Rick Sanchez And Eric Burns Fact Check Mike Pence

[media id=7483] Rick Sanchez and Media Matters' Eric Burns fact check Mike Pence's recent appearance on Sanchez's show. SANCHEZ: So he was telling t

Rick Sanchez and Media Matters' Eric Burns fact check Mike Pence's recent appearance on Sanchez's show.

SANCHEZ: So he was telling the -- so he's right?

BURNS: Well, on...

SANCHEZ: He did challenge a Republican administration, albeit as a Republican?

BURNS: On just a few things. But I'll tell you the part that you didn't hear is that he voted for Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut that actually destroyed the surplus that we had coming out of the Clinton years. He also voted to make those tax cuts permanent, helping to create the largest deficit in American history. And...

SANCHEZ: So he went along with the gang -- which, by the way, the gang included just about everybody back then, Democrats and Republicans, to be fair. But he did tend to go along with the gang back then, but he wasn't a leader.

BURNS: Well, no, he wasn't a leader back then. But he certainly went along with the gang. And I do know that -- that he joined Jeff Flake in opposing a few earmarks -- in opposing some earmarks from others. But in this recent transportation bill that came through the House, he got two earmarks of his own. So to suggest that he's out there championing the fight against earmarks I don't think is really -- is really accurate or genuine.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know, I was watching -- in fact, just before talking to you, I went on the Web site and I read his speech that he gave at CPAC -- a strong very pro-capitalism speech.

BURNS: Sure.

SANCHEZ: In fact, I'm going to quote him here. He said: "They're writing the obituary on capitalism." I mean that sounds like a guy who's outraged about what's going on in our government now.

Did he ever show signs he was that outraged before...

BURNS: Abso...

SANCHEZ: ...when some of these decisions were being made that, as I said earlier in this newscast, were even bigger earmark totals?

BURNS: No, absolutely not. I mean this is -- this is pandemic of the entire conservative establishment and the Republican Party. I don't know if, you know, if they've got amnesia or if they're schizophrenic now -- possibly both. But I was working in Congress for much of the Bush presidency and under Tom DeLay. And, you know, there was a lot of spending going on. And there was a lot of Enron accounting -- hiding war, you know, wartime expenditures (INAUDIBLE) out of budget.

There was a -- you know, the worst ethics and corruption scandal we saw since Watergate. And so this notion that there's some sort of accountability that's going to be brought to bear by Chairman Pence and other Republicans, I just don't think holds water.

SANCHEZ: Here...

BURNS: And I think it's, also, Rick, worth noting that, as the chairman of the House Conference, you know, Mr. Pence does have some influence in these matters. In this omnibus spending bill that the House just passed, 40 percent of the earmarks were put in by Republicans.

Full Transcript to follow. It's nice to see some of the good people from Media Matters getting some air time.

SANCHEZ: All right, here we go once again. I know we have got a lot of comments coming in from many of you on both the left and the right. And we're going to be sharing those with you in just a little bit.

But here's something we have been trying to get at for awhile now. And I think it's a perfectly legitimate question. Why are Republicans feigning so much outrage now after essentially rubber- stamping so much of the spending that went on during the Bush-Cheney years? It's a legitimate question, whether you're a Republican or Democrat, because it's going on right now and it's in the news.

I want you to listen. I ask this question of almost every Republican I talk to on this show. And I asked it yesterday of Mike Pence when he was on talking to us. Here's the exchange that we had. Let's listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: To quote, Congressman, one of your own, you spent like drunken sailors for eight years in this country.

Why weren't you making these arguments then? Why weren't you holding the throat of these guys who wanted to spend a lot of your money, AKA -- let's see -- I think the names were Bush and Cheney?

PENCE: Well, you know...

SANCHEZ: Did you know them?

PENCE: Yes, Rick, I knew them well. And you don't know me very well if you don't know I fought my president on education spending, I fought my president -- was one of the 25 Republicans that opposed the prescription drug entitlement. I fought the earmarking culture and runaway spending under Republican control. And I'm going to keep fighting it. As Democrats take us further down the road of deficit spending and debts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Eric Burns is joining us now.

He's with Media Matters. His organization does the following.

You know what they do?

They basically check to see if what politicians and people like me say on the air is truthful, it's accurate. When we make mistakes, they call us on it. I've been called.

Let's -- let's be fair to him. He was on our air yesterday. I asked him that question directly. And he said, you know what, you don't know me very well, Mr. Sanchez, because I did challenge President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Is he telling the truth?

