MSNBC's Brewer: Pres. Bush Should Be Ashamed of EPA Ruling

December 8th, 2008 6:25 PM

Contessa Brewer has suggested that Pres. Bush should be ashamed of his administration's decision to exempt the chemical perchlorate from federal regulation.   Speaking with a Republican guest this afternoon, the MNSBC host analogized the decision to Bill Clinton's scandalous last-minute pardons.

Did Brewer ever read the official EPA explanation of its ruling, or had she only looked at articles like this one, "subtly" featuring a huge photo of a baby drinking from its bottle?

View video here.

Brewer confronted John Feehery, former head of communications for House Speaker Denny Hastert, with her characterization.

CONTESSA BREWER: John, do you think there should be some shame in a president doing something like this? It reminds me of the big scandal that erupted when Clinton was leaving office with all the pardons.  You know, why are you going to do something in your very last few weeks that just makes you look bad?
Feehery didn't have the specifics on perchlorate, but indicated that the administration employed a careful, lengthy regulatory process, and probably had a good reason for its decision.  Feehery's instincts were apparently right.  From the EPA release [emphasis added]:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted extensive review of scientific data related to the health effects of exposure to perchlorate from drinking water and other sources and found that in more than 99 percent of public drinking water systems, perchlorate was not at levels of public health concern. Therefore, based on the Safe Water Drinking Act criteria, the agency determined there is not a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction" through a national drinking water regulation.
Brewer gave no indication she was familiar with that EPA finding, ending the segment instead by taking a parting shot at the Bush legacy.
BREWER: Will this do anything futher to erode his legacy?

FEEHERY: You know, I don't think so. It depends on what you look at as his legacy.  I think a lot of conservatives will think George Bush did a good job.  A lot of liberals that he did a bad job. And there will be a debate among historians about what his legacy is going to be.

BREWER: "A lot"? A lot might be an overstatement given the current poll numbers.