though President Obama clearly stammered and struggled in some answers Wednesday night, especially the odd New York Times four-parter, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales loved "Obama's Enchanting Quizfest" (as the headline announced), and stressed how much better he was than Bush: "Barack Obama is a truly flabbergasting President. And in a good way -- not the way some of his predecessors were. He's not flabberghastly....His verbiage is a melting pot that's always bubbling. A few times, he did stumble over words, and once or twice appeared semantically stranded, unable to find the precise language he wanted to use. But compare him with his predecessor and such moments seem trifling."

Shales contended in his April 30 "Style" section review that Obama was not only smarter than Bush, but obviously smarter than every reporter in the room: "When Obama answers a question, you don't slap your forehead and moan, 'Oh, brother!' He is, as guest expert David Gergen noted on CNN after the news conference, not only 'up to speed' on the pressing issues of our time but also articulate about addressing them in a friendly, accessible way. He's not the student who wears a button that says, 'Smartest kid in class,' but clearly he is, at least when surrounded by the White House press corps."

[This item, by the MRC's Tim Graham, was posted Thursday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

He loved Obama so much so he even accused the networks of trying to distract from his skills:

The TV networks always get a little jealous when a president, or any news figure, turns out to be a great communicator. They start looking for ways to distract viewers. During the early minutes of the news conference, ABC ran little poll questions and news squibs at the bottom of the screen. That was just video gingerbread, and wildly unnecessary at that.

Meanwhile, CNN, in what looked an awful lot like desperation, embedded the news conference in a day-long (or is it week-long) gimmicky "National Report Card" routine, as hired experts and members of Congress rated the president on this and that. Graphically speaking, it was a mess, and one sympathized with Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer and other CNN talents caught up in one of those Producers' Brainstorms that didn't work....

MSNBC showed its strengths -- at least two of them, anyway -- by going to ravaging Keith Olbermann and ravishing Rachel Maddow. Two smart people are a lot better than an arsenal of computerly contraptions.

END of Excerpt

For the Shales piece in full: www.washingtonpost.com

 

 

NY Times Buries Their Own Jeff Zeleny's
'Enchanting' Question

At President Obama's 100-day press conference on Wednesday night, New York Times White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny became a mini-celebrity -- or a national laughingstock -- for asking President Obama how he was surprised/troubled/enchanted/humbled over the first 100 days. The Times itself seemed embarrassed by the question. The press conference was relegated to page A-19 in Thursday's paper, with the headline "Obama Voices Concern on Pakistan and Defends Interrogation Memo Release." Nine paragraphs in, Zeleny and Helene Cooper acknowledge the "light moments," but don't acknowledge they were a gift from Zeleny and the Times: "There were a few light moments, particularly when Mr. Obama was asked what has surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled him in the past 100 days. 'Wait, let me get this all down,' he said, taking out a pen."

Why the passive "mistakes were made" phrasing? Then Zeleny and Cooper provided all the President's answers to the multi-part softball, including: "He called himself enchanted by American servicemen and women, and their sacrifices they make, although he allowed that 'enchanted' might not be the exact characterization."

The story briefly mentioned Obama's town hall meeting in Missouri, but ignored his mockery of the protesters with the tea bags and the networks that don't like him very much. See: www.nytimes.com

[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Thursday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]

This was Zeleny's question: "During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office, enchanted you the most about serving in this office, humbled you the most and troubled you the most?" This is not a question one would associate with a Gray Lady, a prestigious daily. It sounds more like an question from Access Hollywood.

On The Caucus blog, political reporter Adam Nagourney collegially declared Zeleny's puffball his favorite question of the night when the press conference was over: "Besides my favorite question -- yes, the enchanting one from Jeff -- the President was discursive on torture, offered his medical counsel to a country worried about the flu, was reflective about the political meaning of Senator Specter's defection, and lent his view of the dramatic expansion of government on his watch. That said, he did not make any jaw-dropping news, which was probably his intention. He also didn't make any obvious mistakes, and for this president, no surprise there. He was also more lively and engaging than he was at the previous news conference."

Blog post: thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com

 

 

CBS's Smith to RNC Chair Steele: 'Room
For Moderates' In GOP?

On Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele about Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter switching to the Democratic Party: "Alright, so you see red states going to blue, though, in this last presidential election...You look at percentage-wise, lower numbers of people who declare themselves to be actual Republicans...Where does the future of your party lie?...Is there room for moderates?" Smith began the interview by asking Steele: "Olympia Snowe mourned his [Specter's] loss earlier this week. Rush Limbaugh said he was dead weight, good riddance. Who's right?"

