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Dick Armey returns to invoke fear of the dreaded Hillary

Reported by Chrish - June 21, 2005

Appearing on The Big Story with John Gibson 6/21/05, former House Majority leader Dick Armey was asked what he thought of the recent Hillary-plus-well-know-Republicans sightings. Surprise, surprise. He doesn't like it.

He said "the only time America was scared of the Clinton administration on a policy ground was on health care. (Comment: I wasn't scared, I was intrigued. Armey seems to be saying that other than healthcare, the only things scary about Clinton were not policy-related, i.e.his errant sexuality and true compassion for poor people.)

He continues "Naturally, Hillary Clinton wants to take the edge off the fear the American people rightly have of her with respect to policy in this area...and for her to get...ideological coverage from Newt Gingrich I think is a dangerous thing in its ultimate policy consequences."

Doug Hattaway, a Democratic Strategist and former Gore spokesperson, said he thought that Republicans are the ones benefitting from the association, as Hillary's approval numbers are high and increasing and he doesn't see the upside for Ms. Clinton.

Gibson moves the interview back to Armey, asking if known "card-carrying conservatives" like Rick Santorum are not perhaps giving the message to their constituents that 'maybe she's not so bad.' (Heavens forbid!)

Armey thinks it creates a backlash among Santorum's base whereas Democrats will give it a wink and a nod recognizing it as strategy and Republicans are likely to see it as philosophical. (Comment: I think he just said Democrats are smarter and savvier.) He went on to say it would therefore benefit Clinton by 'taking the edge off her image as a leftist politician' and hurt Santorum.

Gibson then asked Hattaway if Clinton is playing Gingrich and Santorum and Bill Frist for suckers. Hattaway laughed and then said she is trying to get things done and has always worked on a bi-partisan basis. He commented that polls show that the elites represented by Frist and Santorum are the ones out of touch, and they (Frist and Santorum) are the ones benefitting from the association. He singled out Santorum as facing a tough challenge from Bob Casey, where Santorum has to prove he is not bought completely by the "interest groups that run things in Washington."

Gibson overtalked the last sentence, asking Armey if Doug is right; Armey doesn't think so. He reiterates "The single most frightening public policy moment of my adult lifetime was Hillary Clinton's federal takeover of healthcare, her plan to do that. That was just terrifying to the American people. She wants that forgotten. She wants that moment left behind, and for people to think she's mellowed out on that and that she is quasi-pro-life, and to take all the rough, ah liberal, ah leftist edges off of her image. She gains advantage on that, I don't think it helps Rick Santorum with his base and I don't think it helps Newt Gingrich and I don't think it will help Bill Frist."

Gibson says they're out of time, so, "Doug Hattaway, I'll just tell people you don't agree." Har-har.

Approximate total time per guest: Armey 2m25s, Hattaway 1m15s, so roughly 2:1.

Comment: A pathetically transparent attempt by Armey to demonize a popular sitting Senator and to warn the Republicans to not associate with her. If Republican voters, especially women, get to see Hillary as less than evil she would be a formidable candidate.

And I gotta laugh - quasi-pro-life? Is that like revering strangers' embryoes yet extinguishing Iraqi families in unnecessary unprovoked wars? Don't get me started.

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