RUSH: Ben Cardin and Michael Steele. Michael Steele is running a new ad in Maryland. As one of the posters at the Power Line blog reports today, ‘I’m pretty confident Michael Steele is going to beat Ben Cardin in Maryland’s Senate race in part because Cardin keeps shooting himself in the foot. He’s now running one of those disgraceful Michael J. Fox embryonic stem cell research ads which misrepresents Steele’s position on the issue, as well as President Bush’s.’ Now, we don’t have the audio of Steele’s ad but I’ve got the text. Here is the response ad to the Michael J. Fox ad. Steele opens by saying, ‘I’m Michael Steele and I approve this message.’ Next voice: ‘I’m Dr. Monica Turner. Congressman Ben Cardin is attacking Michael Steele with deceptive, tasteless ads.’
It’s the Fox ad.
‘He is using the victim of a terrible disease to frighten people all for his own political gain. Mr. Cardin should be ashamed. There’s something you should know about Michael Steele. He does support stem cell research, and he cares deeply for those who suffer from the disease. How do I know? I’m Michael Steele’s little sister. I have MS, and I know he cares about me.’ In the meantime, Cardin has voted against stem cell research, and Fox and Cardin are running ads, nevertheless, for Cardin. Now, last night, Michael J. Fox appeared with Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News. Katie sent me an e-mail prior to the interview with Mr. Fox and asked for some things from me that stipulate my positions on this. I sent her five or six paragraphs. She used one line from the five or six paragraphs.
She did not tell me that she was going to use the video that everybody else was using in a distorted manner, a misrepresentative manner to make it look like I’m mocking or making fun of Michael J. Fox. As I explained yesterday, that’s not the case. We sent the transcript out, by the way, to George Stephanopoulos and Chris Wallace, because they’re both doing shows on Sunday. I’m going to be out of town this weekend. They asked me to appear. I can’t, don’t want to, wouldn’t do it anyway, but I did send the transcript of yesterday’s program explaining all of this, as I explained it to you yesterday. Katie did not, in her e-mail, tell me she was going to use that video from the Dittocam that you’ve seen all over the Drive-By Media. The commentary that they attached to it distorts what I was doing here on the program.
As I have mentioned, I had just finished watching the ad. I never seen Mr. Fox that way. I was shaken and stunned. I have a camera here, and I was describing it for people. This is radio. Many of us on radio act out. (As you know, I’m a mimic anyway.) I was trying to illustrate what I had seen, not in a mocking way, but an informative way for people who are watching the program and hundreds of thousands do each day on the Dittocam. (By the way, welcome to those of you who are.) So the purposeful and willful distortion of this continues, which we addressed yesterday. It’s totally understandable to me why it’s being done.
Even today, they continue to talk about me, not the substance of the issue. Now, I only want to comment on two things that Michael J. Fox said in his interview with Katie Couric yesterday. I’m going to tell you right now that both of these are responses, and it’s not because of anything Katie posited to him. She only asked him — or didn’t even ask him to — put up the statement that I had made that I resent the notion that Democrats can put forth victims of whatever disease or circumstance because they think they’re immune from any criticism, even in the political arena — and I sent her quite a lot to explain my position on it.
In fact, I’ll tell you what. Koko is gone today. He’s taken the day off from the website, but Dean’s there. Dean, go ahead and post that, because I sent the e-mail up to the website yesterday. (interruption) What are you looking at, Snerdley? He asked for this day off back in February for some reason, and I said, “Go ahead.” I’m great to work for. Well, what do you want me to say, “No, you can’t leave. I can’t do this show without you.” Is that what you people want to hear? “No, you can’t leave. I can’t do the show without you”? Go! If you need to take a day off, take a day off. I do now and then. Yes, I know I’m the boss. It helps but it doesn’t mean much sometimes. Anyway, Dean, go ahead and post what I sent to Katie Couric, since that interview with Michael J. Fox is being again reported in the way it’s being reported. It’s typical of the way this whole story has come down.
There are two things that he said here that I have to respond to, because they are direct responses to the criticism of the substance of the ad. He said that he appeared in the ad only to advance his cause. Disease is a “nonpartisan problem that requires a bipartisan solution.” Well, excuse me. I’m the one who said that earlier this week. He has not said it in this ad of his or these ads. In fact, one of the things I said that distressed me about this whole ad campaign was the fact that curing disease has traditionally been a bipartisan effort in this country, curing cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, any number of things.
Now we’re politicizing diseases, first with Christopher Reeve, and then with others with Alzheimer’s, and now we’re politicizing Parkinson’s disease. It has traditionally been bipartisan, but nothing Mr. Fox is doing is bipartisan. I watched and I was sort of stunned to hear this — and then he said, I don’t really care about politics. Uh, disease is a nonpartisan problem, requires a bipartisan solution. He’s only doing commercials for Democrats. In fact, one of the Democrats, Ben Cardin in Maryland, has opposed what Michael J. Fox is for! Then “I don’t really care about politics”? He campaigned for John Kerry? He campaigned for Arlen Specter.
This is difficult to believe, but then the corker. After saying that he didn’t really care about politics, he said: “We want to appeal to voters to elect the people that are going to give us a margin, so we can’t be vetoed again.” So after saying that he’s not interested in politics, and that he wants bipartisanship, he then ends up by saying he needs a margin for his side that are going to give them a veto-proof margin on that bill. This is disingenuous as it can be. It’s not honest. That ( for the last three days of this) is the focus that most people have not put on it. We’ve tried to here, focusing on the substance of the content of this ad, or these ads, and the issue involving these ads.
So Katie didn’t ask anything about bipartisanship. He just volunteered that. I don’t know of anybody this week other than myself. I don’t listen to everybody, but I don’t know of anybody else who was talking about the tradition of tackling killer diseases in a bipartisan manner. That’s the way we’ve always done it in this country. It’s sort of like politics used to “end at the water’s edge” in foreign policy and war. That’s out the window now, and now we’re going to politicize disease. The bottom line is that the message of the Democratic Party is that Republicans will keep you sick, or you can put it another way. What was the theme of yesterday’s program, Mr. Snerdley? A little pop quiz.
“Democrats lie to sick people. Democrats cruelly lie to sick people. They create false hope.” In this (Michael J. Fox) ad, voters are being told that Michael Steele and Jim Talent oppose medical research that will lead to the cure for diseases. That is unconscionable! That stinks. That is a dirty ad, and that’s why more and more people are beginning to characterize the ads of Mr. Fox as disgraceful, because of the content and because of the substance. All right, a brief time-out. Dean, let me know when you get that posted up there on the website, the thing I sent Katie Couric at her request, for people who either saw this interview on CBS or are reading about it. By the way, she didn’t promise to use it all. Don’t misunderstand. She asked me if she could quote from some of it. She ended up taking one thing from what I said. I just want you to know what I sent her that didn’t make it. I want you to know what I sent her and what of it she chose to use, because that’s important in understanding how the Drive-By Media works as well.
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