Meet the Press   |  October 25, 2014

Tim Russert: The tough questioner

June 15: "Meet the Press" looks back at some of the toughest questions Tim Russert asked during his career.

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MR. TIM RUSSERT: If I told you it was 25 percent of your state lived below the poverty line , would you believe me?

Mr. DAVID DUKE : I could believe you, yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: Are these the kinds of things that governors should know, who the largest employers are, how many people live below the poverty line ?

(Videotape, May 3, 1992 )

MR. ROSS PEROT: Just say...

MR. RUSSERT: You said that part of your $40 billion deficit reduction plan...

MR. PEROT: Now, what I have also told your program today...

MR. RUSSERT: ...is $180 billion.

Mr. PEROT : Yes. May I finish?

MR. RUSSERT: May I finish? It's a simple question.

MR. PEROT: Well, you've already finished.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, I, I...

MR. PEROT: Go, finish again.

MR. RUSSERT: Let's, let's -- please, please.

MR. PEROT: It's your, it's your program, you can do anything you want to with it.

(Videotape, November 7, 1993 )

MR. RUSSERT: Will you allow North Korea to build a nuclear bomb ?

FMR. PRES. BILL CLINTON: North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb . We have to be very firm about it.

(Videotape, October 13, 1996 )

MR. RUSSERT: Filegate, Travelgate , Whitewater -- what's wrong with those as legitimate issues?

FMR. VICE PRES. AL GORE: Look at all this Whitewater stuff. What's come out of it? Absolutely nothing.

(Videotape April 13, 1997 )

MR. RUSSERT: Would you be willing to retract or apologize for some of the things you said?

Mr. LOUIS FARRAKHAN : If I can defend every word that I speak and every word that I speak is truth, then I have nothing to apologize for.

(Videotape, February 8, 2004 )

MR. RUSSERT: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction , do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: I think it's a -- that's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? It's a war of necessity.

(Videotape, September 4, 2005 )

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, you say pre-staged. People were sent to the convention center . There was no water, no food, no beds, no authorities there. There as no planning.

SEC'Y MICHAEL CHERTOFF: We'll have time to go back and do an after-action report. But the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are.

MR. RUSSERT: Many Americans believe now is the time for accountability.

(Videotape, May 27, 2007 )

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON: Look, I was asked -- I shouldn't have said that, so you're going to -- I've been in public life 25 years. You're going to find a lot of these, and it seems you've found them all here.

MR. RUSSERT: No, I'm just trying to set the record, I'm trying to give you a chance to respond, which is fair.

GOV. RICHARDSON: All right. OK.

(Videotape, April 2, 2006 )

MR. RUSSERT: Senator John McCain , thanks for joining us and sharing your views.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I haven't had so much fun since my last interrogation.