Another week, another slew of Sharron Angle nuttery to report.
A few days ago, it was reported that Angle wanted to "transition" our of Social Security, which Senator Harry Reid pounded her for.
Angle then went straight to Fox "news" to explain her position with friendly interviewer -- to put it mildly -- Steve Doocy.
Via Media Matters: Doocy falsely suggests it's "misinformation" that Angle wants to "get rid of Social Security"
During an interview with Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle (NV), Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy suggested that it is "misinformation" and "not true" that Angle wants to "get rid of Social Security." In fact, Angle's campaign website advocates "transition[ing] out" Social Security.
Angle's campaign website advocates "[f]ree market alternatives" as Social Security "is transitioned out." Angle's campaign website explains her position on Social Security (emphasis added):
Social Security and its attendant Medicare are broken and bankrupt systems because we, as voting citizens, have allowed congress to transform these systems from insurance programs to and entitlement programs. The government must continue to keep its contract with seniors, who entered into the system on good faith and now are depending on that contract. (Pat Boone, a champion for seniors and the spokesman for 60's Plus, has endorsed Sharron Angle's candidacy.)
Free market alternatives, which offer retirement choices to employees and employers, must be developed and offered to those still in their wage earning years, as the Social Security system is transitioned out. Young workers must be encouraged to investigate personal retirement account options.
Don't believe for one second that Angles extremist views on Social Security are being misinterpreted. They aren't: Angle: 'Getting Out Of Medicare And Social Security Is Not Up For Grabs'
But with all this attention on Angle's desire to abolish Social Security, she's now out Using Bush’s 2005 Messaging Tactic, Angle Says She Wants To ‘Personalize’ Not ‘Privatize’ Social Security
Anyway, back to the Fox/Doocy interview.... Jon Ralston, the so-called 'Dean’ Of Nevada Press Corps wasn't amused:
The Fox and Friends interview — where host Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that Angle is a political newcomer who received Sarah Palin’s endorsement — is being derided by the “dean of the press corps in Nevada,” Jon Ralston, as a “softball interview.” On his Ralston’s Flash blog, the host of Face to Face wrote that Angle was “not challenged on anything” and the Fox hosts “seem not to know who she is or who endorsed her.”
Politico’s Ben Smith printed a note from an “appalled” Ralston that further ripped the interview and Angle’s performance in it:
U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle said that during an astonishing interview on “Fox and Friends” this morning in which the hosts claimed she is a political newcomer (not so) and was endorsed by Sarah Palin (not so).
That’s quite the different spin from Angle after her past comments about privatization –and her onetime view that Social Security is “hard to justify.” (Of course, Reid is going to have to justify his policies on Social Security, but Angle clearly has been told to massage (no, not the Scientology massages) her position for popular consumption.)
Follow-up? Don’t be silly….
Local Fox 5 in Las Vegas also jumped on the Fox flight attendants for Mangling Angle's 'FOX & Friends' Debut:
LAS VEGAS -- Harry Reid may not need to spend millions of dollars to marginalize his opponent in the U.S. Senate race.
He can just let “FOX & Friends” handle it.
Republican nominee Sharron Angle appeared on the cable news program Monday morning in an interview rife with inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research on the part of the producers and hosts.
Let’s get one thing straight, Brian Kilmeade: it’s not pronounced “Nev-ah-da.”
You’d think that’s something he would have picked up, being the host of a national news show. Brian, here’s a link to a Facebook group that can help you overcome your speech impediment.
Kilmeade’s error won’t hurt Angle, but the rest of the interview might. It must have stung when Gretchen Carlson opened by asking the four-term assemblywoman and former minority whip about the “whirlwind experience” she’s having as “someone who really has not been in politics before.”
What the what?
Reid’s team will feast on the interview, especially Doocy’s final question, one of the few that asked Angle about her platform.
Also see: Las Vegas' Fox affiliate rips Fox & Friends' Angle interview for "inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research"WaPo's Dave Weigel has this to say about the interview (via Think Progress):Fox5 (KVVU), Las Vegas' Fox affiliate, today strongly criticized Fox & Friends for doing an interview with Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle that was "rife with inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research on the part of the producers and hosts." Nevada journalist Jon Ralston also criticized Fox & Friends' interview of Angle.Also see: Fox & Friends’ softball treatment of Angle is just business as usual
But that treatment was not unusual at all: Fox & Friends regularly provides a friendly, non-challenging forum to Republican candidates. Here are some recent examples:
- Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade performed a similar whitewashing job on Florida congressional candidate Allan West, stating that West's "personal enhanced interrogation tactic" got him "essentially a forced retirement" from the Army. Kilmeade didn’t mention that West's resignation came after he admitted that he "threatened to kill" an Iraqi detainee in his custody, after which West, according to military prosecutors, fired a pistol near the detainee’s head, and four soldiers in West’s battalion beat the detainee. West was also curiously not identified as a Republican.
