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  Rendell explodes in '60 Minutes' interview
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ContributorScottĀ³ 
Last EditedScottĀ³  Jan 07, 2011 02:54pm
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CategoryNews
AuthorBrad Bumsted
MediaNewspaper - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
News DateFriday, January 7, 2011 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
Description"In a taped interview to air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," Gov. Ed Rendell exploded when pressed on the issue of gambling addiction, calling the reporter and producers "simpletons" and "idiots."

A casino opponent said the governor's outburst was "a national disgrace."

Rendell told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl that the "upsides" of casino gambling far outweigh the negatives, saying the "biggest downside is people lose their paychecks."

When pressed, Rendell said: "They're not losing their paychecks because Pennsylvania instituted gaming. These people would (otherwise) be going to Atlantic City or the racetrack."

When Stahl persisted with a question on the issue of addiction, Rendell said through gritted teeth: "You guys don't get that. You're simpletons. You're idiots if you don't get it."

Rendell was the leading proponent of casino gambling, which the General Assembly authorized in 2004. There are 10 casinos operating, and in 2009 the Legislature expanded the slots-only casinos to include table games.

"The fact he was pushing so hard for that and then to come on national TV and say that in such a callous way is a national disgrace," said Dan Hajdo, spokesperson for Casino Free Philadelphia. He wached a promo for the "60 Minutes" piece at a CBS affiliate in Philadelphia."

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