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Smell Test: Murray takes Rossi answer to radio host Laura Ingraham show out of context

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Oct. 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm with 55 Comments »
October 7, 2010 2:38 pm

In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, Patty Murray‘s campaign criticizes challenger Dino Rossi for what the campaign portrays as an attack on public workers, including troops, teachers and firefighters.

“In an offensive and bald attempt to continue to smear his way to victory, 18 year politician Dino Rossi this morning insulted millions of Americans troops and others who serve their country,” the release states. It also includes in the headline what the campaign claims to be a direct quote from Rossi’s appearance on conservative talker Laura Ingraham’s show: “American Troops, Teachers, Firefighters ‘Have Never Held a Meaningful Job In Their Adult Lives.’ ”

But the audio file that was sent along with the press release shows that Ingraham asked Rossi about the business background of the White House staff, specifically advisers to President Obama. Rossi says of those people: “Well, you have a bunch of people that are in charge that have never actually had a private sector job, and a meaningful one, in their adult lives.”

Rossi on Ingraham CLIP 101006

Rossi isn’t talking about all public sector workers. And the reference to “a meaningful one” doesn’t appear to be a claim that only business jobs are meaningful. Instead he appears to be saying that no one among Obama advisers has held a meaningful business job.

Here’s the transcript of the segment of the interview released by Murray’s staff.

Rossi: I come from a world that I think is gonna be unique for a U.S. Senator. I come from a world of no guaranteed salary, no guaranteed benefits.

Ingraham: Good.

Rossi: If you don’t work, you don’t eat. I understand the free enterprise system. I’ve actually signed the front side of a paycheck.

Ingraham: “No, I love that, Dino. And I’ve been saying this consistently. First of all the administration itself in Washington, how many businessmen actually are working within the White House. Can we name one prominent adviser to the president who has actually had to make a payroll? I can’t name one. They brought in this guy Austin GoolsbyAustan Goolsbee, another academic. Larry Summers is on his way out and he was an academic. And they have all these people who have been living off the taxpayers’ dime for years and years as a government employee and meanwhile they’re like, huh, I wonder why people think they’re anti-business? Duh.

Rossi: Well, you have a bunch of people that are in charge that have never actually had a private sector job, and a meaningful one, in their adult lives.

UPDATE: Murray spokeswoman Julie Edwards saw the above post and sent this response:

I think you missed the mark. Rossi was very clearly talking about what kind of experience is “meaningful” and he doesn’t think public sector jobs count.

That whole conversation was about what kind of experience Rossi and the radio host think is important and worthwhile – and he has no value for folks who work in the public sector.

Here’s the press release:

Rossi: American Troops, Teachers, Firefighters “Have Never Held a Meaningful Job In Their Adult Lives”

SEATTLE, WA — In an offensive and bald attempt to continue to smear his way to victory, 18 year politician Dino Rossi this morning insulted millions of Americans troops and others who serve their country.

Speaking on the Laura Ingraham show, Dino stated plainly that he thinks their service to their country is meaningless:
“You have a bunch of people that are in charge that have never actually had a private sector job and a meaningful one in their adult life.”  (Remark can be found starting at :50 in the attached audio file.)
We already knew that Dino’s definition of worthy “private sector” jobs — profiting off of foreclosures and co-owning a bank that engaged in risky lending practices — is hardly what most Washingtonians would call an honest day’s work.  But never before had he stated so clearly his contempt for those who sacrifice to serve our country and our communities.

“It is quite simply disgraceful that Dino Rossi would say our troops, teachers, police and firefighters’ service to our nation is not meaningful in any way.  That kind of comment is beyond the pale coming from a U.S. Senate candidate, even one as desperate as Rossi,” said Julie Edwards, Communications Director, People for Patty Murray.  “Our troops get up every day and make unimaginable sacrifices to keep our country safe.  Rossi should apologize immediately if he has any decency and respect for those who serve.”

“As a U.S. Army veteran who served overseas in Vietnam, the fact that Dino Rossi would say my service in the military doesn’t mean anything is unimaginable,” said Mike Brown, a veteran from Walla Walla.  “He’s never served one day of his life on the battlefield for his country.  In fact, he’s never served one day, period.  Who is he to say our sacrifices are worthless?  It’s outrageous.”

Something fishy? Having trouble sorting out the facts from the spin in political speeches, TV ads and mailers? Our political team is ready to fact-check this season’s campaign. Send your questions to Political Smell Test. For an archive of previous Smell Tests, click here.

