Prior to his pretty horrid interview with Grover Norquist this Sunday, David Gregory decided to do his best Candy Crowley imitation from her interview with the AARP director last week where she was asking him if seniors were going to be willing to put any "skin in the game" when it came to balancing our budget.
Gregory did his part in attacking the AARP by comparing their ad demanding that members of Congress keep their hands off of Social Security and Medicare or they'll face the wrath of their members to Republicans being beholden to lobbyist Norquist and his anti-tax pledge during his interview with Chuck Schumer.
Because naturally any members looking out for protecting our social safety nets and being responsive to a group that represents seniors is the equivalent of Republicans refusing to raise taxes on the rich and shrinking government to the point where it does nothing to protect average citizens as Norquist has been demanding. Both Gregory and Crowley seem to have that false equivalency meme down pat when it comes to who represents some sort of "special interest" in American politics.
Transcript below the fold.
MR. GREGORY: A lot of blame about why the supercommittee failed. You mentioned Grover Norquist , who'll be my guest in just a moment.
SEN. SCHUMER: Yes.
MR. GREGORY: Senator John Kerry said, in effect, he was the 13th member of the committee, that his taxpayer protection pledge is a stranglehold on Republicans and they don't dare defy him. Is it a little easy to blame an anti-tax advocate in the failure of Congress to do what it said it would do?
SEN. SCHUMER: Well, he does have a great deal of clout, and one of the members of the supercommittee, Democrat, said to me that when they started talking about revenues, the Republican members all said, "We'll never pass anything with any revenues in either the House or Senate because of the pledge ." But let me take a step back here, because I think it's important to outline this, the one good consensus we have on both Democratic and Republican sides is that we have to reduce the deficit . We're sort of like a blindfolded man walking towards a cliff and, if we keep walking, we're going to fall off and die. Some may argue the cliff is 50 yards away, some may argue 500, but we all agree if you keep walking, you die. Now, how did we get into this problem ? First, there is the growth of entitlement programs , Medicare and Medicaid . In 20 -- in 2000 we had a surplus. In 2010 , we have a deep deficit . What changed? First, the growth of the entitlement programs , as I mentioned. Second were the tax cuts put into place by President Bush . And those are the two leading reasons . Third, lesser importance, but still important...
MR. GREGORY: Well...
SEN. SCHUMER: ...is the war in Iraq and Afghanistan . You have to deal with both of the first two to get this done.
MR. GREGORY: Well, let me ask you about that because there's -- you say there's orthodoxy , other Democrats say, "There's this orthodoxy on the right, they'll never pass anything that has to do with tax increases ." What about the pressure the Democrats are under from orthodox elements of their own party having to do with entitlements? You talk about Grover Norquist . What about the AARP , which ran ads like this, warning members of Congress not to mess with Social Security and Medicare . Watch.
Unidentified Man #1: So, Washington , before you even think about cutting my Medicare and
Social Security benefits, here's a number you should remember: 50 million. We are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits, and you will be hearing from us today and on Election Day .
MR. GREGORY: So Senator , isn't it true that, in fact, Democrats wanted to make the price so high for tax revenues , so high for actually touching Medicare and Social Security , that there was no way you were going to get a deal?