Sunday, October 5, 2008

ABC 'This Week' Transcript (10-5-08): McCain's 'Politics of Personal Destruction'

Gov. Edward Rendell, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Mel Martinez Interviewed on ABC’s “This Week.” Read the complete transcript.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... talking about William Ayers is going to -- is what it’s going to take to turn it around? Senator Obama has said he deplored what Ayers did when he said he was 8 years old. And he says they are friendly but they have not been especially close.

MARTINEZ: I think the important part is whether they’re truthful charges or not. Not about what Barack Obama did when he was 8 years old, but what occurred when he was 35 -- 38 years old and was initiating his political campaign. It’s about his judgment and who he associated with during those years and right on into his political campaign.

But the bottom line on Florida is that for having spent $13 million, that race is still within the margin of error in all the polls. And in fact, until a few days ago, McCain was well ahead.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Brown, is this issue going to cut in Ohio?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, you have seen a 26-year Senate veteran morph into an angry, desperate candidate in the last few weeks, especially in the last few days. And it just kind of makes me sad, George, that he is -- that John McCain and Sarah Palin are resorting to these tactics when I have done about -- more than 100 roundtables in Ohio, in most of the 88 counties in the last year-and- a-half.

And people are talking about the privatization of Social Security, people are talking about trade, what trade has done to Ohio, 200,000 loss of manufacturing jobs in the last eight years, people want to go and talk about issues and what we do.

They want to see the difference between the two candidates. And I think that’s why polls in Ohio are showing increased support for Barack Obama , because voters are paying attention to the difference on John McCain wanting to privatize Social Security, wants to continue these job-killing trade agreements, wants to privatize health care the same way that he supported the deregulation of the banking system.

On all of these major issues, there is such a sharp contrast between John McCain , who wants to continue the policies we’ve seen in the last eight years, and Barack Obama , who has very different ideas of a very different direction.

BROWN: On all of these major issues, there is such a sharp contrast between John McCain , who wants to continue the policies we’ve seen in the last eight years, and Barack Obama , who has very different ideas of a very different direction.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Pawlenty, it sure does sound -- when Governor Palin says of Obama, this is not a man who sees America as you do, it sure does sound like she is questioning Senator Obama’s patriotism.

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: George, I think it goes to the issue of judgment. And you know, this individual, Bill Ayers, is an unrepentant domestic terrorist, and as you noted and as other news organizations have noted, he was involved in the bombing of the Pentagon -- or attempted bombing of the Pentagon, the Capitol, and plans for other domestic terrorism.

Now Barack Obama at the time was 8 or 9 years old, or whatever, but that’s not the point, the point is this same individual, Bill Ayers, hosted some sort of political event at his home for Barack Obama when Barack was running for state legislature in Illinois when he was well into his 30s.

So this isn’t about Senator Obama being 8 years old, this is his judgment when he was starting his political career in Illinois in the mid 1990s. And I think when people realize this is about, you know, 10 years ago, 14 years ago, it goes to the issue of what kind of judgment would allow an unrepentant domestic terrorist to host a political event for your in his home, in the terrorist’s home?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Rendell, what’s your response to that?

GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, let me say this, it is, as Senator Brown said, very said. In March when he became the presumptive nominee, Senator McCain said he would run a decent and honorable campaign. He hasn’t and it’s going to get worse.

First they lied about Senator Obama’s position on taxes, and now they’re starting to do the politics of personal destruction. The American people and here in Pennsylvania, we’re not going to buy that.

The issues are too important, the economy, health care, what’s going on abroad, Social Security. The issues are what people are focusing on and that’s why this has gone bad for the McCain campaign.

And no matter what they talk about, Reverend Wright, Mr. Ayers, you name it, it’s not going to wash because when this country is in trouble, people are focusing on who has got the best plans to get us out of it. And that’s Barack Obama.

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Ayers Hypocrisy: Palin, Husband Members of Anti-American Political Party

Sarah Palin is going around saying Barack Obama is "palling around" with former domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers:

"Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country," Palin told a rally of about 10,000 gathered at a tennis stadium in Carson, a suburb of Los Angeles.

There she goes again, questioning Obama's patriotism.
"This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America," Palin said. "We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism."

