Notable Quotables - 04/12/1993


Gumbel's March Madness

"Are you not guilty of holding President Clinton to a tougher standard than you did two Republican Presidents who over the last 12 years quadrupled the national debt?"
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel to Senator Bob Dole, March 2.

"You claim the debt problem actually began with Lyndon Johnson... But he was fighting the Vietnam War and that was most of his problem?...So he had a good reason."

"...I'm not sure there's a grade low enough for this next one: Ronald Reagan. He spoke regularly of balancing the budget, but he broke the bank. In return for his own personal popularity he spent eight years in office and ran up $1.34 trillion in deficits."

"...It's early yet, but for at least trying to address the deficit in a more serious fashion than anybody in 12 years, what kind of early marks do you give Bill Clinton?"
- Gumbel's interview with Bankruptcy 1995 co-author Dr. Gerald Swanson, March 17 Today.

"This nation's cities have been in trouble for a long time, suffering from a variety of problems. Faced with declining levels of assistance from Washington over the last twelve years, long- standing urban problems have been aggravated."
- Gumbel, March 18 Today.

"Is the problem that the laws are ineffective, or the laws can't be carried out because the bureau, like every other, is under-staffed, underfunded, a victim of the Reagan cutbacks?"
- Gumbel to Tom Brokaw about the Immigration and Naturalization Service, March 26 Today.

"In the greedy excesses of the Reagan years, the mean income of the average physician nearly doubled, from $88,000 to $170,000. Was that warranted?"
- Gumbel to Dr. Richard Corlin of the American Medical Association, March 31 Today.


Business as Usual

"Reagan got his taxation program through, which was to cut taxes to the bone. Mr. Clinton's going to get his program through, which is to raise taxes to the sky. And let us hope, Cokie, that it doesn't turn out to have a similar fate. What Reagan did was destroy the economy!"
- Sam Donaldson on This Week with David Brinkley, March 28.

"Clinton has managed to dethrone Reagan's soaring vision of lower taxes as the national cure-all, and replace it with a more pedestrian ideal, that of paying the nation's bills on time."
- Boston Globe reporter Peter G. Gosselin, March 26 "news analysis."

"Forty-five minutes into budget director Leon Panetta's briefing on the economy, it was clear that something was missing. After 12 years of Ronald Reagan's voodoo economics and George Bush's low- fat, decaffeinated, nondairy, sodium-free imitation voodoo economics, there was suddenly no ideology in the federal budget. Panetta talked like a cheerful, no-nonsense accountant trying to balance the books the hard way - honestly."
- New York Daily News Washington Bureau Chief Lars-Erik Nelson, March 15 column.


Responsibility = Voting for Deficit-Doubling 1990 Budget Deal

"Known as `the Shi'ites' by the moderate Republicans, these are the conservatives who believe in zealotry at any price and who are basically out to score political points. On the other hand, you have the pragmatists, who are led by Senate Republican leader Bob Dole and by Pete Domenici, who have voted for tough deficit reduction programs in the past and really do feel an obligation to come up with a responsible alternative."
- NBC reporter Lisa Myers, March 3 Today.


No Liberals Here

Tim Russert: "Where have all the liberals gone? It sounds like a Peter, Paul, and Mary song, but I'm watching the activity on the Hill - I can cut $60 [billion], I can cut $90, let's cut, cut, cut, cut in broad parameters. Next year, when those cuts really take hold, in education, in health, in welfare, in those kinds of programs for children, really take hold, will we see some liberal Democratic voices emerging, saying `Hey, wait a minute, we've gone too far'?"
New York Times
Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple: "...[Democrats] think the worst thing they can be is a grid-locker. It's a worse thing to be a gridlocker than it is to starve old people today in American politics."
- Meet the Press, March 14.


Riots Caused By Poverty

"When rioting, looting, and arson erupted last spring, it wasn't just anger over the Rodney King verdict, it was an explosion of rage over years of social and economic neglect, poor schools, violent streets, joblessness, poverty, and no hope. Has anything changed? Quite honestly, very little has."
- CNN reporter Greg Lamotte, March 22 World News.


484 of 577 Seats: No Mandate

Someone Had to Win France Goes to the Right, by Default
- New York Times, April 4

After White: Less Far Right, More Rights & a Real Black

"[Byron White's] leaving will mean that the voting power of the far right will be greatly undercut."
- CBS reporter Rita Braver, March 19 Evening News.

"Replacing White, a conservative, with a liberal voice would give Clinton a chance to loosen the conservative hold on the bench. That could move the court toward a broader interpretation of individual rights and away from a preference for governmental authority."
- Washington Post reporter Joan Biskupic, March 21.

"Don't count out Marian Wright Edelman, because there is talk that President Clinton may want to shock the nation by putting a real black on the Supreme Court."
- Columnist Carl Rowan on Inside Washington, March 20.


Explaining the Oscars

"The Oscar-nominated movies, like their audiences, have forgotten that the jingoistic Gulf War ever happened. Their definition of an ideal man - pacifistic except in self-defense, misty-eyed, in touch with his feminine side - is a central-casting call for the new President, who escaped the Vietnam draft and makes empathy an art. The heavies in these films are reminiscent of George Bush in full bellicose sputter and the lunatics in uniform who ran amok in the Iran-Contra scandal."
- New York Times film critic Frank Rich, March 21 New York Times Magazine.


Passing On Fantasy as Fact

"Magic Johnson is taking his AIDS prevention message to Japan. The former L.A. Lakers star told an AIDS conference in Tokyo that three-quarters of all new AIDS victims are heterosexual."
- CBS This Morning co-host Harry Smith, March 25.


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