ERIC BURNS, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS: Well, thanks, Rick, for having me on.

You know, I'll tell you, it's a little bit of a half truth there. We do know Congressman Pence. And he certainly did vote, you know, against education funding, as he said. You know, he voted against SCHIP funding. And...

SANCHEZ: So he was telling the -- so he's right?

BURNS: Well, on...

SANCHEZ: He did challenge a Republican administration, albeit as a Republican?

BURNS: On just a few things. But I'll tell you the part that you didn't hear is that he voted for Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut that actually destroyed the surplus that we had coming out of the Clinton years. He also voted to make those tax cuts permanent, helping to create the largest deficit in American history. And...

SANCHEZ: So he went along with the gang -- which, by the way, the gang included just about everybody back then, Democrats and Republicans, to be fair. But he did tend to go along with the gang back then, but he wasn't a leader.

BURNS: Well, no, he wasn't a leader back then. But he certainly went along with the gang. And I do know that -- that he joined Jeff Flake in opposing a few earmarks -- in opposing some earmarks from others. But in this recent transportation bill that came through the House, he got two earmarks of his own. So to suggest that he's out there championing the fight against earmarks I don't think is really -- is really accurate or genuine.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know, I was watching -- in fact, just before talking to you, I went on the Web site and I read his speech that he gave at CPAC -- a strong very pro-capitalism speech.

BURNS: Sure.

SANCHEZ: In fact, I'm going to quote him here. He said: "They're writing the obituary on capitalism." I mean that sounds like a guy who's outraged about what's going on in our government now.

Did he ever show signs he was that outraged before...

BURNS: Abso...

SANCHEZ: ...when some of these decisions were being made that, as I said earlier in this newscast, were even bigger earmark totals?

BURNS: No, absolutely not. I mean this is -- this is pandemic of the entire conservative establishment and the Republican Party. I don't know if, you know, if they've got amnesia or if they're schizophrenic now -- possibly both. But I was working in Congress for much of the Bush presidency and under Tom DeLay. And, you know, there was a lot of spending going on. And there was a lot of Enron accounting -- hiding war, you know, wartime expenditures (INAUDIBLE) out of budget.

There was a -- you know, the worst ethics and corruption scandal we saw since Watergate. And so this notion that there's some sort of accountability that's going to be brought to bear by Chairman Pence and other Republicans, I just don't think holds water.

SANCHEZ: Here...

BURNS: And I think it's, also, Rick, worth noting that, as the chairman of the House Conference, you know, Mr. Pence does have some influence in these matters. In this omnibus spending bill that the House just passed, 40 percent of the earmarks were put in by Republicans.

SANCHEZ: Let's go to the Twitter board real quick, just before I let you go.

Here's Jen Grassey (ph). She says, as she watches our newscast: "Pence's shameful expression says it all. He should just sit down and get out of the way. Why pretend to be innocent?"

I'm not sure that's fair.

Let's go to the one at the very top there, Robert. You see it, the one that says (INAUDIBLE) or something like that, whatever: "I want to see the line item veto put in place. I hope this can get some real legs on it."

Is that a good comment?

Is that -- let me ask you, is that something that we should do, the line item veto?

BURNS: A line item veto?

Well, I'll tell you what, I'll leave that to Congress to decide. You know, I thought -- I, personally, before going to Media Matters, fought for ethics reform in Congress. And so I support anything to clean up the process.

But I'll tell you, Rick, I want to congratulate you for being one of the few folks in the media that is actually willing to do these fact check segments, to challenge folks on this stuff. Because this national economic crisis we're facing, it affects every American. It affects every American family.

We just recently did a study at Media Matters showing that, you know, during the stimulus debate, over 700 interviews had on cable television and Sunday talk shows, only 6 percent of the guests were actually economists. And I think Americans have a right to know what's going on.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

BURNS: You know, and the media is their town hall meeting every day. It's how they get their information.

SANCHEZ: Well, if ours -- if there's a town hall meeting, I think ours is, because we don't use a teleprompter and we don't read to you. We're basically just having a consideration as we go with people on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook. And people...

BURNS: And you're doing a great job.

SANCHEZ: And people like yourself.

BURNS: You're doing a good job.

SANCHEZ: Eric Burns, we'll keep trying to do as best we can.

Thanks.

BURNS: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: The truth wins out in the end.

BURNS: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate it.

BURNS: Thank you.

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