Archive: Verbatim
Who Needs Political Reporters?

The 2016 election may be the first one in which the political press is totally sidelined. Politicians now have a professional grasp of social media — Barack Obama just got his third Twitter account — and they don’t need media middlemen to communicate with voters. … What’s more, no journalist has the kind of celebrity and cultural credibility (as Tim Russert used to have) that once made interviews mandatory for aspiring presidents.

— Ryan Cooper, in the Week.

Ted Cruz Would Be a ‘Watchman on the Wall’ in ‘Game of Thrones’

The modern Democratic Party has become so radical, so extreme, that they have determined that their devotion to mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states trumps any allegiance to religious liberty under the First Amendment. We’ve got an obligation, as this conference recognizes, to be watchmen on the wall.

— Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by Time.

The Other Castro Brothers Are Funny

I’ve been joking with my brother that he should have HUD designate this place a public housing project.

— Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), brother of HUD Secretary Julian Castro, quoted by Roll Call, on the number of lawmakers sleeping in their offices on Capitol Hill.

GOP Primary Race Is Either ‘Christmas’ or ‘Halloween,’ Depending …

Nothing much is going on right now in the 2016 presidential campaign–unless you’re a Republican political junkie, in which case every day is Christmas or, perhaps, Halloween. Did you know that Donald Trump might actually run this time, instead of using our nation’s highest office to promote his reality-TV show? Or that the very former governor of New York, George Pataki, thinks he’s a candidate? Are you tremendously relieved that the GOP’s most persistent Dr. Strangelove — former U.N. ambassador John Bolton — has taken his hat out of the ring? I sure am. But that leaves 15 or more candidates either in it or circling.

Joe Klein, writing in Time.

Rand Paul Determined to Stick Out from the GOP Crowd

Sen. Rand Paul didn’t get the same backing from his Republican colleagues than the last time he talked his way through legislative deadlines – but that’s part of the point. This was a stunt that was about his 2016 candidacy, if the campaign merchandising push and online trolling of Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton didn’t make that clear. It shows, again, that Paul will inject a strain of national-security thinking into the GOP debates that will push his rivals in uncomfortable ways. It’s possible that his timing is off; the march of ISIS, with scenes of beheadings seared into memories, might change the tone of any discussion inside the Republican Party. But Rand standing alone will make him stand out, for better or worse.

— Rick Klein, on ABC News.

Bush Claims Science is Undecided on Climate Change — and He Lives in Florida!

For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you. It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it, even. The climate is changing. We need to adapt to that reality.

— Jeb Bush, hitting back against President Obama’s claim that climate change runs an immediate risk, adding that while it shouldn’t be ignored, it’s still not “the highest priority,” CNN reports.

Jeb Loves His Family — in a Really Defensive-Sounding Way

I love my mom and dad. I love my brother, and people are just going to have to get over that. That’s just the way it is.

— Jeb Bush, quoted by the New York Times.

A Nice Way to Put It

Who should we contact in case you became a martyr?

– Question on an al Qaeda application form that was among the papers seized by American military members during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

This Is the Polar Opposite of an Endorsement

For months, we have wondered how Gov. Chris Christie thinks he can win the presidency when New Jersey is in such rotten shape after his six years in office. Now we may have our answer: The man has lost touch with reality.

Newark Star Ledger Editorial Board, in an op-ed piece in New Jersey’s largest newspaper. “He needs to pour himself a drink and ask himself the tough question: Why don’t people love me? It could be the rotten job market. Or the high property taxes. Or the crumbling transit system. Or the broken promise on pensions. Or the private jets. Or the Bridgegate indictments. And so on. … It’s no wonder that New Jersey is screaming a warning to the rest of the country. God forbid he gets a chance to make an even bigger mess on a larger stage.”

Ted Cruz Thinks Gay Rights Has Something to Do with Sex

Is there something about the left — and I am going to put the media in this category — that is obsessed with sex?

— Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by the Texas Tribune, when asked about gay rights.