- Steve Doocy, Fox & Friends’ chief softball-tosser to Angle, asked Kris Kobach, a candidate for Kansas secretary of state, to respond to “misconceptions” about Arizona’s immigration law. At least two of the “misconceptions” Doocy asked Kobach about exactly tracked “major criticisms” of the law Kobach sought to “rebut” in a New York Times op-ed a few days earlier.
- Kilmeade plugged New York congressional candidate Gary Berntsen by claiming: “He knows how to get things done.”
- Kilmeade introduced Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio as "soon to be senator, according to some."
- When New York Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi appeared on the show, Kilmeade sympathized with him about how “it’s going to be hard” to run as “a Republican in New York,” and he and co-host Gretchen Carlson asked questions about the career of DioGuardi’s arguably more famous daughter, American Idol contestant Kara DioGuardi.
"It really sounds like the Fox hosts were more interested in shoehorning Angle into last week's narrative -- Sarah Palin's 'mama grizzlies,' tea partyers challenging the establishment -- then figuring out who she actually was."TPM reported it this way: Sharron Angle Sticks To Conservative Media, Gives Everyone Else The Silent Treatment
Crooks & Liars broke it down nicely in, "Sharron Angle sez Harry Reid 'waterboarded' our economy, fibs about Social Security, de-regulate Big Oil & repeal 16th Amendment".
Looks like newly chosen GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle (R-NV) has learned a lesson from other candidates whose introduction to the national press was less-than-friendly. She won the nomination Tuesday, and this morning made Fox and Friends her first national television appearance. She'll follow that up with an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity.
Angle's Fox experience this morning wasn't exactly combative, and allowed Angle to bash rival Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by saying he's operating with a "radical playbook." The other national press she's done? Laura Ingraham's radio show on Thursday, Heidi Harris, Lars Larson (who had endorsed her candidacy), Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh. You get the idea.
Right before the insurgent Angle captured the nomination over a crowded Republican field in a come-from-behind victory, Nevada press were noticing she was ignoring them, too. Several local articles noted she was avoiding interviews.
[...] Bill Clinton has noticed the silent treatment. Consider this comment Clinton made at a rally for Reid last week, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:The former president made fun of Angle, saying she has disappeared from the public and had been ducking tough questions since she won the GOP nomination in Tuesday's primary.read more...
Recalling the children's books and games "Where's Waldo?" Clinton joked, "Now you've got to play 'Where's Sharron?' because she's hiding out, according to the local news. I might hide out, too, if I said I wanted to get rid of Social Security and Medicare."
Let's see how the local press is reporting on the GOP's newest far right loon (via the DNC): Meet Sharron Angle... In The Extreme
Check out this video via ProgressNowNevada, who calls out Angle on a lies about Social Security now that she;'s on the public stage: True Politician: Sharron Angle Lies
Then there's the Dept. of Veteran Affairs.
Via Greg Sargent: Sharron Angle suggested we should privatize Dept of Veterans Affairs
In a recent interview Angle suggested we should privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The key exchange comes halfway through this interview Angle gave to an NPR affiliate in Nevada on May 19th. In it, Angle discusses the plight of her father as follows:
ANGLE: He's 87 years old and has Parkinson's and we have to pay more and more for his healthcare. I know he pays over 800 dollars a month in prescription drugs that we can't get through his VA nor through Medicare -- they just wont cover those things. And I know lots of seniors --
BECKER: Should they cover those things?
ANGLE: No, not if you're working towards a privatized system. And he can pay for them. That's my whole point. Even with the system we've got, it's broken, its not covering for every cost that he has. And if he were dependent upon that, he wouldn't be getting the healthcare he needs and that's why we need to fix the system.
Let's review her party affiliations over the past few decades, shall we?
Did you know that Sharron Angles was not always a Republican? That she was once part of a Far-Right Third Party For Electoral Expedience? No?
What about the fact that before her entry into extremist parties, Angle dumped GOP for Democrats during Reagan years in Washington (according the the AP)?
