Susan Feinberg, the Rutgers Professor who confronted Paul Ryan at a D.C. restaurant over the cost of a bottle of wine ordered by people at Ryan’s table, appeared on the Dom Giordano radio show in Philadelphia moments ago (h/t to a commenter).
I hope to have the audio soon, and will post it. The quotes below are my quick “live” transcriptions, they are substantively accurate although if any of the precise wording is off, I apologize.
Feinberg started out by recounting the events. She confirmed that one of the people at the table other than Ryan ordered the bottle of wine in question. She also tried to listen to the conversation at Ryan’s table, but could only hear part of it. She said she heard a part of the conversation at the Ryan table where someone said something “to the effect that liberals think that if you’re a millionaire you’ve done something wrong.”
Feinberg denied she was inebriated, having had half a bottle of wine over the course of dinner.
She confirmed that she said to Ryan’s table that a family of four making $10 an hour would not make as much in a week what the wine cost. “I asked him how he lived with himself … knowing that the policies he was proposing would be incredibly devastating to seniors ….”
Feinberg refused to say what her husband did. She justified her own state salary [she didn’t say it, but it’s $160,000 per year] and the fact that tuition is expensive at Rutgers by saying “I’m not out espousing policies that would gut health care for tens of millions of people” or “give vouchers to seniors.”
She said there was no zone of comfort for Ryan or other politicians. “I’m quite comfortable with it” referring to confronting Ryan at a restaurant.
She said Ryan would “basically take Medicare away” from people. She claimed that someone was “in the process of buying” Ryan until she confronted him. “How let them eat cake is that.”
She said that as to her $80 bottle of wine, she talked with her husband about whether it was too extravagant, but he insisted because it was her birthday. “If I’d seen that kind of excessive behavior by someone on the left I probably would have said something.”
“I don’t think that line of questioning is terribly useful” she said when Giordano asked her at what point the wine becomes too expensive.
When a listener called in to wonder why she’s not complaining about Obama family vacations that taxpayers pay for, Feinberg said “I guess I don’t think the situation is necessarily the same. The key issue with Ryan is that he is the architect [of a plan] gutting Medicare for seniors… and taking health care away from tens of millions of middle class and lower income Americans.”
Giordano questioned whether it would be okay for someone who votes “the right way” to order an expensive bottle of wine. Feinberg claimed she would have confronted Nancy Pelosi in the same situation.
A listener called in: “Who gave you the right to do what you did? In my opinion what you did was way over the line…”
Feinberg said “there is a law that does not allow members of Congress to accept gifts over $100….” “Paul Ryan should probably thank me that I reminded him that he wasn’t allowed to do that…. otherwise he would have been in violation of the law.”
Update: The Right Scoop has the full audio (also an excerpt at the link, but I suggest you listen to the whole thing):