The best way to restore America’s values is by changing government policy, not by attacking Hollywood’s movies and TV shows, Sen. Phil Gramm said Friday.
“If we’re going to bring back the values and virtues we all loved in America when we were growing up, we’re going to have to do it by changing policies of government, by changing welfare, by changing the tax codes so that families are again the dominant decision makers in American society,” the GOP presidential candidate told reporters while campaigning.
Republican front-runner Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas harshly criticized Hollywood’s entertainment industry earlier this week for glorifying sex and violence.
Some saw Dole’s remarks as an attempt to solidify support among conservatives while taking a swipe at Gramm for once investing $7,500 with his brother-in-law to support an R-rated movie.
Asked whether Dole was indirectly criticizing him, Gramm said: “I’m not going to accuse Senator Dole of that. Anybody who has ever had a brother-in-law understands brother-in-law investments. You’ve got to have a good sense of humor if you run for president.”
Gramm, from Texas, said that “every institution in American society needs to be more responsible.”
He recalled the time “my mama called me and said she wanted Congress to get all this sex out of the soap operas.”
“I went to see her and come 1 o’clock, she turns on the TV and I tried to talk to her,” he said.
She told him to be quiet so she could watch, he said. “I said, ‘Look, Mother, if you don’t like this stuff, turn the television off.’
“It’s important to remind our people that we have the power as consumers,” he said.
“If you don’t like what is being produced, don’t go see it. Don’t buy the products that advertise.”