Fun and games from the Conservative Policital Action Conference, broadcast on C-SPAN on March 2, at which former Mass. Gov. Willard MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), prior to Coulter’s appearance, said:
“I am happy to hear that after you hear from me, you will hear from Ann Coulter. That is a good thing. Oh yeah! Now, I think it's always very important to get the views of moderates. Now, I know there are a few here from the mainstream media, and they're probably surprised that we're here in these record numbers.”
(Previously, Coulter has put “even money” on Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) “[c]oming out of the closet,” said Bill Clinton shows “some level of latent homosexuality,” and called Vice President Al Gore a “total fag" [July 27, MSNBC's "Hardball”])
COULTER: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”
Audience members said “ohhh” and then cheered.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement: “We demand that every single Presidential candidate in attendance at this conference, along with Vice President Cheney stand up and publicly condemn this type of gutter-style politics. If not, then their silence will be deafening to the vast majority of Americans who believe this type of language belongs nowhere near the discussions about the future of our country.”
Statement from Howard Dean: “There is no place in political discourse for these kind of hate-filled and bigoted comments. While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the issues, we should all be able to agree that this kind of vile rhetoric is out of bounds. The American people want a serious, thoughtful debate of the issues. Republicans–including the Republican presidential candidates who shared the podium with Ann Coulter today–should denounce her hateful remarks.”
The following material is from MEDIA MATTERS:
It was not the first time Coulter has smeared a prominent Democrat with a homophobic epithet, and it is not the first time that Coulter has ridiculed Edwards. Will the media call on Republican presidential hopefuls attending the CPAC conference to denounce her smear?
Back to the CPAC meeting, when asked by an audience member: "What do you think of Governor Romney's candidacy for presidency?"
COULTER: "What do I think of Governor Romney's candidacy for presidency? I think he's probably our best candidate. I mean, I think it is fair to say -- and this is coming from someone who supported Pete DuPont, Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, Steve Forbes. So, you know, it's not like I won't go for an underdog. But I think we have to be serious about this, and I think our choice is among Gingrich, Giuliani, McCain and Romney. And Giuliani is very, very liberal. When this country gets to the point -- I mean, I have a love letter to him in my current book, Godless. What he did for New York was magnificent. But when this country gets to the point where both presidential candidates support abortion, I think we can hang it up as a country.
"And McCain, I think has some problems, because everyone who supports him would have to switch party registrations to vote for him. I love Gingrich. I think he's brilliant. He was crucial, the man for his time. We don't know if he's running for president, but assuming he is, I kind of think his time has passed, and I don't know, you know, it could come back again, like '80s music, but I think his time is over. And you have to say about Romney, he tricked liberals into voting for him. I like a guy -- I like a guy who hoodwinks liberals so easily. And also, the one thing that I have a very soft spot for is that I love Mormons. And the reason why I love Mormons, well, among other things, is -- you may have forgotten this -- Bill Clinton in Utah in 1992 came in third in Utah. Now, that's a fine state.
Coulter also touted Romney's position on gay rights, saying:
"And of course, if you're working for a Republican candidate, you'll meet some nice heterosexual guys. By the way, before I let that slide, I do want to point out one thing that has been driving me crazy with the media, how they keep describing Mitt Romney's position as being "pro-gays, and that's going to upset right-wingers." Well, you know, screw you, I'm not anti-gay. We're against gay marriage. I don't want gays to be discriminated against. I mean, I think we have, in addition to blacks, I don't know why all gays aren't Republicans. I think we have the pro-gay position, which is anti-crime and for tax cuts. Gays make a lot of money, and they're victims of crime. I mean, the way -- no, they are. They should be with us. But the media portrays us. If they could get away with it, they would start saying, you know, "Mitt Romney, he's pro-civil rights, and that's going to upset conservatives." No. OK. Sorry, go ahead."
The following is from www.editorandpublisher.com :
Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Romney: “It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect."
Brian Jones, a spokesman for McCain: “The comments were wildly inappropriate.”
