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Click here for Couric's Liberal Bias by Topic | Click here for more Profiles in Bias 

Katie Couric’s Years of Liberal Tilt

Since becoming co-host of NBC’s Today in April 1991, Katie Couric has often used her perch to salute her liberal heroes (including Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter) or complain about "right-wing conservatives." In her years on Today, She’s lectured Charlton Heston about the need for gun control, championed the need for campaign finance "reform," and even touted the wonders of France’s nanny state. Here are some of the most outrageous quotes from Katie’s career, many accompanied by audio and video clips. (Updated April 2006)


A Catholic Town? How Awful!

"Some of the values, depending on your perspective... may be deemed wholesome, but in other ways, I think, people will see this community as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance....Do you think the tenets of the community might result in de facto segregation as a result of some of the beliefs that are being espoused by the majority of the residents there?...You can understand how people would hear some of these things and be like, wow, this is really infringing on civil liberties and freedom of speech and right to privacy and all sorts of basic tenets that this country was founded on. Right?"
— March 3, 2006, interviewing Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan and real-estate developer Paul Marinelli, who are building a community based on Catholic values in Ave Maria, Florida.

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We’re Not as Compassionate as Europe
"This country is pretty far behind in providing really superior child care for working parents, right?"
— To Diane Debrovner of Parents magazine, October 4, 2005.

Poor Katie Needs Gas Money
Co-host Matt Lauer:
"Pain at the pump. Gas prices are going sky high. I paid $2.94 a gallon over the weekend to fill up the car."
Co-host Katie Couric: "It’s ridiculous. I had to take out a loan to fill up my minivan. It’s crazy."
— Exchange at the top of NBC’s Today, August 15, 2005. Couric makes about $15,000,000 a year.

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Bill Clinton, Ethics Expert
"President Clinton, as you well know, President Bush has been under fire recently because Karl Rove allegedly released the identity of a CIA agent to reporters. President Bush has said it’s a fireable offense now if a crime was committed, but in your view is the ethical violation enough to warrant dismissal?"
— Questioning Bill Clinton in a taped interview shown July 21, 2005.

"Very Powerful" Insurgents "Control" Iraq Situation
"According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld the insurgency could last another 12 years....I think most Americans say, ‘Oh my goodness!’ And they gasp because that seems like such an extended period of time for these very powerful, very tenacious insurgents to have control of the situation....It must be very frustrating at times to see things unraveling so."
— Questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, June 28, 2005.

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Pitching Softballs to Kofi
"Does John Bolton have your support?...Do you wish it were someone else who had been nominated?...What do you hope your legacy will be?...You literally have the weight of the world on your shoulders."
— Questions to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in an interview shown on Today, June 7, 2005.

"Are you angry that the United States has not been more supportive of the UN?"
— Couric to Annan in an excerpt from the same interview shown on the June 6, 2005 NBC Nightly News.

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First Lady Laura Bush corrects the negative spin NBC's Katie Couric puts on U.S. military.

Katie Couric: "In your view, is the administration holding the people who are doing these things and perhaps they are in the minority as you say, but do you think they're being held sufficiently accountable?"
Laura Bush: "Yes I do. I mean there's investigations going on the people are being held accountable and it's not 'perhaps in the minority.' We know it's very, very few people. A handful of people. We know that overall our troops are serving with distinction."
-- NBC's Today, May 23, 2005

"Disgusted" If Senate Votes on Judges?
"If the ‘nuclear option’ is played out, don’t you think voters are going to be disgusted with all politicians and say come on, get out of the sandbox?"
— Asking Republican Senator Arlen Specter about a move to force a Senate floor vote on President Bush’s judicial nominees, May 13, 2005.

Is the New Pope a Nazi?
"Cardinal Ratzinger’s past includes a brief membership in the Hitler Youth movement, service in the German army in World War II, which was mandatory. But given his past associations do you think that will create a rift between Christians and Jews, and what can he do to fix that?"
— To liberal priest Father Andrew Greeley, April 20, 2005. Greeley, a critic of Cardinal Ratzinger, dismissed her concern.

Our Top Story: Where’s Jimmy?
"As President Bush travels to Rome [for Pope John Paul II’s funeral] this morning along with the First Lady, Condoleezza Rice and former Presidents Bush and Clinton, the question some people are asking is where’s President Carter in all this? Are the Bushes and the Carters the modern day version of the Hatfields and the McCoys?"
— Opening the April 6, 2005 Today.

