CNN anchor Campbell Brown introduced a segment on Thursday’s Election Center program by contrasting the "[p]eople all over the world dancing in the streets" over the election of Barack Obama to the "really, really angry" reaction of conservatives, which she then labeled "right-wing rage." A graphic with the same label flashed on-screen, accompanied by a picture of Obama smiling.
During the segment, which aired just after the bottom-half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, CNN correspondent Joe Johns played an audio clip of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh as an example of such "rage." Limbaugh, who reacting to the appointment of liberal Illinois Representative Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, called Emanuel a "good old-fashioned Chicago thug, just like Obama is a good old-fashioned Chicago thug," and gave an anecdote about how Emanuel used a steak knife to demonstrate his own anger towards Bill Clinton’s enemies after the 1992 election. Johns’ reply after the clip: "So if you were thinking the country is now unified, think again. There are still deep divisions."
The CNN correspondent then continued by stating how "[s]ome conservatives say the message that brought them to victory in Congress in the 90s is still viable. Remember, they rode in on a wave of pushing things like smaller government and less spending. It was a return to an update of classic Grand Old Party themes." He then played a clip from David Keene of the American Conservative Union, who outlined how Republicans strayed from conservative principles over the past six or eight years.
The full transcript of the segment from Thursday’s Election Center:
CAMPBELL BROWN: We all saw the pictures on election night. People all over the world dancing in the streets. But some Americans, particularly conservatives, have very different feelings about President-Elect Obama. Many of them feeling really, really angry right now, and Joe Johns has been listening to what can only be called ‘right-wing rage.’ And Joe, tell us what these conservatives are saying.
JOE JOHNS: Well, Campbell, there is a certain amount of hand-wringing and that is to be expected. There are those who are already comparing this to the early 90s when Bill Clinton won. As everyone remembers, Republicans regrouped, and it wasn’t long before Newt Gingrich and his conservative army swept to victory in the House. And guess who’s also hammering away at the Democrats -- conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, blasting both Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama hours after the polls closed.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: He is [a] good old-fashioned Chicago thug, just like Obama is a good old-fashioned Chicago thug. On the night of the Clinton election, Rahm Emanuel was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign -- Rahm Emanuel grabbed a steak knife and he began rattling off a list of betrayers, and as he listed their names, he shouted, ‘Dead! Dead! Dead!’ And he plunged the steak knife into the table after every name. This is not a bunch of people that are going to [govern from the center] --
JOHNS: So if you were thinking the country is now unified, think again. There are still deep divisions. Some conservatives say the message that brought them to victory in Congress in the 90s is still viable. Remember, they rode in on a wave of pushing things like smaller government and less spending. It was a return to an update of classic Grand Old Party themes.
DAVID KEENE, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: All those lines got blurred during the course of the last six or eight years. Republicans in Congress began to act like the Democrats that they’ve gotten rid off in the 90s. The president began to spend money like he was Lyndon Johnson, and the result was that voters began to get very upset. So, yes, you have to go back to your basics.
JOHNS: That, of course, was David Keene of the American Conservative Union. But make no mistake, this whole thing would be rehashed a thousand times before there’s another election. Campbell?
BROWN: All right. Joe Johns for us tonight. Joe, thanks.