The problem is that there is no evidence for the charge.
While it is known that Obama and Ayers live in the same Chicago neighborhood, served on a charity board together and had a fleeting political connection, there is no evidence that they ever palled around. And it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts.

What about Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, being a member of an anti-American secessionist group. Turnaround is fair play. Has Ms.Palin dissociated herself from her husband's political views?
Sarah Palin attacked Obama's patriotism today over his association with former Weatherman Bill Ayers -- a move that makes it perfectly legitimate to raise questions about the Palins' associations with a group founded by an Alaska secessionist who once professed his "hatred for the American government" and cursed our "damn flag."

What about Ms.Palin herself: didn't she "associate" herself with this anti-American political movement?
And though Sarah Palin herself was apparently not a member of this group, there's no doubt that she repeatedly courted this secessionist organization over the years. In 1994, Palin attended the group's annual convention, according to witnesses who spoke to ABC News' Jake Tapper. The McCain campaign has confirmed she visited the group's 2000 convention, and she addressed its convention this year, as an incumbent governor whose oath of office includes upholding the Constitution of the United States.

The founder of the AIP was a man named Joe Vogler. Here's what he had to say in a 1991 interview, only a few years before Palin attended its convention: "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government."

He also said this: "And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."

Vogler has also said: "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."

In fact, Ms.Palin might have been a member of the party at one point. Now which is worse? Ayers or AIP? Daily Kos quotes the LA Times:
Video footage shows AIP Vice Chairman Dexter Clark describing Palin at the 2007 North American Secessionist Convention as an "AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town -- that was a nonpartisan job. But you get along to go along. She eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won't go into that." ...Apparently with Palin in mind, Clark then went on to urge AIP members to "infiltrate" the major parties.

Meet The Press Transcript (10-5-08): Noonan Critical of Palin Populism

This week appearing on Meet The Press: Paul Begala, Mike Murphy, Chuck Todd, David Gregory, Gwen Ifill, Peggy Noonan and David Yepsen. Read the complete Transcript.

MS. PEGGY NOONAN: I—I’ll be frank. She convinced the American people that though they had seen her crater in interview after interview in the previous few weeks before that debate, that she was capable of coming forward and simply debating, simply going forth on her own. I think she showed that she is a woman of a great and natural competence about the show business of politics, if you will, the ability to look over the camera, to think that the camera is your friend. All of that stuff. There are questions about other areas.

MR. BROKAW: Well, are you satisfied about those questions, the other areas, because that’s really the critical part of it. The show business part of it can be learned...


MR. BROKAW: ...and demonstrated by a lot of people.

MS. NOONAN: Oh, but some people are naturals. She is a natural. I, I will tell you, I, I feel increased concern about her, I think, what she thinks of populism, as her populist approach. There are two ways—you know, her stuff about “I’m Main Street, you’re not, you’re the elite. I’m not the East Coast, I’m Joe Six-Pack.” She actually says, “I’m the Joe Six-Pack candidate.” This left me thinking, “Gosh, would Lincoln say, ‘I represent the backwoods types?’ Would FDR say, ‘Yeah, the New York aristocracy deserves another moment in the sun. Vote for me.’” It—there’s something weird about it. But there’s also something, for me, concerning populism as a tactic is justified often in politics. “I need this program, the people want it.” Populism as a strategy, “We’re the good guys, you’re the bad guys,” is not good, and, and if that’s the road they’re going, that’s not a good road to be on. It’s not helpful to the country.

Begala warns McCain of going negative: two can play at that game.
MR. BEGALA: Well, no. Obama was—he was asked about this in a debate in a primaries with Hillary Clinton sitting there; George Stephanopoulos of ABC asked him about it. He answered it. He pointed out that the despicable acts this guy committed were committed when, apparently, Barack Obama was eight years old. And, and I think Governor Palin here is making a strategic mistake. This guilt by association path is going to be trouble ultimately for the McCain campaign. You know, you can go back—I’ve written a book about McCain. I had a dozen researchers go through him. I didn’t even put this in the book. But John McCain sat on the board of a very right-wing organization. It was the U.S. Council for World Freedom. It was chaired by a guy named John Singlaub, who wound up involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. It was an ultraconservative right-wing group. The Anti-Defamation League, in 1981, when McCain was on the board, said this about this organization. It was affiliated with the World Anti-Communist League, the parent organization, which ADL said, “has increasingly become a gathering place, a forum, a point of contact for extremists, racists and Anti-Semites.” Now, that’s not John McCain. I don’t think he is that. But, but, you know, the problem is that a lot of people know John McCain’s record better than Governor Palin, and he does not want to play guilt by association or this thing could blow up in his face.