"Were you surprised, Archbishop Foley, that President Carter was not a part of the delegation given the fact that the Pope visited President Carter at the White House?"
— Questioning a Vatican official, April 7, 2005.


Katie Wishes They’d Give Up
"Is it disappointing for both you and your husband that his detractors and critics continue to pursue him?"
— To Senator Hillary Clinton, November 18, 2004.

Katie’s Idea of Really Tough Questioning
Katie Couric:
"I know you’ll be celebrating your 27th wedding anniversary, and I understand you go through a romantic ritual every year to commemorate that date. Share it with us will you?"
Senator John Edwards: "Wendy’s. We go to Wendy’s for our anniversary."
Couric: "That is so weird, I’m sorry....What do you say, ‘One Frosty, two straws?’"
— July 15, 2004.

"Let me ask you, when your husband was voted Sexiest Politician by People magazine, were you like ‘blech’? Or were you like, ‘Hey! That’s my man!’?"
— Question to Elizabeth Edwards in the same interview.

Celebrating "Very Candid" Clinton
"True confessions. A candid President Clinton talks about his political accomplishments and personal demons."
— NBC’s Katie Couric opening the June 21, 2004 Today.

"Many people have remarked how open and candid you’ve been in the book."
— Couric interviewing Bill Clinton, June 23, 2004.

"Referee" Saddam Saved Lives
"Senator McCain, are you concerned that if the transfer of power does take place on June 30th that a huge vacuum will be created and it will be an invitation to civil war? Because no matter how deplorable Saddam Hussein was considered, he was the ultimate referee who kept the Sunnis and the Shiites apart from killing each other."
— To John McCain, April 5, 2004.

Wowed by Candidate’s Class Warfare
Katie Couric:
"He [Edwards] gave quite a moving speech last night. Let’s take a look and then we’ll talk about it."
Senator John Edwards: "We do still live in two different Americas: Two different health care systems, two different public school systems, two tax systems, two governments, two economies. It doesn’t have to be that way. You and I together, we’re going to build one America that works for everybody. That’s what we’re going to do!"
— To former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers on February 4, 2004, the morning after Edwards won the South Carolina primary.

America’s New "Nazi" Tactics
"Some countries, as you know Secretary Ridge, are furious at this new policy, specifically Brazil which has started to do the same to U.S. visitors to that country. A Brazilian judge said, compared the new security plans to Nazi horrors saying, ‘I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis.’ How do you respond to that?"
— Question to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, January 5, 2004.


She’s Very PC, but Katie Can’t See

Katie Couric:
"Time magazine’s Person of the Year issue hits news stands today and this year it honors the American soldier. Jim Kelly is Time’s Managing Editor and veteran war photographer James Nachtwey was embedded with the Army’s First Armored Division in Baghdad and took the remarkable images in this week’s issue, he was also wounded while on assignment. Gentlemen, welcome, good morning, nice to have you both. I was so, I have to say, just personally, I was so pleased to see this....Tell me why you all decided to honor the American soldier? Wondering why there’s no woman on the cover, too?"
Time’s Jim Kelly, pointing to cover: "This is a woman."
Couric: "Oh, there you go, oh sorry....I couldn’t tell because of her helmet."
— Exchange on NBC’s Today, December 22, 2003.

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"Hardcore Centrist" Al Gore
"In his endorsement Tuesday Al Gore said, ‘We need to remake the Democratic party.’ You’re considered, Governor Dean, more, more left-leaning and Al Gore is considered sort of a hardcore centrist, if you will. The two of you, specifically, what do you think needs to be done to remake the Democratic party?"
— Question to Howard Dean on December 10, 2003, one day after Gore endorsed Dean’s presidential candidacy.

Exploiting Private Lynch
"Do you think that somehow, this, your rescue was, was manipulated by the government in order to, sort of, gin up support for this war?"
— Question to Jessica Lynch, November 12, 2003.

Conservatives Killed Free Speech
"Does [it] bother you at all that one group in America, or many Americans...can basically exert this kind of political pressure and create an environment where, perhaps, free speech is not exercised?"
— Question to former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins, November 6, 2003, discussing CBS’s cancellation of their anti-Reagan mini-series.