Steele was unequivocal: "Rush. I'm sorry, I'm not weeping here. I'm sorry. You know, look, Harry, in 2004, when Senator Specter ran for re-election...he whined and moaned and groaned and convinced the White House, and Senator Rick Santorum, and the Republican leadership at that time, to save his seat, to help him get re-elected. So all this, you know, rank-and-file crazy noise about conservatism, he didn't mind it in 2004 when his seat was on the line."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Smith followed up: "So this -- this choice...from your view is a middle of -- about political expedience, and not about-" Steele interjected: "Oh, my goodness, yes...Oh, this has nothing to do with philosophy and principle and all those wonderful-sounding words. It has -- is cold, crass, political calculation by a Senator who could not get re-elected through a nominating process in the Republican Party."

In response to Smith's question about there being "room for moderates" in the Republican Party, Steele explained: "Absolutely. There's room for everybody who wants to be a part of a party that believes first and foremost in the value of the individual to make decisions that empower him or herself to run their businesses, raise their kids, go to the schools of their choice, and then basically work their way towards the American dream...this notion that somehow, you know, because we're conservatives our doors are closed and we only take certain types of people is just crazy. This has not -- never been the nature of this party."

Here is the full transcript of the April 30 segment:

HARRY SMITH: We want to talk with Republican National Chairman Michael Steele right now this morning. Good morning, sir.
MICHAEL STEELE: Hey, good morning, Harry. How are you, man?
SMITH: Pretty good. I want to first talk about Arlen Specter, his defection to the Democratic Party.
STEELE: Yeah.
SMITH: Olympia Snowe mourned his loss earlier this week. Rush Limbaugh said he was dead weight, good riddance. Who's right?
STEELE: Rush. I'm sorry, I'm not weeping here. I'm sorry. You know, look, Harry, in 2004, when Senator Specter ran for re-election, he had -- he was challenged in the primary by Pat Toomey, former Congressman Pat Toomey, and he whined and moaned and groaned and convinced the White House, and Senator Rick Santorum, and the Republican leadership at that time, to save his seat, to help him get re-elected. So all this, you know, rank-and-file crazy noise about conservatism, he didn't mind it in 2004 when his seat was on the line. So here we are in 2008, after he cast a, I think, a debilitating vote on the stimulus bill, it went against core principles-
SMITH: So this -- this choice-
STEELE: -and the party said that's enough.
SMITH: -from your view is a middle of -- about political expedience, and not about-
STEELE: Oh, my goodness, yes.
SMITH: Okay.
STEELE: Oh, this has nothing to do with philosophy and principle and all those wonderful-sounding words. It has -- is cold, crass, political calculation by a Senator who could not get re-elected through a nominating process in the Republican Party.
SMITH: Alright, so you see red states going to blue, though, in this last presidential election.
STEELE: Yeah.
SMITH: You look at percentage-wise, lower numbers of people who declare themselves to be actual Republicans.
STEELE: Yeah.
SMITH: Where does the future of your party lie?
STEELE: Well, the future lies down the road a bit. I mean, look, I'm not going to sit here with, you know, pie-in-the-sky talking about, you know, how wonderful things are. They're not. This party-
SMITH: Right. Is there room for moderates?
STEELE: Absolutely. There's room for everybody who wants to be a part of a party that believes first and foremost in the value of the individual to make decisions that empower him or herself to run their businesses, raise their kids, go to the schools of their choice, and then basically work their way towards the American dream. You know, this notion that because-
SMITH: There are folks in your party, though, who would say -- who would-
STEELE: But wait, Harry, let me make this point.
SMITH: Okay.
STEELE: But let me make this point, this notion that somehow, you know, because we're conservatives our doors are closed and we only take certain types of people is just crazy. This has not -- never been the nature of this party. This party has been-
SMITH: But the -- but the larger conversation that's going on in the party is it's not conservative enough and there are people within your own party who say, 'you know what, John McCain was part of the problem. He was too moderate. That's part of the reason we lost this election.'
STEELE: Well, look, I think that's more -- using terms to reflect an attitude, or a process, in which the Republican Party moved away from certain core principles. We moved away from valuing, you know, frugality, and government expenditures, and the growth of government, by growing the government 40%, by spending on bridges to nowhere, raising the debt of this nation. So yeah, we had a direct hand in that. And the core base Republicans of this party, and conservatives across this nation, looked at that and said enough was enough. Look, they didn't reject our value for life. They didn't reject our value for economics, you know, our views on the economy, and our views on war and peace, in the last two election cycles. What they rejected, the voters rejected, was our failure to lead, and to stay to, I think, our core principles.
SMITH: Alright, Michael Steele, thank you so much for joining us this morning, do appreciate it.
STEELE: Thank you, Harry.
SMITH: You bet.
STEELE: Alrighty.

-- Brent Baker