Fox’s Shannon Bream and regular guest Ben Stein got together to promote the Republican talking point that Hillary Clinton is too rich to be in touch with regular folks. All the while insisting they had no problem with her wealth.
Bream set the stage in her introduction.
BREAM: Bill and Hillary Clinton brought in more than $25 million since January of last year. That is the most recent number disclosed to the federal election commission. Now critics are questioning how Hillary Clinton can campaign as a champion of the middle class while piling up massive amounts of wealth.
Stein began by mocking Clinton.
STEIN: She was a shy little thing. She used to walk down the halls of the Sterling Law Building sort of clinging to the walls, she was so shy.
“She has come out of her shell. She is now running for President,” Bream noted.
“Yeah, but you’d barely know it,” Stein sneered. “She’s just running the quietest campaign that’s ever been.”
Bream agreed. “She is kinda still staying on the mute side, at least when it comes to taking questions from the likes of us journalists.”
Stein took a cheap shot. He said sarcastically, “Well you swine, what do you have to do with people who make 25 million a year?”
That’s when the class warfare really began.
BREAM: She’s taking so much heat from the left. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who’s wanting to pull her there. She wants to crack down on Wall Street. She talks about income inequality all the time.
How can Hillary thread that needle when she’s clearly among the one percentand I have no problem with that. This is America.
STEIN: She is among the one tenth probably one hundredth of one percent. She is a very wealthy woman. And a very, very highly paid woman.
BREAM: There’s nothing wrong with that.
Stein claimed that Clinton’s wealth doesn’t mean she can’t be a champion of the poor, just that she isn’t one. But then he said, “What could she do to be a champion of the poor? There’s nothing she can do. There’s no policy that’s going to make the poor rich.”
The only way to help the poor, according to Stein, is for them to help themselves.
STEIN: There’s no policy that would work except for them to get education and work and earn more money. She [Clinton] says all that stuff about making the poor into the middle class. That’s all nonsense. It’s just a big lie.
…There’s nothing in the history of the world that has made poor people well-to-do except for them to achieve better educational status and better skills and then to have more human capital.
After fawning over Bream by calling her “the world’s most beautiful human being,” Stein also made sure to let us know he has nothing against wealth. This time he attacked Clinton by arguing that her most important drawback is that she “hasn’t accomplished anything in her life.”
STEIN: I love people making money. I like to make money, myself. It’s great stuff. …She hasn’t accomplished anything in her life, that’s the thing. She married the wizard campaigner of all time. He made her first lady. The fact she was his first lady made her senator from New York. She was secretary of state for four years . She accomplished nothing. Absolutely nothing. Traveled one million miles…
…She has no achievements whatsoever.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican, disagrees. Gates appeared on Face The Nation yesterday. While Gates said he was unimpressed with the entire 2016 field, he nonetheless praised Clinton’s job as secretary of state.
GATES: I think she was a good secretary of state. I think she played a—a critical role in—in getting the much tougher sanctions on Iran and getting particularly the Russians and the Chinese onboard, to allow those more severe sanctions to—to be put into place. We agreed in terms of the Afghan surge. If anything, she was tougher than I was on that. She was ready to support McChrystal’s forty thousand—request for forty thousand troops and only went along with the thirty thousand because I proposed it. I think that we certainly agreed in terms of how to deal with the very first phases of—of the Arab Spring, and, particularly, disagreeing with President on how to handle Mubarak. So the first place we actually ever parted ways was on the intervention in Libya, which she supported and I opposed.
But Bream never challenged Stein’s accusation. She just joked, “Let us know if you have a class reunion because we would love to hear about that.”
Watch it below, from yesterday’s America’s News HQ.
He looks like a region……
And for Stein to talk about “education” the way he does………Has he bothered to look at how the GOP (red) states have screwed over education at every opportunity in just the last decade? It’s kind of absurd to talk about “achiev[ing] better educational and better skills” when you’ve got states which are deliberately removing scientific information (especially about evolution) or changing/rewriting history (especially concerning slavery, the Civil War and the Civil Rights era). Although, as quoted, Stein may have inadvertently exposed the GOP’s actual philosophy. As the rest of his “achieve” quote reads, “to have more human capital.” What exactly does he mean by “human capital?”
As defined in Merriam-Webster Online, “capital” is
1a (1) : a stock of accumulated goods especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period; also : the value of these accumulated goods (2) : accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods (3) : accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income
b (1) : net worth (2) : stock
c : persons holding capital : capitalists considered as a group
d : advantage, gain
e : a store of useful assets or advantages
To me, it sounds like he’s describing the “middle class or poor” as nothing more than part of the corporate bottom line. Of course, the corporate bottom line is NOT served with a middle or poor class that is better educated or better skilled, since folks with better education and better skills generally want better pay. And corporations don’t want to pay more than a certain level. If the employees start wanting higher pay, then they’ll find their jobs “suddenly” outsourced to another country (or even another state which offers better—ie, lower—tax rates and can fire employees for no reason at all).
Can anyone name a bigger pompous ass than Ben Stein? Anyone? Anyone?