A heated debate between a Fox News host and a former Clinton advisor ended up with the latter saying he would never appear on the show again.
Simon Rosenberg objected to host Melissa Francis framing her question to ask what Democrats could change in the Trump tax plan to make it more palatable to them.
“I don’t think that’s the issue, Melissa,” he said before being interrupted immediately by Francis. “We’re not gonna do talking points!” she exclaimed.
“It’s not talking points,” he responded, “I actually understand what they’re proposing and I don’t think Democrats are going to support a bill that dramatically cuts taxes for very wealthy people, drives up the deficit…”
“Well you’re doing talking points,” Francis interrupted again.
“No I’m not doing talking points,” she said, “it’s insulting that you say that to me as if I don’t actually understand what I’m saying and can do my own analysis about the economy.”
“But you’re not answering the question,” she protested.
“No I am answering the question,” he said, “which is Democrats are not going to support tax reform that dramatically cuts taxes on people that don’t need tax cuts, and prevents middle class people from sharing in the benefits of these tax cuts, while driving up the deficit.”
Rosenberg and Francis then grappled over whether Trump’s plan would cut taxes for the middle class over the long term, with Francis arguing on the basis of a dynamic understanding of tax cuts. “Good for you, Melissa,” Rosenberg responded.
At the end of the segment, Francis tried to give Rosenberg a peace offering saying they should get a drink sometime. “Melissa, don’t worry, I’m never coming back on this show again, so it doesn’t matter,” he responded, and stripped off his microphone.
Is this the first time Rosenberg has done this?
No. Rosenberg now has a pattern of walking off Fox News debates when he feels he’s being treated rudely. In 2011 he angrily told conservative Ben Ferguson to “shut up,” before taking off his microphone and abandoning the debate.
Here is the report from 2004:
During a fiery and contentious interview on Fox News, former Bill Clinton campaign adviser Simon Rosenberg had enough of conservative talk-show host Ben Ferguson interrupting and talking over him.
The disgust was plastered on Rosenberg’s face. But disgust soon crept from his face to his arms and then his legs, as Rosenberg got up and left during the interview after telling Ferguson to “shut up!”
The two were discussing Clinton’s backstage comments to Paul Ryan about compromising on Medicare. But don’t let the “compromise” subject matter fool you — the two pundits were sure to give an interview that was full of wild disagreement.
The main point of contention seemed to be Rosenberg’s claim that Democrats were not fear-mongering. Ferguson found the preposterous, especially considering the recent Democratic ad that portrayed Paul Ryan dumping an old woman off a cliff.
Rosenberg’s frustration escalated throughout the interview. He initially started with a smug look and accused Ferguson of regular rudeness.
He then moved on to telling Ferguson to “shut up” and frustratedly asked, “Guys why should I come on this show if I can’t talk?” When Ferguson continued interrupting and accused Rosenberg of pouting, Rosenberg ripped out his ear piece, took off his mic, and walked off set:
The walk-off didn’t go unnoticed by Ferguson. In fact, it gave him the opportunity for one last, uncontested jab:
You’re proving right now by walking off stage exactly why Medicare will not get fixed with Democrats in office. Because, when someone disagrees with you or says that you guys don’t have a plan, you quit and you fear-monger and you say that people are going to die and then you walk of stage. And that’s the problem.”
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