From John King's State of the Union, James Carville cites the tobacco industry using Betsy McCaughey to plant a story at The New Republic as an exampl
September 28, 2009

From John King's State of the Union, James Carville cites the tobacco industry using Betsy McCaughey to plant a story at The New Republic as an example of the "vast right wing conspiracy" that President Obama is facing. Of course Mary Matalin pretends she has no idea who Betsy McCaughey is.

KING: All right. Let's stay for a moment on the -- because I said we would mention it after the break, and Mary brought up that term that we came to know during the Clinton years -- the Clinton presidential years, the vast right-wing conspiracy. It was on his mind.

Let's listen.


GREGORY: Your wife famously talked about the "vast right-wing conspiracy" targeting you.

GREGORY: As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?

CLINTON: Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically, but it's as virulent as it was.


CARVILLE: Again, this week, there was breathtaking proof that there was a vast right-wing conspiracy. It was revealed in Rolling Stone that Philip Morris paid -- paid a woman named Betsy McCaughey to plant a piece in The New Republic, all right?

This was -- this is not -- in other words, this was a tobacco company paying for a piece printed in a so-called respectable magazine.

Now, I don't know that, in The New Republic in 2006, that, oh, gee, the whole thing was, kind of, a mistake after they went through all of that. I don't know if The New Republic has called the president to apologize, but I suspect, as we go through, we're going see more and more instances of this.

And every Clinton person, when the president told us the stuff with Taylor Branch, it felt good. And you know what really made us feel good, is Bill Clinton's doing a whole lot better than The New Republic is. They're sitting there at the CGI, and everybody went "Yes." That was a great moment to be a Clinton person.

MATALIN: I don't even know what he's talking about, but I'll say...

CARVILLE: Philip Morris paid for a piece in The New Republic.

MATALIN: Well, as if you don't have psycho, crazy, vile, finger- biting-off, blogging nuts, OK? There's -- there's all kind of extremists, which exclude Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and everybody you want to demonize, that this debate, right now, on health care, the stimulus, the outrageous, unsustainable raising of the deficit and the structural debt in perpetuity, this is being opposed by and stopped by Democrats who are representing conservative districts, independents. It's the independents that are moving away from this president. They're moving back to the Republicans. There's every amount of tangible data from our raising more money than the Democratic Party, right now, recruiting more candidates.

It could not be -- I don't know magazines or Betsy or this or that or whatever you're talking about... but there is no conspiracy, other than that people want to have a government that works. They still have some work for this president. He's the one...


CARVILLE: We've seen (inaudible) go from the vast right-wing conspiracy to the vast right-wing talking points.

MATALIN: I don't get the talking points like you do. Check, check, check.

KING: I thought he wrote the talking points.

MATALIN: He can't write. He can only talk.

KING: Ouch. Ouch, ouch.

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