How would you like to be Gov. Jennifer Granholm and get stuck debating Dick Armey after the way he treated Rachel Maddow after their appearance together on Meet the Press and Joan Walsh on Hardball? I sure as hell don't envy her. For a little reminder of why no woman should ever want to appear on the air with the aptly named Dick Armey, he told Joan Walsh on Hardball "I'm so glad that you could never be my wife because I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day." Then after Rachel Maddow dared to challenge him for calling Medicare "tyranny" on Meet the Press, he insulted her at one of his phony astroturf teabagger rallies held by Americans for Prosperity and called her "some woman named Rachel Maddox" who "has a Ph.D. in something that doesn't matter." What a guy.
Granholm did a pretty good job of beating back teabagger Dick Armey's ridiculous arguments on Social Security and Medicare when Armey and David Gregory would let her get a word in. Armey's pretty good at filibustering for someone who came out of the House and not the Senate. You can't shut him up and he interrupts the other guests at every opportunity, which seems to be standard operating procedure for most Republicans when they go on television.
Americans do not want to see their benefits cut so the rich can keep their Bush tax cuts and to pay back the deficit after the treasury's been looted paying for these wars and tax cuts for the rich.
MR. GREGORY: Talking about your folks, you're talking about tea partiers around the country and the movement that you've written about. One of the arguments that Democrats make about some of the candidates who are supported by the tea party is that they're, frankly, too extreme for the--even the mainstream of the Republican Party. And I want to go through some of the top races and have you respond to that.
REP. ARMEY: Yeah.
MR. GREGORY: Colorado U.S. Senate race, Ken Buck, Republican nominee. He wants to eliminate the Energy and Education Departments, says separation of church and state is too strictly enforced. To Kentucky, Rand Paul, tea party candidate in the Senate race, critical, of course, of the minimum wage law, civil rights law, supports cutting back on unemployment insurance, calls Medicare socialized medicine. Nevada, Sharron Angle, for the Senate again, talks about no adoption for same sex couples, the U.S. should pull out of the U.N., privatize Medicare and Social Security. And finally, in Utah in the Senate race, you've got Mike Lee. He wants to repeal the progressive income tax, supports changing the 14th Amendment of birthright citizenship. If this is the tea party's impact on national politics, there's certainly a lot of Democrats who say too extreme for the mainstream of the political country.
REP. ARMEY: Well, first, first of all, each one of these candidates won a Republican primary as a Republican candidate with a variety of different stresses on different issues. I am not going to take the Democrat Party's characterization of a Republican Party candidate's position on any issue as the gospel truth. I don't know if you've noticed, but politicians say insincere things; and, frankly, I don't quite listen to the Democrats on the candidates. But the voters paid attention to the candidates and made their choice. Now, the Democrats are--they have a guy down in, in South Carolina who wins the primary and, and is then convicted of a felony. They ought to concern themselves with, "What is the quality of our candidates, and can we meet the challenge of trying to race against these candidates?" who are going to beat their person in the, in the fall.
MR. GREGORY: Governor, is this an example of what, what they've called a mainstream political movement, some of these candidates and their views?
GOV. GRANHOLM: Well, you know, no. I think it's far outside the mainstream. In fact, one of the things--you just held up Paul Ryan's, you know, proposal regarding Medicare and regarding Social Security. I think a lot of which you've jumped onto as well. But there was a recent poll out that said that 85 percent of Americans don't want to see Social Security cut to solve the, the deficit. The reality is, you know, as a governor of the state that has had the toughest economic go-over the past eight years, I'm just really interested in what works to create jobs, what works. And the proposals that are coming from these candidates are not proposals that work. This is the laboratory of the states right here, and I can tell you what has worked. What has worked is the government smartly intervening to save the auto industry; smartly, strategically, surgically intervening to invest with the private sector to create, for example, the electric batteries for the vehicles; smartly intervening with the private sector to be able to do the breakthrough technologies that the private sector doesn't have the funds to be able to do. That's what other countries are doing. And we've got to realize that these economic models that just say, "We've got to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut," you know, who's applauding most is China. They're happy that this movement is happening...
MR. GREGORY: But there's...
GOV. GRANHOLM: ...that's going to continue to cut away.