Newsbusters reported earlier on the double standard of MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer on reporters appearing at fundraisers. During the same news hour, Brewer simply couldn't understand the Republican position on extending the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, and jokingly wondered if the Republicans are even human.
"What I don't get is a lot of the people who are shouting about letting these tax cuts expire...are the same people who are shouting about the deficit, and how troubling it is that the national debt is skyrocketing," Brewer pouted. "And you can't have it both ways."
Russert then pretty much confirmed where the news anchor stands on the issue, noting that it's "an argument that a lot of Democrats are saying." He then pointed out that Democrats have wanted to extend the middle class tax cuts which would add to the deficit, although not as much as the tax cuts that include higher income bracket earners that Republicans are pushing.
Russert concluded that "it all depends on who gets the message out better in November." Brewer didn't find that very comforting, as she lamented that it's "sad" that "it's all on the success of the message, instead of about the facts."
"That's politics," Russert reminded Brewer.
Brewer then completely changed the topic to a message that was sent from House Minority Leader John Boehner to his GOP colleagues telling them to curtail the late-night partying with female lobbyists. Brewer even joked that those Republicans are not fully human.
"They're all human, right?" Russert said of the GOP congressmen. "I don't know, are they?" Brewer responded. Awkward silence ensued, before Brewer covered for herself. "It was a joke. Bad joke."
Russert discussed the 2006 GOP scandals and said that House Republicans are listening to Boehner, who is adamant about no stupidity from his colleagues before the elections. "There's all sorts of things that they do not want to touch, shall we say, going forward into November," Russert reported about the House Republicans.
"They're moving the dates on the calendar to 'Oh, how about if I meet you at the end of November instead?'"Brewer snidely remarked about the aforementioned congressmen.
Of course, Russert never touched upon any of the Democrat sex scandals from 2006-onward – how quickly they forgot Eric Massa – and he did not say whether or not the House Democrats are going through the same headaches as they try to avoid scandals distracting from the Democratic campaign message.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on July 26 at 12:35 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
CONTESSA BREWER: And what I don't quite get is a lot of the people who are shouting about letting these tax cuts expire, they don't want it to happen, are the same people who are shouting about the deficit, and how troubling it is that the national debt is skyrocketing. And you can't have it both ways.
LUKE RUSSERT: That's an argument that a lot of Democrats are saying is, "Well how could Republicans be concerned with the deficit when this will add hundreds of billions of dollars to it?"
But keep in mind, Contessa, Democrats want to extend a lot of these middle class tax cuts. Those are also going to extend the deficit if they go through. So even if you just cut taxes on the folks under $250,000, it's going to extend the deficit. So either way, it will be that the Republicans would extend it more, saying it's vital and necessary to bring this money back into the economy. Democrats say "Stop at $250,000 and under." That being said, it all depends on who gets the message out better in November, in which people actually believe more, honestly.
CONTESSA BREWER: That's sad, you know, like that it's all on the success of the message, instead of about the facts.
LUKE RUSSERT: That's politics.
CONTESSA BREWER: Hey let me ask you, on a totally unrelated topic, but given that you are our congressional correspondent – we did this story last week about how John Boehner was going to some of his Republican congressmen and telling them, "Hey, lay off the late-night partying with female lobbyists." Is there any indication that his words of warning have had an impact?
LUKE RUSSERT: Well one Republican I spoke to today said that Boehner has been absolutely, very, very much iterating a strong message of "Don't do anything stupid in the run-up to the midterms." Remember, back in '06, Republicans had a whole plethora of ethical problems regarding improper relationships -- that Mark Foley had with a page.
There's all sorts of things that they do not want to touch, shall we say, going forward into November. They do not want – they believe that their message, running against the Obama administration's referendum – that's what they really want to do, a referendum on the Obama administration. They believe that message can play very well with the electorate, they believe that they're gaining traction, they win on a lot of generic ballots. They do not want that to be overshadowed because of affairs, and because they're looked at as Washington insiders, slimy politicians if you will.
So Boehner has been very adamant about not getting in trouble, especially a few weeks before the election. Every Republican I have spoken to says they've understood the message quite clearly, and don't expect those stories to come out again. But–
CONTESSA BREWER: They're moving the dates on the calendar to "Oh, how about if I meet you at the end of November instead?" Luke, thanks.
LUKE RUSSERT: Well Contessa, at the end of the day, they're all human, right?
CONTESSA BREWER: Are they? (Pause) They are, I'm kidding. It was a joke. Bad joke.