Rush Limbaugh, Retrograde Racist
"Derrick Jackson, who’s a columnist for the Boston Globe, Tim, back in July when ESPN hired Rush Limbaugh, he wrote a column about some of the comments that Mr. Limbaugh has made in the past. In the 1970s, according to this column, Limbaugh told an African-American caller ‘take that bone out of your nose and call me back.’ He goes on to say Limbaugh has always had crime and black people on the brain. He once said, ‘have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?’...Given the fact that Rush Limbaugh has made these kind of inflammatory comments in the past, was it appropriate for ESPN to hire him in this capacity?"
— To Tim Russert, October 1, 2003. Couric did not identify Jackson as a left-wing columnist or note that his source was a book published by a far-left group more than 10 years earlier.

I Can Smear Arnold, but GOP Can’t
"He’s admitted smoking marijuana, using steroids during his body-building career. He’s the son of a Nazi Party member. He said he was prejudiced before overcoming those feelings by working with the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles, and the dean of the Center said an investigation of Schwarzenegger’s late father, conducted at the actor’s request, found no evidence of war crimes. Through his publicist he’s denied allegations published in Premiere magazine in March 2001 that he sexually harassed women and committed infidelity. All those things — are they gonna be front and center, Darry, do you think in this campaign?"
— Question to Democratic consultant Darry Sragow, August 7, 2003.

"The New York Daily News says, ‘a Simon strategist said his lagging campaign plans to win by stirring up the base, spotlighting the actor’s raunchy past and liberal social views,’ meaning Arnold Schwarzenegger. How dirty will you get?"
— To GOP candidate Bill Simon, August 11, 2003.

No Skepticism of "Candid" Clinton
"Senator Clinton reveals how she learned the painful truth about her husband and Monica Lewinsky....She’s very candid about a very personal matter."
— Discussing Hillary Clinton’s memoirs, June 4, 2003.

7:15: Katie Shows She’s Clueless
“There’s an article in the Style section of the Washington Post this morning. It says you’ve logged 26 years of personal minutiae, filling 4,400 two-by-three inch notebooks, color-coded by season. An example: ‘12:17' — this is when you made the announcement — ‘Ascend stage, stumble, regain balance; 12:18: Applause, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name,’ plays (U2); 12:19: Clap, wave; 12:20: Adjust tie (red, white stripes); 12:21: Double thumbs up; 12:22: Sing along with National Anthem, right hand on heart.’ What, what do you do this for?!”
— Katie Couric to Senator Bob Graham on Today, May 7, 2003, apparently unaware the article she was quoting from was a spoof of the presidential candidate’s diary.

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Awed by the Greatness of Jimmy
"President Carter’s crowning achievement, of course, the Camp David Accords, designed to forge peace in the Middle East. Unfortunately, that seems like a distant memory, but it’s so nice to see former President Jimmy Carter honored this way....A ceremony is being held to bestow the Nobel Peace Prize on former President Jimmy Carter, that is in Oslo, Norway. It’s a terrific honor for him for all the work he did while he was President and, of course, he is considered by many as one of the finest former Presidents this country has ever seen. Once again, we send our heartfelt congratulations to President Jimmy Carter."
— December 10, 2002.

"Right-Wing Conservatives" vs. Environment
"A lot of people, though, have been highly critical of the Bush administration on the environment. They say that you came to the EPA with incredibly strong environmentalist credentials. And yet, you know, every proposal that you’ve tried to put forward has gotten a kibosh by right-wing conservatives within the administration....The bottom line is do you, Christie Whitman, feel comfortable with the Bush administration’s environmental policies?"
— To EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, December 2, 2002.

Cheering Nancy Pelosi
Ann Curry:
"Today House Democrats are poised to pick Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader. The California Democrat would be the first woman ever elected a party leader in Congress. It is now 7:07 a.m. You are now up to date from the news desk. Let’s now turn back to Matt, Katie, and Al."
Katie Couric: "Is it okay to say, ‘You go girl!’?"
Curry: "I think it’s okay. It’s gonna happen in either case."
— November 14, 2002.

Fawning Over Jimmy the Great
"I mean, it’s so wonderful...and so well-deserved."
— October 11, 2002, reacting to news that Jimmy Carter had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Real Bias: Our Conservative Viewers
Matt Lauer:
"You will get a lot of e-mails that’ll say, ‘You were too light on that conservative.’ You’ll go and file down your e-mails, you’ll find people who say, ‘You were too hard on that conservative.’ It’s all in your point of view. It’s much less, I think, our point of view than it is the point of view of the person watching the interview."
Katie Couric: "That’s true. I think really that it is sort of a Rorsach test....I think that people really see...what they want to see from their particular frame of mind, or the prism from which they’re watching the program, or the interview. And I think actually, that’s an excellent point, Matt."
— NBC’s Today co-hosts during a joint appearance on MSNBC’s Donahue, September 18, 2002.

