MSNBC to GOP Senator: Here’s A Clip of a Democrat Saying You’re Wrong

During an interview with Republican Indiana Senator Mike Braun on her 10:00 a.m. ET hour show on Friday, MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson actually interrupted the exchange to play a clip of Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy spewing left-wing propaganda in defense of the wasteful, pork-laden COVID relief bill being pushed by the Biden administration. Jackson spent the rest of the segment echoing DNC talking points and pretending every dollar in the nearly $2 trillion boondoggle was essential.

After Senator Braun pointed out the massive debt the United States had already accrued in recent years, Jackson interjected: “…let me let another one of your colleagues on the other side of the aisle rebut that point, if you will. Here’s Senator Chris Murphy on the very issue that you’re bringing up, the idea that this is too expensive. Watch.”

 

 

A soundbite ran of Murphy equating his party’s pork barrel spending with Republicans allowing Americans to keep more of their own money: “It’s a little hard to listen to my Republican colleagues claim that this bill is too expensive when they were willing to spend the exact same amount of money in 2017 on tax cuts for their wealthy corporate and millionaire friends.”

Following the clip, Jackson hammered Braun: “Tax cuts were just as expensive, there was no pandemic, there was no immediate economic crisis to address then. Why the change of heart for your party?”

The hostile interrogation began with Jackson demanding Republicans back the bill: “It doesn’t look like any Senate Republican is going to be voting for this bill, but I have to ask, your own constituents, 60% almost of GOP voters according to a new Morning Consult poll, actually favor this COVID relief bill. Why ignore them?”

When Braun pointed out that the “top three” states getting federal taxpayer dollars in the package were “New York, New Jersey, California,” Jackson fulfilled her role as a Democratic Party hack by sneering: “I understand that’s a common talking point for the GOP, red and blue states, as you well know, both benefit or would benefit from this COVID relief bill.”

She then wailed: “You talk about not wanting to spend more, spending more was okay for members of your party back in the Trump administration when there was no discussion – or very little discussion about the deficit. Why is it a problem now?” In reply, Braun noted how little of the legislation was directly related to combating the pandemic: “But this is only 9% towards COVID-related stuff. A lot of it has nothing else to do with it – ”

Jackson quickly cut him off:

That’s actually not true, Senator. I don’t want to have to go into a fact check back and forth with you here, but for the broad impact – I just want to make sure our viewers are clear here – for the broad impact of the economic impact, for other issues related to what we’ve seen in this pandemic, there is far more than 9% in that bill.

In reality, even left-leaning fact checker Politifact grudgingly acknowledged the claim to be “half true,” though still quibbled with the statistic:

Expert analysis shows a small percentage of the spending is directed at combating the virus through vaccines, protective equipment or resources for health care providers. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the bill isn’t related to COVID-19. A significant percentage of the bill aims to address the financial fallout caused by the pandemic.

In addition, former Obama administration Treasury official and MSNBC economic analyst Steve Rattner recently told the dismayed hosts of Morning Joe that the COVID bill being forced through by Democrats was a massive waste of money.  

In response to Jackson touting the rant from her fellow Democrat, Senator Murphy, Braun defended the 2017 tax cuts: “All I can tell you is when that occurred we were creating an economy that was actually raising wages the old fashioned way…” Moments later, Jackson tried to credit the Obama administration for the strong economy under President Trump: “I will note that many economists point out that the reason why the Trump administration was successful in it’s economic efforts was because of what was put in place from the administration prior.”

Every question and interruption from the MSNBC anchor was about attacking Republicans with partisan Democratic spin. Why even play soundbites from elected Democrats if Jackson is just going to parrot everything they say?

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Here is a transcript of the hostile March 5 exchange:

10:26 AM ET

HALLIE JACKSON: We are back with a live look at the Senate, where they are in the middle of that three-hour debate on President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion COVID relief plan. You can see Senator Cantwell on the floor now. At around noon, so just a couple of hours from now, we’re expecting votes to start on a bunch of amendments, that’s going to be the vote-a-rama. Who knows how long that will go, but at some point after that you will see the vote on the bill. Let me bring in now Senator Mike Braun, Republican from Indiana and a member of the Budget Committee. Senator, good morning, thanks for being on.

SEN. MIKE BRAUN [R-IN]: Good to be on.

