Last week, Neil Cavuto had an epic confrontation with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) over the fiscal cliff. He kept demanding to know what, specifically, she (and, presumably the Congressional Black Caucus) would cut. Apparently, Johnson couldn’t articulate her position in a short enough sound bite for Cavuto. He repeatedly interrupted her and finally ended the interview so rudely that he later apologized to his viewers. But Johnson may have had the last laugh. As he was cutting her off, she said, “You might be consulting with the Republicans but I am not because we have not had the opportunity.”
The discussion was fairly contentious from the get-go. Johnson said, “It is clear that some of us are more concerned about the people, the working people, and some are not as concerned about the working people, and so that’s where the line is drawn.”
Cavuto said, “Well, why are you casting Republicans as unconcerned about working people? It looks like they’re trying to strike a deal like your side, I guess, is trying to strike a deal. No one loves people any less, right?”
Johnson shot back, “I did not say Republicans, because there are people on both sides of the aisle that feel very, very strongly about not punishing people that are already at the bottom of the barrel, and there are people on the other side.”
Rather than dwell on what she was getting at, Cavuto pushed her into saying what programs she’s willing to cut. “We know that Republicans have offered $800 billion in tax hikes, they haven’t spelled out how they’ll go about that. …They then turn back at Democrats and say, ‘Alright, we want to see your cuts.’ …Where would you do some trimming?”
Johnson began, “First of all, we have to think about revenue generation. We have cut to the bone, and we are willing...”
Cavuto interrupted. “Where have you cut to the bone?”
Johnson said, “Each time we cut, we’re cutting jobs. When you continue to cut jobs, your economy is not going to get better. People do not have money to spend, there’s no demand for goods, manufacturing stops.”
”Does that mean, Congresswoman, that you would be against any more cuts in spending?” Cavuto asked.
Johnson said, “I’m willing to look at cuts.”
Cavuto interrupted again. “Where would you look at them?”
Johnson said there are “a number of places” to look at but “The first thing we need to do is look at revenue generation.”
Cavuto said impatiently, “I know that. Time’s a wasting. …Where would you be open to trimming spending?”
Johnson replied, “I’m open to trimming spending on all of the tax breaks we are giving to the rich.”
That was not the kind of trimming Cavuto wanted to hear. He sounded like he was trying to control his temper as he asked, “Where would you cut spending outright? Would you cut any entitlements? Would you slow the growth in any of the entitlements?”
”Entitlements are on the table. There are some places within entitlements that we can look at. We can look at trying to decide where we cut the income of persons who are using Medicare.”
But instead of exploring what she meant, Cavuto hit her with, “You would be against raising the age for Medicare even if it was 20 years out, you would be against that?”
Johnson responded, “I will not agree to raise the eligibility on people who work at mines, people who at fire stations, people who work as law enforcement officials that are high stress.”
Again, that was not enough for Cavuto. But rather than find out who, if anyone, she might be willing to raise the age eligibility for, he said, “Republicans will hear this… and they’re going to say, …‘We’re putting tax hikes on the table and the Democrats aren’t putting anything on the table.’ …You didn’t cave on anything, Congresswoman.”
Johnson shot back, “You have not heard anything I said because you never stopped talking to listen… There are a number of things of which we could look at.”
Cavuto continued, “It’s (revenue generation) a 100% of what you’re talking about.”
”It is not 100% of what I’m talking about. If you’d shut up for just a second…” Johnson said.
But Cavuto would not stop badgering her. “I beg you, one thing you would tell, I’m going to cut this, what would it be?” There was silence a moment before he added, “You don’t know do you?”
Johnson said, “First of all, there has to be some type of dialogue. We have not had that… We have said what we are willing to look at.”
Cavuto ended the segment with a sneer: “You haven’t done that but hope springs eternal… Congresswoman, I want to get you back, but this was a total waste of time. We’ll have more after this.”
As Cavuto was cutting her off, she said, “You might be consulting with the Republicans but I am not because we have not had the opportunity.”
After the break, Cavuto apologized. “I want to apologize to the Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and to you who might have been offended by my interrupting the Congresswoman, not allowing a simple answer, but that’s all I wanted, a simple answer… I joke around here that I’m sort of a busy superhero trying to cobble together a deal.”
Maybe if Cavuto had let her explain, he could have gotten an answer.
Stronger than the morals it takes to tell the truth,
Able to leap tall facts in a single bound,
It’s a fraud,
It’s a sham,
ROFLMAO to the power of a thousand.