Bush "Knew" About 9/11 Plot
"Good morning. What did he know and when did he know it? The Bush administration admits the President was warned in an intelligence briefing last summer of the possibility that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network might hijack American planes, raising more questions about whether the attacks on America could have been prevented."
— Introducing Today on May 16, 2002.

Embarrassed by American Patriotism
"Obviously, the opening ceremony, the games themselves will be very patriotic in feel. And yet sometimes the international community can interpret that as arrogant nationalism. Obviously, you’ve gotta balance those two things. Are you all, clearly you’re mindful of that. How are you, how are you going to do that?"
— Questioning Salt Lake Olympic Committee Creative Director Scott Givens, February 8, 2002.

Advocates First, Journalists Second
"What does this [Enron] portend for, for campaign finance reform? Could this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back that makes people say, ‘Enough is enough! This has got to happen! We don’t care what those folks on Capitol Hill say?’"
— To MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, January 25, 2002.


The Wonderful Mr. Jeffords

"Jim Jeffords is the personification of one man, one vote, and his story a classic of American politics. What Jim Jeffords did simply was turn Washington on its ear. In the months following President Bush’s inauguration in January, the 67-year-old Jeffords found himself increasingly at odds with the GOP on Capitol Hill and the White House over issues ranging from education, to the environment, to the size of the tax cut, all of which forced him to examine his core beliefs....Jeffords knew and agonized that a political switch at this time in his career would affect not only him, but Republican colleagues, and his staff and family....But flying to Vermont in May, Jeffords knew he’d made the right decision....Today, Jeffords is a man at peace with himself, enjoying work on his Vermont farm, splitting logs, saving a few pennies with some inventive repair work on a wheelbarrow."
— Introducing a December 17, 2001 interview with Jeffords.

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Less Ronald Reagan, More Harry Potter
"I can’t think of anyone more qualified to write another book about Ronald Reagan. The question is, do we need another book about Ronald Reagan?"
— First question to former Washington Post reporter and Reagan biographer Lou Cannon on the November 26, 2001.

Another Spending Opportunity
"You know the U.S. is the only industrialized nation, I didn’t know this until today, that doesn’t spend federal money promoting tourism. Do you think it should?"
— Question to Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, October 1, 2001. Glendening, a liberal Democrat, said no.

You’ve Got to Admire the Socialist French
Keith Miller:
"Break out the band, bring on the drinks. The French are calling it a miracle. A government-mandated 35-hour work week is changing the French way of life. Two years ago, in an effort to create more jobs, the government imposed a shorter work week on large companies, forcing them to hire more workers....Sixty percent of those on the job say their lives have improved. These American women, all working in France, have time for lunch and a life."
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox: "More Americans should be more aware that an economy as successful as the French one managed to be successful without giving up everything else in life."

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Katie Couric, following the end of Miller’s taped piece: "So great that young mother being able to come home at three every day and spend that time with her child. Isn’t that nice? The French, they’ve got it right, don’t they?"
— August 1, 2001.

Hillary, Both Feminine and a Hard Worker
"Giving Senator Clinton her due, though we talk about her feminine wiles, she has also won a great deal of respect by working very, very hard, and by not pulling any kind of prima donna act. Her Secret Service detail is very much in the background. She goes to all sorts of meetings that some people, in the past, have not attended. For example, I know she goes to a meeting over at the House of Representatives with all the folks from New York, which, I guess, Moynihan never attended, right?"
— Observation to Gail Sheehy, discussing a gushing profile of Hillary Clinton that Sheehy wrote for the August issue of Vanity Fair, July 16, 2001.

Happy Mother’s Day to a Liberal Activist
"With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, we wanted to salute the hard work, integrity and love moms show us every day, so this morning we invited three women who have made their own special contribution to motherhood and, as I said earlier, to all of mankind, in fact. Donna Dees-Thomases founded the Million Mom March...Donna, you organized the Million Mom March, and it really was such a grassroots movement of stroller moms, right? Tell me how it came about."
— Introduction and question to anti-gun activist Donna Dees-Thomases, May 11, 2001.

