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Old 12-12-2002, 02:18 PM   #1
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Tough to be Trent Lott these days

As the Broadsides Continue, Lott Issues Another Apology
Incoming Senate leader calls his remarks a 'mistake.' GOP unease over controversy grows.
By Nick Anderson and Richard Simon
Times Staff Writers

December 12 2002

WASHINGTON -- With Republicans growing increasingly nervous about their incoming Senate majority leader, Trent Lott (R-Miss.) apologized for a second time Wednesday for recently praising a 1948 presidential campaign that promoted racial segregation.

"This was a mistake of the head or of the mouth, not of the heart," Lott said. "You know, I've asked for forgiveness, and now I want to, you know, do the right thing in the future."

As clamor grew that his previous amends for the statements had been insufficient, Lott apologized in interviews broadcast on the Fox News Channel and CNN. Earlier this week, he apologized through brief written statements.

His latest comments came amid an intensifying fusillade of criticism from Democrats and concern among Republicans that Lott's Senate job could be on the line.

So far, no Senate Republicans have publicly called for Lott's ouster. Privately, however, many are concerned.

"There is a great deal of unease about where we're headed," said one senior Senate GOP aide who requested anonymity.

"There is a high level of anxiety downtown," the aide said, referring to the White House.

The White House has publicly refrained from criticizing Lott. But neither has it offered a strong statement of support for a lawmaker who, as Senate leader, will be essential to steering President Bush's agenda through the new Congress. Bush has made no public statement on the matter.

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer on Wednesday reiterated Bush's support for civil rights and sidestepped questions about whether the president is concerned about the damage that Lott's statements may have caused the Republican Party.

"The president ... understands and knows that America is a much richer and better nation as a result of the changes that have been made to our society involving integration and the improvement of relations between races," Fleischer said.

Lott has been pummeled for days for saying on Dec. 5 that the nation would have been better off if Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), then running as a Dixiecrat, had been elected president in 1948.

As news of Lott's remarks spread, Lott on Monday apologized for what he termed "a poor choice of words" at "a lighthearted celebration" of Thurmond's 100th birthday. Lott stressed that he had not meant to endorse segregation.

But the controversy intensified Wednesday with the revelation that Lott had also praised Thurmond's presidential candidacy at a public event in 1980.

That year, the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., reported that Lott had praised Thurmond during a political rally: "You know, if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today."

Those words foreshadowed what Lott said at Thurmond's party: "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a likely 2004 presidential contender, on Wednesday became the first of Lott's Senate colleagues to call on him to step aside as majority leader before the 108th Congress convenes on Jan. 7.

"I simply do not believe the country can today afford to have someone who has made these statements again and again be the leader of the United States Senate," Kerry said.

Lott also came under fire in Mississippi on Wednesday when the Clarion-Ledger, the state's largest newspaper, published a critical editorial cartoon.

As part of his effort to repair his image, Lott on Wednesday said he had supported increased funding for education, election reform and other initiatives that show his support for African Americans.

However, many civil-rights groups deplore his legislative record, and his recent comments cast a new light on it.

He voted in 1983 against creating a federal holiday for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; in 1982, he opposed an extension of the Voting Rights Act.

In the 1980s, he championed Bob Jones University in South Carolina, a private institution that at the time banned interracial dating.

In one instance, he filed a legal brief arguing that the Internal Revenue Service had no right to deny Bob Jones University or other religious schools a tax exemption based on discriminatory policies. The Supreme Court rejected the claim.

Lott also faced criticism in the late 1990s for his contacts with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that has been attacked by critics as a source of segregationist rhetoric.

On Wednesday, he described a speech he had given to the council as a routine appearance in a public forum.

In his interview on Fox, Lott termed his comments "terrible" and added, "I apologize for the words, and I'm sorry that I used words that are insensitive and conveyed an impression that is not an accurate one."

Lott described himself as the son of a sharecropper and a schoolteacher who understands the troubles faced by average Americans of all backgrounds.

He said he hoped he would be given a chance to move past the controversy, which he acknowledged "has become a distraction from the things we really want to be focusing on."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he expected Lott to remain the leader of the 51-member Republican Senate caucus.

"He's very effective with the caucus," McCain said. "He's good at building relationships."

However, McCain added that Lott's latest apologies may not be enough.

"He probably should hold a press conference and answer questions," he said.

Lott, 61, a three-term senator and former House member, has led the Senate Republicans, as majority leader and minority leader, since Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas stepped down in 1996 to run for president.

Last month, he was unchallenged for a new two-year term as Senate majority leader after Republicans regained the chamber in the midterm elections.

Should a new challenge to Lott emerge, possible candidates to succeed him would be Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Don Nickles of Oklahoma and Bill Frist of Tennessee.

Some conservative opinion leaders fear that because of Lott, the party has taken an irreparable hit on civil rights.

"Look, Mr. Bush has worked hard to try to demonstrate racial sensitivity," said Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative group. "These remarks undercut that."

William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, said Lott had failed to stem the uproar.

"The question is, can Republicans do better than Trent Lott for the next two years as the leader in the Senate?" Kristol said. "The answer is yes."







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Old 12-12-2002, 07:53 PM   #2
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Fuck him.
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Old 12-12-2002, 10:55 PM   #3
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Knowing a little bit about Trent Lott, I can't imagine that his comment was completely innocent.
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Old 12-13-2002, 10:40 AM   #4
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He most definitely has a history of racial remarks. I think he should resign as speaker.