For at least six years in the 1990s before she held state-level elective office, Angle was a member of the little-known Independent American Party, a right-wing party that combines elements of Ron Paul's doctrinaire libertarianism -- pro-gun, anti-tax, anti-bureaucracy, pro-states' rights -- with Christian social conservatism and fear of the "North American Union" and other forms of "global government." The small party attracted considerable controversy in 1994 when it took out a newspaper ad titled "Consequences of Sodomy: Ruin of a Nation," which suggested HIV could spread through the water.
Three members of the Independent American Party tell TPM that Angle, a Nye County, Nevada, school board member at the time, was an active member of the party in the 1990s. They say she only left the Independent American Party and became a Republican out of political expediency when she decided to seek a seat in the state assembly, to which she was elected in 1998.
"It was because she wanted to run for office. And it was difficult for members of our party to get elected at that time," Janine Hansen, executive director of the Independent American Party, tells TPM. "It was a strategic move on her part."
Government records show U.S. Senate nominee Sharron Angle left the Republican Party at the height of the Reagan revolution and became a Democrat for at least several years.Sharron Angles introduction to the Republican Party isn't going smoothly either:
Documents on file in Humboldt County, Nev., show Angle was a registered Republican until June 1984, when she changed her party registration.
She remained a Democrat at least until March 1988, when she moved to another county.
Campaign spokesman Jerry Stacy says Angle switched parties to work for a conservative Democrat who was running for state Senate.
He says Angle voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984.
Angle has given no hint of her Democratic past on the campaign trail. She invoked President Ronald Reagan's name on the night she captured the GOP nomination to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Cornyn: Angle Won't Be Ready to Face The Press For 'A Few Weeks'Dems also Mocked serial adulterer John Ensign for Introducing Angle To Republican Party
You may have to wait until it's really hot outside before Sharron Angle takes questions from the media about her controversial record. Tonight, several hours after she zigzagged her way through the Senate to avoid questions from the press, a handful of reporters asked NRSC Chairman John Cornyn to explain.
His response: We probably won't be hearing anything from her for weeks.
Cornyn echoed several of his previous statements suggesting Angle isn't quite prepared to face the media, and will be fairly sequestered, at least until she has a full staff of campaign veterans running the show for her.
"You're going to have complete 100 percent access to her, but I think it just makes sense, at some point that I think she needs to get staffed up and prepared," Cornyn said. "I don't think anybody would be prepared for a race like this where 20 or 30 million dollars is going to be spent in negative advertising."read more....
CONSERVATIVE Republicans are having a hard time backing her wholeheartedly. It seem they know all to well what it would really mean:
Sharron Angle plans to lunch on Tuesday with the group of Republican senators whom she hopes to join next year. To mark the occasion, the Nevada Democratic Party has crafted a brief introduction for her home-state colleague John Ensign to deliver.
"In order to avoid another debacle like the usually-safe Fox & Friends interview, and because we suspect Sen. Ensign and his staff are very busy responding to 'other' types of requests, Nevada State Democratic Party has taken the liberty of preparing Sen. Ensign's talking points for his introduction of Sharron Angle," offers the party.
The "other types of requests" is a reference to an ongoing Justice Department probe, as well as a Senate ethics committee investigation, looking into Ensign's role in covering up an affair with a former employee, whose husband also worked for him.
Sharron Angle may quickly find that some of her more controversial views won’t fly in the Senate GOP Conference if she becomes Nevada’s next senator – even with some of the most conservative Republicans in the upper chamber.
Several Senate Republicans told POLITICO that they don’t favor privatizing Social Security, as Angle has supported. Small government conservatives said it doesn’t make sense to eliminate the Energy and Education departments – as she’s called for in the past. And some recoiled at the thought of pulling the United States out of the United Nations, a position Angle has touted.
Even if she wins in November, several senators interviewed by POLITICO admitted that some of her views won’t get very far – even within a fairly conservative Senate Republican Conference.
“I don’t think that [privatizing Social Security] is going to be part of a Republican platform – and I’m not sure how she’s going to develop her policy positions with regard to entitlement programs at this point,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), No. 4 in the GOP Conference, said in an interview. “She’s going to have to come out and define what it is she’s for, what she’s against – including probably some of her statements that she’s made in the past and … how she’s applying them in the current economy.”
Asked if he supported privatizing Social Security, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the third-ranking senator in the GOP Conference, said, “I favor the idea of making Social Security solvent – that would be my goal. That would be my overriding objective.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a conservative who sits on the Finance Committee, said that privatization can work “pretty well,” but said that not having the government involved is “a little different.”