Entries in George Will (5)


George Will Slams New York Times for Joe Ricketts Story

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- ABC News’ George Will slammed the New York Times on Sunday for its story this week outlining a proposed advertising campaign to link Rev. Jeremiah Wright and President Obama.

Will argued on the This Week roundtable that the story did not accurately reflect the actions of  Joe Ricketts—the founder of TD Ameritrade and the head of the super PAC that the New York Times’ article alleged was considering backing a plan to raise the ties between President Obama and his former pastor. After the story was published, Ricketts rejected the plan outright.

“Joe Ricketts didn’t end up repudiating it (the plan). He repudiated it the instant he saw it,” Will said. “He asked through some of his people for someone to produce a plan, but what they got was a plan that ignored what he’s interested in and went after Reverend Wright and all this other stuff. Ricketts took one look at it and said ‘no.’”

“Now, the New York Times—that didn’t fit their narrative, ‘billionaire behaving responsibly,’” Will added. ”So they said ‘he’s studying it, they have commissioned this.’  They’ve neglected the whole fact which was that this is a small story with a nice ending, which is a responsible affluent man said no.”

Radio host Laura Ingraham agreed, and offered that this controversy may hint at things to come this election year.

“This to me was a shot across the bow that if you are a wealthy … If you are a wealthy, wealthy person in the United States, you happen to be conservative, you’re going to get involved in this election, then we are going to watch everything that you do, and you sort of step over the line, you talk about past associations with President Obama, anything like that, we will try to destroy you,” Ingraham said. “The idea that he (Ricketts) was considering it was a total false narrative put forward by the New York Times to send a message to other people, don’t you dare get involved in this election, in any type of, quote, ‘controversial’ way.”

For his part, California Lieutenant Governor and Current TV host Gavin Newsom defended the New York Times, suggesting that there may be “gray area” between what the New York Times reported and Will’s version of events.

“I’m not convinced that this wasn’t further along,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Keith Olbermann: Dog-Gate Exponentially Raises ‘Absurdity’ of Campaign

Jason Kempin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After a week of dog-eat-dog politicking between President Obama and Mitt Romney’s respective campaigns, Keith Olbermann said today that the “dog-gate” controversies have gotten out of hand.

Politicos, pundits and the presidential-campaign watching public spent the past week pondering which is worse, a presidential candidate who put his dog in a kennel strapped to the roof of his car for a 12-hour drive or a president who ate dog meat as a child living in Indonesia.

“It raises the level of absurdity to something exponential,” Olbermann said on “This Week” about the Romney campaign criticizing Obama for consuming dog meat when he was 6 years old.

“With so many valuable questions going on, we’re wasting most of the time dealing with the dogs,” the former MSNBC and CurrentTV host said.

But ABC’s George Will said neither the candidates nor their campaigns are responsible for the recent dominance of dogs in the presidential race. Instead, he said, the media is to blame.

“The horse race is over, and the sugar rush that the media got from that is gone, and therefore they’re looking for something to keep their mind off, I guess, big questions,” Will said during the “This Week” roundtable.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan argued that with the breakneck speed of the campaign this year, dogs may be the topic of the week, but they are not here to stay.

“There are literally thousands of people in the United States now who are employed to cover these campaigns minute by minute and they need something to say,” Noonan said.  “And so it’s dogs today.  It’ll be cats tomorrow.”

As long as the dog story persists, ABC News contributor Donna Brazile said Romney should be worried. The presumptive GOP nominee has been thus far unable to shake free from the story of putting his dog Seamus in a kennel strapped to the roof of his car during a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario, Canada for a family vacation in 1983.

“This is a narrative, and for Mitt Romney, he has to be concerned about the Seamus scandal because it might fit into this narrative that perhaps he’s not like us,” Brazile said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George Will: Republican Leaders Are Afraid of Rush Limbaugh

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has been inundated with criticism after calling Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University student who testified before a House committee about contraception, a “slut” and a “prostitute.” But while Democrats have fiercely condemned the comments, Republicans’ ire has been significantly more muted.

ABC’s George Will said Sunday on This Week that GOP leaders have steered clear of harshly denouncing Limbaugh’s comments because “Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

“[House Speaker John] Boehner comes out and says Rush’s language was inappropriate. Using the salad fork for your entrée, that’s inappropriate. Not this stuff,” Will said. “And it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said the Republicans’ apprehension to say anything negative about the conservative big hitter is based on the “myth” that Limbaugh influences a large number of Republican voters.

“I think the problem is the Republican leaders, Mitt Romney and the other candidates, don’t have the courage to say what they say in quiet, which, they think Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon,” Dowd said. “They think he is like a clown coming out of a small car at a circus. It’s great he is entertaining and all that. But nobody takes him seriously.”

While President Obama has denounced Limbaugh’s comments as “reprehensible,” Republican leaders and GOP presidential candidates have used far milder language.