Leave a comment Comments → 55
  1. Coming from a veteran (myself) this is a correct statement. I do not take any offense from it, and I know a lot of my veteran buddies do not take offense to this. It is a correct statement but Patty of course is picking and choosing her context to try and slam Dino. PATTY MURRAY IS A JOKE!

  2. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Murray is the most ignorant Senator in the U.S. Congress – she has been and continues to be a national embarrassment!!! The one thing she definitely is – an absolute socialist democrat clone of the head marxist/socialist “OH-Bummer”!!!

    Wake up Washington and elect someone to the U.S. Senate you can respect and trust to do what is correct for the USA!!!

  3. traknut says:

    The only way Patty Murray can defend her position is to lie, and the lies are getting bigger, bolder and more frequent. Every time her ads pretend to quote Rossi, they are not just quotes out of context, they use answers to entirely different questions. As a veteran, this one really ticks me off.

    How about all Patty Murray’s pontification about her father the disabled veteran? A) It is not anything she did, he deserved the credit for being a veteran; and B.) He was disabled by MS later in life, terrible, but not from his military service. But the false impression is better campaign fodder.

    What of her “mom in tennis shoes” image of getting into politics to protect educational programs for kids? A.) She wasn’t trying to save any program for her kids; and B.) She was lobbying to keep her own union job from being cut because nobody was signing up for her useless adult education class (she couldn’t teach school because she didn’t have a teacher’s certificate).

    Patty Murray takes more Wall Street money than any other politician in Washington State and lies about that, too. The only time you can believe her is when she says she’ll raise your taxes.

  4. Sounds to me like the Liberal Democrats are shaking in their boots.

  5. mosescoolj says:

    I did not get any of what Patty claims from this interview. You’ll need a better October surprise than this Patty Fat Cat.

  6. tree_guy says:

    She can pile one lie on top of another. It won’t make any difference to me. I’m voting for Rossi. He has conducted himself as a gentleman throughout the campaign. Good luck Dino.

  7. tacchad says:

    When will we as a people do something about blatant liars in Congress? Something has to change. These politicians need to be held accountable for purposefully lying to us. It should be a crime.

  8. drxtreme says:

    It’s almost time to take out the trash everyone — I hope this election we have beyond record numbers vote!

  9. cougar82 says:

    I’m glad to see all of the tea-partiers have weighed in. I cannot possibly count all the times I have heard conservatives blather about how useless public sector employees are. Now it is finally coming home to roost on the Rossi campaign. At least you could have the decency to own the opinion. I will savor your disappointment in November when the useless public sector and the left-wing radicals in Seattle re-elect Ms. Murry. Have your fun while you can, after the election you will have to go back to your pathetic incessant griping.

  10. FreeAmerica says:

    As pelosi stated…….. time to “drain the swamp”….

    CYA patty.

  11. lovethemountains says:

    cougar82, read the story then make an intelligent comment.

  12. OldLefty says:

    Rossi: Well, you have a bunch of people that are in charge that have never actually had a private sector job, and a meaningful one, in their adult lives.

    Since John McCain was born on the public dole, schooled at a military school because of his military family, served in the military, got a discharge based on disability, then became an elected official to the present day, how does he match up on Dino Rossi’s rating scale?

    Rossi said what he said. The spin comes AFTER he is called on it.

  13. OldLefty says:

    This is following a trend set by Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle and others, who, after being caught on tape – audio or video – twist turn and deny their statements.

  14. OldLefty says:

    tree_guy says:
    October 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm
    She can pile one lie on top of another. It won’t make any difference to me. I’m voting for Rossi. He has conducted himself as a gentleman throughout the campaign. Good luck Dino.

    Interestingly, Murray didn’t lie. Her campaign took Rossi’s statement and applied it across the board.

    Remember how the Republicans took “God damn America” and left out all of the context of the sermon? They are still using that one

    As to being a “gentleman” – Rossi’s campaign has already deceived the voters by attempting to blame Murray for the country’s debt when we all know that said debt was run up from 2001 to 2007 when the Republicans owned the House, Senate and Administration, by waging two wars and cutting taxes simultaneously.

  15. It might be a bit of a stretch to say he meant all public sector employers (as opposed to white house advisors) have never had a meaningful job in their entire adult lives, but even taking it on its face its a bald faced lie (delivered pretty snidely at that, from someone who has worked as a real estate guy and a professional candidate). I wish the Murray campaign had not chosen the angle they did with their press release.

