Liz Cheney And Howard Dean Spar Over Campaign Contributions And Chamber Of Commerce Funding

CBS apparently thinks that Liz Cheney doesn't get enough face time on Fox News since they invited her on as a panel member on this week's Face the Nation. Cheney pushed the right wing talking point that President Obama is not already a "centrist"
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CBS apparently thinks that Liz Cheney doesn't get enough face time on Fox News since they invited her on as a panel member on this week's Face the Nation. Cheney pushed the right wing talking point that President Obama is not already a "centrist" and had better move to the middle and start working with Republicans. The "Tea Party" of course is not on the fringe. They're just good old red blooded, patriotic, every day Americans.

And of course Cheney thinks it's "shameful" that anyone would dare to want the US Chamber of Commerce to have their "first amendment rights" taken away from them by being forced to disclose their donors. The horror! Howard Dean hit back with noting what a terrible decision the Citizens United ruling was with allowing large corporations to buy our elections.

Schieffer basically allowed Liz Cheney to take over his show. At least Dean was there to hit back at her nonsense and to point out that Cheney's employer, Fox News is doing their best to help buy a few elections as well.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And, good morning again. And welcome to all of our guests. Let’s see here. Howard Dean is in Burlington, Vermont. Liz Cheney and Bill Galston are here in the studio with me. And Lindsey Graham is at Clemson South Carolina.

Well, I pretty much stated the conventional wisdom in the opening there. The thinking here in Washington seems to be whether or not they actually get a majority in either House. Republicans are going to pick up a lot of seats in-- in the next Congress. I don’t think there’s anybody who would argue otherwise. But here’s the question. Whether they take the majority or not, what is ahead? Are the two sides going to find a way to work together, or will they be just deeper and-- and harder gridlock? Let me start with you, Governor Dean. What-- what do you think is ahead.

HOWARD DEAN: Well, I think we’ve got-- first of all, let me thank Senator Graham for his willingness to work together. But look what happened to him when he got home. The-- the far right of his own party pilloried him. And that-- I think-- that’s a big problem, not just on the right but all the districts are drawn in more and more partisan ways so you have very partisan big majorities. Your challenge as a Republican is likely to come from the right as we’ve seen this sess-- this election season. And your challenge for-- as a Democrat is likely to come from the left. So the-- the part of the problem is not just the rhetoric. It’s the fact that we-- we’re so polarized in what we’ve done to each other as parties over the last thirty years in redistricting that it’s very, very hard to overcome your own constituencies and move to the middle.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Liz Cheney, you’ve been known to take a hard line, as it were. What do you think is coming?

LIZ CHENEY: You know, I think it will depend a lot on what President Obama does frankly. I think that once he doesn’t have control any longer of both Houses of Congress, if he wants to get things done, I think he’s going to have to move more to the center, which certainly will help the situation. I also suspect, because he’s a-- he is a very good politician that he will get the message. He’s got to listen to the American people. And I don’t think that, you know Governor Dean’s point about, you know this about is about polarizations because of redistricting is accurate. I believe that in fact, what we’ve seen is a president who has taken much more radical positions than the people voted for in 2008. And so, I think that if the White House hears the-- the people speak and if the President himself moves to the center, there may in fact, be a chance to get more done. [...]

BOB SCHIEFFER: Howard Dean, let me ask you, Bill Galston just brought up the Tea Party. What do you make of the Tea Party? I think I saw somewhere, where you said the other day that Republicans have-- have created a monster.

HOWARD DEAN: I didn’t say that. Somebody did say that. I don’t think it is a monster. I think-- they are going to have trouble with it. And I-- let me just say, I would disagree with Senator Graham and-- and Liz on the notion that Obama’s not in the middle. His health care plan was essentially the same as Mitt Romney’s. Mitt Romney is never been accused of being a liberal.

So the fact of the matter is, I think-- and I truly believe this, I’m not trying to be partisan. But I think I will be. I-- I think the-- the Republicans are too far right for the country. And I think they are-- they are-- they believe-- are two very conservative people both of whom are talking about running for president or believed to be running-- going to run for president. I shared a stage or a forum with them in the last couple of days. Both of them said this is not kind-- the time for compromises. It’s not the time for working together. The status quo helps liberals. We’re going to change the country. And I-- that’s why I’m less skeptical-- more skeptical about the possibility that we’re going to be able to work together after this.