Defending Bill Clinton
"With the exception of the pardon of Marc Rich and some other moves that probably were somewhat questionable, would you concede this morning that it’s gotten to the point where there is a bit of piling on going on here? I mean, it seems to me that he has done some things that other Presidents have done in the past. I mean, you look at other presidential libraries, they are filled with things that those Presidents got during their, their years at the White House. And yet somehow it’s become a high crime for Bill Clinton to take some of these things with him to put in his presidential library."
— To Chris Matthews and Mike Barnicle, February 20, 2001.


Republicans Loved Reagan’s Lies
"All this week you all have made much of Al Gore’s exaggerations, but the same things were often said about Ronald Reagan who would pass off as true stories things he had seen in the movies. You know, Republicans brushed that off as part of Ronald Reagan’s charms or charm, but now you cite it as a major character flaw when it comes to Al Gore. Why was it charming then and not presidential now?"
— To Bush campaign Communications Director Karen Hughes, October 11, 2000.

Colin Powell, Do You Know You’re Just a Token?
"Only four percent of the delegates in the convention hall are African-Americans. Do you feel troubled at all by this, and do you feel used by your party?"
— To Colin Powell, August 1, 2000, during the week of the Republican convention.

Dick Cheney Held Keys to Mandela’s Jail Cell?
"I’m just curious, do you have any problems with the fact that he [Dick Cheney] did vote against Head Start — because you care so deeply about education — and against a resolution that would have allowed Nelson Mandela to be released from prison?"
— To Colin Powell, August 1, 2000, during the week of the Republican convention.

Frightened by Hillary’s Power
"Why do you think Hillary Clinton elicits such powerful emotions? Why is she such a polarizing figure?"
"But don’t you think there’s an awful lot of projection that goes on in terms of how people view her, placing their own confused states or their role in society or how powerful should women be and it’s sort of projected upon her as an individual?"
— First two questions to Laura Ingraham, author of The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places, June 7, 2000.

Real Dictatorship in Miami
"Some suggested over the weekend that it’s wrong to expect Elian Gonzalez to live in a place that tolerates no dissent or freedom of political expression. They were talking about Miami. All eyes on south Florida and its image this morning. Another writer this weekend called it ‘an out of control banana republic within America.’ What effect is the Elian Gonzalez story having on perception of Miami? We will talk with a well-known columnist for the Miami Herald about that."
— April 3, 2000.

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Repent, Anita Hill Critic
"You know you, you angered a lot of feminists when you accused Anita Hill. In fact, you detailed how she changed her testimony during questioning, during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. And you accused of her publicly, quote, ‘Flat out perjury.’ Any regrets?"
— To Sen. Arlen Specter, March 6, 2000. Couric did not ask if he regretted not voting guilty during Bill Clinton’s Senate trial.


Ronald Reagan, "Airhead"
"Good morning. The Gipper was an airhead! That’s one of the conclusions of a new biography of Ronald Reagan that’s drawing a tremendous amount of interest and fire today, Monday, September the 27th, 1999."
— Opening the show, September 27, 1999, before an interview with Reagan biographer Edmund Morris, who actually wrote that President Reagan was "an apparent airhead." He told Couric, "He was a very bright man."

"Golden Years" of Camelot
"With the death of JFK Jr., there is now only one survivor of Camelot. That, of course, is Caroline Kennedy, the little girl who walked her father to the Oval Office and rode a pony on the White House lawn. And now grown up with a family of her own, Caroline remains our only link to those golden years."
— July 19, 1999.

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Prescription Entitlement a "No Brainer:"
"It sounds like a no-brainer. Seniors spend billions of dollars on prescription drugs every year, often putting them in terrible financial situations. So what’s wrong with this plan?"
"And while I appreciate your concern about medical research, certainly I feel passionately about that as well, it’s important for people who are sick now and who are experiencing problems to be able to get affordable drugs, isn’t it?"
— To pharmaceutical industry spokesman Alan Holmer about creating a Medicare prescription entitlement, June 29, 1999.