    Looking at his cabinet anyone who actually wanted to take the time to fact check this claim could easily see Rossi/Ingraham either don’t know what they are talking about or they don’t think their audience is smart enough to recognize a bald faced lie.

    Cabinet Members:

    Biden: public defender, private practice, property manager, US Senator since 1973.

    Clinton: Children’s Defense Fund (staff attorney), full partner in the Rose Law Firm, member of the Board of Directors of Legal Services Corporation/ TCBY / and that socialist organization known as “Wal-Mart.” US Senator since 2000.

    Geithner: (not my favorite person) Can’t find work titles, but employed by Kissinger Associates, the International Monetary Fund, and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Gates: Joined the CIA in 1966, commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force in 1967, rejoined the CIA until leaving to serve on the National Security Council in 1974, Deputy Director of the CIA in 1986. Retired from the CIA in 1993, and then did for a time work as an academic. Secretary of Defense since 2006. Also served on a number of corporate boards including Fidelity Investments and NACCO industries.

    Goolsbee: Is actually an academic. (Also very young – 41 – for his position, maybe he’ll do something “meaningful” when he’s done being an advisor to the president)

    Locke: (sound familiar?) Washington State Representative, King County Executive, Governor of Washington State (probably signed a few paychecks.)

    This is just a few. I could go on, but this is getting really long. My point is: of course, that is a ridiculous claim. If you are going to fact check the press release from Patty Murray’s campaign, how can you not subject Rossi’s comments to the same “smell test?” They really stink up the place.

  16. Sorry for all the typos. I wish there were an edit button.

  17. the3rdpigshouse says:

    oldlefty – you really are a sick anti-American leftist – I really do understand your screen name!!

  18. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Murray is using the playbook of the anti-American socialist democrats and Saul Alynski – isolate, lie, and attack your opposition personally!!! They have to lie and attack their opponents personally – they can’t run on their socialist democrat record!!!

  19. Totally, she’s anti-american. That’s why Murray has served in the US Senate since 1992. Just a “mom in tennis shoes” or sleeper agent Manchurian Candidate? You decide, Washington.

    Do you listen to yourself? Go ahead and disagree with her on the issues if you want but stop the paranoid ranting, it makes my head hurt.

  20. OldLefty says:

    jenyum – nice job of vetting.

    There is nothing I love more than watching the TEApublicans melt down because of facts.

  21. OldLefty says:

    “Murray is using the playbook of the anti-American socialist democrats and Saul Alynski – isolate, lie, and attack your opposition personally!!!

    I thought they called that “Swiftboating”

  22. tree_guy says:

    jenyum, since you’re so intent on fact checking maybe you should check this fact.

    Dino didn’t say all the “white house advisors.” He said “a bunch of people who are in charge…have never had a meaningful private sector job.” Apparently he doesn’t consider the employment you mentioned as meaningful. Nor did he say he was referring to all the white house advisors. He didn’t state a fact but rather an opinion.

  23. pen_mightier_than_sword says:

    I must admit that Murray’s spokesperson pulled a Fox News and went too far with Rossi’s comment. However, Rossi still proves his considerable ignorance by the comment. See http://michellemalkin.com/2010/04/21/all-the-presidents-goldman-sachs-men/ wherein the ver prominent conservative Michelle Malkin assails Obama for his close ties to Goldman Sach and complains that his cabinet and advisors are all from or closely tied to Goldman Sachs, the most successful and powerful private sector, paycheck signing capitalists the world has ever known. Rossi and third pig can shove their socialist/Marxist malarkey!

  24. OldLefty says:


    Do Conservatives take lessons on squirming after comments?

    Oh..and to Peter Callaghan –

    Is this an opinion piece or did you miss Journalism 101 on headline writing? You’ve jumped to the defense of Rossi faster than Rossi’s camp.

  25. OldLefty says:

    Pen – while the attack is slightly out of character for Senator Murray, it was a valid point to make. Rossi only “qualifies” his statements after someone helps him pull his foot out of his mouth.

    Notice that no one on the Conservative side wants to deal with my illustration of John McCain’s career in “the private sector”.

  26. OldLefty says:

    Jenyum – please be advise for the future that Cabinet members don’t qualify as White House advisors……or something like that….or maybe vice versa….or something like that

  27. OldLefty says:

    “He didn’t state a fact but rather an opinion.”