I think there-- you know, the Republicans think they’re on a mission. And I think mission is well outside the mainstream. The Tea Party people I see differently. There is a racist fringe and all that stuff which the news media hypes up. I think most of them are anxious to-- anxious about the control that’s going on in Washington. And it was-- in some ways there’s some similarities other than the ideology of the peop-- then with the people who supported me for president in 2004.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, who--

HOWARD DEAN: The real desire to have power come back to the-- to the people. That’s what I think people share in common in this country.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Who are the two people that you shared the stage with--

HOWARD DEAN: Ah, Sarah--

BOB SCHIEFFER: --just so we know--

HOWARD DEAN: Well, Sarah Palin was one of them who gave a fairly uncompromising speech and the other was Rick Santorum.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Liz, do you want to respond to that?

LIZ CHENEY: Yeah. You know--

BOB SCHIEFFER: Liz Cheney.

LIZ CHENEY: I mean, I think that this notion that the tea parties is too far right is really wishful thinking or that the Republican Party is somehow on the fringe or the extreme of the American Electorate. Again, I think it’s wishful thinking. I think that-- you know all you have to do is look at somebody like Marco Rubio who won the Republican primary in Florida. And when he did, a lot of the pundits said, well, that’s great. He won the primary, but he’s clearly won be able to win the general election. And, he now has double-digit lead over Charlie Crist in that election. Crist was supposed to be the moderate Republican, who was going to come in and demonstrate that he could capture this supposed mass number of people who are in the center--just not the case.

What the Tea Party stands for is a set of conservative principles which are for limited government, low taxes--really individual rights. And, you know, those aren’t fringe. I would say those are fundamental American values. So, you know, I understand why Governor Dean may be wanting to try to portray this as fringe, But I-- I’d say, you know, continue to do that because I think that fringe is going to, in fact, demonstrate to you that they have enough support to have a very big win come election day this November.

HOWARD DEAN: Yeah. But, see I would argue that-- that the-- your own example of Florida shows that the Tea Party are nowhere close to the majority. Rubio’s-- if he does win is going to get about forty-four percent of the vote. And-- and Meek and Crist together will get fif-- fifty-six. So that’s-- it proves my point.

LIZ CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it proves your point. I think Marco Rubio is a clear conservative candidate. Somebody who stands unashamedly and the same way that you, you know, talk about Governor Palin, for these sets of conservative principles. And he’s going to win that Senate race. Now if you want to portray that as a loss, go ahead. But that’s not going to give your party--

HOWARD DEAN: I just wanted to say--

LIZ CHENEY: --the majority in the Senate come November.

HOWARD DEAN: --portray that he doesn’t represent the majority of Floridians.

LIZ CHENEY: Hm. [...]

BOB SCHIEFFER: Liz Cheney, money in politics. This one is more expensive than the one we had the last time and it was more expensive than the one before. But now, the big question is all of this money that’s coming in that you don’t know where it’s coming from. David Axelrod was on this broadcast last week and was very critical. He said we ought to know where these-- these funds are coming from. And Republicans say, well, people have a right to give money
anonymously.

LIZ CHENEY: Well, people give money anonymously to both parties. Frankly, I think that it would be a better system if we had no limits on contributions but a requirement for mandatory transparency and mandatory, we know, within twenty-four hours you’ve to disclose who your donors are. But those aren’t the rules right now. That’s not the law.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): But I take if you would like the--

LIZ CHENEY: And David Axelrod did more--

BOB SCHIEFFER: --you would like to see the rules changed.

LIZ CHENEY: Well, yeah. I mean I was an opponent of McCain-Feingold. I’m-- I’m not-- not thrilled with the system that we’ve got now. However, what David Axelrod said to you was stunning. When you told him what’s his evidence that there’s foreign money going to the Chamber of Commerce. He said, well, what’s your evidence that there isn’t. And-- and I think it is really an important thing for people to realize that the President of the United States at this point, when he goes out and he makes this charge which is completely baseless, what he’s really doing, he’s attempting to limit people exercise their First Amendment. I believe he’s attempting to chill political speech. He’s hoping that by making this allegation of ill-- excuse me, illegality that people will stop continue contributing. And I think--

HOWARD DEAN: Well, wait a minute.

LIZ CHENEY: --that’s shameful and I think it’s wrong and there’s no evidence that this has gone on. So the Democrats ought to get themselves focused--

HOWARD DEAN: There is-- there is--

LIZ CHENEY: --on the substance of these issues--

HOWARD DEAN: --plenty of evidence that the-- foreign money--

LIZ CHENEY: --and not on this kind of speeches.

HOWARD DEAN: --is going to the Chamber of Commerce.

LIZ CHENEY: There is no evidence that foreign money is going into our political campaign, which is exactly the charge that’s been made.

HOWARD DEAN: Yeah, well-- because nobody knows if it is or not. Look, I-- I think--

LIZ CHENEY: There-- Governor Dean--

HOWARD DEAN: --you can’t argue.

LIZ CHENEY: --that, you know, you and I can make any charge that we want.