Blaming Right Wing for Murder
"Let’s talk a little bit more about the right wing because I know that’s something you feel very strongly about. But this is actually not necessarily about the right wing, but perhaps a climate that some say has been established by religious zealots or Christian conservatives. There have been two recent incidents in the news, I think, that upset most people in this country, that is the dragging death of James Byrd Junior and the beating death of Matthew Shepard. I just would like you to reflect on whether you feel people in this country are increasingly intolerant, mean-spirited, et cetera, and what, if anything, can be done about that because a lot of people get very discouraged when they hear and see this kind of brutality taking place."
— To former Texas Governor Ann Richards as she hosted a 92nd Street Y appearance in New York City on March 3 shown by C-SPAN on April 3, 1999.

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Start Your Day With a Left-Wing Smear
"Then the fallout from the death of Matthew Shepard. The tragic beating of the college student in Wyoming has some activists in this country saying there is a climate of anti-gay hate that’s been fostered by a provocative advertising campaign by the political right in this country. We’re going to get into that debate after news and weather."
— October 13, 1998 show.

All Ills Lead to Reagan
"Quickly, we’re almost out of time, but it seems to me that money is an issue, that [mental health] funding was cut 25 percent during the Reagan administration. It’s gone down ever since. Don’t we need to funnel more money into helping these people? The fact that half of the homeless population may be untreated mentally ill is a real tragedy, don’t you think?"
— To two psychologists during discussion about U.S. Congress shooting suspect, Russell Weston, Jr., July 29, 1998.

One More Gun Restriction, That’s The Ticket!
Katie Couric:
"Getting back to kids and guns, if you will indulge me for a moment. You cannot think of any other position the NRA could take in terms of trying to decrease the number of school shootings? You feel like this is not your bailiwick, this is not your problem?"
Charlton Heston: "Not at all. As I told you the NRA spends more money, more time..."
Couric, cutting him off: "Other than education."
Heston: "Well what would you suppose? What would you suggest?"
Couric: "I don’t know, perhaps greater restrictions."
— Exchange on June 8, 1998.


Please First Lady, Give Us More Rules
"As you know, Mrs. Clinton, regulations for at-home day care vary so much from state to state in terms of the ratio of children to day care provider, do you think there should be some kind of overall federal regulations?"
— To Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 23, 1997.

Clamoring for More Government Controls on Free Speech
"In fact, Senator Specter, as Senator Torricelli mentioned, two votes have left campaign finance reform legislation pretty much DOA. Do you think that prompts the American people to wonder about the sincerity of Congress to really enact change and suspect that perhaps this is an intentional effort to embarrass the Democratic Party?"
"But it’s so ridiculous, you know people watching this just think that reform is necessary. They can’t understand why you guys can’t get your acts together!"
— October 8, 1997.

Bill Clinton Not Liberal Enough
"Seventy-four percent of the respondents in a recent poll think young Americans without education or job prospects is the greatest threat facing the country. If that’s the case, if that many people think this is such a serious problem, shouldn’t government be increasing its role rather than decreasing it? Many people think that your signing the welfare bill only exacerbated the situation of poor kids at risk."
— To President Clinton, April 28, 1997.

Those Crazy "Contract with America" Zealots
"But in fairness, what is wrong with Newt Gingrich reaching out to some other groups, extending himself? I mean, can’t you catch more flies with honey? Isn’t there something about that? And perhaps the rigidity of some of the conservative Republicans and their almost religious adherence to the Contract with America, didn’t that ultimately backfire on them?"
— To Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), April 2, 1997.


Republicans: "Too Harsh, Too Draconian"

"I know that was a major goal of the Dole campaign [in the debate], to make sure people saw this compassionate side of Bob Dole. Do you think that he is in some ways paying the price for a Republican Congress that enacted, or tried to enact measures, in the views of many, were simply too harsh or too draconian?"
— To Elizabeth Dole, October 8, 1996.

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No Room for Pro-Abortion Feminists?
"You know a lot has been made of the Republican Party being a very inclusive party, one that can embrace the views of various people. Given the way the platform has worked out vis-a-vis abortion, and the fact that some of these Republican governors are not speaking because they felt as if they were being censored, do you still believe you can call the Republican Party an inclusive party?"
— One of seven abortion questions to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, August 12, 1996.

Blaming Marilyn Quayle for ‘92 Defeat?
Tim Russert:
"Bob Dole has to avoid giving in to Pat Buchanan in terms of public perception."
Katie Couric: "Right, because didn’t that, Gwen, nail the Republicans in ‘92 because so many moderate Republicans were turned off by the likes of Pat Buchanan and Marilyn Quayle. Don’t they have a danger of doing the same thing this go ‘round?"
— Exchange on March 6, 1996.