Ed Morrissey on his Captain's Quarters: "Yeah, that's just what CPAC needs -- an association with homophobia. Nice work, Ann."
A blogger at Michelle Malkin's Hot Air site wrote: "I’m no fan of John Edwards, but that’s just a stupid joke. It’s over the line. The laughter it generated across the room was more than a little annoying. Last year it was 'raghead.' This year it’s calling John Edwards a 'faggot.' Two years in a row, Coulter has finished up an otherwise sharp CPAC routine with an obnoxious slur that liberals will fling at conservatives for years to come. Thanks, Ann." (Malkin also disapproved of Coulter' remarks, for what it's worth. For those who are unaward that Malkin is not just a talker but also an author, "In Defense of Internment" is her work...)
The New York Times' Adam Nagourney (who failed to mention the crack about Edwards, in observing Saturday in the paper): "The conference drew thousands of attendees, many of whom waited in a long line out the door for a late-afternoon appearance by Ann Coulter, the conservative author and commentator." (Later Saturday he posted a blog item at www.nytimes.com that did discuss the Coulter crack. For Sunday's paper he elicited this reply from Coulter: “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”)
The Washington Post covered the conference but did not mention Coulter at all in its news report. Neither did the Associated Press, which also attended. UPI did mention the "faggot" quote in its report.
The Los Angeles Times on Saturday quoted Coulter and even put the controversy in a headline. It closed the article: "A Giuliani spokeswoman said she had not heard the speech, and a Romney spokesman did not return calls late Friday."
The Post's Dana Milbank, in a column for the Saturday paper, observed: "Ann Coulter used an anti-gay slur to describe John Edwards (the line drew applause) and asked: 'Did Al Gore actually swallow Michael Moore?' When a questioner asked Coulter why she praises marriage but broke off so many engagements, she responded by calling the questioner ugly."
Coulter's column is distributed by Universal.
Back to MEDIA MATTERS:
The incident at CPAC suggests at least two questions:
Will the media -- including the "mainstream media" figures who Romney said attended his speech -- ask Romney whether he will repudiate Coulter's apparent endorsement?
Will the media ask the other Republican presidential candidates and potential candidates participating in CPAC -- including Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Duncan Hunter, and Mike Huckabee -- whether they will seek the votes of the CPAC attendees who cheered Coulter's smear of Edwards?
From the weblog "Blue Mass. Group":
David notes Ann Coulter's unsurprising childish viciousness below; John Edwards' campaign has responded (in the voice of his campaign manager David Bonior):
Did you hear about Anne Coulter's speech this afternoon attacking John? A friend just forwarded me the video and it's one of the worst moments in American politics I've seen.
I can't bring myself to even repeat her comments. Her shameless display of bigotry is so outrageous you actually have to see for yourself to believe it.
This is just a taste of the filth that the right-wing machine is gearing up to throw at us. And now that it's begun, we have a choice: Do we sit back, or do we fight back?
I say we fight. Help us raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week to show every would-be Republican mouthpiece that their bigoted attacks will not intimidate this campaign. I just threw in 100 bucks. Will you join me? Just click here.
Coulter's attack was no accident. It happened on national television at one of the year's biggest conservative conferences. Dick Cheney and most of the Republican candidates were in the audience. She was even introduced by Mitt Romney."
SNAVE'S NOTES: She is disgusting. While it may be easy to imagine her in the crosshairs of the scope on a powerful hunting rifle, I think we should all remember that as perverse as it might seem in her case, we all have the right to say what we think in America. I'd never deny her the right to speak her opinion; that is a protected and cherished right which we all have. I have to remind myself in troublesome cases such as hers, that the right needs to be preserved. I could choose to ignore her, but I believe her viciousness and the appeal it seems to hold for some of us should not be ignored. My hope is that the conservatives among us will not be entertained and subsequently energized by her vicious remarks, but will instead realize that her exercising of her rights has negative repercussions for conservatives as a whole. My hope is also that we will all appeal to our own sense of common decency and renounce Ann Coulter and her hateful comments. She continues to become a caricature of herself, constantly pushing the limits of human decency.