HOWARD DEAN: --you cannot argue. The-- the Republican argument--

LIZ CHENEY: And then assert that there’s got to be evidence against it.

HOWARD DEAN: --that then people can anonymously give money in political campaign is outrageous.

LIZ CHENEY: That’s not how it works.

HOWARD DEAN: This is really undermining and harming our democracy.

LIZ CHENEY: There is--

HOWARD DEAN: One of the worst the Supreme Court decisions ever was John Roberts’-- this notion that you can-- corporations are people. That’s not-- it’s not in the Constitution. Whatever happened to strict constructionism? Nowhere in the Constitution says a corporation is a person- -nowhere. This-- this-- this is one of the worst cycles I have ever seen because of the amount of money in an off-year election. It’s appalling.

LIZ CHENEY: Well, it’s a worse cycle from your perspective I’m sure Governor Dean because of the massive amounts of-- of money, because the Republicans are able to mobilize more money than the Democrats. George Soros--

HOWARD DEAN: From people like Coke brothers and Rupert Murdoch.

LIZ CHENEY: George Soros--

HOWARD DEAN: We don’t want the right wing buying elections.

LIZ CHENEY: You just want the left wing--

HOWARD DEAN: And that’s what’s going on here.

LIZ CHENEY: You just want the left wing buying elections?

HOWARD DEAN: We don’t want anybody buying elections.

LIZ CHENEY: I mean George Soros started all of this with MoveOn.org--

HOWARD DEAN: I know McCain-Feingold, they weren’t able buy elections.

LIZ CHENEY: --which was a big backer of yours, Governor Dean. So I think that, you know--

HOWARD DEAN: Who was a big backer of mine?

LIZ CHENEY: George Soros, MoveOn.org.

HOWARD DEAN: No he wasn’t. No he wasn’t a big--

LIZ CHENEY: Governor Dean, I think that the notion--

HOWARD DEAN: --neither-- neither was MoveOn.org, as a matter of fact, just to set the record straight.

LIZ CHENEY: Yeah. Well, the notion, Governor Dean, that somehow people don’t have the right to express their political views under our Constitution--

HOWARD DEAN: They do in public, not in anonymously.

LIZ CHENEY: --by contributing-- by--

HOWARD DEAN: And cooperations don’t have that right.

LIZ CHENEY: --the Constitution doesn’t say that. The Constitution says you’ve got the right to Freedom Speech. So then--

HOWARD DEAN: The Chamber of Commerce has become an arm of-- finance arm of the Republican Party.

LIZ CHENEY: Do you have evidence?

HOWARD DEAN: It’s ridiculous.

LIZ CHENEY: Governor Dean, do you have evidence that any foreign money from the Chamber of Commerce is going into the American election right now.

HOWARD DEAN: That is not the issue. The issue is we have a right to--

LIZ CHENEY: Well, that’s what David Axelrod--

HOWARD DEAN: -- we have a right to know if foreign money is going into the--

LIZ CHENEY: --and the President of the United States thinks that’s the issue.

HOWARD DEAN: And we have a right to know if foreign money is going--

LIZ CHENEY: That’s not the charge the President has made.

HOWARD DEAN: We don’t know and we ought to know. And we have a right to know what the Coke Brothers are doing. We do know how much money Rupert Murdoch of Fox gave-- two-- two and quarter million dollars between the Chamber and the RGA. This is-- this is a sick thing. And, you know, the Tea Party people don’t like this either. That’s one of the things about the Tea Party people. They think corporations have too much influence in American life and they do. And this is going to have a real fix of campaign finance reform. Citizens United was an outrage.

LIZ CHENEY: Gov-- Governor--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Twenty seconds.

LIZ CHENEY: Governor Dean, look. If-- if the President of the United States is going to stand up and make a charge, you can try to throw spaghetti here and see what sticks and hits. The President said there is foreign money from the Chamber of Commerce going into this election cycle through Republican Candidates. That’s not true. It’s not fair and it’s an abomination and a shame that he’s attempting to chill First Amendment rights--

HOWARD DEAN: What is he--

LIZ CHENEY: --that the action of people in United States.

HOWARD DEAN: What he has said is there’s foreign money going into the Chambers of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce is proudly stood-- stood up for giving millions and millions of dollars to the right wing--

LIZ CHENEY: That’s not what he said.

HOWARD DEAN: --of the Republican Party.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.

LIZ CHENEY: Now you can try to clean up what he said.

HOWARD DEAN: That is in fact-- what’s happening.

BOB SCHIEFFER: The bell--

LIZ CHENEY: Governor, you can try to clean up what he said.

BOB SCHIEFFER: The bell has rung.

LIZ CHENEY: But that’s not what he said.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We got to go.

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