Don't You Just Hate Biased Media Outlets?

"Some people are very concerned about talk shows, radio talk shows in general, of course. Most of them around the country have a decidedly conservative bent. The rap that some people give them is that they reflect the views of a very vocal minority, the extremists in this country, and don’t really reflect the true nature of political debate in the United States. And, as a matter of fact, they tend to be quite divisive and sort of have a bad, a negative impact on the country."
— To Oliver North, March 13, 1995.

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Smearing Reagan with Made-Up Ketchup Tale
"The school lunch program, by all accounts, has been incredibly successful, as has the WIC program, and obviously provides good nutrition for children, which is so crucial for development and education. Since the states won’t have to adhere to any federal guidelines and they can basically do their own thing, aren’t you worried that we’re going to go back to the days when Ronald Reagan suggested that ketchup and relish be designated as vegetables?"
— To Rep. Duke Cunningham, February 22, 1995. (Reagan never suggested that).


Bill Clinton: A Bigger Success than Most Realize

"Why do you think that he doesn’t get credit for the good news that’s going on? And if Reagan was the Teflon President, it seems like Bill Clinton is the Velcro President. Every bad piece of news just sticks to him."
— To new Democratic National Committee adviser Tony Coelho, August 18, 1994.

Reagan’s Legacy: Greed and Materialism
"When you talk about leaving a deposit, many people say that the Reagan-Bush administration, people on the other side of the political spectrum, did leave a negative deposit, or really, the opposite of a deposit. The federal budget quadrupled under that administration. They might say that greed and materialism was the norm then, and that social ills were largely ignored, and therefore only worsened as a result of that neglect."
— To William F. Buckley Jr., September 20, 1993.

Saluting the "Courage" of a Tax-Raising Liberal
"Just last night on television I saw your opponent for Governor complaining about your record, saying how you had raised taxes, how it had cost 300,000 jobs. Are you afraid your politically courageous moves are, in fact, going to cost you the election?"
— To New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, May 24, 1993.

Ruing "Rigid" Pro-Life Stance
"What about the abortion issue? Do you think the party should remain as rigid vis-a-vis abortion to be successful in 1996?"
— To Pat Buchanan, February 1, 1993.

"So you don’t think the right wing should be so narrow-minded or rigid when it comes to abortion?"
— To RNC chairman Haley Barbour, February 1, 1993.


That Icky Republican Convention
"I think some moderate Republicans were put off by the tone at the convention. The Republicans relinquished too much time to what some term the radical religious right. Did you feel comfortable with the convention?"
— Interviewing President George H. W. Bush, October 30, 1992.

"Some have said they find the tone of this convention, some Republicans, a bit troubling. Abortion rights have been totally ignored in the platform; gay rights not acknowledged in the platform. Recently, Rich Bond said ‘We are America, these other people in America are not America.’ The ‘other people,’ presumably, are Democrats. Do you think the Republican Party has grown, or become too exclusionary, too intolerant, and that this kind of rhetoric is divisive and counterproductive?"
— To Dan Quayle, August 19, 1992.

Another One of Katie’s Heroes
"You talked, Anita, about some of the very supportive letters you’ve gotten, and some of the letters that have touched you. Have you received any hate mail?...They find you offensive, most of all, because you are a black woman?...Twenty years from now, fifty years from now, when people look back at these hearings, how do you want them to think of you?"
— Interviewing Anita Hill, October 7, 1992.

Good Grief
"Do you think the American people are not ready for someone who is as accomplished and career-oriented as Hillary Clinton?"
— To Hillary Clinton, August 24, 1992.

Republicans and the Race Card
"Many are afraid the L.A. riots are going to be the Willie Horton of this campaign. Are you afraid they’re going to have a very divisive effect? Does that concern you or are you playing that up?"
— To Pat Buchanan, May 6, 1992.

Castro, Charismatic Success Story
"Considered one of the most charismatic leaders of the 20th century....[Fidel] Castro traveled the country cultivating his image and his revolution delivered. Campaigns stamped out illiteracy and even today, Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world."
— February 13, 1992.


Carve Carter into Mt. Rushmore
"And finally President Carter, you are now considered one of the world’s foremost statesmen. You’ve been called the best ex-President this country has ever had. Your reputation has been bolstered tremendously since you left office. How does that make you feel?"
— November 13, 1991.

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