The most expensive U.S. Senate contest in the country also happens to be one of the most rancorous. Battle ‘10 presents a walk back through some of the more notable quotes provided by appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet that were recorded during both the primary and general.
Some are gaffes, others are illustrative of Bennet’s position on the stimulus and health care reform, and finally, a few lighter moments of Bennet riffing on media or delivering a zinger to his opponent.
In no particular order–
1•“[…] look, not only do we have $12 trillion in debt, not only have we mortgaged ourselves to the Chinese, but the tragedy of it is, we have absolutely nothing to show for it, absolutely nothing to show for it. We haven’t invested in our roads, our bridges, our transportation, our ports, anything. What did we do? Well, we cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and we cost our kids $1.4 trillion. We said ‘we’re gonna cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, borrow it from the Chinese, and stick our kids with the bill.’ We have spent a trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve borrowed all of that money from our kids. Medicare Part D, the seniors’ prescription drug program that Bush advanced–might be a great program but we didn’t pay for it. The bailout that ended the last administration, about $800 billion, not paid for. And then, the piece of it that the President, we own, I own, was the recovery package last year which was roughly $760 billion. All that adds up to $12 trillion, and we’ve got to address it. It’s immoral to leave this to our children […]” [emphasis added]–Bennet in Denver (04/17/10)
“I think passing the recovery package was an essential thing to do in order to save us from, you know, the Great Depression”–Bennet defending his stimulus vote to media in September
2•“Everybody here has to continue this advocacy and and needs to make sure that we don’t give over our town halls and our living rooms to people that are, you know, basically, trafficking in a kind of nihilistic vision of the United States that says that somehow we don’t have a responsibility to the next generation”–Bennet on Tea Parties, Denver (04/17/10)
3•“I stand by the ad […] They [the media] are mistaken”–Bennet’s answer to a question from Buck about media fact-checks that declared Bennet’s attack ads “misleading” at best at the Club 20 Debate in Grand Junction, CO (09/11/10)
In a debate on October 23, Bennet promised to substantiate the claims made in his campaign’s attack ads on his website, but has not yet provided a link (as of midnight, Oct. 27)
4•“‘Well, you know, you’re a socialist or you’re . . .’ and I say, ‘You know what, I drove over roads to get here, I drove past schools to get here, a town hall. We’re in a park together that someone else built for us, for you. How dare we not honor the legacy of the people that gave us all of that?’”–Bennet’s response to be called a socialist at town hall in Colorado Springs (08/27/10)
5•“We didn’t end up in a second Great Depression. That’s the answer to your question”–Bennet’s answer to a question about the stimulus and whether it was a failure at a town hall in Colorado Springs, CO (08/27/10)
6•“It was certainly not of interest to me”–Club 20 Debate in Grand Junction, CO (09/11/10)
Buck asked Bennet about a vote to support the type of earmarks made by the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), widely excoriated as one of the most shining examples of egregious government pork:
Bennet responded by claiming he “misunderstood” the thrust of Buck’s question, and touted his plans for earmark reform. “It’s all about transparency,” said Bennet (at 49:30).
7•“Yes”–Bennet’s answer to the question posed by CNN’s John King last November when asked, “As a new Senator who is on the ballot next year in a tough state, if you get to the final point, and you are a critical vote for health care reform, and every piece of evidence tells you if you support that bill you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?”
Bennet, in a debate in Colorado Springs in September, 2010, when asked if he would “rather lose your Senate seat than Obamacare,” said that was not what he said.
8•“That’s just a small piece of this whole discussion”–Bennet on the public option at a town hall in Frisco, CO (08/14/10)
9•“I wish you were running a primary against one of the people that is causing the problems we’re talking about”–Bennet to his Democratic primary opponent Andrew Romanoff at a debate in February. Evidence later came to light in late May and early June that Romanoff was offered a “carrot” position by White House staff, perhaps as a way of prompting him to exit the race.
10•“For those of us of a certain age, there are days when I miss Walter Cronkite”–Bennet riffing on partisan political cynicism and decrying the “talking heads” on cable news at a rally in February in Denver
11•“Well, I’m definitely not interested in growing government, I can tell you that”–Bennet quips on Buck’s misstatement about “growing government” instead of “growing the economy,” Meet the Press (10/17/10)
12•“I believe the first decade of this new century was basically a complete waste of time. False economy”–Bennet to questions from the New York Times/CNBC’s John Harwood about ways to grow the economy and create jobs (09/14/10)