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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Reaction to Starr report from around the nation

  • Rep. Henry Hyde
  • House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch
  • Rep. Charles Rangel
  • Sen. Bob Kerrey
  • Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun
  • Paula Jones
  • Carl Bernstein, journalist

  • Rep. Henry Hyde
    House Judiciary Committee chairman

    "I'm not happy with the salacious material. I think one of the down sides or fallouts from this whole process has been giving too much currency to salacious activities and talk. And I don't think that's helpful to the country, but there's a tremendous demand for the whole story to be put out on the table, both from our members, Democrat and Republicans, and the public. So it's an unfortunate aspect of this total picture."

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    House Speaker Newt Gingrich

    "Now we are at a period of judgment that I think is very sobering. We are working very hard with the Democratic leadership to be calm, to be fair, to do everything so that we are doing it as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans ... I think we have to put it in context. The office of president is the most powerful government office in the world. It is the most respected in the world. It is the office ... made honorable by George Washington; it is the office made morally noble by Abraham Lincoln."

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    Sen. Orrin Hatch
    Senate Judiciary Committee chairman

    "What I have read so far is not good ... Some will try to make this just purely a sexual matter and they'll try to say this is purely a private matter ... But I don't see anything that I've read so far that indicates that Judge Starr is saying that he (Clinton) should be impeached because of a sexual relationship."

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    Rep. Charles Rangel

    "I quite frankly was afraid as to what shoe was going to drop when this report was over. But he (Starr) took ... a situation of very poor judgement by the president and pumped it into a nickel-and-dime, lurid sex story. I think that's all he had, he had no choice, he fired his best shot, it can't get worse than that, but it's not impeachable."

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    Sen. Bob Kerrey

    "I would hold fire. Don't reach a premature judgment here until you've heard all the facts. The House Judiciary Committee's going to go forward in a process. But ... we can pray for them (the Clintons) and feel compassion for them at the same time we're trying to decide what is the appropriate punishment.

    "There's a betrayal here. It's behavior, if half of it is true, if just what the president stipulated is true, he's commander in chief, for gosh sake. He's President of the United States. This is not a consensual affair between a private section citizen and a woman."

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    Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun

    "I am appalled and I've said all along I was really hurt by this whole thing. I think it's a Greek tragedy for the country, not just for the president and his family. This is a tragic thing, this is not a laughing matter. This is not a soap opera. This is not 'All My Children.' This is very serious stuff for every American. So I think that the patriotic thing to do is for us to remember that this is about our country as well as about the president and kind of try to be as prudent and responsible as we can."

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    Paula Jones

    "I've been listening to it all day, but I don't have any comment to make about it."

    Asked if she would eventually say something about the report, Jones said "most definitely."

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    Carl Bernstein

    "We have seen lying by the president, we have seen a coverup here, and this is unlike anything in our history. This report is tawdry, it's lurid, it speaks to a kind of recklessness by the president of the United States that perhaps we've never seen by an incumbent president, at least while he was in office. We may have learned something about Jack Kennedy's recklessness after he was in office, but this is quite astonishing in its details."

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    Investigating the President


    Saturday September 12, 1998

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