    I do believe those are called “weasel words”

  28. I’m looking up the bios of the “bunch of people that are in charge” but for some reason it’s slow going.

  29. tree_guy says:

    Why keep defending the Murray campaign’s press release? Clearly he was not insulting our soldiers, firefighters, etc. He was commenting on the “people in charge.” Callaghan quite correctly identified the source of the problem as Murray’s aide, Julie Edwards. The issue raised by the story was the deception being practiced by Murray’s campaign. Only desperate people defend the indefensible.

  30. tree_guy says:

    Murray could gain a lot of credibility and perhaps some good will by firing Ms. Edwards.

  31. sparkydive says:

    Let’s get real. Has the News Tribune ever fact checked ANYTHING Dino Rossi ever said? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  32. sl35351 says:

    She’s not even close to being the person she claimed to be …way back when.

    I guess I could call her names, but I just hope we change things up. We are going to suffer with this type of leader.

    There is a very good reason congress is so very poorly rated…. but we keep sending her.

  33. I’m not defending the press release.

  34. webtimes22 says:

    Facts: The only place Troops, Military, Police, Firefighters, Teachers appear is in the Murray press release. The facts are Rossi was responding to a question about presidential adviser and Murray’s campaign is saying he is talking about public employee’s most people identify with.

    The strongest statements appear to be partisan support, understandably. I simply put it this way, if you want a smaller, more appropriately focused federal government will you get it with Rossi or Murray? Murray has an 18 year record in her current office to review and she held elected office before that as well.

  35. DHT112A says:

    Hey Patty, How are those day care Bin Laden built working out???????

  36. SFKemerson says:

    I know the Political Smell Test is new to the Trib, but Murray is by far the all-time leader in getting called out for false campaign adds. This is the 2nd or 3rd time in just a few weeks. Not to mention she hasn’t got nailed on her new ‘40,000 children kicked off health care’ ad, which was thoroughly debunked in 2008.

    Beyond her title for quantity, she also broke the land speed record with this last one. Lets see; Dino is on Ingraham this morning, Murray issues the press release maybe by noonish, then by 4:56pm, Callaghan is calling her out for being full of crap…

    Not even 12 hours…

    Impressive Senator Murray….

  37. SFKemerson says:

    For the record on the 40,000 low-income children being kicked off health care:

    A) You will NOT find a list of any 40,000 actual kids because their is no such list in existance.

    B) The number comes from a projected guestimated by OFM on a provision in the 2003-2005 budget requiring verification of income for recipients of taxpayer funded health care.

    Prior to that budget, online enrollments to the Basic Health Plan never had their income verified. Theoretically, Bill Gates could have signed up, claimed he made less than 275% of the federal poverty line and we would have paid for his families health care. Once income checks started being verified, some families were removed from WA Basic because they LIED and DID NOT meet the income limits (the actual number isn’t close to 40k) Some of these families made $175,000 a year.

    The lie goes deeper, because WA Basic has a capped number of enrollments (something around 100k at the time). When those liars (who were cheating the system) were thrown off, that opened up enrollments for families on the waiting list, who actually qualified for the program. So Dino’s budget actually ADD MORE low-income kids to WA Basic.

    So put another way…. Patty Murray (and Christine Gregoire in 2008) support letting rich families lie about there income and steal taxpayer funded health care away form low-income kids who truly need support.

  38. demeter says:

    dump dumb patty

  39. pazzo242 says:

    I don’t care who you are….you make a stupid, unualified statement you should be held accountavble for it……Rossi or Murray. The left makes sure that when a conservative candidate says something off the wall it is brought to the attention of everyone…so fair is fair and the conservatives are doing the same with Murray. So if the liberals can’t handle the blog here then I have a suggestion….quit reading them and us right-wing nut jobs can enjoy ourselves because there is no way we will change our minds.

    Oh, by the way Volvo1999…..you couldn’t have thought of something better to say? Its conservatives like you who make us all look as bad as liberals.

  40. OldLefty says:

    Just on KING TV – “Patty Murray responsible for 18 years of wreckless spending”

    Let’s put the smell test to that one, Peter.

  41. While the moderates continue their battle with the extremists here, I’d just like to mention this is a serious election and I am considering voting for anyone but these two. If we all agree NOT to vote for either of them, we assure new blood that would likely be appreciative enough to reflect the will of the voters who elect them. Probably take Betty White & Facebook to pull it off though…

  42. OldLefty says:

    “A) You will NOT find a list of any 40,000 actual kids because their is no such list in existance.”

    When a comment start with this hyperbole, you can’t expect much truth to follow.