JACKSON: It doesn’t look like any Senate Republican is going to be voting for this bill, but I have to ask, your own constituents, 60% almost of GOP voters according to a new Morning Consult poll, actually favor this COVID relief bill. Why ignore them?

(…)

BRAUN: So places like Indiana, I can tell you, my constituents don’t want to borrow more money. The governor affirms that. The only thing we have to replenish is our unemployment fund. Everything else has done well because we had a good business climate, great economy. Eight of the ten states benefitting from the state and local government package, top three, New York, New Jersey, California, the hardest, longest shutdowns and that’s why it’s different across the country.                     

JACKSON: I understand that’s a common talking point for the GOP, red and blue states, as you well know, both benefit or would benefit from this COVID relief bill. But I have to ask, when you talk about Indiana being in good shape, other states around the country simply are not. You’ve got targeted relief here for low income people, more unemployment insurance, child tax credit. You talk about not wanting to spend more, spending more was okay for members of your party back in the Trump administration when there was no discussion – or very little discussion about the deficit. Why is it a problem now?

BRAUN: I am for all of what you just said because you modified it with targeted. From the get-go those most in need, small businesses…

JACKSON: Well –  

BRAUN: …helped to even a greater degree. But this is only 9% towards COVID-related stuff. A lot of it has nothing else to do with it –  

JACKSON: That’s actually not true, Senator. I don’t want to have to go into a fact check back and forth with you here, but for the broad impact – I just want to make sure our viewers are clear here – for the broad impact of the economic impact, for other issues related to what we’ve seen in this pandemic, there is far more than 9% in that bill. So let me just – I just want to keep it focused here because I do think there is an interesting political strategy at play here. One of your colleagues, as you know, Senator Ron Johnson asked that the bill be read into the very wee hours of the morning, right? Yet, at the same time, there’s supposed to be 20 hours of debate, there’s now only three hours of debate on this bill. Can you help me understand the political strategy on that? Why you think that might be beneficial to the GOP or do you not? Do you disagree with what Senator Johnson did?

BRAUN: No, I think that was to punctuate it and make a point. Number one, when you get a bill that large, that comprehensive, you need more time to do it. They’re obviously trying to push this through quickly.

(…)

BRAUN: Hallie, all I can tell you, I don’t disagree with a lot of what you’re intending to do. I want to help those who need it the most. I believe in raising a minimum wage, if you kind of regionalize it, have a starting wage involved in there, just not one size fits all and doing things regardless of the cost. We’re borrowing every penny of it. When I got here, $20 trillion in debt, the size of our economy. We’re soon to be $30 trillion after this gets through. You cannot keep doing things like that and expect this place to be there for all the people that come here and that are dependent upon it, it doesn’t make sense to me.

JACKSON: So let me let – let me let another one of your colleagues on the other side of the aisle rebut that point, if you will. Here’s Senator Chris Murphy on the very issue that you’re bringing up, the idea that this is too expensive. Watch.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: It’s a little hard to listen to my Republican colleagues claim that this bill is too expensive when they were willing to spend the exact same amount of money in 2017 on tax cuts for their wealthy corporate and millionaire friends.

JACKSON: Tax cuts were just as expensive, there was no pandemic, there was no immediate economic crisis to address then. Why the change of heart for your party?

BRAUN: All I can tell you is when that occurred we were creating an economy that was actually raising wages the old fashioned way, by competing for labor in the hardest places, African-American wages, minority wages across the board. We as a country –  

JACKSON: The very communities, as you know, who are still struggling as we just saw in the jobs report out this morning.

BRAUN: Targeted relief of anyone who wasn’t participating then, especially accentuated by COVID, I’d be for. And by the way, with $1.5 trillion over ten years, the CBO was getting ready to tell us that they had record revenues, that we were spending record amounts of money and that’s why we still have the structural trillion-dollar deficit. There’s always a bigger story to this. It was the best economy. There are very few of us here, and I don’t know if Chris Murphy could say that, I don’t know if he’s ever run a business, I slogged along for many years with a small one, built it into a national company, and what was working pre-COVID, what I see from the Obama/Biden years, years ago, and what I see from the Biden/Harris approach, we’re going to have bigger problems down the road because you’re taking away some of the benefits that were accruing to the entirety of the country.

JACKSON: I’m almost out of time and I want to get you on some of the security concerns at the Capitol, though I will note that many economists point out that the reason why the Trump administration was successful in it’s economic efforts was because of what was put in place from the administration prior.

(…)

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