While Rick Santorum said Limbaugh’s comments were “absurd,” he said the radio host was an “entertainer” and “an entertainer can be absurd.”

“No,” Will said about Santorum’s response. “It is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right and its excesses, just as the liberals unfailingly fail to police the excesses on their own side.”

Rather than criticizing Limbaugh’s choice of words, Newt Gingrich instead blasted Obama for “opportunistically” calling Fluke on Friday to thank her for testifying.

When Gingrich was asked on Sunday about what Democrats are calling the Republican “war on women,” Gingrich again trained his scorn at the president, saying the issue was really about “religious liberty.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said during the This Week Round Table that Limbaugh’s comments “confused the issue.”

“It played into this trope that the Republicans have a war on women.  No, they don’t, but he made it look they that way,” Noonan said. “It confused the larger issue, which is the real issue, which is ‘Obama-care,’ and its incursions against religious freedoms, which is a serious issue. It was not about this young lady at Georgetown.”

Noonan said Limbaugh’s comments were “crude, rude, even piggish” and that they were “deeply destructive and unhelpful.”

“It was just unacceptable, he ought to be called on it,” she said. “I’m glad he has apologized.”

Limbaugh issued an apology to Fluke on Saturday, saying his “choice of words was not the best” and that he did not mean for his “insulting word choice” to come off as a “personal attack.”

Gingrich did concede that Limbaugh was “right to apologize.”

But even his apology has been scorned. Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod told me Sunday that Limbaugh’s “quasi-apology” was based on the same “falsehood” as his original comments, which he said were “predicated on a lie” that taxpayers will have to foot the bill for birth control when in fact insurance companies will pick up the tab.

“I think what Rush Limbaugh said about that young woman was not only vile and degrading to her, but to women across the country,” Axelrod said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden Shadowboxes Columnist George Will at Ohio Event

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(GAHANNA, Ohio) -- Vice President Joe Biden couldn’t explicitly go after the Republican presidential candidates during his town-hall meeting on college affordability Thursday in Gahanna, Ohio. It would have been unseemly to do so at an “official” White House event.

So Biden shadowboxed over the politics of reducing the burden of student debt -- something Obama campaign strategists have made a signature issue for 2012 -- with his favorite conservative newspaper columnist instead.

“I read George Will’s article -- George Will who I greatly respect. I think he’s the best conservative columnist out there,” Biden told a crowd of students and teachers at Gahanna Lincoln High School.

“George Will said, ‘All this stuff about reducing debt and making sure you don’t have to pay more than 10 percent of your disposable income in any one year.’ He said, ‘Look, the average college student, graduate will make on average, and does now, $20,000 a year more than a high school graduate. So why do they need the help?’”

“I guess he came from a different neighborhood,” Biden said.

“I’m not being facetious. He makes a good intellectual point. But it really is about the choices you get to make when you graduate. If you graduate with a large debt, you don’t get to make the choice to do the thing you may want to do.”

Biden suggested the federal government should reduce or forgive students’ debts so that jobs in traditionally low-paying, social interest jobs, such as nonprofits, education and social work, are not out of reach for some.

He touted the Obama administration’s recent initiative to cap monthly payments for some student borrowers at 10 percent of discretionary income, saying such a step will “restore the bargain that’s been broken” with the middle class. (He used similar language during a campaign webcast to New Hampshire voters on Tuesday night.)

“You should have a chance to pursue what you want to pursue,” Biden said.

Will’s column, from the Jan. 1, 2012, Washington Post, questioned the wisdom of such an approach to financing college education and said the administration’s “bailout of young and privileged borrowers” was a political ploy.

“Political logic suggests that this year Obama will try to rekindle the love of young voters with some forgiveness of student debts. But one-third of students do not borrow to pay college tuition,” Will wrote.

“The average debt for those who do borrow to attend a four-year public institution is $22,000 and the average difference between the per-year earnings of college graduates and those with only a high school diploma is...$22,000.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Analyst: Palin’s ‘Non-Presidential’ TV Appearances Will Cost Her

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin can been seen all over television this week – from the debut of TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska to her daughter’s controversial appearance in the finale of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars – but can Americans see her in the White House in 2012?

“The independent voters have made up their minds about her, and it is a negative judgment they’ve made,” ABC News political analyst George Will said Sunday on This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

In an interview with Barbara Walters that airs Dec. 9th, Sarah Palin said she could defeat President Obama if she chose to run for president in 2012. According to George Will, however, she has yet to accomplish what voters need to view her as a serious political figure.

“After the 2008 campaign she had two things she had to do: she had to go home to Alaska and study, and she had to govern Alaska well,” Will said. “Instead she quit halfway through her first term and shows up in the audience of Dancing With the Stars and other distinctly non-presidential venues.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio