Posted by: Scott | Sunday, February 19, 2006

Quoteworthy regarding the accident

After catching part of “Meet the Depressed” and FOX News Sunday I couldn’t help but have a desire to post some memorable quotes. Some are from the guests and commentators on the shows, others are from the past week.

  • To get an idea of how Mr. Cheney has been getting through what he described as a very long week, we turn now to one of his closest friends in politics, former Senator Alan Simpson, who joins us from Cody, Wyoming. (Chris Wallace, host FOX News Sunday)
  • The image of him falling is something I’ll never be able to get out of my mind. I fired, and there’s Harry falling. And it was, I’d have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment. (Vice President Dick Cheney on Special Report w/ Brit Hume)
  • Let me tell you, the American people know that when you have an accident on your ranch, and you’re the host, and a guy gets bucked off a horse and has a concussion, or there’s a hunting accident, your first impression is not to pick up the phone and call your dearest, you know, A.P. or Reuters or Bloomberg. That is not the first thing in your head.
  • First thing is take care of the guy, go to the hospital, call his relatives, sit down, say who wants to do this. As I understand it, Dick said, you know, to her it’s your call. And the sadness, the tragedy, was that she called the Corpus Christi Caller-Times instead of The New York Times. This has just got them all worked up… (Sen. Alan Simpson, R-WY)
  • Let me tell you, those who don’t like him have put a big red tail on his bum, and cloven hooves, and horns on his head. And let me tell you, if anybody thinks — if this had happened to anybody else in America, it would have been like a sparrow belch in a typhoon. (Sen. Alan Simpson, R-WY)

  • It strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is, especially for covering a major story in south Texas. (VP Dick Cheney)
  • I think he has a high regard for the press, but he has a dismissiveness to stupidity. (Sen. Alan Simpson, R-WY)
  • Let me tell you, the American people are really waiting with sense of glee when something really, really happens in America, and I suppose they’ll just have a catatonic stroke and pitch forward on their faces. (Sen. Alan Simpson, R-WY)
  • If you go back to Katharine Armstrong’s original description, given in context to locals who understand the frequency of hunting accidents, unfortunately, the culture of Texas, through the eyes of a person who actually saw, who has an expertise, there was no fault described. She laid out the facts: what Mr. Whittington had done, what the vice president had done, and included, clearly, the vice president’s immediate reaction which was profuse apologies. (Mary Matalin)
  • …which is always the case on the Armstrong ranch, you don’t drink and hunt, and you don’t hunt with drinkers. …But let me ask you a more logical question—you think the Secret Service would let the vice president out, tanked up, with a loaded gun, or let him be around anybody who’s drunk with a loaded gun? It just defies common sense that the press would even go there. And that’s why these adversarial question-and- answer periods set up the presumption that Cheney would be drunk, or having to deny that Cheney was drunk, as opposed to presuming what we all know, that he doesn’t drink, he wouldn’t hunt and drink, the Secret Service wouldn’t let anybody around him who is drinking and hunting. …that’s why we take our time, try to slow down, try to get as many facts out as possible before we engage in what ended up, as was the case this weekend, happens way too frequently inside this bubble, inside this parallel universe of a feeding frenzy in the briefing room. (Mary Matalin)
  • …What purpose would have been served by the vice president then waking up the president to say, “Feel my pain”? He knew he was fully informed, and he knew he was informed from personal friends, not just from the medics and the Secret Service. I just am hard-pressed to understand what is—what are we trying to—what itch are we trying to scratch? (Mary Matalin)
  • Sorry, there was a human response before there was a political response. (Mary Matalin)
  • In the interest of restraining the imperial presidency, we have put together the following cover-up time line with the crucial questions that deserve to be answered: Five thirty p.m., Saturday. Who is Harry Whittington and whom does he lobby for? Does he know Scooter Libby? Seven p.m., who else did Mr. Rove talk to about this in the interim? Was Valerie Plame ever mentioned? Eleven a.m., Sunday. Has Ms. Armstrong ever worked for Halliburton? One thirty p.m., everyone involved confirms more or less everything, or so the official line goes. Their agreement is very suspicious. As for the Beltway press corps, it has once again earned the esteem in which it is held by the American public. (Paul Gigot)
  • I think scandal standards are declining in Washington if this becomes another big, huge scandal which this is supposed to be a metaphor for for governing, a bunker of secrecy which is, I think, what some of the Democrats in the Senate were saying. This is a metaphor for the way this administration operates. I just don’t think that’s true. And so I think mockery was appropriate. (Paul Gigot)
  • …first of all, you know, the vice president of the United States accidentally shot a man for the first time since Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton. Much different circumstance, admittedly. (David Greggory) My comment: How was Aaron Burr’s shot accidental? Did he count to 9 instead of 10?
  • The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing. (Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY)
  • …that was a politically stupid thing to do, beside the delicious and just absurd hypocrisy of the forthcomingness of an administration. (Mary Matalin)
  • …And one thing we know about the press corps is if you put out evolving sets of facts while you’re collecting information, those bad facts are worse than no facts whatsoever. So I’m agreeing that we should all get from—at least not def-con one, so we move back to def-con five in these things? And could we not characterize this as he’s blowing off the hallmarks of a democratic in—all the hallmarks of a democratic institution? (Mary Matalin)
  • The White House press corps is crazy and pompous, and a lot of them are personally obnoxious as well. Instead of asking about Iran going nuclear, Hamas setting up a government in Palestine, 42 of the 60 questions to Scott McClellan were the White House press corps whining that they didn’t get a phone call late Saturday night. (Bill Kristol)
  • If you want to continue to spend time on that, that’s fine. We’re moving on to the priorities of the American people. That’s where our focus is. (White House Press Secretary Scott McClelan)
  • My family and I are deeply sorry for everything Vice President Cheney and his family have had to deal with….We all assume certain risks in what we do, in what activities we pursue. Accidents do and will happen. (Harry Whittington)

To David Gregory’s credit, he did apologize for “loosing it” (on and off camera) with the White House Press Secretary:

  • I think I made a mistake. I think it was inappropriate for me to lose my cool with the press secretary representing the president. I don’t think it was professional of me. I was frustrated, I said what I said, but I think that you should never speak that way, as my wife reminded me, number one. And number two, I think it created a diversion from some of the serious questions in the story, so I regret that. I was wrong, and I apologize.
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