Lott gave a keynote address in 1992 to the Council of Conservative Citizens, which advocates the preservation of the white race. He was quoted as saying ``the people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy.''

Lott is hardly the first Republican tied to Southern Partisan. John McCain was criticized during his 2000 presidential bid because one of his advisers worked occasionally for the periodical. And John Ashcroft, now the attorney general, gave an interview in the magazine in which he hailed Confederate figures as ``patriots.''

Sort indicts Ashcroft also. It is a shame that our newspaper and other media don't publicize things like this more. It may prevent their election in the first place. I'm sure the 11% of black votes Lott received in Mississippi hadn't heard this.
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Old 12-13-2002, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
I'm sure the 11% of black votes Lott received in Mississippi hadn't heard this.
Lott received a minority vote?! GEEEEEEEZ.
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Old 12-13-2002, 06:35 PM   #6
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Did his forth apology do the trick?

or does he still have toupee?

oops, I mean to pay?
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Old 12-13-2002, 06:40 PM   #7
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Jimmy the Greek says the odds are 3-2 Lott survives.
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Old 12-14-2002, 12:37 AM   #8
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by deep
[B]




new spokesperson for A&W Root Beer "Thick-Headed" Ad Campaign.


His asininity is only exceeded by his arrogance!!!!!
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Old 12-14-2002, 01:47 AM   #9
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Lott and Colleagues Make Plea Bargain
(2002-12-3) -- Senator Trent Lott, R-Miss., is said to have reached a plea bargain with Senate colleagues to avoid removal from his position as Senate majority leader.

As part of the agreement, Sen. Lott will plead guilty to "really throwing the GOP off message." In return, he will do 250 hours of community service, and attend 10 sessions of sensitivity training.

As his community service project, the veteran lawmaker will install special drinking fountains for the black citizens of Jackson, Mississippi.

"I'm glad to perform this community service for my African-American constituents," said Sen. Lott. "So often they have to stand in line waiting for a drink. These fountains I'm installing will have a placard that reads 'For Blacks Only' so that these historically-oppressed people can step right up and quench their thirst."
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Old 12-15-2002, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


Did his forth apology do the trick?

or does he still have toupee?

oops, I mean to pay?
ya know,
the more he apologizes the bigger of a baffoon he looks ...
each apology is better scripted than the last, however they are all transparent.
I say we have Collin Powell have a sit down w him and once he flinches slap him around like the little bitch he is...

George Will called his leadership-Inadequate Mediocrity at best..
He needs to go..

I can see this turning into an achilles heel qwikly for G.O.P..
sorta like GHB's " Read My Lips No New Taxes"
DB9
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Old 12-15-2002, 05:25 PM   #11
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herman goering! lionel hutz! heinrich himmler! trent lott!
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Old 12-15-2002, 08:15 PM   #12
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As dumb as Lott's comments were, this seems to be the only issue at the moment that the Dem's can use for headline control.
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Old 12-16-2002, 11:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
As dumb as Lott's comments were, this seems to be the only issue at the moment that the Dem's can use for headline control.
What does this mean?
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Old 12-16-2002, 01:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
As dumb as Lott's comments were, this seems to be the only issue at the moment that the Dem's can use for headline control.
* looks back at the Republicans with the Clinton sex scandal.

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Old 12-16-2002, 08:10 PM   #15
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LOTT COMMITS POL. SUICIDE- SAYS HE IS FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION?

Asked for his views on affirmative action policies, Lott said, "I'm for that," even though he has voted against affirmative action legislation.
"Across the board?" Gordon asked.
"Absolutely," Lott said. "My actions don't reflect my voting record," he said. In other words, he said, he himself has practiced affirmative action policies by hiring minorities on his own staff.
Lott said he is poised to use his power as majority leader to show he wants to do something about race.
Quote:
A contrite Lott tells BET he's changed
MOBILE, Alabama (CNN) --A contrite Trent Lott rejected forcefully Monday the comments he made earlier this month that some critics say expressed racist sentiments.
And he added that his vote opposing the establishment of a national holiday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a mistake.
"The important thing is to recognize the hurt that I have caused, and ask for forgiveness and find a way to turn this into a positive thing and try to make amends for what I've said and for what others have said over the years," Lott told Black Entertainment Television in an interview to be aired Monday at 8 p.m. ET
"I'm looking for this not only to be a chance for redemption but to actually do something about it.
"You can say it was innocent but it was insensitive at the very least, and repugnant, to be quite frank."
Lott, a Mississippi Republican, then decried some of the leadership in the South. "There has been immoral leadership in my part of the country for a long time."
Asked by BET anchor Ed Gordon whether he had been a part of that leadership, he said, "Yes, I can't deny that. And I, you know, believe I have changed and I am trying to do a better job.
"But, yes, I am a part of the region and the history that has not always done what it was supposed to have done."
Regarding his 1984 vote against setting aside the holiday in honor of the civil rights leader, Lott said he didn't understand the significance of King at the time.
Asked for his views on affirmative action policies, Lott said, "I'm for that," even though he has voted against affirmative action legislation.
"Across the board?" Gordon asked.
"Absolutely," Lott said. "My actions don't reflect my voting record," he said. In other words, he said, he himself has practiced affirmative action policies by hiring minorities on his own staff.
Lott said he is poised to use his power as majority leader to show he wants to do something about race.
He acknowledged that he supported segregation while growing up in Mississippi. But, he said, his views have changed and he now regards the segregation of his childhood as "wicked."
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