Katty Kay: I Haven't Heard A Sensible Republican Idea On The Economic Crisis Apart From Reducing Taxes Over The Last Four Months
Ouch. What can I say except the truth hurts. Of course there was just enough time for David Gregory to get a shot in at Democrats right before being saved by the bell and ending the conversation. Heaven forbid the panel is allowed to spend too much time talking about how Republicans are devoid of ideas. The difference David Gregory is who Democrats want to cut taxes for and it is not their only idea. I think the American public figured out over the last eight years, not just the last four months that most of the ideas the Republicans do have about how to run the country are bad ones.
MR. GREGORY: I want to talk some Republican politics here in our remaining moments. Michael Steele, head of the RNC, he got in more hot water this week. Gave an interview with GQ and talked about abortion, and his is how the conversation went. He was asked, "Are you saying you think women have the right to choose an abortion?" Steele says, "Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice." "You do?" Steele, "Yeah. Absolutely."
David Frum, does that represent the Republican Party?
MR. FRUM: It should represent a view within the Republican Party. It should be permissible to say such a thing. Look, we need--I, I speak as a Republican. We need Michael Steele. He is exciting, he is warm, he has a marvelous TV presence. It--that's, that's the face that our party should be presenting to the country, and we need to support him. And the very fact that he is opening up the debate, talking with the constituencies that need to, need to be reached, these are valuable and fresh things. And I, I am just sick about the kind of level of, of attack he has taken, because we need him.
MR. SMILEY: I'm glad--I'm, I'm glad, David, that Michael Steele is there. I could never imagine 10 years ago that we'd have two parties, both headed by black men. But it's important to understand two things, very quickly. Number one, it's about the policy, not the personality. You can't put a colored face out and think that black people and brown people and women are coming just because you got a colored face out front. Number one, it's about the policy. And number two, all this infighting I think still underscores this party doesn't know who they are, where they're going or how they're going to get there.
MR. FRUM: Well, but both of those are positive things. He's not a black face, he's just a different face. We need different kinds of people. And it isn't that you think you put a black face on the party and you'll get black voters. You put a different face on the party and you'll get different voters.
MR. SMILEY: But the policy, but the policies have to change, too. That's my point.
MS. KAY: But...
MR. FRUM: And--but the first step to making the policies change is saying it's possible, there's room. And his kind of knocking down the walls is saying we can have a wider discussion in the Republican Party than we've allowed ourselves.
MS. KAY: Isn't...
MR. GREGORY: Katty:
MS. KAY: Isn't it even a bigger problem, the question of leadership within the Republican Party, is that I haven't heard a sensible Republican idea on this economic crisis, apart from reducing taxes, over the last four months.
MR. FRUM: The payroll tax holiday is a great idea.
MS. KAY: You--they have to come up with...
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MS. KAY: They have to start coming up with ideas that the American public is interested in. You've got some younger Republicans saying, "We need to get back to talking about health care, we need to get back to talking about education, the kinds of things that the American public are talking about, and not just talking about cutting taxes."
MR. LIESMAN: That's the parody of the Republican Party that goes around in economic circles. "Well, you have cancer, cut taxes." You know, that's the, the, the solution of the Republican Party to everything.
MR. GREGORY: But the payroll tax idea, Republican idea was also shared by some Democrats, as well.
MS. KAY: Right.
MR. LIESMAN: It's a big danger, though, David, which is that if you watch the savings rate go up, the fear is that people will get this money from the government and they will save it instead of spend it, which is the argument for government spending at this moment.
MR. GREGORY: All right, lot, lots more to talk about. Unfortunately, we're out of time.