Coulter: Miers withdrawal "demonstrates that the movement conservatives" have "the power in the country," "listening to Democrats" got Bush into trouble
Video ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN
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Responding to Harriet Miers's withdrawal of her Supreme Court nomination during the October 27 special edition of CNN's The Situation Room, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter declared the withdrawal "an absolutely historic, stunning event" that "demonstrates that the movement conservatives, or the radical right wing as we're being called, is the one with the power in this relationship, the power in the country."
Coulter also blamed the doomed nomination on Democrats and the demand that Bush pick a woman for the court, stating: "And, by the way, you know what led to this problem? A) Bush listening to the Democrats. ... And, number two, this insistence that he [Bush] nominate a girl."
From the 10 a.m. ET hour of the October 27 special edition of CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:
BLITZER: Joining us now on the phone is Ann Coulter, a very conservative, outspoken commentator. Very critical of the liberals. Many would call you, Ann, a member of that radical right that so many of the Democrats are referring to today. You didn't like this nominee, this nomination. What's your reaction?
COULTER: Yes, I was just going to say that, speaking for the radical right wing, I find it quite hilarious to hear these Democrats thinking that to get it right, now the president is going to have to respond to them. Wait a second. What's this "we," paleface? They didn't make a peep about this nomination. This is an absolutely historic, stunning event. I mean, through somewhat unfortunate circumstances, this does show the power of the radical right wing, as Democrats call it, normal Americans, as I call it, in this country. I mean, you can't imagine in eight years of Clinton when he was constantly hosing liberals, they never staged a turnaround like this. And, by the way, you know, what led to this problem? A) Bush listening to the Democrats; Harry Reid recommended Harriet Miers. And, number two, this insistence that he nominate a girl. Well, that didn't really work out so well. So the idea that now Bush must turn around and respond to the very people who led him into this mess, I think, is preposterous. I also think it's worth saying, this is a great thing Harriet Miers has done. She has served her president and her country well today.
BLITZER: Let me read to you what Harry Reid [D-NV], the Democratic leader in the House, or in the Senate, the minority leader, said in a statement. He said, "The radical right wing of the Republican party killed the Harriet Miers nomination." He went on to say, as you pointed out, "I had recommended that the president consider nominating Miss Miers because I was impressed with her record of achievement as the managing partner of a major Texas law firm and the first woman president of the Texas Bar Association." He goes on and says, Ann, "in choosing a replacement for Miss Miers, President Bush should not reward the bad behavior of his right-wing base." You want to respond quickly to that last point?
COULTER: Well, I think I've said it, he's -- the right-wing base has just shown its power. And as I say, and it's unfortunate circumstances. But what got Bush in trouble was listening to Democrats in the first place.
BLITZER: Let me bring [CNN chief national correspondent] John King and [CNN senior political correspondent] Candy Crowley, Ann, into this conversation. John, how important is it for the president to find a woman or a minority to succeed, to replace Harriet Miers?
KING: Well, the president, from day one of this, once John Roberts became the chief justice nominee, focused on women for this pick. So one would assume he had a list in front of him that led him to Harriet Miers. He will go back to that list. How important is it? That will be part of the politics. I think the bigger question, I think, and I'd like to ask Ann this question if she's still listening in is, she is a movement conservative. The movement conservatives say we advance our principles at all cost, even if we lose. Now, to advance the movement in the long run, there are many Republicans looking at the 2006 elections saying, we've got to find peace. [Former House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay [R-TX] was in trouble. The president is at probably the weakest point of his presidency. This CIA leak investigation is wrapping up. The Iraq war is unpopular. I'd like to ask Ann about the tension in the party, if you will, and the pragmatists who say, "Let's have detente," and the movement conservatives who say, "No, we will fight even if we lose temporarily."
COULTER: Yes, you're exactly right in your description. And I think what happened today demonstrates that the movement conservatives, or the radical right wing as we're being called, is the one with the power in this relationship, the power in the country. That is to say, as I have been arguing since the Roberts nomination, yes, it would be fine if Bush nominated a wonderful, qualified conservative like Janice Rogers Brown. Even if she's defeated, that is a victory for Republicans. Yes, get the Democrats on record explaining that what they mean by "right-wing activist" is, you know, parental notification before a 12-year-old has an abortion or, you know, not finding a right to partial birth abortion in the Constitution, not finding a right to gay marriage in the Constitution. Yes, let's have that fight. The Democrats don't want to have that fight, which is why they keep arguing, you know, in the dark about things like filibusters and document production. Yes, fine, let's have that fight. For one thing, we win in the end, we win in the 2006 elections, even if the nominee goes down. But I think today it shows that nominee will not go down.