  43. OldLefty says:

    “Theoretically, Bill Gates could have signed up, claimed he made less than 275% of the federal poverty line and we would have paid for his families health care. ”

    And THIS is what followed the hyperbole.

  44. gotcha123 says:

    Patty Murrays voting record on immigration..

    1. voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared “santuary cities.” March 2008.
    2. Voted NO on building a fence along the Mexican border. Sept. 2006.
    3. Voted YES on allowing illegal alliens to particapate in Social Security. May 2006.
    4. Voted No on limit welfare for immigrants. June 1997.
    5. Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the United States Goverment. June 2007.

    For her voting record alone on immigration I will not vote for Murray..Check out her record on Abortion, and Civil Rights, let alone her reckless spending.

  45. gotcha123 says:

    The old Democratic party has been hijacked by Socialist and Marxist that have changed their name to Progressives in order to make their agenda sound more politically correct. Patty Murray is a Progressive and will not get elected for that reason.

  46. SFKemerson says:

    @ Peter Calllaghan,

    You missed your own papers follow-up/partial retraction/qualification of that Political Smell Test: Short answer – It depends on how you count the national debt.


    This follow-up doesn’t mention that calculating current debt projects using the CBO report might be off because the CBO is predicicting a slower, but sustained economic recovery over the next 10 years. Their report DOES NOT predict a double dip recession nor does it account for any abnormal change in the inflation or further job losses . These factors would drastically increase the federal deficit and debt beyond CBO projects.

    Fair minded, intellectually honest people can disagree on what impact any of these variables will have or which numbers are better predicters, but to call the doubling of the debt statement FALSE… is more a difference of opinion, than a statement of fact…

    Just making sure we tell the whole story…

  47. SFKemerson says:

    Further Evidence of Reckless Spending –

    In January of 1995… The Balance Budget Amendment (H.J. Res 1) passed the House of Reps. It came to a Senate floor vote in March of 1995. It failed by 1 vote. Senator Murray was the deciding vote AGAINST the Balanced Budget Amendment. Had Senator Murray voted for S.J. Res 1 back then, the Balanced Budget Amendment would have passed.

    At that time the national debt was $4.8 trillion. It is now over $13 trillion. You do the math…

  48. Ur… no, Patty Murray did not vote yes on social security for illegal aliens. She voted no on the Kyle amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act which would have prevented those who later adjusted to legal status (which would still not be a terribly easy process) from receiving social security benefits for work performed while they were in undocumented status. No current undocumented workers would receive social security.

    As for the 1997 vote, that was for reinstating food stamps (not welfare generally) for the children of *legal* immigrants. As for building fences and making English the national language, I don’t see where either of those things are terribly productive goals.

  49. SFKemerson: Yes, it really is a shame the budget wasn’t balanced during the Clinton admi….. oops, turns out it was.


    I wonder who was in power when the Deficit hit 412 trillion?

  50. klthompson says:

    As an independent I am not too keen on Rossi and had pretty much decided to skip voting in this race. Now that I have seen a couple of Murray’s ads I have decided I will vote in this race. For Rossi.

  51. OldLefty says:

    klthompson – how “Independent” of you!

  52. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Patty’s desperate.

    Patty’s novelty as a “mom in tennis shoes” has worn thin and her less than stellar intellectual prowess has now caught up with her. It has become apparent she lacks the brains to tie those tennis shoes.

    She knows she cannot get reelected based on her voting record and her lack of independence from the Reid/Pelosi/Obama record which is too far to the left of Washington voters. Her votes on the bailouts, Obamacare and the jobless 1.2 billion dollar (un) stimulus plan has doomed her political career.

    It’s the economy Patty and you have to answer for 9.6% unemployment and your party’s refusal to do anything about it other than blame someone else for it.

    Patty hitched her political wagon to the left wing of the Democratic party and now she sees the party is about to be over. American voters have learned what a mistake it is to have one political party control the House, Senate and the White House.

    The truth is her worst enemy so she must manufacture an evil out of Dino Rossi. She believes Washington voters are as naive as her and that they will believe what they are told by her, regardless of actual facts.

    Rossi has brains and voters know it. Brains are something Patty can only wish for.

  53. rampoloparent says:

    Seems to me the only people who get the smell test are conservatives. I smell a rat!

  54. Anyone with common sense can see that the commercial is cut and pasted. If they’re unwilling to show the entire question with the answer – then it’s made up for the simple minded people.

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