Even the Republican analyst says that it comes down to the economy.
MR. MURPHY: Maybe. But Ayers has kind of gotten off a little easy in Chicago. A lot of people say what a good guy he is. The problem is the one person who hasn’t really condemned William Ayers enough is William Ayers, and I think that’s a real problem. And Obama, while, he’s clearly not the same. He still also has pulled his punches, I think, a little bit about it. And this will be a kerfuffle, it’ll do a little damage to Obama, but fundamentally this campaign’s going to be about the economy.


MR. MURPHY: So Obama will take some damage on this, but then it’s going to pivot back to real life, and that’s where I think McCain has to connect.

Chuck Todd: McCain campaign is "lacking a strategy."
MR. TODD: But, Tom, this goes to something, and I think if you look and go back to the first presidential debate where John McCain was lecturing Obama about the difference between a tactic and a strategy, and when I heard him say that, I thought, “Boy, that is the debate going on inside your own campaign is you’re a series of tactics with no strategy.” This William Ayers stuff, I talked to one Democrat who says, “Why didn’t they do this when they did celebrity?” You know, why weren’t they setting this up for months? And what’s happened is—and we’ve said this before—the McCain campaign chases the news cycle. They are going to look at today and say, “Hey, they mentioned William Ayers on MEET THE PRESS. They talked about William Ayers,” and they’re going to consider that a success. But did they move—is this about a bigger picture that they’ve been painting for three months? And right now it’s not, it’s just a series of tactics, and I think they are lacking a strategy.

SNL's Tina Fey Spoofs Palin, VP Debate: Transcript, Video (10-4-08)

This is the third hysterical installment of Tina Fey's playing of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live(SNL). This time she is poking fun at the VP debate. See the video and read the complete transcript of the show.

TINA FEY AS GOV. SARAH PALIN: "Can I call you, 'Joe?'"


FEY AS PALIN: "OK, 'cause I practiced a couple of zingers where I call you Joe."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Now tonight's discussion will cover a wide range of topics including domestic and foreign policy matters. Each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to a direct question and then an additional two minutes for rebuttal and follow-up. As moderator, I will not ask any follow-up questions beyond 'do you agree?' or 'your response?' so as not to appear biased for Barack Obama in light of my new book (holding up book) 'The Breakthrough: Politics of Race in the Age of Obama,' coming out on inauguration day and available for pre-order on And finally, we would like to remind our audience that due to the historically low expectations for Governor Palin, were she simply to do an adequate job tonight, and at no point cry, faint, run out of the building or vomit you should consider the debate a tie. Alright, let's begin. Senator Biden, how, as Vice President would you work to shrink the gap of polarization that has sprung up in Washington?

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "Well, I would do what I have done my whole career, whether it's been dealing with violence against women or putting 100,000 police officers in the streets. I would reach across the aisle. Like I've done with so many members of the other party. Members like John McCain. Because look, I love John McCain. He is one of my dearest friends. But at the same time, he's also dangerously unbalanced. I mean, let's be frank, John McCain -- and again, this is a man I would take a bullet for -- is bad at his job and mentally unstable. As my mother would say, 'God love him, but he's a raging maniac...' and a dear, dear friend."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Governor Palin. How will your administration deal with the current financial crisis?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Well first of all, let me say how nice it is to meet Joe Biden. And may I say, up close your hair plugs don't look nearly as bad as everyone says. You know, John McCain and I, we're a couple of mavericks. And gosh darnit, we're gonna take that maverick energy right to Washington and we're gonna use it to fix this financial crisis and everything else that's plaguin'
this great country of ours."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "How will you solve the financial crisis by being a maverick?"

FEY AS PALIN: "You know we're gonna take every aspect of the crisis and look at it and then we're gonna ask ourselves, 'what would a maverick do in this situation?' And then, you know, we'll do that." (SHE winks.)

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