Robertson "absolutely appalled" by comments Boxer never madeAugust 16, 2005 3:01 PM EDT ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN
On the August 15 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Christian Coalition of America founder Pat Robertson blasted Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for comments she never made. Purporting to quote Boxer regarding the nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court, Robertson falsely stated that Boxer had said, "I've got to wait on Ralph Neas of the People for the American Way to see what he says about it [Roberts's nomination]"; and that Boxer said, "I'm going to follow the lead of [Sen. Charles] Chuck Schumer [D-NY]. I trust him." Robertson said he was "absolutely appalled at what she had to say," noting, "She's supposed to be a senator from the biggest state in America."
Media Matters for America could find no record that Boxer actually said anything like what Robertson attributed to her. A search for her purported comments turned up the weblog Radio Blogger, which on August 8 posted a transcript of Boxer's appearance on the August 7 edition of CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. Radio Blogger included a self-styled "translation" of what Boxer said in bold font that closely resembles the comments that Robertson falsely attributed to Boxer. Robertson appears to have mistaken this "translation" for Boxer's actual words.
From Radio Blogger's August 8 post titled "Bloviating Barbara Boxer" (blogger's "translation" is bold font):
It might just be easier to translate Boxer's answer as we go.
WB [Blitzer]: Based on what you know right now, are you ready to vote to confirm the nomination of John Roberts as the next Supreme Court Justice?
BB [Boxer]: I don't know enough to say yes or no. I have to hold my fire until Ralph Neas and [Alliance for Justice president] Nan Aron hear what is said in the hearings later this month. I may well vote yes. Not a chance, but I have to show some semblence [sic] of fairness. I may well vote no. More likely. I may even have other options that I look to. Screw what the Gang of 14 thinks. If I think Roberts will overturn Roe [v. Wade] at some point, I'm going to filibuster him myself. At this point, I don't have enough information, remember I'm a little dense, and we're working on getting the information, posing the questions. People For the American Way, NARAL & the Alliance For Justice are still digging through Roberts' trash cans. I have tremendous faith in the Judiciary Committee. I serve Chuckie Schumer completely. I will be watching those. I'll do whatever Schumer tells me to. I will be submitting questions. Pro-choice interest group talking points. As a matter of fact, the women Democratic senators are getting questions from all over the country to ask him. Actually, it's only one question, and it's only about abortion. We need to know, because our freedoms hang in the balance. I know that's a little over the top, but when abortion is at stake, no rhetoric is too extreme. Where is he on the important freedoms that we cherish so much? The cornerstone of modern liberalism is abortion on demand, and if we lose it because of this judge, the world will most certainly come to an end as we know it.
From the August 15 edition of Hannity & Colmes:
ALAN COLMES (co-host): You know he's going to get in. Most Democrats are not speaking out against him. There may be a few who probably have some difficulty, but this is really not a question about whether or not this is going to be a done deal, right?
ROBERTSON: I don't think there is any question about it. He's an outstanding nominee, but you mentioned Barbara Boxer. I'm absolutely appalled at what she had to say. I don't know if you read all the transcripts.
COLMES: I did.
ROBERTSON: But she says first, "I've got to wait on Ralph Neas of the People for the American Way to see what he says about it." She's supposed to be a senator from the biggest state in America. And then she says, "I'm going to follow the lead of Chuck Schumer. I trust him." And he's the senator from New York, of course.