Sunday, September 19, 2004
Meet The Press Transcript
MR. RUSSERT: Now, Mr. Thune, you wrote a letter to your fund-raisers saying this. "Tom Daschle has to go. He's an embarrassment to South Dakota and to the nation." The Republican chairman of the Republican Party in South Dakota wrote this. "Daschle's three years as Complainer-In-Chief have brought shame to the honor of his office, concern to our men and women in uniform, and comfort to America's enemies." Do you believe that Tom Daschle is an embarrassment to your state and, two, do you believe he's given comfort to America's enemies?At this point the traitor Tom Daschle started to cry like an effeminate sissy.
MR. THUNE: Well, look, I'm not going to--the chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party can defend himself and his comments.
MR. RUSSERT: But do you denounce those words?
MR. THUNE: Well, listen, let's think about something here. Tom stood on the stage last May when his junior senator got up and called members of the South Dakota Republican Party the Taliban. And not only that, Tom applauded at that statement. You know, so there's rhetoric on both sides. But let me address what I said about the embarrassment situation because I do believe what I am doing is echoing what I hear people in South Dakota say and people around the country say. The people of South Dakota are tired of, you know, being branded as a state where their senator is the guy who obstructs everything that they believe in. I mean, you said it. The Wall Street Journal called it the Daschle dead zone. Chuck Grassley has called it the graveyard for good legislation reform. Zell...
MR. RUSSERT: So you believe that Senator Daschle is an embarrassment?
MR. THUNE: I believe that I am echoing what I hear people say in South Dakota about their senator and as they travel around the country having to deal with the chief obstructionist label. And I believe that is embarrassing to South Dakota. It's hard to explain to people around the country that you've got a United States senator who is literally the person who is obstructing judicial nominations, who's obstructing energy policy, and I'd love to come back to energy policy because Tom had a chance...
MR. RUSSERT: But you have no problem with the head of your party saying he gives comfort to America's enemies?
MR. THUNE: I would not have chosen those words but let me say this. I have talked to a lot of soldiers in South Dakota. I talked to a soldier recently who said that Tom's comments going into the war on the eve of war when we had South Dakota men and women in the Persian Gulf that he could never vote for him again. And what it does is emboldens our enemies and undermines the morale of our troops and I...
MR. RUSSERT: His words embolden the enemy?
MR. THUNE: His words embolden the enemy. I think they do. I think when you've got political leaders in your country, Tim, in a time of war, when you've got young men and women on the ground, South Dakota men and women, Guard men and women, active duty personnel, who are putting their lives at risk for the United States of America and you've got a leader from your state who is getting up and attacking in a way that completely undermines the morale of our troops, that's wrong.
MR. RUSSERT: This is a very serious charge. Your words: embolden the enemy.
SEN. DASCHLE: That's disappointing. That is very disappointing, Tim. John's attacks on me, where I come from, would earn a trip to the woodshed. He knows that's wrong. His effort to demonize me won't work in South Dakota. It's not only an attack on me--I take this personally. It's not only an attack on me, it's an attack on where I'm from. I got my values from my mother and dad to tell the truth, to play by the golden rule, to play by the golden rule, to do unto others as you would do unto yourself. Love of country, flag, work and dream but work harder than you dream--that's South Dakota. To do it the right way, to do the right thing, those values are as important to me as my arm. And I think that John ought to reflect on that before he makes a charge like that again.John Thune For U.S. Senate!